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Quinag - Just a Brilliant Day

Quinag - Just a Brilliant Day


Postby Gordie12 » Sat Oct 17, 2015 12:35 pm

Route description: Quinag: three Corbetts

Corbetts included on this walk: Quinag - Sail Gharbh, Quinag - Sail Gorm, Quinag - Spidean Coinich

Date walked: 16/10/2015

Time taken: 5.4 hours

Distance: 15.3 km

Ascent: 1228m

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The forecast seemed pretty good everywhere so I didn't need to worry about weather chasing, I could just go wherever I wanted - sometimes, I hate that as I can never decide but the Quinag Corbetts have been high on my list for a while now so eventually the decision was taken and I would head for the north west.

With the decision taken just before 11pm the night before I then needed to set the alarm for 4am so not much sleep to be had (journey time seemed to be about 4.5hrs according to the AA).

The journey was fairly uneventful (I managed to avoid the deer for a change) with the excitement building once past Bonar Bridge and heading west on single track roads. Weather wise it was either fairly thick fog or completely blue skies and sunshine so I wasn't sure what I would get for the start of the walk. As I got closer to my target hills it seemed to be blue sky all the way, that is until just after Inchnadamph when a bank of higher cloud appeared and covered the sun.

First car in the car park (which was a surprise at 9.30am) and walking for 9.40am.

2.jpg
A view of the first part of my walk


I chose to follow the recommended WH route so I crossed the bridge and walked up to the large cairn taking the left hand fork that would take me over to the lower slopes of Spidean Coinich. There is a line of natural rocky slabs to be followed which lead to the wide east ridge. I prefer climbs that are gentle on the legs to start with making this one perfect, the gradient is very easy and with a lot of rock slabs to be utilised it's also very dry.

3.jpg
Typical rock slabs with the summit of Spidean Coinich appearing


4.jpg
First good view of the top with the clouds clearing


This is an amazing October (so far), another still morning and even just with a single short sleeved top on it's a warm climb and with the easy gradient and rocky slabs it doesn't take long to get to the 620m point where there is a short descent before the steeper climb up to the summit of the first Corbett of the day.

5.jpg
Looking over to Sail Gharbh


6.jpg
Made it - Corbie 1


8.jpg
The walk ahead of me


With the clouds clearing the views are getting better but there is a bit of haze restricting my distance views as well as a bank of cloud out to sea but hey, it's still terrific :D :D :D

I can imagine in poor conditions it can be tricky to find the path off the top of Spidean Coinich but not today and my route is clear and obvious - it also looks like it will be good fun.

9.jpg
Looking back to Spidean Coinich


The hardest thing about walking along the ridge is making sure you concentrate on where you put your feet and don't get tempted to look around at the fantastic scenery. After the north top at 713m the ridge narrows and then there is a steep rocky descent down to Bealach a Chornaidh at 570m.

10.jpg
Looking down to the bealach and the climb back up to the 745m top


On the descent I could hear voices and then noticed a couple of guys climbing up my descent path when I come off my third Corbie. The climb up from the bealach to the 745m top is pretty steep but all the effort is rewarded with a fantastic viewpoint (it deserves a name - nothing on my map).

11.jpg
The climbs already covered


12.jpg
Looking back from the 745m top


I spent a few minutes at the top taking in the views and looking at the route of the path across to Sail Gorm.

13.jpg
More fun ahead


14.jpg
The final climb looks straight forward


The final section off the 745m top is steep but there is a good path and there are no problems and it's now a straight forward walk over to Sail Gorm with one short section where the path narrows and the drop off to my right looks a bit "interesting".

15.jpg
Rocky cleft


16.jpg
Sail Gorm summit


18.jpg
Zoomed down to some of the distant houses


After a quick stop at the summit of Sail Gorm for a sandwich it was time to retrace my steps back to the 745m top where I would then head over to Sail Gharbh.

19.jpg
My route back to the 745m top


20.jpg


21.jpg
Nearly back at 745m top


22.jpg


There is a by-pass path to avoid some of the climb back up to the 745m top but the temptation to check out the views a final time is too strong so I plod on and spend a few minutes at the top.

The walk over to Sail Gharbh looks to be the easiest of the day and that proves to be the case and in only a few minutes I arrive at a busier summit. An American family arrived 5 minutes ahead of me and I leave them to it and carry on about 100 yards to where I get a better view down to the Kylesku Bridge ( I can remember when it was a ferry crossing, only just mind, only just :lol: )

23.jpg
Kylesku Bridge zoomed


24.jpg
Fish farm zoomed


A short walk back to the summit but it's still quite busy so I head off (sounds a bit unsociable I guess but it had been such a wonderful silent day it just felt wrong somehow). Heading back towards the 745m top (which is the focal point of this walk) and the 703m bealach, a cairn marks the point where the path descends down into the coire before swinging round and heading back towards the start of the walk (keeping to the north of Lochan Bealach Cornaidh).

25.jpg
This shows how steep the descent of Spidean Coinich is


Once down on the flat alongside the lochan the walking is easy, a few damp sections on the path but nothing compared to some of my recent walks.

26.jpg
Looking over to the car park with what looks like an interesting climb behind it


The sounds of a few rutting deer keep me company on the walk back to the car, assume these are the sensible ones that choose to spend October on John Muir Trust land.

27.jpg
How good was that?


