Ship’s Prow Pass

11 Apr 2016 10:47 #67801 by elinda
Replied by elinda on topic Ship’s Prow Pass
Yes, agreed that there was no obvious path when we went up Ships Prow a few years ago. Granted we did it in misty conditions, so may have not seen the trail anyway ( if there was one) but I also think that this has become a smugglers route of late, so this may explain the more marked path. When we did our hike from Injasuti camp to Ships Prow ( via Marble Baths and returning Cowl Fork/Shada Ridge/Van Heynigham Pass) we encountered a large train of smugglers coming down Ships Prow in the late afternoon
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11 Apr 2016 11:20 #67802 by Dillon
Replied by Dillon on topic Ship’s Prow Pass

I know very few passes top out above 3200m, a few miss it narrowly (Pins, Corner etc). Off hand I am only able to think of Nhlangeni Pass (3225m). Walkers Pass is debatable as to where the top actually is (i.e. by Corn Cob Cave or above the large grass bank where it is marked on the map). Anyone know of any others offhand?


Injisuthi Pass...

Not sure of the exact height, but you feel more or less level with the summit of Greater Injisuthi Buttress (3202m) when you top out.

Also I can't remember much of a climb to get from there to Sombrero (3226m).


Ships Prow is definitely on the radar for a hike soon!!

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14 Jun 2016 09:59 - 14 Jun 2016 21:35 #68816 by AdrianT
Replied by AdrianT on topic Ship’s Prow Pass
If anyone is planning on making the ascent a two day mission, the most important GPS co-ordinate is the position of the three flat spots to pitch a tent. As far as I could tell, these are the only flat places to camp and they are literally the size of a tent: 29° 6'23.8" S 29°21'53.6"E. North east of this camp are two more, and they are all within about 50 metres of each other, or less. But they'd be easy to miss or walk past.

This is how the one camp looks: (MODS: I cannot show this picture here, no idea why)

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The bushes are bad with missing cairns and mostly no path :) An example of my track, trying to find our way which ended in the dark to the above mentioned camp by pure luck. Hopefully you save this camp site ;)


I've only ever been down, once. I'd do it again, but my memory needs to be rebooted to remove the thoughts of those trees. Up would also be good once you're past the trees...just quite long. Respect to people who have hiked from Monks Cowl or Injisuthi and topped out in a day.

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Last edit: 14 Jun 2016 21:35 by intrepid. Reason: Fixed linked picture

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14 Jun 2016 21:37 #68831 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Ship’s Prow Pass

This is how the one camp looks: (MODS: I cannot show this picture here, no idea why)
.

Just needed to trim the query string (?w=774) off the end of the link. I have fixed it in your post.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
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15 Jun 2016 09:32 #68835 by Riaang
Replied by Riaang on topic Ship’s Prow Pass
QArianT,

Have a look at Tony's latest write-up on his Ship Pass South Fork descent, there is now a track for large parts down the pass and the river bed which should make the going much easier. Doing the pass this weekend so will check it out myself :-) Once out of the riverbed there are lots of camping spots available on the ridges along the track to Moncs Cowl, so if you overshoot the campsite then just carry on a bit (there is no way I'll backtrack up the riverbed to try and find the sleeping spots if I missed them, did the pass two years ago and I still remember the bundu bashing quite well :-) )
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15 Jun 2016 09:38 #68836 by AdrianT
Replied by AdrianT on topic Ship’s Prow Pass
@Riaang. Thanks, but I never use tracks. I prefer the odd way point, as in one or two over 10km if I am uncertain. In that river bed, I don't believe a track is going to help much in my opinion. :P Maybe I'm wrong. But bushes grow whether a GPS track says there is a path there or not! :) I wish you luck! (I am jealous though, despite my proclivities towards the the bundu bashing there)

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15 Jun 2016 10:21 #68837 by Sabine
Replied by Sabine on topic Ship’s Prow Pass
There was definitely a clear path both times I went up ship's Prow a couple of years ago, from where you leave the river bed to the top of the pass.

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15 Jun 2016 10:22 #68838 by AdrianT
Replied by AdrianT on topic Ship’s Prow Pass

There was definitely a clear path both times I went up ship's Prow a couple of years ago, from where you leave the river bed to the top of the pass.


Yes that is crystal clear and easy to follow.
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20 Jun 2016 13:03 #68865 by Riaang
Replied by Riaang on topic Ship’s Prow Pass
Ok, so we did Ships Prow this weekend. Sort of remembered what to expect, but that descent is still a looooooooong one! Had lots of snow on top, my wife managed to slide down a couple of sections for fun :-). The snow was up to about 50cm's deep in places so it was a bit difficult to follow the path, but lower down we found it again.

I can confirm that there is now a definite path down the river pretty much all the way down. Initially just keep as far left as possible and follow it down the river. When I say path, i'm not referring to a contour path (if you had that picture in your mind, erase it now :-) ), nope, here a path simply means there is a relatively flat area about 40cm wide to walk on, but you will still have to fight vegetation and push it out the way to move forward in lots of places. My new sleeping pad is looking decidedly secondhand after the river bed section - mind you, so does my new backpack :-(. So if you don't want your clothes and gear to get scratched then rather stay away from this "path". That being said, it walks about 500% easier than if you tried to forge your way through the river vegetation or boulder hopping down the river.

AdrianT, I counted 1 camping spot before the one you listed above, and 5 more lower down with two being lower down the riverbed i.e. past the turnoff to Shada Ridge. Your spot can accommodate 3 tents, then about 400m down or so there is another spot for 3 tents closer to the true right hand side of the river (pretty close to the wall) but the other ones were very small and would probably ony accommodate 2 very small tents at a squeeze.

We were planning on exiting the river bed at the normal spot but the one member of our hiking group was strugging to keep up so we had to get back to Injasutho camp via the shortest way, so we carried on down the river till just after the narrow section where the two sides come nearly together. Here we climbed up the ridge to the true right onto the contour path (this is a pretty steep ridge) and from there hightailed it back to camp. First time that I went down this far down Ships and after the turnoff to Shada ridge the path pretty much dissapears. We went left and right accross the riverbed and in places you could find the odd cern and horese dung and broken vegetation and footprints, but mostly you just try to find the easiest spot to navigate. Doesn't looks like the Parksboard is doing any maintenance to the paths this side of Injasuthi. It gets better the closer you get to camp, but that is only the last 4km's or so.

Saw 3 eland on the ridges back to camp which was very nice, and what looked like a rooi ribbok (sorry, don't know the English name for this buck) and a couple of eagles, so lots of wildlife on this section - probably 'cause not many people go here. Incidentaly, we went up from camp to Centenary hut, then up the NHA to Corner pass but up with around the corner pass (nice variation but if you have a fear of heights the exposure here might make you sweat a bit), topped out between Corner pass and Judges. Northwards towards ships high on the ridges, down Ships and back to camp. Didn't see a single hiker for 4 days. Where was everyone?
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21 Jun 2016 17:23 - 21 Jun 2016 17:24 #68891 by Redshift3
Replied by Redshift3 on topic Ship’s Prow Pass
Tough one at the bottom. Hard on the body and on the gear. We ran out of steam on the way down in January and forced by an afternoon shower we made camp about 400m upstream from your co-ords at -29.106908° 29.360763°.
Rather tight among the boulders :P

“You need special shoes for hiking — and a bit of a special soul as well.”
Terri Guillemets

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Last edit: 21 Jun 2016 17:24 by Redshift3.

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