Sail Gharbh (Quinag) - 808m
Sunday 1st November 2009

Weather/Conditions: Rain all the way, with cloud and wind there too. Not an inch of me was dry...
Distance/Ascent/Time: 9.1km / 560m / c. 3h
Accompanying: Up A Mountain MC - Colin, Dave & Dougie

Quinag is a fantastic mountain, and a great example of Torridonian Sandstone architecture. It was too bad that we caught dreadful weather, but it was a good walk anyway, which I did with Colin, Dave and Dougie.

The rain was falling when we left the car park at Lairig Unapool and it continued to fall on and off all day. I was in awe at the huge walls of Quinag as we walked into the corrie, but with cloud obscuring the tops it was hard to determine a route of ascent. The flat corrie floor and towering walls made for inspiring scenes, and this is how it looked in crap weather! We met several walkers on our way up, following a path above the corrie and onto the slopes of Sail Gharbh, the highest point of Quinag.

The path climbed the steep slopes (no scrambling required) and as we walked the cloud lifted once more. Up on the ridge, views opened out to the north to Sail Ghorm and across various knobbly bits of the ridges. The cloud had lifted to the point that many of the mountains around about were free of cloud and even on this dull day, the mountains caught the imagination.

At 12.45pm, I stepped on top of Sail Gharbh. Damp and cold but in great spirits, I took a couple of photographs (including a panorama, as ever) before putting the camera away. It was as wet as I was, and accumulated a coating of rainwater even from the brief moments I'd had it out. As a result, I wouldn't use it on my arrival at the car park and can't derive a finishing time for the walk from the image information. This just means I don't know precisely how long the walk took, which is something I generally like to know...

We left once the four of us had regrouped on the summit, and the weather deteriorated on the way down. It was even more miserable than before, so the decision was made to head down after one summit. I picked up a pace, intent on reaching the cars. Feeling cold and wet, the walk out felt so much more miserable than on the way in. There was nothing to do anymore than simply get back to the car, and I eventually got there with some grinning and bearing it. I could hardly remember a time I'd been so wet in the mountains, but it was a relief to get back to Inchnadamph, feel warm and dry and have the satisfaction of having climbed such an aesthetic mountain in rough weather.

Later on, we drove to Lochinver for some drinks and a meal before heading back for another night in Inchnadamph.

The next day was time to leave (when I should have been in university) and we stopped at the Corrieshalloch Gorge and the Rogie Falls on the way back to Glasgow. Pics may follow soon!

Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 11.00am Lairig Unapool car park
(1.45) 12.45pm Sail Gharbh (Quinag)
(3.00) c. 2.00pm Lairig Unapool car park

Written: 2009-11-20