Duration: 2 days
Client to Instructor Ratio: 2:1 Max
A traverse of the Cuillin of Skye is an unparalleled mountaineering odyssey. It is often regarded as the sole ridge-line traverse in the UK that rivals the quality of Alpine counterparts. This venture is characterized by its remarkable continuity, intricate challenges, and substantial consequences. For those who possess the determination, there is simply nothing that compares.
Over the course of two full days, you will engage in climbing, scrambling, and abseiling in the midst of rugged peaks that ascend directly from the sea. An unforgettable night under the stars at a lofty elevation is an integral part of the experience.
Before Your Course
Your dedicated EverydayClimbing mountain guide will reach out to you one to two days before the commencement of your course. This preliminary contact will serve to introduce your guide, confirm meeting details, and offer insights into the anticipated weather conditions.
On the evening preceding your traverse, your guide will meet with you to aid in your preparations. They will inspect your equipment and provide any necessary additional items. Our guides are at your disposal to answer any questions you might have, ensuring you are thoroughly prepared for your forthcoming adventure.
The Cuillin of Skye is a landscape that evokes both inspiration and trepidation, and with good reason! These are the last peaks in the UK to be conquered, explored long after many Alpine summits were mapped. As remnants of the final volcanic activity in the UK, they emerged from a landmass tearing itself in two, creating the most formidable mountain terrain in Scotland, intricate, extensive, and unyieldingly steep.
This otherworldly terrain is renowned for pushing hillwalkers to their utmost limits. It's a realm that is bewildering, unstable, and perilous, or as we prefer to describe it: incredibly exhilarating! At EverydayClimbing, we have a deep-seated affection for the Cuillin. Collectively, we have amassed thousands of hours climbing, traversing, abseiling, and exploring its every nook and cranny. We firmly believe it to be the most enchanting of all the mountain regions in the UK.
With our guides boasting hundreds of Cuillin ascents and thousands of hours spent exploring these mountains, they possess an intimate knowledge of every handhold, shortcut, and subsidiary ridge. So, when you book a Skye Cuillin Traverse course with EverydayClimbing, you're affording yourself the optimal opportunity for a successful Cuillin adventure.
On The Day
One way of viewing a Cuillin traverse is to imagine it as a wonderful buffet pilled high with every type of food you can imagine. Pilling your plate high may be tempting, but inevitably, it'll be near impossible to finish what you took. Much better to focus on a few aspects, savour them and complete them and come back for more when you are ready. With this in mind, you'll need to discuss and agree with your guide your approach, the theme your traverse will take and eventually, your descent options.
Cuillin traverses often share some common characteristics: they usually begin early in the day and start at sea level. However, beyond these factors, there are various options for commencing your Cuillin Traverse. You can choose to start by boat, or extend the traverse by directly ascending the final peak in the chain. For the most accessible approach and the highest chance of success, we recommend initiating the ridge from Glen Brittle and accessing the crest via Choire a Ghrunnda. You can discuss these options with your guide before embarking on your traverse.
Perhaps you want to focus on conquering the Munro summits. Maybe the four renowned rock climbs are a must for you. Perhaps you're keen on experiencing the best of the scrambling routes, or maybe simply traveling from one end to the other in the quickest and easiest line suffices. On some occasions, with favorable weather conditions and experienced clients, it's possible to combine several of these themes. However, when fatigue becomes a factor, having a primary theme is crucial for an enjoyable and successful traverse. Whatever theme you choose to focus on during your traverse, your guide will be there by your side, safeguarding and advising you throughout the journey. With their expertise and experience, you'll be in capable hands as you complete the Cuillin Traverse.
On day one, you'll be navigating through mountain terrain for approximately 12 hours before finding a suitable spot to rest for the night. Your guide will descend from the ridge as needed to retrieve water for you, ensuring you have the means to cook and stay properly hydrated for maximum recovery and preparation for day two. If luck is on our side, we might witness a beautiful sunset and stars from the ridge. If we're exceptionally lucky, we might even experience an inversion.
