The Cuillin not surprisingly are a Mecca for rock climbers and mountain walkers who feel comfortable and and secure on steep rock in exposed places. Here there is more exposed rock and more precarious situations than any other single range of mountains in Britain. It is no place, however, for novices, while even those with experience on many of the mainland peaks will find situations that intimidate and circumstances that make nonsense of everything that applies elsewhere, for the Cuillin are a law unto themselves.
Over the years the Cuillin have attracted much comment, one such early writer, HV Morton, although a trifle prone to the over-dramatisation of landscapes, captures the essence of the range as seen by visitors for the first time:
“Imagine”, he wrote, “Wagner’s ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ frozen in stone and hung up like a colossal screen against the sky. It seems as if Nature when she hurled the Coolins up into the light of the sun said: ‘I will make mountains which shall be the essence of all that can be terrible in mountains. I will pack into them all the fearful shapes. Their scarred ravines, on which nothing shall grow, shall lead up to towering spires of rock, sharp splinters shall strike the sky along their mighty summits, and they shall be formed of rock unlike any other rock so that they will never look the same for very long, now blue, now gret, now silver, sometimes seeming to retreat or to advance, but always drenched in mystery and terrors”
(Reproduced from ‘The Isle of Skye A Walkers Guide’ by Terry Marsh)