oil on canvas,
100cm x 30cm,
Iain White, 2016,
Almost all of the northwest Sutherland hills to the west of the Moine thrust Stac Pollaidh (Stac Polly), Cuinneag (Quinag) Suilven, Canisp, Cul Mor and Cul Beg exist as isolated ridges or peaks rising above the Lewisian gneiss of the foreland. This results from repeated intense glacial erosion by major ice streams flowing to the west breaching the pre-glacial watershed.
This ice removed the sedimentary rocks of the Torridonian and Cambrio-Ordovician succession from the intervening areas leaving only isolated remnants. During at least some of the glacial phases these mountains may have protruded through the ice at its maximum thickness as nunataks.
That the same is true for Ben Stack, Arcuil (Arkle) and Foinne Bheinn (Foinaven) is evident when they are viewed from the west as in this painting from Badcal on Loch Inchard.