Tlanyaku pass

30 Sep 2008 12:14 #188 by fatshark
Tlanyaku pass was created by fatshark
Anybody done it and can comment on:
- difficulty compared to Organ Pipes and Mlambonja,
- levels of Basotho activity
- good overnight spots?

Also the Parks Board map shows that the path heading up the valley to the base of Tlanyaku, branches off to the left and heads up Eastman's Peak - would welcome info on that as well.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
30 Sep 2008 16:12 - 21 Oct 2009 00:06 #189 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Tlanyaku pass
I'd rate it about the same as Mlambonja, perhaps a little steeper in places. More difficult than Organ Pipes. Ratings are pretty subjective but I did find it surprisingly steep and sustained (perhaps my initial expectations where that it was easier), though there is nothing technical about it. The path is generally good, though it does have some eroded bits. It does not have the nasty bushy bits that Mlambonja has - once you leave the river on the approach the climb starts swiftly onto a grassy ridge.

It is a major smuggling route. The well defined trail continues on at the top, eventually meeting up with the trail coming down from "Smugglers Pass" (at Ndumeni), at the entrance to Yodlers Cascades. In my view it belongs to the Tlanyaku smuggling corridor - one of the most notorious in the Berg, to which Organ Pipes also belongs. You may want to avoid doing this during the peak smuggling season. Anytime now up until about January should be relatively quiet still.

Schoongezicht Cave is an excellent place to start from, as well as the campsite a bit further up the valley (the trail splits just before this - the right split bypassing the campsite). For camping on top, explore the areas north of the pass on the slopes coming down from Little Saddle (some co-ordinates listed in the article Troubled Times at Cathedral Peak ) - this will get you away from stomping gum boots.

Have not ventured over Eastman's Ridge from there yet, though that trail is visible. It is quite a climb, a mini-pass in itself. My impression is that the trail along the river approaching this climb may be a little vague.

Will post GPS data for Tlanyaku when I get a gap.

Hope this helps.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 21 Oct 2009 00:06 by intrepid. Reason: fixed broken link after upgrade

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
01 Oct 2008 12:21 #190 by fatshark
Replied by fatshark on topic Tlanyaku pass
Thanks for the info Intrepid!

Been toying with the idea of heading up Tlanyaku to Lesotho and exploring Yodlers and some of the other streams for wild trout. Apparently there are some good ones lurking around in many of the upper reaches of the rivers. Other option would be to head up Organs, and cross Ndumeni Dome, but a change of scenery would be good.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
02 Oct 2008 22:32 #191 by domsmooth
Replied by domsmooth on topic Tlanyaku pass
Working at KZN Wildlife makes it difficult to accept that there may be "wild" trout in Lesotho. :) While I may be a trout fisherman (in the lower reaches of the midlands), I cannot understand how trout may have reched those areas unless introduced from the Lesotho area. I would certainly be interested if you come across any! I will arrange a site visit with our aquatic scientists immediately, as this would most certainly affect the World Heritage Site. Part of the "buffer" on the lower reaches is to delineate how far up the newly appointed management authority (EKZNW) is prepared to allow artificial and naturalised trout to occur in rivers, without it having an undue effect on current fish species who would naturally have occurred in these river systems, like "Tugela Labeos" and "Tugela Yellow fish". Please let me know if you come across any trout "up top". Apart from making an interesting field visit, it would give me another brilliant opportunity to visit "my office outside of my current office" :laugh: .

Look forward to hearing back from you.

If you have further inquiries about EKZNW and the Berg and cannot find answers here or at the KZNWildlife website , please contact me with a pm (you will need to be a user in order to do so), and I will do my best to respond.

Lets all help maintain the values for which the Berg was proclaimed a World Heritage Site

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
03 Oct 2008 20:15 #192 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Tlanyaku pass
Trout was introduced into Berg rivers in the 1920's and 1930's already, and I guess the idea spread to the rivers of the escarpment around the same time. I have heard of people carrying "buckets" of trout out of Yodlers Cascades years back. I think there may be a few left here and there. Malcolm Pearse relates how the rivers of the Mweni used to be filled with trout and that is was easy to catch them. They were eventually fished out when word about it spread.

Do let us know if you catch any ...I've had thoughts of throwing in a fly there myself to see if anything stirs. Didn't see any sign of them on previous occasions.

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

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
06 Oct 2008 14:02 #193 by fatshark
Replied by fatshark on topic Tlanyaku pass
Intrepid is spot on, trout were apparently carried in as fingerlings in containers on horseback and released in the upper reaches of the Lesotho rivers 60 or 70 years back, if not more. Not sure whether the stockers came up from the Natal side or not, but they must have been a zealous (and very antisocial) bunch either way :blink: .

An old bullet at a fishing tackle shop I used to visit told me that he used to hike up Ntonjelane pass and spend a few days flyfishing the streams on the Lesotho side. There were trout...and not just the dozen-to-a-shoebox size of small fish, but the odd hook-straightener :woohoo: . Not lots of trout, the summit is a bit thin on insects and so on to support many fish, but the main thing is...they're supposed to be up there, and it'll be a lot of fun finding out if it's true.

Anyone who has done any traverses and been any distance inside Lesotho will know this is not as far-fetched an idea as it sounds - the rivers on the Lesotho side pick up volume quite quickly, and there are enough large pools to sustain fish in drought or through winters. These pools are the key, apparently the fish keep to them and fishing the rapids is a waste of time.

Only concern I've got is the security. :S

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 Oct 2008 11:28 #195 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Tlanyaku pass
Re: security concerns, how many are going? As long as you are not alone my feeling is that the risks are relatively low. Shepherds and smugglers will always be opportunistic, ie will take unattended stuff, but I do not see them easily doing something more malicious in that particular area. Going alone does make you more vulnerable to being mugged.

I once met and spoke to a bunch of 30 odd smugglers at the mouth of Yodlers. Some spoke good English and they generally were friendly and inquisitive, getting kicks out of seeing themselves on the small screen of my friend's digital camera! And I have not heard of any major concerns with the shephers there, though they are very active in Yodlers. A friend of mine was even guided to Didima cave in the mist once by one of them.

Camp as far away from anything as you can - something you are already aware of. Confrontations between hikers and smugglers have been due to smugglers arriving at caves and campsites along their route and finding startled and disgruntled hikers there. I am very on my guard when in the Berg but make effort to be polite to any Basotho. Generally the friendliness is returned.

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

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
05 May 2010 14:48 #1261 by danva@angloplat.com
Replied by danva@angloplat.com on topic Tlanyaku pass
I've done a few serious winter/snow hikes in the berg and planning another one this winter. Planning to go up Thlanyaku Pass, but not sure how this pass would be in snow conditions, since I have not been up this pass before.
Any advice?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
07 May 2010 07:55 #1272 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Tlanyaku pass
Been on it twice but not in icy conditions. It does have some slippery and steep bits but nothing technical. There is a good trail all the way since its heavily used by the smugglers. Since it does not follow a gully, I can't imagine that it would form a lot of ice, and so even if you are lucky to catch it under snow, I doubt whether you will major difficulties ascending it. Let us know how it goes!

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

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
07 May 2010 09:04 #1274 by Frosty Ice
Replied by Frosty Ice on topic Tlanyaku pass
Yip, please let us know how it goes I'm very getting on doing a few snowy hikes this winter!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
Powered by Kunena Forum