The Dubh Slabs: the most iconic scramble in the British Isles

The Dubh Slabs: the most iconic scramble in the British Isles

We decided to continue our Cuillin reconnaissance. But what to reconnoitre? Our guide Karl suggested climbing the Dubh Slabs and staying overnight at Camasunary. I’d known about the Slabs for years, but never imagined I would ever climb them myself

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Essential Skye reading: The Black Ridge by Simon Ingram

Essential Skye reading: The Black Ridge by Simon Ingram

I’m only just starting to delve into the literature of the Black Cuillin, but I’ll be surprised if I come across a better book than this one. Erudite and poetic, yet marvellously accessible in places, this is simply a great book by a great writer.

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The four summits of Sgurr a Mhadaidh: another Cuillin reconnaissance

The four summits of Sgurr a Mhadaidh: another Cuillin reconnaissance

It was time for another Cuillin reconnaissance, and there was one section of tricky scrambling that we hadn’t done: an unavoidable obstacle in the form of the four summits of Sgurr a Mhadaidh. I was keen to complete this section before committing to a full traverse of the ridge.

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How not to do the Cuillin Ridge, by cyclist Danny MacAskill

How not to do the Cuillin Ridge, by cyclist Danny MacAskill

In today’s post I’m going to show you the most terrifying thing you’ve ever seen (at least on this blog). If you’ve been following my series of posts about the Cuillin Ridge, you will know that it’s not a place to venture without a rope – or with a bike.

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Sgurr nan Gillean and Am Basteir: the Black Cuillin’s hair-raising finale

Sgurr nan Gillean and Am Basteir: the Black Cuillin’s hair-raising finale

We were facing a full day out in the Black Cuillin under sunny skies. Yes, that’s right. Beautiful sunshine in the Black Cuillin of Skye. I can’t believe I’m saying that. After two satisfying days on the ridge and another one to come, things were turning out well.

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Sgurr na Banachdich to Sgurr a Ghreadaidh: touching cloth in the Black Cuillin

Sgurr na Banachdich to Sgurr a Ghreadaidh: touching cloth in the Black Cuillin

I had injured my leg and didn’t know if I had time to recover for the next day of scrambling. What should I do: an easy walk to test it out, or a long day out I’d been looking forward to for a long time? Luckily, our guide Dave had a cunning plan.

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Sgurr Alasdair to Sgurr Mhic Choinnich: the secret of Collie’s Ledge

Sgurr Alasdair to Sgurr Mhic Choinnich: the secret of Collie’s Ledge

In last week’s post, I explained how we had hired a mountain guide to do Skye’s infamous Cuillin traverse, over 11 Munros with many technical sections. I had injured my knee backpacking the previous week, but I was determined to give it a try. Would I cope?

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The Cuillin Traverse – to do or not to do?

The Cuillin Traverse – to do or not to do?

We’d hired a mountain guide to do the Cuillin traverse, a 12km ridge on Scotland’s Isle of Skye, which takes in 11 Munros and many subsidiary peaks. But with injuries in both legs and a knee that couldn’t bend more than 90 degrees it seemed inconceivable for me.

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Peak bagging the Cuillin ridge on Scotland’s Isle of Skye

Peak bagging the Cuillin ridge on Scotland’s Isle of Skye

Our aim was to climb as many of the 11 Munros on the main Cuillin ridge as we could in a series of day hikes, including the infamous Inaccessible Pinnacle, the only Munro that’s a technical rock climb. But the weather forecast was dreadful, and I knew from experience that would make a big difference on these peaks.

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Banished to Room 101: the Inaccessible Pinnacle

Banished to Room 101: the Inaccessible Pinnacle

If you asked a group of UK hill walkers to nominate items for Room 101, some of them might suggest the Inaccessible Pinnacle, a narrow shark’s fin of rock that crowns the summit of Sgurr Dearg, a 978m mountain on the Isle of Skye in north-west Scotland.

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