Tsepeng Pass North

04 Jan 2015 19:11 #62524 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Tsepeng Pass North
Thanks for the writeup :thumbsup:

Seems everyone likes the middle gully - myself and Fitness took the south gully. We followed the south grassy slope which was steep, but not rocky. We had an exposed scramble in the gully. The pass was worthwhile but quite difficult I thought.

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

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30 May 2016 11:03 #68586 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Tsepeng Pass North
We did the gully that isn't clearly visible between these two gullies. We did look up at that gully marked in red and wondered if it goes, but opted not to use it.

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

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30 May 2016 11:10 - 30 May 2016 11:12 #68587 by Smurfatefrog
Replied by Smurfatefrog on topic Tsepeng Pass North

ghaznavid wrote: We did the gully that isn't clearly visible between these two gullies. We did look up at that gully marked in red and wondered if it goes, but opted not to use it.

ok thanks, maybe visible in the right of this pic.
And Elinda's maybe in the middle of the pic, so many options....

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Last edit: 30 May 2016 11:12 by Smurfatefrog.

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30 May 2016 11:14 - 30 May 2016 11:15 #68588 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Tsepeng Pass North
This was roughly our line:


(excuse the poor quality photo)

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

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Last edit: 30 May 2016 11:15 by ghaznavid.
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31 Mar 2019 22:14 #74841 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Tsepeng Pass North

Smurfatefrog wrote: Reading this thread before this weekend confused me a little because Tony's write up did not match the waypoint or track I had, so there seems to be quite a few variations of Tsepeng Pass.

So far from what I can gather:
Tony, Intrepid & co did the main gully (yellow arrow)
Ghaz & Fitness did a gully just to the left of the yellow arrow
Elinda & co seem to have done the same as above
Myself & co did the red arrow (I had this as a waypoint & track, and it had a cairn)


This is looking down from the top at this spot -29.746380 29.136967
The top was very steep & narrow, and had a few scrambles with plenty of ice around.


Once out of the narrow gully we just made our way down the grass slopes to the main riverbed at 2630m

Revisiting the issue of more than one route in this valley: my current impression is that the Tsepeng Pass indicated on the Geomaps is probably the one that ghaznavid and co did (ie doing most of the main gully but then finishing off on a gully branching off  on the true right). I haven't compared the various summit waypoint readings on a map though. Since this route and the yellow arrow route diverge fairly close to the top (and their summits are probably also not far from each other), I propose that these two routes be considered variations of each rather than totally separate passes.

The red arrow route on the other hand, could be seen as a fairly separate pass and thus I propose that we refer to this one as Tsepeng Pass South. The other route and it's variation could be referred to as Tsepeng Pass North. Please let's have your thoughts and perhaps different suggestions on this, and if there are even more routes and variations in this valley let us know!

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

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01 Apr 2019 09:12 #74845 by Smurfatefrog
Replied by Smurfatefrog on topic Tsepeng Pass North
Just a note on the red arrow route, we came down there a week ago and there are plenty loose rocks. Its a very narrow gully so there is nowhere to escape. We had a massive rock that was loose that you had to scamble down on, took us a while to go down carefully, pass packs and then get out the way before the next person went down.

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01 Apr 2019 09:24 - 01 Apr 2019 09:27 #74846 by JonWells
Replied by JonWells on topic Tsepeng Pass North
Yes, the rock Smurf is referring to was one of the chockstones one needs to scramble up/down on one of the bigger scrambles.  As I put weight on it whilst starting the down climb it began sliding forward, then wedged itself in a little lower down.  This was quite an unnerving experience, as we tend to expect these large boulders to be locked in place.  I'm not sure how secure it is now in its new position, but I would hate for it to dislodge while someone is climbing up it!  Some serious caution is advised here.  And as Smurf mentioned, the entire gulley just seems to be much more loose and dangerous than what we recall from previous times, perhaps some heavy rain has changed the nature of this gully.
Last edit: 01 Apr 2019 09:27 by JonWells.

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01 Apr 2019 10:30 - 02 Apr 2019 14:51 #74847 by Dave
Replied by Dave on topic Tsepeng Pass North

Smurfatefrog wrote: Just a note on the red arrow route, we came down there a week ago and there are plenty loose rocks. Its a very narrow gully so there is nowhere to escape. We had a massive rock that was loose that you had to scamble down on, took us a while to go down carefully, pass packs and then get out the way before the next person went down.

The same is true of the yellow route, which I descended on this same trip: there is lots of loose rock with evidence of recent rockfall. I did not feel comfortable staying in the gully. In fact, because of mist, I descended beyond the point I had previously used to exit onto the true right-hand grassy slopes (the safe route, in my view). If you stay in the gully, you come to the chockstone Tony refers to in a previous post , though from above this appears to be simply a very high drop-off, and I did not see an opening to the wormhole. The gully walls at this point are close to sheer, though there seems to be a narrow way round on the left on very steep slopes. But in poor weather I would regard this route as unsafe and highly recommend exiting higher up onto the true right-hand grassy slopes.
Last edit: 02 Apr 2019 14:51 by Dave.

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02 Apr 2019 12:19 #74851 by GriffBaker
Replied by GriffBaker on topic Tsepeng Pass North
With regards to the Chockstone in Tony's write up. When our group ascended the 'yellow arrow' north variation we could walk right under the large chockstone which formed a small cave in the riverbed. Then when facing back down the pass and looking up to the right-hand side under the 'cave'  there was a small wormhole about 2 metres up. We needed to stand on the shoulders of the tallest of our group and squeeze through the wormhole then pass packs up (too small for packs on). Then we pulled the tall guy through the wormhole last. 

Once through, we found ourselves on a small area of a flat boulder/chockstone(enough space for the three of us) with a steep drop off back into the main gully behind. We then carefully climbed up over the remaining curvature of the chockstone taking care not to slip(I remember this feeling quite exposed) and over some dodgy lose smaller chockstones creating the 'roof' of the cavity below. The going was fairly straight forward from then on continuing in the main gulley.

At the time, this seemed better than the steep grass slopes but it would have been difficult without the tall guy.

Coming down the pass it would be pretty difficult to locate the wormhole as it would be out of site and would require a fairly sketchy downclimb to find it and would probably require rope assistance to lower yourself through safely.

This was late 2016, so the details are a little fuzzy.

It would be interesting to see how a flash flood may have changed the accessibility of this route. 
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02 Apr 2019 18:18 #74852 by elinda
Replied by elinda on topic Tsepeng Pass North
We descended this pass quite a few years ago in snow and icy conditions.  From what I can gather it would seem that we used the route to the left of the yellow arrow like Ghaz and Fitness did.  I don't recall the chockstone obstacle so would assume that we entered the main gully below this.

I have dug up some photos



Our approach above the upper main gully.  From here we descended via a steep grassy gully in to the main gully itself







We bypassed a frozen waterfall by going on the left.  I remember this as being very slippery!



 





We traversed to the left and back to Garden Castle via Sleeping Beauty



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