In winter the imposing coastal mountains of Skye take on a much more alpine appearance, reminiscent of the great European ranges of the Alps or Pyrenees. These precipitous peaks and ridges are mainly composed of basalt and the coarse-grained gabbro. This dark crystalline rock not only provides excellent grip for the thousands of walkers and climbers who visit each year but also gives the mountains the black from which the Black Cuillin derives its name.

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