The mountain range on Skye. The main part of the Cuillin ridge is known as the Black Cuillin to distinguish it from the Red Cuillin.
The Cuillin lie to the east of Glen Sligachan. The peaks of the Black Cuillin are mainly composed of gabbro, a very rough igneous rock which provides a superb grip for mountaineers; and basalt, which can be very slippery when wet.
The rocks forming the ridge of the Black Cuillin (and outliers such Bla Bheinn) are dark in colour, particularly in the shade, but when in sunlight the Black Cuillin can appear grey to brown in colour.
The main ridge forms a narrow crest, with steep cliffs and scree slopes.
The ridge is about 14 km long (measured from Gars-bheinn in the south to Sg¨rr nan Gillean in the northeast), and curves in an irregular semi-circle around Loch Coruisk, which lies at the heart of the range.
The highest point of the Cuillin, and of the Isle of Skye, is Sg¨rr Alasdair in the Black Cuillin at 992 m (3,255 ft).
The Red Cuillin are mainly composed of granite, which is paler than the gabbro (with a reddish tinge from some angles in some lights) and has weathered into more rounded hills with vegetation cover to summit level and long scree slopes on their flanks.
These hills are lower and, being less rocky, have fewer scrambles or climbs.
The highest point of the red hills is Glamaig (775 m), one of only two Corbetts on Skye (the other being Garbh-bheinn, part of the small group of gabbro outliers surrounding BlÓ Bheinn).
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Useful advice for anyone coming to the Scottish Highlands and Islands
The Black Cuillin are composed mainly of gabbro.
Gabbro is a rough black rock which provides a good grip
for mountaineers. The Black Cuillin are also composed of
basalt, which can be slippery when wet. The summits of
the Black Cuillin are jagged and steep. Twelve Black
Cuillin peaks are listed as Munros. One of them, Blaven,
is part of a group of outliers separated from the main
ridge by Glen Sligachan.