The Cuillin Hills, Isle of Rum, Inner Hebrides, Scotland
The main range of hills on Rum are called the Cuillin in the south of the island. They are rocky peaks of basalt and gabbro that are part of a core of a deeply eroded volcano that was active in the Paleogene era 66 – 23 million years ago. This view is looking towards Askival, 812 metres, and Ainshval, 778 metres, from Hallival. Hallival and Askival are formed from layered igneous rocks that accumulated at the base of a magma chamber. The chamber eventually collapsed, forming a caldera (crater). There are near vertical intrusions of basalt on the northwest coast, created by basaltic magma forcing its way into fissures in the pre-exiting rock.
I hiked from Kinloch and up along the Cuillin from Hallival to Ainshval, which included some very steep and challenging scrambling on all fours, and then along a long undulating ridge with a fantastic view out across the sea, before descending down towards Glen Harris to the far right of this photo. It was unquestionably one of my favourite hikes that I have ever done anywhere in the world, with absolutely stupendous views in all directions across the island and out across the sea. I was travelling light, and I knew that I only had a limited amount of time to complete the circuit back to Kinloch, so it became an exhilarating sprint across the challenging terrain that kept my adrenaline pumping all the way. It takes pride of place in my top ten hikes in the world that I would like to redo one day.
- © 2012 Duncan Murrell
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- Contained in galleries
- From the Isle of Mull to the Small Isles via Coll and Lunga