Judge Pass

19 Apr 2011 10:03 #2740 by ghaznavid
Judge Pass was created by ghaznavid
I am hoping to climb popple peak this weekend and currently plan on using Langalibilele pass. I am just wondering about my other options, I am looking at Judge and Corner passes as possible alternatives. I have found enough info on Corner pass to think it is a plausable option, but can't find any info on Judge pass which is the closest pass to the peak (I am also a bit of a "pass bagger" so I like doing odd passes that I would otherwise not use). I am mainly looking for details on how safe the pass is and how safe it would be to camp at the base of it in a tent, how difficult the pass is, do we need ropes to do the pass (I do not like any form of hiking that requires ropes other than 3m rock faces which I need a rope to pull my pack up) and if possible, I would like to see a photo of the base of the pass and what the pass looks like when actually climbing it.

If anyone who has done the pass and can help me with this info could inform me, I would be greatly appreciative.

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20 Apr 2011 06:22 #2744 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Judge Pass
Judge Pass is very straightforward, thanks to our companions, the smugglers. It is a significant smuggling route and has a trail and poses no major obstacles. It is no longer a rock pass as suggested on the maps. Check the downloads section for GPS data on it. The base of it is not that favourable for camping, though spend enough time looking and you'll find something. Rather head towards Bannerman Hut though, pretty quick from there, and you'll find better camping spots along the way.
{joomplu:481}
Route more or less follows left had shadow boundary.

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

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20 Apr 2011 06:54 #2747 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Judge Pass
Thanks, very much appreciated. That pass doesnt look nearly as daunting as corner pass, or as steep as my photos of the top of bannerman pass (that top section of bannerman looks so steep in photos, but I don't remember it actually being that steep), but I guess when I have actually climbed judge pass I might change my answer!

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10 Apr 2012 07:20 #53466 by Geordie
Replied by Geordie on topic Judge Pass
Judges pass
The pass is looking good right now, just the first 100m or so, (Going down) are a little washed away, but still good. It looks as if the smugglers have stopped using this pass for the mule run at the moment, probably because of all the damage they caused at the top of the pass, but they definitely still use the pass. Not that they have ever been a problem to us, so just for your info.
The path is so clear (and the weather so good) that I did not remember (bother) to check the GPS track.

Coming back along the contour path towards Centenary Hut, don’t forget to keep left at a junction about 2km from the base of Judges. Not sure where the right hand path goes, but I was on it for about 1 km before I looked left and observed the contour path above me. I thought it was rather funny, but other members with over 40km of weekend hiking under their feet, were not too amused to have to turn back. C'est la vie
G
The following user(s) said Thank You: intrepid, ghaznavid, wildingo

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14 Apr 2012 06:10 #53555 by Wizman
Replied by Wizman on topic Judge Pass
YES keep left or else you end up on a path that disappears and if you carry on it ends at Witterberg gate at Giant's Castle

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03 May 2012 06:43 #53710 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Judge Pass
They say a picture paints 1000 words:

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03 May 2012 11:01 #53715 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Judge Pass
:laugh: well congrats ghaz! We will all sleep better at night now.

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

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03 May 2012 11:28 #53716 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Judge Pass
:laugh:

It was funny - everyone went up Thabana Ntlenyana, 7 out of 9 went up Redi and Popple, and by the end of it I was the only one going up peaks like the Ifidi Buttress...

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07 May 2017 12:53 #71507 by Gudstff
Replied by Gudstff on topic Judge Pass
Good day all.

Im battling to find a not to long ago discussion/hike to judges pass from giants...
From what I've read, the contour path from Bannaman hut to the base of Judge pass very bad.

Can someone please tell me the condition of that section and has a new route been established?

I have a 3 day hike planned for this weekend coming.

Day 1 - car park to bannerman hut
Day 2 - up judge pass, over popple peak and tent on top of bannerman pass
Day 3 - down langalibalele pass back to carpark

Alternative would be bannerman-langies loop, but a summit to popple peak would be great and judge will be a first for me.

Any advice would be appreciated please, thanks!

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07 May 2017 15:32 #71508 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Judge Pass
If you can find the contour path from Bannerman Hut, that helps. The turnoff is about 200m before the hut - very easy to miss. The trail is followable - just requires care. It climbs a lot from the hut to Judge Pass, which throws lots of people off. Only the last 1km is really hard to follow, the rest is mostly fine.

Your days are manageable.

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