All that's left now is the four and a bit hour drive home. The extra bit was following someone in the 40mph zone (for tree felling) on the A9, he averaged 30mph and each time he got close to the average speed cameras he braked hard leaving an HGV driver and around 40 odd cars a "little bit frustrated".

I had read the reports on these hills and had looked forward to them for some time, they didn't disappoint. I'd waited a long time to get the right day to do these hills and the wait paid off with a great day (just wish it wasn't so far away but then again I suppose it would be a lot busier).
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Gordie12
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Posts: 1716
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Re: Quinag - Just a Brilliant Day

Postby MilanBohac » Sat Oct 17, 2015 1:08 pm

This looks like a great day out! I have to try Quinag one day myself, your pictures are stunning! Thanks for sharing :clap: :thumbup:
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MilanBohac
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Re: Quinag - Just a Brilliant Day

Postby spiderwebb » Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:30 pm

Wonderful photos of a brilliant day and also my favourite area.
This group is stunning, I'm sure you will agree. The bulk seen from the road hides the scenery on the other side....rock achitecture everywhere. Thank you for posting :D
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Re: Quinag - Just a Brilliant Day

Postby roscoT » Sun Oct 18, 2015 7:44 pm

Well in Gordie - what a belter! :clap:
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Re: Quinag - Just a Brilliant Day

Postby Gordie12 » Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:55 pm

MilanBohac wrote:This looks like a great day out! I have to try Quinag one day myself, your pictures are stunning! Thanks for sharing :clap: :thumbup:


Hi Milan -it's well worth a visit especially if you can pick a good day - the views are amazing.
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Gordie12
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Posts: 1716
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Location: Nr Forfar


Re: Quinag - Just a Brilliant Day

Postby Gordie12 » Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:58 pm

spiderwebb wrote:Wonderful photos of a brilliant day and also my favourite area.
This group is stunning, I'm sure you will agree. The bulk seen from the road hides the scenery on the other side....rock achitecture everywhere. Thank you for posting :D


Cheers spiderwebb (and congrats :clap: ).

I can well understand why it's your favourite part of the country. I nearly put the car off the road a couple of times as I was looking at the hills more than the roads (just as well the boss wasn't in the car with me - she would not have been impressed).
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Gordie12
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Re: Quinag - Just a Brilliant Day

Postby Gordie12 » Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:00 pm

roscoT wrote:Well in Gordie - what a belter! :clap:


Cheers roscoT - it's a long drive but well worth the effort. I had planned to take in Sandwood Bay as well but wouldn't have had enough time so had to scrap the idea.
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Gordie12
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Re: Quinag - Just a Brilliant Day

Postby BlackPanther » Mon Oct 19, 2015 3:21 pm

Quinag... It's a place where dreams come true :D

Each hill in this area is a stunner and worth saving for a good day. I liked Canisp especially, and Arkle, not to mention Suilven (which was my menace till I climbed it).

I know Assynt is the a** end of the world, but so worth the long drive!
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Re: Quinag - Just a Brilliant Day

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:49 pm

BlackPanther wrote:Quinag... It's a place where dreams come true :D

Each hill in this area is a stunner and worth saving for a good day. I liked Canisp especially, and Arkle, not to mention Suilven (which was my menace till I climbed it).

I know Assynt is the a** end of the world, but so worth the long drive!


Hi BP

Thanks for reminding me about all the hills I have still to climb in this part of the country............

I drove down to Patterdale in the Lakes a fortnight ago (to do some Wainwrights), it was a quicker drive than this one :shock:
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Gordie12
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Re: Quinag - Just a Brilliant Day

Postby rockhopper » Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:31 pm

Superb - great day for it ! :thumbup:
Spent quite a few holidays decades ago round this area but haven't yet been up these hills - cheers :)
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Re: Quinag - Just a Brilliant Day

Postby Gordie12 » Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:20 pm

rockhopper wrote:Superb - great day for it ! :thumbup:
Spent quite a few holidays decades ago round this area but haven't yet been up these hills - cheers :)


You mean I've climbed a hill you haven't................... :shock: :shock: :shock:

Get yourself there RH, well worth the drive.
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Gordie12
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Re: Quinag - Just a Brilliant Day

Postby Silverhill » Wed Oct 21, 2015 9:57 pm

Awesome! Another ‘Corbie’ added to my list. :D
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Re: Quinag - Just a Brilliant Day

Postby SecretSquirrel » Thu Oct 22, 2015 10:59 am

Superb :clap: :clap: You got a belter of a day for those hills. Love the photograph 'Looking over to Sail Gharbh'.
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Re: Quinag - Just a Brilliant Day

Postby Gordie12 » Thu Oct 22, 2015 5:09 pm

Silverhill wrote:Awesome! Another ‘Corbie’ added to my list. :D


These lists just keep growing Silverhill -it's getting hard to keep up :lol:
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Re: Quinag - Just a Brilliant Day

Postby Gordie12 » Thu Oct 22, 2015 5:13 pm

SecretSquirrel wrote:Superb :clap: :clap: You got a belter of a day for those hills. Love the photograph 'Looking over to Sail Gharbh'.


Thanks SecretSquirrel - with some of the walks I've done this year I've forgotten maybe part of the climb or what the summit looks like. I think these three hills will stay imprinted on the brain for a long time - just wish I'd had a couple more hours of daylight as it was frustrating to get so close to Sandwood Bay and not have the time to take it in again.
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Gordie12
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Posts: 1716
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Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:18
Wainwrights:17   
Joined: Sep 6, 2012
Location: Nr Forfar

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