Adventures / Adventure School

Intro to Mountaineering on the Isle of Skye

Learn essential climbing skills in the spectacular Cuillin Mountains and tackle the renowned Inaccessible Pinnacle

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Trip Ref #10163

Adventures / Adventure School

Intro to Mountaineering on the Isle of Skye

Learn essential climbing skills in the spectacular Cuillin Mountains and tackle the renowned Inaccessible Pinnacle

DURATION

3 nights

LOCATION

United Kingdom

ANNUAL LEAVE

2 days off work

SEASON

April-Oct

GROUP SIZE

Up to 8 people

MEETING POINT

Broadford, Skye

ACCOMMODATION

Guesthouse

DIFFICULTY

Challenging

Be prepared. This is a real challenge with some full-on sections, but the view from the top is worth it

Have a go at climbing the 'Inaccesible Pinnacle', Scotland's most notorious munro, and abseil off the top

Learn key mountaineering skills with a guide to climber ratio of 1:2 providing all the flexibility you need to tackle the climbs

Hike through the indescribable beauty of the Isle of Skye, the most stunning island of the Inner Hebrides

What's it like?

    See the photos our community shared

    All our reviews are verified

    We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

    Max, May 2022

    Great trip I would definitely recommend

    Abhijeet, September 2021

    I had an absolutely wonderful time mountaineering on the Isle of Skye. Connor and team did a great job of making sure we got the best experience, working around the weather forecasts to maximise the climbing experience. The focus was on the climbing and we were taught what we needed to know when we needed to know it. All the instructors were safety focused and everything was done absolutely professionally. I will definitely do more trips with them.

    Euan, September 2021

    Had an amazing time met some great people , The guides were very friendly and knowledgeable . Anyone can try one of these trips even if you are a beginner it is paced out very well

    Ben, September 2021

    The trip with Conor and team was perfect - great challenge and guides!

    David, September 2021

    I'd recommend this trip to others in a heartbeat. It was a thoroughly exhilarating and rewarding experience, even in the rain. I booked the trip with a friend expecting a smaller party but in the end there were eight of us and four guides. Before the trip I was reluctant to share the experience with six complete strangers and four experts, but in the end it became one of the most rewarding aspects. I've done a lot of scrambling and hill walking in different parts of the UK and in all seasons but the experience of scrambling and climbing on the dramatic Black Cuillin ridge knowing we were in safe hands at every turn with Connor and his team of mountain guides, was second to none. Overall the trip was really good value and Much Better Adventures and Connor and his team were a pleasure to deal with.

    Natalie, August 2021

    This trip was so much fun. Our guide/host, Connor, really tried to make sure everybody had a good time and got the most out of the trip. Communication was excellent throughout. Connor and Peter obviously have a lot of experience and I never felt unsafe. The flexibility of the itinerary was a big plus. Highly recommend.

    James, August 2021

    This was an incredible trip with beautiful scenery, amazing views, and very knowledgeable and fun local guides (Connor and Peter). The guides cater the trip to the goals and experience of the trip participants, allowing them to get the most out of the trip and giving them the necessary experience to continue mountaineering in future. All of us learnt a lot about climbing with ropes, and we were all novices, but came away from the trip having done two quite challenging climbs in amazing surroundings. Each day was topped off with drinks and good food in local pubs/restaurants

    Steven, August 2021

    Epic, and worth every penny (if not more). While the Inaccessible Pinnacle may be the literal pinnacle of the three days, I also learned a huge amount. The flexibility in the itinerary, and the breadth and depth of knowledge of the guides means that there is something in this trip for everyone regardless of experience level.

    Conor, July 2021

    I was looking for an adventure when booking this trip, what I got back was much, much more, the trip gave a great understanding of the mountaineering basics, incredible views and the confidence to take with me on bigger trips. Connor's expertise gave the confidence to push myself way outside my comfort zone and climb peaks I would previously never have thought possible. would highly recommend for anyone that has ever wanted to try out rock climbing/scrambling or just have a great weekend out in the hills!

    Susan, August 2021

    I had a fantastic time developing mountaineering skills on Skye, the highlight of which was climbing the Inaccessible Pinnacle. Connor and Sam were very knowledgeable guides and the small group sizes meant that they were able plan safe mountain days that provided the right level of challenge for different group members and made the best of the weather conditions. A great trip on a beautiful island.

    Included

    Guides

    Local, certified mountain guides (1:2 ratio)

    Accommodation

    3 nights in a guesthouse

    Meals

    Proper breakfasts to fuel you up the mountain

    Equipment

    All the technical equipment needed including helmet, harness and ropes

    Not Included

    Some meals as described

    Travel to and from the start point

    Personal expenses

    Travel insurance

    The Area

    map

    Logistics

    Starts

    Broadford, Skye

    15:00 on Day 1

    Ends

    Broadford, Skye

    18:00 on Day 4

    Transfers

    The start and end point of the trip is in Broadford, Skye. Buses are available from Inverness and Fort William for those arriving by air or train. For those driving - you can head straight to Skye. The exact meeting point and hotel will be confirmed prior to the trip.

    Travel options

    Regular trains and flights run to Inverness from across the UK. You can also drive directly to Skye if you wish.

    Day 1

    Guesthouse · Twin or triple share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 2 – Day 3

    Guesthouse · Twin or triple share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 4

    Departure day

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    What is the food like?

    For breakfast expect a typical Scottish buffet breakfast. You will be able to sort packed lunches out before heading out each day and dinner will be in the town where you can find a good cosy pub and local ales. Most dietary requirements can be accomodated, including vegetarian and vegan diets.

