Trident Pass

22 Nov 2017 08:44 #72403 by AndrewP
Trident Pass was created by AndrewP
Trident Pass tops out at the back of the Namahadi cutback in the Free State portion of the Drakensberg. It gets its name from 3 obvious top outs.

I came down the easternmost of these splits, which tops out very close to the saddle between Flat Top and Namahadi Z. The upper portion of the gully is simple enough. Grass and a few boulders.

The upper portion of the pass has a few pinnacles to distract you. This one is at the split of the 3 summit gullies and has most likely not been climbed yet. Drool.

Looking up the pass from a little further out. The central split is clearly visible.

The river bed is now eroded and is soon bushy. You can avoid much of this but obviously have to venture into it now and again. A path and occasional cairn help you along. It is always obvious enough.

Further along, I found a pleasant pool for a short swim. It was melted snow after all.

Soon afterwards, I found a path that traversed out left onto the crest of the ridge. This is probably the easiest way to go, and you get a lovely view of a small waterfall, and the surrounding mountains. The Namahadi cutback is more open than the Mnweni cutback but is still impressive. I followed the ridge down to the river.

I chose the true right for the walk out, intending to hit the Namahadi Pass path later. An obvious path on true left heads up pretty high and is most likely only useful if you are heading all the way to the dam.

The river banks to get to the Namahadi Pass path are mostly easy going. With if course some bush bashing, boulder hopping and occasional scramble up steep river banks to keep you busy. I saw another lovely pool, waterfall and plenty of flat open rock nearby, for what could be a lovely lunch spot. The sun had already set for me (due to a scenic detour back up the ridge and down another pass), so I skipped the lunch spot and trotted away as fast as I could before darkness set in proper.

After that, I kept to the true right. I had to cross a few decent sized valleys before picking up the highway which was 100m above me. That goes quickly and when it finally hit the flats leading to the dam, I decided rightly or wrongly to break right into the first side valley and to cross the next ridge. That gets you into the valley you want to be in to get back to Witsieshoek.

The final, steep ridge was not fun in the dark. But it saved the effort of organising a lift from the dam.

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22 Nov 2017 12:35 #72404 by Viking
Replied by Viking on topic Trident Pass
That pinnacle!!! :woohoo:

“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”

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