Easter Climbing Clan Cuillin
Adventure Week on Skye
We’re headed to the Isle of Skye for 7 nights to spend our time under the Cuillin Ridge, hiking, climbing and mountaineering.
What am I paying for when I sign up?
Signing up pays for
- Accommodation for seven nights
- Minibus Transport to Skye
- Access to pre-trip skills and mountain training
- Breakfast for seven days
- Packed lunch for seven days
- Six evening meals
- Plus we’ll stock the kitchen with tea bags, coffee, milk (dairy and non-dairy), loo roll and washing up stuff.
The trip relies on 20 people being in the same place for 7 days, all travelling at the same time – so there isn’t flexibility for discounts for anyone wishing to self-organise their own thing (more on that below).
Before the trip, we will be running a series of training and walking events focused on developing the mountain skills and fitness you might need on Skye
Whilst this training is optional, skills of walking up big hills, scrambling, abseiling, building and cleaning multipitch belays are extremely useful on the Isle of Skye, and you’re encouraged to make use of it as much as possible.
Food and Dietary Requirements
Breakfasts, Packed Lunches and evening meals are included in the cost of the trip.
We already have our volunteer chef but will be looking for helpers with prep, washing up etc
Tea, coffee and milk will also be provided (the coffee might only be instant though…maybe pack your cafetière!).
It may be worth bringing some snacks and cake.
All dietary requirements and allergies will be catered for – Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Kosher, Meativore, allergic to pepper, etc – please express it on the sign up form
About the Bunkhouse
The bunkhouse has a well-equipped kitchen, bunk beds, toilets and hot showers – and is located in Glen Brittle at the foot of the Cuillin Ridge itself.
It is 10 minutes walk from the beach, 45 minutes drive from the nearest off-licence and 2-3 hours from the nearest decent size supermarket.
EE and maybe other networks will have 4G connectivity outside the hut.
How will the trip run?
It’s an 8 hour drive, and we will want to get as much done as we can, so we will drive in one go, stopping for lunch and to rotate drivers.
When we’re there
On Monday -> Saturday, we’ll make plans, pack lunches and self-organise plans the evening before, on the day, we’ll have breakfast and head out in little groups.
In the evening, we’ll return for a home-cooked communal meal and make plans for tomorrow.
On Sunday, we’ll leave early and drive back to Manchester, stopping for lunch and to rotate drivers.
What do I need to bring?
A full kitlist is here.
You definitely need to bring a sleeping bag, Pillow and your own towel as well as hiking boots with ankle support.
All food, kitchen basics and loo roll will be provided as described elsewhere.
Who does what?
Climbing Clan trips work because everyone contributes in some way.
Everyone helps make the trip a success. Some people drive. Some cook. Some organise. Some wash up.
In truth, lots of people do lots – and everyone is expected to do what they can to support the trip.
What activities will we do?
This is primarily a walking, scrambling and mountaineering, but climbers being climbers there may also be some climbing or other outdoor activities going on.
Anything will be arranged ad-hoc though – likely amongst the most experienced or enthusiastic – the main plan is to make the most of the location and experience one of the most severe and dramatic landscapes in the British Isles.
I have unusual dietary requirements. Will I be catered for?
Yes, you will be fully catered for – simply let us know about your requirements in the sign-up form.
I don’t drive, can I come?
Yes. We will be sharing minibuses for the drive up. Different people bring different skills – you will contribute to the trip in other ways.
How will it work? Do I need to bring a climbing partner?
You don’t need to bring a climbing partner, but a greater degree of self-sufficiency and self-direction will be required compared to other Climbing Clan trips you may have been on.
The Black Cuillin is one of the most severe mountain environments in the UK, more severe and barely comparable to Snowdonia, The Lakes or most of Scotland. This is not a location we’ll all go climb at a single pitch crag together. Groups will need to be self-sufficient in things like:
- researching where to go
- figuring out how to get there
- making good decisions about the group and conditions and deciding when to turn round or back off
- dealing with things that don’t go quite to plan
Its not expected that everyone has all these skills, but everyone will need to take responsibility for what they want to do.
It’s expected that people in the Clan will support each other and climb with more than one person exclusively. Generally plans for tomorrow tend to be made the night before.
What climbing skills do I need to know?
This is a false friend question, as the truth is you probably are plenty good at Climbing for this trip. Your mountain skills are probably where you should focus your energy (see below).
You need to know how to lead belay, though it would definitely help if you’d seconded trad routes before.
There is plenty for people who don’t lead, but the most useful climbing skill probably Multi-pitch Trad leading at grade Mod and above, shortly followed by having some experience “moving together” and setting up retrievable abseils where you pull the rope down after you.
What mountain skills do I need to know?
Spoiler: it’s different to what you think
What are we most likely to do?
- Hiking up big spiky mountains that rise up right from the sea.
- Sustained scrambling
- Long multipitch climbs with incredible exposure
- Eat lots of food
Can I come for the day? Can I arrange my own accommodation?
