Mlahlangubo Pass

11 Aug 2010 20:41 #1575 by SeriousTribe2
To All

Any info on the pass please. We are taking the ridge up, from Vergelegen(We go back time and again for the fab ablutions !), and then up the pass.

Day 1 Vglgn to summit via Mlahla
Day 2 Top of ka-Ntuba
Day 3 ka-Ntuba R to Vglgn.

Seems from a VE search that this pass may be a blown out dagga train route, complete with bread packets and ash. :angry:

Please advise.

Thanks

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12 Aug 2010 11:11 - 12 Aug 2010 11:13 #1577 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Re: Mlahlangubo Pass
Re the fab ablutions: :laugh:

Mlahlangubo is a straightforward pass, that can easily be done in a day. The trail up the Mlahlangubo omkulu valley leads you straight to it. I have not taken the ridge route before. Trail seems to disappear at junction C6, though from there its easy to find your own way and the vegetation is not too thick. Not much water in the dry season beyond this point. The "gully route" as shown on the map seems to be simply a suggestion. Sounds like you've discovered the GPS tracks in the download section already. There is evidence of smuggling and rustling on this pass. A path does lead up the pass, but seems to come up from the Hlatimba valley. Coming up the gully route you'll be over halfway up before you hit it. You could try traversing north from C6 first - you might hit the trail at the base of the pass.

Your day 2 sounds long, and day 3 even longer. Haven't done kaNtuba, but very curious, so please let us know about it. Its one of the highest passes in the Berg and the valley seems to cut back quite far there. I would expect bushy boulder beds at the bottom and I don't think there is a trail.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 12 Aug 2010 11:13 by intrepid. Reason: typo

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12 Aug 2010 21:51 - 12 Aug 2010 22:13 #1580 by SeriousTribe2
Replied by SeriousTribe2 on topic Re: Mlahlangubo Pass
@Intrepid

Thanks for the feedback.
It looks fairly straightforward, we were wondering more about the smuggling/dagga angle than anything.

Am interested to see how the ridge goes [prefer ridges] in terms of water as there seems to be some major seep lines that the "path" traverses just above.

We have to make it up on day 1 as we only have 3 days total, but it doesn't look difficult.

Ka-Ntuba up in 1 day on the other hand??!! - anyone out there done it in one day??
We have tried once.

Will post after the 22nd.

Cheers

The reason we go Vergelegen [besides the classy ablutions] is the isolation. We have yet to have met another party while missioning in and around this area.

PS: If you wait long enough hot water EVENTUALLY comes out of the sink tap behind the office.
Take your own Register Sheet. They don't know what it looks like there. :S
Last edit: 12 Aug 2010 22:13 by SeriousTribe2. Reason: erratum

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16 Aug 2010 08:54 #1586 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Re: Mlahlangubo Pass
These pics are on Mlahlangubo. The guy at the top was waiting for someone.
{joomplu:21}
{joomplu:20}

As a matter of fact I do remember a member of this site mentioning to me that he had done ka-Ntuba Pass in a day before. Can't remember who it was and can't find the related messages. Still, must be a seriously long day!

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

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17 Aug 2010 14:27 #1593 by SeriousTribe2
Replied by SeriousTribe2 on topic Re: Mlahlangubo Pass
For sure.

One Bigsnake, with whom I am associated has done it in a day.[possibly more than once !}

We had planned to last year, but then took a diversion to find the sulphur springs,

"in which one can soak weary limbs" [unquote]. We did in fact find them, by using my nose. A delightful series of 2 inch deep stagnant pools dug by the local fauna. :dry:

There were a number of suggestions as to the punishment that was due the Author of said quote :angry: , as even in summer it would be difficult to soak your foot in one of these! Even after scooping out the animal droppings.

We camped just after and took the ridge up and over to ka-Ntuba the following am.

Will post a schplurb and pics soon. Nice Pass !!

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28 Oct 2019 16:07 #75401 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Re: Mlahlangubo Pass
I came down Mlahlangubo Pass on Saturday. I could see the trail heading to the Hlathimba side, but we were heading back to Vergelegen, so we took the trail heading south. That trail dies fairly soon, and you end up zig-zagging down a grass bank (much like most other Drakensberg passes). There was one very easy scramble near the top, but otherwise generally pretty straightforward.

