Bollard Pass

20 Sep 2011 12:57 #4091 by SeriousTribe2
Replied by SeriousTribe2 on topic Bollard Pass

elinda wrote:
Interesting to see the route you took, ST2. Yes - we did stick to the gully and climbed out just below the cave and then a scramble up - not sure whether we did the 'open book' scramble - there was a steep section where we pulled packs up and then on and upwards to the cave. I will attach a tracklog of our route. The gully was doable with the snow and ice, albeit tricky and slippery - crampons would have helped. Do you think it is possible in Summer conditions, or too wet?


Yeah. Gullys aren't always the answer. The snow and ice helped out to a degree there. The gully is very narrow, choked with loose rock and constant 'step-ups'. The snow looks like it covered all that.

Do-able in summer if you use the left hand bank. Would imagine the gully proper would be a bit wet.

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21 Sep 2011 10:58 - 21 Sep 2011 11:00 #4100 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Bollard Pass
On our ascent of the pass, we crossed the stream twice, at the bottom. Once to walk on the grassy true left side, and a bit further crossing back again - thereafter following the grassy true right banks more or less like ST2 did. We did not do any scrambling in the gully proper, nor did we have to contend with any waterfalls. We did not use ST2's open book, instead we went a little further right, directly above the gully. There was exposure at this point, but I don't recall any serious scrambling - see pic below of this point:
{joomplu:586}

The most significant scrambling is in accessing the cave. See pic below for approach to the cave:
{joomplu:587}

From below, this is what the overhang, in which the cave is situated, looks like:
{joomplu:589}

From the cave we did not return along the route in - we simply cut straight across towards the gully. This does involve a short sequence of careful moves over some rock and some exposure:
{joomplu:588}

ST2 has posted several pics of the pass and cave in the Drakensberg Passes section in the Galleries - check these out too. My own pics above are also in there, if you want to view the full size (except the cave pic, which in the Drakensberg Cave section).

For additional GPS data, my own tracks are available in GPX format in the Downloads section. You can open this file with a text editor or browser to get specific waypoint data. The "Narrow Access" waypoint in there refers to the first pic above.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 21 Sep 2011 11:00 by intrepid.

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21 Sep 2011 13:11 - 21 Sep 2011 13:12 #4101 by SeriousTribe2
Replied by SeriousTribe2 on topic Bollard Pass
@ Intrepid

Pretty interesting. Your second pic is what i refer to as the 'open book' formation. Not the classic crack between 2 right angles, but close enough.

I got halfway across the route you took out of the cave but, having a companion averse to height, I backtracked and we went across lower down. Although the scramble out of there also had a bit of exposure.

Once you are on the bank, the natural line of ascent is pretty much self evident.
Last edit: 21 Sep 2011 13:12 by SeriousTribe2.

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21 Sep 2011 13:20 #4102 by elinda
Replied by elinda on topic Bollard Pass
Yes, we went up as per the second pic and took the same route out the cave as intrepid did. I have to say that we did it very carefully and you do feel pretty exposed...not my favourite and I was happy once we got back into the gully although that was another mission as it was like stepping on to an icerink..........

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21 Sep 2011 16:24 #4106 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Bollard Pass
Thanks for the info and pics!

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22 Sep 2011 06:01 #4107 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Bollard Pass
It is really gr8 to see this new pass and cave getting so much attention.

I was on the trip when ST2 and Stealth found the cave in 2010, having gone on the recon the day before with them into the valley just north of this. Brad and I had spoken about this 'pass' on numerous occasions since we had first slept over in 'Waterfall Cave' in 2002 (opposite Sleeping Beauty Cave). Sadly on the 2010 trip, due to a bad dose of flu a few weeks before I was quite wasted by the next day, and thus I stayed back at Waterfall Cave shooting plants and trees and thus have still not seen Stealth Cave or been up Bollard Pass. And it really brings a salty tear to the eye being so far away from the Berg when I read of these kind of good experiences.

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22 Sep 2011 16:11 #4115 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Bollard Pass
@ST: when you say Waterfall cave, which cave by Sleeping Beauty Cave do you mean? I only know of the waterfall cave at Mnweni. Is that the cave that the path goes through before that steep rocky bank? Do you have a pic of it?

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23 Sep 2011 08:13 - 23 Sep 2011 08:15 #4131 by SeriousTribe2
Replied by SeriousTribe2 on topic Bollard Pass
:cheer: ;)

Sleeping Beauty cave is a ratty, damp hole. If you thrash through the narrow bushy defile above the cave, you exit into the valley above proper, the path takes you to a large tent-like rock. If you look up, and diagonally left, to the cliffband you will see an overhang with a semicircular cutout where a waterfall flows over quite strongly in summer.

Climb the large rocky spur above, traverse left over the grassy bank and in.
Please do add to the walls we built.
Water is close (although sparseish in winter), and around the corner is an incredible perch for breakfast/lunch/dinner.

The ST has some shots.
Last edit: 23 Sep 2011 08:15 by SeriousTribe2. Reason: erratum

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23 Sep 2011 08:23 #4132 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Bollard Pass
I noticed that cave from the ridge above Engagement Cave...was wondering about it. Will check it out next time I'm in the neighbourhood.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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23 Sep 2011 13:20 #4139 by SeriousTribe2
Replied by SeriousTribe2 on topic Bollard Pass
Eish. Engagement Cave. Tiny little rathole. Not surprised at the name. Spend more than a night with someone in there and you're bound to be engaged by the end of it. :blink:

Check it out. Spent raintime in there on two occasions and no wet.

Build some wall. :thumbsup:

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