Route: Injisuthi - Corner Pass - Mafadi - Leslie's Pass Loop (South Africa)

Submitted by Hanno Langenhoven on Mon, 10/19/2020 - 12:41am
Location
South Africa
Lesotho
Distance
43.19 km
Vertical Gain
2676 m
Description

The loop starts at the mountain register in Injisuthi camp. The first bit, running to the trail head proper, is on tar road. Just before the bridge over the Njesuthi river the trail starts on the right. Follow along the trail to the Marble Baths/Centenary Hut split. Follow the trail left towards Centenary Hut. The incline is fairly benign till you hit Heartbreak Hill around 8km from the start. The next landmark is Centenary Hut. The hut is hidden from this approach and it is a pleasent surprise to see the hut as you come around the corner.

Corner pass is hidden behind a hill from Centenary Hut. Leave the hut, with it at your six o'clock. There is arguably three ways of tackling the hill, contouring right or left or going straight over. The GPS track contours around the right. Once over or around the hill Corner Pass is in front of you. No ropes or climbing gear needed but in adverse weather the pass might have a few very tricky points. Most notably the moderate scramble at the choke stone 2/3rds up the pass. The scramble is on the right of the choke stone and in dry weather is straight-forward. In rain, snow or icy weather this might be a lot more tricky to do.

At the top of Corner Pass turn right and head up to Mafadi Peak, the highest Peak in South Africa, on a well worn trail. It is an easy hiking trail without any technical segments, but still a significant climb. At the top of Mafadi, enjoy the view before continue towards the top of Leslie's Pass with the cliff face dropping down on your right. Some easy ridge running takes you into the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho and down into a beautiful valley. Keep an eye on your GPS as well as cairns to spot the entrance to Leslie's Pass as the entrance itself is not visible from the valley.

Leslie's Pass is where the real technical or challenging part of the loop starts. Leslie's Pass is very steep but footing is generally good. Once down the pass the trail in the valley is severely overgrown and going slow.Knee high gaters or long tights or trousers is a benefit on this segment as it will protect your legs from cuts and scrapes. The trail becomes easier as you pass the middle Marble Baths and Marble Baths Cave. A beautiful winding trail takes you to the junction with the Centenary Hut again, turn left and follow the trail back to the tar road and back to the Mountain Register.