Quinag - Spidean Coinich

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You have climbed 93/282 munros.

I had a new lens coming. I also hadn't planned another walk although I had one in mind. I fancied finishing Quinag. The lens came earlier in the day than expected, and well, why not take it for a walk. So after a quick bit of weather forecast checking I packed Gerty so Skye and I could overnight at the car park and then walk the following day.

This is the tale of Spidean Coinich, the mossy peak.

Date started:19/06/21
Distance:5.3 miles
Ascent:617m
Descent:622m
Time taken:19440
Moving time:3:59
Average speed:1.34mph
Maximum speed:3.05mph

Quinag Spidean Coinich

Quinag - Spidean Coinich from the car park
Quinag - Spidean Coinich from the car park

The left turn cairn to Spidean Coinich
The left turn cairn to Spidean Coinich

The MetOffice mountain forecast on Friday morning seemed quite positive - cloudy sun, dry until evening I think.

That wasn't quite how the weather was to play out. What's a wee bit of drizzle here or continuous rain there, eh?!

Bands of rock make for reasonable walking
Bands of rock make for reasonable walking

More bands of rock, and it gets steeper
More bands of rock, and it gets steeper

We started out with a steady pace, and surprisingly I soon realised I was holding a slow, but nevertheless, an alpine pace. Leaving the built path at the cairn, we then crossed onto the SE ridge of Spidean Coinich and it was here the climbing really began.

Looking back to Loch Assynt and Ben More Assynt
Looking back to Loch Assynt and Ben More Assynt

Spidean Coinich
Spidean Coinich

There is a lot of rock here. Long strips of bare rock abound, you just link them up and keep on climbing. Skye did a pretty good job of keeping us to the path when it mostly faded.

Suilven from East Top, Spidean Coinich
Suilven from East Top, Spidean Coinich

East top with Loch Assynt and Ben More Assynt
East top with Loch Assynt and Ben More Assynt

Just below East Top the ground changes to largely boulder fields, the pace slowed further. Across a small col lay the final pull up to the summit. It was with a great deal of gratitude that we finally spied the summit itself. Despite a wee breeze over the summit the midges were out and biting.

Steep boulder field to Spidean Coinich
Steep boulder field to Spidean Coinich

Spidean Coinich summit
Spidean Coinich summit

Taking in the view on Spidean Coinich
Taking in the view on Spidean Coinich

Ben More Assynt and Conival
Ben More Assynt and Conival

I umm'd and argh'd to myself trying to decide which way to descend. Back the way we came, or onward across the airy ridge. Eventually I figured were up here for the views and the whole experience, so just carry on and see what happens.

Looking down to the NW ridge of Spidean Coinich
Looking down to the NW ridge of Spidean Coinich

Looking back from the NW ridge of Spidean Coinich
Looking back from the NW ridge of Spidean Coinich

The ridge turned out to be the best part of the hill. Airy and narrow in place, most of the time it was plenty wide enough to keep me and Skye happy. Remarkably she was calm and confident on the ridge, and didn't give me any cause for concern!

More of the NW ridge of Spidean Coinich
More of the NW ridge of Spidean Coinich

Spidean Coinich
Spidean Coinich

Hazy distant views from NW ridge of Spidean Coinich
Hazy distant views from NW ridge of Spidean Coinich

Skye on the NW ridge of Spidean Coinich
Skye on the NW ridge of Spidean Coinich

Spidean Coinich from the descent
Spidean Coinich from the descent

Dropping into the coire for the return to the van the rain started, it was full waterproofs, jacket and troos. We didn't too wet, it was mainly annoying. However, not long after we were inside the heavens opened. Good timing, it was torrential.

Tags: outdoor, scotland Written 19/06/21 

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