Leslie’s Pass is a pass which is very pleasant to hike. There are some great features in this pass like the Marble Baths and the huge cliffs of the Molar towering over you near the top of the pass. It is a fairly long pass but most of the distance is covered by bushwhacking and boulder-hopping up the river. This is also the most direct non-rock pass to access Mafadi which is about 6 km south of the top of Leslie’s Pass.
* * * (6/10)
Difficulty of the pass is rated from 1-10 (10 being very difficult, only to be attempted by the fit and experienced). A subjective quality rating is indicated by the number of stars (1 being low, 5 being the highest). Factors such as scenic beauty and overall experience come into play here, which may differ from person to person.
It’s a relatively short walk-in (8 km) from the Injasuti Hutted Camp up the Injasuti Valley and to the right (north) up the contour path. The Marble Baths Cave is passed just before the descent into the valley which contains Leslie’s Pass.
The distance from Marble Baths Cave to the top of Leslie’s Pass is 6 km with an altitude gain of 1200m.
A clear path takes you down from the Marble Baths Cave to the Marble Baths themselves which are very refreshing on a hot day. From here, the path gets very vague but as long as you keep going upriver, you’re heading the right way. About 3 km up the river, a steep ridge coming from the Molar can be seen. The path climbs straight up this ridge and becomes more distinct from this point onwards. After a further 300m of altitude gain, the path takes you into the pass itself and crosses over a small stream to reach the southern slopes. After a short easy scramble through the rocks by the river, the path climbs up the grassy slopes to the base of the huge escarpment cliffs and then zigzags higher up to the top of the pass at 3100m.
Finding the pass from the top:
Leslie’s Pass is situated just south of the Molar on the edge of the escarpment. It is about 100m above the escarpment river valley and is clearly marked with a cairn.
Marble Baths Cave is a good shelter sleeping 12 people at the base of the pass. There is a good place to camp just at the base of the ridge when the path leaves the river but it might not be too safe if the river would flood. As usual, there is lots of good camping on the escarpment itself.
There is reliable water for the first 3 km along the river but once you start climbing the steep ridge, the only available water is a seasonal trickle at the point where the path contours into the pass itself. There is also a river on the escarpment, 200m from the top of Leslie’s Pass.
More info can be found on the forum, here:
You might also find this description of the terrace path between Marble baths and the base of the pass useful: