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Skye Cuillin Ridge Traverse

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2 days with ridge top bivi – 11 Munros – Grade 1-3 scrambling and Mod-Severe Rock Climbing

3-5 day window bookings available

Spice Factor: 🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️ | Difficulty: ⛰️⛰️⛰️
Min 1 – Max 2

*Bespoke bookings only – no open events*



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Bespoke Bookings

Bespoke bookings: fully tailored to your requirements, giving you exactly what you need.

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The biggest and best mountaineering expedition in the UK!!! A serious and committing expedition across a continuous 12km knife-edged ridge, involving 22 peaks (11 Munros) and over 4,000m / 13,000ft of ascent.  Incorporating prolonged, exposed scrambling up to Moderate, (avoidable) climbing up to Severe, multiple abseils and a ridgetop bivi: this trip is our premium product, and not for beginners. This is our favourite product to deliver, one we have achieved years of specialist experience doing, and one we want to give you the greatest chance of success in attempting.


Course duration and cost options
*1:1 attempts usually have the greatest chance of success. If 1:2, participants should be of very similar physical ability to maximise your chances*

1:1 ratio
3 day window – £1130
4 day window – £1490
5 day window – £1850

1:2 ratio
3 day window – £1250
4 day window – £1650
5 day window – £2050
*£50 refund on all courses if traverse unfeasible due to weather.

Skye is notoriously fickle for weather. Wet rock often takes twice as long to move over as dry rock, and poor conditions may hinder or even abort an attempt on grounds of safety. To maximise your chances of success, you book a minimum three day window, and aim to complete the traverse during the best 2 days of weather, usually involving a bivouac on top of the ridge. The more days you book, the more chance you have of getting that elusive weather window and the more logistical options available. 

The three day window is only really suitable for those with significant prior Cuillin experience and will necessitate “moving with weight” (i.e: carrying all sleeping kit, food etc) for the duration of the traverse. For those newer to Skye, a familiarisation and training day on day 1 will be time well spent, prior to embarking upon our traverse logistics and attempt. Depending on the exact logistical approach and weather window, the extra days may be used to hone skills, pre-stash bivi kit before an attempt, retrieve bivi kit after an attempt, go rock climbing, or just simply rest before the traverse! There are many ‘styles’ to attempt the ridge in.
PURIST: Start Garbh Bheinn – Finish Gillean. All set piece climbs (TD Gap, King’s Chimney, In Pinn, Naismith’s) included. These climbs are all very traditional and often awkward, as well as hugely exposed. Climbing up to Severe in boots with a heavy pack is not for everyone, and may be implausible due to weather, time constraints or participants’ abilities. Participants attempting this must be fit, fast, unencumbered with large bags and capable scramblers as well as have some climbing experience in order to move quickly through this most technical terrain. The outlying munro of Sgurr Dubh Mor is normally bypassed as it lies off the main ridge.
MUNROIST: the most commonly completed traverse prioritises the munros over the climbs and includes Sgurr Dubh Mor. Most guided parties start at Sgurr nan Eag (much quicker to reach than Garbh Bheinn). Avoiding TD/King’s/Naismith’s and taking some bypasses lowers the overall grade to around Moderate, rendering it somewhat more accessible and can be conducted in slightly poorer weather than a PURIST traverse. The In Pinn, as the easiest of the set piece climbs and a munro, is never avoided.
ARTIST: where possible, it can be preferable to take the boat from ELgol, approach via the Dubh Slabs to add a 900m classic scramble on to the start of the traverse and arrive on the ridge by the most interesting approach and best route. Sgurr Dubh Mor is taken in en route.
SINGLE DAY: for VERY fit participants with exceptional speed, stamina and scrambling ability and a willingness to start and finish in the dark, a single day traverse may be feasible (lighter bags, but a loooong day). This still requires a 3 day booking and may still entail a bivi on the ridge the night before.

There are innumerable variations possible. During the traverse attempt the completion of the ridge will be prioritised, and plans may need to be adapted/altered on the day itself, based on the weather and participants” abilities.


Please note the use of the term “attempt”. Success on Skye is never guaranteed, and flexibility is key. Should the weather prove utterly unsuitable for a traverse once we are committed to the island, there are always alternative options (single day hits to tackle the ridge in chunks, classic Skye Scrambles such as Pinnacle Ridge or Clach Glas-Blaven traverse or fantastic local sea cliff rock climbing both on Skye and the adjacent mainland). If no traverse is attempted, we will refund £50. Very rarely is an attempt totally unviable, but we must remember we are always at the mercy of the weather, and we are undertaking a serious and committing challenge. Safety will always come first.


Sample preferred itinerary for good weather (based on a 4 day booking):


Day 1: training day. Approach main ridge by Mhadaidh’s Thuilm Ridge: stash food, water and bivi gear


Day 2: rest day/rock climbing low level

Day 3: travel to Elgol – approach via 0800 boat. Gars-bheinn by 1100, TD Gap by 1300, In Pinn by 1600, An Dorus and bivi by 1800. [9-10hrs 8000ft ascent] *This is my favourite of many options, but walking in from the Glenbrittle side is feasible and probably most common


Day 4: leave bivi by 0600, Bruach na Frithe by 1000, Gillean by 1200, Sligachan by 1500. [9hrs 5000ft ascent] If time allows retrieve vehicles from Elgol


Dubh Mor Outdoor strongly advises contacting us well beforehand and arranging a long term training programme, and ideally some instruction and prior training days with us, ideally on Skye in order to give you the greatest chance of success on this demanding route. Time spent becoming conversant with ropework, scrambling, climbing and bivi techniques is particularly beneficial, as is maintaining a high level of personal aerobic fitness and core strength. The more training we have done together prior to a ridge traverse attempt, the higher our chances of successful completion. This is NOT an easy way to bag the munros! The munros are the easy bits; it’s the linking them all together that provides the experience and the difficulty…


Each and every traverse attempt will be run by an experienced and qualified Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor, with a wealth of Skye knowledge acquired through extensive guiding in the Cuillin. They will have knowledge of the best water sources, bivi sites and alternative routes available if required. You will receive coaching, tips and instruction throughout, as well as the physical security of a rope when required. You will be in the safest of hands, allowing you to tackle the magnificent scrambling of the Cuillin with confidence and security.


Price includes guide fee (inc. overnight on bivouac) plus all technical equipment (harness, helmet, rope, climbing equipment), plus dehydrated main bivi meal and bivi bag if required.


Group sizes are kept exceptionally low to maximise your safety, enjoyment and chances of success.


A high and equal standard of fitness for all party members is required for these very long and demanding big days. ⛰️⛰️⛰️


Scramble location