Corner Pass / Judge Pass, Mafadi, Leslie's Pass Loop

24 Apr 2012 09:23 #53639 by Ant
Hi Everyone

New to the forum but looks great and really cool topics and lots of info, I need some help and have no friends that hike. All the hiking stores seem to have no idea what I am talking about.

A small group of us (6) do small overnight hikes every so often 1 or 2 in the berg and in Magaliesberg. For the past yr we have been planning Mafadi Peak, collection all the right kit clothes, sleeping bags, tents ect and now we finally ready. The Plan is to head up in Sept over 3 nights and 4days.

We have never hiked in the area before and need all the advice I can get, we heard the best bet would be to go via Centenary Hut and spend the first night somewhere in the area.

Then Corner Pass, my first 2 questions are where would be the best bet to spend the first night? and we have a map and compass is it easy to find corner pass.

Then the next day to peak and to Summit Cave, is it easy to find the cave with a map? Are there markings? Am i correct in saying Summit Cace is upper Injisuthi Cave.

We will be going down Leslies pass, my question would be is it hard to find the pass, we do have a detailed map but thinking about getting a gramin but they just sooo expensive.

Third night is at Marble baths then home. We only going in Sept. but i wanted to try get all the info i can get and at the local stores in the area i have really struggled to get any info.

Thank you

Safe hiking
Ant

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24 Apr 2012 10:48 #53642 by Smurfatefrog
Welcome Ant

Check out this website for its Mafadi hikes, gives you a good idea what you're info for www.spanafrican-adventures.co.za/drakensberg-guided-hiking/our-last-hikes.html
The 3 nights are usually Centenary Hut, Injisuthi Summit Cave (yes same one) & camp site at the bottom of Leslies. You'll do well to get to Marble Baths on the 3rd night
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24 Apr 2012 16:43 #53646 by anthony
Welcome Ant

A compass and map is all very good and well if your orienteering is good ,but if the mist comes in like it did to me on that exact route, well even the best compass is rendered useless.

The time frame and the route you intend to do is all doable,also you need to know where to cross the stream after fergie cave to head up the correct ridge to centenary hut,the other thing is there is not a clear path heading up corner pass, so the pass needs to be visible or you need a gps,leslies is easy to find, from mafadi i follow the escarpment around or otherwise you find yourself dropping down into the valley and then an unnecessary climb up again to leslies.

Also take 10m of rope for corner pass there is a choke stone to get up and some people are not comfortable climbing up there with there packs on.
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25 Apr 2012 11:09 - 12 Mar 2017 00:29 #53657 by intrepid
Welcome to VE Ant.

Due to the popularity of this topic, I'm going to make this thread the official one for all future discussions. I've renamed this thread to indicate that typically Corner Pass or Judge Pass is used along with Leslie's Pass in order to access Mafadi.

Have a look through all these links Ant, some of your questions are answered there already.

Please note that there are official discussion thread's each for Judge Pass, Corner Pass and Leslie's Pass. Specific questions about these passes should be posed there, while they can also be discussed in this thread in the context of being part of the route itinerary. Official pass threads:
Leslie's Pass: www.vertical-endeavour.com/forum/11-drakensberg-passes/53654-leslies-pass.html
Corner Pass: www.vertical-endeavour.com/forum/11-drakensberg-passes/86-corner-pass.html
Judge Pass: www.vertical-endeavour.com/forum/11-drakensberg-passes/53466-judge-pass.html

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last Edit: 12 Mar 2017 00:29 by intrepid.
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25 Apr 2012 11:24 #53660 by Ant
Hey Guys

Thank you sooooooo much for all the help. Trip is booked for the end of September, little nervous but we all cant wait.

New sleeping Bag is being fetched this afternoon and i have everything!!

Thanks again
Ant

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25 Apr 2012 14:46 - 26 Apr 2012 11:07 #53662 by HFc
Hi Ant

I'm no expert here, but have done this route and would make the following recommendations to a rookie (I definitely count myself as a rookie):
- No corner pass. Rather use Judge's Pass. Corner pass is a bit dangerous, especially with a heavy pack. I certainly would think twice about going up there with a heavy pack. Offcourse the experienced guys might think otherwise.
- You are likely to encounter contraband smugglers on Judge's pass or en-route to Mafadi (their own route into Lesotho passes just below Mafadi before heading inland). Note this, but as mentioned on this forum, do not worry. They generally mind their own business and might just ask for something to smoke or eat, or even medicine. I sincerely believe they are harmless. It is important however to know about their presence, as it can be quite discomforting to encounter them without really knowing what their intentions are (fact is, they are mules for a living carrying contraband illegally into RSA, it is tough to make a living in Lesotho and lots revert to this kind of thing). Seems you are a group of 6 so absolutely no reason in either case to feel unsafe.
- Leave quite early on your first morning enroute to Centenery hut. The last part up to the hut is quite a slog en can take some time especially if the total party is not the fittest.
- Having done some hikes in this area and using most of the passes in question, may I suggest an alternative, ascending Leslie's pass and descending Judge's. I.e. first day camp at foot of Leslie's pass (this also requires you to leave early on first morning to allow time for the twinforks stream maze between Marble baths and Leslie's foot), second day on top (either Upper Cave or tenting in one of the lovely Lesotho valleys (if your tent is high wind resistant)), and third day at Centenary hut.
- Lastly, I really do recommend getting a guide. There are a couple of good ones, I do not wish to punt anyone specific, but do refer to the links shown above in this thread. They just know the routes very well, allowing the group to breath in the scenery without having to search for the path all the time).

Enjoy this!

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Last Edit: 26 Apr 2012 11:07 by intrepid. Reason: embedded image
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23 May 2012 15:18 #54033 by Wizman
Hi my wife a i just went up Leslies and down Judges and we are novices to this area, I downloaded the passes to my GPS and if I had not I would have been really lost even with the maps I had. At the bottom of Leslie's make sure you turn left to the contour path and dont go straight with the path as you will end up at Giants Castle as we did.

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24 May 2012 07:19 #54041 by Ant
Hey Wizman

Thank you for your reply, I do not own a GPS. Do you think one would be needed, the more research i have done the more i think a GPS and a guide is a good idea. We are going in Sept and all booked. Does anybody have any suggestions on a guide at a reasonable price?

Thanks
Ant

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24 May 2012 09:16 #54047 by HFc

Wizman wrote: At the bottom of Leslie's make sure you turn left to the contour path and dont go straight with the path as you will end up at Giants Castle as we did.


Just to make sure we are on the same page here with the right info. Are you perhaps referring to the foot of Judge's pass? Not taking the left will take you to Giant's Castle Reserve (eventually).

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05 Mar 2013 08:43 #56169 by PhilipG
Hello There
We are intending to embark on this route in the other direction.
I did this 30 years ago when at university. Do you recommend this variant? or is the first night at centenary hut the recommended plan of attack? What about spending a night at the cave above marble baths? is this cave easy to find?
Appreciated
Philip
Kloof

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