Tseketseke Pass

05 Apr 2012 04:42 #53448 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Tseketseke Pass
Man, I would have loved to be in a position of safety watching that lot come down! It would have been epic, especially if you could have caught it on video.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Biomech

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10 Apr 2012 07:56 - 10 Apr 2012 08:12 #53468 by Geordie
Replied by Geordie on topic Tseketseke Pass
You are welcome Karl, as long as we can kick the hell out of you calves and thighs until they feel the way ours did.
Actually, in true berg hiker fashion, we have all forgotten the hardships of the day and remember the good things like no serious injuries, pitching 4 tents on the Tseketseke camp site, a tent party that evening and an enjoyable stroll back to base the next morning. Eating burgers in 5 day old hiking cloths at the hotel while larney wedding guests gawked in wonder.

Good stuff, all.
G

Good stuff, all.
G
Last edit: 10 Apr 2012 08:12 by Geordie.

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11 Apr 2012 06:24 #53490 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Tseketseke Pass
Hi Geordie

I meant the rocks during the storm, not the hikers!!!

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11 Apr 2012 08:23 #53498 by Geordie
Replied by Geordie on topic Tseketseke Pass
Ah yes, sorry Karl, reading glasses all nice and clean now. Agreed it would have been quite spectacular, probably noisy too.
What is the associated phenomena? An Isolated Humongous Cloud Burst IHCB?? The adjacent Cockade and Camel (Organ pipes) did not get the same treatment. Quite something

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11 Apr 2012 08:51 - 11 Apr 2012 09:41 #53499 by tiska
Replied by tiska on topic Tseketseke Pass
These flash floods are really interesting. I'd expect that there was a major downpour focused on the Tseke catchment. The steep valley sides and the impervious rock mean that the water concentrates into the river very fast. If an average of 20mm fell over the basin in a few hours and if 50% of this were available for runoff (some will evaporate, some will inflitrate into the soil, some will be intercepted by the veg), then about 60 thousand cubic metres of water would need to flow past Tseke hut in a couple of hours, assuming the catchment is about 6km squared. That amount of water has some serious potential.

20mm of rain is very much on the low side of what fell. 80mm or more is quite possible too.
Last edit: 11 Apr 2012 09:41 by tiska.

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11 Apr 2012 09:09 #53502 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Tseketseke Pass
A good thing no hikers where on it at the time, we don't need another minced hiker story like that Ships Prow one.

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11 Apr 2012 22:01 #53513 by Guardian
Replied by Guardian on topic Tseketseke Pass
First post. A little Story. Bottom line-ignore this pass for a while.

I have hiked tseketseke pass in April 2010, when I found it overgrown, but a nice pass.

Organized my first student hike up Organs and down Tseketseke May 2011 and it was hell.
It starts good, but there was a new? waterfall in the riverbed about halfway down, I suspect the boulders that where used to descend it washed away, we had to traverse a very dangerous and steep 10m grass section, one by one, twice people slipped and were caught.
After that we could find no way back into the chaotic river bed as the sides were about 5meter loose cliffs. two of us scouted ahead through thick vegetation for about an hour and after turning around and basically deciding to go back up and down organs, I saw this tree, that we could use to climb down into the riverbed. (True left of valley)
After that was a few hours of walking over newly unsettled rocks and boulders, meter wide boulders still balancing on loose ground with tired legs, I fell 1 meter face first, mostly unharmed, a girl rolled down a scree slope about 3 meters before we caught her.
Afterwards we realized one girl actually broke her foot, not just sprained it. As night closed around us we were a bit shellshocked but had no choice but to get out of that valley. Everything seemed unstable, the riverbed cliffs were new and unsettled and really scare to walk under one by one as not to disturb the ground.

About 50% were not experienced hikers, but we were prepared, but I would advise against this pass. (I see it is now a rock pass on the map?) The 4km's took us 9 hours, and luckily the hut was closer to us than it appeared on the map.
No one regrets this epic,and the hut was amazing (Glad its still standing 2m's from that eroded riverbed) But please choose another pass.
Even ships prow felt better,the hours of bundu bashing at the bottom was spent on stable riverbeds at least.

