Ship’s Prow Pass

09 Oct 2012 14:34 #55414 by Bigsnake
Replied by Bigsnake on topic Ship’s Prow Pass
I have done Ship's 3 times.
The first time was the easiest as we found a path that led well into it.
The 2nd and 3rd times were harder.We could not find the old path and were forced into
the riverbed a long way down with all the joys and pleasures of a looong stretch of boulder hopping.
Yes Sabine keep to the left.

With an early start from Injasuti it's doable in a day.
Those three times followed the same exit the next day,Leslies Pass.
It's tough, very scenic and makes the most of a weekend in the Berg!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 Oct 2012 15:00 #55415 by tiska
Replied by tiska on topic Ship’s Prow Pass
Good going BigSnake.

What length of time separated the trips where you were on the path as against not on the path?
The contour path is v.overgrown going into the valley. We had a minor epic getting on to it having gone too far downstream - on the way to Inj camp.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 Oct 2012 16:28 #55416 by Sabine
Replied by Sabine on topic Ship’s Prow Pass
The plan is to go up Ship's Prow from Monk's Cowl, and then down Grey's the next day

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 Oct 2012 17:38 #55418 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Ship’s Prow Pass

Stijn wrote: Ghaz, I'm sorry if this comes across as rude, but how can you possibly have an opinion if you haven't yet done any of the passes you mention above? Yes, you have the stats at your disposal, but surely you need personal experience to make broad sweeping claims like the above?

For example, I'm going to disagree on your Ship's Prow comment as in my personal experience, I found Icidi harder.


I have never faced Lasith Malinga or Stuart Broad in the cricket nets, but I can tell you with no doubt which would be more scary B)

I partially agree and partially disagree about the question of such judgement calls (hence the reference to never having done the pass before in my reply). I have stood at the top of both passes with a good vantage point (the saddle between Bothlolong and Starboard for the one, Icidi Cap for the other - clear views of the bulk of both passes), I have read accounts of both, know the stats of both and base my conclusion on this.

But yes - by the same logic I have may have come to a conclusion that Thamathu Pass is easier than Langies, and having done both with alternating between the 2 (i.e. did Langies first, then Thamathu, then Langies again, then Thamathu again and recently Langies once more). I have no doubt in my mind that Langies is much easier than Thamathu...

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 Oct 2012 18:20 #55419 by Stijn
Replied by Stijn on topic Ship’s Prow Pass

mnt_tiska wrote: Good going BigSnake.

What length of time separated the trips where you were on the path as against not on the path?
The contour path is v.overgrown going into the valley. We had a minor epic getting on to it having gone too far downstream - on the way to Inj camp.


The contour path from Injasuti is fairly easy to follow until you cross a fairly major tributary which flows into the Ship's Prow Stream about 500m - 1km before where the contour path itself crosses the Ship's prow Stream.

At this major tributary (boulder-bed) look for the path continuing into the indigenous forest on the other side. There is a cairn trail heading down the river, but I think it's faster to try stick with the path. It gets very faint from this point onwards with many alternatives (especially once you emerge in the long reeds after the forest section) but the gist is to stay on top of the spur on the left banks of the pass.

Intrepid, Harry, Ruan and I were on this path in Aug 2011 and managed to follow it all the way to the point where you can see the other side of the contour path climbing out of the Ship's Prow Stream. At this point I think the temptation of camp got too much and we blundered our way down to the river through the bush. To head up the pass, you'd be on the boulder bed from here on up, until you tackle the steep slopes up to the grassy slopes of the left fork. There was a large cairn on the LHS of the boulder bed where the eroded path exits up the grassy ramps way back in 2001 when I went up the pass. Can anyone confirm if it's still there?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 Oct 2012 21:08 - 09 Oct 2012 23:12 #55422 by Bigsnake
Replied by Bigsnake on topic Ship’s Prow Pass

mnt_tiska wrote: Good going BigSnake.

What length of time separated the trips where you were on the path as against not on the path?
The contour path is v.overgrown going into the valley. We had a minor epic getting on to it having gone too far downstream - on the way to Inj camp.


It must have been about a year or so.

We are talking about 20years ago and the memory is not what it used to be!
The 1st time we summited at about 5pm.To be honest I thought the pass overated.I suppose David Bristow's description of it in
Best Walks of the Drakensberg 1st edition in which he describes it as a mission led me to expect the worst.
However,after my subsequent inability to find the same path again (if it still existed) turned the next efforts into
something more serious!

