Drakensberg region under fracking threat
South African’s have yet to become better informed about it....”fracking”. It burst onto the scene this year when the South African government halted plans for drilling for gas in the Karoo by oil company Shell. A moratorium was imposed on fracking allowing the government to better understand the environmental consequences it will have. In the meantime prospecting taking place in other parts of the country, including the Drakensberg has had less media coverage. Should we be surprised?
New rules for Berg rock art visits
AMAFA/Heritage KwaZulu-Natal has embarked on a programme of cleaning up graffiti that has defaced some rock art sites in the uKhahlamba/Drakensberg region.
And it has also set up a system of access control.
Plus One for conservation in the Mnweni
Long term negotiations have finally culminated in an application to have the Mnweni ("Upper uThukela Location") declared a Wildnerness Area! This is with a long-term view to have this area included in the Drakensberg World Heritage Site.
In Memory of Jack Botha
At the age of 98, Jack Botha passed away peacefully, and I doubt whether many of his contemporaries are still around to do justice in honouring this great South African climbing legend.
Mont-Aux-Sources Challenge 2011
Every year, the 50km race to the top of Tugela Falls and back from Royal Natal National Park, takes place in September. The number of participants is limited and selected. The route ascends Gudu Pass to Witsieshoek, up to Sentinel Car Park along the road, after which the Falls are reached via the Chain Ladders. Descent is via The Gully and back along the same way. This year's event was held on the 10th and was won by Lance Chapman in a time of 05:04:59. For more information visit the official website. A personal account by one of the participants, with pictures, can be read on this blog.
The 10 highest South African summits not shared with Lesotho
The following list reflects the highest summits in South Africa which are not shared with Lesotho. It will be recalled that many of South Africa's highest summits form part of the border between the two countries.
“Mafadi”: the invention of a peak and the misconstructions of RSA mapmakers
Mnweni Marathon 2011
May the 14th 2011 saw the running of the annual Mnweni Marathon – that epic mountain race which pits body and mind against the Drakensberg terrain, the altitude, the weather, your training or lack thereof, your hidden masochistic tendencies, the clock, and above all, your desire to get high on life / endorphins / adrenalin / cataflam. The circular route is easily described in one sentence: run up the Mnweni valley and pass, run down Rockeries Pass and the Ntonjelane valley back home – overall distance 38Km, altitude gain to the summit 1600m (stats may vary, depending on how officially lost or found you were at any given moment of the self-navigated route). The trials and tribulations of the day, and each participant’s unique tale of conquering the Mnweni could fill a chapter.
Beacon Buttress Gully
This short and steep gully used to be the only way of accessing the escarpment in this area before the chain ladder was put in place. It is a really fun alternative to the over-used Chain Ladder Route (see above). No scrambling is involved but it is a boulder-strewn gully and a lot of the rock is loose. It tops out near the summit of Beacon Buttress and has an awesome view as a reward for the steep climb.
Hiking Article Count: 19
Climbing Article Count: 6
Peaks Article Count: 8
Passes Article Count: 39
Caves Article Count: 4
Grand Traverse Article Count: 8
Environment Article Count: 8
Security Article Count: 15
General Article Count: 21
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