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

26 Feb 2020 19:55 - 27 Feb 2020 07:36 #75726 by swordfish
Having done this loop recently in December my experience vary slightly. The weather was very good but the rocks everywhere were very wet and slippery. In these conditions I found climbing the rock band of the NHA (Northern High Approach) to Corner Pass, the most dangerous and tricky scramble. The last section of the rock band was extremely slippery and there is no stop if you fall. It has good steps in the rock and if dry, it wouldn't be much of a problem. Also inside Corner Pass, the lowest scramble at the chockstone wasn't a problem. It was dry and didn't even have to take the backpacks off. However, the last scramble was very wet and slippery and even passing up the backpacks and climbing without them makes you feel on the edge of slipping down. It's not too bad and exposed but just have to be very careful and make sure you have a good grip at each step.
Last edit: 27 Feb 2020 07:36 by swordfish.
The following user(s) said Thank You: MarleyB

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11 Aug 2022 18:57 - 11 Aug 2022 21:47 #77935 by Edwin128
Hello. I am looking into doing a solo hike of the inijsuthi-centenarial hut-mafadi-lesliepass loop into late August or September.Hello.I read the posts from the forum concerning security. It looks like Inijsuthi is a safe area, but there smugglers operating close to Judge pass. It seems that after you are in the escarpment and go in direction to Upper Inijsuthi Cave and Leslie Pass there are less probabilities of finding smugglers. I will bring pepper spray with me just in case.

I found that the recommendation are to set the tent just before it gets dark. Make the camp in a secluded area far from the trail and to keep lights off as much as possible to avoid giving out your position.Also, try to avoid camping at the top/bottom of passes.

Maybe, you can help with the following questions:

1) Can you expect to find smugglers/shepards during late August/September? It is still cold after all during that time.

2) What secluded sites do you recommend to camp off the trail? I found one in the forum close to the base of Judge pass: 29°13'47.4"S 29°25'51.1"E (Picture attached). How much secluded is it?

3) Which place is better to do the river crossings at the beginning of the trail?

4) Are the places mentioned in this website ( to camp close to close to Judge pass and in the escarpment places secluded enough?

Thanks in advance.

Best, Edwin.

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Last edit: 11 Aug 2022 21:47 by intrepid. Reason: Embedded attached images into post

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12 Aug 2022 10:50 #77938 by Riaang
Hi Edwin128

Welcome to VE!

I'm going to answer your questions in general first, then I'll answer them in detail separately.

In my opinion, you are overreacting a bit regarding the safety issue. We have had many interactions with all kinds of people over many years in the berg, and not once were we attacked by people. I'd say that the dogs roaming around on the escarpment is possibly a bigger threat than the people. Are you planning on hiking alone or in a group? If hiking alone I'd take more precautions, but still not to the extremes you are proposing.

1) You can find anybody at anytime anywhere in the berg. It's as simple as that. Cold doesn't stop people from roaming around during the day or night. Deep snowfall will though.

2) The general rule of thumb is to camp far enough away from trails and passes so that you aren't detected. A bit difficult around the base of Judges as the terrain is undulating rolling hills. You can typically see far down into the valleys.

3) Stick to the normal river crossings, they are generally at the best crossing spots. I doubt there will be raging rivers at that time of the year as it is winter now and there hasn't been that much snow melting to turn the rivers into raging torrents. If you do come across a dodgy crossing, just walk up and downstream a bit till you find a suitable crossing spot.

4) Why not rather sleep over in the various caves along your route? If you go u Leslies you can sleep in Marble Baths caves, then the next day go up Leslies and sleep over in Upper Injasuthi cave. Not sure of your fitness levels or if you want to specifically spend more time in the berg, but it is possible to head down from Upper Injasuthi cave back to camp in a day. If not, I'd probably recommend sleeping over near Centenary hut. A bit exposed yes, but you can also go down to lower Injasuthi cave from here as it is only what, about 3km's away as the crow flies?

Regarding protecting yourself, here's a few ideas to consider:
1) - Pepper spray is good. get the type that sprays a stream, not the mist type as a stream will travel further and you won't be hit by the cloud of eye watering, chest contracting, throat burning cloud.

2) - Another good idea is to carry a motion sensor light and position it near the cave entrance. The LED's will blind the intruders and give you chance to do something.
3) - I'd keep a few small rocks positioned near my sleeping spot. These are super effective against roaming dogs and would be cave robbers :-)

Whatever you do, enjoy the Berg!!!

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18 Aug 2022 17:10 #77957 by Edwin128
Dear Riaang,

Thanks for your reply. I am hiking alone with GPS and garmin inreach. Actually, the idea of using a motion sensor during the night is very good. I will bring a pepper spray with me, and follow the usual precautions.

Best, Edwin.

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19 Aug 2022 10:58 #77961 by Riaang
Hi Edwin128,

Glad I could help. What you could also consider is going with another hiker/s. There is a thread here on VE for inviting other hikers along. I've done it myself a number of times. Sometimes it works out, other times it doesn't, so it is a chance you take, but such is life :-)

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