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Awesome Quinag!

Awesome Quinag!


Postby roscoT » Sun May 15, 2016 2:31 pm

Route description: Quinag: three Corbetts

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

Date walked: 08/05/2016

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 14.1 km

Ascent: 1174m

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I had been looking forward to this day for a long while - a chance to walk the ridges of the three corbetts of Quinag. It did not disappoint.

It was a slightly cloudy, hazy yet windy start to the day as we made the short drive from Inchnadamph, climbing from the shores of Loch Assynt to the start of the walk. Legs a bit tired, we were 20% apprehensive and 80% excited. Squeezing in to our boots, we surveyed the vast mountain, noting that the hulking finger of Sail Garbh was covered in a veil of fast-moving cloud, hopefully soon to clear.

ImageP1020633 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

The well maintained path forks to the left at a small cairn and over rocky escarpments to reach the base of the day's first climb, a gentle but long rise over stony slabs. Our feet and knees were glad of the flat terrain for sure. Some nice views develop over Loch Assynt.

ImageP1020636 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
ImageP1020638 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

At the top of this, there is a leveling off then a brief descent before the much steeper and much less comfortable underfoot ascent to the summit of the day's first corbett - Spidean Coinich. Great views from here, and to the right of the summit area, you suddenly realise how steep the sides of this little character are. Met a couple of older guys, a father a son, from the hostel here, the son miraculously with a not-yet-healed broken foot! They were about to call it a day and go back down however.

ImageP1020643 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
ImageP1020648 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
ImageEuan and Loch Assynt by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
ImageSuilven by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
ImageView back by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
ImageP1020655 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
Imagespidean summit by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
Imagesuilven by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

We had reached our first summit in good time. Cloud cover was clearing, allowing better views, but the wind was picking up. The ridge ahead to the north looked amazing, a slight detour to the left needed to access it and bypass a sheer drop - glad we weren't doing this in poor visibility! The ridge walk was fantastic - dropping down steeply and across near knife-edges, then eventually pulling up again to the unnamed 'junction' top between the 3 corbetts. Really enjoying ourselves now :)

ImageP1020669 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
Imageridge and junction top, sail gorm behind by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
ImageP1020674 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
ImageP1020678 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
Imageback to spidean by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
Imageridge and sail garbh by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
Imagespidean and lochan bealach cornaidh by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
Imagedescent by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
ImageP1020696 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
Imageconival and ben more assynt by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
ImageP1020701 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
Imageyusss by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
Imagejunction top by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
Imagekylesku bridge by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Taking our time, we then had lunch at the junction top, listening to Euan's playlist 'songs to compliment the hills' that his dad had made up for him :clap: before starting the section of the walk out to the furthest point - the corbett of sail gorm. Dropping down, you pass a prominent stick of rock on the left that drops sharply all the way down to the flat thousands of feet below. Euan, not a fan of heights, nervously shuffled out for a peek, I managed a bit further, but still had that falling feeling, so came back sharpish after a photo! The views to the southwest and the sea were superb. Climbing up sharply, with a bit of scrambling, a rocky cleft is then reached, before a more gentle, but long approach to the summit. In the last 500m, the wind picked up ferociously, throwing in some hail for good measure, and we struggled to stay upright and walk straight, ducking for cover with some relief behind the cairn when we arrived.

ImageP1020712 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
ImageP1020716 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
ImageP1020717 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
ImageP1020718 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
Imagesail gorm summit by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
Imageto sea by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
Imagecanisp and suilven by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

We didn't hang about here for long, pining to lose some altitude and be out of the wind. Retracing our steps, we aimed backed for the junction top, the wind on the plateau finally easing as we reached again the rocky cleft. Conival and Ben More Assynt, so covered in clag the previous day when we had climbed them, were now totally clear for the first time. The junction top is slightly bypassed to the left, which by this time our burning legs were glad of, to a bealach from where the more gentle, but rocky, ascent to the final peak of the day, sail garbh, commences.

ImageP1020726 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
Imagewindy by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
ImageP1020733 by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
Imageconival and bma by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
Imageto sail garbh by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
Imagespidean coinich by Ross Thomson, on Flickr

Sadly, as soon as we reached the summit of the day's final peak, my camera battery packed in, but the descent past the lochan after a quick nap at the top was a pleasant one. Back to the car and the hostel in decent time, the sun then came out and promised a scorcher for Monday and, for us, and go at the mighty Suilven :D

Imagesail garbh summit by Ross Thomson, on Flickr
User avatar
roscoT
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 214
Munros:108   Corbetts:23
Grahams:12   Donalds:14
Sub 2000:13   Hewitts:5
Wainwrights:3   
Joined: Jul 26, 2014
Location: Glasgow

Re: Awesome Quinag!

Postby Walk cycle » Sun May 15, 2016 4:35 pm

Fantastic report -brought back memories of last year. I particularly like your photo of 'canisp and suilven' as it really captures the other- worldly feel of Assynt.
User avatar
Walk cycle
Walker
 
Posts: 80
Munros:21   Corbetts:7
Grahams:3   
Hewitts:22
Wainwrights:3   
Joined: Aug 22, 2013

Re: Awesome Quinag!

Postby litljortindan » Mon May 16, 2016 1:38 pm

Great description of a day on a favourite hill. Sea backdrop, narrow ridge and plunging cliffs a perfect combination.
User avatar
litljortindan
Walker
 
Posts: 1553
Munros:110   Corbetts:47
Grahams:22   
Sub 2000:38   Hewitts:12
Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Dec 11, 2011

Re: Awesome Quinag!

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Tue May 17, 2016 11:20 am

Nice report and It was nice to know we weren't the only people to shuffle out nervously for a photo shoot :lol: Your pictures of the clouds over Assynt are great.
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Cairngorm creeper
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 576
Munros:133   Corbetts:11
Grahams:6   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:15
Wainwrights:9   
Joined: Jun 4, 2013
Location: Nr. Grantown-on-Spey

Re: Awesome Quinag!

Postby dogplodder » Tue May 17, 2016 3:37 pm

Enjoyed that. You were there 8 days after me and what a difference with not a hint of snow! :D
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dogplodder
 
Posts: 3221
Munros:213   Corbetts:50
Grahams:15   
Sub 2000:22   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:8   
Joined: Jul 16, 2011


Re: Awesome Quinag!

Postby Gordie12 » Thu May 19, 2016 12:24 pm

Great report Ross, brought back good memories of these three hills which were probably my highlight from last year.
User avatar
Gordie12
Walker
 
Posts: 1681
Munros:112   Corbetts:62
Grahams:17   Donalds:21
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:18
Wainwrights:17   
Joined: Sep 6, 2012
Location: Nr Forfar

Re: Awesome Quinag!

Postby roscoT » Mon May 23, 2016 10:24 pm

Cheers all - think this day cemented Assynt as my favourite part of the world I have walked in so far. Desperate already to go back and Canisp, Cul Mor, Breabag, the list goes on...
User avatar
roscoT
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 214
Munros:108   Corbetts:23
Grahams:12   Donalds:14
Sub 2000:13   Hewitts:5
Wainwrights:3   
Joined: Jul 26, 2014
Location: Glasgow

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