Quinag under "typical" spring Scottish weather

Route: Quinag: three Corbetts

Corbetts: Quinag - Sail Gharbh, Quinag - Sail Gorm, Quinag - Spidean Coinich

Date walked: 28/03/2016

Time taken: 7 hours

I have to say I discovered Quinag even before I moved to the Highlands. At some point during the many hours I normally spend looking at Google Maps with the terrain layer on, its tailed-horseshoe shape stood out to my eyes and aroused my curiosity. Then, once I was already here, I watched it from every possible angle during my journeys and walks through Assynt: from tops of Stac Pollaidh and Suilven, Drumbeg, Kylesku Bridge, road A894 on the way to Loch Assynt… It was definitely time to give it a go!

The weather forecast for the day was dubious, very unsettled, with some sunny spells between sporadic snow showers at low probability. But what I normally check the most before heading to the hills is the predicted visibility; as long as it is likely to be at least good, then the walk goes on, and that day it was meant to be not good but very good or excellent! To be said that Metoffice did not have their best guess… :lol:

A quite cosmopolitan party (Spanish, Italian, Colombian, Irish, definitely the Highlands is becoming so multicultural) set off from Inverness about 8,30 being ready to run to the hills (up the irons!) about 10. Quinag welcomed us “dressed to kill”:

With that stunning view boosting our excitement up, we straight away started the walk up the first corbett, Spidean Coinich. It seemed that Quinag was willing to provide us with a memorable day: Image

A bit higher, the first sight of the little Lochan Bealach Cornaidh appeared Image

The very rocky area before the final push up to the first summit of the day offered this view Image

To be honest, I really can’t say whether or not there was a path on this stretch. If there is, it’s obvious we didn’t find it and just walked straight up the ridge on really rocky and boulder terrain, with some slabs as well. “Tough” boys need no path 8)

The threatening clouds were almost embracing the summit of the corbett, finally covering it completely when we got to the top. Damn it! We missed all the views. As Metoffice said, the visibility was very good, and yes it was… but I guess they meant under the clouds, obviously not on the misty peaks :roll:

After the summit, we started the real fun. In my opinion, the most interesting part of the walk stretches from the summit of Spidean Coinich down to the col just before ascending to the “horseshoe”, including steep descents, meandering airy paths and narrow ridges. We did not really know how high the cliffs around were or how narrow the ridge was, as the mist covered it all. I guess it actually helped someone with funny head for heights :lol:

Anyway it was great fun, shame that we missed some views, though actually the fog made the scenery quite “mystical”. It started lifting (or rather we descended): Image


As we descended to the final bealach before the ascent to the horseshoe, we decided to stop for a snack. Finally a non-foggy spot! Image

From here, we decided to head first to the Corbett on the right, Sail Gharbh, then retrace our steps and go to the last one. The weather at this point got really bad, and as we climbed onto the main ridge, it got again misty and started snowing quite heavily. In our way to Sail Gharbh we had no views whatsoever and the wind and snow together with the boulder ground made the walk quite unpleasant, so we just reached the summit, tick it and walked back.

On the contrary, as we retraced our steps, the cloud lifted and again we got great views. After more than 2 years living here, sometimes I still get amazed on how crazy the Scottish weather is :lol:

From here, a settled layer of clouds would stay with us the rest of the day, covering the two summits but only at quite a high level, thus allowing us to see the massive corrie between these peaks and across to Kylesku and Loch Gleann Dubh. Quite an interesting view: Image


Carrying on climbing the last of the corbetts Sail Gorm, soon we reached the cloud level again and it started snowing. With such bad weather conditions it was just a matter to get to the top, tick it off and start our descent back to the car. I still would stop to a take a couple of shots more of one of the most interesting spots on the ridge Image


And the last view of the corrie between the corbetts, with these covered in mist and Kylesku bridge in the far far distance

The way down was really quick, this time descending towards Lochan Bealach Cornaidh and then walking to the road on a clear path but through quite boggy ground, while enjoying good views of Spidean Coinich from below

Once again, another very enjoyable day in the Scottish hills, even though we didn’t get the most of it because of the weather conditions. But as always we have to look at the positive side: as I missed some views, then I have the perfect excuse to repeat. See you soon Quinag! 8)

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Spanish Highlander

Location: Inverness
Activity: Backpacker
Pub: Hootanannys
Mountain: Suilven
Place: Assynt wilderness
Gear: Chiruca Hunter Boots
Member: John Muir Trust
Ideal day out: Lost in isolated wilderness

Munros: 23
Corbetts: 8
Grahams: 5

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Trips: 4
Distance: 14 km
Corbetts: 3


Trips: 2
Munros: 1
Grahams: 1

Joined: Dec 01, 2015
Last visited: May 05, 2018
Total posts: 10 | Search posts