The circuit of the three Munros above Coir' a' Mhadaidh includes some of the best and most sustained scrambling to be found on the main crest of the Cuillin Ridge - which is, let's face it, no slight praise. The addition of the Sgurr nan Gobhar ridge adds some extra hands-on distance to the day, but it's the traverse of Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh that stands out as a particular highlight, with famously one of the most exposed aretes in the country. As a rope-free route this serious and committing grade 3 scrambling round can sensibly be recommended only to capable mountaineers, while teams of mixed abilities should strongly consider bringing a rope or hiring a guide.
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Distance: 6.21 miles (10 km)
Total ascent: 1,259m
Time: 6 – 8 hours (Walking)
Glen Brittle Memorial Hut - limited parking here, and just south along the road, NG411215
Rough, rocky ground almost throughout, with plenty of loose stones to be careful not to knock onto your friends. The hard scrambling is concentrated in the 1.5km of ridge between the summits of Sgurr na Banachdich and Sgurr a' Mhadaidh, with the key obstacle being the traverse of Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh. Difficulties are met in both ascent and descent. Route finding requires care throughout, however, while even the easier walking and scrambling ground elsewhere is highly consequential (as in, don't slip or trip...). Confidence on extremely exposed rock is essential, as is the ability to judge a good line on complex terrain.
A major winter mountaineering journey with sustained difficulties up to around grade III
Weather and Hill Conditions: mwis: Northwest Highlands – Met Office: West Highlands
Bus from Sligachan to Carbost: get out at the start of the Glen Brittle road, and hitch
Skye Scrambles, SMC The Harvey map to The Cuillin (1:25,000 with a 1:12,500 enlargement) comes highly recommended, since this is the only map available to make clear sense of the Cuillin's tangled contours.
OS Explorer 411 (1:25,000), OS Landranger 32 (1:50,000) Directory Listings:
Find more Listings near this route Tourist info:
Broadford (0845 22 55 121); Portree (0845 22 55 121)
by Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com