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Sgùrr nan Gillean
Mountain/Rock

Sgùrr nan Gillean

 
Sgùrr nan Gillean

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Isle of Skye, Scotland, Europe

Lat/Lon: 57.24832°N / 6.19303°W

Object Title: Sgùrr nan Gillean

County: Inner Hebrides

Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing, Toprope, Ice Climbing, Aid Climbing, Big Wall, Mixed, Scrambling

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Elevation: 3163 ft / 964 m

 

Page By: visentin

Created/Edited: Mar 24, 2010 / Apr 9, 2010

Object ID: 607336

Hits: 2474 

Page Score: 86.85%  - 23 Votes 

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Overview

 
Sgurr nan Gillean
From Am Bastheir (?)
 
Sgurr Nan Gillean.
Pinnacles...
 
Under Sgurr nan Gillean
From the South

Sgùrr nan Gillean is one of the most famous peaks of the Cuillin ridge, on the Scottish Isle of Skye. For the visitor, perhaps the most photogenic, its fairy-like striking shape, from the road, is a common postcard.
Donald Bennett, in the introduction of the well-known SMC book "The Munros", makes an allusion to it as the most beautiful Munro. That's saying something !

Let's not repeat here all the chapter about the characteristics and beauties of the Cuillin ridge, and let's focus on our UK's most beautiful mountain, Sgùrr nan Gillean.

The "Peak of the young man", as its etymology means, forms the nothern end of the Cuillins (more precisely NE corner), together with Bruach na Frithe (NO) and Am Bastheir (N).

It is not the highest peak of the Cuillins but amongst the few. As the Cuillin ridge is a bit like a curve, Sgùrr nan Gillean is visible from almost all the rest of the range, forming a prominent sharp pinnache on the north. But it unveils all its majesty as seen from Sligachan and from the eponym Glen Sligachan.

As for the summit views, they are outstanding, with a sharp contrast between the flatness of Glen Sligachan and the rest of Skye on one side, and the army of jagged peaks of the Black Cuillins on the other, many of them well visible given the shape of the Cuillin ridge. The viewpoint is also ideal to admire the Red Cuillins and Blaven.
Panorama of a Mountain Rescue helicopter taking off from Sligachan
Panorama to the Cuillins and Sgùrr nan Gillean

Getting There

 
The Northern Cuillin From Sligachan
Classic view
 
Northern Cuillin from near Sligachan
From Sligachan Inn
 
The Northern Cuillin
From the NW
 
Loch a Choire Riabhaich
from Loch a'Choire Riabhaich
 
Isle of Skye, Black Cuilins & Sgurr nan Gillean
In the fog
 
Sgurr nan Gillean. The...
Autumn view

Sligachan, the locality where all trailheads are, is accessible by the A87, via the well known bridge to the Isle of Skye, and via the Loch Lochy junction near Fort William both if we arrive from Glasgow or Edinburgh. From Aberdeen, it is adviseable to go via Inverness.
By public transports, Sligachan is a stop of the autobus going to the Isle of Skye, first after the brige of Kyle of Lochalsh.

View Larger Map

Sgurr nan Gillean
Panorama to Sgùrr nan Gillean from Am Bastheir

Routes

Sgùrr nan Gillean route drawn on a postcard
Route drawn on a postcard

 
Sgurr Beag and Sgurr na...
The Tourist Route
 
Descending the Tourist Route...
The Tourist Route
 
Isle of Skye, Black Cuilins from Sgurr nan Gillean
Summit view
 
Sgurr nan Gilliean
Summit crowd...
 
Abseiling off the third...
Abseiling
 
The Pinnacle Ridge of Sgurr...
The Pinnacle Ridge
 
From near to Sligachan. The...
Near the start in Sligachan
 
Near the end of the Main...
Main ridge traverse
 
Sgurr nan Gillean & Pinnacle Ridge
The Pinnacle Ridge
 
The Northern Cuillin from Blaven
View from Blaven

The most popular route of ascent, misleadingly known as the Tourist Route, follows a path leading south from Sligachan, crossing the stream Allt Dearg Beag (small red burn). The route continues up into a corrie, Coire Rhiabhach. The ascent of the corrie is made of loose screes.
The next part of the ascent to the summit makes all the fame of the mountain, on a narrow and exposed ridge, requiring scrambling abilities (but no climbing equipment requiremed). The pass below is a point where many tourists choose to turn back, not willing to risk. But the gabbro (very abrasive kind of basalt specific to the area) is of excellent quality, very firm, and no difficult spot is encountered. Just beware of wearing your newest clothes, the prominent crystals of the Gabbro will quickly scratch them at the first uncareful movement !
The jagged summit hides a small flat area, just like designed to welcome a little crown. As alerady mentionned, the views are outstanding. A five-stars mountain !


