Cockade Pass

19 Mar 2015 11:25 #63107 by Riaang
Replied by Riaang on topic Cockade Pass
I always find it amazing to see how much bundu bashing can slow you down. Took a couple of newbies up Mlambonja pass this past weekend, they actually went faster up the latter parts of the pass than the early stages due to figting vegetation. Same last year on Ships, man, the dense bush there reduced our speed to lower than 1km/h, which is slower than going up a typical pass.

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26 Mar 2015 13:44 #63196 by ASL
Replied by ASL on topic Cockade Pass
Anyone gone up Cockade recently? I'm keen to do it in April and spend the first night in Easter Cave..

Any comments on your experiences would be appreciated!

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26 Mar 2015 15:37 #63207 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Cockade Pass
Hi Ian,

Our group intrepid, climbykel, Harry and me did Cockade Pass two weekends ago. I just haven't got round to doing a write up yet, but a few comments were made on the 'Rain cover in Twins Cave' thread.

A big ask (but not impossible) to do the pass from Didima/Cathedral Peak Hotel in one day and end at Easter Cave!

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27 Mar 2015 11:34 #63214 by Riaang
Replied by Riaang on topic Cockade Pass
Hi Tonymarshall,

How difficult is the route up from where the contour path splits off away from Mlambonja? The first section on the map seems fine (say the first 1,5km's or so), but thereafter small red dots indicating more tougher going. Say if comparing to Mlambonja's first section through the dense vegetation?

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27 Mar 2015 12:23 #63215 by Dillon
Replied by Dillon on topic Cockade Pass

How difficult is the route up from where the contour path splits off away from Mlambonja? The first section on the map seems fine (say the first 1,5km's or so), but thereafter small red dots indicating more tougher going.


We did this route pretty much exactly a year ago. The contour path between C5 and C6 was perfectly fine, grass was a bit long here and there, but you shouldn't stray off the path.
The section between C6 and the split between Xeni and Cockade Pass was absolute hell; completely overgrown with little to zero pathway. From that split to the top of Cockade was better, just very steep and taxing, with quite a few loose rocks.

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

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27 Mar 2015 13:05 #63216 by ASL
Replied by ASL on topic Cockade Pass
Thanks for that. Stijn's write up does make it sound like a doddle but he is built a little differently to the rest of the human race!

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27 Mar 2015 13:41 - 27 Mar 2015 13:54 #63217 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Cockade Pass
I quite agree with Dillon's assessment.

The last 200m or so of Contour Path before C6 does get very overgrown, and this is comparable to the overgrown section of the Mlambonja route around C4, you can stay on the path but are constantly dodging bushes and shrubs, fighting your way through dead tree branches etc.

The first section up the Xeni River to the Cockade campsite is quite open, but then a few hundred metres from the campsite upstream is the absolute hell described by Dillon, with the same shrubs and bushes but also some trees thrown in to frustrate you more. The valley/gully is also quite steep sided here, and you have no choice but to stay in the bush. We later managed to get out of the bushy valley onto the true left side, onto a sort of terrace with low bushes that were quite easy to step through, and that helped a lot up to the Cockade - Xeni junction.

The pass itself involves three distinct different terrains; the lowest is bushy with a bit of a trail and some boulder hopping, the mid section is boulder hopping where you are forced into the boulder bed of the narrow gully, and the upper section is mainly grass slopes with a hint of a trail and some minor rock slabs to walk on. The transition area from the boulder bed to the upper grass slope has the loose rocks/scree and steep bouldery/rocky slope.

It really isn't a very difficult pass, bear in mind Stijn rates the pass itself and not the walk in/out, although I agree that he is wired differently. The difficulty aspect of Cockade Pass is the looong walk in/out, and the bushy area in the Xeni valley.

I will post a write up with photos as soon as time permits.
Last edit: 27 Mar 2015 13:54 by tonymarshall.

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27 Mar 2015 14:01 #63220 by Stijn
Replied by Stijn on topic Cockade Pass
Hmmm... I have a feeling that river bush has intensified in recent years. :thumbsup:

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27 Mar 2015 20:24 - 27 Mar 2015 20:26 #63221 by supertramp
Replied by supertramp on topic Cockade Pass
Hi Kevin

Please see link below to my website for a write-up I did on Cockade Pass. We went up the pass in November 2014

www.rawcuriosity.com/adventures/cathedral-peak-hike
Last edit: 27 Mar 2015 20:26 by supertramp. Reason: Addition
The following user(s) said Thank You: ASL

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28 Mar 2015 20:07 #63231 by Kevinva
Replied by Kevinva on topic Cockade Pass
Thanks!

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