Ifidi Pass

16 Mar 2017 11:56 - 16 Mar 2017 11:57 #71161 by ruthtbl
Replied by ruthtbl on topic Ifidi Pass
We drank the water from the rivers as soon as we were past the kraals and most of the livestock, and were fine. The water in Ifidi Pass itself is going to depend a bit on the conditions around the time that you hike: the last time we went we had water until roughly around the point when the boulders got really big I think (this was above our camp site area somewhere). As far as I know the final rock gully and the area just below it do not usually have water, unless it is raining in which case the Pass is a flash flood hazard. On the escarpment I think there is usually some water around, but as I have never been there myself don't take my word for it!
Last edit: 16 Mar 2017 11:57 by ruthtbl.

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16 Mar 2017 23:58 #71169 by DorkyHero
Replied by DorkyHero on topic Ifidi Pass
Thank you so much for all the help, Much appreciated! I'll post my findings after the hike ;)
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02 Jan 2018 14:02 - 02 Jan 2018 14:06 #72545 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Ifidi Pass
on 30 December, WarrenM and myself went up Ifidi Pass. We managed to get a lift 10-12km along the road, arranged by MCC. So at 8:40AM we set off from the school.

We followed a random trail that we picked up on the true left side of the river. The trail to Cycad Cave was easy to follow, and we made good time to the cave.

The cave looked well used, the wall was covered in graffiti, and the hay was full of fleas. The cave doesn't provide much shelter, but the entrance is covered in trees, which would help.


We followed the trail for a bit past the cave, and when it died, we stuck to the true right bank of the river. It was mildly vegetated, nothing serious

We were soon forced into the riverbed, which we followed for almost the entirety of the rest of the route, only occasionally leaving it to dodge a waterfall.


When you enter the main gully, it is fairly overgrown, so we used the side slope to bypass the overgrowth, which was simple enough.

There was a thunderstorm rolling in, so we were a bit nervous of flash floods, but fortunately the weather held well. The gully was fairly wet, but very doable (although steep).

The gully was very pleasant, actually rather fun.

We hauled packs on both the rock obstacles, both of which were very wet. The holds are flat, so unless they are iced up, they are very doable even if wet.


It poured with rain just before we reached the top, and we were at the overhanging section right by the top of the pass, so we sat out the storm without too much difficulty. We were high enough up the pass that a flash flood was very unlikely.


We made it from there to Ifidi Cave in good time, I made a bit of a mess-up finding Ifidi Cave, after getting the annex and false cave confused, but we were in the cave by 5PM, giving us a time of 8h20 from the school to the cave - which I was quite happy with, even if it was only 13km.

My thoughts on this pass:

Difficulty

Don't underestimate it, it isn't Corner Pass! Although, on that note, I actually found the scrambles on Corner Pass to be harder. The route is very sustained once you are in the gully, but you get up surprisingly quickly. Starting at the school makes the trip a lot easier, and who wants to walk on a road for that long anyway!

Definitely one of the harder rock passes around, but easier than the likes of Injisuthi Pass or Mponjwane Pass.

Scenery

The views from the pass are exceptional.

Is it enjoyable?

There aren't many passes I have enjoyed more than this one. It has the perfect balance of being challenging without being unpleasant. There are passes where the gradient pleasantly gradual, such as Langies, and passes where the gradient is insane, but they are over quickly, such as Grays. Somewhere in the middle is a class of pass that goes on forever, but is too steep to be done at any kind of pace - anyone who has walked up Sani will know what I mean. This pass is on the pleasantly steep side.

Navigation

If you know where you are going, and the basic route, it is pretty easy to figure out where to go.

In conclusion

I have always liked the Ifidi region of the escarpment, and I have to say that the lower Ifidi region is also well worth a visit. This is easily my favourite part of Mnweni.

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Last edit: 02 Jan 2018 14:06 by ghaznavid.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Serious tribe, diverian, elinda, Bigsnake, Andreas, Biomech, GriffBaker

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03 Jan 2018 06:24 #72553 by WarrenM
Replied by WarrenM on topic Ifidi Pass
Thanks Ghaz

This pass was definitely a highlight of the year for me, and I didn't even have it in my sights until Ghaz suggested it a week ago and given it's rating we kept expecting something that would set us back, but we manged the way to the top were very chuffed by the time we got to the escarpment.

Having now done Ifidi and had to sit out some weather in the pass, you can see how dangerous it could get should there be a flash flood.

A definite low of the day for me was seeing Cycad cave the graffiti is that is in the cave is shockingly disappointing.

