Cockade Pass

14 Jul 2021 14:17 #77040 by Riaang
Replied by Riaang on topic Cockade Pass
It is certainly a spectacular pass Ghaz. Dramatic, rugged, beautiful, challenging - all in one package.

This area is also one of my favourite spots in the berg, although Xeni tops Cockade for me as it has 3 spectacular gullies to choose from at the top - and I battle to choose one as they are all awesome, although I might lean slightly towards Mlambonja south buttress :-)

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14 Jul 2021 14:19 - 14 Jul 2021 14:20 #77041 by Riaang
Replied by Riaang on topic Cockade Pass

If only it looks the same up Ships Prow ;-) which I plan to do next.

Hahaha, I was thinking that very same thing! I still have nightmares from my previous trip down Ships last year. Hoping that you can bring back some good news 

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@Supertramp, I will definitely let you know what we find. That is, unless we are seduced again by lots of snow on Giants Castle ;-)

 

Last edit: 14 Jul 2021 14:20 by Riaang.
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15 Jul 2021 10:23 #77042 by ASL
Replied by ASL on topic Cockade Pass
whoa, that's a very decent pack weight! Can I ask what sleeping bag you were using and what it weighs?
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15 Jul 2021 13:19 #77043 by riaan300
Replied by riaan300 on topic Cockade Pass
thank you for sharing
Awesome photos !!!
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19 Jul 2021 13:54 #77044 by Beard
Replied by Beard on topic Cockade Pass
Such cool before and after pics - nice !!!!
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19 Jul 2021 23:05 #77045 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Cockade Pass
@supertramp thank you for a very informative and helpful update on the state of Cockade Pass!

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
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20 Jul 2021 11:30 #77048 by Smithers_23
Replied by Smithers_23 on topic Cockade Pass
Thanks for the informative report Supertramp!

I have a question for the community regarding your first picture in the report showing the land slide / wash away - I noticed a decent sized Encephalartos ghellinkii (Drakensberg Cycad / Berg Ghellinki) laying on the ground, exposed, obviously affected by the land slide.

My question is, what is the right thing to do in this instance - do you leave the plant and let nature take its course? Or are we able to help conserve the plant and re-plant it in a nearby safe location?

The species is endemic to KwaZulu-Natal and occurs at a range of altitudes from 700m to 2400m. This species is classified as vulnerable and in need of conservation.

These plants are extremely valuable to collectors (particularly this species) and are often prone to poaching for nurseries or home enthusiasts.

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21 Jul 2021 14:42 - 21 Jul 2021 14:51 #77049 by Carl Gebhard
Replied by Carl Gebhard on topic Cockade Pass
I would consider relocating it. If I knew what I was doing ie understanding its patterns  (which aspects it grows on, near rocks etc). It may even survive the landslide.

Is this "right"? That's a long discussion as one would need to define "right", with all the circumstantial variants. I reckon no harm can be done, if you know your apples.

Edit: I try to tread as lightly as possible at all times but find occasional intervention may be called for. Very rarely though. I suppose you need to be clear on the line between interaction/conservation and meddling. And, again, know what you're doing.
Last edit: 21 Jul 2021 14:51 by Carl Gebhard. Reason: Adding info
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23 Jul 2021 01:05 #77050 by Joe Welman
Replied by Joe Welman on topic Cockade Pass
I worked in conservation in the greater Kruger area for several years. The approach we took there I feel might be relevant. 
If any species was injured by a human element, for example an elephant with a snare around its leg, the veterinarian would be called in. If an animal was injured by a rival or any other type of natural way we would let nature take it course. The exception however was with animals that are endangered, especially those that are endangered because of human impact whether that is poaching, habitat encroachment or whatever. So if a wild dog, cheetah, rhino etc. got injured in a natural way we would intervene. 
In light of these cycads being poached, I would happily step in and replant one that got dislodged. 

Please take note that I was deliberately being vague when I said greater Kruger area

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23 Jul 2021 11:45 #77055 by supertramp
Replied by supertramp on topic Cockade Pass

whoa, that's a very decent pack weight! Can I ask what sleeping bag you were using and what it weighs?
 

Hi @ASL. I use the North Face Blue Kazoo @ 1.2kg. Have my sights on the Sea-to-Summit Spark 3 now (-8 degC @ 745g for the long version). A bit on the expensive side but this fastpacking bug has bitten hard 

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