The Skye Cuillin Ridge Traverse is, without doubt, the most taxing and exhilarating mountaineering challenge in the United Kingdom. It is Scotland’s closest equivalent to a true ‘Alpine’ route without the guaranteed weather that our European counterparts tend to benefit from. Combining 12km of scrambling with a lot of physical effort is not for the faint-hearted. These mountains command physical and mental stamina but this alone will not guarantee success. Technical ability, intricate route-finding skills and above all favourable weather conditions will be the deciding factor in completing a full ridge traverse.
By allowing our experienced Skye guides to help you complete your journey you can maximise the time and financial investment of travelling to the Hebrides. If for any reason the weather does not allow an attempt at a full traverse, individual guided days will be offered but returning to the Glen each evening to rest and dry off. Synergy Guides have spent years exploring the Cuillin and know exactly where to go in the worst weather conditions.
In perfect weather, a Cuillin Ridge Traverse is typically attempted over two days but by booking three or even four days guiding the chance of success rises dramatically. The extra days allow some flexibility for the best weather window but also allows parties to either stash bivouac equipment, practice technical skills or go rock climbing at the end of your stay. Single day traverses are only offered to exceptionally fit and competent climbers.
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The price includes a three-day window as standard to complete a two day Cuillin Ridge Traverse. This gives teams a buffer day to allow for the best weather. We always do our best to be flexible to allow participants the best chance of success, however, sometimes mother nature has other ideas. Smaller teams almost always have a higher success rate.
Synergy Guides do cater for larger teams depending on whether we miss out more demanding sections such as The Kings Chimney and the TD Gap. Please get in touch for a no-obligation chat about what might work best given your experience and ability.
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Cuillin Ridge Traverse – What to expect
As your planned traverse approaches your instructor will be in contact to discuss any final arrangements and discuss the prevailing weather forecast. At which time you can agree to a suitable time to meet on the morning of your booking and inform them of any kit requirements you might have.
If conditions align, we will take a speedboat from Elgol across the sea to get to Loch Coruisk. This is a spectacular way to begin a Cuillin Ridge Traverse and has a real expedition feel to it. The boat drops us off near the Coruisk Memorial Hut, from here a steady 2-hour walk will get us to the top of Gars-bheinn.
Expect to be scrambling and climbing for the next 7-8 hours. If we have all our equipment with us the sleeping location can be kept flexible. Your Skye guide has plenty of experience on the best spots and where to get water, even in a heatwave.
The two days are filled with some of the best climbing, scrambling and abseiling you can find in the UK, but there are many variations to completing a Cuillin Ridge Traverse. Rock climbers can attempt the toughest sections such as the TD Gap, Kings Chimney and Naismith’s Route. Hillwalkers may wish to miss these sections out but still climb easier peaks such as the Inaccessible Pinnacle. There is no fixed itinerary, your guide has enough experience and knowledge to include or exclude what they think you will enjoy or be too tiring. One thing is for sure; following these two days on Skye you will have a new appreciation for the Cuillin Ridge Traverse and how much scrambling an climbing is available.
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