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South island 9 Bowen Allan Corner

South island 9 Bowen Allan Corner


Postby past my sell by date » Thu Apr 01, 2021 4:57 pm

Date walked: 27/01/2006

Time taken: 16

Ascent: 1000m

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After the Talbot McPherson traverse, we were up early next morning and back up to the Homer Saddle - but this time heading Left up the ridge towards Mount Moir
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From the top of Talbot's Ladder - the ridge rising from the other side of the saddle leads up towards Mt. Moir 1865m top R. The peak in shadow is 1811m Moir's mate: on the L is Mt. Belle also 1865m
BACmap.jpg
detailed map - These mountains are so steep that the contours merge, and the steep cliff of Moir's mate is not obvious
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A pitch on the ridge
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Looking back down to the saddle. The ridge has a lot of ups and downs and was quite time consuming - about Alpine grade II
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A wider view showing yesterday's route up Talbot's Ladder to Mt. McPherson and part of the traverse
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The ridge flattens out giving a full view of the McPherson and Talbot
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Looking down to the road with Gertrude valley behind and Crosscut on the R: Homer hut is just out of sight
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Looking down the Milford side into the head of the Cleddau valley - Ocean peak L of centre
Great-white-buttercup-darrans.jpg
Ranunculus Buchananii - Cut-leaved Mountain Buttercup
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I left my sack here and we made the slightly descending traverse to Moir's mate: standard time to the foot of the climb is just over 3 hours
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A closer view
There are around 35 routes in the area but the classic Bowen Allan Corner (starting bottom R) is an 8 pitch grade 17 (about HVS) and I think the easiest :(
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Detail - the route starts up the obvious slab, breaks out R and continues up easy ground to the foot ot of the corner itself
I did not take my camera up the route, but Jaz Morris from Christchurch has taken some great pictures on at least two occasions and I have his permission to include them . There are more at his website https://jazmorris.smugmug.com/Rock-Climbing/Darrans/Bowen-Allan-Corner-Moirs-Mate-2015/
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The corner includes a classic layback, but the angle of the rock is below the vertical and the friction is so good that the feet get massive purchase - it's not at all strenuous - you just walk up with your hands in the crack :D :D :D If the rock on Laugh Not were this rough, it would be about Hard Severe :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Looking down on the road on the Milford side of the tunnel
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topping out - a wider view of valley leading down to Milford

There are also more pictures of the route at
https://www.ericandlucie.com/New%20Zealand/Moir%27s%20Mate/Moir%27s%20Mate.htm
Including this route map - which is probably better than my guess
BAC route.jpg

I found the top pitch quite hard for HVS, but this was mainly because Sam was a long way back and we were basically out of communication. However I managed eventually and we abseiled back down - I've forgotten how many abseils - put our boots back on and traversed back to our sacks
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Sam sitting in the evening sun
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Another guide - a friend of Sam's - was leading his wife up the route behind us so we waited for them, and descended to the Saddle and the tunnel as a single group
By the time we returned to the road (and the car) it was dark - a sixteen hour day :shock:

The weather continued fine, but I needed a rest, so in the morning we drove thru the tunnel and down to Milford where we watched Man United in a European Cup match on the box in some hotel bar :lol:
I took a few pics:-
Forstera-Sedifolium-Darrans-(2).jpg
Forstera Sedifolia near the tunnel entrance: possibly the only six-petalled flower in New Zealand
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Looking up the Tutoko valley to Tutoko. the Turner bivouac is somewhere (a long way) up on the R and the normal route on the mountain is the SE ridge - on the R
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Mountain Ribbonwood in flower by the road
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Milford Sound and Mitre Peak - an oasis of civilisation :lol:
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On the return - looking up the valley leading to the tunnel
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looking up from close to the Western entrance - Mt Moir on the R - Moir's Mate on the L - steep mountainsides :crazy:
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Zoomed view of Moir's Mate: the BAC is somewhere top L
Fully rested I was ready for Christina next day
past my sell by date
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Re: South island 9 Bowen Allan Corner

Postby dav2930 » Sat Apr 03, 2021 5:38 pm

What a stunning area of NZ. Milford Sound looks impossibly spectacular. Your climb up the Bowen Allan Corner looked superb, especially the layback with the rough rock that made it "not at all strenuous" (that's my kind of layback! :lol: ). Altogether a fascinating report, and an inspiration now that some restrictions are beginning to ease. :D
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Re: South island 9 Bowen Allan Corner

Postby past my sell by date » Wed Apr 28, 2021 2:15 pm

dav2930 wrote:What a stunning area of NZ. Milford Sound looks impossibly spectacular. Your climb up the Bowen Allan Corner looked superb, especially the layback with the rough rock that made it "not at all strenuous" (that's my kind of layback! :lol: ). Altogether a fascinating report, and an inspiration now that some restrictions are beginning to ease. :D

Yes the Darrans are quite spectacular - Deep U shaped glaciated valleys, great cliffs of wonderful rock and amazingly remote. i think we probably did the only three single day routes in the area (there are other climbs on Moir's mate of course) but most expeditions involve a full day's walk-in over a saddle into another valley, and one or more night's camp or bivouac
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