Thursday 11 July 2013


Quinag from the start of the walk (NC232273)

What a glorious day. Sunny and warm with azure blue skies and silver white gneiss reflecting the light back to the heavens.

Ascent of Creag Mhor with views to Spidean Coinich

We set off from the old quarry car park with the hills shimmering in the heat, Rafe trotting off ahead in his new harness. The John Muir Trust holds Quinag and there were signs requesting walkers keep to a new path, avoiding some sensitive vegetation. This we duly did and were soon yomping up the rocks of Creag Mhor.

Quinag from Creag Mhor

We sweated up the big scree onto Spidean Coinich East Top and down into the first of many bealach's

Spidean Coinich from Creag Mhor, Quinag

Rafe was pleased to find a lochan for a swim and a cool down. His harness was removed to the fastness of my rucksack, not to be seen again today.

Lochan on ascent of Spidean Coinich (NC209274)

The views to the south, hazy with heat, were wonderful, Suilven and friends, jewels of Assynt.

Views south to Canisp and Suilven from ascent of Spidean Coinich

Conival and Loch Assynt from the ascent of Spidean Coinich

We continued on and  up.

Jim ascends Spidean Coinich. Views south to Loch Assynt and Canisp and Suilven

Rafe - Spidean Coinich summit (Corbett, 764m)

The first Corbett of the day, Spidean Coinich seemed like a good place for lunch.

Views north to Loch Glencoul from Spidean Coinich

Jim - Spidean Coinich summit

Views north west from Spidean Coinich

Views south from Spidean Coinich

The views at the summit were expansive, the North West, hills, mountains, lochs, sea and islands...

Rafe - Spidean Coinich summit

And the whole of Quinag herself.

Sail Gharbh and Loch Glencoul from Spidean Coinich

Lunchtime view - Sail Gharbh and Coire Lochan Bealach Cornaidh

We perched above the Coire Lochan Bealach Cornaidh, with views across Quinag and the Far North. Yum.

Looking back to Spidean Coinich

Before moving off, descending into the first bealach of the day and another opportunity for Rafe to get a cool off.

Rafe takes another swim at Lochan Ruadh, Quinag

Conival and Spidean Coinich from Lochan Ruadh

Rafe - Torridonain Sandstone on Quinag

Despite Quinag's relatively small size, there are lots of ups and downs. It felt every inch a proper mountain,

Spidean Coinich and Creag N H-iolaire Ard

Looking South along Quinag ridge

South along Quinag ridge again

Views in every direction, changing with altitude, shadow and perspective.

Quinag and Assynt

Sail Ghorm

West from Quinag

Just a little bit of scrambling, just a little bit of exposure and lots of great hill walking.

Loch Glencoul and the Far North from Bealach Cuilnneige

Quinag from ascent of Sail Ghorm

We headed off north, up Sail Ghorm, the second Corbet of the day at 776m, a gentle pull to the summit.

Loch Glencoul and the Far North from the ascent of Sail Ghorm

The Western Ocean from Sail Ghorm, Quinag

A pretty good place for a second lunch.

Quinag from Sail Ghorm (Corbett, 776m)

Sail Gharbh from Sail Ghorm, Quinag

Quinag ridge

Loch Glencoul from Bealach Cuilnneige

Bealach Cuilnneige to Sail Gharbh

Then back south again, contouring round Bealach Culnneige to the final summit, Sail Gharbh, another Corbett and the highest point of the day, 809m.

Conival and Ben Mor Assynt from Quinag

Quinag from ascent of Sail Gharbh

Jim - ascent of Sail Gharbh, Quinag

North from the summit of Sail Gharbh (Corbett, 809m)

Spidean Coinich from Sail Gharbh, Quinag

South from the summit of Sail Gharbh (Corbett, 809m)

As the sun had moved around as the day progressed, the views had improved as the haze reduced.

South east from the summit of Sail Gharbh (Corbett, 809m)

It was one of those days when we rally didn't want to leave the tops...

Jim - Descent from Sail Gharbh - views south west

Torridonian sandstone on Sail Gharbh

But all good things must...

Jim descends into Coire Lochan Bealach Cornaidh

And we headed back to the Bealach Cornaidh where we followed the path down into Coire Lochan Bealach Cornaidh.

Red deer in Coire Lochan Bealach Cornaidh

We passed a small herd of red deer as we descended quickly to the lochan, a gentle, early evening walk out.

Coire Lochan Bealach Cornaidh

Rafe in Coire Lochan Bealach Cornaidh

Another wonderful hill day.

Rafe takes a rest at the end of the walk. Quinag

Route:  Car park at old quarry at summit of pass on A894 between Skaig Bridge and Kylesku Bridge (NC232273), footpath west into coire, after 600m, at small cairn (NC228277) follow footpath south and then west, Creag Mhor, Spidean Coinich East Top (620m), Spidean Coinich (Corbett, 764m), Creag N H-iolaire Ard (713m), Sail Garbh West Top (745m), Sail Garbh Point (687m), Unnamed Summit (703m), Sail Gorm (Corbett, 776m), Bealach Culnneige, Sail Gharbh (Corbett, 809m), return to bealach and take path into Coire Lochan Bealach Cornaidh, stalkers path E to start.

Statistics:  Ascent: 1200m  Distance: 13km  Time: 7.45 hours

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