The Cuillin Ridge Traverse

The Cuillin Ridge is a must-do route for any UK mountaineer. We take the traverse over 2 days, with a fantastic night beneath the stars. The first couple of days of the trip is spent training on some of the great rock routes the Cuillin has to offer.

6 days
height M
grade grade grade grade grade grade
price 950

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Trip Details:

The Cuillin Ridge is one of the most sought after mountaineering routes in the UK. It is in fact one of the only alpine-style rock routes in the UK; it’s long, it’s committing, and it’s technically challenging. The Cuillin Ridge lacks the glaciers and the altitude of the Alps and the Greater Ranges, but don’t let that fool you! It’s tough!

Located on the Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides, north-west Scotland. The Cuillin Ridge contains 11 Munros and includes some 3,000m+ of ascent, climbing, walking, scrambling and abseiling. We make our complete traverse over 2 days with a bivvy in the middle. The additional days are used prior to the traverse for training on routes on the Cuillin and cacheing some equipment.

Fitness and Previous Experience:

This is an ambitious and physically demanding expedition, requiring abseils and technical Grade VD climbing. Long distances of continuous scrambling require skill and concentration on every step – in bad weather conditions even more caution is required. There are short sections of easy rock climbing involved, requiring knowledge of how to belay safely. Participants should be confident on Grade 2-3 scrambling and have a high level of fitness to be able to complete the route safely.

More Info

If you would like more information on this expedition you can download the full PDF trip details or drop us a line with your questions!

Day 1:

Arrive on the Isle of Skye.

Your instructors/guides will meet you at a pre-arranged location on the Island in the evening. This evening you will have a meal together with your guides and other members of the team, and discuss your itinerary. We will provide Base Camp style accomodation (big tents) at Glenbrittle Campsite.

Day 2:

Our 1st training day/shakedown day. Today we will head out and do one of the excellent long routes on the Cuillin mountains. We often do Pinnacle Ridge of Sgurr Nan Gillean, this route is almost like a “mini-cuillin ridge” with moving together, pitched climbing and abseiling on very similar terrain to the main ridge.

We spend another night in Glenbrittle Campsite.

Day 3:

We make our way up onto the middle of the ridge today to dump some equipment and do some more training for the ridge. An easier day than previous, we will make our way to one of a few areas where we plan to bivvy. We will cache some food and water at this point ready for tomorrow night!

We spend another night in Glenbrittle Campsite.

Day 4:

Last night we will have moved a vehicle up the road and parked it at the end point of the Cuillin Ridge, at the Sligachan Hotel. This morning we will start with a small breakfast early in the morning. Our alpine start usually sees us leaving at around 3am.  Making our way up Coire Ghrunnda to the crest of the ridge, the sun will be rising and bathing you in it’s light and warmth.

After a short stop on the crest of the ridge, we dump our bags and head off to the “start” of the ridge at Gars Bheinn – from here we start the clock and turn around. We head over some of the most difficult parts of the ridge today, taking in the famous TD Gap and the Inaccessible Pinnacle. Depending on the time and how tired we are, will either bivvy where we cached our food and water, to we will move along the ridge and sleep further along.

We will spend the night beneath the stars! (though we pack tarps if the stars are somewhat hidden…)

Day 5:

Waking up to the sunrise over the Hebrides and the North-West Highlands is a sight not to be missed! It’s beautiful! After a quick breakfast and brew, we will set off to finish the ridge. Today you’ll feel a bit “creaky” in the morning. But this will soon fade as we get into the swing. Today we take in the last section of the ridge ending up on the summit of Sgurr Nan Gillean; where we started our time on Skye. From here we drop down to the Sligachan and a well earned celebratory dram of Talisker!

We will head back to our Base Camp tonight for the sleep of the righteous!

Day 6:

After breakfast we will say our farewells and head off from Glenbrittle and toward your onward journey

Training and Preparation:

Many wonder how to prepare best for an expedition. This will vary from trip to trip and for each individual. We are contactable at any time to give individual advice on training and preparation. Our usual support includes talking through any questions on the phone, and we will be in regular contact with you in the build-up to the expedition to supply you with information, updates and reassurance where needed.

If this training expedition is part of your preparation towards a more technical mountaineering goal, we recommend having a look at our Training Consultation. The Training Consultation day gives you the option to assess in detail where you are at in terms of mental and physical capacity and skill, from where we can move on to putting together a personal training plan. For a higher level of support, we also offer a Mountaineering mentoring programme.

We aim to equip you with the skills, confidence and experience to go on to higher goals and become self-sufficient in extreme conditions.

 

Training

Our intinerary for The Cuillin Ridge Traverse includes 2 days of training before the main ridge traverse. If you’d like additional training we can arrange this privately in the Lake District prior to the trip. Please contact us for more information.

Equipment

Equipment is one of the areas we get the most questions on. Being well kitted out for a trip into extreme conditions is essential. Once you are signed up to a trip we will send you a kit list which explains thoroughly what you need. Why and how you use the equipment will be discussed during training.

For our trips we supply most of the specialist equipment that is not easy for you to get yourself, either as part of the trip package or for rental. For your personal equipment we are able to offer advice on choosing the best kit, most of which we can order in for you at good discount prices. We are affiliated with Cotswold Outdoors, which means that our clients get 15% discount at all Cotswold Stores.

Food:

We provide nutritious expedition food for each participant for all the days climbing. It will be enough calories for the trip, but if you feel like having some extra snacks, please feel free to bring it. Fresh food will be prepared each day by our team of expedition cooks.