    What is the accommodation like?

    Broadford, Skye

    You'll be staying in a small locally owned guesthouse in Broadford, likely either the Dunollie Bespoke Hotel or Broadford House B&B. As Skye can be very busy in the summer season, the exact accommodation will be confirmed closer to the time of departure. You will stay in a twin-share rooms.

    Upgrades

    We are not able to offer single room upgrades on this trip as accommodation on the Isle of Skye is in high demand and guesthouses charge a flat rate per room regardless of whether there are one or two occupants, which makes it unfeasible.

    Day 1

    Plan, prepare and get ready

    Your Scottish climbing adventure begins. Meet your guide at your overnight spot in Broadford. All that’s left to do now is settle in, grab some dinner with your fellow adventurers and get ready for the challenging days ahead.

    Day 2

    Fairy Pools and into the Cuillin Range

    Hiking

    6hrs · 10km · 800m up

    You'll head off early this morning and start by hiking past the famous Fairy Pools before getting into the Cuillin Mountains and up close with the craggy peaks that will be your focus for the weekend. After a couple of hours hiking you'll do an easy scramble where you'll get kitted up and start to learn the basics - how to belay and how to abseil. Taking on The Spur is a great introduction to climbing in Skye.

    Day 3

    The ridges of the Black Cuillin

    Hiking

    8hrs · 9km · 1100m up

    Another early morning, this time for a bit of a tougher day. Armed with your new-found skills, you'll step up the terrain and tackle something a little more technical today. You might head to Clach Glas Blabheinn Traverse, a classic Skye scramble along a fantastic airy ridge with a couple of harder pitches of rock climbing, or you may end up doing a climb of the Dubh Slabs and abseil from Sgurr Dubh Beag and walk down. Another option will be to learn some climbing skills on the sea cliffs of the Suisnish Pillar - you might even take on the officially named 'Much Better Adventures' climb route, aptly named by an MBA group in early 2021!

    Day 4

    The Inaccessible Pinnacle

    The big one. This is what your previous days learning have all been about - your chance to attempt to scale the sheer flanks of the Inaccessible Pinnacle, a holy grail for mountaineers. The second highest summit in the Skye Cuillin, rising from the summit of Sgurr Dearg, this is no mean feat. It is the only munro that can only be summitted by a technical climb - for those that make it to the top, the fabulous view of the spurs, summits, crags and corries emerging from the cloud make it all worthwhile. You'll hike back down with a pocketful of memories and some stories to tell.

    15% Off Outdoor Gear

    In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

    What's included?

    • Climbing harness
    • Climbing helmet
    • Belay device and carabineer
    • Ropes and all other climbing gear

    Your host will also carry essential group equipment such as a first aid kit and group shelter.

    Please bring your own helmet and harness if you have them.

    What do I need to bring?

    • Rucksack (we recommend 40 litres) with liner
    • Waterproof hiking boots (not shoes)
    • Thermal base layer
    • Fleece top – not cotton
    • Polyester, fleece or woollen trouser and tops (no jeans)
    • Heavy-duty waterproof jacket and trousers
    • Hat without bobble so helmet can fit
    • Thick waterproof ski gloves and warm liners/2 pairs of good gloves
    • Neck buff plus spare
    • Head torch
    • Flask or water bottle
    • Energy snacks
    • Whistle
    • Sunglasses and sun cream
    • Towel
    • Emergency survival bag (6’ by 3’ orange poly bag available from any outdoor store)
    • Walking poles (if you like to use them for hiking sections)
    • Approach shoes (these will be useful if you have them already, if not your hiking boots alone will do)

    No optional extras are available for this trip.

    We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

    What's the number?
    It works out on average at 88kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

    The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

    But what does the number mean?
    Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

    • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
    • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
    • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

    What are we doing about it?
    Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

    Want to know more?
    Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

    A good level of fitness is recommended - you'll be out for up to 9 hours in a mountain environment moving over challenging terrain and ascending considerable heights each day. You do not need any previous climbing experience but you should have a head for heights. This is a challenging trip but the reward of bagging a techincal munro and views all across Skye will be worth the effort!

    You will have a mountain guide for every two climbers (2:1 ratio) - this gives the flexibilty to the group to break up into smaller groups if needed and allows everyone to go at their own pace as they learn the skills.

    In short, no. As the mountain weather on Skye is very unpredictable your guide will be making constant decisions regarding which routes to take and which climbs to tackle. As you will have a guide to climber ratio of 1:2 there will be plenty of flexibility to tackle different routes based on ability and fitness. Your guide will discuss your previous experience with you and you will explore the island based on this and the skills you would like to learn. Your guide will make the ultimate decision on routes based on safety considerations - if you don't manage to climb the Inaccessible Pinnacle you will still be leaving the island with a load of new skills and knowledge.

    Each guide holds the Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor Certificate - having been assessed and approved by Mountain Training UK. This is the highest professional certification for Summer Mountaineering in Great Britain. They all hold First Aid certifications as well.

    Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

    The Cuillin Hills on the Isle of Skye are among the steepest mountains in the UK and include 15 peaks above 3,000 feet (900 metres). There are two main ridges; the magnificent Black Cuillins and the Red Cuillins around Loch Coruisk to the south. The weather can easily offer all four seasons in one day so you should be prepared as such. Your guides will be assessing the weather constantly and will pick routes based around wind and wet weather predictions. Weather is important in the Cuillin with wet rock taking twice as long to cross as dry rock so this will be factored into the plan for the day.

    Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

    Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

    We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

    We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

    If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

    All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

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