WALKING STORIES - bringing walkers together, worldwide
North America
South America
Become a Member
Every Picture Tells a Story
City Walks and One Step Beyond
Maps and Guides
Holidays and Travel
Working with Charities


walking stories  | europe | scotland | Sgurr Dearg: The Inaccessible Pinnacle | Sgurr Dearg story
Sgurr Dearg: The Inaccessible Pinnacle (986m), Isle of Skye, Scotland



This is a lively story capturing the emotions involved in scaling the trickiest Munro in Scotland: The Inaccessible Pinnacle.  It requires rock climbing skills and a cool head, and it's often one of the last summits which Munro-baggers ascend, helped by a rock-climbing friend or guide.

Colin Wilson wrote this account of the climb to a friend and fellow climber, and has agreed that it can be published on Walking Stories for the interest of other walkers. 

As if the rock climbing wasn't tricky enough, Colin points out that a compass doesn't work on the Cuillins due to the magnetic qualities of the gabbro rock, so unless you have an intimate knowledge of the complex routes you could have difficulties if you have to descend in cloud

Read the full story

Contributed by: Colin Wilson


NB - the Munros are the Scottish peaks over 3000 feet first listed in Munro's Tables in 1891 by Sir Hugh Munro, one of the original members of the Scottish Mountaineering Club. 

The first person to climb all of the Munros was the Reverend A E Robertson in 1901, although in the first list the Inaccessible Pinnacle was listed as a "top", not a Munro in its own right (a number of criteria were used to assess which was a genuine summit, and which was merely a "top").  Since then there have been some revisions to the list, so there are now 284 regarded as Munros.  

Every year, thousands of walkers are ticking off the names of mountains listed as Munros, attempting to complete them all, and over 1500 have now done so.

A side view of the Inaccessible Pinnacle

A side view of the Inaccessible Pinnacle which is effectively a huge fin stuck on the top of Sgurr Dearg, a bit like a row of thin terraced houses on top of a hill

Key Facts

Location East of Glen Brittle House, Black Cuillin Mountains, Isle of Skye
When it was walked Summer 2005
Walk type High hills and mountains
Difficulty Requires mountaineering skills and climbing equipment
Distance approx 5 miles / 8 km
Height climbed approx 3000 ft / 920 m for this peak - but climbed here as part of a ridge walk with other summits
Map of the area Ordnance Survey Landranger 1:50,000 sheet no 32
Source of info on walk Covered in many Scottish climbing books
Getting there A road bridge now connects the island to the mainland at Kyle of Lochalsh, which can be reached by train 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