The Southern Peaks on the Cuillin Ridge

The most southerly peaks on the Island are, arguably, the least technical of all the mountains and can be scaled with relative ease by walkers of all abilities as long as their navigational skills and nerve hold. There are some sights that could disturb those not fond of heights/drops!

Sgurr Dubh Mor, Sgurr Dubh a Da Bhienn and Sgurr nan Eag are the three most southerly major peaks although the ridge extents to Gars-bhienn (895m) where a proper traverse should begin but seldon does!

These peaks are best tackled from the Glen Brittle campsite - a popular access route is via the footpath from the campsite to Coire a Ghrunnda.

The Way Up

Find your way into Coire a Ghrunnda and scamble up the west side to the Lochain - this could take some time but the scrambling is easy and can be tackled in the wet (with care!). From the lochan you are aiming for one of the cols on the ridge - <Bealach a Garbh-choire is best!!> if you can see the ridge then just go for it, but in cloud/fog you'll have to try following a bearing on your compass which may be unreliable due to the magnetic properties of the rock - anyway, the only way is up and at some point you'll fin that the only way is down - straight down! You have found the ridge.

It's a very good idea to pick out features of where you are because you'll probably want to descend a known route back to the Lochain later in the day.

The ridge is quite complex here so good mapreading.routefinding skills will be required in poor visibility in order to correctly and safely locate and ascent sgurr Dubh Mor in particular - it's fairly easy to reach the summit of Sgurr Dubh an Da Bhienn if you arrived at Bealach a Garbh-choire and similarly in the opposite direction there is nowhere else to go other than over Sgurr nan Eag. (except the edge).

In typical Cuillin style the ridge here is spectacularly share but can be traversed most easily a few feet beneath the crest! if you get good weather then this will be an incredibly memorable day - an excellent introduction to the Cuillin!


Get back to the bealach where you joined the ridge and scrabble back down and round to the west side of the Lochain. Moving across to the west wall of the corrie and down a bit you might be lucky enough to spot a ledge runnig arround the side of the corrie - it traverses the cliffs at a constant level and is the best way up & down! (It's just easier to see on the way down.). Follow this to the end of the corrie, being careful not to fall off the edge, then descent the path to the corrie bowl before walking back to Glen Brittle.

Navigation & Weather

This section of the ridge is accessible in all weathers though not neccessarily pleasant or forgiving - if you're confident, capable and good at routefinding, go for it, otherwise the pub beckons!

As ever, this is a serious outing in the winter - it's possible that you'd need ice-climbing skills simply to reach the ridge in the colder winters!

As mentioned several times, routfinding can be hard enough in good conditions when the terrain is as complex as the Cuillin - this is no exception and in mist and fog it is incredibly difficult but with care and attention a skilled routefinder should not have too much trouble.