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Cuillins of Skye

Cuillins, Isle of Skye, Scotland. This grand range of mountains, the most precipitous and striking in Great Britain, is known also as the Cuchullins, the last-named referring to its possible association with an Ossianic hero. The main Cuillin ridges, sometimes known as the Black Cuillins in order to distinguish them from the much less impressive Red Cuillins, extend in an irregular semi-circle, some 6 miles in length, overlooking the spectacular Loch Coruisk in the south-western sector of the island, and are composed of black gabbro, a rock particularly suitable for climbing.

The highest peak is Sgurr Alasdair, 3,309 ft., but the finest is perhaps Sgurr nan Gillean, 3,167 ft., which rises dramatically above the village of Sligachan. The Cuillins are of much interest to geologists, and are noted for the misty conditions with which they are often affected, a danger to inexperienced climbers.

The views from the summit ridges are superb, and quite unequalled elsewhere in Scotland. The Red Cuillins, or Red
Hills, face the main ridge from the opposite side of Glen
Sligachan, and their chief peaks, Glamaig, 2,537 ft., and
Marsco, 2,414 ft., are rounded and smooth, being composed of a crumbly pink granite.

Beyond them, to the south, rises Blaven, 3,042 ft., a magnificent outlier of the Black Cuillins, noted for the rock traverse of Clach Glas, and overlooking Loch na Creitheach and Loch Slapin, both in the Strathaird

The main Cuillin ridge is essentially for expert climbers, but it is possible to reach the peak of Bruach na Frithe, 3,143 ft., from the famous climbing centre of Sligachan, without serious difficulty, and the view of the fantastic-
ally curved summit ridge and wild corries from this belvedere is most impressive. From the mainland, the serrated Cuillin ridge can be seen from the summits of some of the loftiest of the Ross-shire and Inverness-shire peaks, and from points on the coast between the Kyle of Lochalsh and Gairloch districts. Nearer views of their splendour can be obtained from a boat on Loch Scavaig, above which rises Gars Bheinn, 2,934 ft., the most southerly of the Cuillins.

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