KwaDuma

04 Nov 2016 17:17 #70152 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic KwaDuma
Anyone tried traversing to KwaDuma from Ben MacD? Looks a bit further than from the more traditional route, but a lot easier logistically.

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins

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04 Dec 2016 09:10 - 04 Dec 2016 13:33 #70315 by roadrunred
Replied by roadrunred on topic KwaDuma
Heres a quick account of our Kwa Duma hike last weekend - hope it will help others who are considering this hike.

Most people we spoke with and whose stories we read tackled this peak from the North ( Ongeluksnek Pass ). The problem we saw with this approach is that 1) The pass is a 4x4 mission in its own right 2) If you use your own vehicle where do you leave it 3) If you get a lift up the pass how do you coordinate extraction once finished 4) The walk is longer - 16 Kms as the crow flies 5) Although one starts on the top of the escarpment (with only +/- 500m ) ascent there are a lot of hills to ascend / descend en route from start to the summit.
We found a couple of accounts on the internet from people who tackled it from the South East ( Tabase village ) and this is the way we elected to go for the following reasons 1) Easier access to start point 2) Secure location at Tabase police station to leave vehicle 3) Possible assistance from the police ferrying us to start of walk 4) Shorter walk - 12 Kms if one is ferried to the end off the road above Tabase at New Stand 5) More ascent ( +/- 1100metres ) required but possibly less up and down.
Route chosen, we arrived Tabase ( after departing PE at 4.00am ) at about 2.00pm - the police were very friendly and after obtaining permission from their Commander drove us in their wagon to a start point beyond New Stand ( last 1.5 Kms 4x4 track ) - this cut approx 6kms off our hike each way !
We then hiked for 3 hours till dusk meeting a couple of herdsman on the way who guided us with sign language - we set up out tent out of sight overlooking the valley and were rewarded the next morning with views you would normally get from an aeroplane !
An early start at 5.00am and we were on the escarpment within an hour - ahead we saw a significant peak which we assumed was our target. We crossed a very marshy valley where we encountered more herders, sheep, cattle, dogs, carcasses, vultures and running water. By now the realisation was dawning that the peak ahead was not our target - upon cresting this summit another peak became visible ahead. This happened about four times and each time we had to contour around keeping as much height as possible but in some instances there was no alternative but to descend and then climb again. It was at this point that our resolve weakened and although we all thought the same we never actually discussed quitting.
Finally the true summit was reached. and after a short pause at the top we then started the 15Kms trek back to our start point picking up our tents, sleeping bags etc that we had left at the overnight campsite.
Now having a clearer perspective of the terrain we chose a slightly different route at the beginning and we marked a waypoint which should help future adventurers (will be published soon ).
We will probably never know what the alternative route is like but judging by the up and downs we encountered from the South it could be even more soul destroying. The escarpment is by no means flat on top and there are enormous valleys between peaks once one has attained the plateau.
Our friendly police friends came and picked us up at yesterdays drop off point - cell phone reception was good until one reaches the escarpment - and after weary handshakes we were off to our Resthaven Guest House in Matatiele and a hard earned steak and chips.
I have GPX files of our route if anyone wants them in future.
A few other stats: Up ( actual ) - 15Kms / Down - 15 Kms / Start altitude 1920m / Summit 3019m / Campsite 2400m / Escarpment +/- 2650m.

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Last edit: 04 Dec 2016 13:33 by Smurfatefrog. Reason: inserted pics
The following user(s) said Thank You: JonWells, DeonS, ghaznavid, Smurfatefrog, tonymarshall, ruthtbl, AdrianT, AndrewP

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05 Dec 2016 12:30 #70325 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic KwaDuma
Any chance you have a GPS track that you could send to me for this?

Myself, AndrewP and Hobbit are doing KwaDuma later this week.

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins

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05 Dec 2016 17:02 #70326 by roadrunred
Replied by roadrunred on topic KwaDuma
Sure - on the way to your email already.
The following user(s) said Thank You: ghaznavid

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19 Nov 2017 17:02 #72386 by DeonS
Replied by DeonS on topic KwaDuma
Hi roadruned any chance you can send me you gps track info for Kwaduma looking at doing it maybe in December thanks Deon

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24 Nov 2017 07:40 #72406 by umlunguish
Replied by umlunguish on topic KwaDuma
Awesome! Thanks so much for this post. Some friends and I are looking at doing this route over the festive season, could you please share GPS details of the route?

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25 Nov 2017 14:29 #72407 by Hobbitt
Replied by Hobbitt on topic KwaDuma
We did it from Thebese Police Station, and the police were to happy to drop us at the bottom of Benari Pass. There is a path up the pass (a very used one at that) and once you're on top there's a ridge between you and Kwa-Duma.
All you really need is a gps coordinate for the summit itself, which should be easy enough to get.

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08 Apr 2019 21:20 #74892 by ivanslabbert
Replied by ivanslabbert on topic KwaDuma
hi 

do you by any chance still have gpx tracks for this route?

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