Not so auto topo

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thebest
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 4:41 pm

Not so auto topo

Post by thebest » Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:08 am

Any one have the not so auto topo cant seem to find it
Alex

VaughnC
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Real Name: Vaughn Cleminson

Re: Not so auto topo

Post by VaughnC » Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:06 pm

http://www.alardsbigwallclimbing.com/monks_cowl.htm

I hope you have nuts of steel mate.

Ghaznavid
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Re: Not so auto topo

Post by Ghaznavid » Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:11 pm

Don't underestimate the walk-in either!

Personally I haven't done the route (nor do I ever plan to - way out of my league), but I have done some nearby hiking. Some pics that may help you:

The normal angle of the route is taken from Keith Bush Camp so you don't get a nice look due to the angle. This was taken from 2950m on Sterkhorn (north summit) looking at the Not So Auto face:
Face Sterk.jpg
Face Sterk.jpg (47.46 KiB) Viewed 1691 times
As for the approach - this was taken from Gray's Pass. The gully on the right is usually referred to as "Cowl Pass" (when combined with the gully on the Cowl Fork side). The approach to the route is up this route - the face of Monk's Cowl in sight is the Not So Auto face:
App.jpg
App.jpg (63.99 KiB) Viewed 1691 times
Are you camping at Keith Bush the night before or trying to push for Cowl Cave as a starting point for the climb day? The climb will be long and hard, a difficult walk-in may defeat you before you even begin (especially with all your gear). Personally I would try to find a spot to bivy near the base of the route (this will give you a tough walk in day, but at least your climb day will be easier - plus bivy bags are lighter than tents). Cowl cave is probably as far from the start of the route as Keith Bush anyway.
"There is something fundamentally wrong in treating the Earth as if it were a business in liquidation." Herman E Daly

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AndrewP
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Re: Not so auto topo

Post by AndrewP » Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:37 am

There is a tiny bivvy cave right at the start of the route. Not recommended as you will have to hump an enormous amount of water up the hill from Keith Bush camp. Rather camp low at Keith bush and do the hike up with only your climbing gear. If you really want to camp high, consider Cowl cave as it is an easy 20 minute contour from there to base of route, and, if you know the std route well then that will make a much quicker descent than abseilling Not So Auto. (At this time of year, you should get water at Keith Bush, but a few years ago I passed there in October and it was bone dry)

As for the climb itself, good luck. It is spicy, and almost every peg shown on the topo is now gone. It is an amazingly line though and well worth the effort. Also, pay attention to the yellow alien on pitch 3 or so - I doubt that any other cam on the market will fit in that hole, so take a yellow alien along. You will want a compete rack from about blue alien all the way through to number 5 cam.

Ghaznavid
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Real Name: Ghaznavid

Re: Not so auto topo

Post by Ghaznavid » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:07 am

If you do stash your tent etc at Keith Bush, just remember that lots of locals use the pass and there is a good chance it won't be there when you get back if you don't hide it well. Perhaps carry it all across the river and find a good spot in the overgrowth on the other side of the river - but make sure it is well hidden, you wouldn't be the first person to have gear growing legs in this area (also maybe get a GPS co-ord of where you stashed your gear so that you can definitely find it when you are done).

As Andrew said - you won't see any water once you leave the Mhlwazini River. I was there in June and the river was relatively low, but still flowing just fine. There has been very little rain since then so it could possibly be dry. When I was on the escarpment a few weeks ago the Jarateng River (Giant's Castle area) was just a series of stagnant pools, and the river flowing down Jarding Pass was dry from 2400m up. Both are usually fairly substantial rivers - not quite as large as the Mhlwazini though, so be prepared!
"There is something fundamentally wrong in treating the Earth as if it were a business in liquidation." Herman E Daly

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