Climbing Cuillin: A Test of the Best

Trip Stats: 14th /15th June 2015
Trip Group: WGL Gore and senior staff from Peak Performance. Nine participants in total from Norway, Sweden and Scotland
Destination: Cuillin Ridge
Weather conditions: day 1 very cold, poor visibility, day 2 sunshine all day
Britain’s ultimate alpine ridge adventure, Cuillin Ridge, it’s got everything, narrow ridges, scree, complex route finding and a rock climb to the most inaccessible Munro in Scotland, if doing the classic traverse 13000ft of ascent and 7 miles of full on mountaineering.
There’s simply nothing else like this in the UK. The traverse grade is V-Diff with the odd climb at severe, some easy walking sections but it’s mainly tricky.
The route: Corrie Lagan round, with some alternatives thrown in.
Day 1, Getting there: Leaving Glen Brittle the only paths available are those leading to the steep corrie basins, for most newbies you feel your stomach shrink as everything resembling a path disappears. Time to really concentrate. From Coire Lagan we climbed to Sgurr Mhic Choinnich and traversed to the Inaccessible Pinnacle…the summit of Sgurr Dearg. Late in the day we then descended to our bivouac site in Corrie Banachdich. A great nights sleep was had but we woke to frost and as we sat that morning looking west to the islands of the Outer Hebrides breakfast had never tasted so good.
Inn Pinn Skye
Day 2, the climb: We climbed the short distance back to the main ridge and took in the magnificent views east to mainland Scotland, basked in glorious sunshine taking a slow and enjoyable scramble to the summit of Sgurr na Banachdich, our final peak of the day, it became obvious no one was up for leaving the ridge. We then descend back to the Glen via Coir’ an Eich
Stuart’s Top tip: When visiting the Cuillin, recommend using maps by “Harvey’s” they provide clear detail in the most complex of terrain you’ll come across in the UK. Check out this route in the “Hill Walkers Guide to Mountaineering” publisher Cicerone; authors Terry Adby and Stuart Johnston.
Guide by Stuart Johnson, Team Leader of Tayside Mountain Recsue