Mangaun Pass

10 Apr 2019 20:08 #74897 by intrepid
Mangaun Pass was created by intrepid
This is the official thread for Mangaun Pass at Vergelegen.

This pass does not follow an obvious route such as a ridge or a gully. It requires finding a weakness in the rock bands below the escarpment cliffs and the terrain can be a bit steep along this section. The summit area of the pass is broad and indistinct. There was no trail or cairns at the time that I did it. You have to be alert while navigating this pass to find the route. I recall speaking to someone else that had done the pass and they had not had an easy time with it.

The approximate route is shown in the pic below. It has been some time since I have done the pass so please rely on the downloadable GPS tracks for a more accurate indication of the route.


Summit area of the pass:


View from the riverbed near the bottom of the pass. The pass is approached along the river bed but the route we did does not follow the gully shown in this shot:

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

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02 Apr 2020 10:29 - 02 Apr 2020 10:33 #75797 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Mangaun Pass
After heading up Mqatsheni Pass, Dave and I came down Manguan Pass.

Intrepid's GPS track is great - we used it to find our way through the top cliff band. Navigation on this route is generally not too hard, though. We took a different line through the lower 2 cliff bands, going further south (we were heading to Kuala Cave). The top cliff band is quite scrambly - and is higher than I was expecting. I made a bad choice of line and ended up having some dodgy downclimbing - which wasn't particularly fun.

There is a large cairn marking the top - which is handy, because the top is an arb point at the head of the valley. There was a trail through the top section, but it died about 100m above the top cliff band.

The pass is very unusual in following a random side slope as opposed to a distinct gully or ridge, although we did do a lot of the descent in a minor gully on the slope (which got us through the next 2 cliff bands). There are probably 20+ possible new passes in the Berg that would follow a pattern like this (especially around the Transits in the Free State Berg), this is the only documented one that I am aware of. To clarify - Gypaetus Pass follows a gully till about 2700m, Gray's Pass follows a ridge for most of the altitude gain. Manguan Pass doesn't follow any feature for the vast majority of the route - it is just a grassy slope with cliff bands.

Overall I rate this pass is solid in terms of difficulty, and would be tricky in the mist from a navigation point of view. Of the marked passes at Vergelegen, I rate it is the least interesting - although it is something completely different to the others.

   


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Last edit: 02 Apr 2020 10:33 by ghaznavid.
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