Itineraries for doing the Bell Traverse

10 Apr 2012 13:39 #53478 by tiska
Sherman's to top of Tseke in a day is quite far for novices. This, plus the state of Tseke (which I haven't done since the flood event) might mean you're better off coming down Mlambonj - although others have commented on the bundu near the bottom of that pass too. So, day 1 to Sherman's (this is about an hour of walking?), then Sherman's to Twins, then back down Mlambonj.

Alternative might be to make it to Bell Cave on day 1, though not sure how much daylight you have on d1.

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10 Apr 2012 14:19 #53480 by joshuabrophy
We planned to leave the Hotel in the ealry eve as we will only arrive late on the friday afternoon, its an easy hikle in the dark to shermans, and we orgionally were going to stay at twins on day two and then descend down mlambonj on sunday, but our novice hikers are up for some adventure hence the decision to go up and over! I didint hear about the floods so am unaware of the exact state of tsektsek? thanks for your input:)

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10 Apr 2012 15:04 #53481 by UnKnowN
Went up Cockade and down Mlambonja over easter with two novices, and Mlambonja was a very pleasant walk down. Left twins at 7:00 and was at the hotel by 13:00, with a relatively slow walk down one tree hill.

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10 Apr 2012 16:43 #53482 by tiska
I'd suggest you plan for Tseke but then make the vital decision at Twins whether to stay there for the night and finish off down Mlambonj or carry on to have a crack at Tseke the next day. If the team is jaded when you arrive at Twins you'll have the answer.

As an additional pointer, in September we went from Twins on to and down Tseke and back to the hotel by 3pm - with a dawn start and a fast walk over the last 3 hours.

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10 Apr 2012 17:43 #53483 by joshuabrophy
thanks for that, will have to as yopu say, make the call when we get to twins:) hopefully the team is not too jaded:)

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06 Apr 2013 10:50 #56559 by plouw
I am planning to take a group to do the Bell traverse the first weekend in May. Keen to ascend the escarpment via either Cockade or Tsekeketseke pass. Which one would be recommended for best scenery?
I did the Bell years ago and descended down the Camel. Keen to do it the other way around this time. :)

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08 Apr 2013 00:49 #56572 by Serious tribe
I have not done Tsek, however there shld be good views of Column and Pyramid as you go up. Cockade has got some interesting sections near the top, see John Hones book. Hey if you go up part of the pass, you cld always decide to do Zeni Pass instead! :woohoo:

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08 Apr 2013 06:26 #56575 by Stijn
I would recommend Cockade pass over Tseketseke. Tseke is the more challenging of the two (even more so with the recent flash flood) but Cockade really closes you in, with spectacular cliffs towering all around you. The first section is in the riverbed with plenty of boulder-hopping, but once you swing left into the pass itself, a surprisingly clear path can be found which takes you all the way to the top via a fairly steep grassy gully.

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08 Apr 2013 07:46 #56576 by plouw
Great, thanks Serious Tribe & Stijn. I have seen a few photos of the top of Cockade and it looks pretty impressive!
I see the path form the hotel to Cockade splits via Xeni cave. Is this a good cave? I know its very close to the hotel, but it looks like we might start late on the first day. And there might be a few newbies in our group.

Also, are there any caves between Cocakde pass and Twins?

We were planning the Tlanyaku - Tsekeketseke / Cockade loop, but i need to rather introduce my friends to the Bell Traverse. :thumbsup:

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08 Apr 2013 08:04 #56577 by ghaznavid

plouw wrote: Also, are there any caves between Cocakde pass and Twins?


The only one I'm aware of is Easter Cave . Its in that massive rocky khulu above the top of Mlambonja Pass.
The following user(s) said Thank You: plouw

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