Mat Hayward

2.9 peaks of Quinag

14 April 2024  •  Scotland  •  13km  •  1050m ascent


I’d wanted to climb the three peaks of Quinag since I saw it on our honeymoon towering over the hotel we were staying in and looking pretty massive and imposing on the landscape. In truth, I married the love of my life and then fell in love with a mountain a week later!

We had planned to do the climb last year and the weather conditions were perfect on the day we chose to do it, but we both ended up with Covid instead.

This time though, we felt good and got started early to make sure we had enough time to get it done. The mountain forecast was for cloud and sun, but nothing else so we were good to go.

The climb up to Spidean Coinich was pretty straightforward and we were there before we knew it. The views into what looks like wilderness on the way up were spectacular and I had one of the world’s best flapjacks (my mother’s) to celebrate.

On to Sàil Ghorm, which involved a bit of a scramble over some unnamed tops, but nothing too scary. It’s at this point we started to get hit by some pretty strong winds, but we made it to the top pretty quickly and earned another flapjack!

Turning around to walk back toward the ridge and onto Quinag’s tallest peak, Sàil Gharbh, the wind had really picked up, making it difficult to place our feet at times. So more care and effort was required at this point.

After battling through the wind for about an hour, being physically pushed sideways at times, we found ourselves less than 100m from the top of Sàil Gharbh only for a hail cloud to come in and take most of our visibility away.

We sat for 5 minutes, hoping it would pass, but it became apparent that it wasn’t going anywhere soon, so we bailed.

I’m sure we could have reached the top and bagged all three peaks, but that felt like the stupid option in the circumstances. And 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

The bridge at the start of the walk up Quinag
View from the slopes of Spidean Coinich
View of Lochan Bealach Cornaidh from Spidean Coinich
Kerry walking down Quinag
Kerry and Rudi on Quinag
Kerry walking down Quinag
The mist over Quinag