Rwanqa Pass

13 Oct 2011 09:41 #4339 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Rwanqa Pass
We did Rwanqa Pass over the long weekend in June, again using Stijn and Intrepid's write up as guidance.



From the confluence of the Rwanqa and Mnweni Rivers there was a fairly good path which ended just past where this photo was taken, fortunately guiding us through an area of very long grass. The top of Rwanqa Pass is the low point in the centre between Black and Tan Wall and Rwanqa. We then boulder hopped in the Rwanqa River past the two foreground ridges, which are really steep and full of bush up to the river, and left the river onto the ridge coming down from Black and Tan Wall, between the two foreground ridges. The bush surrounding the river was very thick at the lower levels and would be very difficult to hike through.



In this photo the ridge is to the left, and was followed to just above the lower prominent rock outcrop. We then followed the grass slopes diagonally up to the right above the lower rock band in the centre of the photo, into the snow lined gully to the top of the pass. On the grass slopes there was a bottleneck at a steep section with a rock slope and a narrow ledge, which had a distinct path through this difficult spot, showing definate signs of use.



This is a view down the ridge from the rock outcrop, showing the bush surrounding the river between the lower ridges and necessitating the boulder hopping in the river, which was actually quite easy.



This is near the top of the pass looking down, the snow on the left was about a metre thick and full of unidentifiable antelope tracks. Rwanqa Cave? is at about this height on the left of the pass (right of this photo) and is a large opening accessed with difficulty by a high vertical section of rock, well described and good photos of it on the forums.

Three of us that did Rwanqa Pass also did Manxome two weeks ago, and strangely enough we all concurred that we had all found Rwanqa more difficult. On both occasions we started at 07h00, and Rwanqa was summited at 15h00, while Manxome was summited at 12h00, although Rwanqa included an hour lunch stop and several 'detours' towards the bottom whilst Manxome didn't.

The summit of the 'Berg looked like this



so we didn't see another soul on the summit.



The snow made it quite difficult to even find the big path "highway" between Rwanqa and Rockeries, although we managed to follow it in places. There were two other parties up ahead of us who did Mnweni Pass (we saw the guys from Pretoria at Shepherds Cave in the morning we did the pass) and we saw their footprints in the snow around the top of Rockeries Pass, the only other signs of people on the summit.

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The following user(s) said Thank You: Stijn, plouw, Bigsnake, ghaznavid, Boerkie, Smurfatefrog

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07 Mar 2012 04:50 #53170 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Rwanqa Pass
Hi forum

Does anyone have any views of the Mweni pinnacles from Rwanqa Pass, particularly the area with the question mark. But any images will be great right now.

Thanks


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07 Mar 2012 05:28 #53172 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Rwanqa Pass
Hi ST,

I might have some from higher up the pass, will try to find them and post later today. I know I have some pictures from the approach area you show, but I'm not sure if they include far enough to the left to include the Pinnacles.

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07 Mar 2012 05:52 #53173 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Rwanqa Pass
Hi ST,

I found these two, hope they are worth something to you. :unsure:



The top one is taken from the area at the bottom of the pass, the lower one from a bit higher up. :)



I also have a lot of photos of the pass if they might help you.

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07 Mar 2012 06:38 #53175 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Rwanqa Pass
@ Tony. Thanx dude. I assume those are the Pinnacles sticking out in the bgrnd? From this angle they don't appear to be pin like, more like shark fins!

If anyone has any images would appreciate having a look. Thanx.

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07 Mar 2012 06:51 #53176 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Rwanqa Pass
This shot is from the Ridge Route on Rwanqa, fairly close to your point.


Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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07 Mar 2012 07:18 #53178 by thomas
Replied by thomas on topic Rwanqa Pass
This "picture of passes" topic is extremely wonderful to see and look at (including the fantastic previous Tlanyaku batch), both as a way of introducing the geography to the uninitiated and giving us good moments of recollection if we have done them. It is a measure of VE's growing indispensibility as it moves from strength to strength that such information can be available like nowhere else.

At the risk of intruding into Intrepid's already tight schedule :S , such photos could (should) be included in the already developing passes database: www.vertical-endeavour.com/blog/38-drakensberg/passes/64-passes-of-ukhahlamba-drakensberg-park.html (?)

I would love to set the example and provide photos of my passes, but they are all slides (remember film?) and not digitized. This seems like a worthy project however, but I defer to Intrepid and the forum collective.

At any rate, I greatly appreciate these pass photos and hope to see more.

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07 Mar 2012 10:54 - 07 Mar 2012 11:00 #53180 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Rwanqa Pass
@ ST,

Yes,sorry, they're rather obscured by the foreground, Intrepid's pic is from higher up and is better. I recall now the sun just wasn't right for photo's in the direction of the pins as we got higher. Got some better shots of the Needles though.

@ Thomas,

Thanks, glad you find my photos useful. Unfortunately I'm not much of a photographer, but the photos do at least serve as a record or reference. I just can't get my photos to reflect the actual height or slope of the passes, they always end up looking too low and flat.

I will continue to post photos and write ups as I do hikes in areas of interest that aren't already covered on the forums.
Last edit: 07 Mar 2012 11:00 by tonymarshall.

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07 Mar 2012 11:04 #53181 by tiska
Replied by tiska on topic Rwanqa Pass
TM - your photos are a great record of the passes and the sort of photo that I just haven't taken much over the years - not sure why. I tend to end up with the 'grand landscapes' but nothing that shows the useful bits!

On the flattening out of the terrain - the trick is to make sure the camera is level when photographing the slope. I learnt this from photos on rock climbs when we'd done something reasonably impressive only to end up with a pile of pics that make it seem like we are leopard crawling along a flat rock. If the camera gets pointed up or down that always happens. The difficulty is getting level with the action because there are normally few opportunities for this on a steep slope or on steep rock.

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07 Mar 2012 11:18 - 11 Nov 2019 12:27 #53183 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Rwanqa Pass
*edit* useless post, mods please delete
Last edit: 11 Nov 2019 12:27 by ghaznavid.

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