Passes of the Drakensberg

08 Jun 2008 18:58 #2742 by intrepid

 

A table presenting passes of the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park. Provides information on route variations, whether the pass has a trail or not, or if it is a rock pass (Click here for a discussion on the ratings of rock passes) Also indicates of the extent to which the pass is used by the Basotho.

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Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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19 Apr 2011 16:15 #2743 by RobD
Replied by RobD on topic Passes of the Drakensberg
Hi
Nice list!
Easter pass - is that the valley from Isandlwana/Mnweni that goes directly up to Twins cave?
Injasuti and Hilton passes are definately not technical - just a walk, although steep in places.
I must go and look at Manxome!

R

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20 Apr 2011 06:33 #2745 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Passes of the Drakensberg
Hi Rob,

the "Easter Pass" I've indicated certainly forms part of that valley, though branches off earlier to summit close to Easter Cave.

Feel free to shed some light on the route up Hiltons Pass on this thread:
www.vertical-endeavour.com/forum/11-drakensberg-passes/786-hiltons-pass.html
For my own attempt, which was rained out, we were geared for 2 abseils (coming down) based on info given by others that had done it. Been meaning to get out there again to find a less technical route than the one described in the above thread.

Curious about your experiences on Injasuthi Pass too. The technical refers to the short, D grade-ish chimney you climb very close to the summit. While it isn't that hard, 2 of our party definitely wanted a belay, while 2 of us soloed it with packs on. I didn't see an exit before this chimney, nor have others that I've spoken to. Really fun though! See pic below:
{joomplu:482}

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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20 Apr 2011 07:03 #2748 by JonWells
Replied by JonWells on topic Passes of the Drakensberg
Nice summary, would be handy to have other info like gps co-ordinates, elevation, nearest access point (car)and maybe some indicator of difficulty, perhaps a rating system, ooh ooh and a comments section under each pass which will have recent info about path condition, water availability, Basutho sitings from other memebers etc etc. Ok, ok, maybe I'm getting carried away :lol:

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20 Apr 2011 07:18 #2749 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Passes of the Drakensberg
All in good time! There is a corresponding page with GPS waypoints and elevation. There is a lot more I'd love to put into this, but I have to be careful of spending more time working on this site than I do in the mountains (oh..and I nearly forgot my day job) :). The next step is to make the pass name a link to Stijn's pass write-ups.

I purposefully have not attempted my own rating system yet. This can be very subjective, takes time, and has to be done with care since others make decisions based on it. Very roughly though, "trail" mostly indicates easy to moderate, "no trail" is easy to difficult, and "rock" is difficult to technical. Howz that? :cheer:

Anyone that wants to contribute or add their own page, please go for it! Serious tribe has just sent me some pics of passes to add - thanks for that!

And then I'd love to do something similar for caves, and extend what I've started on peaks... let me get back to my own work though!

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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20 Apr 2011 07:42 #2751 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Passes of the Drakensberg
The only 2 websites on the net that I have found to be useful for the Berg are this one and www.berg.co.za , the latter has gradings and conditions of paths, also lots of pics of most passes (including Rhino pass, Mzimude pass, and pretty much every pass I have ever considered using other than Judge pass) and garmin tracks for some of the passes as well as the gps coordinates of most of the tops of passes and caves. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drakensberg_hiking also has some useful gps coordinates (passes, peaks etc).

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21 Apr 2011 05:45 #2752 by MountainGoat
That D -grade climb on Injasuthi looks quite managable, though I'm not a climber :(

Sorry for asking such a "noob" question , but how does climbing gradings 'work'? How tough is D- grade exactly? Or is it also a 'relative' rating, since you did it with packs?

thanx

J

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21 Apr 2011 10:34 #2756 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Passes of the Drakensberg
A grade D is part of a purely technical grading system indicating how difficult the actual moves on the rock are. It gives no indication of exposure, rock condition etc. C+ to D in the Berg is normally where you have to start roping up and use climbing gear, but not as a hard and fast rule. Cathedral Peak is C (without the ladder maybe a C+ or slightly harder). The first pitch on the standard route on the Sentinel, which you can see from the trail, is a D. This is an older grading system which is still used in the Berg. D in the new system is grade 8-9. See tables at the bottom of these pages:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grade_%28climbing%29
peakhigh.co.za/climbing/rock-grade-comaprison/

The "D" on Injasuthi Pass is straightforward and has no scary exposure, but this kind of thing is very subjective and depends on the person. If you fell you would injure yourself however.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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23 Apr 2011 06:48 #2758 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Passes of the Drakensberg
There are some passes I have seen which look interesting, but the description as "rock" has put me off them in the pass, has anyone done Redi, Lotheni or Rhino pass and if so, what are these passes like, are ropes required, are there any waterfalls to climb?

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23 Apr 2011 16:29 #2759 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Passes of the Drakensberg
Redi has a short, scrambly bit where you may want some rope to haul your packs up. Apparently not that bad. Rest is steep grass. Lotheni North Fork (the one indicated on the map) does have a nasty waterfall section. Lotheni South Fork (which should have been indicated on the map) is straightforward, just steep grass slopes. Rhino Pass apparently just a little scrambly - will confirm in a week B)

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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