Tseketseke Pass

27 Mar 2012 11:09 #53312 by Geordie
Tseketseke Pass was created by Geordie
We did the pass this last weekend and although we all survived it was a long hard day with almost everyone taking a tumble or two. If bad weather had set in, it would have been another matter.
I am not sure exactly when the bad water came down Tseketseke, but about 4 years back it was a completely different pass. I remember taking up a bunch of “First Timers” and although it was a long day, it was certainly not dangerous, which, in my opinion, it now is.
Floods, ( I can only assume floods) in the past few years have scoured the river down by up to 10m in places, leaving very exposed banks which are very unstable. Unfortunately the river has also widened, eating away at the path leaving one to look for alternate routes, usually clinging on to steep slopes or boulder hopping. The boulder hopping is OK, but it tires one out and there are places where it’s just too steep and “Slope Clinging” becomes the order of the day. The thing is, you can’t just climb out of the river, and the banks are just too deep, steep and very unstable in most places.
There is a lot of collective experience in our little group of 8, and the feeling is that the pass is now still doable, but dangerous and certainly not for the inexperienced and not for large groups.
The VE track was spot on, but now academic in most places. In the past one could walk from the camp to the Hut in less than 5 minutes, it’s now a 10 minute rock hop. You can, however, still get to water from the camp without having to abseil, just.
We also noted the condition of the contour path in this area. Disgusting is a good description, and we were happy not to be walking towards Cockade along it. Just what are we getting for our R50/day, one asks oneself. Just a wee bit of erosion control and a good weed whacking once a year.
Anyway rant over, be warned, PM me for more info if required, looking forward to the next one.
G.
The following user(s) said Thank You: intrepid, Wizman

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29 Mar 2012 16:27 #53370 by MountainGoat
Replied by MountainGoat on topic Tseketseke Pass
you are spot on on this 1!

I haven't heard of Tseketseke being a hard pass, but when a friend & I descended it last year we were like what? It has been eroded quite bad a you've mentioned & dangerous for sure. We also took a few tumbles. I bent my 1 trekking polea bit, bt it was fixable.

We were very tired & happy when we reached the hut (came from twins that morning)

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29 Mar 2012 20:58 #53375 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Tseketseke Pass
Its sad - Tseke was on my to-do list until I read up about the damage in the floods a few years ago.

Please post some pics :)

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30 Mar 2012 13:48 - 30 Mar 2012 14:01 #53384 by Wizman
Replied by Wizman on topic Tseketseke Pass
I also broke my stick on the pass, If you are a rock rabbit you can do the pass . I would not like to do it going up but down is doable,It was a adventure .I have only one photo as we where going up as i packed my camera away when we reached the wash away. Geordie has a good shot of it.

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Last edit: 30 Mar 2012 14:01 by intrepid. Reason: embedded image

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30 Mar 2012 14:13 - 30 Mar 2012 14:23 #53385 by Jax
Replied by Jax on topic Tseketseke Pass
Here are a few pics. As you can see it starts out great, but once you are forced into the river bed there are a lot of very unstable rocks and scree to manouvre. A great adventure for me, but several of our group came away with another 'berg tattoo' or 2!















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Last edit: 30 Mar 2012 14:23 by Jax.
The following user(s) said Thank You: intrepid, diverian, ghaznavid, brio, Smurfatefrog, tonymarshall

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05 Apr 2012 04:42 #53448 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Tseketseke Pass
Man, I would have loved to be in a position of safety watching that lot come down! It would have been epic, especially if you could have caught it on video.
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10 Apr 2012 07:56 - 10 Apr 2012 08:12 #53468 by Geordie
Replied by Geordie on topic Tseketseke Pass
You are welcome Karl, as long as we can kick the hell out of you calves and thighs until they feel the way ours did.
Actually, in true berg hiker fashion, we have all forgotten the hardships of the day and remember the good things like no serious injuries, pitching 4 tents on the Tseketseke camp site, a tent party that evening and an enjoyable stroll back to base the next morning. Eating burgers in 5 day old hiking cloths at the hotel while larney wedding guests gawked in wonder.

Good stuff, all.
G

Good stuff, all.
G
Last edit: 10 Apr 2012 08:12 by Geordie.

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11 Apr 2012 06:24 #53490 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Tseketseke Pass
Hi Geordie

I meant the rocks during the storm, not the hikers!!!

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11 Apr 2012 08:23 #53498 by Geordie
Replied by Geordie on topic Tseketseke Pass
Ah yes, sorry Karl, reading glasses all nice and clean now. Agreed it would have been quite spectacular, probably noisy too.
What is the associated phenomena? An Isolated Humongous Cloud Burst IHCB?? The adjacent Cockade and Camel (Organ pipes) did not get the same treatment. Quite something

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11 Apr 2012 08:51 - 11 Apr 2012 09:41 #53499 by tiska
Replied by tiska on topic Tseketseke Pass
These flash floods are really interesting. I'd expect that there was a major downpour focused on the Tseke catchment. The steep valley sides and the impervious rock mean that the water concentrates into the river very fast. If an average of 20mm fell over the basin in a few hours and if 50% of this were available for runoff (some will evaporate, some will inflitrate into the soil, some will be intercepted by the veg), then about 60 thousand cubic metres of water would need to flow past Tseke hut in a couple of hours, assuming the catchment is about 6km squared. That amount of water has some serious potential.

20mm of rain is very much on the low side of what fell. 80mm or more is quite possible too.
Last edit: 11 Apr 2012 09:41 by tiska.

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