Walk: Quinag - Assynt's fidget spinner

[View back to Spidean Còinich]

As if Assynt's fantastic scenery isn't distraction enough, the region has its own fidget spinner in the name of Quinag (Milk Pail): a complex massif of summits and ridges which from above looks curiously like the popular child's toy. And when standing on the ridge itself it's even better; there are entertainingly airy crests, scrambly rock outcrops, breathtaking vistas of moorland and ocean, and broader, sweeping ridges as legs tire later in the day. Three peaks gain Corbett status, but several other unnamed (and unavoidable) summits mean the next steep ascent is never far away. Luckily the John Muir Trust have done well to maintain the paths in key places, including improving what would otherwise be a boggy trial at the start and end of the walk. All in all, another astounding Assynt ascent - in fact possibly the area's very best.

[The walk to Sàil Ghorm passes an exciting rocky ledge overlooking the Assynt boglands]

Name: Walk: Quinag - Assynt's fidget spinner ★★★★★
Length: 14 km / 9 miles
Ascent: 1130 metres
Main summits: Spidean Còinich (764 metres, Corbett); Sàil Ghorm (776 metres, Corbett); Sàil Gharbh (809 metres, Corbett)
Start / finish: Car park on A894 3 miles north of Loch Assynt, G.R.: NC 233274 ///beamed.glance.dash

Route: Car park - Spidean Còinich by east ridge - Sàil Ghorm by south ridge - return to G.R.: NC 200291 - Sàil Gharbh by west ridge - return to G.R.: NC 205290 - north side of Lochan Bealach Cornaidh - start
Terrain: Mostly clear, rough and rocky paths with only simple short scrambly sections. Ascent of Spidean Còinich is on bare rock; just a little bog on descent.
Wildlife today: Red grouse and chicks near car park, mountain hare, frogs and hairy caterpillars.
Weather today: Dry and often sunny with temperature in low teens at base; heavy showers on surrounding hills.

[Wildlife on Quinag's lower slopes]


Route credit: Walkhighlands

[View ahead to Quinag at the start of the day]

[Ascending the rocky slopes of Spidean Còinich]

[Fabulous views over Quinag's many ridges from the first summit of the day]

[Lochan Bealach Cornaidh below Sàil Gharbh (left)

[One of the hill's many minor summits, seen from Lochan Ruadh]

[Route to Sàil Ghorm]

[Kylesku Bridge]

[Bàthaich Cuinneige]

[Sàil Gharbh from Sàil Ghorm]

[Ridge to Sàil Gharbh]

[Spidean Còinich from Sàil Gharbh]

[Approaching the grey summit of Sàil Gharbh from the red lower part of the ridge]

[Walk out from the coire]

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