Number 3 Gully

Ben Nevis

This is one steep and poker straight gully!

Ski Touring Severe

Distance
1.3 km
Ascent
0 m
Descent
544 m
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
679 m
High Point
1.2 km
Gradient
54˚
Number 3 Gully Map

Number 3 Gully is usually split into 2 separate gullies early on in the season, or during low snowfall years, but it it will soon fill out to become a single gully at the top section, quite similar to Number 4 Gully, only steeper.

Description

Just like all of the routes on the north face of the Ben, Number 3 Gully is best to be climbed before skiing it, to ensure that you’re 100% certain on snow conditions before dropping in. It’s accessed via Corie na Ciste (just like Number 2 & 4 Gullies) which provide a great amphitheatre for climbers and skiers alike.

Number 3 Gully splits The Comb and Number 3 Gully Buttress which both give fantastic surroundings either side of you once in the couloir, with 2 huge walls flanking you and forcing you to take the most direct path up or down the corridor. You’ll feel the pitch steepen when you being to climb out above the rocky walls and approach the large top section.

Once at the top, you’ve got an extremely steep start waiting for you, which could be split in two or filled into one wide section, before the couloir (marginally) mellows out at the point at which the walls start to close in on you.

You really do need to make sure you’re solid performing controlled jump turns on steep terrain with this gully as you’ll soon be whizzing out of the couloir and onto the wide bowl of Corie na Ciste if you put a foot wrong. If you’re nervous about putting turns in at the top section the you could side-slip the steep part, but generally don't consider skiing this couloir if you’re unsure of your ability level.

Difficulty

Severe

Steep skiing at 38-45 degrees. This requires very good technique and the risk of falling has serious consequences.

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

March, April, May

Features

  • Single Descent
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area