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Introduction Paths Navigation Accommodation Route Planning Weather Kit Cuillins

8. The Cuillin

None of the mainland Munros require any scrambling ability (i.e. the need for hands). Most of the Cuillins do. There are just a couple of Tops on the mainland which require scrambling (both in Torridon): Meall Dearg and Sail Mhor. For none of them did I require a rope because of technical difficulties or exposure, but there are two for which I have used a rope each time for abseiling rather than safety or a sense of security: abseiling off the In Pin (with its one way system) and a 3m abseiling on the descent from Am Basteir to the Tooth. Most people will prefer a rope when going up the In Pin as well as down because of the exposure. Otherwise, the easiest ways up the Cuillin Munros and Tops have much less exposure, but almost all of them have at least one or two sticky points. A guide or experienced companion that has done the Cuillins before is definitely a help. The professional guides I went with made the Cuillins at least a grade easier for me than when I was on my own. I've not really taken many notes on the Cuillins, and recommend those new to those hills to hire a guide at least for first ascents of several of them: Gerry Ackroyd (now retired) got the most timid up the In Pin, while Mike Lates (www.skyeguides.co.uk) is excellent for the more adventurous and very fit.

The best map for the Cuillin is widely acknowledged to be Harvey's 1:12500 Superwalker "Skye: The Cuillin". The guide book I use is J. Wilson Parker's "Scrambles in Skye", Cicerone Press, 1983.

My trips to Skye include photos mainly to illustrate where the routes go.


Copyright © 2007 & 2012 Colin Walter