On a lighter note - the tradition of getting a photo on "the rock" on the way up to Sleeping Beauty Cave is alive and well:
I have hiked up this trail 4 times, and every time I have taken a photo of someone in the group in this exact spot. L-R top to bottom it is:
1) Werner (he is also a 2m tall individual) - first hike I ever lead, a day hike up to Sleeping Beauty Cave and back again.
2) Evan - my first attempt at an escarpment day hike. We had driven to the Berg with the goal of doing Bollard/Wilson in a day, but heavy snow fell 2 days before so we just walked around the base of the passes. In retrospect a good thing we didn't shoot for the pass, I had very little hiking experience at this point in time. We ended up following the river down from Wilson's Pass hoping to go past Cod's Eye Cave back to the main trail. This didn't work out and we had to backtrack right up past Sleeping Beauty Cave. It was rather epic!
3) Johan (and Fitness in the background) - we set out to do Mzimude Pass but ended up switching to Tsepeng Pass. That was quite an epic hike!
4) Hobbit this weekend...
So it would seem that "epic" things happen when I go up past Sleeping Beauty Cave. Perhaps time to put plans involving this valley to sleep
For those who have never hiked up to Sleeping Beauty Cave - it is one of the steepest small Berg approaches around and is surrounded by massive sandstone cliffs. I once read that only one of the opened Berg sandstone climbing routes isn't in this valley. It can be used to approach Tsepeng Pass, Bollard Pass or Wilson's Pass - all of which are genuine rock passes and include some exposed scrambling (Bollard is the most exposed, Wilson the least). But you don't need to do a pass to justify going up this valley.
The cave itself is massive, yet has practically no sleeping area due to the massive boulders and river that flows through it.
Getting from Sleeping Beauty Cave to the tiny Engagement cave requires an interesting route that took me a while to figure out. The trail past the cave disappears at a waterfall before hitting some heavy overgrowth. At this point you turn 90 degrees to the right, follow the stream, cross the main river and scramble up the bank on the other side. The trail is very rough and requires some scrambling, but once you start the steep climb up the bank - its easy from there. The trail to Engagement Cave splits off to the right, while ST's Waterfall Cave is visible to the left, high up on the south slopes. Definitely worth a visit