Black Cuillin

(Black Cuillins)

The Black Cuillins
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

The Black Cuillins

Located in south-central Skye, the Black Cuillin (or Black Cuillins) represent the highest mountains on the island. Forming a great massif, these mountains include the Cuillin Ridge and twelve Munros, the highest being Sgurr Alasdair at 992m (3255 feet). The mountains provide challenging climbing. They can be accessed from Glenbrittle in the west, where there is a youth hostel, from Sligachan in the north and from Elgol in the south.

Geologically, the Black Cuillin represent the exposed core of an early Tertiary volcanic complex, associated with the opening of the North Atlantic Ocean about 65 million years ago. The circular core of the volcano has been cut through by valleys such as Glen Sligachan, Srath na Creitheach and Glen Brittle. The dark colour of the mountains comes from the basic igneous rock of which they are composed; primarily gabbro and peridotite. This colour contrasts with the Red Cuillin, to the east.

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