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walking stories  | europe | scotland | the cuillins summary |  the cuillins story
The Cuillin Ridge, Isle of Skye, Scotland



Not just your standard hiking route....For the average Munro Bagger this definitely is a different league. The Cuillin Ridge offers the most challenging mountaineering environment available in the British Isles. It is like a maze of twists and turns, climbs and descents that amaze and bewilder.  The exposure is incredible, vast yawning expanses of emptiness either side of you.

So why bother? Because the views from the Cuillins are incredible, the scrambling and climbing is exhilarating and the ridge will push your mountaineering skill to their limit, even the rock climbers amongst us will feel satisfied spending time on these dizzy heights. There really is nothing else like it to compare in the UK.

The story includes valuable guidance for other walkers considering this traverse of the ridge.  Some other lessons:

  • A successful traverse depends on being able to follow in the steps you have trodden on previous day trips
  • The exposure is incredible
  • Hang onto your rucksack!
  • Take care interpreting the details in the guidebook
  • Latch onto others if they seem to know the route!
  • Psychologically the dramatic beauty of the ridge is implanted forever.


Read the full "walking" story of the Cuillins >

Contributed by: Colin Wilson

See also Colin's earlier story of Sgurr Dearg, the Inaccessible Pinnacle, which lies on the route >


Sunset from Sgurr Dearg

Sunset from Sgurr Dearg

Key Facts

Location Isle of Skye
When it was walked 16 July 2006
Walk type High hills and mountains
Difficulty Severe - requires mountaineering skills and climbing equipment
Distance approx 7 miles / 11 km
Height climbed approx 13,500 ft / 4115 m, climbing 68 tops in all!
Time taken approx 31 hours
Map of the area Ordnance Survey Landranger 1:50,000 sheet no 32
Source of info on walk Andy Hyslop's mini-guide available from Rockfax.com
Getting there A road bridge connects the island to the mainland at Kyle of Lochalsh, which can be reached by train or road from Inverness
Places to stay Youth hostel in Glen Brittle, wide range of accommodation on the Island
Places to eat/ buy food Local shops and hotels