Which of Organ Pipes, Thuthumi, Camel or Tseketseke passes to use.

08 Jan 2019 17:19 #74472 by kjennings
Hi everyone: I am looking for advice on which of the passes in Cathedral peak area to use for an up and down route in one day for group of 6 trail runners (so carrying light packs only and on Cathedral peak route from the hotel we did 20 km in 6 hours so think this will be feasible if we start early).  Shortest route up given Mike’s pass is closed seems to be Camel and from what I have read not too tricky in dry weather and I’d prefer to do any scrambling as the up so think if we use this pass it should be the “ up” leg. ( Anyone got recent experience?) What would make one choose Organ Pipes over Thuthumi? We are thinking of summiting Cleft Peak if the weather is clear so maybe Tsekesteske is an option for down: any comments? Any GPX flies for theses passes?

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08 Jan 2019 17:44 #74473 by Smurfatefrog
Welcome to VE!

Thuthumi pass should be ruled out as it angles to the south and would add distance and not much else

I would start at Didima offices and head up Mikes Pass (you can head up directly from the car park, don't go back to the bottom of the road) and up Organ Pipes Pass. If you are falling behind at this stage then head down the Camel route, it not then head up and over Cleft Peak and down Tseketseke Pass. Once you pass hut look out for the contour path and head right (south) until the Tryme Hill path back to Didima

You could also leave from the hotel (a long first half) and then head down the Ribbon falls route instead of Tryme Hill at the end.

The Camel route is not bad, it's just one very small section that can be slippery.

You can however link any of the 3 passes together with quite a few lower berg route options.

Check the downloads section on here for GPS tracks, if you battle I can send you a few tracks that you can piece together to make once consolidated one
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08 Jan 2019 17:47 #74474 by AndrewP
I would skip Tseketseke - it is overgrown and trick to route find so will be no faster to a trail runner than a hiker.

I suggest the standard camel route up organ pipes. There are no scrambles to get excited about, but there are a few sections with exposure.  From there, head up Cleft Peak and then look at your time and weather.  Either go down the same way.

Or, as you are fit and fast, why not finish on the bell traverse?  Mlambonja Pass will make a decent bail route this does not work out.
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09 Jan 2019 21:09 - 10 Jan 2019 06:25 #74501 by kjennings
Thanks so much for advice: we had a wonderful outing today as the weather looked good enough and it was.  Cloud around 2000- 2500m which thankfully cooled us down and no electric storm. Up Camel via Ribbon falls: scrambling sections a bit tricky as some wet patches on the rocks but very doable, and down Organ Pipes and Mike’s pass which was a trail runner’s dream with some great single track. There was water in the streams especially near Windy gap on both routes. Relaxed pace with many stops to take in the ever changing view 9 hours: 30km. 
Last edit: 10 Jan 2019 06:25 by kjennings.

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