Mponjwane Pass

19 Dec 2016 21:31 #70407 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Mponjwane Pass
Well done! Looking forward to the photos.

The section from the base of the climb to the top is nasty - very loose. We all hid behind a rocky obstacle on the side as the next person went up to the rock arch. I also struggled quite a bit with that section. I only recall one near miss with a falling rock on our trip, but much further down.

I rate the crack with the head-high-hold is the easier line, I used it, but the others used the more bouldery line to the left.

Incidentally, the peak you camped on misses all 3 khulu definitions - Murch never included it, it doesn't fit Chris' definition, being too close to Ncedamabutho and the most recent (non-finalised) definition excludes it by about 10m of prominence. Must have been an amazing sight to wake up to, though!

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19 Dec 2016 22:56 - 19 Dec 2016 23:00 #70408 by Papa Dragon
Replied by Papa Dragon on topic Mponjwane Pass
Elinda, thanks for the hike report, and for organising an unforgettable hike..
Definitely the most adrenaline-filled, eventful hike of mine...
But, the "Ballie Brigade" was amazing.... Thora when her stove caught fire,calmly, "guys, I
need some help here...."

I was at the back, everyone had stood on the boulder that fell on my foot, for some reason it
fell and trapped me. Elinda, who was just in front of me, came back behind me, and lifted this huge
rock so that I could get my foot out. It was probably about 600 x 400 x400 mm. I was wearing Merrells,
which are quite a wide boot, and my feet are narrow, so I think that's what prevented anything more
than minor aggravation.

At the wormhole, as Elinda said, Thora had gone up ahead of me, without her pack, and I was behind her with her pack.
I'm not exactly sure what happened, but I think I must have put weight onto a loose rock, which gave way. In the space
of a couple of milliseconds, a deafening roar of rocks falling, and my thoughts "OK end of part 1 for you Roger", and then "Oh no there's 3 people below me!" Somehow, I flung myself around, and the next thing I remember is that I was facing down the gully with my feet and hands braking me on either side of the gully.. but, I had a rock the size of an A4 sheet of paper cubed behind my back, and another the size of a rugby ball next to my thigh.
If I had moved and these had fallen, they would have taken out Greg, Elinda and Farouk.. but somehow Greg managed to
get up to me and help me get the rocks out and down, or onto the side, I'm not sure..
After the rocks were out of the way, I was able to inch backward and up out of the gully... after that my mouth was like a cardboard box, and the down after the adrenaline was terrible, though I didn't show the others... I must compliment everyone, all were calm and did what was necessary in a difficult situation...

Anyway, the Dragon was good to us, all our mishaps ended well, and all our decisions as co-leaders proved to be good..

Well done Ballie Brigade for an amazing, memorable hike..
Last edit: 19 Dec 2016 23:00 by Papa Dragon.
The following user(s) said Thank You: ghaznavid, Biomech

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20 Dec 2016 05:17 - 20 Dec 2016 05:18 #70409 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Mponjwane Pass
Wheeew...A few near misses on that trip! Bravely done.
Last edit: 20 Dec 2016 05:18 by Serious tribe.

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20 Dec 2016 09:16 - 20 Dec 2016 11:03 #70410 by Richard Hunt
Replied by Richard Hunt on topic Mponjwane Pass
Thank you Farouk, Greg and Papa Dragon for looking after Thora and Elinda on a dangerous and very challenging hike. I would not classify Monjwane as a Pass as it would be misleading to other hikers.....but a way up!!!! I take my hat off to these two old ballie ladies, they never cease to amaze me. I have had the pleasure to hike with Elinda over the last couple of years and she has nearly put her foot in every part and pass in the KZN Drakensberg Range. We are now finding it difficult to find a place to hike as she has done it all and some places on many occasions.....well done Gals. Cant wait for the photos and especially those of the climb up to and tenting on top of the Rockeries Tower. :hike: :hike:

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Last edit: 20 Dec 2016 11:03 by Richard Hunt.
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20 Dec 2016 19:57 #70413 by elinda
Replied by elinda on topic Mponjwane Pass
Here are the photos as promised...( courtesy of Farouk)




Into the gully proper now and a view down the valley - we have come a long way already!


Onwards and upwards.....



We approach the wormhole - the ground is a lot steeper than it looks in this photo and the top section was just slippery mud

Roger assisting me through the top of the wormhole

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20 Dec 2016 20:01 #70414 by elinda
Replied by elinda on topic Mponjwane Pass


Climbing out on to the Rockeries Tower



View looking down on to the gully and wormhole from Rockeries Tower



Our campsite from the top of Rockeries Tower



Team Ballie



View looking South towards Rockeries and the North Saddle

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20 Dec 2016 20:03 - 20 Dec 2016 20:07 #70415 by elinda
Replied by elinda on topic Mponjwane Pass


Greg and Roger making the climb up to the final obstacle - you can see where we climbed down from the Rockeries Tower on the opposite side


Farouk leading the way up the final scramble

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Last edit: 20 Dec 2016 20:07 by elinda.
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20 Dec 2016 20:09 #70416 by elinda
Replied by elinda on topic Mponjwane Pass
Mods, I would like to upload some videos we took - but not sure of the acceptable format? I have it in mp4 format at present

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20 Dec 2016 20:11 #70417 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Mponjwane Pass
Upload it to youtube and post the link to it on your post, it will embed itself.

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20 Dec 2016 21:29 #70418 by elinda
Replied by elinda on topic Mponjwane Pass
Thanks Ghaz....here is the video courtesy of Farouk........

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