Tough! - Injasuti Pass and Hilton Pass

14 Nov 2017 18:53 - 15 Nov 2017 09:22 #72368 by elinda
elinda created the topic: Tough! - Injasuti Pass and Hilton Pass
I have been fascinated by Injasuti Pass after reading Dillons write up some time ago but never thought I would have the gumption or ability to attempt it…..Tony was aware of my thoughts so when he contacted me and said that he had enlisted the expertise and help of Neil Margetts - a most capable and respected rock climber to assist us with getting up this pass, my fate was sealed. How could I turn an offer like this down? My thought initially was to overnight at the camp site at the bottom of Leslies, stash our tents and then go up Injasuti with daypacks and return via Leslies Pass. Tony was keen to return via the infamous Hiltons Pass so this would mean going up with a full backpack and then coping with whatever Hiltons would throw at us. Dillon, Steve and Ghaz who have all done Injasuti Pass offered their thoughts which was digested and mulled over - thanks guys! Hmmm….so …-after much thought I decided I would go for it and also enlisted the support of my long time hiking buddy, Thora. She and I have experienced most of the hectic Berg passes together and Injasuti/Hilton would prove no exception. So the die was cast.

Seven of us met up at Injasuti last Friday - Tony, Neil, Stephan, Christine , Lorinda, Thora and yours truly. We had a lateish start just before midday and arrived at Leslies campsite at 5pm. The weather that looked threatening at times behaved although we had some rain that night. We were off to an early start at 6.30am and made our way up the river valley that leads in to Injasuti Pass. This was heavy going and involved a lot of boulder hopping and bush bashing - rough stuff. We had to detour on numerous occasions around wet slabs at waterfalls and it became quite technical at times. The approach to the top of the pass , involves sustained and steep boulder hopping before the gully narrows and you are faced with the final obstacle the chimney. We were enveloped in mist at this stage and the rock was wet which made it more difficult. Neil went up first ( and made it look simple) and found a boulder to tie in to. He then belayed us all up, with Stephan and Tony providing much needed vocal support to the ladies. The packs were hauled up separately and then Tony came up last, soloing the climb. I am sure it was not only myself that heaved a sigh of relief once this bit was over! From here it was a short distance to the summit and we all topped out at 4.30pm.

We camped at the river below the Greater Injasuti Buttress - it had been a long day and we were all pretty tired.

Next morning we were again off at 6.30 as this day was likely to be even longer. Hilton was an unknown quantity and our plan was to go down on the grassy slopes on the true right to avoid the horror waterfalls that are close to the top of the pass. I had read Klipspringers write up and his party had eventually bypassed the final waterfall by climbing out and up the grassy slopes. We made our way down encountering a few obstacles that needed careful negotiation and on one occasion a rather scary traverse around a ledge holding onto nothing but grass tufts and minimal foot holds. Neil set up a safety rope here, but a fall here would have been bad. We also needed to down climb some rock slabs with the aid of the rope and eventually got into the boulder bed of the gully round about 11.00am. Looking back up at the pass, the guys felt that we had traversed out further higher up and missed the initial grass slope that the previous party had climbed. Again we were all pleased and relieved to gain the relative safety of the gully. From here it was hours of laborious and tiring boulder hopping down to the valley below, it just seemed relentless. We had magnificent views of the Red Wall towering above us and across, the looming Western Triplet. An amazing sight. It was a very hot day and we had hoped to find water in the gully but the river was bone dry which really complicated things as we had run out of water and were becoming dehydrated. Neil and Tony continued down the river bed to look for water whilst the rest of us went out on to the right hand side of the valley which was slightly easier going. They met up with us a bit later brandishing a bottle of water - never has water tasted so good. Lower down the water appeared in the river and we stopped for a well deserved rest before continuing on to Lower Injasuti cave and then the final trudge back to camp. We were at the cars just after 6, so this was another almost 12 hour day. We were tired but pretty elated to have completed two very challenging passes. Tony will do a separate write up with the finer details in due course. I would like to thank Neil for his invaluable assistance in getting us safely up and down, Tony for making this possible for me, Stephan for his amazing support and encouragement, and last but not least, Thora, Christine and Lorinda for the team spirit and proving that us ladies rock! ( in more ways than one….)

I would also like to add that in my opinion these are two serious passes and not to be taken lightly. They should not be attempted without climbing gear and definitely not for the inexperienced hiker












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Last Edit: 15 Nov 2017 09:22 by elinda.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Christine, AdrianT, Richard Hunt, Andreas

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14 Nov 2017 18:56 #72369 by elinda
elinda replied to: Tough Passes












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The following user(s) said Thank You: Christine, AdrianT, Richard Hunt

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14 Nov 2017 18:57 #72370 by elinda
elinda replied to: Tough Passes




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