Up Ifidi down Fangs: Light and Fast

29 May 2012 09:19 #54113 by Beard
What is Fangs Cave like?
This trip sound awesome!!. We unintentiaonally did a one nighter in mweni too. UP to Shepards Cave, just short of Mweni Pass. Sleep over and wake up and go up Mweni, across and down Rockeries to cultural center in 1 day. Seemed to take forever. Was fun.
Looking at Fangs, Icid and Ifidi next. Any comments are welcome!
Also, those pics you put up are awesome!, Is that Fangs cave? whats it like and that pic with clouds in the morning is seriously cool! nice

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29 May 2012 09:57 #54115 by Stijn
Thanks for the comments all :thumbsup:

@Beard - Fangs Cave is a cave rather than an overhang and provides good shelter for 6 people comfortably. You could probably squeeze more in with a friendly group ;) As I said, not much of a view from inside the cave, but some great sunrise views available within a few meters. The best thing about this cave is its secluded location, which reduces the threat of security issues - I've never heard of any issues in this cave.

Fangs, Icidi & Ifidi would be an epic trip! Enjoy :thumbsup:

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29 May 2012 17:49 #54132 by anthony
Well done true alpine style B)

Stijin could you please advise me , when you left cycad cave did you follow the path on the left hand bank, and then follow the river bed all the way up boulder hopping, or did you move on to the grassy banks at any time? :unsure:

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30 May 2012 05:04 #54135 by Stijn
Just after Cycad Cave, the path takes you into the river boulder-bed, where the gorge narrows and you are forced to boulder-hop up the river for a few hundred meters as there are cliffs on either side. As soon as the river valley opens up again, there is the path you refer to, on the left-hand side, marked by a large cairn. It initially ascends steeply through a forest thicket and then levels out through grassy/harvested fields.

This path dies at a steep, bushy 10m embankment back down to the Ifidi river boulder bed after less than 1km. From here on up, you stay in the wide boulder-bed, which is not choked with bush and hence relatively easy-going (just long). At about 2300-2400m, the boulder-bed narrows and steepens considerably, with the boulders becoming very large indeed (not quite house-sized, but you get the picture). We managed to stay in the river-bed here but a few tricky and strenuous scrambling moves were required where packs may need to be passed up. You could easily leave the river bed here on the steep grassy/bushy slopes to the left to avoid this section for about 200m (horizontally), as we did the previous time with heavier packs.

After the huge boulders, the gradient eases again and the boulder-hopping is straight-forward. At 2600m, you reach the fork in the pass where you should keep right to enter the final Ifidi gully. This gully is initially wide, but choked with bush, so we stayed on the grassy banks immediately right of the gully for about 100m (vertically) until the bush cleared up again and we could return to the now-familiar boulder-hopping.

About 200m vertically before the top, the gully narrows to 3-5m wide, gets very steep and there are 2 or 3 points where a bit of easy scrambling and pack-passing may be required. In this section, you have no option but to stay in the gully as there are no "grassy banks" to speak of! ;)

A final 50m of steep grass gets you to the summit cairn. One of my favourite passes in the Berg - the lighter your load, the more enjoyable it will be! :thumbsup:
The following user(s) said Thank You: AdrianT

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30 May 2012 14:45 #54150 by anthony
Thanks for the info going to give it a go this weekend weather permitting.. :huh:

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04 Jun 2012 18:32 - 04 Jun 2012 18:34 #54210 by anthony
What a pass B)
Started Saturday morning just after 6am, with packs weighing 10kg, as we had a tent because we were going to head down the chain ladders on Sunday so we wanted to camp near the river at the top of the pass.

The going was good we made cycad cave at 9 o'clock which i was happy with ,then as we entered the the river the pace started to slow and my friend started with cramps,we reached the first huge boulder at around 2400m at 12 o'clock which i thought was still a fair time, at this stage he was cramping badly, we then made the decision to call it a day and head back down and camp just below cycade cave.

I think we still had enough time to get to the top but if the body wont allow you then there will never be enough time.

So i now have unfinished business on that pass, but i really think it is doable to summit at 2 o'clock.

Well done to my friend for the attempt it was his first serious pass. :thumbsup:
Last edit: 04 Jun 2012 18:34 by anthony.

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22 Jun 2012 09:16 #54495 by MountainGoat
Seems like anawesome hike Stijn &co! Well done!

How do you guys keep in shape? Running? I can't really run (body geometry / too much mass-lol) Did the Mweni marathon in 2010 with only the 3 weeks (which was the 3 weeks prior to the race) of training & my first ever running experience & jogging training as well. Suffered from ITB & had pain in the knees afterwards, so I stopped as it interfered with my hiking &...

So I do a bit of mountain biking to keep the fitness level a little above 1 :whistle:

Would love to do Ifidi, but would first try it as a normal hike. I will try however to make my pack as light as possible.

How difficult are the scrambling parts?

Could it be done by 'non climbers'?

& is it exposed?

Any pics of these by any chance?

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22 Jun 2012 10:50 #54499 by Stijn
Thanks Jacques!

In terms of fitness, I do a bit of running, mountain biking and orienteering on a regular basis. Nothing hectic though - about 5h per week usually. The odd longer trip on weekends keeps the mind in check, which is the most important part.

And to be honest, this trip was surprisingly easy from a fitness point of view. The main thing is the way you approach it - light packs, minimal breaks and a steady pace will go a long way to doing things which you have thought were impossible before.

The scrambles on Ifidi are fairly straightforward as long as they are not wet or icy. Even then, passing packs up makes them much easier. They are also not exposed at all and I would say any hiker who is able to get to that point on Ifidi should surmount these scrambles with ease. From a technical perspective, I would rank Ifidi as one of the easier rock passes around - it's the distance, height and boulder-hopping which give Ifidi its reputation.

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22 Jun 2012 15:01 #54500 by MountainGoat
Thanx Stijn.

I'll just have to up a bit on my fitness & have to see about partner(s) as my hiking partner got married 2 months ago & has a new job,so leave isn't really in his vocabulary at the moment.

I'll try & do it as winter turns to prevent icy conditions. & how about Icidi?

If I'm a a bit fitter I might join you guys for such epic hikes!

Take care

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22 Jun 2012 17:41 #54504 by waldorph2000
Jacques,

If I can do this hike then I am sure you can. Fitness is a plus. It is mind power and a little push from Stijn that gets you up and down :) Yes your knees will take a beating but after a few weeks you are good to go again!

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