Mzimude Pass South

09 Jul 2013 15:44 - 09 Jul 2013 15:49 #57598 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Mzimude Pass South
The passes in the area (photo by Fitness):


From the escarpment (from berg.co.za - site has been down for a while, fortunately I have this saved on my computer):

I believe the route just below the camera is the south south pass, the one just above the prow is the north south pass (marked south pass)

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Last edit: 09 Jul 2013 15:49 by ghaznavid.
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09 Jul 2013 21:53 #57601 by ahowes
Replied by ahowes on topic Mzimude Pass South
Yes, that's how I see it too!

Would have made a huge difference approaching the top of the summit from the south side as it makes the approaches so much clearer!

We approached between the north and south passes and you are in a dip in some dead ground there and don't get a very good view of the pass!

From this view what I thought was the north south pass definitely looks more like a rock climb to me and is in fact the smaller prow above the first one disappearing off the photo!

So I think we back to three lol! North pass, (arrow check). South pass ( arrow check) and south south pass (route just below the camera check)

Glad you also like to get these things right!

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10 Jul 2013 07:17 #57605 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Mzimude Pass South
Great, so we're in agreement on the passes :thumbsup:

I have been in that valley on the escarpment a few times (its one of my favourites), but I'm still yet to do any of the Mzimude routes. I've done Isicutula Pass and Tsepeng Pass only. I've set out to do Mzimude Pass twice and planned to do the pass on hikes that were canceled many times. I've always gone from south to north in that area for some reason.

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10 Jul 2013 07:38 - 10 Jul 2013 07:48 #57606 by ahowes
Replied by ahowes on topic Mzimude Pass South
Yeah I agree its a stunning area also fantastic views of Lesotho. We climbed from Rhino's peak up through the neck of Mashai and I have never had such views of South Africa and Lesotho anywhere in the berg! Was well worth the climb.

We also encounted knee deep snow and lots of ice shelves on the south side of Mashai.

Heres a pic!


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Last edit: 10 Jul 2013 07:48 by diverian.

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10 Jul 2013 07:44 - 10 Jul 2013 07:49 #57607 by ahowes
Replied by ahowes on topic Mzimude Pass South
Here's a pic of an Ice shelf


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Last edit: 10 Jul 2013 07:49 by diverian.

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10 Jul 2013 07:48 #57608 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Mzimude Pass South

ahowes wrote: Yeah I agree its a stunning area also fantastic views of Lesotho. We climbed from Rhino's peak up through the neck of Mashai and I have never had such views of South Africa and Lesotho anywhere in the berg! Was well worth the climb


I agree! In December last year when we were climbing the ridge I told the guys I was hiking with that the upcoming valley (between Mashai and Rhino) was my no 2 favourite in the Berg, I was worried that I had built their expectations up too much. I knew that I hadn't when we reached the top of the ridge and I was asked how there was another valley that beats this one! There are so few valleys like that - both between 3300+m peaks and with a river that drops below 3000m relatively close to the escarpment edge.

Btw my vote for no 1 ridge summit with the best view in the Berg goes to the Sanqebethu Ridge for its insane view in both directions and dramatic drop offs. My no 2 is Mashai for the same reason.

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22 Dec 2014 21:05 - 27 Dec 2014 07:17 #62509 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Mzimude Pass South
After ascending Tsepeng Pass on the December long weekend, intrepid, Harry, Ruan and tonymarshall overnighted at Mzimude Cave before descending Mzimude South Pass.

There are three caves near the top of the pass; the small Mzimude Cave Annex right next to the pass, and Mzimude Caves 1 and 2 slightly higher above the pass route. In the photo below the small annex cave is at the bottom left of the photo, Mzimude Cave 1 at the centre of the photo and Mzimude Cave 2 at the right, with Mzimude peak in the left background. The higher caves are accessed up the grass slope just downslope (to the right) of the annex cave, with Cave 2 accessed from Cave 1 through a rock arch. We used Cave 1, the normally used cave, although Cave 2 is also good it was quite dirty with baboon droppings.



A view down Mzimude South Pass from the top with the Mzimude Cave Annex next to the pass, the grass slope to the higher caves visible just below and the rock arch to access Cave 2 prominent.



Descending the upper section of the pass on the grass slope.



A view down the top section of the pass.



A view back up the top section of the pass.



A view up the pass, with the prow at the centre of the photo separating the Mzimude South Pass which we used on the right from Mzimude south South Pass variation on the left.



There are no obstacles on the pass, and the upper section is easily done in the gully.



Lower down the gradient flattens and the grassy sideslopes provide an alternative route to the gully.

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Last edit: 27 Dec 2014 07:17 by tonymarshall.
The following user(s) said Thank You: elinda, kliktrak, Sabine, Dave

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22 Dec 2014 21:07 #62510 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Mzimude Pass South
The group taking a break with the pass visible in the background, fltr Harry, Ruan, intrepid and tony.



The middle section of the pass has several waterfalls and pools with short gorges, but these are easily bypassed on the grassy sideslopes if necessary.



A view up one of the short gorges.



I followed the gully, while intrepid (with the red pack) followed the left sideslope on this section of the pass.



A view up the lower section of Mzimude Pass.



Looking down valley the river goes into a major gorge.



Following the pass route, you would take the left hand grass slope and descend into the gorge and follow the river downstream until reaching the trail at the upper end of the Hidden Valley. We, however, were going past Curtain Cave and Wave Cave and stayed on top of the rock band on the right.



A view up the lower section of the pass from the rock band above the lower gorge.



We ended up overnighting in Curtain Cave after doing some afternoon exploration of Hidden Valley in light rain, and walked out via Hidden Valley and the Giant’s Cup trail the next morning, also in light rain.

For those using the hiking maps, please note that Mzimude Pass South does not have a trail as shown on the map, the trail from Hidden Valley basically ends at Curtain Cave. Curtain Cave is also shown incorrectly on the map and is not in the main valley, but in the side valley to the south east. So if hiking up to Mzimude Pass South, you need to leave the trail at the head of the Hidden Valley and head to the right along the main valley to the pass.

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04 Jan 2015 19:14 #62525 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Mzimude Pass South
Thanks for sharing!

One of my favourite passes - I have done both main gullies (only have the middle one left), the south gully of the pass is the most pleasant, but both are good. I still need to do Dave G's north pass.

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05 Jan 2015 07:11 #62527 by drdavekaplan
Replied by drdavekaplan on topic Mzimude Pass South
Great article Thank you
DRD

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