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12 Apr 2012 07:04 #53517 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Tseketseke Pass
Sometimes we forget how quickly rivers and mountains change. Sure some changes are very slow, but others can be in a matter of minutes. I read a report on an incident on Nanga Parbat in Pakistan that happened many years ago, a mudslide lower down near the bottom of the peak dammed up the river completely, literally stopping the river from flowing. Some time later this massive dam wall broke and the resulting floods wiped out an entire army and numerous villages. I think its easy to forget the power of water and gravity!

The big one I wonder about is how much longer the mushroom will be there, its already fully detached from the hillside, its on a steep slope and just a small bit of erosion to its base would send a few tons of sandstone on a trip down the mountain. Policeman's Helmet may soon also have the same problem (that reminds me, I need to do that hike before it becomes the decapitated policeman, that rock can't hold for ever)...

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10 Jun 2012 16:04 #54259 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Tseketseke Pass
As the fun part of the VE Berg Trip 2, Intrepid, diverian and tonymarshall did a day trip up and down Tseketseke Pass, combined with felling and ringbarking pine trees in the upper Tsekeseke valley.

The previous day we departed from the hotel hikers parking area, past the stables and into the Tseketseke valley past the Blue Pools. Even low down the valley, there was evidence of flash flood damage from the March 2011 flash flood in the Tseketseke catchment.



We were to stay in the river bed the whole way to the Tseketseke Hut, our overnight spot (except for several detours out of the river to cut pine trees.) Near a large copse of pine trees which we tackled, spectacular views of the Camel, Organ Pipes and Castle Buttress were afforded from the bank above the river. Note the lone pine tree to the right in the photo.



As we approached the Tseketseke Hut from downstream, it was apparent how close the hut (in the centre of the photo below) had come to being destroyed in the flash flood, with the erosion adjacent to and downstream of the hut leaving it on an island.



Below is a view of the upper Tseketseke and Tseketseke Pass from the contour path, with Cleft Peak, Column and Pyramid dominating the skyline.



The next morning we headed upstream, and not far from the hut caught the first sight of the top of the valley and pass. It was to be a day of more boulder hopping.



We stayed in the boulder bed until about 2550 m where we found a trail on the left (southern) bank which followed the grass slope to the top of the pass at 3000 m. A view down Tseketseke Pass.



A view to the top of Tseketseke Pass.

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10 Jun 2012 17:01 - 10 Jun 2012 17:08 #54261 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Tseketseke Pass
A view up the grass slope to the top of Tseketseke Pass.



A view down Tseketseke Pass with Intrepid and diverian nearing the top of the pass.



Intrepid, diverian and tonymarshall taking a break at the top of Tseketseke Pass.



After resting a while at the top of the pass, we climbed to the top of nearby Tseketseke Peak (where Ghaznavid's cairn built during the 2012 GT was still intact) for the awesome view of Pyramid and Column.



We then returned back down the pass on the trail on the upper grass slopes, and back into the boulder bed. The boulder hopping wasn't difficult, even on the larger rocks, with the most difficult sections being at two waterfalls. The upstream one was negotiated by climbing down the waterfall itself, which was easier than heading out of the river bed onto the high, steep and unstable banks.



The downstream waterfall had a rock slope with sufficient 'steps' on the southern side to get up or down.



In the photo above diverian climbs down next to the waterfall, and below uses a narrow ledge to traverse around the plunge pool below the waterfall.



Intrepid pauses briefly while descending in the boulder bed on our way back to the hut, where we did some repairs in the afternoon.



Although most of the route involved boulder hopping, don't let this put you off from doing a spectacular pass, which isn't that difficult, and has comfortable overnight accommodation at the Tseketseke Hut.

On the next day, we headed downsteam from the hut to the Contour Path, onto the slopes of the Camel ridge and back to the hotel via Ribbon Falls, again tackling some pine trees along the way.

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Last edit: 10 Jun 2012 17:08 by tonymarshall.
The following user(s) said Thank You: intrepid, Stijn, Bigsnake, ghaznavid, brio, Smurfatefrog, GeraldF

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