Day two typically begins early, and although it's usually a slightly shorter day, it can feel challenging due to the preceding day's exertion. We'll continue our chosen theme for the traverse, journeying across a variety of technical terrains, eventually reaching the final Munro in the Cuillin chain. If the skies are clear, you'll have the opportunity to reflect here, taking a few moments to contemplate the incredible complexity of the terrain you've traversed, with its climbs, scrambles, sheer drops, knife-edge ridges, abseils and sections of pristine rock. Congratulations are certainly in order, as reaching this point means you've joined an exclusive club.
The descent can take various forms. The easiest and most direct route keeps the Sligachan Hotel and its famous bar in sight the entire way. However, if you're not quite ready for the journey to end, you can opt for Sgurr nan Gillean's East Ridge or even Pinnacle Ridge for a longer continuation. Eventually, all routes lead to the Sligachan Hotel, where you can enjoy celebratory drinks and a well-deserved meal. It's the perfect way to wrap up your remarkable Cuillin Traverse adventure.
Not quite what you're seeking? No problem! We specialise in organising climbing, scrambling, or mountaineering guides for any route in the Scottish Highlands or islands. From the dramatic sea-stacks to the legendary Skye Cuillin, we've got your adventure covered. Feel free to drop us a line with your specific requirements, and we'll promptly respond to your inquiry.
This course is available year-round and can be scheduled to start on any day that suits your plans. A Cuillin Traverse booking comprises a three day window, with the traverse taking place on the best two weather days. Longer windows can be booked, the additional days used as training days or for completing other objectives. Please get in touch to discuss this option.
Our prices are comprehensive and cover the following:
One person - £800
Two people - £950 (£475 per person)
Our Cuillin Traverse course is well-suited for physically fit hillwalkers and climbers who are accustomed to several consecutive days of mountain walking. You don't need prior experience with roped climbing or abseiling, as our guides will provide all necessary instruction. However, to make the most of this experience, you should be comfortable while moving near steep or exposed terrain. Ideally, you should also have some background in mountain scrambling.
If you have any questions about your current level of experience or would like to book a training day to enhance your skills, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us. We are here to help you prepare for this incredible adventure and ensure you have a safe and enjoyable journey along the Cuillin Traverse.
• Light mountain walking boots or approach shoes
• Single walking pole
• 1 litre Nalgene style bottle (empty)
• 1.5 litre ‘Coke’ plastic bottle (empty and squashed flat)
• Meals (Find examples below)
• Thick socks
• Waterproof jacket
• Thin fleece or light insulated jacket
• Thick fleece or mid insulated jacket
• Warm hat
• lightweight gloves
• Hiking trousers
• Synthetic or merino base layers
• Sun lotion and midge repellent
• Personal medication
• Waterproof stuff sacks for everything
• Midge head net
• Any pans, bowls, cups, spoons etc. that your meals require.
• Head torch
• Sleeping mat
• 2-3 season sleeping bag
• Breathable bivi bag
• 35l-45l+ backpack
• Harveys 1:40000 map of the Cuillin
• Belay device and carabiner
• lightweight stove and fuel
• Climbing helmet and harness
• Evening meal
• Lunch day 1
• Lunch Day 2
• Breakfast day 2
The following is a suggested traverse menu, it requires no cooking other than adding hot water, so is light and quick to prepare. You don’t even need a bowl, just a cup and a spoon!
Lunch day one and two
4 packs of oatcakes
8 musli bars
1 pack of sweets
2 powdered energy drinks
Evening meal day one
Dried main meal
Breakfast day two
To guarantee your comfort and security throughout our activities, we strongly advise all participants to come prepared with the complete equipment listed. While our activities may proceed even if participants do not have the entire kit list, please be aware that EverydayClimbing and our instructors retain the right to modify the itinerary or conclude the activity early should the absence of essential equipment pose an elevated risk to the group, exceeding acceptable safety standards.
As part of our unwavering commitment to eliminating barriers to outdoor adventures, we offer a selection of equipment available for use by anyone, with no questions asked. Your safety and enjoyment are our top priorities. Just drop us a line to let us know what you require.