Sgùrr nan Gillean

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Sgùrr nan Gillean
Pinnacle ridge&gillean2.jpg
Sgùrr nan Gillean and the Pinnacle Ridge from Basteir gorge
Range: Cuillin
Summit: 3,163 feet NG471252
57°14’51"N, 6°11’34"W
Sgùrr nan Gillean (L), Am Basteir and Bruach na Frìthe (R)

Sgùrr nan Gillean is a mountain in the northern section of the Cuillin range on the Isle of Skye, Inverness-shire. With a height of 3163 feet, it is one of eleven Munros on the Cuillin ridge.

Sgùrr nan Gillean is the mountain closest to Sligachan, and its impressive triangular profile is visible behind the Sligachan hotel, making it perhaps the most recognised peak in the Cuillin range.


The most popular route of ascent, known as the Tourist Route, follows a path leading south from Sligachan, crossing a burn known the Allt Dearg Beag (small red burn). The route continues up into a corrie, the Coire Rhiabhach. The ascent of the corrie headwall is on loose rock and scree. The continuation up the south-east ridge to the summit is exposed, and calls for scrambling ability. The path up is very narrow so calls for single file when a party ascends. The top is a ridge which must be traversed to reach the final summit, and like the climb, needs some scrambling ability. All sides are very exposed, and extra care is needed if mist descends. The small airy summit platform is surprisingly smooth and flat with outstanding views.

An alternative route is the north ridge, known as Pinnacle Ridge, which is a rock climb that requires a climber to have a rope and harness and be capable of abseiling, unless the third pinnacle is omitted by bypassing on the east side. While rope is a sensible option for the moderate climb up Gillean, it is not required for Knight's Peak if the correct route is taken. The highest of the pinnacles is known as "The Knights Peak" and is a designated Top. To reach the base of the Pinnacle Ridge a climber starts in the same place as for the route described above but instead of crossing the burn continues up hill on the right hand side until just below the start of the Basteir gorge when the stream exiting the gorge is crossed to reach the base of the lowest pinnacle.

Another alternative route of ascent or descent is the West Ridge. It leads from the summit down to a bealach separating Sgùrr nan Gillean from Am Basteir. About two-thirds of the way down, there is a particularly narrow and exposed section, which forms the remains of a large upright rock, known as the Gendarme which broke away due to the effects of frost shatter during the winter of 1986/87, leaving only the base. The narrow section can be avoided by abseiling down (or climbing up) a gully, known as Nicholson's Chimney, on the north side of the ridge.

Munros in SMC Area SMC Section 17 - The Islands

Am BasteirBen MoreBlavenBruach na FritheInaccessible PinnacleSgùrr a' GhreadaidhSgùrr a' MhadaidhSgùrr AlasdairSgùrr Dubh MòrSgùrr MhicChoinnichSgurr na BanachdichSgùrr nan EagSgùrr nan Gillean