Stones Pass

29 May 2012 08:56 #54111 by Selous
Stones Pass was created by Selous
Hi All

Did a lovely day walk last year June up Stones Pass.I was lucky enough to gain entry from some private land next to the Garden Castle rd, so did not have to do long walk in from Cobham side.

It is quite an easy pass to do as it tops out at about 2800m so is not so high. We went up the the south pass first and then down the the north pass. From what I can gather Stones Pass is actually three Passes but the central on seems to be more suited for rope work. The approaches to the pass are easy and staight forward - no chichi bush or boulder hopping. A great way to get a newbie hooked on day hikes that access the High Berg.

Stones Pass - South


Stones Pass - Closer to the top


Stones Pass - North (where we came down)


View towards Mineret and Cobham

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30 May 2012 05:08 #54137 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Stones Pass
Thanks, we can add this to our ever growing data base of passes. Not sure why this pass is specifically called Stones Pass, most i have been up have just as many 'stones' in them. ;)

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30 May 2012 05:40 #54138 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Stones Pass
Several southern Berg passes were named after people.

Stones Passes - perhaps named after Ronald Stone, who farmed Castle View farm from 1944 until it was purchased by the Property Development Company (circa 1975-1976). See Valley of the Eland, p112.

www.berg.co.za/notes.htm

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
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30 May 2012 06:17 #54139 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Stones Pass
Thanks. I don't have that book, but saw it once in the durban library last century.

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10 Aug 2016 19:37 #69462 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Stones Pass
This is the thread for the Stones Passes at Cobham. Both passes are simple grass gullies, although the advertised trails may be fictional, and the walkout trails come and go. It is also very far from the nearest camp. The passes are pretty standard Berg grass gullies, nothing funny.

The final installment of my hike report:

When life gives you snow - part 4 of 4

After traversing out from Sandleni Pass, we found ourselves at the base of Stones South Pass. The gully looked simple, so we started up.

There is supposed to be a trail, but we couldn't find it. We stayed true right the entire way up. Hobbit decided to disappear into the distance, while Andrew kept me company at the back.

We stayed high up, avoiding snow in the shade.

This pass is very simple, although the small Berg approach is complicated - talk of the walkout will follow later in this report.

Nearing the top I remarked to Andrew about how passes make me feel so unfit. When I eventually reached the top, a good 10 mins behind Andrew, I realised that I got up the pass in 1h20, a personal record. Hobbit got up in under an hour! [note: he might have missed sub an hour by a minute or 2, I am not 100% sure]

We had lunch above the pass. Andrew melted some snow to fill our bottles and made us all some tea.

At 12 we set off for North Stones Pass, about 750m from the south gully.

The North Pass would be easy in normal conditions, but is narrower than the South Pass. With snow and ice around, this did force our line a bit, and this gully is harder than the South Pass, but not by much.

Once we reached 2500m, we broke out of the gully and followed the top of the ridge above Wilson's Cave. There is a trail along the top, but it seems to be more of a fire break than an actual trail. We found a large steep grass bank further along, which we took down to the river below.

We found a trail that is supposedly easy to follow, but dies every few hundred metres. We managed to find our way to Mzimkhulwana Hut with some trail, some off trail - we even saw a few eland. We left the escarpment at 12 and hit the hut (15km later) at 5:05 - so not bad going for a day that included 3 passes.

After a swim/wash in the river, we turned in for an early night. The hut was in reasonably condition, no mattresses, but all else was good.

The final day was a reverse of day 2 of the Giants Cup Trail - we managed to do this 9km stretch in 1h42, hitting the mountain register at 8:02 AM on Tuesday. This meant we kept our time sub-72 hours. Not that time was much of a consideration, but it is fun to shoot for a fast finish.

Overall it was a great hike. We only got half the passes we set out to do, but that included the hardest and 3 most distant passes in the area. I will head back some time, go up Amakehla, down North Pitsaneng, up South Pitsaneng and down Masubasuba some time - can't leave a task half done!

Stats for the trip:
Total distance: 65km
Passes completed: 4
Time: 71h32

That was the first time at Cobham for Andrew and I, with Mike having last been there 6 years ago (when he was 9). With that, I have now both been to the camp at every High Berg region of the KZN Drakensberg. Andrew still needs Vergelegen and Mike still needs Injisuthi - seems that this year is going well for all 3 of us in terms of knocking off new ground.

On a side note – for those who missed it, or aren’t in PMB to receive the PMB Sun, here’s a link to a recent news article about Hobbit: maritzburgsun.co.za/34402/grace-college-hobbits-tale/
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10 Aug 2016 21:01 #69465 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Stones Pass

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10 Aug 2016 21:03 #69466 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Stones Pass

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12 Aug 2016 15:37 #69490 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Stones Pass
Some hike stats per the track
Distance: 65km
Moving time: 17h00
Average moving pace: 3.8km/h
Total time: 71h42
Total ascent: 3856m

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