Cuillin Ridge Traverse

An Stac and the In-Pinn on the Isle of Skye

The Cuillin ridge traverse is an aspiration for many mountain hikers and walkers. It’s almost like the holy grail of mountaineering routes – comparable to some alpine mountain routes. For most, it will always be a dream and aspiration.

For the few who are fit enough, physically and mentally, then it’s potentially possible to complete this excursion.

So what is it?
Well as quoted from the British Mountaineering Councils website, ‘Describing the Cuillin Ridge as a scramble would be like billing K2 as an exciting mountaineering route – true, but fatally understated. It’s not the technical climbing that makes traversing the 22 peaks such a legendary challenge, although the 20-mile round crosses plenty of grade 3+ territory and takes in three (avoidable) Severe grade climbing pitches. No, the real reason why so many attempted traverses end in failure is the enormous physical and mental toll posed by this Alpine-style epic.’

I offer guided traverses of the Cuillin ridge, but it is incorporated into a four-day training and preparation trip, which allows us the opportunity to get a weather window to do the ridge.

The Cuillin ridge of Skye is a unique challenge to mountaineers. The traverse is around 20km including the approach and descent and never descends below 726 metres. Throughout the traverse, there are some twenty peaks of 914m of which eleven achieve ‘Munro’ status. Traversing the ridge in a single outing involves around 3,000 metres of ascent, unrelenting effort, considerable exposure and technical scrambling (sometimes without a rope), plus abseiling and simple rock climbing are the order of the day. Because of this, the traverse is not recommended to people who only consider themselves to be moderately fit ‘hill walkers’.

To be in with a chance of success on a traverse attempt, those taking part should be both physically and mentally fit, and capable of sustaining two hard days which involve 13 hours on the first day and 9 hours on the second day as an average.

Overnight kit needs to be carried as well as a sleeping bag, waterproofs and gloves, hat and spare clothing, food and water and a rope. A typical traverse rucksack should weigh no more than 9 kgs. This reduces as water (2 litres) and food is consumed.

The maximum I will take on this trip is two people, who must know each other in advance, however, ideally, the best ratio is one client with myself.

Doing the ridge in one day is a significant undertaking and presents a challenge that is unique in the UK, I don’t offer this as a guided option.

I offer this as a four-day option and the fee includes guiding and instruction. In addition, you will require accommodation (before and after the traverse), food, personal equipment (including a helmet and harness) and insurance costs into consideration.

Choose your own dates. The traverse is two days but you will require four days. Options to do the traverse are only when there is no snow on the ground.

The cost of the four days 1:1 is £1200ea.

Interested in booking? If so give me a call on 07534 387152 or drop me a message;

One response to “Cuillin Ridge Traverse”

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