Up Wilsons pass, down Mashai pass

hi all. I’m looking for info and opinions on this route. Am thinking for a first easy day to sleeping beauty, start toward Wilsons early the next morning, down Mashai, and to sleep in Pillar the next night. Any input greatly appreciated!

Wilsons Pass is an interesting one - best described as a long series of easy scrambles in a riverbed. I’ve come down it twice, but never gone up it. If there’s a lot of rain, it could be tricky. There’s apparently a bypass gully one can use to skip the rock section, but I was never able to find it. Fun pass, though.

I did day hike up Bollard Pass down Mashai Pass in 2016, not sure if I did a writeup on it. Just requires good fitness to do the loop. I’ve also day hiked up Bollard down Wilson. The difference between up Wilson down Mashai with a day pack vs cutting the first 5km and last 4km but with overnight gear and the extra food required will make it much harder. Not the easiest loop to day hike, though. And overnight hiking it without a tent is risky due to the lack of caves between them - Mashai Shelter barely counts as an emergency shelter. But a very fit team with good weather can definitely do it.

Here’s my writeup from the first time I did Wilson’s Pass. Just take it in the context of being written by a version of me with 10 years less Drakensberg experience than I have now.

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My writeup from the Leqooa Ridge hike last weekend is up: