Giant's Castle Pass

14 Nov 2017 07:22 - 14 Nov 2017 07:24 #72362 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Giant's Castle Pass
Hi Warren,

I have used the diagonal angle up and down the ridge (to/from the Giants Cave at the bottom of the pass) several times, and each time think next time I must use the river gully, which I will do if there is a next time. The ridge route may be a bit of a shortcut, but has no path, and the sustained sideslope takes it's toll on your feet and ankles. I haven't done the river route, but my assumption is that it would be about the same difficulty overall, but perhaps easier going without the sideslope.

I'm not sure which route you took back to Giant's Castle Pass from Giant's Castle, if you followed the escarpment and went over the peak (Giant's Pass Peak) immediately east of Giant's Castle Pass, then the gully down into Giant's Castle Pass between Giant's Castle and Giant's Pass Peak, is the variation AndrewP refers to. I can't remember there being a cairn there though.
Last edit: 14 Nov 2017 07:24 by tonymarshall.
The following user(s) said Thank You: WarrenM

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

More
14 Nov 2017 08:04 #72363 by AndrewP
Replied by AndrewP on topic Giant's Castle Pass
Hello Warren

I cannot recall a cairn either.

There is only 1 break in the cliffs between the top of Giants Pass and the summit of Giants Castle, so you must have seen the top of the variation I did. I personally find scrambling up to be easier than scrambling down, so would rather go up the variation than down.
The following user(s) said Thank You: WarrenM

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

More
14 Nov 2017 08:22 #72365 by WarrenM
Replied by WarrenM on topic Giant's Castle Pass
Hi Andrew, Tony - thank you

On our return from Giant's Castle, we were close to the escarpment, and we only saw that one break in this cliffs, we were not sure if it was the only one as visibility was not great. There was definitely a cairn at the top of that variation.

Tony - On using the river route, this would be more challenging in summer, as you do cross the river a couple times and there was water fairly high this weekend. As we descended the pass with the path it definitely got easier the lower we went.

Thanks for the feedback, I look forward to heading back there, hopefully with clear skies so we can actually make out the variation when entering the pass.
The following user(s) said Thank You: tonymarshall, Iano2

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

More
15 Nov 2017 08:18 - 15 Nov 2017 08:19 #72374 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Giant's Castle Pass
The variation is very obvious in clear visibility conditions, it is to the left when going up Giant's Castle Pass, although the clear visibility would also result in most hikers being discouraged from even attempting it. There is another variation to the right too, when going up the pass, which is quite doable and you top out at Giants Summit Cave, although the gully continues up higher and would continue to be doable right to the top end. Andrew and I descended this variation in September. The two variations join the main pass at just about the same point, and there is a cave in the pass at the base of the variation to the right.
Last edit: 15 Nov 2017 08:19 by tonymarshall.
The following user(s) said Thank You: WarrenM

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

More
19 Feb 2023 17:22 #78331 by Edwin128
Replied by Edwin128 on topic Giant's Castle Pass
Hi. Just curious, smugglers using giants pass, what route they use after going the pass? Do they go continue towards Giants Hut? Or do they follow the river? Cheers.

Just wondering if it is safe to camp close to the pass base. I know there was an incident a couple of years ago at the top.

 

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

More
17 Mar 2023 19:42 #78372 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Giant's Castle Pass
I haven't done Giant's Pass for quite some time. My impression from previous times is that it had signs of being used for cattle rustling. I think the smuggling route is mainly on Elandshoek Pass (so the smugglers are at least passing by the top of Giant's Pass). It would be great if hikers could post their most recent observations on what the activities are in this area.

I do not have a gauge on how risky it is to camp at the base of the pass. I did hear vague stories of an incident that may have happened at the caves halfway up the pass, but I can't verify how accurate it was and it goes back more than 15 years. 

If anyone has accurate info, please let us know!

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

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

More
19 Mar 2023 12:21 #78374 by Willsy
Replied by Willsy on topic Giant's Castle Pass
Intrepid,

I camped at the base of Giants pass twice last year with no issues. (August and October)
On both occasions I didn't notice any fresh signs of livestock/people, other than the odd animal skull or bone and old piece of litter.

During the October hike, the top of Elandshoek pass looked unused. Lower down on the contour path towards Oribi Ridge/Elandshoek, I notice some fresh dung and hoofprints. (There were horses in the around and a fellow VE user also reported sheep/goats in that area)
There was also a SAPS helicopter showing off around the pass on the October hike, perhaps this has deterred the rustlers?

Personally I've seen more traffic and signs of it on Grays, Bell and Camel.

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

More
19 Mar 2023 22:35 #78378 by Edwin128
Replied by Edwin128 on topic Giant's Castle Pass

Intrepid,

I camped at the base of Giants pass twice last year with no issues. (August and October)
On both occasions I didn't notice any fresh signs of livestock/people, other than the odd animal skull or bone and old piece of litter.

During the October hike, the top of Elandshoek pass looked unused. Lower down on the contour path towards Oribi Ridge/Elandshoek, I notice some fresh dung and hoofprints. (There were horses in the around and a fellow VE user also reported sheep/goats in that area)
There was also a SAPS helicopter showing off around the pass on the October hike, perhaps this has deterred the rustlers?

Personally I've seen more traffic and signs of it on Grays, Bell and Camel.
 
ok. thx for the replies. I think it is safe as long it is done in stealth way and far away from the trail. Any suggestions for a good spot?

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

More
20 Mar 2023 07:58 #78379 by Willsy
Replied by Willsy on topic Giant's Castle Pass

Intrepid,

I camped at the base of Giants pass twice last year with no issues. (August and October)
On both occasions I didn't notice any fresh signs of livestock/people, other than the odd animal skull or bone and old piece of litter.

During the October hike, the top of Elandshoek pass looked unused. Lower down on the contour path towards Oribi Ridge/Elandshoek, I notice some fresh dung and hoofprints. (There were horses in the around and a fellow VE user also reported sheep/goats in that area)
There was also a SAPS helicopter showing off around the pass on the October hike, perhaps this has deterred the rustlers?

Personally I've seen more traffic and signs of it on Grays, Bell and Camel.

 
ok. thx for the replies. I think it is safe as long it is done in stealth way and far away from the trail. Any suggestions for a good spot?
 
Not far from the trail, but this is the spot at the base of the pass I've used twice with no issues.
You'll see a little flat spot, close to the edge, with some rocks in the middle.
www.gaiagps.com/map/?loc=16.3/29.4726/-29.3315&pubLink=Uka2l0DT8nUTUkeLArSkO0bx&waypointId=7a717241-6f26-4194-aee3-29202c3720a0

You could also push on towards Giants Hut, although ruined, there are plenty of flat spots around there.

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

More
20 Mar 2023 10:02 #78381 by Riaang
Replied by Riaang on topic Giant's Castle Pass
Ditto on the Giants hut area.

Not far from Giants pass and so out of the way. We've camped in the dry tarn before, LOTS of flat spots here :-)

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

More
Powered by Kunena Forum