Analysing terrain data
5 - 6
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.
Park at Aberarder and attach your skis & boots to your pack to begin the ascent into the corrie floor through the summer path which leads directly from the road and follows the Allt Coire Ardair up the valley where you will be treated to some fantastic views of Raeburn’s Gully, Easy Gully and the huge cliffs that surround it. Break off the summer path and head up towards Lochan a’ Choire, attaching your skis whenever the snow level allows.
You’ll then begin to climb up towards Raeburn’s Gully. Be aware that this gully is flanked by ice falls above that drop down into Raeburn’s Gully and so you are always under threat of avalanches, ice collapse from the cliffs above you.
Raeburn’s Gully may also be littered with debris from these ice falls and can be quite icy if you do not find it during deep snow depths. The top section is fairly similar to Easy Gully, with a wide open top section, before it narrows to form the tight gully.
It’s usually easiest to drop in on the skier’s right hand side, down into a short face before you need to cut back into the gully proper to avoid going over the cliffs below. Raeburn’s Gully is technically harder than Easy Gully, with a pretty steep and narrow passage to ski with a generally much more ‘enclosed’ and steep feeling for the whole couloir, so make sure your jump turns in tight spaces are hot for this one.