Bannerman Pass

08 Dec 2010 12:44 #73320 by Stijn
Bannerman Pass was created by Stijn
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The Bannerman hut at the bottom of this pass makes this one of the very popular passes in the Drakensberg. It’s a very short pass and you’ll find yourself at the top in no time at all. Despite its relative ease, it is still quite a fun pass to do with the final section heading up a narrow rock-filled gully. No real scrambling is required to do this section and it is therefore a great pass to do when you are new to the Drakensberg.

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14 Mar 2012 13:40 #53231 by heath
Replied by heath on topic Bannerman Pass
Hi Guys

Has anyone done Bannermann Pass?
If so is it possible to make it up in one day with some newbies?

I know that the pass itself isnt very difficult but it is a long walk in.

Thanks
Heath

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14 Mar 2012 15:22 #53233 by kliktrak
Replied by kliktrak on topic Bannerman Pass
Hi

Yes it is possible, but will be a long day - the key is too leave early even by 6/7am to ensure you are out of the pass with enough daylight to pitch tents etc - depending on the level of these "newbies" you will need approx 4hrs to do the pass alone from my experience.

The hike to Bannermans hut and foot of the pass also mustnt be underestimated, it is long and has a sustained gradient, and the section on the contour path is not flat and twists in and out of few gulleys/over ridges. So assess energy levels before the pass, as you dont want to get stuck in there in the dark.

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14 Mar 2012 16:02 #53234 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Bannerman Pass
As Kliktrak says - the pass is only 3km but takes roughly 4 hours due to the loose rocks. This is the only berg pass where trekking poles are actually annoying. Consider overnighting in Bannerman Hut and tackling the pass first thing in the morning, dont even consider sleeping in Spare Rib Cave, its not flat, the floor is rocky and its damp and covered in moss, its just a horrible cave.

If you are not planning on going anywhere from the top of the pass, it is possible to conquer the pass and return to the car park with overnighting in Bannerman Hut in a day, or you can even walk over the ridge past Senqebethu and descend via the walk-in-the-park that is Langalibalele Pass...

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins

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15 Mar 2012 05:47 #53235 by heath
Replied by heath on topic Bannerman Pass
Thanks Guys

Thats kinda what I've been expecting regarding the long day.

I appreciate the advice!
Heath

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27 Jul 2012 05:52 #54711 by Sabine
Replied by Sabine on topic Bannerman Pass
Has anyone done this pass recently or in winter? What is the situation with water up the pass? Where is the last water before Spare-Rib cave?

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27 Jul 2012 07:22 #54712 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Bannerman Pass
There is normally water quite far up the pass (till about half way, so past Spare Rib Cave), but I have never been up there in winter (only summer and autumn), but I imagine the pass gets very little sun in winter and the water is probably all frozen.

With regards to Spare Rib Cave, have you been there before? The inside of the cave looks like this:


It won't be that wet in winter, but its not flat, its rocky, its cold and miserable. It definitely doesn't sleep 12. If you do sleep there, make sure you have tons of warm clothing...

On the bright side, Bannerman Pass is awesome, in my opinion the view from the top is one of the best bits of escarpment in the entire range, and Spare Rib Cave is really easy to find, you can see it from almost everywhere on the pass.

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins

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02 Aug 2012 20:26 #54781 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Bannerman Pass
Have done it in winter but not recently. The top bit was filled with thick snow which seems to stay relatively well preserved because of the shade. This is after the cave however when going up. Things were dry and burnt below the cave. The hut did have flowing water at the time though.

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

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10 Aug 2012 18:59 #54899 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Bannerman Pass
Bannerman Pass as at yesterday evening:

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins

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05 Dec 2013 17:46 #59171 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Bannerman Pass
Last weekend, elinda, Richard Hunt, and tonymarshall did a hike up Bannerman Pass and down Langalibalele Pass. We left from Giants Castle car park, dropping down into the valley to cross the Bushmans River, before following the Bannerman Path along the valley up to the Contour Path. The Bannerman Path was used as a firebreak edge and divides the burnt and unburnt sections of grass in the photo below.



Once we reached the top of the ridge, Bannerman Pass was visible, at the centre of the photo below. The adjacent peaks are The Thumb, Bannerman Face and Gypaetus Point.



After Bannerman Path joined the Contour Path, we headed northeast along the Contour Path towards Bannerman Hut for this view of Bannerman Hut and Bannerman Pass.



We had lunch at the hut, which was clean inside, with table and benches and bunk beds in place, before heading up the slope towards Bannerman Pass.



We had decided to overnight in Spare Rib Cave, about halfway between Bannerman Hut and the top of Bannerman Pass. The cave was visible from the hut, and is in the lower rock band to the left (true right) of the pass, at the centre of the photo below.



The clouds had been building up all around since midday, but the pass stayed clear, although we could see the storm over Natal was moving nearer as we ascended the lower reaches of the pass.



Soon we were below the rock band with Spare Rib Cave; there are two caves, the one nearest the pass is quite damp and you walk past it to the next one which is better.



There are three waterfalls near the top of Bannerman Pass on the left (true right), the middle one is the prominent one in the photo below.

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