Cathedral Peak hikes - 4 days or longer

29 Oct 2013 11:16 #58922 by intrepid

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

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29 Oct 2013 11:30 #58923 by Cameron.N
Thank you all so much for the help.
Now I have lots of reading to do :-)

Will let you know once we have planned our route!

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29 Oct 2013 13:02 #58924 by Stijn

ghaznavid wrote: Stijn did a really nice writeup on a 2 day loop up Xeni Pass (I am not recommending this pass, but it tops out a few kms south of Mlamnbonja Pass so the writeup may help) to Thlanyako. I can't find this writeup though - can anyone help with providing the link?


Here you go: www.vertical-endeavour.com/forum/8-drakensberg-hiking/55196-weekend-mission-up-xeni-and-down-tlanyaku.html
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03 Mar 2015 15:41 #62934 by DaleD
We are considering a 4 day hike to Organ Pipes in July
What would be a better route? Up Organ Pipes and down Thuthumi Pass?
Or the other way round.
On the map that I have it shows a path from the Old Fire Lookout to Thuthumi Pass.
Does this path still exist, as I read somewhere that it is no longer there??
Thanks

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03 Mar 2015 16:56 #62936 by Smurfatefrog

DaleD wrote: We are considering a 4 day hike to Organ Pipes in July
What would be a better route? Up Organ Pipes and down Thuthumi Pass?
Or the other way round.
On the map that I have it shows a path from the Old Fire Lookout to Thuthumi Pass.
Does this path still exist, as I read somewhere that it is no longer there??
Thanks

Check out these threads of Tony's
www.vertical-endeavour.com/forum/11-drakensberg-passes/55360-organ-pipes-pass.html
www.vertical-endeavour.com/forum/11-drakensberg-passes/55366-smuggler-s-pass.html
www.vertical-endeavour.com/forum/11-drakensberg-passes/55505-thuthumi-pass.html
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04 Mar 2015 06:55 - 04 Mar 2015 16:15 #62937 by tonymarshall
The route shown on the current hiking maps for Thuthumi Pass is rarely used (although it is possible to go this way), and the more commonly used route crosses the Thuthumi River and deviates away from the Thuthumi River to the north, sort of parallel to the Organ Pipes route, contours in and out a few side valleys and joins the Contour Path at The Nek, not at the bottom of Philip's Folly at C12. There is a trail, and a gps track for this in the downloads section. (I think intrepid replaced the track I cautioned against in my write up with my track.) If you have a Slingsby map, you can see this route on that map.

The path connecting the Old Fire Lookout to Thuthumi Pass does exist, but is not as shown on the hiking map, it is more at a right angle to the Organ Pipes route and zig zags in the valley of the stream that you can see on the map originating near the Old Lookout and flowing south into the Thuthumi River, steeply down to the Thuthumi Pass route.

It is easier to go up Organ Pipes Pass with the good trail, versus Thuthumi Pass with poor trail, some overgrown bits and of course the false summit, so I would suggest up Organ Pipes and down Thuthumi as we did about a year ago, when I did the write up. Bear in mind that although the routes look similar, the Thuthumi Pass is longer and takes a lot more time than Organ Pipes Pass.
Last edit: 04 Mar 2015 16:15 by tonymarshall.
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03 Aug 2015 20:21 #64731 by Drakensbergie
Hi all

It is almost time for the spring hike and I am taking two friends up the berg over the weekend of 11 - 14 September. I am thinking of one of two variations:

Route A
Day 1 MCC to Waterfall Cave
Day 2 Ntonyelana pass to Easter Cave
Day 3 Either to Twins or Mponjwane Cave
Day 4 Down Bell Traverse or Rockeries

Route B
Day 1 Up to start of Bell Traverse
Day 2 BT to Twins Cave
Day 3 Over Cleft to Rolands
Day 4 Camel to CPH

How is Waterfall Cave re locals and water that time of the year?
I gather that the BT and all the way to Twins will be bone dry, but how is the water situation on top?

If you were me, which would you opt for? Fitness levels are up to both, but will a noob handle the BT and Camel as a first time berg trip? He does not scare easily...

Many thanks

Can't wait...

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04 Aug 2015 09:42 #64732 by Dillon
In terms of the most scenic routes in the Berg, for me the Bell Traverse beats anything else I've done, with the Camel route following in 2nd place. If he does not scare easily, go for it.

Water should be OK on top after Twins Cave.

Don't underestimate the trek between Twins and Rolands. Cleft Peak is a monster.

"Mountains are not fair or unfair, they are just dangerous."
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04 Aug 2015 11:26 #64733 by Riaang
@Drakensbergie,

Your route one might possibly lead to you not starting and ending in the same place. If you go from MCC up Ntonyelan and down the Bell traverse or pass the Twins (I am assuming Mlambonja pass) you will end up at the CPH. Down Roackeries will take you back to the MCC. Your day 2 and 3 can be combined if you are fit.

Route B same thing in terms of distance, if you are fit you can do it over 2 days, 3 days will be a leisurely pace. Cleft peak will definitely test your stamina a bit, and then therafter there is also the climb up to Rolands cave, probably another 125m vertical. At Rolands (we were there two weeks ago) there was still a bit of water left in the Kakoatsan river but you had to walk into Lesotho a bit. It might still snow a bit before you guys do the hike which would solve any water issues.
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05 Aug 2015 09:17 #64739 by intrepid
If Route A is to end at the MCC, it can be done by bundu-bashing down from the Puddings, or via a route further down the valley, which is then is a trailed via the upper end of the Isandlwana Valley. Neither would I readily recommend as a walk-out day from Twins Cave by conventional standards, especially if experience levels are low, it can easily become a long day.

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