Injisuthi hikes - 3 days

03 Sep 2012 08:06 - 03 Sep 2012 08:20 #55119 by Clark
Hi All
Im needing some advice. We are planning a trip to Injisuthi at the start of October for which we only have 3 days. Now there are a few points which we want to take in along the way, namely; Marble Baths, Inj Summit Cave and Mafadi. I realise that it might be a bit far fetched to try and get to all of those in 3 days but any advice on route etc would be appreciated. Initial thoughts are to follow past Marble Baths(for a quick swim) and camp near the base of Leslies. Up Leslies and across to Mafadi and Inj Summit cave for night 2. The issue comes with the route down and the 16-18 odd kms to get out and back on the final day.
We are all relatively inexperienced compared to others on the site and are not keen for any rock climbing/ropework.

Thanks in advance
Cheers
Last edit: 03 Sep 2012 08:20 by Clark. Reason: Wrong Category

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03 Sep 2012 11:35 #55123 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Injisuthi hikes - 3 days
Fun route! Some context is that Kobus Besler (the current 9 peaks solo speed record holder) did Mafadi in 27 hours with 3 hours of sleep in a cave. Its 40km total and if you are fit enough can be done in 2 days (I hope to do it in a day some time - but my fitness isn't there yet).

Upper Injisuthi Cave is really too far for a day with a heavy pack, and Marble Baths is too close. Maybe look at tents on top of Leslie's. There are some settlements in the Lesotho valley behind Leslie's but maybe the SA side near the Greater Injisuthi Buttress may be good - I haven't checked this spot out though.

It really depends on group fitness though. If you aren't up for tents, maybe head up to Marble Baths for night 1, night 2 in Upper Injisuthi and head back the remaining 20km on day 3. Without tents you can't really avoid a 20+km day, but the total hike is only about 40km.

"The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't." Douglas Adams

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03 Sep 2012 11:42 #55124 by tiska
Replied by tiska on topic Injisuthi hikes - 3 days
For a three day trip you'd want to go up in two days (first night bottom of Leslies Pass, second night Upper Inj Cave). It is possible to get from Inj Summit Cave back down Leslies Pass to the campsite in a day and I have managed to reach the campsite by 2:30pm with a 4am start at the cave but it is a long day and the boulder hopping section from the bottom of Leslies to Marble Baths comes at the wrong moment in the walk. It really wears you out. Once on the path from Marble Baths back to the campsite you just need to put your head down and hang in.

But if you haven't walked in the Berg much then I wouldn't try to do this trip in 3 days. Interestingly the second day would be the hardest (to Inj Summit Cave). The last day is the longest day but not really the hardest.

We tried to do this trip in three days when we were at school (slept in Junction Cave, just below Marble Baths) and only made it to the top of Leslies on day 2. A few years later, with more experience and lighter bags and the 3 day circuit (actually up Corner Pass) was fine. Note that Corner Pass has a few bits that involve some rock moves and so would not fit.

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03 Sep 2012 11:51 #55125 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Injisuthi hikes - 3 days

mnt_tiska wrote: Note that Corner Pass has a few bits that involve some rock moves and so would not fit.


Judge Pass may be an option - its definitely an easier route, and it tops out not far from the top of Corner Pass. I have looked at doing the loop of up Judge and down Langies for Mafadi and going entirely from the Giant's side - its only 5km further (although getting over the 2 ridges to reach Langies isn't recomended unless you are looking to add dificulty - rather return down Judge Pass).

"The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't." Douglas Adams

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03 Sep 2012 14:03 #55131 by HFc
Replied by HFc on topic Injisuthi hikes - 3 days
Leslie's pass is an interesting one. I've done it three times, twice with a heavy pack and I must say, it was hard. The other time I did it with a daypack only, at a sligthly lower fitness level, and it was really easy.

