Here’s John from Team Skye Adventure’s top 10 tips for bagging the Cuillin Munros. John spends as much time as he can in the Cuillin, guiding it's pointy peaks or running around in short shorts on days off, it's his favourite place to be. Hopefully you’ll find these handy tips useful if you’re planning on taking on the Skye Munros this year. We're always delighted to talk strategy, so drop us a line!
1.Train. Even a couple of days in a row on Skye is pretty full on. Practice walking uphill with a weighted pack on, cycle to work or perhaps sign up for that circuits class, get the legs going!
2. Go climbing. A few trips down your local climbing wall will allow you to experiment with movement and familiarise yourself with ropes, belaying and fitting a harness. The route of good mountaineering is rock climbing.
3. Eat! (and keep eating).Have a good breakfast before you hit the hills, not cereal! Slow release energy works best - eggs, beans on toast or porridge with fruit. Bring a sandwich - oily fish, eggs and nut butters are all great fillings. Calorie rich bars, flapjacks or trail mix with nuts and fruit will keep your energy up.
4. Dry out. Choose accommodation with a good drying room (the Glenbrittle hostel for example) and take time to dry your kit out properly for the next day. If you have doubles of things like boots and jackets, bring them.
5. Go lighter. Super light- weight layers are expensive and don’t love the Gabbro, but try and ditch that heavy stuff you’ve been carrying around for years. Remember your guide will be carrying a group shelter and first aid kit. Bring capacity for 1.5 litres of water, natural water supplies are generally available in the Cuillin.
6. Have a good sole. Treat yourself to some scrambling footwear. Approach shoes with a sticky rubber or a stiff mountaineering boot are both grand options. A floppy hybrid is going to make things more challenging. We have a selection of boots available to borrow so just ask!
7. Pack proper. Store everything inside your pack, water bottles, poles, cups, teddies and kettles are all things that will inevitably get caught or take flight. Most packs allow for extraneous buckles and fixing points to be removed. Use a dry bag or heavy duty bin bag inside your pack rather than a fly away rain cover. Keep it minimal folks.
8. Glove up. Get yourself a cheap pair of close fitting insulated work gloves. Gabbro is a zombie rock, it eats all, including your flesh. Your bonnie new mountaineering gloves will end up in shreds.
9. Keep it real. Have realistic expectations of what YOU can achieve. Even if you’ve been smashing 14hr days on heathery lumps, expect to do less in the Cuillin. The combination of mental and physical fatigue due to the terrain means shorter days are necessary for reasons of safety. Some people should take 12 days to do 12 Munros some people can run the ridge in under 3 hours.
10. Savour it. Why not bag less and explore more, we favour the classic scramble or exciting rock route over the standard. Why not bag a peak by an unforgettable line. You’ll be sad when Skye is ticked, I promise.