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TITLE
Two Mountaineers at the Cuillin Hills, Skye
EXTERNAL ID
HCD_CARD_026
PLACENAME
Glen Brittle
DISTRICT
Skye
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Bracadale
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
12849
KEYWORDS
mountain
mountains
mountaineering
climbers
climbing
Two Mountaineers at the Cuillin Hills, Skye

A photograph of two unidentified young mountaineers in Glen Brittle, Isle of Skye. Part of the Cuillin range is seen in the background. The men's equipment and clothing appear basic compared to the standards of today.

The Cuillin are a range of mountains located in the Isle of Skye, comprising the rocky, jagged Black Cuillin ridge and the lower Red Hills (sometimes known as the Red Cuillin). The Black Cuillin features twelve Munros (a Scottish mountain with a height of over 910 metres), and the range provides some of the best, and most challenging, climbing in the UK.

Until the 19th century, however, the Cuillin were regarded as unclimbable. The first recorded ascent of a Cuillin peak was in 1836, when the scientist James Forbes and local forester Duncan MacIntyre, successfully climbed Sgurr nan Gillean by its south-east ridge. In 1845, they pair returned to climb Bruach na Frithe, and made a second ascent of Sgurr nan Gillean by its trickier west ridge.

In 1870 John MacKenzie of Sconser in Skye, then just fourteen years old, made the first ascent of Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh with William Newton Tribe. MacKenzie, who had climbed Sgurr nan Gillean at age ten, became a professional guide in the Cuillin and was involved in many significant climbs of the range. In 1881 he made the second ascent of the Inaccessible Pinnacle, the first ascent being made by the great mountaineers Charles and Lawrence Pilkington the year before. In 1887 MacKenzie made the first ascent of Sgurr Mhic Choinnich (MacKenzie's Peak) with Charles Pilkington, which was named afterwards in his honour. In later years, MacKenzie made many climbs with Professor Norman Collie, amongst them the first ascent of the Cioch in 1906. The pair formed a strong friendship, and are buried beside each other in Struan.

In 1873 another Skye-born climber, Sheriff Alexander Nicolson, made the first ascents of Sgurr na Banachdich, Sgurr Dearg and the highest peak of the Cuillin, Sgurr Alasdair, which was later named after Nicolson.

The range has also made headlines in more recent times, when John MacLeod of MacLeod put the Black Cuillin on the market for £10 million in 2000, in order to fund repairs of his Clan seat, Dunvegan Castle. In 2003, after enormous public outcry, MacLeod agreed to gift the mountains to the nation on the condition that a charitable trust renovated his castle.


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Two Mountaineers at the Cuillin Hills, Skye

INVERNESS: Bracadale

mountain; mountains; mountaineering; climbers; climbing

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

Dualchas Postcards

A photograph of two unidentified young mountaineers in Glen Brittle, Isle of Skye. Part of the Cuillin range is seen in the background. The men's equipment and clothing appear basic compared to the standards of today.<br /> <br /> The Cuillin are a range of mountains located in the Isle of Skye, comprising the rocky, jagged Black Cuillin ridge and the lower Red Hills (sometimes known as the Red Cuillin). The Black Cuillin features twelve Munros (a Scottish mountain with a height of over 910 metres), and the range provides some of the best, and most challenging, climbing in the UK. <br /> <br /> Until the 19th century, however, the Cuillin were regarded as unclimbable. The first recorded ascent of a Cuillin peak was in 1836, when the scientist James Forbes and local forester Duncan MacIntyre, successfully climbed Sgurr nan Gillean by its south-east ridge. In 1845, they pair returned to climb Bruach na Frithe, and made a second ascent of Sgurr nan Gillean by its trickier west ridge.<br /> <br /> In 1870 John MacKenzie of Sconser in Skye, then just fourteen years old, made the first ascent of Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh with William Newton Tribe. MacKenzie, who had climbed Sgurr nan Gillean at age ten, became a professional guide in the Cuillin and was involved in many significant climbs of the range. In 1881 he made the second ascent of the Inaccessible Pinnacle, the first ascent being made by the great mountaineers Charles and Lawrence Pilkington the year before. In 1887 MacKenzie made the first ascent of Sgurr Mhic Choinnich (MacKenzie's Peak) with Charles Pilkington, which was named afterwards in his honour. In later years, MacKenzie made many climbs with Professor Norman Collie, amongst them the first ascent of the Cioch in 1906. The pair formed a strong friendship, and are buried beside each other in Struan.<br /> <br /> In 1873 another Skye-born climber, Sheriff Alexander Nicolson, made the first ascents of Sgurr na Banachdich, Sgurr Dearg and the highest peak of the Cuillin, Sgurr Alasdair, which was later named after Nicolson. <br /> <br /> The range has also made headlines in more recent times, when John MacLeod of MacLeod put the Black Cuillin on the market for £10 million in 2000, in order to fund repairs of his Clan seat, Dunvegan Castle. In 2003, after enormous public outcry, MacLeod agreed to gift the mountains to the nation on the condition that a charitable trust renovated his castle. <br /> <br /> <br /> This image may be available to purchase.<br /> For further information about purchasing and prices please email<br /> <a href= "mailto: skyeandlochalsh.archives@highlifehighland.com" >Skye and Lochalsh Archives</a>