Jarateng Passes

01 Apr 2012 07:54 #53393 by ghaznavid
Jarateng Passes was created by ghaznavid
After yet another case of cancelled hike syndrome, I am looking at some other options for how I can get to the escarpment at least 1 more time before my GT in 3 weeks time. With this weekends cancellation (and after the cancellation of 2 weeks ago), combined with the fact that I am not free on upcoming weekdays or the easter weekend and don't want to risk damage to my sleeping bag and tent straight before a GT, I am thinking of a reasonable day hike to do 1 week before a GT (if this is a stupid idea, please tell me - I just want something easy that I can do in a day, get to the escarpment and bag an insignificant khulu, not to test my fitness or anything, just for the altitude).

Last year in a not very good state of fitness and armed with a full overnight pack and a tent I managed to get up to the top of Langalibalele Pass and back again in day with leaving the car park at 9 and arriving back at the car park around 6 (9 hours without really pushing it and lots of stops on the way). So I am thinking that with a day pack I should be able to really motor this route, climb Bond and get back comfortably in a day. But to try and keep it interesting I am looking at coming down Jarding Pass.

The only info I have on Jarding Pass is from Best Walks of the Drakensberg, it describes it as 3 easy passes not properly shown on maps and rarely used by hikers. If I am correct, the most northern one comes down just south of Bond, and joins the contour path right near Langalibalele Ridge (please confirm).

Basically what I would like to know is:
1) How easy is Jarding compared to Langies?
2) How easy is this route to follow?
3) Is the pass at all rocky?
4) Any photos, tips, comments etc on the pass from anyone who has done it?

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01 Apr 2012 16:44 #53394 by Stijn
Replied by Stijn on topic Jarateng Passes
Magan & I went up the central Jarding's Pass, which tops out high on the Southern slopes of Mount Durnford. It was in August and there was an ice waterfall blocking the "throat" of the pass. So we probably took an unconventional route...

We kept to the left-hand (southern) grass slopes almost all the way up (no path), with one small rock band to negotiate via a steep grassy ramp. I remember it being fairly straightforward. Short, but steep. Took us about 2 hours from contour path to summit without any real breaks. We had camped at contour path level at the bottom of Jarding's Pass and made it up the pass, across the escarpment via a few of the Carbineers and down Langas (me hobbling on a sprained ankle) to camp on the contour path again in a moderate day with overnight packs.

Both the other gullies either side of the central Jarding's Pass were fairly rocky IIRC - the one we used is probably the easiest.
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04 Apr 2012 09:42 - 04 Apr 2012 09:44 #53433 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Jarateng Passes
Can confirm Stijn's description of the central one. All 3 are easy, but Langalalibalele is still the easiest of the lot (shorter, less steep and has trail). Northern variation is rocky (and needs more traversing on steeper slopes to avoid some of this), southern variation is grassy. All 3 are fairly distinct gullies, the exact route is simply navigated by sight and path of least resistance. All 3 start from more or less the same base. The closest one to Langalibalele would be the northern one. You could climb Durnford, which is the dominant Khulu around there - there is a fun, exposed scramble going up along the edge from the summit of the northern Jarateng variation. If you do this, then you could also descend the other side and use the central variation. Enjoy.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 04 Apr 2012 09:44 by intrepid.
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04 Apr 2012 12:07 #53436 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Jarateng Passes
Thanks for the responses :)

So as far as day hikes go, I would probably be over optimistic to try Jarding as a day hike.

My group is looking like there are 2 definites (including me), and 4 possibles, so we may or may not have a reasonable group.

Now with Jarding no longer being a return route, any suggestions of what is better between climbing Bond and Erskine vs climbing Thumb Spur peak and either Bannerman Face or Senquebethu?

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04 Apr 2012 12:43 - 04 Apr 2012 12:48 #53437 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Jarateng Passes
The Jarateng Passes are OK as a day hike. Start early, don't dawdle, monitor your progress. You can also use "Thumb Pass"- scrambly gully on northern of the narrow ridge that goes out to The Thumb. Good combo with Langies, and has been done as a day hike.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 04 Apr 2012 12:48 by intrepid.

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05 Apr 2012 09:54 - 05 Apr 2012 09:59 #53454 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Jarateng Passes
Can someone confirm that I have the 3 Jarding's right? The bottom 2 ones are per the GPS co-ords on this site, but there is no detail on the north pass



And my assumption on Thumb Pass:



[how did hikers live without Google Earth]

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Last edit: 05 Apr 2012 09:59 by ghaznavid.

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05 Apr 2012 11:15 #53459 by Stijn
Replied by Stijn on topic Jarateng Passes
Ja - your Jarding Pass summits are correct. :thumbsup:

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13 Apr 2012 09:37 #53538 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Jarateng Passes
My hike got cancelled :(

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13 Apr 2012 12:50 #53546 by Geordie
Replied by Geordie on topic Jarateng Passes
Hey Ghaz
This is not the first time if my memory serves me.

Time to get some new hiking partners!!! :laugh: :laugh:

Good luck with the GT. Sorry, can't think of any last hints or tips cept the obvious, go light AND warm.
If you were new to hiking I would say: You don't eat as much as you think you do on a hike, but you probably already know that.

G

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13 Apr 2012 13:04 #53547 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Jarateng Passes
The worst part is that this was 3 hikes in a row, and 2 where Mountain Backpackers hikes, one of which had 10 people at one point, but ended up being cancelled 2 days before we left...

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