Around The Corner Pass

06 Apr 2021 10:49 #76677 by Carl Gebhard
Replied by Carl Gebhard on topic Around The Corner Pass
Perfect, thanks Riaan!
With clear options.

Can't wait, feel like a terrier about to go for a walk...

Regards.
c.

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06 Apr 2021 13:11 #76678 by grae22
Replied by grae22 on topic Around The Corner Pass
Agree with @Riaang. I wouldn't descend either Corner or Around the Corner with someone who is not keen on scrambles / vertigo - unless you're going to put them on a rope, which may save km's... but, will waste time. In good, dry conditions ascending would probably be ok-ish.
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09 Apr 2021 04:17 - 09 Apr 2021 04:20 #76694 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Around The Corner Pass
On the Saturday of the Easter weekend I did an ascent of Around the Corner Pass and descent of Corner Pass, as part of a three day hike at Giants Castle.

On the Friday I joined hiking friends Elinda, Christine and Stephan, Thora and Irene who were doing a four day hike, and we walked in from Giants Castle office along Bannerman Path to tent near the bottom of Judge Pass, which the group was going to ascend on Saturday morning, while I would do the two passes on my own from the contour path, and continue on the contour path to Centenary Hut afterwards.

On the Saturday morning we greeted as the others started up Judge Pass, and I carried on along the contour path to the stream coming down Corner Pass, and hid my pack in some bushes upstream of the contour path before commencing the ascent of the valley to the base of Around the Corner Pass and Corner Pass. It was misty and wet, and I did the trip in my rain jacket and pants, and just taking my gps and camera with me.

The first two photos were taken in December 2013 when I did Corner Pass from the Northern High Approach, and are part of the photos I used then in my write up of the Northern High Approach. I am using them now to show the general route of Around the Corner Pass since in the mist the visibility was too limited for me to take appropriate photos on this hike. Both photos are taken from the Northern High Approach path before it enters the gully of Corner Pass, and I have drawn in the route of Around the Corner Pass in red onto these photos.

  


In the second photo, where the red line ends at the left of the photo, the path makes a sharp turn to the right and goes up the final rock band and scramble to the top of Around the Corner Pass.

For completeness sake, readers are also encouraged to read the topics Corner Pass and Corner Pass Northern High Approach, as well as the preceding posts in this topic.

The photo below shows the path from the Northern High Approach entering the Corner Pass gully from the right, and continuing along Around the Corner Pass to the left.

  

 The start of the path on the grass slopes at the base of Around the Corner Pass.

  

Approaching the zig zag up through the first rock band.

  

Around the Corner Pass is characterised by the path running through the sloping slabs of the rock bands on narrow soil ledges at the bottom of or within the sloping rock slabs. The photo below shows the view down from above the first rock band and zig zag, with the curve of the zig zag at the left of the photo, and the soil ledge below the rock slab visible. In the background below, the approach path in the grass below the rock band is visible. Apologies for the poor photos because of the limited visibility in the mist.

  

A view back down the path running between rock slabs above and below.

  

The path in the grass between rock bands.

  

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Last edit: 09 Apr 2021 04:20 by tonymarshall.
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09 Apr 2021 04:26 - 09 Apr 2021 04:28 #76695 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Around The Corner Pass
Some soil ledge footholds in a rock slab.

  

 Some views of the path and terrain.

 
 


In the upper rock band near the top of the pass, there is a short scramble up between soil ledges. This could be done at various positions, and I chose the location in the photo below, stepping up on the soil ledges with handholds on the rock on either side.

  

 The path zig zags several times through the top rock band before following a broad grass slope ledge to the top of Around the Corner Pass.

 

 The view back down the grass ledge from near the top of the pass.

  

My summit photo at the cairn at the top of Around the Corner Pass. I was only wet on the outside, and it wasn't as miserable as it looks!

  

Once on top I was through the mist and enjoyed some sunshine while walking to the top of Corner Pass, and joined my friends who had ascended Judge Pass and were on their way to Injisuthi Summit Cave, for a quick chat and catch up along the way. There were also some trail runners taking a break at the top of Corner Pass, doing a day run up to Mafadi from Injisuthi office and back, and I had a chat with them before descending Corner Pass, back into the mist and damp. I collected my pack at the contour path, then continued along the contour path to Centenary Hut for a late lunch with some shelter out of the rain and mist, before spending the rest of the afternoon returning along the contour path to Bannerman Hut, where I overnighted inside the hut.

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Last edit: 09 Apr 2021 04:28 by tonymarshall. Reason: Correct formatting
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09 Apr 2021 15:20 #76698 by Serious tribe
Hi Tony
Where do you think this path has come from, hikers or smugglers?  I have never seen it before.

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09 Apr 2021 19:04 #76699 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Around The Corner Pass
Nice to see another rare photo of Tony with long pants on.

@ST: I strongly suspect the trail developed from smuggling and other cross-border movement. The broader awareness of this pass among hikers has only emerged in more recent years that I'm aware of, and even as the chatter began on this forum, if I remember correctly, the trail already existed. I also don't think the volume of hikers in the last couple of years was enough to establish new trails (at least not pre-Covid) .

Here is a perspective shot looking up at the slabs which lie on the prominent switch back drawn on Tony's photos:
 

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

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10 Apr 2021 03:22 - 10 Apr 2021 03:38 #76701 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Around The Corner Pass
Yes, I agree with intrepid, the path of the variation to Corner Pass, that we call Around the Corner Pass, and the Northern High Approach path were developed by smugglers looking for a shorter and easier route to carry their heavy loads back and forth than the existing hiker's routes.

We used the Northern High Approach path in 2013, and the Around the Corner Pass path was also there then, so both have been in existence for a long time.
Last edit: 10 Apr 2021 03:38 by tonymarshall.
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Yesterday 13:17 #76708 by Serious tribe
I was aware of the NHA, but not this one.  Still got to do that one one!

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