Coire Lagan and Sgurr Alasdair
Key information: Coire Lagan and Sgurr Alasdair
- One of the grandest of all Black Cuillin corries, a forbidding place even on a sunny day, surrounded on three sides by huge cliffs (magnets for climbers), with beautiful views out to the open seas.
- Above it, up the Great Stone Chute, is Sgurr Alasdair, Skye’s highest mountain.
- Walkopedia rating83.5
- Natural interest15.5
- Human interest7
- Negative points1
- Total rating83.5
- Note: Negs:. Frequent bad weather
- Length: 9km
- 3.5hrs, or less
- Maximum Altitude: 3,257ft
- Level of Difficulty: Variable
Coire Lagan is one of the grandest of all Black Cuillin corries, a dark and forbidding place even on a sunny day, surrounded on three sides by huge cliffs (magnets for climbers) with Sgurr Alasdair, Skye’s highest peak, at their heart. Enjoy beautiful views behind you over the base of Glen Brittle to the open seas, and eventually the Outer Hebrides beyond.
Starting from the end of the road at Glen Brittle beach, you have the choice of heading directly for Coire Lagan, a long and at times steep climb (gaining some 550m) to the little lochan at the heart of the cirque; or (a marginally steadier climb) swing around north via Glenbrittle House to climb to the beautiful Eas Mor waterfall in its deep little ravine and on diagonally up across the steep Cuillin flanks past a particularly beautiful lochan which acts a visual infinity pool, with the sea and Small Isles beyond its little lip, to meet the main path up into the corrie.
A bit of a scramble beyond, the heart of the corrie is harshly magnificent, with a lovely little lochan surrounded by a horseshoe of relentlessly sheer cliffs.
Coire Lagan does not give normal walkers access to the high peaks of the Black Cuillin, but you can (with a guide and good head for heights) labour/scramble up the Great Stone Chute to reach Sgurr Alasdair, the highest mountain in the Skye at 2,257ft, and the heart of the beyond glamorous Black Cuillin Ridge, with Sgurr Dearg and the famous Inaccessible Pinnacle not far away across an airy, exposed ridge to the north. Sgurr Alasdair have views to die for (and they have) of the drama of the ultra-rugged mountains around it and the wide seas to the south end east, with nearby Soay due south and Rum and Eigg beyond.
Walkopedia would say that, while Coire Lagan is a fine walk in many ways, it is not as meltingly beautiful as Coire na Creiche although the sea views do compensate. It is a good option for getting close up to the high mountains in poor weather conditions.
Skye has notoriously fickle and often bad weather, and conditions on top can be appalling. People die up there, and it is easy to lose your way in cloud/mist. Always come fully prepared. Be prepared to abandon an attempt on the peaks if circumstances change.
Rating note: we give Coire Lagan 83.5 (31, 15.5, 7, 31 (1)). Sgurr Alasdair is as above.
For more information and photos, including detailed practical information, see our Isle of Skye walk page.
WILLIAM MACKESY'S ACCOUNT
of this walk
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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.
Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.
Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.
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