Upper Injisuthi Cave

08 Apr 2016 09:47 #67747 by ingmac
Replied by ingmac on topic Upper Injisuthi Cave
Hi Bruce. Are you Michaela's friend who is keen to join us 23/24 April? If so, thanks for also doing research. :thumbsup: I think we have the GPS track for the route, meeting with the leader on the weekend to iron out the finer details. I came on here wanting to find out whether Upper Cave is one we need to book? I know the lower caves- marble baths and Lower Injasuthi get snapped up quick quick by bookings. This is going to be one epic hike indeed!!

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10 Apr 2016 05:48 #67776 by Oneye
Replied by Oneye on topic Upper Injisuthi Cave
I'd be interested in a report on the condition of Upper Injasuti cave.

When I was there in 2000-2005 it was a lovely cave. When I was there in 2013 it was horrible. At least 8 inches (sorry 20cm) of fine powder ash on the floor of the entire cave from people (I assume Basothos) burning what exactly? Dung? I seem to recall there was dung everywhere, remnants and stashes of dung. Sheep dung? Baboon dung? The cave was not usable. Every step polluted the air. If you get ash in your sleeping bag first it stinks for the rest of your trip and second it will probably ruin your down bag. I didn't sleep there, canned my plans for a layover, and got out the next day. I was very disappointed as this was a truly lovely cave made unusable.

There is no way for nature to return the cave floor to dirt. If we cleaned out the cave the same people would simply ruin it again. I fail to understand how burning dung can keep you warm. I can hardly believe they are cooking with dung, I've never observed Basothos carrying metal pots. I'm left positing something habitual or ritual. I also wonder why only this cave. Of course Upper Injasuti cave is in South Africa but in the Basotho mind the edge is the border. But Bannerman Cave - clearly in Lesotho - is entirely unused by the Basothos, but of course they now have huts nearby.
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10 Apr 2016 19:24 #67791 by jeremyeb
Replied by jeremyeb on topic Upper Injisuthi Cave
Spent a night in Upper Injasuthi cave on 19th March. Was my first visit so can't comment on whether or not the state of the cave has improved or not, but it was pretty dirty when we arrived - Basuthos had recently kept sheep in the cave and also made a fire in the middle of the sleeping area so lots of ash and remains of a meal etc. We did however spend a fair bit of time cleaning it up and putting a layer of grass down, so it's hopefully still in decent condition.

The views in the morning definitely made it worth sleeping in 'less than 5 star' conditions.

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12 Apr 2016 19:52 #67831 by Gunman
Replied by Gunman on topic Upper Injisuthi Cave
Good evening.

Sorry been away hence late reply. Thank you for the Co-ordinates. As I have not done this route before I would rather have them set in my GPS in case of poor weather conditions as well as possibly arriving late should we be delayed.
Andrew P answered my question concerning the route.
Once again thanks.

Cheers Bruce

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12 Apr 2016 19:59 #67832 by Gunman
Replied by Gunman on topic Upper Injisuthi Cave
Good evening Ingrid

Yes I am. Glad you on the forum as well. The response and assistance from members is unbelievable.Once again thanks guys. Agree looks like we in for an epic hike. Just want to keep it safe.

Cheers
Bruce

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12 Apr 2016 20:07 #67833 by Gunman
Replied by Gunman on topic Upper Injisuthi Cave
Good evening Jeremy

Thanks for the update on the cave condition. Rather disturbing. I trust it is still in the same condition you guys left it. Thanks. I fail to understand why humans destroy nature. Will give you an update on our return. Looking forward to a stunning sun rise.

Cheers
Bruce
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12 Apr 2016 20:21 #67834 by Gunman
Replied by Gunman on topic Upper Injisuthi Cave
Good evening Andrew

Thank you for your detailed message. It has been of great assistance.

Cheers
Bruce

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13 Apr 2016 12:52 #67844 by ingmac
Replied by ingmac on topic Upper Injisuthi Cave
One last question, where is the closest water source to the Summit Cave? I am aware we are able to get water along Corner pass, is there something closer to the cave?

Bruce, I totally agree, these forums have some invaluable information, and hopefully we can impart our knowledge after completing this epic hike, and celebrating with the almost full moon!

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13 Apr 2016 13:19 #67845 by Smurfatefrog
Replied by Smurfatefrog on topic Upper Injisuthi Cave

ingmac wrote: One last question, where is the closest water source to the Summit Cave? I am aware we are able to get water along Corner pass, is there something closer to the cave?