This usually doesn’t work.
All plans are made the night before, usually changing 3-4 times during the night and changing at least once in the morning. This makes it extremely difficult to tell anyone where to be and when. It might be possible to come for the day, if you were prepared to arrive at the hut at ~6am and were prepared for mountains of faff and uncertainty.
You also won’t be able to stay for any social bits in the evenings, where the group really gets to know each other.
Can I arrange my own transport or only stay for 5 nights?
Yes, but no discounts will be available for doing so.
Organising a trip like this is a logistical challenge. One of the things you’re paying for is the certainty that it will happen. The Clan has to prebook and pay everything months in advance.
By spreading the costs across the whole group, and helping reduce the faff and uncertainty, we make the trip work at this scale.
As our costs are fixed, anyone seeking a discount would mean that everyone else had to pay more.
Can I stay in my van or camp?
Yes, but no discounts will be available for doing so.
However, the trip is planned with the assumption that everyone pools together and supports each other by doing the same thing. Therefore, you won’t be eligible for any discounts on the trip cost on the basis of your sleeping location.
What if there’s bad weather?
Mountaineering isn’t usually a good sport if the weather is wet and the Cuillin is extremely bad place to be when the cloud is low. However, there will be some plan B’s, these could be:
- Go to the whisky distillery
- Go for a forest walk
- Stay in the hut and make a roaring fire
- Go to a castle or tourist attraction
- Go to the beach
- Go to the
- Practice Skills
I don’t have a rope or any trad gear – will I be ok?
The minimum climbing gear to bring is
- Climbing Helmet
- Belay device and karabiner
- Nut key
How fit do I need to be?
The question is perhaps less about fitness, and more about experience in the mountains. To use a climbing metaphor, it’s less about what grade you climb, and more about the quality of your belaying.
The more experience you have had in the mountains, the more you will get from this trip. This is something you can and should work on before the trip. Below is a list of suggestions of things you could do that would help.
Climb a classic scramble:
- Snowdon via Crib Goch
- Helvellyn via Striding Edge (descending via Swirral Edge)
- Blencathra via Sharp Edge
- Pinnacle Ridge on St Sunday’s Crag
- Llech Ddu Spur
- Aonach Eagach
- Curved Ridge on Buchaille Etive Mor
- Pinnacle Ridge (Pen yr Ole Wen)
- Find your way to the B29 aircraft wreck in Glossop without using GPS
- Find your way to the top of Pike of Stickle via Jack’s Rake
- Do the climbers traverse on Bow Fell
- Do a circular route up Black Hill in the Peak District
- Cwyfrys Arete on Cadair Idris
- First or Second Pinnacle Rib on Tryfan
- Anything on Milestone Buttress, Tryfan
- Elbow Ridge in the Peak District
- Fiacaill Ridge
- Liathach traverse
- Horns of Alligin
- Bidean Nam Bian
- Pillar in the Lake District via low level traverse
- Haystacks to Great Gable circular route
- Any mountain walk you do, carrying an extra 5L of water (to simulate climbing kit)
- Any Munro
- Any Peak District night hike
- Any mountain walk in drizzle or less good weather.
I don’t have any outdoor climbing experience yet, but really want to climb on the trip. Will you be running training beforehand?
This will 100% not be the opportunity for you to get your very first climbing outside. We run many other opportunities to outdoor climb – come on those.
You are unlikely to roped-climb on this trip without lead belaying skills, so focus on learning that.
I've not been away with you lot before. Is this a good first trip?
A week with a bunch of strangers in one of the most committing mountaineering locations in the UK? Probably not ideal.
We have quite a lot of other events scheduled – come on one of those first so you know what we’re like and know a few people?
Is anyone doing the full ridge traverse?
Well, if you have the right fitness, and you’re with the right people, and you know the route, and the weather plays, and you’re equipped right… maybe?
It’s fair to say the full Cuillin Ridge traverse is very challenging, and perhaps often underestimated in difficulty. If you’re in the right place for it, crack on – but if this is your first time on Skye, you may want to satisfy yourself with a few individual summits.
Can I bring a dog?
We love dogs, but sadly dogs are not allowed on this trip.
What's your cancellation policy?
I would run this trip differently...
Is this a for-profit, professionally guided event?
The Climbing Clan is fully run by volunteers. No-one is compensated for sharing their climbing and rope skills amongst the group. Nobody is using or assumed to be trained to professional qualifications unless they tell you otherwise in writing.
Everyone that comes to Climbing Clan events recognises that:
“that climbing, scrambling and hill walking are activities with a danger of personal injury or death, and by taking part acknowledge they are aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement.“
What is The Climbing Clan?
An BMC affiliated group of supportive, friendly people who like to encourage each other to climb and eat cake. Sometimes at the same time.
We support an open, inclusive and accepting atmosphere for all members, whatever their ability or ambition.
Got a question we haven’t answered?
Ask it on the Facebook event and we’ll reply ASAP.