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.
Spikes gives access to a fantastic hidden corie, just beyond Coire an Lochain and is great choice to head towards if you see the Back Corries getting heavily tracked out.
Just be aware that this bowl isn’t assessed by patrol (although it is named on the piste map) and is therefore a full backcountry itinerary. Saying that, this doesn’t mean that you can’t still pop your head in the Ski Patrol hut, state your plans and get a little bit of beta from the Ski Patrol staff on how conditions are fairing in Spikes, or neighbouring Summit Gully. Spikes is easily accessed from the Ski Patrol hut by walking towards the summit of Aonach Mor along the broad ridgeline in a south - south east direction.
Take extra care if visibility is poor, as there are some big drops off the coire rim on your left hand side as you walk towards the summit. Spikes is found on the eastern side of the broad ridge, just after you have passed by Coire an Lochain.
There is a small rocky buttress on the skier’s left hand side of the coire rim but other than that, you can drop in anywhere you like to access this bowl. The bowl is of that perfect width and steepness where you can rip some awesome turns from top, to bottom, as long as the conditions are suitable - so buckle up and enjoy this awesome bowl! Once you’re at the valley floor, you can traverse skier’s left across the base of Coire an Lochain and back to the base of Braveheart Chairlift to return to resort. Please be aware that you will require ski touring equipment (and thus a short skin/walk back to Rob Roy’s Return), incase Braveheart Chairlift cannot open due to weather conditions or a low snow level.