Scottish Winter Climbing And Mountaineering Routes in Scotland UKScottish Winter Climbing And Mountaineering Routes in Scotland UK
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Raeburn's gully.
Creag Meagaidh Map Photos
Harold Raeburn was one of the early pioneers of scottish mountaineering, arguably the leading mountaineer of the early 20th century, and the Scottish mountains are full of routes named after him.
This route takes you up Raeburn's gully in Coire Ardair, amongst the massive cliffs of Creag Meagaidh, which Raeburn and friends first put up in 1903. The descent is via another well known route, the'Window'.
Area: Central Highlands
Grade: Winter grade I   what does that mean?
Total Distance: 17 km
Total Ascent: 1020 m
Time: 7½ hours
  • Ordnance Survey Landranger 1:50,000 Sheet 34
  • Ordnance Survey Explorer 401 1:25,000
  • Avalanche hazard: As with all large gullies, avoid Raeburn's in new snow or thaw conditions. The Window has also been known to avalanche. In avalanche prone conditions, the WNW ridge of Puist Coire Ardair (shown on some maps as Sron a Ghoire) is the safest option.
    Avalanche Forecast area: Creag Meagaidh   more
    Gear: Take a 50-metre rope, some slings, a few nuts and an ice screw. Wear a helmet in Central Gully.

    Park at the Nature Reserve Car Park, Aberarder, about 10 miles west of Laggan on the A86 (runs between Newtonmore and Spean Bridge).

    Grid Reference NN483873


    Follow the path from the car park, past some buildings and into the glen leading towards Coire Ardair. After a long walk along the glen (hard work in deep snow!), reach the large lochan at the floor of the corrie.

    Raeburn's gully 

    Raeburn's gully is the deep, leftward slanting gully southwest of the lochan. Walk round the south side of the lochan and make your way up the sloes to the entrance of the gully. Viewed head-on, the true angle of the gully becomes clear and it is not as steep as it appears on the approach.

    Nevertheless, the gully is long (over 300m ascent) and the angle sustained. However, there are no particular difficulties and the route is obvious. The cornice is normally avoided by sticking close to the right wall of the gully.

    Escape Route!
    The plateau of Creag Meagaidh is very hard to navigate in poor visibility, particularly the descent into the Window. In bad weather, it may be sensible to ascend the short distance to the nearby summit of Puist Coire Ardair and descend its WNW ridge, shown on some maps as Sron a Ghoire.

    Creag Meagaidh 

    From the top of the gully (NN435875), navigate to the summit of Creag Meagaidh, watching out for cornices on the summit ridge.

    The Window 

    Reverse your tracks for around 300 m (distance) and navigate along the broad ridge that arcs north towards 'The Window' - the bealach between Stob Poite Coire Ardair and Creag Meagaidh (NN427886). Be very wary of the crags lying to the northeast. There is a dropoff just before the Window that should be bypassed on the left (west).

    Head east through the Window and descend back to the lochan at the floor of Coire Ardair


    Follow the path back to the car park

    © 2007