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Thompson's Route

Thompson's Route

Thompson\'s Route

Page Type: Route

Location: Scotland, Europe

Lat/Lon: 56.79944°N / 5.01092°W

Object Title: Thompson's Route

Route Type: Mixed

Season: Winter

Time Required: Half a day

Difficulty: Scottish IV 4

Number of Pitches: 3

Grade: IV

Route Quality: 
 - 1 Votes


Page By: BigLee

Created/Edited: Apr 4, 2006 / Feb 14, 2009

Object ID: 185748

Hits: 5764 

Page Score: 74.01%  - 4 Votes 

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This 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 There

From 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.
Coire na Ciste, Ben Nevis
Coire na Ciste
No. 3 Gully, Coire na Ciste, Ben Nevis
No. 3 Gully, Coire na Ciste, Ben Nevis

Route Description

Thompson s Route (Scottish IV 4), Coire na Ciste, Ben Nevis
Thompson's Route

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 Gear

Rope (Double preferable)
Crampons (mono points might be favourite for this route)
Technical Axes
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)
Top Section of Thompson s Route with Carn Mor Dearg rising in background
Top Section of Thompson's Route with Carn Mor Dearg rising in background Nevis
Climbers on the upper pitches of Number 3 Gully Buttress on Ben Nevis
Top section of Thompson's route

External Links

West 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


Coire na Ciste, Ben NevisTop Section of Thompson\'s Route with Carn Mor Dearg rising in backgroundThompson\'s Route, Coire na Ciste, Ben NevisThompson\'s Route (Scottish IV 4), Coire na Ciste, Ben NevisNo. 3 Gully, Coire na Ciste, Ben NevisClimbers on the upper pitches of Number 3 Gully Buttress on Ben NevisGabbi following the 1st pitch in good late season conditions April 07
Gabbi on pitch 2