Tsepeng Pass North

01 Jul 2011 08:52 #3246 by ghaznavid
Tsepeng Pass North was created by ghaznavid
In keeping with my tradition of planning random hikes with people (who 98% of the time seem to pull out the day before), I have been looking at Tsepeng Pass at Garden Castle as a possible hike route. I am considering the Bollard Wilson loop, but any of these 3 passes would be a possibility. The main goal is to climb the Bollard and Mashai Peak, and in the event that we use Tsepeng Pass, maybe even Tsepeng Peak. Does anyone know anything about Tsepeng Pass and if it is accessible via Sleeping Beauty Cave. Also is it realistic as a day hike?

Otherwise, about how long would it take to do the Bollard Wilson Loop, how far is it, and is it better to go up Bollard and down Wilson or the other way round? How easy is it to find the 2 passes from the top or bottom (I have only done up to sleeping beauty cave before, never gone past it). What is water like in the area.

Thanks.

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins

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05 Jul 2011 07:05 #3254 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Tsepeng Pass North
Never mind, we are going to do the Bollard Wilson loop on Friday.

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins

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06 Jul 2011 02:40 #3265 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Tsepeng Pass North
I've only ever encountered one person who had done Tsepeng Pass, so I don't know much about it. It can definitely be accessed from Sleeping Beauty Cave / Mashai Valley, though probably with no trail. It had also occurred to me to attempt it as a day hike, combined with Bollard Pass, but it's gonna be long, and not realistic in the "normal" sense. The Bollard-Wilson loop is more do-able, I think.

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

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18 May 2012 07:52 #53937 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Tsepeng Pass North
Does anyone out there know anything about Tsepeng Pass? It looks like a real good one, topping out between Mzimude and Mashai, and it looks like a good river the entire way up. It is a suitable prospect for my intentions of doing a hike and topping out south of the Lequooa Ridge, and is not as far away from the start as Mzimude Pass. The basic plan would be a 4 day 10 khulu hike including Andre's Knob, Isicutula Peak, Walkers Peak, Mzimude Peak, The Bollard, Mashai, Tsepeng (8th highest peak in Lesotho), Wilson, Matebeng, Mlambonja, Random Peak and maybe Verkyker (also Rhino if there is time). Head down Mashai Pass...

The approach route I would use would be up to Sleeping Beauty Cave, climb the ridge on the South side of the Mashai river and contour around the ridge to the next river which I believe is the pass, not sure if you can get the entire way round without dropping altitude though.

This is for a hypothetical hike in December this year, but I may incorporate part of it into one of my notoriously over optimistic winter day hikes...

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins

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21 May 2012 18:21 #53973 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Tsepeng Pass North
Don't know much about it and its on my radar too. I would probably also approach it from Sleeping Beauty Cave side...this seems the most efficient. But it does depend on which pass will be used in conjunction with it. I expect it to be like Bollard and Wilsons.

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

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21 May 2012 20:01 - 21 May 2012 20:21 #53975 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Tsepeng Pass North
If I am correct this is the pass from the top and the bottom:





I see now that I missed the label for Mashai Peak on the photo from the Hidden Valley...

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins

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Last edit: 21 May 2012 20:21 by ghaznavid.

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22 May 2012 09:45 #53989 by Selous
Replied by Selous on topic Tsepeng Pass North
Hi Intreped
I don't think it would be an over optimistic day hike. I did Mashai Pass across the top and came down Mzimude Pass in Late June last year. Mzimude Pass was full of snow so although it was quite difficult coming down It would have been much harder going up. So maybe come down saw Tsepeng Pass, but it might not be what you won't to do. When we were down Mzimude Pass i could see a Tsepeng Pass and it looked like a great on to do. Also now on my bucket list. I would approach it the same way you described.
Regards
Selous

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11 Jun 2012 19:32 #54279 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Tsepeng Pass North
@Selous, yes I think it does have merit as a day hike, combined with Mashai Pass maybe for a quick descent.

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

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21 Dec 2014 22:40 #62505 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Tsepeng Pass North
On the December long weekend, intrepid, Harry, Ruan and tonymarshall ascended Tsepeng Pass. We had hiked up from Garden Castle the previous afternoon in misty weather and finding Sleeping Beauty Cave occupied and Engagement Cave small and damp, overnighted in a small overhang we found upstream from Engagement Cave and named Red Shelter with reference to the reddish sandstone cliffs. intrepid and tony later visited the nearby Sleeping Beauty Cave Annex (also known as ST2 Cave), and this was deemed to be the best shelter in the area although we had already settled in at Red Shelter, and had a comfortable night there despite some light rain.

Waking to clear weather we headed upstream with good views of Bollard Pass, and onto the left (true right) ridge, before crossing over the ridge at a suitable saddle. The photo below shows the ridge with Bollard Pass to the right and the valley leading to Tsepeng Pass (known by some as Secret Valley) and Mzimude Peak on the left.



We then more or less contoured through some side valleys towards the Tsepeng Pass valley.



After a break at the entry to Tsepeng Pass valley, we had a good view up the pass, a rocky gully with mostly grassy slopes on the sides.



We chose to stay in the gully, with the option of using the grass slopes to bypass any obstacles.



The gully got quite narrow in places.



We were then confronted with the first obstacle in the gully, two chockstones, which intrepid and tony checked out and could have climbed up the right side, but realized our companions wouldn’t be comfortable with this. There is a cavity under the lower chockstone which we explored and found a wormhole that was also possible to climb up behind the chockstone.



So we bypassed this obstacle on the grass slopes, tony ascending the steeper left (true right) side while intrepid assisted the others up on the right (true left) side.



Above the obstacle we converged back into the gully and continued upwards.

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21 Dec 2014 22:42 - 22 Dec 2014 18:23 #62506 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Tsepeng Pass North
Higher up there was a second obstacle, a low waterfall which could easily be bypassed to the right on a rocky slope.



The low waterfall in the gully.



A view back down Tsepeng Pass.



There were several other minor scrambles in the gully,



before reaching the final grass slope to the top of the pass.



intrepid summitting the pass with the view back down to the bottom of the pass.



The view south from the top of Tsepeng Pass to Mzimude and Walkers Peak, both of which would be summited by intrepid and tony that afternoon.



Near the top of the pass is an overhang that could be used as shelter. We had lunch here after intrepid and tony had summited Mashai and the Bollard.



We then headed off around Mzimude to overnight in Mzimude Cave before descending Mzimude Pass the next day.

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Last edit: 22 Dec 2014 18:23 by tonymarshall.

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