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TOPIC: Jarateng Passes

Jarateng Passes 30 Sep 2013 18:39 #58621

From what I remember it was where I have marked the red circle.
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Jarateng Passes 30 Sep 2013 18:46 #58622

Ok - I thought it might have been that. We saw that and my GPS did point at it at some point. Did you approach it from true left or true right? We were true right of there and the approach above a descent drop off looked a bit on the exposed side. At the point of the traverse I saw the other cave above us and headed for that instead.
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Jarateng Passes 02 Oct 2013 08:07 #58660

ghaznavid wrote:
Did you approach it from true left or true right?
True right. Pretty much followed the line of least resistance on the grassy slopes parallel to the main gully.
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Jarateng Passes 05 Jan 2014 10:08 #59306

I'll do a proper writeup on South Jarding Pass a bit later, but in the interim:

Myself and 2 Michaels (Firephish and Hobbit) came down South Jarding Pass yesterday. When you stand at the top of the pass you see about 5m of grass gully and then the abyss. Its a bit disconcerting until you walk 1m forward and see an easy grass bank...

The pass is very narrow for the first bit (I wasn't worried about rock falls as there was practically no rock below the cliffs), it tops out between Kambule and Carbineers' Point (the central pass is between Kambule and Mount Durnford - a few hundred metres north of the south pass, just around the rocky outcrop that is Kambule).

The walk from the Jarateng river in Lesotho to the top of the pass is stiff - about 1km with 200m of altitude gain. The top of the pass is a bit overgrown with nasty thorns everywhere. There are slightly loose bits and marginally rocky bits - but if you stay to the south slope and traverse the grassy banks away from the gully around 2700m (on the way down) it never really gets that steep, loose, rocky etc.

We finished the pass by coming out on the contour path south of the river crossing. The contour path there is very faint and the riverbed below the pass is - what's a nice word for absolutely horrible...

If going up it I would go from the south side of the river, this comes with a few additional stream crossings but is more solid and less overgrown than the riverbed (which we used to approach Central Jarding a few months back). When you get to the large ridge at the base of the pass, just climb and traverse it in order to stay away from the riverbed - you have to gain this altitude anyway. Keep true right/south and you'll be fine.

My rating of the south pass would be 4/10***
For easy of reference - I rated the central pass as a 4/10**

There is also a large cave on the south slopes at around 2700m (same rockband as the 2 caves on the central pass) - however I did not feel like slogging 50 vertical m back up the slope to check it out, so I don't know if it is any good. There are also a few emergency cubby-hole style shelters right at the top of the pass (and some in the middle of the pass too). The one that looked best would have easily been accessible via an exposed traverse, but it was wet so I didn't get a chance to look at it.

So in summary - slightly harder than the middle pass, and with a marginally better view and similar quality of route. No trail, a tiny summit cairn and to the best of my knowledge it hasn't been done by the most determined pass baggers I know.

Now I just have the north pass to do and I will have done all three Jarding Passes...
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Last Edit: 05 Jan 2014 18:41 by ghaznavid.
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Jarateng Passes 08 Jan 2014 11:51 #59329

Photos as promised:
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This is what the pass looks like when you stand at the top

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The view from the river below. The Arrow shows the location of the south pass

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Notice how overgrown the riverbed is
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Last Edit: 08 Jan 2014 11:55 by ghaznavid.
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Jarateng Passes 08 Jan 2014 12:05 #59330

I reckon you need to explore that gully south of the south pass
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Jarateng Passes 08 Jan 2014 12:31 #59331

Smurfatefrog wrote:
I reckon you need to explore that gully south of the south pass

Funny you should say that :laugh:

This would be the gully you are talking about? I call it False Jarding Pass:
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Not clear in this photo - but that top bit is about a 30m high rock face. I thought there may be possible side gullies to avoid it.

I will probably do a proper writeup some time, but in summary - myself and Hobbit went khulu bagging between the 2 hail storms on Friday afternoon. We did Carbineer Point and Katana. I have had my eye on a possible line south of Katana, but with lightning nearby we ended up rushing from Katana back to the tents (we were about 2km away). I did get a good look at the top of the gully north of the peak from the escarpment though - there is a top gully which becomes very exposed after about 50m and then becomes a vertical drop. There is no grass bank to connect the 2. With a bit of climbing it could be done, but it is definitely technical and very exposed - too technical to be called a pass.

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That peak is Katana - there is a rock band the entire way around the summit with a very steep narrow grass/rock hybrid bit to access the summit on the south side. The view from the top is awesome - highly recomended.
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Jarateng Passes 08 Jan 2014 13:01 #59334

Yup, thats the one, I knew you would explore it!
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Jarateng Passes 08 Jan 2014 17:52 #59343

Have seen that gully before too, and agree that there is no apparent way that it could be a pass. Have thought about abseiling down it maybe sometime.
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Jarateng Passes 08 Jan 2014 18:15 #59347

intrepid wrote:
Have seen that gully before too, and agree that there is no apparent way that it could be a pass. Have thought about abseiling down it maybe sometime.

Perhaps there is a trad line up that large crack on the left of the khulu itself. With no loose rock below its probably relatively solid. The MCSA website doesn't have any RD's on Katana.

I see there is an arete route on Kambule - I had a look at it on the way down, looks incredibly exposed.
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