Wilson's Pass

07 Feb 2021 14:09 #76493 by karlrottcher
Replied by karlrottcher on topic Wilson's Pass
Thanks Ghaznavid

Great advice to cross over the ridge into the Mashai River Valley above Sleeping Beauty. Our party has done some hiking with steep sections but with no rope work. If that is the case for Wilsons, we wont rule it out just yet.

Regarding your option of Mzimude Pass, I see it is not marked on my map. I am a guessing you come down the valley just south of Mashai Peak. Could one then cross the ridge further down in a northerly direction and head passed Sleeping Beauty Cave?

Another question, are there any suggestions where best to tent between Mashai and Wilson's pass?

Regards
Karl

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08 Feb 2021 07:59 #76494 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Wilson's Pass
Mzimude Pass is marked on the maps. It has a few caves right at the top as well, but does require crossing the Leqooa Ridge (Mashai Peak), which isn't trivial. Notably the 3rd highest ridge in the entire range! If your team is fine with some scrambling, Wilsons Pass is probably fine. None of the scrambles are particularly difficult or scary, but there are a lot of them.

Tsepeng Pass ends with a traverse onto a ridge and dropping into the valley above Sleeping Beauty Cave, but Mzimude Pass ends up too far south. You can skip a lot of distance by jumping over the ridge around Puffadder Rock (a large rock pool with a massive boulder next to it), but in my experience, this is no faster than just following the trail and walking around via the Giants Cup Trail.

For camping, once you hit the top of Mashai Pass, you will need to head for the river between Matebeng and Mashai, which can be done by heading down stream to the confluence, or crossing the ridge below Mlambonja Peak. I personally prefer the higher line as it is much shorter. Once you are on that river, there is no shortage of potential camping spots. There are a lot of kraals in the area, although I've camped in that valley a few times without problems, so just take the usual precautions (shoes in the tent, be friendly etc).

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