Passes - Bowden Pass
|Tape or rope advised
The idea of this pass started on 22nd Sept 2017 with an exploratory which took me to within 30 vertical metres of the top! My aim was to find another possible pass, heading up the ramp on the west bank up onto Elizabeth Bowden Ridge. This route heads up to the left after the first obstacle (see Lawbeck Pass notes). As each new level of cliffline is reached keep heading left and up until you reach the top cliff wall. Follow the "ramp" up the side of the wall to the right. In my attempt I was left with a few exposed climbs and shelved the project. Since then someone has put in rope and rungs to reach a climbing area. Note the route up to where these rungs are is very steep.
Access: Fairmont Resort (Grand Cliff Top Walk)
I have not yet verified either of these sets of notes. Thanks to John Newman and Keith Jebb (respectively) who contributed them.
John (from above): There is a semi-established track with fixed ropes and rungs to descend to the climbers ledge. After checking out the view, back track until you come across the giant turpentine-looking tree, and start contouring into the gully without gaining or losing elevation. You'll reach a cave at the base of the cliff. That's about when you'll see an easy way to walk down to the creek safely. From there carefully descend the boulders or creek-side until you reach Lindemann's Pass. There is one 2m crumbly slope near Lindemann's that is slightly awkward to descend so I used a tape sling as a handline there, doubling it over a tree. This GPX is accurate to reach the top of the pass: https://www.plotaroute.com/route/1700190.
Keith (from below): ...ascending the slopes keeping high to the south, and west whenever possible, steeply but mostly very steeply through loose dirt and dense scrub. There was no sign of any track, the slope soon became 60+ degrees, with small trees providing a degree of safety. And eventually the orange cliff base was reached about 80m from the nose. I was surprised that immediately before me there were rebar steps recently glued into the rock ascending a faultline… and below me following the cliff line to the South was a 25m ascent rope up the steep slope. Presumably a climbers track.
Ascending the steps was exposed but straightforward, with only one short section that required extra care, having only poor or wobbly natural handholds. Most parties would need to be roped up to ensure safety & handle the exposure.
It was maybe 20m of ascent, then the pad continued Northwards and contoured through some more roped sections with additional planks over the steep parts.
And Yes, the ascent to get to the base of the climbers route really is that steep.
The faint pad continues along the contours North and then turns left and up onto the ridge to meet the pad that heads out to Isobel Bowden Point.
Following the occasional pink flagging tape, in less than 10 minutes I was at the small, cosy & level Point (which is to the Eastern side) with excellent views of Lawtons Gully and Gladstone Lookout to the East…