Manxome Pass

12 Oct 2011 17:44 #4329 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Manxome Pass
In June when I did Rwanqa Pass, we camped overnight on the summit beneath the Black and Tan Wall and the lights of the mine were clearly visible in the distance. A lot of lights over quite a big area, and quite a surprise intrusion of civilisation at the top of the 'Berg.

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12 Oct 2011 20:12 - 12 Oct 2011 20:15 #4331 by tiska
Replied by tiska on topic Manxome Pass
Off topic I know, though only by a couple of pases - how was Ranqwa pass Tony? Did you check out the cave on the way up on the left? Any signs of anyone else using Ranqwa? And how bad was the bush lower down the pass?

Did you see any traffic on the big path that runs near the escarpment between Ranqwa and Rockeries?
Last edit: 12 Oct 2011 20:15 by tiska.

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13 Oct 2011 11:03 #4342 by tiska
Replied by tiska on topic Manxome Pass
Many thanks for all the details. The photos make for a really nice description of the pass.

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13 Oct 2011 18:02 #4352 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Manxome Pass
If there are two caves on Manxome pass, why on earth would people choose to name them things like Manxome Cave, what about Bandersnatch Cave, or Red Queen Cave...

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07 Dec 2013 09:26 - 07 Dec 2013 09:43 #59192 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Manxome Pass
Looking back over this old thread and my pics of the pass from Mnweni - does look like a pretty cool pass.



And that big buttress behind it is the home of the khulu "Pins Buttress" (a few hundred metres behind the escarpment edge).

Ps. for the record, apparently the word "Manxome" is a hybrid of the words "Manly" and "Fearsome".

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Last edit: 07 Dec 2013 09:43 by ghaznavid.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Serious tribe

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28 Sep 2015 14:19 - 28 Sep 2015 15:32 #65202 by Richard Hunt
Replied by Richard Hunt on topic Manxome Pass
Hi Guys. A group of us ascended Manxome Pass at Mnweni this last week end. It was the most scenic pass that I have ever done. Elinda will soon post a detailed write up of this pass and also Rwanqa Pass which we went down. For tasters I have attached a link to my photos of Manxome Pass and soon also a link to photos of Rwanqa Pass. We took the route/approach that Stijn mentioned in 2004 and not the hair raising route/approach that Tony/Chris took recently. It looks like there can be an easier 3rd approach which we saw but needs to be investigated first. Enjoy...... goo.gl/photos/GJoCXVjLgyWjvXHN9
Last edit: 28 Sep 2015 15:32 by Richard Hunt.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Smurfatefrog, tonymarshall, ruthtbl

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28 Sep 2015 14:36 - 28 Sep 2015 18:36 #65203 by Richard Hunt
Replied by Richard Hunt on topic Manxome Pass
Following the previous link to my photos of Manxome Pass here is also a video taken from a view point.
goo.gl/photos/JHjXnyxRRMru8JGh9
Last edit: 28 Sep 2015 18:36 by Richard Hunt.

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28 Sep 2015 16:05 #65205 by elinda
Replied by elinda on topic Manxome Pass
7 of us (myself, Richard, Greg, Irene, Mark, Thora and Craig) set out to conquer this pass over the long weekend in September. Manxsome Pass is a very prominent steep grassy slope that is visible when ascending Mnweni Pass – not that I ever noticed it on my previous hikes up Mnweni as both of these occurred in thick mist with limited visibility. So when I saw photos and write ups of previous ascents, I was keen to give this one a go. We felt that Stijns river entry route was more within our capabilities and were not brave enough to tackle the knife edge route which is the alternative option

Day one – MCC – Chi Chi Bush camp

The forecast was for hot, sunny weather and so it was for the entire 4 days of the hike. Perfect weather for hiking but In fact, perhaps a bit too hot………. I was suffering the beginnings of heatstroke by the time we reached the Mnweni River just below Shepherds Cave at lunchtime, feeling nauseous and zero energy. I rested, drank plenty of water, downed some Ensure and managed to plod the remaining 4kms or so to Chi Chi. We enjoyed a beautiful warm evening surrounded by the mountains.

