Giant's Castle Pass

09 Jul 2013 06:24 #57583 by JonWells
Replied by JonWells on topic Giant's Castle Pass
Agreed, it looks like a doddle from the pics, but it aint :blink:

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 Jul 2013 07:34 #57584 by firephish
Replied by firephish on topic Giant's Castle Pass
great photos, thanks for sharing!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 Jul 2013 04:00 #57655 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Giant's Castle Pass
Gr8 vid guys. We had a blizzard going up KaMashilenga Pass and similar wind at the top of the eNtubeni Pass. I recall getting slapped in the face by the tent almost the entire night!!!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 Jul 2013 15:32 #57663 by Bigsnake
Replied by Bigsnake on topic Giant's Castle Pass
Well done guys!...and gal.
Best video I have ever seen on the Berg and it's wintry potential.
Have had similar conditions before and have had to adjust the plan.

I always wanted to get a pair of snow shoes which would allow plan A
to continue but the cost,weight versus the number of times one would actually use them.....
But that was 15-20 years ago and I'm thinking that conditions are changing up there!
A lot more of the white stuff it seems.

Anyone got experience with using snow shoes in the Berg?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
18 Jul 2013 00:05 #57753 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Giant's Castle Pass
Wow i dig the tent city. Not because there would be lots of people on the hike, which is not my preferred way of hiking, i was just thinking it would make some interesting opportunities for photography. Nice pic, in fact nice pics on the whole report.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
28 Jul 2013 18:11 #57833 by Smurfatefrog
Replied by Smurfatefrog on topic Giant's Castle Pass

tonymarshall wrote: We used the Oribi Ridge route to access the area, and had the morning view of the ‘berg from Giant’s Castle to the Cathkin Range, still with some snow on the high ridges, although this soon disappeared.

I was at this spot at sunrise today, it such an awesome wide view of the high berg! Pity I had to dash back down for breakfast, will definitely use Oribi ridge on my next trip towards the Giant.
The following user(s) said Thank You: tonymarshall

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
23 Sep 2013 11:32 #58559 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Giant's Castle Pass
So this weekend myself and Hobbit (a 12 year old who excels at day hiking) did a 3 day loop up Central Jarding pass down Giants Pass. We overingted in Jarding Cave and Giant's Cave (we used the one shown on the map). Its actually a relatively easy route, no long days, no excessively hard days either.

Jarding Pass and cave details are at www.vertical-endeavour.com/forum/11-drakensberg-passes/55389-jarateng-passes.html?start=10#58558

We hit the escarpment in rather thick mist. We had a few moments where we had a view of the Jarding valley in Lesotho. The traverse to Giant's Pass is a route I don't know well. I have done part of the route when doing GT last year, but it was on the day when I felt so sick and was in so much pain (achilies strain and a sore back/neck) that I thought I would have to pull out of the GT. We also had mist for part of it - so really not a spot I know well.

I didn't get many photos due to the thick mist - we often could only see 100m, sometimes less. It was also really cold and wet.

Jarding Pool - usually full of water was a still stagnant pool:


We ran out of water when we hit the escarpment (the river on the pass was dry from not far above the base of the pass). We planned to get water from the Jarding river, but it wasn't flowing. As the options were risking sickness due to contaminated water or dehydration, we took some non-flowing water and added chlorine pills to it. After leaving it for an hour, before drinking it we also boiled it.

Any way, after some heavy reliance on my GPS we eventually found Giant's Pass (harder to find than what I would have thought), the top of the pass was wet and slippery. We got down quite quickly and reached Giants Cave (the one on the map) at 1PM. We also saw 2 hikers going up the pass a bit later.

Giant's Cave is 2 linked caves with tons of sleeping areas. Not sure where the capacity of 4 comes from - could easily get 10 people in the cave. It was well sheltered and flat, but had no nearby water.

We woke up to see snow outside the cave:


Grass outside the cave dusted in snow:


Some icicles had formed overnight:


We briefly got a view of the cliffs above us, looks like the pass must be really beautiful:

Attachment GiantsPass.jpg not found



A skull on the pass covered in snow:


Summary of the pass - it was tricky when wet and snowy, but it wasn't steep, route finding was easy and for at least half the pass we were able to follow the pass. Its a really worthwhile pass.

We returned via Oribi Ridge. It is longer than Giant's ridge and has a lot of up and down. I have done both of these ridges in the mist, so I can't comment on the view, but I would do Giant's ridge over Oribi Ridge next time (although I am happy to have done both now).

Please login or register to view the images attached to this post.

The following user(s) said Thank You: diverian, Bigsnake, HFc

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
24 Sep 2013 09:33 #58562 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Giant's Castle Pass
Nice shot looking up the pass with the mist and snow.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
03 Oct 2017 08:12 #72213 by AndrewP
Replied by AndrewP on topic Giant's Castle Pass
Giants Pass variations

Ifyou are heading up Giants Pass, then shortly after entering the pass proper, you can see an obvious gully heading up on either side.

The gully on the Giants Peak side is protected low down by an overhanging chockstone. Bypass this on a grass slope to the right.

From here, rock walls trap you for the remainder of the pass. A short rock stretch may be bypassed on the left, but ice there kept me in the main v slot. This involves about 2m of steep scramble and could be slippery when wet.

From here, the slope for the rest of the pass averages about 35 degrees. It was solidly iced up for me, but it is highly unlikely that the ice covered any nasty surprises.


The variation on the Long Wall side has no tricks at all. It is rather loose in places and has a lot of spikey plants. It looks like it has seen several ascents or descents over the years. Go for it if you are bored, but it is not recommended.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 Nov 2017 14:10 #72352 by WarrenM
Replied by WarrenM on topic Giant's Castle Pass
Hi All

My wife and I went up Giants Pass on Saturday, it was our first time in the area and I was looking to use the route up to the cliffs and contour into the pass, from one of the photo's in this thread we did pass the same places at about 2600m but we decided to contour into the pass at that point below the large patch of scree and boulders, we were in heavy mist and didn't really know where the cliffs were or how far the contour was to the pass.

My first question and I may already have the answer, if you want to take this route up to the cliffs and contour in, there isn't any real path or specific ridge to climb up, or is there, you kind of pick a point on the contour path before the river and head straight up? There was a single stone on a rock on the contour path is the spot that marks the start of the ascent to the cliffs?

The Camp in their brochure seem to have this a the better route to take (see Below):



On our decent we went straight down the pass to the contour path and given that we struggled with the heavy mist it seemed like the better option both ways up and down, heading straight for the cliffs and contouring didn't actually avoid the very loose and steep gravel bits of the pass, which was what I was trying to avoid.

Second question - Once we had summited Giants Castle, on the way back to the pass, before you need to make that last climb up before getting back to the pass, we passed a cairn that looked like it marked a pass (in between Giants Castle and Giants pass), very steep from what we could see, not knowing about it we didn't even consider it, but is this a manageable alternative route back into or out Giants pass? AndrewP is this the variation that you are referring to?

Please login or register to view the image attached to this post.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
Powered by Kunena Forum