Gray's Pass - Ships Prow Pass Loop

12 Jun 2019 12:34 #75069 by Riaang
Hi Abrahamvlok,

Ditto on Dave's question regarding day 3. You sure you want to go up to Cowl cave, then down the southern side to Cowl campsite and then day 4 up Shada ridge and down VH pass to Injasuthi camp? Besides it being a proper climb up from KBC to Cowl cave, the cave itself is small, 3 - 4 hikers can probably sleep in here. The descent down to Cowl fork is the challenging bit and is overgrown/bushy/bundu bashing/suffering/etc.etc. You'll find out on the ascent up Ship Prow South what the vegetation in this area is like. 

However, if this is what you want to do then go for it, the area is really spectacular. 

Regarding Ships itself, on the ascent, just stay to the far right (true left) all the way up till about 300m or so from the base of the pass, there  is a faint path through the vegetation, but it is quite difficult to stay on it as it dissapears every now and then as it crosses boulder fields etc. If you try the middle of the riverbed you will take forever to fight through the vegetation. 

I've never seen the river empty at Nkosasana cave. Solidly frozen over yes, but dry, no. There is also a stream just over the ridge towards Moncs Cowl if you are desperate for water, else just descend to find water at KBC. Nkosazana cave is quite often wet/damp but also frozen in winter. regarding it being exposed, yes, it is, but if you take a bivvy/survival bag it solves the exposure and water issues.


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17 Jun 2019 20:51 #75078 by abrahamvlok
Thanks Dave...I was not looking properly...and Cowl cave..I nearly forgot that we actually tried to find it once when coming down after we slept between Monk's Cowl and Cathrdral peak. There was anot guy coming up (with a camera and pictures of Cowl cave) and he was also looking for it. I agree with you...the hike is 40 km and the ascent to  Ships' will do its part on us,

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