OverviewThis is an interesting mixed chimney that starts at the bottom left of No. 3 Gully. The route is 120m with main difficulties located lower down.
Getting ThereFrom the North face car start the 45 minute walk to the CIC hut on the North side of Ben Nevis. The path initially follows the side of a golf course before climbing through a light wooded area to eventually reach the upper car park. Those lucky enough to a have a key to the forrestry commision gate can park here. From the upper car park the trail climbs gently to the CIC hut crossing a couple of streams along the way. From the CIC hut ascend into Coire na Ciste towards No. 3 Gully. Thompson's route is the distinctive chimney located at the bottom left of No. 3 Gully. To the right of Thompson's Route is the route known as Gremlins which runs parallel but with considerably more steps.
The first couple of pitches ascend the chimney. The crux is definitely at the bottom of the chimney where there is a particularly tricky manoeuvre from the right side of the chimney to the left. The limited protection as a backup will test your nerve. On reaching the chimney top traverse left 1/2 a pitch across a broad snow ledge to the obvious line of ascent that is also the last pitch for the No. 3 Buttress route. There was a good abseil point midway along the snow ledge for those not wishing to top out with a second close to the crux manoeuvre. Normal descent upon topping out is via Gully No. 4 to the west.
Essential GearRope (Double preferable)
Crampons (mono points might be favourite for this route)
Nuts (I never placed anything larger than a size 4 on this route so stock up on your 1-4s and micronuts because you'll need them!)
Hexes (I only used these towards the top when things got easier)
External LinksWest Coast Mountain Guides Avalanche information, climbing conditions and weather forecasts.
Abacus Mountaineering Climbing conditions
The Scottish avalanche information service (SAIS)
Mountain weather information servise (MWIS) weather forecast
Metcheck 7 day weather forecast