What to expect.

Our job at Skye Guides and how we operate.

We aim to make every client’s experience as safe, positive and enjoyable as possible. This is achieved by careful route selection and simple instruction in how to deal with different situations. We use a combination of teaching, rope-work and psychology to build up confidence rapidly. Our style of guiding is far more than simply showing the right way. Clients generally have a healthy respect for what they may face. We find that everyone rapidly gains in confidence once the basics of balance and avoiding loose rock are grasped. Feet, not hands, are the key to good confident movement!


A pace is set at which the whole party can keep going steadily for long stretches based on the slowest member of the group. The importance of psychologically keeping all members positive at the early stages when nerves are jangling is a major reason for this.

Use of ropesScramble in safety

This is often the first encounter with ropes for many clients. The prospect of having a rope available should not be feared but welcomed. Ropes are carried on all Black Cuillin outings because it allows the guide to keep the client safe and build their confidence. The rope is always available and the extent to which a rope is used depends upon situations and individuals. For example on one section, while a nervous person may be tied to the guide, a more confident partner may remain un-roped. The guide will always have the safety of the whole party as the top priority.

How we teach 

Many clients are very experienced hill walkers already equipped with a high percentage of the skills needed. We have a strong interest in teaching the skills used in the Cuillin to enable clients to enjoy exploring on their own. Simple rope skills are added to the armoury along with ideas on how to safely navigate and negotiate obstacles. You can book a day or two at the start of a visit to Skye to allow you to enjoy exploring these fantastic mountains yourself.

Why should I book with Skye Guides?

Local knowledge , fully trained and vastly experienced.

All of our guides are professional mountaineers. Our most experienced guides have spent years instructing, climbing and guiding in the Cuillin; hundreds of days with different clients in all types of weather. Through the winter and early spring we run our own in-house training for new members of the team.

Private guiding.

We specialise in providing private guiding with bespoke itineraries. Small group sizes allow close supervision and individual instruction, which maximises the chances of achieving ambitions. Routes and activities can be easily adjusted to suit clients and conditions. We will not add other clients to your private booking! The policy of small group size is firmly rooted in our climbing background and upheld by a huge respect for the mountain environment.

Choosing the right route

In addition to knowing the terrain intimately, our guides know which routes to take in different weather conditions. The route is never fixed and allowance always has to be made for conditions of weather and climbers. A common scenario is to ascend one peak before deciding which direction to head along the Ridge. All factors such as weather, time and fitness are taken into account.

In adverse weather conditions, a suitable alternative peak or activity related to walking or climbing will be offered. There are many routes in the Black Cuillin that are sheltered from strong winds where the original objective peak would be too exposed.

For more details of what to expect see the Black Cuillin and Inaccessible Pinnacle information pages.