Sgurr nan Gillean and Am Bhasteir from Sligachan

Sgurr nan Gillean, Am Basteir & Bruach na Frithe

Hiking & rock-scrambling on the Munros on Skye's northern Cuillin ridge

The peaks of Sgurr nan Gillean, Am Basteir and Bruach na Frithe form a chain at the northern end of the Black Cuillin. When viewed Sligachan they are an impressive sight, though Bruach na Frithe is hidden from view behind the subsidary peak of Sgurr a'Bhasteir.

Main route summary

  Map base ©OpenStreetMap
Sgurr nan Gillean is probably the finest peak on the Cuillin, due to its shape, location and rock formation. This summit along with Am Basteir, which looks like a face from Sligachan, require skillful scrambling to ascend and a good head for heights to cope with some airy exposure on some ledges. Rope will be required for abseiling down the West Ridge of Sgurr nan Gillean. Bruach na Frithe is reckoned to be the easiest Munro peak on Skye when approached from the 'Fairy Pools' in Glenbrittle via a straightforward route. On a clear day, the views from all peaks are breathtaking.

The Skye Cuillin are technically much harder than anything else in Scotland. These peaks should not be attempted without prior scrambling experience on the Aonach Eagach, An Teallach or similar. You will need abseilling experience to descend Sgurr nan Gillean's West Ridge. Although the gabbro rock is grippy, some sections are also very loose and others are well polished, therefore slippy in the wet. Check out the weather forecast, choose your day wisely and you'll have a fantastic time.

The OS Landranger does not show sufficient detail, therefore use of a more detailed map is advised. The Harvey's Superwalker map of the Skye Cuillin is highly recommended.

Alternatively, hire a guide to lead you around the ridge. The Highland Mountain Company offers different types of experiences on the Cuillin ridge, including a Cuillin Ridge Traverse over two days and a Skye Cuillin Munros 4-day course.

Munros Sgurr nan Gillean (964m, Munro 191)
Am Basteir (934m, Munro 243)
Bruach na Frithe (958m, Munro 202)
Ascent 1250m (3,200ft)
Distance       14.5km (9m)
Time walking : 5hr plus*
Naismith's rule doesn't apply on Skye's Black Cuillin !

Start/finish   Sligachan Hotel
(grid ref : NG485298)


Which map to choose ?
easy difficult
easy testing
stroll long day
ok stunning
Sgurr nan Gillean : 'peak of young men or gullies'
Am Basteir : 'the executioner'
Bruach na Frithe : 'slope of the deer forest'

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