Hlubi Pass South

31 May 2012 13:52 #54160 by ghaznavid
Hlubi Pass South was created by ghaznavid
Does anyone know anything about the "easy pass just north of Langalibalele Pass" described in the book "Giant's Castle"? I think it may be one of these (sorry about steeling your photo, JonWells0802):



It is apparently very close to Langies.

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31 May 2012 14:17 #54161 by kliktrak
Replied by kliktrak on topic Hlubi Pass South
i nice preview of what awaits... :woohoo:

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31 May 2012 15:37 - 04 Jun 2012 05:30 #54162 by BobbyStanton
Replied by BobbyStanton on topic Hlubi Pass South
Yup. Looks relatively easy. Langies is on the left. Picture courtesy of Elinda.

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Last edit: 04 Jun 2012 05:30 by intrepid. Reason: embedded image

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31 May 2012 16:32 #54165 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Hlubi Pass South
@BobbyStanton: Nice pic, that looks like that could be it.

@Kliktrak: I think we have another possible return pass for Saturday! Now what will we write in the mountain register...

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01 Jun 2012 07:52 #54167 by kliktrak
Replied by kliktrak on topic Hlubi Pass South
@ghaznavid - sweet :thumbsup: yeah i sent you an email ;)

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03 Jun 2012 06:52 - 03 Jun 2012 19:46 #54175 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Hlubi Pass South
Ok, so if anyone is interested, "Hlubi Pass" is a fairly straightforward steep but not rocky pass. A full write up will follow soon...

Btw the name is due to the history of the area - originally the Hlubi people used this pass as a route to get cattle onto the escarpment and it was known as Langalibalele Pass, while the pass just south of it was called Bushman's River Pass. Its not clear if the change in names was a map makers error, or due to something else, but this pass was largely forgotten about. As it is a distinct pass from Langies, we can't call it Langies North Gully, so with the Hlubi people having used it prior to it falling into disuse, that seems to be an appropriate name for it.

Top out of the pass: 29˚16'37.8"S 29˚26'21.4"E

There are some caves on the pass, but nothing particularly good, the best cave was a 3 sleeper which is wet in the one half and covered in medium sized rocks all over. Nothing to write home about.

The best pic for the route is Bobby/Elinda's one:

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Last edit: 03 Jun 2012 19:46 by ghaznavid.

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14 Sep 2017 18:52 #72134 by AndrewP
Replied by AndrewP on topic Hlubi Pass South
The Hlubi passes lie midway between Langalibalele Pass and The Thumb. They top out 55m from each other and by the time the rivers cross the contour path, they are only 140m apart. Yet, 2 independent passes exist. The obvious approach is via the Langalibalele ridge as far as the contour path.

South Hlubi
South Hlubi is one of the easiest passes around. Ghaznavid traversed along the contour path northwards until the first river crossing. He then followed the banks of this.

A faster alternative is to follow the Langalibalele  Pass path above the contour path to the point where the Langalibalele  path breaks left. Carry on up the ridge passing through an easy rock band until you get to 2600m. You are now directly below the final rock bands.

Traverse right easily into the final grass gully. Follow this to top.


North Hlubi
The top portion of the pass is badly eroded at present thanks to grazing. The actual entrance is slightly south of the main gully which is protected by a short cliff.
This gully has a few waterfalls in it, but they are easily dodged via grass slopes to the side. Most can be dodged on either side and it always seemed obvious which way to go.

The long approach slope between the contour path and steep section is easy going. Grassy with no rocks, so you can run downhill at a merry pace.
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15 Sep 2017 08:15 #72141 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Hlubi Pass South

AndrewP wrote: South Hlubi
A faster alternative is to follow the Langalibalele  Pass path above the contour path to the point where the Langalibalele  path breaks left. Carry on up the ridge passing through an easy rock band until you get to 2600m. You are now directly below the final rock bands.


Incidentally Kliktrak, Hobbit and I used this line on our first hike together back in 2012.

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17 Dec 2017 08:30 #72496 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Hlubi Pass South
South Hlubi Pass

On the September long weekend, after ascending Bond Pass, I traversed north along the escarpment and descended South Hlubi Pass.

The photo below was taken from Middle Ridge earlier in the year, and gives a perspective of the area. As described by AndrewP, the two independent Hlubi Passes, close together, can be seen.



The photo below was taken just south of Langalibalele Pass near the Carbineers Grave, and shows the view across the top of Langalibalele Pass to the ridge on the northern side of Langalibalele Pass, where both Hlubi Passes passes top out, at the top right of the photo.



The top of South Hlubi Pass has a distinct gully, with a faint trail, probably from Lesotho animal’s grazing.



After descending a short rocky slope at the top of the narrow gully, a broad grassy slope is reached. The photo below shows the view up the rocky slope to the top of South Hlubi Pass, and the start of the lower broad grass slope.



A view down the broad grass slope, with the obvious South Hlubi Pass gully to follow at the centre of the photo below.



Another similar view down South Hlubi Pass, with the cloud and mist below.

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17 Dec 2017 08:33 #72497 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Hlubi Pass South
A bit lower down the view south to Giant’s Castle peak sticking out above the mist was quite impressive.



A view back up the grass slope.



The grass slope narrows at it passes through the rock band, and becomes more of a boulder bed.



In this section I alternated between the grass slope adjacent to the gully and the boulder bed, depending on which was easier, as I descended into the mist. I also kept a look out for the cave in the rock band described in ghaznavid’s pass blog, but didn’t see it, probably because it is on North Hlubi Pass, or possibly because of the low visibility at times in the mist. The photo below shows a view back up this section of the pass.



Lower down the mist was quite thick, and following the featureless grass slope descent didn’t enable me to take any meaningful photos. I stayed on the true right of the stream/gully, although I couldn’t see it at all in the mist. Just above the Contour Path, I got close to the stream, which had a fair amount of water as it cascaded down rock slopes with numerous small pools, as depicted in the photo below.




I then followed the Contour Path right (south east) and joined the Langalibalele Pass path after about 750 m, which I used back to Giant’s Castle camp.

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