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24 Jan 2018 14:51 #72693 by AdrianT
Replied by AdrianT on topic Ifidi Pass
On Friday, with a searing 39 degrees, we started off from the Cultural Centre - no cheating with lifts up the road :whistle: Ifidi is quite a beast, and the hot weather didn't help matters, nor did our full packs for a complete Mnweni traverse. That grassy section to avoid the trees (pictured by Ghaz) I did not enjoy at all. Maybe I'm not used to the Drakensberg grass slopes as we don't get those in Cape Town but I certainly held on with all my might as I moved at the speed of an injured tortoise with zero trust of the grass nor the earth around it :blink:

I'll get to a full write up and photos when I have time, but here is a short clip RiaanG took of the final climb. Thanks to VE I met RiaanG, his wife Sanet and another Riaan and went on an adventure with three super people I would not otherwise have met. I'm the bald guy in the green down below:

The following user(s) said Thank You: JonWells, Richard Hunt, Papa Dragon, GriffBaker

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24 Jan 2018 16:22 #72694 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Ifidi Pass
Well done, looking forward to your writeup :thumbsup:

That grassy section to avoid the trees (pictured by Ghaz) I did not enjoy at all. Maybe I'm not used to the Drakensberg grass slopes as we don't get those in Cape Town but I certainly held on with all my might as I moved at the speed of an injured tortoise with zero trust of the grass nor the earth around it :blink:


As AndrewP once said, in the Drakensberg the rock is usually dodgy and the grass is usually solid :lol:

Those kinds of traverse slopes are common on the harder obscure passes.

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06 Apr 2018 11:10 #73127 by mayhemfreak
Replied by mayhemfreak on topic Ifidi Pass
Hi Guys!
Has anyone been down Ifidi lately that have a GPS track that I can have a look at please? From the road to the pass summit if its possible?
End of this month it's the X-Berg race and with this years turn points Ifidi is the most direct route. I haven't been down Ifidi yet and our scouting plans fell flat so if anyone has any information that could be valuable in the decision making to go down Ifidi or do a 20km detour it would be much appreciated!!
Thanks!

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06 Apr 2018 11:41 - 06 Apr 2018 12:58 #73128 by dangerdave
Replied by dangerdave on topic Ifidi Pass

Hi Guys!
Has anyone been down Ifidi lately that have a GPS track that I can have a look at please? From the road to the pass summit if its possible?
End of this month it's the X-Berg race and with this years turn points Ifidi is the most direct route. I haven't been down Ifidi yet and our scouting plans fell flat so if anyone has any information that could be valuable in the decision making to go down Ifidi or do a 20km detour it would be much appreciated!!
Thanks!


I am also in the process of route planning. Last year it was easier to carry a mtb down royal natal and cycle round, this year Pierre is making anyone on a baiesukkel work a bit harder.
It is going to be a very hard run to try get down the pass into mnweni before sunset on that first day, but will give it a run.
I see the point above mikes pass may also make it better to run there, think this year could be a runner's race.
Last edit: 06 Apr 2018 12:58 by JonWells.

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06 Apr 2018 12:34 #73132 by AdrianT
Replied by AdrianT on topic Ifidi Pass

Hi Guys!
Has anyone been down Ifidi lately that have a GPS track that I can have a look at please? From the road to the pass summit if its possible?
End of this month it's the X-Berg race and with this years turn points Ifidi is the most direct route. I haven't been down Ifidi yet and our scouting plans fell flat so if anyone has any information that could be valuable in the decision making to go down Ifidi or do a 20km detour it would be much appreciated!!
Thanks!


DM me.

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06 Apr 2018 12:37 - 06 Apr 2018 13:01 #73133 by mayhemfreak
Replied by mayhemfreak on topic Ifidi Pass

Hi Guys!
Has anyone been down Ifidi lately that have a GPS track that I can have a look at please? From the road to the pass summit if its possible?
End of this month it's the X-Berg race and with this years turn points Ifidi is the most direct route. I haven't been down Ifidi yet and our scouting plans fell flat so if anyone has any information that could be valuable in the decision making to go down Ifidi or do a 20km detour it would be much appreciated!!
Thanks!


I am also in the process of route planning. Last year it was easier to carry a mtb down royal natal and cycle round, this year Pierre is making anyone on a baiesukkel work a bit harder.
It is going to be a very hard run to try get down the pass into mnweni before sunset on that first day, but will give it a run.
I see the point above mikes pass may also make it better to run there, think this year could be a runner's race.


It sure is going to be interesting the decisions on that first leg into Mnweni this year. I am still indecisive, take the surefire detour or risk it down Ifidi. Either way its going to be a hard push if you plan on sleeping at the cultural centre. Choices choices choices...
Last edit: 06 Apr 2018 13:01 by intrepid. Reason: Removed swearing from quoted text

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