Xeni Pass

25 Mar 2010 10:03 #1007 by jsteenkamp79
Replied by jsteenkamp79 on topic Xeni Pass
Hi Guys,

I would also like to say thank you for all the contributions, and for taking time, to share your views and experiences. This forum certainly provided the platform to gain more knowledge on Xeni pass and the various ways to hike it. I'll post some info & pic's when weve completed it.

Rudolf - I'll have to check the calender, and see if it can fit in together with the other hikes we've already planned in the drakensberg this winter, maybe later in August... ;)

Many thanks,

Jan-Harm

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11 Apr 2010 20:12 #1124 by SeriousTribe2
Replied by SeriousTribe2 on topic Xeni Pass
Hi Jan-harm

Lead a party up here (many years ago - see Serioustribes account)
The pass is very long, longer with a big party, so keep it tidy.
A lot of steep grass, but this is very often better than the rock.
Two things stood out:
1. At the point where you get to that you can see both left and right forks of the pass you come to a very heavily eroded bank (large boulder and earth) on the left. It appears that one has to climb this rather precarious setup. which we did. YOU DON'T. just left of this again, and in a shallow gully is (yet another) steep grass ramp. Take that.
2. Older maps (slingsby) indicate that one should take the right hand fork (facing up). This was the route pre Cyclone Demoina. This side was wiped out and is now choked with boulders from car to small apartment size. Stay left on (yet another) steep grass bank, gently sloping off to the top.

A long pass - epic enduro. Enjoy.

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28 Feb 2012 12:18 #53125 by Raat83
Replied by Raat83 on topic Xeni Pass
Hi there,

I was just wondering how hard is Xeni pass?

What I would like to do is, go up Xeni in one day and down either Tseki Tskei or Cockade the next day. Is this possible and how bad is the climb at the end? Would I need to take climbing gear? I have see all the right ups on it, I was just wondering if any one has climbed it lately and there experiences on it.

I have been up Tseki Tseki and cockade in one day, so is Xeni that much harder?

Thanks for all your help!

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28 Feb 2012 14:02 - 28 Feb 2012 14:13 #53126 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Xeni Pass
Hi Raat83,
I merged your post with the existing Xeni Pass thread to keep all the similar info in one place.

I think Xeni is fine for anyone with a sense of adventure. It's definitely more challenging than Cockade and Tseke.

You don't need climbing gear. The worm hole at the top is technically speaking technical :) , but its not hard and is actually fun and a highlight. If I had to guess you could grade it a 7 or an 8 and its not exposed since you really are in a tunnel.

The bottom of the pass does have bushes and obstacles you have to negotiate. And there are several waterfalls which require steep scrambling through bushes and grass to bypass and this is actually the harder part of the pass I think - not the wormhole. The throat of the pass before the wormhole is like Ifidi Pass - a narrow, steep gully full of boulders with small waterfalls.

Yes it would be possible to do the pass in the day...budget on a solid 10-12 of hiking (not including stops), assuming everything goes smoothly. The bushes and waterfalls are time consuming. That would be my guess, but I haven't done it in a day. People pull off some pretty amazing stuff in the Berg, so I guess the sky is the limit. It is not something I'd recommend by conservative standards however, so if you attempt that then make sure you enjoy that kind of hiking. You could always do the wormhole in the dark. :evil:

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 28 Feb 2012 14:13 by intrepid.

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28 Feb 2012 22:30 #53127 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Xeni Pass
Hi Raat83

Xeni pass was my first drakensberg hike back in 91'. Yikes I sound like a fossil!

We did a quick night hike from the hotel and camped just below the switchbacks that come after C21 junction. The next day we took a leisurely walk (would have slightly faster had we known what we were up against)to the base of the pass and reached it about 10am had a snack and then started the climb. We summited at about 6:30 that night, so about 8.5 hours. There was no worm hole back then as the pass has had a lot of rockfall since that time. We did however have to climb fairly high rock-walls and haul packs on one or two occasions. I think that Intrepid's account would mean that he by-passed these.

Route finding was slow as we were not even sure if we could actually get out of the pass. Certainly having a site like this gives much more confidence knowing that others have done it and there are images to look at as well to give an idea of what to expect. It was after this trip that I decided to buy a camera, so sadly I have no images from it!

Those were indeed pioneering days. We were unsure if the pass had even been climbed before us. Speaking of which, @intrepid, any idea who first climbed it and when. It would be interesting to see who on the forum has done it and when.

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29 Feb 2012 17:25 #53129 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Xeni Pass
To the best of my knowledge, Xeni Pass has the highest percentage of people attempting the pass requiring mountain rescue when compared to other berg passes, so good luck, don't become a statistic :)

Although this is coming from a person who almost took a 5m fall on Mikes Pass last weekend (the shortcut route that is)...

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins

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05 Mar 2012 13:28 #53146 by Raat83
Replied by Raat83 on topic Xeni Pass
LOL @ Ghaznavid, Ill try not to be a statistic.

We going to give it a go in Easter, up Xeni and then down pass twins cave and orange peel gap. Should be a good walk!

Thanks for all the info! :)

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16 Oct 2012 05:34 - 16 Oct 2012 05:37 #55451 by Stijn
Replied by Stijn on topic Xeni Pass
We're planning to head up Xeni Pass soon, so I just wanted to confirm the route with those in the know. Several posts back on this thread, ST talks about the gully to be followed having changed since a flash flood. So which fork would you recommend these days? And which fork is the one with Intrepid's worm-hole?

In ST2's photo from the quiz thread ( www.vertical-endeavour.com/media/kunena/attachments/83/3.jpg ), I presume that's the left and right fork visible in the photo (the gullies with the snow)? Or is the left fork further to the left, obscured by the buttress in the foreground?

And lastly, is the route to be followed simply up the boulder-bed from the Cockade Pass junction or is there some other trickery involved?

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Last edit: 16 Oct 2012 05:37 by Stijn.

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16 Oct 2012 22:33 #55453 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Xeni Pass
Hi Stijn

That large rock between the two snow gullies is Zeni Rock. The left gully is indeed the correct pass and the worm-hole must be on that side, as i know of one one who has done he right hand side gully. You may be able to hit the steep grass bank on the lhs after Cockade off-ramp. I did walk on it for about 50 metres last year when ferreting around the area, but am not sure how long you could use it. It was certainly better than the boulder bed but at a bit of an angle. I wish i had taken some images of this section to show you but alas i did not.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Stijn

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18 Oct 2012 05:43 #55459 by Stijn
Replied by Stijn on topic Xeni Pass
I have been chatting to Intrepid about this offline and it turns out that they went up the right-hand snow gully, and that's where the wormhole is. There is a good photo of the upper section of this gully in the VE Galleries: www.vertical-endeavour.com/gallery/drakensberg/passes/29-xeni-pass.html

So it appears that both gullies are do-able. We'll probably aim to do the right-hand one - I'll report back after our trip.

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