Gypaetus Pass

17 Jun 2011 08:43 #3154 by ghaznavid
Gypaetus Pass was created by ghaznavid
Looking at my photos from Bannerman Pass I have notice a possible route up the side of Gypaetus Point, it looks steep but less rocky than Bannerman Pass.




Has anyone ever tried going up this route? Does anyone know whether or not it is worth looking into?

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17 Jun 2011 11:35 - 17 Jun 2011 11:36 #3155 by tiska
Replied by tiska on topic Re: Gypaetus Pass
Looks like a nice line! One of the great things about the Berg is the sheer diversity of these kind of approaches to the escarpment. The more you visit, the more you see the potential.

Whether these routes work out can often be determined by whether the route is closed out at some point by as little as 3m worth of blank basalt or else some steep and loose rock with a bit of a view underneath. Its hard to tell whether these features properly block the way until you are right on them. So I would advise taking a short length of rope and a light harness - maybe even just a sling to help you through those sections or help you reverse a section if there is worse higher up.

The chances are you'll be the first up this way.
Last edit: 17 Jun 2011 11:36 by tiska.

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20 Jun 2011 17:37 - 20 Jun 2011 17:37 #3173 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Re: Gypaetus Pass
I've noticed the route before too. Has lots of potential, just watch out for those potential little snags as mnt_tiska mentioned. Whether or not it has been done before is hard to say (it is impressive how much the early pioneers did do, and not all of it was recorded), but I am not aware of any official record. The Giants area actually has potential for several unmarked/new passes, interesting enough.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 20 Jun 2011 17:37 by intrepid.

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23 Jun 2011 18:02 #3200 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Re: Gypaetus Pass
This photo from one of my hikes earlier this year shows that it looks like getting to near the top is easy, the top rock band looks difficult though (excuse the angle of the photo, it was taken at a 45 degree angle for artistic reasons!)

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22 May 2012 09:43 #53988 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Re: Gypaetus Pass
On the GT when we stopped for a break in this area I had a good look at the possibility of this route and I am now even more convinced than before that there is a possible route up and in late spring or summer I will hopefully finally get a chance to try it out - and hopefully climb Gypaetus Point while I am there. Pics from the GT that suggest a slightly different route to what I thought in the past (although my original route gets through the lower rock band in without rock scrambling on what looks like smooth wet rock):



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27 Jun 2012 16:09 #54540 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Re: Gypaetus Pass
I have been looking at photos of the area again and I see caves on the route, gaps in the rock bank, very doable.

Anyone up for some exploration in October this year? My plan is to head up this pass and camp by the river northish behind Gypaetus Point, then head over the Popple ridge and try Auditor's Pass (see the thread that I am about to put up), assuming we can see a route down, otherwise Judge Pass.

The exact date is not yet finalised, but it won't be November as I am writing Board 2 in November, in December I am hoping to do a 6 day hike at Garden Castle and a 7 day attempt on the highest point in every province, so October will have to be it.

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28 Jun 2012 08:18 #54548 by BobbyStanton
Replied by BobbyStanton on topic Re: Gypaetus Pass
Tis better to explore from the bottom to the top than to get stuck on a ledge on the way down with no climbing experience or equipment!
I think Confucius said that.

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28 Jun 2012 10:08 #54550 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Re: Gypaetus Pass

BobbyStanton wrote: Tis better to explore from the bottom to the top than to get stuck on a ledge on the way down with no climbing experience or equipment!
I think Confucius said that.


:laugh: Often true, eg False Tseke, but not a chance I wanted to hike up Hlubi Pass, that was too steep! If I can't see a definite route down Auditor Pass I will head down Judge Pass instead, I am a careful hiker, I don't take big risks - a failed hike is still a good story and an enjoyable weekend (well, if someone doesn't die, get severely injured and you don't have a miserable time of it...)

Btw would have loved to come to the MBC social tonight, armed with GT 2012 and Hlubi Pass photos for the open screen (2500 photos is enough to put any hiker to sleep!), but I will be in a meeting at the time :(

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02 Aug 2012 19:29 #54778 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Re: Gypaetus Pass
Ok, final plans of the route, I hope to try the pass on the long weekend in September, provided I can put together a group - probably day 1 up to Bannerman Hut, day 2 up Gypaetus Pass down Bannerman Pass and hike back to the car park the next morning. The only worry is the part marked with an "X".









I will use the above to put together a rough GPS track with aid of GE.

Anyone interested in joining can let me know. It will be tough, the route up will be slow, but whether or not we succeed in finding a route up, its likely to be a really cool hike. If time permits, Gypaetus Point will be added to my "khulus bagged" list...

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03 Aug 2012 14:59 #54786 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Re: Gypaetus Pass
Ok, the photos got really stretched somewhere along the line...

My approx GPS track is as follows:



Interesting stats on the pass, its about 2.5km from Bannerman Hut and gains 800m over that distance :woohoo: average incline is 30 degrees, so not too bad and a steepest of about 60 degrees, so no more difficult than Bannerman Pass - I hope!

If the hike ends up happening (which it should), I will have a nice long write-up on the route...

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