The Cuillin (An Cuilthionn or An Cuiltheann) is the draw for many people to visit Skye, it is a perfect place to spend time with friends in high places. The Black Cuillin should be distinguished from the Red Cuillin (na Beanntan Dearga, Red Hills) which are lower less rocky and have fewer scrambles or climbs. The most famous individual Red Cuillin is Glamaig, the focus for an annual hill run, regarded by many as the toughest hill race in the UK. The two ranges are separated by Glen Sligachan, a beautiful scenic place to walk in its own right The highest point of the Cuillin, is Sgurr Alasdair at 992 m (3,255 ft).
Respect is the word most associated with the Cuillin, while both Red and Black have routes that are suited to those with limited experience all excursions requires good navigational and map reading skills, heading off wearing a pair of trainers and a mobile phone in your pocket would be to invite disaster. The easier routes require a reasonable level of fitness while many of the rock climbs and the complete ridge traverse demand high levels of fitness, map reading and mountain craft skills. A day in the Cuillin is to be treasured and remembered.
There are guides who can provide a range of services from single day assents to full ridge traverses. They all know each other and their specialties, if you are too late to book with one they can usually pass you on to someone else. Two of our favorite guides are www.skyeguides.co.uk and www.skyeadventure.co.uk
Making recommendations is always difficult but if it is your first visit to Skye for the Black Cuillin we would suggest Bruach na Frithe (Slope of the deer) or Sgurr na Banchdich (the disputed gaelic translation being small pox) while on the Red Cuillin – Marsco (seagull hill – norse translation) will always provides an exhilarating expedition. The mountain also featured in a Runrig (www.runrig.co.uk) song “nightfall on Marsco in the 1981 album “Recovery”.