Analysing terrain data
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The exposure grade does not take into account objective hazards (stone fall, seracs, etc) but only the consequences of the skier falling.
Low Exposure (E1): Exposure is limited to that of the slope itself. Getting hurt is still likely if the slope is steep and/or the snow is hard.
Medium Exposure (E2): As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.
High Exposure (E3): In case of a fall, death is highly likely.
Extreme Exposure (E4): In case of a fall, the skier faces certain death.
It’s possible to do a few routes in a day when based at the CIC Hut, with only around 650 metres of ascent from the hut to the summit of the Ben. Start by parking your car at the north face carpark, which is found by taking the first right just as you leave Torlundy, which then leads to a gravel road through to the carpark nestled in the Torlundy forests. From the carpark, take the north face ascent path which initially climbs steeply until you are above the tree-line.
Once above the tree-line, you’re then in the Allt a’ Mhuilinn which is where the path begins to flatten off and you’re left with a relatively flat (but long) path leading to the CIC Hut. Once in the valley, you’ll get some fantastic views of the imposing north face of Ben Nevis, where you’ll be able to get an idea of the snow conditions that await. It’s rarely possible to be able to ski tour up this path as Scotland is rarely treated to a low snow-line, so a pair of walking shoes/boots are recommended to save trashing your ski boots on the walk-in. These gullies are frequently climbed both up and down by climbers throughout the winter, so it’s always considered courteous to ski them during spring, where you’ll find much more friendly cornices, a stable snowpack and deep snow depths after a winter of howling south-westerlies have (hopefully!) loaded this north east face.