Giant's Castle Pass

08 Jul 2013 17:11 #57579 by tonymarshall
tonymarshall created the topic: Giant's Castle Pass
On the last weekend in June I was part of a large group that summited Giant’s Castle via Giant’s Castle Pass. Although there have recently been some write ups covering Giant’s Castle Pass (Giants hike report by Geordie and Jax, and Hike Report: Giants Castle – Giants Pass by Smurfatefrog) I want to supplement these with some more detail and photos on Giant’s Castle Pass and the approaches to the pass.

We used the Oribi Ridge route to access the area, and had the morning view of the ‘berg from Giant’s Castle to the Cathkin Range, still with some snow on the high ridges, although this soon disappeared.



Near the end of the ridge we passed the old Lammergeier hide. Giant’s Castle is the peak behind the hide, and Giant’s Castle Pass is to the right of Giant’s Castle, behind the ridge coming down to the right from Giant’s Castle in the photo below.



After a leisurely lunch break near where the Oribi Ridge route joined the Contour Path, we passed the newly roofed Giants Hut. See the ‘Giants hike report’ thread by Geordie and Jax for a picture of the roofless Giants Hut a few months ago.



We tented on a large flat area next to the Contour Path below Giant’s Castle, and had a great afternoon view of the peak and part of the pass.



Early the next morning, we departed from our camp, following the contour Path to cross a stream, and then heading diagonally up the ridge towards the Giant’s Castle Pass gully.



We kept to the left (true right) side of the gully on the ridge, crossing a large patch of scree and boulders.



After entering the gully, we found the trail which was on the right (true left) side and led us upwards into the pass.



A view down Giant’s Castle Pass, showing a steep section in the loose scree and gravel.

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08 Jul 2013 17:16 - 08 Jul 2013 17:20 #57580 by tonymarshall
tonymarshall replied to: Giant's Castle Pass
A view up Giant’s Castle Pass.



The view down the pass from the top, showing the upper section of scree.



The view from the top of the pass (in the opposite direction) to the escarpment, the Tent visible in the foreground with the Hawk to the left, kaMasihlenga Pass behind these two peaks and Redi the high point to the left.



From the top of Giant’s Castle Pass, we contoured around the peak to the south of the pass and got a good view of the Giant’s Castle high point from the ridge near the Makhaza ice climbing waterfall.



Soon it was just a short scramble up the final slope, and then 15 of us stood on the small summit of Giant’s Castle.



On the way back down the pass, some of us visited one of the Giant’s Caves, a short detour off the route into the largest gully entering the pass. The cave appeared well used and although the front area was on a slope, there was a flat area at the back of this cave where 4 to 5 could sleep.



After returning to our camp and packing up, we retraced our previous days route back along the Contour Path for a short distance before taking the path to our return route along Giant’s Ridge.



Near the Giant’s Castle Main Camp, we had a last view back to Giant’s Castle and the pass up the Bushman’s River.

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Last Edit: 08 Jul 2013 17:20 by tonymarshall.
The following user(s) said Thank You: diverian, JonWells, plouw, tiska, Selous, Bigsnake, Balthazar1, ghaznavid, brio, Smurfatefrog

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08 Jul 2013 20:09 #57581 by Smurfatefrog
Smurfatefrog replied to: Giant's Castle Pass
Map/track from the contour intersections to the head of the pass


And an alternate way of doing the pass

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08 Jul 2013 20:15 #57582 by ghaznavid
ghaznavid replied to: Giant's Castle Pass
I always enjoy photos of passes - it makes them look so much easier than they actually are :laugh:

Thanks for sharing Tony, can't wait to bag this pass and the accompanying khulu next month :woohoo:

"Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory." - Ed Viesturs

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09 Jul 2013 06:24 #57583 by JonWells
JonWells replied to: Giant's Castle Pass
Agreed, it looks like a doddle from the pics, but it aint :blink:

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09 Jul 2013 07:34 #57584 by firephish
firephish replied to: Giant's Castle Pass
great photos, thanks for sharing!

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13 Jul 2013 04:00 #57655 by Serious tribe
Serious tribe replied to: Giant's Castle Pass
Gr8 vid guys. We had a blizzard going up KaMashilenga Pass and similar wind at the top of the eNtubeni Pass. I recall getting slapped in the face by the tent almost the entire night!!!

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13 Jul 2013 15:32 #57663 by Bigsnake
Bigsnake replied to: Giant's Castle Pass
Well done guys!...and gal.
Best video I have ever seen on the Berg and it's wintry potential.
Have had similar conditions before and have had to adjust the plan.

I always wanted to get a pair of snow shoes which would allow plan A
to continue but the cost,weight versus the number of times one would actually use them.....
But that was 15-20 years ago and I'm thinking that conditions are changing up there!
A lot more of the white stuff it seems.

Anyone got experience with using snow shoes in the Berg?

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18 Jul 2013 00:05 #57753 by Serious tribe
Serious tribe replied to: Giant's Castle Pass
Wow i dig the tent city. Not because there would be lots of people on the hike, which is not my preferred way of hiking, i was just thinking it would make some interesting opportunities for photography. Nice pic, in fact nice pics on the whole report.

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28 Jul 2013 18:11 #57833 by Smurfatefrog
Smurfatefrog replied to: Giant's Castle Pass

tonymarshall wrote: We used the Oribi Ridge route to access the area, and had the morning view of the ‘berg from Giant’s Castle to the Cathkin Range, still with some snow on the high ridges, although this soon disappeared.

I was at this spot at sunrise today, it such an awesome wide view of the high berg! Pity I had to dash back down for breakfast, will definitely use Oribi ridge on my next trip towards the Giant.
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