Scotland’s West Coast – The Cool Cuillin
Skye’s Cuillin ridge is the UK’s answer to the Alps
The extremely rocky Black Cuillin on Scotland’s Isle of Skye is a group of mountains (including 12 Munros) that offers some of the best scrambling and climbing opportunities in the United Kingdom. The peaks are often described as Britain’s answer to the European Alps and there’s certainly nowhere else in the UK of such a serious mountaineering nature, with sustained difficulties on many peaks needing to be overcome before you can reach the summits.
We’ve a chequered history of success on the Cuillin ridge. It’s not due to effort – We’ve climbed Sgurr nan Eag twice, Bruache na Frithe three times and Bla Bheinn five times (the north-west ridge on Bruache na Frithe, a grade two scramble, and the amazing Clach Glas-Bla Bheinn traverse, a Moderate rock climb, being the highlights). These though are the easier Munros, with minimal exposure (the latter rock climbing route excepted). When it has came to the test, we’ve bailed just feet from the top on Sgurr na Gillean’s ‘tourist route’ due to the exposure and balked at the descent of the 3m high ‘bad step’ on the only route feasible for non-climbers up Am Basteir.