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Douglas-Gibson Gully

Douglas-Gibson Gully


Page Type: Route

Location: Cairngorms, Scotland, Europe

Object Title: Douglas-Gibson Gully

Route Type: Technical winter climb

Time Required: A long day

Difficulty: Scottish Grade V,4

Route Quality: 
 - 1 Votes


Page By: Iain Munro

Created/Edited: Jun 21, 2004 / Jun 21, 2004

Object ID: 161278

Hits: 1985 

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This was the first ever route attempted on the cliff by W.Douglas and J.H.Gibson on the 11th of March 1893. They did not succeed as they were repulsed by the 60m top wall. The route was to wait a further 57 years before its first ascent by T.W.Patey and G.B.Leslie in 1950. Not only was this the first ever grade V on the cliff it was also the young, local Aberdonian Tom Patey's first new route on the mountain.


From Spittal of Glenmuick bear right immediately after the visitor centre and head along the land rover track to the small out-house of the Alt-na-giubhsaich. Continue in the same direction through the pretty pine forest for a short distance until you re-emerge onto another land rover track. Follow this for about 3km to a fork in the track. Head left along a smaller path which drops down slightly before a steady 2km climb brings you to the saddle between Meikle Pap and Lochnagar. From here views of the cliffs are spectacular and this makes a pleasant spot for a break. From the saddle head down into the coire picking your way through the boulders to a first aid box (only open in an emergency) and avalanche probes. This is the usual "gearing up" place. Douglas-Gibson is the obvious gully left of Eagle Ridge with a narrow, defined lower section and a steep, wide upper wall (usually capped by a large cornice).

Route Description

Starting up the narrow gully climb straight forward snow often over 1 ice pitch up to the foot of the infamous headwall. Climb left and up into a groove, climb this to a small rock fault until it becomes possible to move left into a runnel leading on easier snow to the cornice. This is often massive and unavoidable.

> Right Fork 60m (V,4)
>Central Fork 60m (VI,5)
>Left Fork 60m (V,5)

Essential Gear

Normal winter kit including:
>Full waterproofs
>Map (OS Landranger 44 or Explorer 388)
>Survival / bivi bag

Essential climbing gear:
> 2 ice axes
>Full rack (including both winter and summer protection)
>Show stake or deadman

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.