Judge Pass

07 May 2017 17:04 #71509 by Gudstff
Replied by Gudstff on topic Judge Pass
Thank you!!! I'll see to do a small wright up of the hike.

Snow forecast for Friday, but it comes and goes...don't know what to expect!

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07 May 2017 20:39 #71511 by supertramp
Replied by supertramp on topic Judge Pass
Have done that section twice during the last year or so. Fully agree with Ghaz's comments - quite easy to follow. The contour path at that section does climb a bit more than usual as it goes up to about 2400m.

Let me know if you would like the GPS track.

Cheers
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09 May 2017 09:30 - 09 May 2017 09:31 #71519 by Gudstff
Replied by Gudstff on topic Judge Pass

supertramp wrote: Have done that section twice during the last year or so.


We've decided to night hike Thursday to Bannerman hut and then up Judge pass on Friday. Anything i need to watch out for at the pass itself? I looks like some rain for us and then snow higher up!

Does the pass have a good trail with cairns?
Last edit: 09 May 2017 09:31 by Gudstff.

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09 May 2017 09:45 #71520 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Judge Pass
Watch out for an awesome view :P

I haven't done this pass since late 2015, but the trail was very well defined (much better than the contour path) - you can't miss it. There is a small cairn marking the turnoff, but that is more for when you are coming down and might miss the contour path, seeing as the trail crosses the contour path and just keeps going.

My writeup with some photos is at www.vertical-endeavour.com/forum/drakensberg-trips/55926-injisuthi-dome-you-be-the-judge-part-2/

I think the pass is quite easy, but lots of people don't agree with me on this - I guess I have always done it with a light pack, which makes most passes quite easy [at Mnweni Marathon runners: when you see me struggling up Mnweni Pass on Saturday, please remind me that I said that]. Nonetheless - definitely one of the best passes in the Giants Castle region.
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09 May 2017 11:03 - 09 May 2017 11:04 #71522 by Gudstff
Replied by Gudstff on topic Judge Pass
Goodluck with the Mweni marathon!!!

Just lastly...what time does te gate close at Giants and can we pay at the gate? We should be at Giants 21:30ish, probably start 22:00ish and be at Bannerman hut 01:30ish. Many ishes with the times, but all should be well!
Last edit: 09 May 2017 11:04 by Gudstff.

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09 May 2017 11:10 - 09 May 2017 11:10 #71523 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Judge Pass

Gudstff wrote: Just lastly...what time does te gate close at Giants and can we pay at the gate? We should be at Giants 21:30ish, probably start 22:00ish and be at Bannerman hut 01:30ish. Many ishes with the times :silly:


I've done that walk to Bannerman Hut in the dark a few times - it feels much longer!

I think it closes at 9, but give them a call and ask. The details should be on their website - including gate times (couldn't find it when I just checked, but they did have a phone number).
Last edit: 09 May 2017 11:10 by ghaznavid.
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09 May 2017 15:00 #71528 by Gudstff
Replied by Gudstff on topic Judge Pass
They close at 22:00!

Thanks for your input! It's very helpful!

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29 May 2017 07:25 #71660 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Judge Pass
On the 2016 June long weekend Lorinda and tonymarshall ascended Gypaetus Pass, spent a day on the summit exploring and summiting some khulus, and descended Judge Pass. With the recent renewed interest in Judge Pass, here is my overdue write up.

The night before we descended Judge Pass we had tented next to a stream near the top of the pass, and summited The Judge before descending the pass. Approaching the top of the pass from the north, there are two gullies, and the pass is in the southern one with the path. A view of the two gullies with Popple Peak in the background.



Looking down the northern gully, the path can be seen below in the southern gully. Photo courtesy of Lorinda.



The path into Judge Pass with the Popple ridge and Auditor in the background.



The path traverses at a flat gradient into the pass.



Near the end of the traverse where the steep descent starts.



The steep descent with zig zags near the top of the pass.



A view back up Judge Pass, which has a trail the whole way.



The path continues to zig zag down to the area where the two gullies join.

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29 May 2017 07:30 #71661 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Judge Pass
The route enters the stream boulder bed for a while.



The path then exits the gully to the right, and flattens out a bit.



The path gains quite a lot of height above the stream below, and fortunately provides easy passage on the steep sideslope. Photo courtesy of Lorinda.



After the flattish section, the route gets steeper in the lower section of Judge Pass.



A view back up the steeper lower section of the pass, with the iconic shape of The Judge on the right.



The path then descends on the left of a small side gully (in the unburnt grass in the photo below). Photo courtesy of Lorinda.



Nearing the bottom of Judge Pass with the path below visible in the burnt grass and the Contour Path crossing the valley near the bottom of the slope of burnt grass. Photo courtesy of Lorinda.



A view back up Judge Pass from near the bottom of the pass. The pass follows the ridge at the centre of the photo between the burnt grass and the shadow on the right.



It is difficult to understand how Judge Pass was once regarded as a Rock Pass, as the current smugglers trail hardly even has any scrambles.

Since most hikers using Judge Pass will exit left or right at the bottom of the pass onto the Contour Path, be careful to look out for the Contour Path, which is easy to miss, as the main (smugglers) trail carries on directly down the valley.

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The following user(s) said Thank You: Stijn, JonWells, Trev, ghaznavid, ruthtbl, Redshift3, Papa Dragon, Gudstff

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29 May 2017 08:42 #71662 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Judge Pass
Thanks for the writeup Tony. Judge Pass is one of my favourites, highly recommended (and not just because it provides easy access to Popple).

tonymarshall wrote: It is difficult to understand how Judge Pass was once regarded as a Rock Pass, as the current smugglers trail hardly even has any scrambles.


I also wondered about that - with a day pack, that scramble doesn't even require your hands (unfortunately I didn't get a photo of it). My guess is that the map makers would rather mark a non-rock pass as rock than miss the label from an actual rock pass, so they simply use the label when they aren't sure.

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