Tooth Cave

19 Jul 2011 11:55 #3334 by Christine
Tooth Cave was created by Christine
Wondering if anyone is able to give me advice on Tooth Cave? Is it accessable for hikers, ie. without climbing experience and gear?

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19 Jul 2011 12:27 - 19 Jul 2011 14:01 #3335 by tiska
Replied by tiska on topic Re: Tooth Cave
The valley leading up to Tooth Cave (i.e. up the Devil's Tooth Gully) from Tugela Gorge has at least one tricky waterfall that you have to work around. On the way up we went up the very, very steep grassy banks on the RHS of the waterfall looking up valley. On the way down we abseiled down the waterfall (we had climbing gear with us to climb Devil's Tooth). I would not want to downclimb that section without ropes. Normally on the descent immediately after finishing a Berg rock climb I have found that I have the confidence to tackle tricky sections without using any gear. But the waterfall in the Devil's Tooth gully wasn't one of those occasions. I also remember the final 40m up to the cave entrance being pretty steep slopes too.

It would be good to get a second opinion though because there might be an easier work around the waterfall than the one we found.
Last edit: 19 Jul 2011 14:01 by tiska.

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19 Jul 2011 17:18 #3342 by Boerkie
Replied by Boerkie on topic Re: Tooth Cave
If you do go to Tooth Cave, please take a pic and post it in the gallery.
GPS co-ordinates would also be great.

Thx

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20 Jul 2011 07:01 #3344 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Re: Tooth Cave
Haven't been up there myself but I spoke to someone a while back who opened up one of the alternate approaches which involves ascending the Lion ridge and then traversing across below the Eastern Buttress. Not sure if this is any easier. The approach is notoriously arduous.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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21 Jul 2011 11:58 #3357 by RobD
Replied by RobD on topic Re: Tooth Cave


I have been there a few times myself using two different approaches and neither is accessible without a bit of climbing gear, notably for abseiling the difficult spots on descent, just like mnt_tiska says.

For the approach on the Lion Ridge (Greg Devine route, I think) no real technical climbing is required, but it is (very) exposed and the abseils are a full 60m. If you are a confident walker and can abseil then it is an absolutely tremendous mountaineering weekend. Only 5km from Tendele as the crow flies, but don't lose the route! (Don't be misled, it is a serious proposition.)

The approach from the escarpment is the other route I have done - not to be recommended.

Boerkie - a good pic of the cave from the outside is a bit difficult because there is nowhere to stand to take the pic! I have attached one looking out - note the vertical world that it faces onto!

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The following user(s) said Thank You: ghaznavid

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21 Jul 2011 18:09 #3359 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Re: Tooth Cave
Thanks for info Rob! Yes, it was Greg Devine that opened up the approach from Lion Ridge.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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22 Jul 2011 06:49 #3361 by Christine
Replied by Christine on topic Re: Tooth Cave
Thanx for all the info - puts it into perspective. We hiked up to 2300m last weekend (no climbing gear) - saw the next "obstacle" ahead and decided to turn around :ohmy: We had been thinking about attempting it again, allowing more time; but having seen the picture of the cave and read the comments; not sure that it's such a good idea. :(

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26 Jul 2018 13:37 #73735 by Fred93100
Replied by Fred93100 on topic Tooth Cave
Hello, 

Digging up this topic. 
We are a couple of french climbers planning to ascent Devil's tooth next month.

It will be our 1st time in the Berg. So, could anyone tell me the average conditions in Tooth cave at this period (temperature, availability of water nearby, etc... ) ? 
We have sleeping bags for 0°C but not below, and would like to avoid freezing !! (In the french Alps we are not used to bivvy in winter :-) 


Thank you ! 
Fred

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26 Jul 2018 17:03 #73736 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Tooth Cave

Fred93100 wrote: It will be our 1st time in the Berg. So, could anyone tell me the average conditions in Tooth cave at this period (temperature, availability of water nearby, etc... ) ? 
We have sleeping bags for 0°C but not below, and would like to avoid freezing !! (In the french Alps we are not used to bivvy in winter :-) 


Hi there and welcome to the site!

I can't comment on Tooth Cave as I have never been to it, but I can comment on the Berg in August/September. I wouldn't use a sleeping bag rated for anything above 0°C above 2000m outside of summer. I would even be wary of using a bag rated for 0°C on top in summer!

Weather varies from day to day, and if no cold fronts are nearby, you might get away with it - but even then, you are probably going to be very cold. More likely you will have a miserably cold night if you can't find a warmer sleeping bag.

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26 Jul 2018 17:50 #73737 by tiska
Replied by tiska on topic Tooth Cave
[quote="Fred93100" post=73735
 So, could anyone tell me the average conditions in Tooth cave at this period (temperature, availability of water nearby, etc... ) ? 
We have sleeping bags for 0°C but not below, and would like to avoid freezing !! (In the french Alps we are not used to bivvy in winter :-) 

Fred[/quote]

Hi Fred,
You would need to take water from the river you ascend along to get to the cave. At some point along the way the water flow will become very slow and there you will need to fill up for the night (and for the climb the next day). There is a chance you can find ice or snow on the south side of the base of the Tooth when overlooking the Mnweni Valley but there is no guarantee.

Tooth cave is very well located for the climb and it is tempting to stay there. We stayed there the night before the climb. I have also known people walk in and climb the same day but I am not sure how fast you guys climb. We left Tooth Cave at about 7am, did the climb and walked back to the car by 5pm. We did not climb fast. Others have climbed from the car, back to the car in one day. They went fast and light.

Bon chance.

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