A staggered grand traverse

10 Jul 2013 18:59 #57612 by ghaznavid
Ok, did a rough run through - the sections could be done like this, not much thought put into it:

Dagga Nek (or a pass further north if there is one, I don't know the Free State Berg) to Beacon Buttress Gully
Chain Ladders to Icidi
Ifidi to Fangs
Mbundini to Rockeries
Mnweni to Bell Traverse
Mlambonja to Thuthumi
Organ Pipes to Thlanyako
Thlanyako to Ships Prow
Grays to Leslies
Apes to Judge
Corner to Bannerman
Gypaetus to Langies
South Hlubi to South Jarding
Central Jarding to Giants
Giant to kaMasihlenga
Ukhlebe to South Hlathimba
North Hlathimba to Ngaqamadola
Mlahlangubo to Mqatsheni
Mtshinthini to Sani
Phinong to Stones South
Stones North to Mzimkhulu South
Mzimkhulu North to Rhino North Gully
Verkyker to Bollard
Wilson to Mzimude South South
Mzimude North to Walker South
Walker North to Isicutula and Bushman's Pass

Monk's Cowl area is a problem. Gray's Pass with Thlanyako and Ship's Prow with Leslies would be so much easier...

Quite a few tough ones in there, but would be an epic effort.

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

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10 Jul 2013 19:12 #57613 by Smurfatefrog
Good luck to those willing to do everything!

Why have you missed out some like Tseketseke & Mashai? Xeni, Cockade as well

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10 Jul 2013 19:20 #57614 by ghaznavid

Smurfatefrog wrote: Why have you missed out some like Tseketseke & Mashai? Xeni, Cockade as well


Tseke and Cockade could be put in with the Mlambonja to Thuthumi mix, but it was a case of trying to keep the total number down.

Mashai I have done enough times, but could easily be switched out with Rhino Pass. Rhino Pass could be kept if switched with Verkyker.

Xeni is a "probably not" on my to do list - there are about 120 passes, I am hoping to open at least 5 new ones and have only done 20 to date (in 3 and a half years). Lots of passes I might get to in the distant future.

The one I am saddest to miss Mkomasi Pass and Nhlangeni Pass - but basically all Vergelegen passes are 3 day round trips. I will get to more Vergelegen Pass at some stage...

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

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10 Jul 2013 21:58 #57616 by ahowes
Replied by ahowes on topic A staggered grand traverse
Like the mix!!! It is a great idea!

Leslies is a toughie! Did it and it was tough up and down with a long boulder section!

My sister did Ship's prow, I'm not sure if she ever fully recovered from that one!!

Maybe that mix might be heavy! Greys is easy enough!


Mashai pass and Rhino's are they not the same pass! My map says Mashai pass at the top of the river by Rhinos but Mashai Peak is further south.

ok hiking tomorrow goodnight!

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11 Jul 2013 05:05 #57617 by Smurfatefrog

ahowes wrote: Mashai pass and Rhino's are they not the same pass! My map says Mashai pass at the top of the river by Rhinos but Mashai Peak is further south.

Mashai Pass is south of the Rhino, Rhino Pass is north of the Rhino. Mashai is the tourist path up past Pillar Caves
Mashai Peak is quite a bit further south of the pass

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11 Jul 2013 05:43 #57618 by Stijn
Replied by Stijn on topic A staggered grand traverse
Don't miss Manxome either - once you do Mnweni Pass and look across the valley, you will understand why...

Would be best combined with Rockeries or Rwanqua (I see that one is also missing from your list).

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11 Jul 2013 06:22 #57620 by ghaznavid

ahowes wrote: Mashai pass and Rhino's are they not the same pass!


I've done Mashai a few times and did Rhino Pass north gully earlier this year. Rhino Pass is easier and much shorter (you leave the escarpment at 2900m and leave the pass at 2500m, about 1.5km distance is covered during that), but there's no path, there's an exposed tricky bit near the top and the approach (while awesome) is very long and slow. Overall Rhino pass is definitely a worthwhile pass.

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

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11 Jul 2013 06:47 #57621 by ghaznavid

Stijn wrote: Don't miss Manxome either - once you do Mnweni Pass and look across the valley, you will understand why...

Would be best combined with Rockeries or Rwanqua (I see that one is also missing from your list).


I identified 88 possible passes (somehow Manxome wasn't on my list, neither was Mkomasi). Not sure which 30 other passes I missed.

Its easy to leave out the Inner Tower Gully, Hilton Pass, Nguza Pass and other technical passes. But there's so many passes that are worth adding, but just don't fit in.

I identified the following number of passes per area:
- Free State 2 (sure there is more than that)
- RNNP 3 (well, technically 2 are Free State)
- Mnweni 9
- Didima 8
- Monk's Cowl 2 (not counting the 2 easy rock routes as passes)
- Injisuthi 3
- Giants 12
- Lotheni 8
- Vergelegen 8
- Cobham 1
- Garden Castle 26! Could spend years doing these passes alone
- Bushman's Nek 6

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

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11 Jul 2013 10:08 #57629 by ghaznavid
Ok - looked at the VE pass list, took the list and removed all small Berg passes, there are 105 passes on the list. Its a bit out of date though.

Missing passes:
- South Saddle Pass
- Gypaetus Pass
- North Hlubi Pass
- Mzimude South South Pass
- Jonathan's Gate Pass (one of David Gay's passes)

A few errors:
- Uklebe Pass is at Lotheni, not Cobham - probably due to the lack of info we have on the pass. I want to do it some time so we can learn more about it
- The map has Cobham's south border as North Hodgeson's, so Masubasuba south are all Garden Castle (hence the grossly exaggerated number of passes there, and only Sani being at Cobham on my list) - this is a minor technicality and really doesn't matter.

A few passes I don't know of:
- Barricade Pass (Free State)
- Christmas Pass (Didima/Mnweni) - I think this is a variation of Ntonjelana Pass, I believe some call it Easter Cave Pass?
- Elephant Gully (Didima), I know the route, but can you traverse from Cockade to this pass without hitting the escarpment? I guess it could be a pass in a different sense of the word to what I am used to
- Eastern Gully (Lotheni), I thought this was a rock route, but I really don't know
- Elandshoek Pass (Lotheni) - I know where it is, but I don't know anything about it
- Dykes Pass (Vergelegen) - no clue about this one
- Twin Peak Pass (Vergelegen) sounds awesome, but I don't know it

I have actually really enjoyed looking through the Berg passes. Now to go and do as many of them as possible (and make the list longer by opening some new ones)...

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

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