Mnweni Buttress Pass

19 Aug 2016 11:30 #69572 by AndrewP
Mnweni Buttress Pass was created by AndrewP
Last year while ascending Hanging Valleys Pass with Stijn, I had a good look at the gully on the opposite side of the Mnweni Cutback. Well, it goes!

It has a few exposed grass traverses and one waterfall is bypassed by a scramble about as long and hard and steep as the one in Corner Pass. So, it will not be for everyone. For those that do try it, this might be the most scenic pass I have done. Mmm, maybe I will call it Greenland Pass.
This shows the gully I came up. The asterisk marks a possible way to doge the crux.


To get into the base of the pass, head up the river leading into the depths of the cutback. Somewhere above 2500m, you are forced left into dense bushes to dodge a waterfall. The only sensible escape from this is a narrow hole under 2 rocks to crawl through, pushing your bag ahead of you. From here head a little higher until able to break left through more vegetation. Fortunately less dense. Just ahead of you is a enormous chockstone blocking the main valley, which is also the point where Hanging Valleys Pass starts heading up.

Head up a steep slope (on the true right) to a small saddle then drop into the river to your left. This is the first view you get looking up the pass.


Dodge the first set of waterfalls on the right by some steep grass traverses and a little higher up you reach the ramp to climb up, also on the right. I had a lot of snow about which may have made things harder.

As you head up, look behind you at various pinnacles and yes, that insanely steep gully opposite and a little higher upstream of you is Hanging Valleys Pass.



After a while the valley opens up a bit and it is obvious that you are through the crux. Here, I broke out right into a side gully running almost parallel to the main gully. This was to dodge snow, but as it is narrow and curves you cannot see for sure if it will really go, making for an exciting finish.



Looking back down from just below the top

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19 Aug 2016 12:31 #69582 by Biomech
Replied by Biomech on topic Mnweni Buttress Pass
That's really awesome! More Mnweni passes to add to the bucket list!

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19 Aug 2016 15:45 #69584 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Mnweni Buttress Pass

Biomech wrote: That's really awesome! More Mnweni passes to add to the bucket list!

That list is getting rather long!

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

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