Baboons Pass April 2017

Tell us about your favorite 4x4 trail. Tell us how easy or difficult it was, is there escape routes for the faint hearted? Please add some photographs if you can.
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Yo-Yo
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Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:29 pm

Baboons Pass in Lesotho April 2017

Known as the South African “Rubicon”of Trails in the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho, is the notorious Baboons pass - NOT for the faint hearted.
With extreme conditions from start to finish, 2 days of rock building, steep climbs, wild tilts, and everything else a true 4x4er would want in a Trail. And all this in only 26km.

Misty conditions and light rain greeted our small group of enthusiastic Adventurers as we arrived the evening at our hotel in Roma, after many stories and tales of previous mountain expeditions, some went to bed a bit apprehensive and nervous (I’m sure)

Next morning early, after breakfast we made our way for the obligatory photo opportunity at the rock piling ceremony, a tradition of placing a rock on an existing pile at the start of the mountain climb. “Slowly - slowly catch a monkey” a phrase very well fitting for negotiating the tricky pass, all the time adding rocks, guiding and road building. Not forgetting to take in, the stunning scenery all the way up to the highest point of the pass.
As we took the convoy up the trail, we were overtaken by some local women who had been to town for supplies, they had everything needed for months living loaded on their heads, and we, could not catch them again.

In all my 34 years of 4x4ing and tyre choices, have I never been so happy to have a set of Yokohama Geolander M/T fitted to my vehicle, looking down at the tyres negotiate and climb over rocks and boulders through the folded down mirrors, it amazed me what abuse a tyre can actually endure. With the rain that fell, it only added to the clay sections being very slippery, once again the tread perfectly suited for a confident ride. And to add to the impressiveness, the quiet ride on tar.

Guiding is essential as the navigators job is to assist you placing your wheels in the right place for a successful attempt of the obstacles. At one or two places a vehicle gets hung up on the rocks, but a gentle Hi-lift or rearranging a few rocks has you on your way again.


Arriving at a flat area (must be the only one in the country) we made camp, lit the fire and relived the days happenings and consumed a few bottles of Good Lanzerac red wine. What an awesome group of people to travel with, everyone full of spirit and helping each other. Rather chilly that night, after the afternoons rain downpour, we snuggled in for a good night’s rest.

But this was only possible to do after we negotiated the infamous “Yeee haaa Hill” a short, but extremely steep, deeply rutted and very slippery climb. Here we had the opportunity to make the very impressive winch do the work to assist some of the vehicles to the top. Lots of photos and plenty of laughs, as by this time, nothing could be more extreme or dampen spirits NOW.

First coffee and a rusk, breaking camp was a quick exercise, and we were soon on the track again for the second day stint as we wound our way through tight and narrow sections, at some places the wheels are so close to the cliffs edge that rocks would literally be knocked over the steep edge. Ahead lay the very well known “Goliaths Rock” a combination of steep climbs over a massive boulder, some tilts thrown in for fun, and a cliff edge to help settle any nerves.

Sadly the oldest vehicle in our group, a Prado 150 could not take the final abuse, and broke a Crown wheel tooth in the differential. Not deterred, we hooked the Prado to Gerhards Massive and impressive Jeep, and towed it 900m further to the end of the Trail.

To everyone involved, a massive Thank you for your help, Humor, enthusiasm and sharing of your supplies.
Willie and Amanda, who threatened to knock me into next year, if they did not make the end in time for the birth of their first Grandson –Made it in time and Congratulations Ouma en Oupa, hope he brings You many years of joy.

We can be glad, we did not see this report last week.
Day 6 to 9 forecast for 3070 m altitude
Mild with heavy rain (total 82.0mm), heaviest during Mon afternoon. Becoming colder with a moderate fall of snow, heaviest on Mon night. Mild temperatures (max 7°C on Sun afternoon, min 1°C on Mon night). Wind will be generally light.
On Your Bucket List ??
If You would like to be part of the next weekend up the Baboons Pass (May or June) or would like to arrange a private group, before the serious cold winter and snow sets in, drop me an e mail and I will send you details.
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Thunder02
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Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:19 pm

Tony, thanks for the trip report, glad you guys made it back safely.
Oupa Willy, congrats on your grandchild :clap: :clap: :clap:
Not all those who wander are lost!

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Mud Dog
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Real Name: Andy

Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:03 pm

My kind of trail! Thanks for the TR and pics! :thumbup:
When your road comes to an end ...... you need a HILUX!.

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FIRSTGEER
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Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:55 pm

Thanks for sharing with us
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Family_Dog
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Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:57 pm

Nice report Tony, looks like you guys had fun!
Sadly the oldest vehicle in our group, a Prado 150
Did you perhaps mean the Prado 90/95? Some of these models have a full diff-lock, others a limited slip diff, and others simply a normal rear diff, no diff lock.


-F_D
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Dowe Koos
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Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:36 pm

Hi Tony, like your post. Is something on my wish list, one day is one day I am doing it.
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.

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Drifter X
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Tue May 30, 2017 9:56 pm

Thanks for sharing. Wonderful pics

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Yo-Yo
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Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:32 pm

Baboons Pass -- again 16th to 18th June

Anyone want to Join ?
Hot and Sweaty -- Nice if you with a Lady---BAD if you in the Jungle.

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Yo-Yo
High Range 4WD
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Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:38 pm
Town: Boksburg
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Real Name: Tony
ORRA Call Sign: HC 306

Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:22 pm

Baboons pass weekend before last .... and
last weekend...... again

Im all Babooned out.
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Hot and Sweaty -- Nice if you with a Lady---BAD if you in the Jungle.

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