I used the pass to vet recruits for Grand Traverses :) hence the multiple trips of the same route.
Serious Tribe 2 has a good story re Liquorice Allsorts upon summiting the pass in winter at 7:30pm :sick:
Last edit: 09 Oct 2012 23:12 by Bigsnake.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 Oct 2012 08:07 - 10 Oct 2012 08:11 #55423 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Ship’s Prow Pass
Have ascended both Forks. I'd be wary of attempting it in a day, that's really long and arduous. Anything can be done though if you put your mind to it. Just be warned ;). A friend of mine that I did the South Fork with attempted it again at a later stage from the Injisuthi side, thinking he could pull it off in a day, but landed up overnighting on the slopes halfway up (and he's a pretty fast walker). It works really well as a three day hike combined with Gray's Pass.

I wouldn't put too much hope on there being much of a path along the charming 5km boulder bed approach. Smugglers and rustlers make occasional use of the South Fork though.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 10 Oct 2012 08:11 by intrepid.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 Oct 2012 19:24 #55427 by Geordie
Replied by Geordie on topic Ship’s Prow Pass
My late chip in: A group of us did it in a day from Injasuthi , but it was a long hard day, and we experianced all four seasons in one afternoon.It was done on a bet, some armchair loud mouth , with beer in hand said it could not be done, so we went and did it. I I have grown up a lot since then and "don't do that sh*t no more".
What made it possible:
A fit determind team
People who knew and planned the route very well
A slave driver leading it (Someone with the guts to send people back if they did not cut it).
About 12 hours in total.

From Injasuthi you can cut out a lot more of the "walk in" bundu bash which cuts a few hours
From Monks in a day?? I really dont know, but it'appears to be a tough ask and you must be prepared to "sleep steep"and possibly wet too. It's also not a pass you want to get caught in a thunder storm in. Flash floods are a real danger from now until autumn, and people have lost their lives in this pass for this reason. Can't remember the whole story, but I'm sure one of you could enlighten us.

It would be a 3 day for me, but I'll certainly not say it's impossible in 2, and I'll listern to the stories with interest.

As for comparing passes, generally a load of bollocks to me. They are all so different and the conditions change so much, as does your personal approach, fitness levels, weight carried, and reasons for being there.

Regards

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 Oct 2012 08:16 #55428 by HFc
Replied by HFc on topic Ship’s Prow Pass
I've only heard/read about the dangers of North Fork and how people have died there due to flash floods. A reference of one such story is from the Dragon's Wrath, repeated by David Bristow in his Walks Book.

I've only done South Fork, but have seen North Fork from the Top. Both sides, and indeed relevant for the approach too, is how the lay of the land (read vertical...) forces one into the River Bed all the time. All...the time. So yes, Ship's Prow is indeed a bit more dangerous than most passes.

Having said that, (and I can only speak from one-time experience on the loooong South Fork) if one encounters a heavy thunderstorm whilst in the pass there are lost of areas one can move to, to get out of danger. There are along the way several areas on all sides that are both higher than the immediate riverbed, and most importantly, slightly higher than the riverbed on the way up. I believe it is the riverbed higher up one needs to be most wary off, as rather large boulders have a way of bouncing very randomly all over the show and once it gains momentum, you would like to be bit higher than the action....

I'll be frank. It's not my favourite pass. The approach sucks...one ends up head down all the time which in my opinion defeats the purpose of being there, looking up and enjoying the magnificence. I do however understand why every Berg enthusiast would want to do it at least once, it is spoken of with such reverence that one has to see for yourself.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 Oct 2012 08:44 #55429 by Sabine
Replied by Sabine on topic Ship’s Prow Pass
Thanks Highland Fanatic! Would it be easier to stick to the sides up the gully instead of the boulders or are the sides really overgrown and only an emergency escape?

Thanks Geordie for your input. It is a three day hike as we are planning to go up Ships on day 1, down Greys on day 2 and camping at Keith's Bush camp, and then walking out and travelling back to JHB on the Sunday. If we divide going up Ships into 2 days, then the last day would be a really long day, considering we still need to get back to JHB!
The following user(s) said Thank You: Vynbos

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
Powered by Kunena Forum