Having said the above, an alternative way of tackling this in three days may be as follows.
Day 1 - start early and hike to foot of Leslie's pass with heavy packs and tents. Sleep at the foot of Leslie's. This is one spot where one's tents should be safe to leave for an entire day, it is extremely isolated and not used by Basotho (perhaps on only very odd occasion).
Day 2 - with daypack (This can easily be packed into large bag for day 1 trip). Start at 4:30 am if possible and head up Leslie's. (Do take at least 1 litre of water storage). At sunrise you'll be traversing off the grassy spur into the gully, and by 07:30 you should be out on top. . From here one can head off towards Mafadi which is about a 2 - 2.5 hr trip with daypacks following the escarpment at first. Return via Upper Cave if needed, back to top of Leslie's at 14:30 - 15:00. Plenty of time then to get back down before sunset.
Day 3 - pack up and head back to camp, it's still a good day's outing but you can start by 09:30'ish and still make it easily to camp before nightfall.

We did a similar arrangement many years ago via Centenary / Corner pass. We overnighted at Centenary hut, but had a porter with us who stayed at Centenary hut for the middle day to ensure our stuff did not dissappear. We then, with daypacks only, headed up Corner Pass on Day 2 at sunrise via the Northern High approach (a better although slightly longer option may be to use the standard approach to Corner Pass directly up in view from the Contour path). Again, this is a tough pass but not too bad with daypacks. On top of corner it's relatively easy (although uphill) to Mafadi and very easy back. Then however the tough part comes, descending Corner is a bit hairy at times, and the Northern high approach in descend is a bit dangerous. We eventually went down the standard route instead of the Northern High route, and walked back to the hut in the darkness, finishing at about 20:30. The last day back to camp is a breeze then.

Of the two options I'd rather go for the first if you do not know the area well, as all waypoints on and around Leslie's is easily found via GPS. At Corner pass side, especially the Northern High approach, a GPS is much less useful than some rope skills....

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20 Sep 2012 12:25 #55288 by Clark
Replied by Clark on topic Injisuthi hikes - 3 days
Thanks a lot for the input guys. Always useful putting the feelers out for information. Unfortunately the group have decided that it might be a bit ambitious to attempt this over 3 days and as such, the hike has been moved to Mweni to do the Mweni-Rockeries Loop (first night Chi-Chi, second night Mponj or Ledgers). Looks like a great route.
Perhaps we'll attempt the previous plans when we have an extra day available. Also to be able to take in the majesty of the surroundings without constantly stressing over one's progress.
Hike is on the 6th-8th Oct and an update will follow.
Cheers

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15 Oct 2012 19:30 #55447 by Beanman
Replied by Beanman on topic Injisuthi hikes - 3 days
Hi everyone,

I have read a lot of the topics on this site and have learnt a lot. Thanks.

I have been out of hiking for about six years now, last major hike I did was the Otter Trail with my wife - awesome time, once the kids are old enough we will make the trip again.

I have done most of the circular one day trails at Injisuthi a number of years back and now a few younger guys from our church want to go and do a major hike in the area. They are all relatively inexperienced hikers but all of them are keen to go. They are all in their early twenties.

I would greatly appreciate some advise on what would be the best route to do and spend two to three nights up in the berg. How difficult is Leslie's pass for the inexperienced? Is it more difficult than doing Sterkhorn and back in one day? Is it more technical than Sterkhorn (not that Sterkhorn is technical - just a killer on the knees coming down)? The reason I am asking is that I know Sterkhorn well and can judge if these guys can make it.

We are looking at going in early December - I have hiked mostly in December and although the rain can really come down, the berg, imo, is the most beautiful at this time.

BTW - how is the road going into Injisuthi? Last time I went the potholes were bigger than the taxis.

Again - great site, thanks for all the good topics, they really made me keen on hiking again.

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15 Oct 2012 19:48 #55448 by Smurfatefrog
Here's a thread on the road, its not bad at all
The following user(s) said Thank You: Beanman

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16 Oct 2012 08:07 #55452 by Beanman
Replied by Beanman on topic Injisuthi hikes - 3 days
Thanks

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17 Oct 2012 10:00 - 17 Oct 2012 10:02 #55454 by Bigsnake
Replied by Bigsnake on topic Injisuthi hikes - 3 days
Hi Beanman,
I see from your profile you live in Roodepoort.
What time would you start your hike as that might determine what you can do for Day One?
Last edit: 17 Oct 2012 10:02 by Bigsnake.

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