The pass is average difficulty (for passes) and average scenery (for passes) - nothing particularly relevant to report on it. I am not sure if the trail in the valley actually exists - we were heading to the North Ngaqamadola Pass area afterwards, and assumed the trail on the map doesn't exist, so we started traversing at 2550m. The views of Mlahlangubo Peak from directly below it were amazing, though.


  

Full story at this link .

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28 Oct 2019 16:09 #75402 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Re: Mlahlangubo Pass

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22 Dec 2020 20:54 #76410 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Re: Mlahlangubo Pass
After my ascent of Mkhomazi Pass, and khulu summitting and exploration day, I went down Mlahlangubo Pass.

At the top of the pass, I decided that I would descend close to the stream, and then follow the stream route downstream and would see what happened, as per intrepid’s previous post about following the river, and the uncertainty of what paths may be in the area. Looking down from the top of Mlahlangubo Pass, the valley of the Mlahlangubo omkulu (large Mlahlangubo) was rather straight ahead, with a curve to the right in the distance which was the way back to Vergelegen office. To the left the next valley is the Hlatimba River, and to the right the next valley is the Mlahlangubo omncane (small Mlahlangubo).



There was a bit of a trail at the top of the pass, but it vanished soon, and I decided the gentle grass slope of the pass was easy enough to follow without a trail, and that I would just descend down the grass slope on the right of the stream. I saw the trail going to the south that ghaznavid mentioned and showed in his photos, but to me it didn’t seem to be going anywhere and I assumed it may be used for animal grazing below the escarpment cliffs, so I just avoided it.



There was one section near the top of the pass with some boulders, otherwise it was just a grassy slope the whole way down the pass.



A view back up Mlahlangubo Pass from just above the rocky area. The stream had water in it almost from the top of the pass, which is probably normal during the rainy season.



Lower down I got close to the stream to avoid the steeper side slope further away. Even with the shrubs in this area the walking was still easy.



A view up the grassy slopes of Mlahlangubo Pass.



Back in the grass, with the gradient of the pass now considerably flatter near the base of the pass.



Soon I found a trail on the right of the stream, and followed it downstream.

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22 Dec 2020 20:59 #76411 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Re: Mlahlangubo Pass
The trail followed the right of the stream for quite a distance, before surprisingly crossing to the left, and then staying on the left. The photo below shows the stream crossing, with the view back to the pass in the background.



The trail became a path, and started contouring along the left slope of the ridge next to the river. It was still easy walking – easier than the grass nearer the stream - so I continued along the path.



The trail/path was soon quite high above the river, but as it was going in the right direction still, I continued to follow it. In places it disappeared, and then reappeared again, usually being visible ahead and quite easy to follow. At the curve where the river turned to the right, the path followed the ridge along the river, as seen in the photo below, where the path was now a lot higher than the river.



Further downstream, the path seemed to be turning more to the left and getting further away from the river. I suspected it may join the path system coming from Lotheni to the north east, but wasn’t sure, so when the opportunity presented itself I left the path and headed down to a flattish grassy area on the left of the river that I could see ahead.



While coming down the ridge, I crossed a small side stream and had my morning break there. The photo below shows the view back to the ridge I descended, where I could fortunately get down through the cliffs at the grass slope.



Walking along the grassy area next to the river, I could see that I was approaching the area of junction C 3 and that I would get onto the path back to Vergelegen office by crossing to the right of the river. The photo below shows this view ahead, with the place where I crossed the river at the centre of the photo.



A view back up the Mlahlangubo valley after I was on the path on the right of the river, which is visible in the left foreground in the photo below.



After that it was just a case of continuing along the path downstream back to Vergelegen office, visible at the centre of the photo below.



Mlahlangubo Pass was a pleasant hike, with the route from the base of the pass back to Vergelegen office requiring a lot more effort than the pass itself.

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The following user(s) said Thank You: Serious tribe, elinda, Stijn, ghaznavid, Papa Dragon, trailfox

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