Day two – Manxsome Pass to tenting spot near Rwanqa Pass

We were on our way by 7.00am and after a bit of boulder hopping and bushwhacking past the entrance to Pins Pass found ourselves at the bottom of the ridge that rises directly in front of you towards the Ukikicane. This is exactly as Stijn describes it. I had been a bit concerned that this would be tricky to ascend as there had been reports that the area had been burnt over previous weeks. This turned out to be exactly the case and we found the climb difficult as the ground was loose and crumbly with not much to hold on to. The ridge is a lot steeper than it looks when viewed from below! We then had to contour and descend to the right, aiming to cross the river above the waterfall. This was also very steep and a tumble here could land you in big trouble. We took a break at the waterfall before starting the climb proper up Manxsome. It is a very steep climb which does not relent the entire way. The views are nothing short of spectacular and the view point at 2700m which straddles Manxsome and Pins Passes is pretty mind-blowing. From here it is more steep plodding and we eventually topped out at 12.30pm. This is an incredible pass that is long and sustained but nothing technical and totally worth doing. In my opinion the most difficult part is accessing it at the bottom.
We headed north to our campsite at Rwanqa and found water eventually at the river in the valley about 300 metres west of the top of the pass. This was the first time I have experienced warm weather on top of the escarpment and later that afternoon the skies darkened dramatically and we had lightning and thunder, but not much rain

Day three and four – Rwanqa Pass and overnight at 5 Star Cave

We again had an early start and were soon making our way down Rwanqa pass. There is no path and it is very steep, rocky and rough. We kept to the true right of the river and high on the slopes, traversing around and over rock bands with magnificent views of the Black and Tan wall towering above us. We basically followed Tony Marshall’s route from his write up (but in reverse) Again there were areas that had been burnt, which made the going slow and tricky. We eventually reached the grassy ridge (very steep) that runs down directly from the Black and Tan wall and descended/contoured this all the way to the river at the bottom. This ridge had not been burnt and the grass was thick and fairly long, so although this made it easier it was not kind to the feet and ankles. There is a lot of sharp pointy vegetation at the bottom and it was with some relief that we reached the river and stopped for some well-earned lunch. Richard had spotted a path running along the right hand bank (true right) from the top of the ridge, so we climbed out the river and soon located the path. This was easier for us to find as the grass was not long and had been burnt recently. This entire route had fields of Scilla Natalensis blooming and it was quite an experience to be walking through these beautiful blue flowers. From here it was easy walking all the way to the head of the valley and the Mnweni River. We saw quite a few dagga fields on the way, which would explain the well-used path. When passing Shepherds Cave we could see there were smugglers living in it with obvious evidence of newly planted dagga fields directly in front of the cave and even right next to the path. We continued to 5 Star Cave where we spent a relaxing afternoon and evening before the walk out the following day.

Thanks to Stijn and Tony Marshall for advice and information on these passes – much appreciated!

Another memorable hike back in the beautiful Mnweni with Manxsome Pass the absolute star of the show!
The following user(s) said Thank You: Stijn, JonWells, jamcligeo, DeonS, ghaznavid, Smurfatefrog, tonymarshall, ruthtbl, Richard Hunt

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28 Sep 2015 17:40 - 28 Sep 2015 17:41 #65206 by firephish
Replied by firephish on topic Manxome Pass
nice write up, we were going up Mnweni and saw you guys descending that steep ridge to the waterfall prior to going up manxome ... looked pretty hairy from where we were :eek:
Last edit: 28 Sep 2015 17:41 by firephish.
The following user(s) said Thank You: elinda, Richard Hunt

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28 Sep 2015 18:43 #65207 by elinda
Replied by elinda on topic Manxome Pass
Thanks @firepish... we wondered whether we would see you guys going up Mnweni but the entire pass was in shadow from our vantage point on Manxsome so saw nothing! Yes, that descent was pretty rough - I have holes on the back of my pants to prove it!! :silly:

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