Mlambonja Pass

20 Apr 2015 10:15 #63444 by Dillon
Replied by Dillon on topic Mlambonja Pass
Phew, all these point to remember. Heading up there for the first time this weekend, hopefully all of you have cleared the path nicely and there won't be too much bundu bashing! It's amazing how much quicker things go when you know just roughly where the path should be - last weekend my mate and I took just over an hour from the bottom of Leslie's Pass to Marble Baths...

Any rough estimates on walking times? Say, from C5 along the contour path to C4? And from C4 up to Twins Cave?

"Mountains are not fair or unfair, they are just dangerous."

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20 Apr 2015 12:25 - 20 Apr 2015 12:27 #63445 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Mlambonja Pass
I can't really help with the times up the pass, as we came down. Riaang can maybe help you with an up time from C4 to Twins, although he did the One Tree Hill approach.

Anyway, for the record, our down times were:

Twins Cave to C4 3 hrs 12
C4 to C5 1 hr 15
C5 to Cathedral Peak Hotel 2 hrs 30

We managed to stick to the path the entire way, if you'd like my track, pm me your email address.
Last edit: 20 Apr 2015 12:27 by tonymarshall.
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20 Apr 2015 12:33 #63446 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Mlambonja Pass
I think we took 3-4 hours to get from the contour path to the top of Mlambonja pass. We left the Hotel car park around 8:30AM and summited around 4PM if I recall correctly. We must have lost an hour trying to find the pass though - we were on the trail by around midday, but reached the river crossing on the contour path at about 10:30 (we also took quite a long break before starting on the pass).

@Smurf and Viking: do you have any more reliable data available?

I agree with Intrepid - it isn't a hard pass.

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins
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20 Apr 2015 13:09 #63447 by Viking
Replied by Viking on topic Mlambonja Pass
I've retrieved the following from my GPS track:

Hotel to C5: 2hrs30
C5 to C4 55mins
c4 to campsite/tree at bottom of pass 45mins
campsite/tree to twins turn-off 4hrs 15m (includes long break and route finding issues)
twins turnoff to top: 40mins
top to campsite near mlambonja buttress 50mins

Totals: 16.6km 10.5hrs 1750m/270m alt gain/lost

Times include breaks and other stops

“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”
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20 Apr 2015 13:38 #63448 by Riaang
Replied by Riaang on topic Mlambonja Pass
Hi Dillion,

Our time was quite slow as I took two newbies who was reasonably fit but not strong (running fit but not used to carrying a heavy backpack) up to Twins cave. We started the hike at the hotel at 7:15am, got to where the 1TreeHill path drops down to the river with the big tree and campsite describe earlier by Tonymarshall at noon, had a break for lunch and started again at 12:30 and was at the cave by 16:30.

The path is fairly easy to find and stay on most of the way, we only lost it right at the top when thick mist came in and we just went straight up on the rocks till we came to the path coming down from the pass and walked the last 150m or so on it to the cave.

Must say I found the path going up 1TreeHill much more open than the "normal" one (i.e. the Southern path) and this worked quite well for my guests. A lekker steep but short climb early on in the hike when they were still fresh and the sun not too hot helped them later in the day.

Enjoy.
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28 Apr 2015 13:11 #63547 by Dillon
Replied by Dillon on topic Mlambonja Pass
We went up Mlambonja to Twins Cave this last Saturday, approached from One Tree Hill. The path wasn't too bad, it is a bit overgrown but definitely not as bad as I expected. I did have a GPS track (thanks tonymarshall!) but rarely had to use it as we didn't lose the path for more than a couple of meters once or twice.
Had a thunderstorm with rain and hail break directly over our heads about 200m before the split to Twin's Cave. Was quite exciting!
We ended up sharing Twin's cave with a young group of about 8 from Bloemfontein. They had come from Bell Cave that day heading for the escarpment, planning to go across and down Organ Pipes over 2 or 3 days. Unfortunately one of the girls in the group had fallen and hurt her ankle, presumably not far from Twin's Cave, so they cut short their plans and headed off (very slowly!) down Mlambonja Pass on Sunday morning. Hopefully they made it back okay!

"Mountains are not fair or unfair, they are just dangerous."

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28 Apr 2015 13:23 #63548 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Mlambonja Pass
We caught the edge of that hail storm on Saturday. Got about 3 small hail stones and a slight bit of rain. Amazing how different the weather can be just a few kms away.

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins

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03 May 2015 18:17 - 03 May 2015 20:01 #63595 by Smurfatefrog
Replied by Smurfatefrog on topic Mlambonja Pass
Campsite at the base @1960m

Communal area with a very recent firepit



There are 3 flat grass areas which can each take 1 tent, 2 additional tents could be put in the communal gravel areas if required.
Two tent areas here with communal area in the left of the pic, 3rd grass tent area out of the picture to the left


BTW, current path is very easy to follow, all the way to the campsite. Its easier to follow than the "contour" "path"

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Last edit: 03 May 2015 20:01 by Smurfatefrog.
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03 May 2015 19:55 #63600 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Mlambonja Pass
No sign of that firepit in March, it's actually taking up one of the possible tent spaces under the tree.

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03 May 2016 09:10 #68140 by firephish
Replied by firephish on topic Mlambonja Pass
Planning on doing this soon. Has anyone got a gps track for Mlambonja they wouldn't mind sharing(in case of mist), don't see one in the downloads section?

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