tour cycliste 418468 - powered by Wandermap 
View the map in larger scale


Another very famous route is the Pinnacle Ridge, which is a rock climb that requires rope, harnesses and abseiling on the north ridge. The highest of the pinnacles is known as "The Knights Peak".
The base of the Pinnacle Ridge is reached the same way as the tourist route, but instead of crossing the river, continue up on the right until below the start of the Basteir gorge, and then we cross stream exiting the gorge to reach the base of the lowest pinnacle.

The West Ridge is another alternative route of ascent or descent. It leads from the summit down to the pass separating from Am Basteir. There is a particularly narrow and exposed section about 2/3 of the way down, formed by the remains of a large Gendarme which broke away during the winter of 1986/87. The narrow section can be avoided by a gully, known as Nicholson's Chimney, on the north side of the ridge.
Early morning view of Sgurr...
Sea of clouds in early morning

Red tape

 
Sgurr nan Gillean.
Rough terrain !
 
View from Sgurr Nan Gillean.
And sometimes (often...) poor visibility

No particular regulation, but anyone planning to visit this peak should remind that the whole Cuillin ridge in general, is completely different from what we are used to see in Scottish mountains. A good head for heights and scrambling abilities are required almost everywhere.
The Black Cuillins From Blaven
Black Cuillins from Blaven, Sgùrr nan Gillean is the last on the right

Accomodation

 
The Campsite at Sligachan - Isle of Skye
Sligachan campsite

Not much to mention apart from the almost-unavoidable Sligachan hotel, which is also (and above all) a campsite.
Wild-camping is in theory not forbidden, however be aware that pitching a tent in the Cuillins themselves is irrealistic given the nature of the ground. Then, possible places tend to be down in the valley. In this case make sure you choose a place off the beaten track and far enough from Sligachan to avoid possible troubles.

Additions and Corrections

[ Post an Addition or Correction ]
Viewing: 1-8 of 8    
yatsekRock Type

yatsek

Voted 10/10

Gabbro is not granite.
Posted Mar 25, 2010 5:29 pm
visentinRe: Rock Type

visentin

Hasn't voted

good point :)

However the Skye gabbro is unique and not similar to any other. In many places when I was there it tended to switch gradually to something more like granite, but never very clearly.
Posted Mar 26, 2010 3:50 am
yatsekRe: Rock Type

yatsek

Voted 10/10

Looks like a good page anyway. :) I'm not sure but some people may call gabbro 'black granite' or something like that.
Posted Mar 26, 2010 3:55 am
selinunte01Re: Rock Type

selinunte01

Voted 10/10

Gabbro is definitively not a granite. Granite consists mainly of quartz (20-60%), alkali feldspar and mica. Gabbro consists of mainly plagioclase, up to 5 % quartz, pyroxene and olivine, thus linking it to the basaltic plutonites.

Quartz and feldspar rich gabbros can look similar to dark granites, maybe thats the point!
Posted Mar 30, 2010 5:38 am
visentinRe: Rock Type

visentin

Hasn't voted

ok, ok, ok guys... corrected ! :)
Posted Mar 30, 2010 7:38 am
yatsekRe: Rock Type

yatsek

Voted 10/10

I think I'll give you some homework LOL Pop outside the city and compare the rocks on the top (or SE/S side) of Sleza Mtn and those on its NW flank at about 400m. :)
Posted Mar 31, 2010 4:52 am
selinunte01Re: Rock Type

selinunte01

Voted 10/10

It is a fantastic page anyway !!! What a wild and rugged landscape ... Cheers, Michael
Posted Mar 31, 2010 7:06 am
visentinRe: Rock Type

visentin

Hasn't voted

Seen the last one ?

http://www.summitpost.org/mountain/rock/608915/bruach-na-fr-the.html
Posted Mar 31, 2010 7:54 am

Viewing: 1-8 of 8    

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