Looking to find out if anyone knows if Lesli’s pass is a bit more cleared?
Last time we did it Dec 2021 the path was unclear, very overgrown and made a 4km stretch turn into a 5 hour hike to Marble Baths.
If you know where to look, the trail isn’t that hard to find. But yes, it will be just as overgrown now as it was a few years ago, it rarely changes. If you’d like a clearer trail, consider Judge Pass or Northern High Approach with Around The Corner Pass. Or consider a hike in a different region, such as Giants Castle or Didima which has more passes with clear trails. Leslies Pass is notorious, and while I quite like the pass, most people I take on it don’t seem to.
Thank you for this! We are doing Mafadi Peak. The plan is to come down Lesli’s pass. We’ll just have to bundu bash
I would like to find out which pass in your opinion is better - Corner’s Pass or Around Corner’s Pass?
We are sleeping in Upper Injisuthi cave that night coming from Centenary Hut.
Corner Pass has harder scrambles and more time spent on rock, but no exposure - so if you take a fall, you aren’t likely to go very far. Around the Corner is easier terrain, but the odds of a fall ending really badly if you do fall is considerably worse. Around the Corner has better views. I always use Around the Corner myself, I did Corner Gully in 2014 and haven’t done it again since then.
Fun fact that’s often not considered: Mafadi via Giants Castle is only about 6km further, and on much better trails. Before Ryan and Ryno set the current Mafadi speed record of something like 5h47 (using Corner Pass both ways), the record was around 6h22 from Giants Castle via Judge Pass. Incidentally the old Leslies speed record was once missed by 8 minutes in an attempt from Gray’s Pass - which says something about how slow that route is. Judge Pass is about the same distance from either side, and Bannerman Hut is a nicer hut.
Over Easter 2018 I actually went up Giants Pass on day 1, summitted Mafadi and slept in UIC on day 2 and hiked down via Langalibalele Pass on day 3 - although I am obviously not suggesting something like that to most hikers as I know the area very well and have the fitness to do big days like that. But my point is that Mafadi can even be linked to some of the easiest Drakensberg passes such as Langalibalele or Bannerman - and doesn’t have to be done via Leslies unless you specifically want to use it. Giants Camp is about 300m higher than Injisuthi, and has no major river crossing without bridges, which also makes a difference. Even the road is better. Its not the popular opinion, but I’ve always rated Mafadi from Giants as easier than from Injisuthi. For context, I’ve stood on top of Mafadi 10 times - 6 times on Grand Traverses, twice on hikes from Injisuthi and twice on hikes from Giants.
It’ll be easier coming down than going up, regarding path clarity, I feel.