Please let us know if you have special needs or concerns regarding food or nutrition, we will do our best to help.

Safety

Guide-Client ratio is maximum 1:2. This enables for everybody in a team to be connected to the same rope and the guide to offer a high level of support.

 

ADD A REVIEW

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You will get to know your guides in person on the training course. Mark is the main guide on most expeditions, but he has teamed up with a handful of other guides who form part of the Exped team. All of our guides are capable and dedicated. They have the right attitude – both towards reaching the goal and towards their expedition teams. We strive for safety and mutual support in our teams, as well as having a bit of banter. All of us love adventure, but most of all we want to pass on our knowledge, share amazing experiences, and inspire others to be ambitious.

MARK WALKER

 

Mark is the director of Exped Adventure and the head guide on many of our expeditions. Mark is a highly experienced Expedition Leader and Mountaineering Instructor with over 20 years of mountaineering experience. Mark grew up in the English Lake District and has been climbing, running and walking in the mountains all over the world since he was a small child. He knows the Lake District, North Wales, Scotland and the Peak District like the back of his hand.

Mark has led a variety of expeditions to the far corners of the globe. He specialises in technical mountaineering and remote trekking expeditions. Mark grew up in the English Lake District and knows the area inside out.

Mark has put up new routes in the Lake District, Scotland, and Kenya. Climbing in all disciplines remains his passion.

Mark’s Expediton experience is broad and vast, including expeditions to Ethiopia, Malawi, Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, Israel, Peru, Kenya, Tanzania, India, Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Norway, Svalbard, Russia, and more.

Marks high altitude climbing experience includes; Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya, Mount Elgon, Ama Dablam, Aconcagua, Kyajo Ri, Elbrus, Tharpa Chuli, Singu Chuli, Mont Blanc, The Matterhorn, Monte Rosa, and much more!

Mark lives in Windermere in the Lake District with his young family.

Mark is a certified ML, WML, and MIA.

MATT STAPLEY

Matt is an experienced outdoor instructor and has been in the industry for 12 years. He has worked with clients all over the UK, Peru, and Europe and has mountaineering experience in America, North Africa and Western and Eastern Europe. Matt’s personal interests include multi-day mountain marathons, ultra marathons and triathlons.

Matt is a certified ML, WML and MIA.

RICH MAYWHORT

Rich has 30 years experience of climbing and mountaineering, with 15 of those years as a professional Mountaineer and Climbing instructor. He has climbed and led clients extensively over the breadth of the UK and in the Alps.

With climbing and mountaineering experience over Italy, Switzerland, France, Austria, Canada, Slovenia, Greece, random islands and North Africa.

GARY FLETCHER

Gary has been working as Group Captain and Training Expedition Leader in the Royal Air Force for 25 years before taking on his current freelance work as Outdoor Instructor. He has led numerous White Water Kayaking expeditions to the French Alps and New Zealand, as well as Sea Kayaking expeditions in Scotland. He has been on expeditions to the High Atlas Mountains and Nepal, including Gokyo Ri (5357m).

 

TRACEY WRIGHT

Tracey is a highly experienced International Mountain Leader and also holds the Mountain Instructor Certificate. She has Alpine experience on touring and cross country skis, including summits of Weismeis, Pigne d’Arolla, Grand Paradiso and Mt Leone. She has lead mountaineering expeditions to Mt Kenya, including ascent of Diamond Couloir, Kilimanjaro, Bolivian 6000m peaks and Mont Blanc. She has extensive personal snow and ice mountaineering experience in New Zealand, the Alps and Scotland.
Currently, she is working as a maths teacher at an International school of Aiglon College, Chesieres, Switzerland where she assists with the Outdoor Ed programme throughout the year.

Outdoor national qualifications British Assoc of Snowsport Instructors Alpine Level 2, Cross Country Ski Leader; Mountain Instructors Certificate (winter climbing instructor); International Mountain Leader.

 

Start DateEnd DateDaysPriceAvailability
23rd May 201928th May 20196£950

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2nd Jun 20197th Jun 20196£950

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4th Aug 20199th Aug 20196£950

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15th Sep 201920th Sep 20196£950

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How to Book

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Call us on 01539 822967.

What is included:

• Accommodation – 4 nights Base Camp, Glenbrittle , 1 night bivvy
• Meals – 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 1evening meal.
• All climbing equipment (Ropes, harnesses, helmets, tents, stoves, bivvy bags)
• Guiding on a max. 1:2 ratio

 

What is not included:

• Travel to and from Glenbrittle, Skye
• Evening meals for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and last night
• Personal equipment and personal scrambling/climbing equipment
• Personal Insurance

Booking – What happens next:
• The deposit reserves you a place on the trip. It is non-refundable according to our Booking Conditions. You will receive a confirmation of booking and further details about the trip.
• We will also supply you with more information on the training weekend and a complete equipment list.
• If you require a payment plan, get in touch with us as soon as possible so we can discuss the options.
• We will need you to fill in a Client Booking form for our records, regarding any health issues, your experience, insurance and next of kin details.
• The remaining balance will be due 8 weeks prior to departure (unless you arranged a payment plan). Any cancellations at this point are subject to our Booking Conditions.

Bespoke option:
We can organise this expedition on a ‘tailor-made’ private basis for groups of friends, families, clubs, charities or any other group. Please contact us to discuss the itinerary and your preferred dates. We will then send you a quote, with no obligation.

Insurance:
You will need a travel insurance policy that caters for the activities you will undertake on your trip with Exped Adventure. It is a requirement of our booking conditions that you have such a policy. For advice on best policies get in touch.

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