Organ Pipes Pass - Camel Route

27 Aug 2010 12:10 #63398 by Stijn
Even though this pass uses the Organ Pipes Pass final gully to access the escarpment, it ascends to the final gully via a completely different ridge, the Camel Ridge. There are spectacular views to be seen on both sides of this ridge as you weave between the peaks as you climb higher. It is marked as difficult/dangerous on the official maps but there should only be a cause for concern in extremely icy conditions.
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29 Jun 2011 16:24 #3228 by anthony
Hope some one can please give me a little run down on the camel route, planing on going up there this weekend,how bad are the exposed sections will it be wise to take 13 and 15 year old children along, if we leave the hotel at 9am will there be enough time to reach the escarpment to camp and is there water on this route.i would normally use organ pipes but mikes pass is closed so i would not fancy the walk up mikes pass.

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30 Jun 2011 09:12 #3237 by GWilky
Hi Ant,

I'd recomend skipping that route! i've done it twice and will NEVER do it again. The problem is that one needs to focus for over an hour and ONE slip can be fatal. The exposed sections are not nice and this time of year might even have ice on them!! really isn't the place for kids!!!!!!

One of the more experianced guys i've hiked with died on that route proving how dangerous it is.

Mikes pass is just about fixed, they've cleared all the blockages and the rangers will give you a lift to the short cut so you can walk the rest of the way.

Again, the camel is hectic! and not a place for 15 year old's and in experienced hikers.

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30 Jun 2011 14:31 #3239 by MountainGoat
I'm with Gwilky on this 1. No place for kids. I won't recommend going up the pass either. As for the water topic: there's very little water, only some trickles closer to the top.

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01 Jul 2011 07:31 #3245 by Serious tribe
Agreed. I have done it twice. Once up in the mist and did not realise what i was jumping over until we came down, quite sobering. The next time i had septicemia in my left foot from a blister that got infected and a shonky knee on the other from favoring the left and still felt ok, but had to be extremely careful.

However for youngsters with no experience i wld say no.

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01 Jul 2011 10:34 #3247 by anthony
Thanks guys, i am going to take an extra day and rather walk mikes pass instead, I see there is snow forecast for Monday and Tuesday so hopefully a bonus, oh just by the way my boys have probably spent more time in the drakensberg than a lot of people,but we have a motto of safety first.

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01 Jul 2011 15:07 #3248 by MountainGoat
+1 on "safety first"

We'll sometime you gotta bend the rules depending what the Dragon 'suggests' at that moment...

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06 Jul 2011 11:54 #3270 by Christine
We hiked down the Camel on the 17th June and although I had been a little anxious after the death of a fellow hiker a few years ago, and not having seen where he fell until now; I didn't feel vulnerable at all. There was one area will could be a little scary and Windy Gap needs to be negotiated carefully. There was a little water shortly after passing through WG heading down.I would agree that there are better options for kids and would recommend the route via Mike's Pass. Starting out from Didima, we got a lift from the hotel to the top (the usual drop off) - they make you sign an Indemnity form, due to the condition of the road. We paid R60 pp.

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06 Jul 2011 18:04 #3277 by anthony
One thing is for sure, is that we made the right decision to go up organ pipes as the wind was howling and i am sure we would have been blown of the mountain had we done the camel route. we had to camp half way up organ pipes as just trying to stand upright was a mission never mind walking,it took five of us just to pitch a tent,and by chance i had mistakenly packed in a extra set of tent pegs which definitely came in handy.

Unfortunately we had to cut the hike slightly short because our lightweight titanium pot also got airborne and flew of the mountain,would you have ever guest,luckily we could boil water in our mugs but not so nice when you have five people to do that for. Lesson learnt, have at least two stoves and pots in a group,you never know.

Oh by the way they are not allowing anyone up Mikes pass, so we walked from didima and took the short cut up the pass which did not turn out to bad at all.We left Didima at 9;30 and got to the lookout hut by 12;45 really taking it easy,yes i know we should have stayed at the hut but we needed water which i know there is a drip further up the pass.

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14 Nov 2011 14:41 #4757 by homearanya
Anthony, Could you please describe the shortcut you took from Didima up to Mike's Pass? I'd really appreciate it. I intend to go up Organ Pipes Pass this December.
Thanks

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