Xeni Pass

17 Mar 2010 14:19 #987 by jsteenkamp79
Xeni Pass was created by jsteenkamp79
Hi Guys,

Tried searching Xeni Pass but could'nt find any threads on it. I've done Cockade down twice, up once, and always wonder how Xeni looks, as the map indicate a steep section, and that ropes may be required. Does anybody have any info regarding the difficulty/grading, as its the only Pass I've not hiked in the cathedral area, and may consider it for this years winter.

Many thanks.

Great site!

Jan-Harm

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17 Mar 2010 17:51 #990 by anthony
Replied by anthony on topic Xeni Pass
What is cockade like.

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17 Mar 2010 20:15 #993 by Stijn
Replied by Stijn on topic Xeni Pass
I've also always wanted to do Xeni myself - looks like the perfect rock pass.

www.vertical-endeavour.com/forum/11-drakensberg-passes/212-qrockq-passes-vs-rock-passes.html

Intrepid's post, 2nd from the top, sums it up quite well. Photos too!

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18 Mar 2010 08:53 - 18 Mar 2010 09:07 #996 by jsteenkamp79
Replied by jsteenkamp79 on topic Xeni Pass
Hi Anthony,

Just a correction, after checking my picture archive, I realised I've only been up, and down once on different occations in 2006(up)& 2007(down), and not down twice as stated earlier :)

From the junction where you turn left out of Xeni, a clear path moves over on the right grass slopes of the pass, with the river down on the left. About halfway the path makes a slow left into the river, where it becomes a scramble over rock into a narrow gully with near vertical rock faces both sides for +/-100m, after which it opens up a little, with the last section being a steep grass slope, with a worn out path with small loose gravel, I found this top section tiring when coming down, as the loose gravel makes it difficult to descend, I lost my footing with the heayvy pack here in 2007 fell over forward, got some bruises, broke the nail on my thumb. However the pass is quite unique as ones view when in then pass is limited to the towering rock faces, right round and close by. If I recall corectly you pass the "elephant" about 2/3 up, on your right.

We did Cockade in one day from the Cathedral Hotel, but only arrived at the top at around 17h45.

Here's some pics of cockade, excuse the black circle around the edges, the guy taking the pictures played around with the lens hood on his camera.

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Jan-Harm

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Last edit: 18 Mar 2010 09:07 by jsteenkamp79.

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18 Mar 2010 09:13 #997 by jsteenkamp79
Replied by jsteenkamp79 on topic Xeni Pass
Hi Stijn,

Many thanks, for the link to Inteprids post, it provides all the info needed. Nice to know it took them 8Hrs to complete, from Cockade camp, as I would've compared it to cockade and try do it one day from the Hotel and most propably run into trouble as climbing it in the dark would be dangerous ! Also would be best to do it with a smaller experienced group [3persons]

Regards,

Jan-Harm

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18 Mar 2010 18:12 #999 by anthony
Replied by anthony on topic Xeni Pass
Hi Jan
Thanks for the info i will definitely put in my to do list. :woohoo:

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19 Mar 2010 13:24 - 19 Mar 2010 13:27 #1000 by Rudolf
Replied by Rudolf on topic Xeni Pass
Last year We've done Tesekseke up with a traverse to Twins. On the way on the escarp we passed Xeni. Got a nice pic "...top view..." of Xeni. We've "chatting" now for some time to do this one but never got around doing it...

Would love to give Xeni a go this year...

How about it Jan-Harm....? :dry:

Rudolf.
Last edit: 19 Mar 2010 13:27 by Rudolf. Reason: Photo not showing

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21 Mar 2010 13:11 #1001 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Xeni Pass
Hi Guys

I did Zeni in 1991, it was my first multi-day hiking trip, lets just say I was a hiking newbie. A bit of a baptism of fire to say the least.

My memory is a bit fussy on all the particulars, as I was not the leader or the planner of the trip...anyhow, here is my 2c worth.

We started the hike from Cath Peak Hotel at night and camped just below the zigzag path that climbs to the contour height. The next morning, we climbed the said zig zag path and reached the contour path and headed for the start of Zeni pass where it crosses the contour path, we reached there about 12:00 and had a bite.

We reached the top at about 6:30 or 7:00 that night, after a really long and sometimes rather scary climb. We did have a rope with us, that we used to haul our backpacks up one section. Some used the rope as a guide with my mate belaying them, but I felt ok and climbed the section. It was not very long, or a great deal I thought.

As we climbed up into the top third of the pass, we could see that near the top, it kind of split to the left and right of a large buttress, we took the left fork. At some places, we were literally pulling ourselves up using the grasses, and we felt as if we were almost close to vertical as we hauled ourselves up. That was the scary bit, but it certainly kept you on your toes, literally and figuratively. There was also a lot of very big and loose boulders, looking like they wanted to averlanche down into us, this will have changed over the years though, it may be better or worse.

We crawled out the top of the pass late that evening, and the moon was already up. My mate Brad (Serious Tribe 2, he was the leader) fell asleep with his toothbrush and his mouth, and I had to 3x's wake him up to complete this task. We were all pretty knackered, and I was pretty hyped on the experience. Next day we continued back to the hotel via the Bell Traverse and I got two serious blisters, one on each side of my heel which really slowed me up. My inexperience and poor sock choice was the reason for that, you live and learn.

I have not done it since then, although i have done many other passes. I often wonder if it was as bad as I remember, or if it was my inexperience that made it worse. The other passes I have done since that might compare, and in no particular order; Cowl Gully, Minaret, Corner, Ka Mashilenga and Buttress. Perhaps these are easier, can't tell, as it is unlikely that I will be climbing Zeni again.

Hope this gives you some ideas.

Cheers
Karl

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24 Mar 2010 21:20 #1003 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Xeni Pass
jsteenkamp79 wrote:

Hi Stijn,

Many thanks, for the link to Inteprids post, it provides all the info needed. Nice to know it took them 8Hrs to complete, from Cockade camp, as I would've compared it to cockade and try do it one day from the Hotel and most propably run into trouble as climbing it in the dark would be dangerous ! Also would be best to do it with a smaller experienced group [3persons]

Regards,

Jan-Harm

Yup, probably not the best to try it all the way in one day. A friend of mine did it as a day loop from Cockade camp (back down via Cockade Pass), which makes it a lot quicker and easier since you don't carry a full pack on the ascent - something to consider. Pulling yourself up on grass tufts and bushes, with a pack pulling you down makes for memorable moments. :side:

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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25 Mar 2010 09:31 #1006 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Xeni Pass
Great thread here guys, thanks for all the contributions!

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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