A lot of terrain in the Cuillin can be covered by a walker though as you get higher in the range you probably want to have had a little experience with mountain environments and no fear of heights. For climbers, there are endless routes, faces and ridges to ponder. This is ground zero for British climbing. Even George Mallory, himself, put up a route here in the Cuillin before heading off to Everest because it was there.
One big alpine treat is to traverse the entire range. This is not simply a scramblefest because there are parts where you'll need the formal lead/belay/protection set-up, as well as having to rappel ... oops, we are speaking British mountaineering here, so the proper term is abseil. The Queen is of a German family, after all. The whole traverse can be done in as little as one day if you are in monster shape and very skilled, but most folks like to spread the fun out more. Of course, that means a bivouac or two ... up high. There are several guides that will show you the way. One fellow is Mike Lates of Skye Guides. Two notes before booking, however. One is the guide fees are not cheap. The second note is even more important. You take a real risk with the weather here. I met an English family who came up after having booked their expedition months in advance. Their first day was accomplished in good weather and they went to sleep in their high bivy with stars in their eyes. They awoke to zero visibility and deteriorating conditions - 'full conditions' is a term I hear about a lot in British alpine articles. They made it off safely but never broke out of the clouds until a few hundred yards away from their newly repositioned transport in Glen Brittle. So, just remember that there is a reason one of the nicknames for Skye is the Isle of Mist.
Equipment: All weather gear is needed here along with boots that can take boggy ground. Some climbs require full climbing rack while others just require a steady head and experience with scrambling - not necessarily a great place for your first scramble, however.
A Mountaineer's Paradise
The Black Cuillins rise to a height of 3,000 feet straight from the sea, not the biggest in the world, but this mountain range is the most demanding place for climbers in the United Kingdom. The Black Cuillins has jagged peaks of rough grey gabbro rock a dramatic place indeed. I have included a web address in this tip for anyone who is interested in climbing here on Skye.
Equipment: I only saw the Cuillins from the road but check the web site it has all the details you need.
- Hiking and Walking
- Road Trip