Twins Pass

09 Nov 2018 14:09 - 09 Nov 2018 14:23 #74197 by tonymarshall
Twins Pass was created by tonymarshall
After my ascent of Scramble Kop Ridge and the Bell Traverse, and overnighting in Twins Cave, Twins Pass was the next pass I did. In the photo below, taken from the Bell Traverse path on the daybefore I descended Twins Pass, the pass is the gully to the right of Twins and Twins Cave, going down immediately below Twins Cave. 

 

I am only aware of one recorded use of Twins Pass, by Reg Pearse, and described in his book Barriers of Spears. In all three editions it is in Chapter 5, towards the end of the chapter in the diary entry for Wednesday October 8, 1947. Pearse writes “I had left Twins Cave at 7.15 am, again with a heavy pack, and had entered what was new country to me, with only a map to guide me. I headed straight down from the cave into the valley below, five thousand feet, taking it easily, and reaching the bottom in a couple of
hours. Then a pleasant walk of an hour over gentle grass slopes brought me to the caves.” The caves he refers to are what we know today as Waterfall Cave, although previously they were known as the Ntonjelane Caves. So the use of Twins Pass was described, without the pass being referred to by any name or in detail. 

It is quite likely that over the years Twins Pass has been used by many people, and even possibly again by Pearce. Although not much is known about Twins Pass, it is visible fromthe Bell Traverse, and from near Twins Cave you can look directly down the pass. The photo below (from March 2015) shows the view of Twins Pass from Twins Cave. 

 

I had also been able to look up Twins Pass in April 2015 on the approach to Christmas Pass in the valley below, from which it could be seen that there was quite a high waterfall in the stream, but with an adjacent grass slope bypass. 


 

From the various views of the pass, and the lack of any mention of obstacles in Pearce’s description of the route, it seemed that Twins Pass was doable without too much difficulty either by following the valley or the adjacent ridge. I had decided that I would
follow the stream and valley, and was about to find out.

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Last edit: 09 Nov 2018 14:23 by tonymarshall.

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09 Nov 2018 14:13 - 09 Nov 2018 14:28 #74198 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Twins Pass
Departing from Twins Cave as Pearce had done seventy years ago, I was soon heading down the upper grass slope section of the pass. Unfortunately the early morning light didn’t make for fantastic photos. 

 

A view back up the upper grass section of the pass as the terrain became more rocky. 

 

The sides of the pass closed in lower down, and the valley became a small gorge. It was still not difficult terrain to walk on. In the photo below the peak at the left on the horizon is South Saddle. 

 

The stream had flowing water from about 2650 m altitude, and a bit lower down there was a minor obstacle to scramble down. 

 

A view back upstream from the small gorge, showing the typical boulder bed and sparse bush in this section of the pass. Twins peak is in the background of the photo below. 

 

Soon the view downstream showed that I was close to the top of the waterfall. 

 

The view down from the lip of the waterfall, with the expected opening of the valley below the waterfall visible in the background. 

 

After descending the grass slope on the left (true left) of the waterfall (on the right in the photo below looking upstream), I had this view back to the waterfall. 

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Last edit: 09 Nov 2018 14:28 by tonymarshall.

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09 Nov 2018 14:20 - 09 Nov 2018 14:35 #74199 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Twins Pass
Downstream of the waterfall the gradient of the valley was a lot flatter. 

 

The terrain was still mostly boulder bed, as can be seen in the upstream view of the photo below. 

 

As the valley widened, I looked for an easy way out of the boulder bed onto the adjacent flattish grass, and would leave the boulder bed just behind the tree at the centre of the photo below. 

 

Walking on the grass terrace next to the stream was a lot easier, especially with the short grass. 

 

After several hundred metres of walking downstream on the grass terrace, I got onto the path, which came up the valley on the true left from the stream crossing at the bottom of Ntonjelane Pass, where this path branched off the main Ntonjelane Pass path. 

 

A view back up the valley, showing that it would also be possible to use the ridge across the river instead of the valley as a route of Twins Pass. Several of the adjacent valleys would probably also be alternative routes. In the photo below, the jagged peaks in the background are The Chessmen. 

 

The path goes past a small shelter near the river, which was relatively clean compared to when I had seen it in 2015 on my way to ascend Christmas Pass.  

 

Locals use this shelter, although it obviously hadn’t been used in a while since the grass fire had burnt the grass cover on the floor. 

 

I continued along the path downstream, just over a kilometre until the junction with the main Ntonjelane Pass path, where I took a mid morning break at the river. Just as Pearse had described it, a couple of hours to the bottom from Twins Cave. After a good break, I headed left up the ridge on the path of Ntonjelane Pass, on my way to ascend Ntonjelane North Pass.

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Last edit: 09 Nov 2018 14:35 by tonymarshall.

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15 Nov 2018 16:09 - 15 Nov 2018 16:10 #74206 by Len1972
Replied by Len1972 on topic Twins Pass
Thanks Tony, nice review of the pass.

Lenard
Last edit: 15 Nov 2018 16:10 by Len1972.

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