Cuillin Speed

By Anna Wells

The Cuillin Ridge on the Isle of Skye is considered to be the greatest mountaineering challenge in Great Britain. I would go a step further and say it’s one of the best in the world! The quality of the terrain is of an alpine standard, whilst the fact it is an island with views out to the ocean make it unique.

It’s a very special place to me and after becoming the first female to complete a winter day traverse, I was keen to set a summer record too. In particular I was hoping to climb everything without a rope, including downclimbing the abseils. After a day recce-ing some of the trickier sections with my friend, and overcoming my fear to solo in-and-out of the TD gap, I was raring to go!

After overcoming a few challenges ( driving back to Inverness to work two night shifts, bursting my tyre on the way back to Skye, eventually arriving at Glenbrittle in a couresy car!), I met up with my friend Murdoch. We had some discussions about whether to do the ridge together or not. We each had some motivations to do it alone (he could go faster without me, I was quite keen for a proper “solo”) but in the end decided it would be more fun together.

I wore leggings and t-shirt for the entirety of the day, and 5.10 tennies on my feet. In my bag, I carried 1200mls water, 6 chocolate bars and 2 bagels. I also carried a baselayer, a fleece, a softshell and a downjacket – none of which left my bag! It was very windy and cold at sea level, but sweltering on the ridge.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published