Bollard/Tsepeng Passes

27 Jun 2012 15:19 #54539 by ghaznavid

Beard wrote: Where did you start the hike from? IM looking at doing a ONE NIGHT hike, to an area i havent visited. Would you suggest this route? We would be a group of 5 and looking at going this coming weekend. Are the caves suitable for 5...i would as mush as you can provide.thanks tons


This hike is at Garden Castle - you hike up the Mashai River past Sleeping Beauty Cave and just follow the south bank of the river until you reach the escarpment...

But if you have never been to Garden Castle before then you have missed out on a Berg classic - Rhino Peak (I would mock you for not having done it before if I hadn't almost finished a Grand Traverse before the first time I ever did the chain ladders).

If you are adamant on doing an obscure pass, Rhino Pass is barely used, but otherwise Mashai Pass has Bolder Cave, Pillar Cave (which has enough room for half of the worlds population and is flat, but due to the high roof you can only comfortably get about a 12 people in in a storm) or Pillar Cave Annex, but these are really close to the car park, the furtherest being 4km from the start, and not a tough walk to reach them, I have done it in an hour and a half many times - Intrepid did the loop up Rhino Pass and down Mashai Pass in a day last year. There is also Clam Shell Cave on Mashai Pass, but I have never checked the cave out so it might not be much use.

Otherwise an interesting overnight hike idea which is more challenging is to head up Bollard Pass and spend the night in Stealth Cave, climb over the Mlambonja ridge, summit Rhino and drop down via Rhino or Mashai Pass. Alternatively if you are really adventurous, very fit and can cover great distance quickly, Mzimude Pass has a nice big flat cave (well actually 3 caves) at the top. But the hike from Mzimude to Rhino is hard to do with dropping down the pass on the same day.

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28 Jun 2012 06:47 #54546 by elinda
Replied by elinda on topic Re: Bollard/Tsepeng Passes
We started this hike from Garden Castle - a one and half hour hike to Cods Eye where we overnighted - this gave us a bit of a head start for the next mornings trek up Bollard. You could do as Ghaznavid suggested and go directly to Bollard via Sleeping Beauty Valley and overnight at Stealth Cave ( about 150 metres from the top of the Pass). There is space in the cave for two or three people, maybe four, and more space in the grassy annexe alongside the cave - but your problem would be water. You would have to carry from way down Bollard as there is none the higher you go. Descent could be via Tsepeng as we did or Mzimude Pass - this would involve a longer walk out though. Alternatively you could spend the night at Mzimude Cave which would be a longer day. - there should be water in the vicinity. Let us know what you decide on and enjoy!

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15 Jul 2012 16:30 - 15 Jul 2012 16:31 #54648 by SeriousTribe2
Hey elinda!

Nice write-up, thanks.
I'm really stoked that the cave is still being referred to as Stealth's Cave! (as I am Bollard pass....)

I asked about Tsepeng a while back, as I want to try it when I am next in that area. Doesn't look as much of a challenge as Bollard though.
Good "info" pics. The pic of the traverse from Cod's Eye is a winner though. :thumbsup:

Just a note re: Bollard. The easy route through that waterfall is a left to right zigzag traverse on the left bank going up. About 20m before the gully narrows to the 'waterfall'.
Looks interesting though. May give it a crack that way next time. ;)

Cheers
Last edit: 15 Jul 2012 16:31 by SeriousTribe2.

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17 Dec 2012 12:26 #55763 by ghaznavid
A preview of an upcoming hike report - "In the midst of khulus":


@Elinda: which summit gully did you guys use on Tsepeng Pass? I see there were 3 gullies, the south facing dry gully that we used (which has the massive summit cairn and is shown as the pass on the map), the straight gully with a minor river and the main river which flows off to Mashai peak. The reason I ask is that your photos of the top of the pass look very different to what we climbed, so I'm curious whether or not there are other usable routes on the pass.

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18 Dec 2012 04:52 #55766 by elinda
Replied by elinda on topic Re: Bollard/Tsepeng Passes
Looking at your photo, I am assuming you went up Tspeng? We had some trouble finding the top of the pass and although we saw the cairn, it was not obvious (to us anyway!) where to descend. So we eventually found our way down into the main gully via a small side gully filled with snow

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18 Dec 2012 05:24 - 20 Dec 2012 06:44 #55767 by ghaznavid
Indeed it was Tsepeng Pass. The route we used was this:


The summit cairn we found was on the watershed directly above where we topped out. Considering how narrow the gully we used was, I think a few cairns leading from there to the top of the narrow gully may help (not that we had the energy to do that when we got there). We didn't see a single cairn on the route.

I found the pass to be really hard - we agreed on difficulty 7+/10, not hard enough to be an 8, but harder than a normal 7. It was really worthwhile doing the pass though.

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Last edit: 20 Dec 2012 06:44 by ghaznavid.

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18 Dec 2012 07:32 #55768 by Fitness
Replied by Fitness on topic Re: Bollard/Tsepeng Passes
I can vouch for the 7+/10. Was definitely a hard pass that last 200m narrow gully tested our climbing skills. I will post a proper route up later which I downloaded from my gps.
Here are the stats


Summary
Distance: 12.68 km
Time: 9:49:25
Moving Time: 4:11:04
Elapsed Time: 9:49:25
Avg Pace: 46:28 min/km
Avg Speed: 1.3 km/h
Avg Moving Speed: 3.0 km/h
Max Speed: 13.2 km/h

Avg Pace: 46:28 min/km
Avg Moving Pace: 19:48 min/km
Best Pace: 4:33 min/km

Elevation Gain: 1,445 m
Elevation Loss: 131 m
Min Elevation: 1,823 m
Max Elevation: 3,150 m

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20 Dec 2012 00:18 #55774 by Serious tribe
Interesting stats. Gives one an idea of the slower rate of walking and climbing (3km/h) at altitude over difficult terrane. I really need to get a gps some time.

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