South Castle Gully

Ben Nevis

Deep cut, steep couloir for the entire length - a great tick.

Ski Touring Extreme

Distance
1.2 km
Ascent
8 m
Descent
450 m
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
679 m
High Point
1.1 km
Gradient
50˚
South Castle Gully Map

Two deep cut gullies split carve their way down from Castle Ridge, down to the corrie floor. Both of these two couloirs are flanked between towering rocky walls either side of them and both require large snow depths to make a descent possible and fill in the large rocky steps that are usually present during low snow years.

Description

Both gullies are graded Grade II within the climbing guidebooks, but become fairly banked out during deep snow seasons, to make a passage by skis a little more amiable!

Saying that, even during deep snow years, these gullies frequently have rocky steps that either need to be down climbed or rappelled, so it’s always necessary to bring a rope and some protection in the event of a rappel needing to be set up.

South Castle Gully is the left hand gully of the two Castle Gullies as you are looking at them from the valley floor. South Castle Gully is closed in from the get-go, with the large towering walls greeting you as soon an you drop in that don’t every really open up until you’re spat out at the bottom, so make sure you’re focused in performing tight jump turn after tight jump turn!

You’re able to see right the way down this gully from the top as it weaves its way through the large rocky buttress, which helps to make sure you’re not going to be dropping in on any unsuspecting climbers/skiers in these confined spaces!

Once at the bottom, traverse above the large cliff band that flanks the corrie floor to make your way back to the CIC Hut.

Difficulty

Extreme

Extreme skiing terrain above 45 degrees. These routes are reserved for experienced experts.

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

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area