About 500m in front of the cave, its a bit of a trek down there though, or rather back up with a load of water.
If there's been recent rain you might find some drips in the rockband to the south side of the cave
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06 May 2016 19:33 - 06 May 2016 19:34 #68292 by ingmac
Replied by ingmac on topic Upper Injisuthi Cave
At 6:40 am, on Saturday the 23rd April 2016 a group of six set out from Injusuthi Campsite to conquer the mighty Mafadi in two days. The original plan was to camp at Injusuthi Campsite the evening before and set off before day break the following morning. Unfortunately, due to bad Durban traffic, our friends in the second vehicle arrived late at the gate, to find it locked. With no cell phone reception , they had no option but to climb over the fence and run the final 6km to the campsite, guided by light from the full moon. They found our party, and together we located the helpful and friendly campsite staff who opened the gate to let the second vehicle in. A decision was made to set out later in morning, as once we were fed and had settled in for the night, it was close to midnight.

En-route to Centenary hut, we met Warwick and Andrew, who had plans to measure window panes for the hut’s restoration project. We lunched with them at the hut, and Warwick advised us to head straight up the mountain behind the hut and join the smugglers route to go up Corner Pass, cutting out a large portion of the pass, a route which is much shorter, and would thus save us time. Unfortunately, not long after we left the hut, one of our members, Bruce, started to feel nauseous and faint as a result of spasm medication he had taken at lunch, and had to turn around. He joined our new friends again, and spent the night at the hut.

Based on information I read on VE, which was confirmed by Andrew and Warwick, I expected to find water on Corner Pass. We arrived, thirsty, to find it bone dry. Two of the guys went down a bit to see if they could find any water below our entrance, and returned to report that they could only see water a few kilometres below in the river. We continued up, and eventually found a few drips- to our delight. It look the five of about forty minutes to collect just under two litres, but as the day was drawing to a close, and we felt the urgency to press on. We came out at the top of the pass, with minimal scrambling. Below us, to the right was a stream perhaps a kilometre away, and we walked to it to find it stagnant and filled with slime. Choosing not to fill our bottles with this water, and hoping we would find some en- route to Summit Cave, we hiked on. The sun was setting, and as we had lost the path, we headed toward Trojan Wall along the escarpment, hopping over rocks on the uneven ground. We were exhausted, dehydrated, and the last four kilometres seemed to go on and on. As soon as the sun disappeared, the temperature plummeted, and the chilly wind stung our cheeks. Encouraged by our leader and navigator, Chris, we found the cave with relative ease, via the largest cairn any of us had ever seen in the Berg. Clean water was collected about 600 meters below us, and in no time, dinner was cooking and tea was consumed. We had made it, after almost 13 hours of hiking.

The cave was in very good condition. Cut grass was on the ground around the sleeping area. Although there was loads of ash and dust around, it did not look like there had been any recent fires, and we did not see any animal dung. A big thank you to those who did a great job of cleaning it for the rest of us to enjoy. The cave was really cosy and warm inside, possibly 10 degrees warmer than outside in the chilly wind.

We awoke to the most magnificent sunrise- no words can express the beauty. There was a sea of cloud below, which lingered until mid-morning. After a lazy start, we set off with full bellies at about 7:30am to summit Mafadi. The wind was still icy and blowing pretty strong, but we lingered on the top for about half an hour, jumping from cairn to cairn to make sure we were in fact standing on the highest point. From there we found the path we should have followed the previous night, coming across flowing water a number of times, and filling our bottles. We descended Judges Pass- also bone dry- and contoured to Centenary Hut, eating lunch along the way. We found the hut empty, and concluded that our friend Bruce had gone back to camp with Andrew and Warwick. We continued down heart break hill the way we had come up, deciding not to take the Jeep track as time was not on our side. As we entered the Njesuthi River Valley, the path took us over a river crossing, and we encountered a lady, all on her own, next to her erected tent. She was a part of a group who were planning to summit Mafadi, going up Leslies Pass over multiple days. It seems she could not keep up with the pace of the group , so they had left her behind with the intention of meeting up at a later stage. She was trying to find Marble Baths, which was one valley over, but had missed the turn and had continued straight. We offered to help her pack up and to lead her back to Injusuthi camp, but she seemed settled, and declined. We carried on, now at a faster pace, and arrived at the main river crossing just as it was getting dark. By this time we realised we would not make it to our vehicles by 6pm, which was the gate closing time.

Arriving at camp at 6:10pm, we discovered Bruce had gotten a lift back home with our new mountain friends. We signed the mountain register, found the camp staff to open the gate for us (again), and after a long wait, followed their vehicle and we were on our way home, tired, sore, dirty but with happy hearts!
Last edit: 06 May 2016 19:34 by ingmac. Reason: I forgot to add the first part of the report
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