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Cuillin Ridge on Skye

  • 10-09-2011 10:23pm
    Registered Users Posts: 50 ✭✭

    Hi Folks,

    Myself and a climbing buddy are considering an attempt of Cuillin Ridge in Skye (probably in the spring). We are both experienced scramblers but believe in doing our research beforehand. Any feedback or advice from anyone who has undertaken a traverse of the Cuillin Ridge would be most appreciated.



  • Registered Users Posts: 272 ✭✭DeepSleeper

    I've attempted it three times - once from the north and twice from the south - and we were forced to bail out due to bad weather each time. I now have 10 of the 11 Munroes done (3 from N, 7 from S), but wouldn't be content to just tick off the 11th since the full traverse is the goal...

    Advice? You probably know most of it yourself to be honest - travel light, boots only (don't bother with climbing shoes), no need for a tent if you're used to roughing it - bring good bivvy bags or just a tent's flysheet to go over sleeping bags instead. Consider each item you bring carefully, but you'll still have to carry a lot when you consider food, drink, rock gear, bivvy gear, wet weather gear. If it does turn wet on you, take great care - the rock is amazing to grip when dry but terrifyingly slippy when wet... know your descent options in advance in case you need to bail out at short notice.

    Consider staying in the hostel in Glenbrittle for a night, then tackle the big hike in to the Gars Bheinn end in the afternoon - bivvy on the ridge and get going early in the day in order to get well beyond halfway before bivvying again. Don't underestimate how long it takes to cover a couple of kms on the ridge - some parts are quick but some are very slow and tricky for normal scramblers and you can't afford to let the ticking clock distract you or put undue pressure on you...

    Good luck!

  • Registered Users Posts: 304 ✭✭NathanKingerlee

    I used to spend a fair bit of time up there. I'd suggest carrying plenty of water and being prepared for an emergency bivvy, so there is no major panic if you do get delayed and need to spend a night out.

    The rock effects the compass quite severely so mist/low cloud isn't a good time to be on the ridge - navigation can be near impossible.

    Good scramble rope-skills, including setting-up emergency anchors and a retrievable-abseil.

    Apart from the main ridge, most of the spurs/ridges leading up onto the main ridge are also fantastic scrambles in their own right, so you can spend loads of time there!

  • Registered Users Posts: 50 ✭✭claxxix

    Thanks Nathan and Daysleeper for the incisive info. Best wishes, claxxix