Cowl Pass

22 Feb 2011 12:55 - 22 Feb 2011 13:04 #2448 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Cowl Pass
@mnt_tiska, what you have described is entirely possible, but I find these kind of things vary from group to group.

The descent is not technical but does have obstacles which can become tedious and time-consuming (also bearing in mind the recent rescue which took place in this gully). I think the upper half, coming down from Cowl Cave, is more grassy (and thus quicker) than it's counterpart fork coming down from the summit of "Cowl Pass" which has more scree and care is needed. But the exposed traverse from the pass summit around the Cowl to the cave is not everyone's cup of tea. But where these forks join, there are definitely boulders, trenches and some bush which need careful negotiation at times. If you stay in the main gully coming down all the way from the pass summit, there is a significant waterfall section which needs some careful clambering. It is possible to avoid this big step with a timeous exit out of the gully which you have to be alert for (and which isn't that obvious).

Doing this circuit in 2 days is entirely possible but would be pretty tiring, and not up everyone's ally. I've walked to KBC and then up to the neck in one day which was manageable but long and tiring towards the end, and didn't leave much time for enjoyment. From there it is possible to walk out down the other side, as you have done, but again, long...
And personally I wouldn't attempt a two day version overnighting at KBC.

..and I don't bound and leap downhill and in boulder beds like I used to either....:)

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 22 Feb 2011 13:04 by intrepid.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
22 Feb 2011 13:58 - 22 Feb 2011 13:59 #2449 by tiska
Replied by tiska on topic Cowl Pass

intrepid wrote: If you stay in the main gully coming down all the way from the pass summit, there is a significant waterfall section which needs some careful clambering. It is possible to avoid this big step with a timeous exit out of the gully which you have to be alert for (and which isn't that obvious).

I think this is probably where we just got lucky.....

How does it compare with Pins Pass? Pins I remember being steep and loose in places with some drop offs to watch out for.

And parts of the walk in to Tooth Cave were about as dodgy as the climb itself!
Last edit: 22 Feb 2011 13:59 by tiska.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
22 Feb 2011 15:48 #2450 by MountainGoat
Replied by MountainGoat on topic Cowl Pass
Hi Anthony, a friend & I were in the berg this weekend & we only took our packlites which is also +5' & was more than fine. We slept in bannerman cave though.

You might just take your inner / liner if you have 1.

Enjoy & let us know how it was. Also want to do a hike in Monk's Cowl soon!

J

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
22 Feb 2011 16:27 #2452 by anthony
Replied by anthony on topic Cowl Pass
Hi Jacques,thanks for the feed back will let you know when i return.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
24 Feb 2011 19:25 #2465 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Cowl Pass

mnt_tiska wrote: How does it compare with Pins Pass? Pins I remember being steep and loose in places with some drop offs to watch out for.

From what I've heard and seen of Pins, it isn't that severe. At the most I'd rate the southern side of this pass, Cowl Fork, as an entry-level rock pass, much in the way that Cockade Pass is. What helps is if you come down the grassy fork from Cowl Cave (if you care to traverse across to this fork at the top), and avoid the main gully (unless you want simple navigation - then stick to the gully but be prepared for scree, lots of loose boulders, and a waterfall - and don't do it in the rain or in the summer!).

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
28 Feb 2011 15:43 #2478 by anthony
Replied by anthony on topic Cowl Pass
Just a quick report on the weekends hike,i would definitely recommend this route for three days,the walk up to Cathkin Gully from Keith bush camp is not bad, but once you drop down the other side heading towards injasuti, the gully is quiet steep and full of boulders,it is also a long way down before you reach a path that leads out of the gully which takes you to the contour path which leads to blind mans corner.

We found the going a bit slow over the rocks so we exited the gully at a point where a waterfall comes down from cathkin on the left hand bank,we then followed the grass slopes all the way to the bottom where the path exited the river bed.

Was this the right choice? or is there a better route down, as it was a very looong day.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
08 Mar 2011 11:51 #2529 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Cowl Pass
Thanks for the feedback Anthony. I don't think there is a right or wrong choice for coming down Cowl Fork - whatever works for you. At least with your route you avoided more boulder hopping. I think that sticking to the true right is probably the easiest, at least the upper half which is grassy (coming down from Cowl Cave, see earlier discussion). The main gully can definitely be avoided but needs more proactive navigation.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
03 May 2011 11:39 #2782 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Cowl Pass
This hike has been very high on my list of hikes to do, but my idea has always been go up the south side and down the north side, sleep in Cowl Cave and do it in 2 days, am I crazy, or is this plausable (the longest day hikes I have ever done in the berg wer Bannerman Hut and Langalibalele Pass, the latter with a full 2 day pack and a tent, but that was when we returned early after having stones thrown at us, we did still reach the top of the pass though).

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
03 May 2011 11:48 - 03 May 2011 11:50 #2783 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Cowl Pass
Makes for a really long day, wouldn't recommend it, but if you are determined enough you could probably do it. Have been up there in a day from northern side with a full pack on - do-able but tiring and not relaxing.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 03 May 2011 11:50 by intrepid.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
03 Sep 2014 09:35 - 15 Sep 2014 19:58 #61672 by Riaang
Replied by Riaang on topic Cowl Pass

Moderator note: this post was merged into the current thread


Hi,

Could anybody please advise the name of the pass that is opposite Grays pass (to the East thereof), it's the one North of Ships Prow pass. I don't see it marked as a hikeable pass on any of the KZN maps I've looked at, neither is it mentioned in David Bristow's book on Drakensberg walks. Is it a doable pass for a couple of hikers (not mountaineers)? I was originally thinking of doing a hike up Grays and then down Ships, but the last day (with a drive back to Jhb) could become a very long day, so I was thinking I could perhaps go up this pass, looks like if you go the Ship pass route you eventually cross the river/stream that flows down this pass. Looks like the the top of this pass is between Cathkin and Sterkhorn peaks.

I've never hiked here before so don't know the terrain, are there any paths up and down this pass (bundubashing could also take quite a while), looks like there is enough water. Main concern is level of difficulty as some of the hikers in the group are novice hikers. Fitness not a major concern as the hike is only planned for end of Oct 2014.

Any advice would be most welcome

Regards
Riaan
Last edit: 15 Sep 2014 19:58 by intrepid. Reason: Merged
The following user(s) said Thank You: Vynbos

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
Powered by Kunena Forum