The Pine Tree Project

03 Jun 2016 13:30 #68636 by Biomech
Replied by Biomech on topic The Pine Tree Project
Well done, guys. This is great coverage.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Papa Dragon

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03 Jun 2016 19:50 - 04 Jun 2016 07:15 #68641 by Papa Dragon
Replied by Papa Dragon on topic The Pine Tree Project

Papa Dragon wrote: On that note.... ;) next pine hike in the Vaalribbokkop area is in 2 weeks time. Leaving Drak Sun carpark on Friday 10 June, time still to be determined but probably in the afternoon..

If you're keen to join on an easy, fun hike, and do some good for our 'Berg too, give me a shout.. some places left.


Ok the plan is to leave Drak Sun parking lot at about 6pm on Friday next week. This may be a bit earlier depending on what time the latest parties can make it. We will get a lift a bit closer in to the bottom of Jacob's Ladder, and walk in to Vaalribbokkop Cave..

2 nights in the cave, with the pine work on Saturday. Return and meet lift on Sunday,

Promises to be another fun, worthwhile hike, we have 5, possibly 6, hikers, so contact me if you're interested..

Cheers
PapaD
Last edit: 04 Jun 2016 07:15 by Papa Dragon.

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08 Jun 2016 15:02 #68706 by Papa Dragon
Replied by Papa Dragon on topic The Pine Tree Project
So we have 7 hikers/workers leaving Drak Sun on Friday afternoon,
2 of whom are first time pine hikers, and 1 first time hiker..

Thanks for your enthusiasm and support guys and girls, looking
forward to another fun and productive weekend..

Papa D
The following user(s) said Thank You: saros

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15 Jun 2016 22:10 #68845 by Papa Dragon
7 hikers met at Drak Sun Carpark on Friday afternoon 10 June. VE members Jaywalker, JulieMK, Flatdoggy, (who is also Consevation Manager at Monk's Cowl), saros, Smurfatefrog, Papa Dragon, and my son Grant.

We left later than we had hoped, due to the upcountry people being late, despite all of them having a full days leave, and us Natalians working for most of the day.....:P

We started walking at about 17:15, after our lift closer to Jacob's Ladder. It is very pleasant hiking at night when the conditions are right, cooler, and progress just seems faster and easier.

Got to the cave just after 9, after Mark had checked on a party that was overnighting at Stable Cave. Supper, some chat and catching up, birthday celebrations for Julie who had just had her 25th birthday the week before...... It was very warm Friday evening, I don't think it even went to single figures...

Saturday we made a reasonably early start towards a cluster of pines that had been spotted on the March hike by the pine spotter, Julie... Often we have to tell her "okay, that's enough for now..."

After realising that there was no water up toward the cluster, and the mist rolling in, there was some debate on what to do, but we decide to persevere. Right decision!! 20 mature trees in the cluster, and saplings. I said to Smurf that I didn't think we'd treat all those trees, but surprise surprise, by about 13h30 we had 9 trees felled, some of those quite large, and 11 ringbarked. That's some good going because to fell or ringbark a tree takes more than one would think.. If the bowsaw can reach more than half way through the tree, we fell it, it's quite awesome to see some of the bigger trees topple. And 20 seedlings pulled out, so the whole cluster done.

The girls took the low road, and we took the high road... Actually they said they were going to start lunch... Hmmm
We ringbarked a solitary pine high up on the ridge that we had seen on the way in, and then it was back to the cave.
By the time we had eaten, it was already fairly late, and the weather was miserable, so we decided to forego the usual recce, exploration and follow-up. Chilled in the cave instead...

That night got quite cold, with the temp going down to -0.5 in the morning. Surprisingly it didn't feel that cold, there was no air movement at all. I put on my new down jacket, but only because i wanted to see what it felt like, I would have been fine in my other jacket which is probably a bit warmer than a fleece.

Packed up after breakfast, and an uneventful walk out, Mark checking on the group at Stable Cave again on the way back.
We stopped at Thokozisa for our customary beer and burger, and of course necessary debriefing, and then fond farewells and on our way home.

Thanks to the whole team for your enthusiasm and support, in our own way we are making our 'Berg a better place.
The following user(s) said Thank You: intrepid, Stijn, Smurfatefrog, AdrianT, Macc, andrew r, saros, Biomech, JulieMK

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15 Jun 2016 22:14 #68846 by Papa Dragon
I am sure someone will add some pics, I'll put some up tomorrow, though I didn't take many...

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20 Jun 2016 20:14 #68877 by Smurfatefrog
Ready to head out to the pines, the cave & Vaalribbokkop behind


The main cluster we tackled


Scenes of destruction, Mark in action here with his axe


View on the walk out, Cathkin, Monks Cowl, Mhlwazini, with Vaalribbokkop close right

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The following user(s) said Thank You: intrepid, ghaznavid, AdrianT, Macc, Papa Dragon

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20 Jun 2016 21:22 #68878 by Papa Dragon
Thanks for the pics Smurf. I didn't post any because mine are really not great, phone misfunction...

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21 Jun 2016 19:25 #68897 by saros
Early morning view from VRK Cave Saturday Morning


Just leaving the cave for the pines


The low rivers


On our down the valley


Pine cluster center of pic up on nice steep hill


Smurf in the lead, PapaD and Grant


The one contoured steep hill toward the pines. You can seen them just over the hill


The Remnants of one


Pines obscuring my view


The pines we tackled

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21 Jun 2016 19:35 #68898 by saros
Another pine massacred


View back toward the cluster


Scenery shots


The pine we got on top of the hill


View toward VRK and cave


Sunday morning


The close up of the close up


Nice chilled break


Flattdoggy getting last bit of needed water


Waiting for the lift back

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The following user(s) said Thank You: intrepid, ghaznavid, Smurfatefrog, tonymarshall, Papa Dragon

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22 Jun 2016 11:54 #68911 by Riaang
Going down Ships Prow South this past weekend I noticed quite a number of new small pine trees in the riverbed, mainly lower down. Is there any initiative to tackle these?

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