The Pine Tree Project

20 Jul 2019 20:25 #75169 by Papa Dragon
Replied by Papa Dragon on topic The Pine Tree Project
Thank you for the donation, another anymous,, every bit helps,,
The following user(s) said Thank You: Smurfatefrog, Macc

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22 Jul 2019 15:54 #75174 by Riaang
Replied by Riaang on topic The Pine Tree Project
I took a newbie to the berg last weekend, had an awesome hike. Unfortunately Sanet couldn't join us, but none the less we had a very relaxed hike, slower paced, with long rest-breaks - I can get used to this :-) problem is Sanet will pull out the whip on the next hike if I dare slack off a bit ;-)

We went up to Tseke hut on Friday, Sat up Tseke pass, slept over in Twins Cave (the min temp we recorded was 9 deg C - warmer than in Centurion!!!) and then back down via Mlambonja and the zig-zags opposite Xeni cave. We saw LOTS of new pine trees on the descent. I mean LOTS and LOTS. Check out the image below:

This was where you exit Mlambonja pass at the campsite under the large tree, once you are on the contour path section. Under 1km from this exit point

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22 Jul 2019 15:55 #75175 by Riaang
Replied by Riaang on topic The Pine Tree Project

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24 Jul 2019 16:53 #75187 by Smurfatefrog
Replied by Smurfatefrog on topic The Pine Tree Project

Riaang wrote: I took a newbie to the berg last weekend, had an awesome hike. Unfortunately Sanet couldn't join us, but none the less we had a very relaxed hike, slower paced, with long rest-breaks - I can get used to this :-) problem is Sanet will pull out the whip on the next hike if I dare slack off a bit ;-)

We went up to Tseke hut on Friday, Sat up Tseke pass, slept over in Twins Cave (the min temp we recorded was 9 deg C - warmer than in Centurion!!!) and then back down via Mlambonja and the zig-zags opposite Xeni cave.

Hi Riaan, ah were you guys the group ahead of us last Friday (12th) on the way to Tseke hut? We had planned to go there but saw another group had left a few hours before us so we camped downstream.
Did you also notice a lot of litter along the way, including going up Tseke pass as noted here: ?  https://www.vertical-endeavour.com/forum/8-drakensberg-hiking/56661-hikers-trash.html?start=10#75153

Riaang wrote: We saw LOTS of new pine trees on the descent. I mean LOTS and LOTS. Check out the image below:

This was where you exit Mlambonja pass at the campsite under the large tree, once you are on the contour path section. Under 1km from this exit point

I am 99% sure those are Widdringtonia, and not pines. 
It would be very unusual for there to be such a large cluster of young pines like that, and I have done Mlambonja pass this year and did not notice any pines

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26 Jul 2019 11:31 #75191 by Riaang
Replied by Riaang on topic The Pine Tree Project
Hi Smurf, must have been us. We were only 3 guys so there was room for you guys in the hut. We didn't see anybody else on the hike, except a couple of hikers (I assume they were hikers, they were too far away to identify properly, but some of the people were wearing bright coloured clothing) on the ridge below Tseke hut, slightly to the right as you look out the door of the hut.

We did see litter on the trail, we actually talked about it but it wasn't a lot, basically 3 chocolate wrappers right next to the footpath. We suspected it came from hikers as it was mainly chocolate wrappers. However, I also noticed a lot of tissue and toilet paper pieces right next to the footpaths. While these will typically degrade fairly quickly, I didn't appreciate walking through where somebody did their business right next to the footpath. More of a problem next to Tseke hut and Twins cave. I mean, how difficult can it be to just walk 50m away from the sleeping area?

You are spot on with the Widdringtonias :-) I wasn't aware that this tree (more like a large scrub) is indigenous to South Africa. The young plants looked just like pine trees to me (especially the seeds), now I know better. Happy to leave them in the ground - they make excellent support structures when having to pull yourself up a steep section :-) 

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29 Jul 2019 19:25 - 29 Jul 2019 19:36 #75194 by Papa Dragon
Replied by Papa Dragon on topic The Pine Tree Project

Riaang wrote: Hi Smurf, must have been us. We were only 3 guys so there was room for you guys in the hut. We didn't see anybody else on the hike, except a couple of hikers (I assume they were hikers, they were too far away to identify properly, but some of the people were wearing bright coloured clothing) on the ridge below Tseke hut, slightly to the right as you look out the door of the hut.

We did see litter on the trail, we actually talked about it but it wasn't a lot, basically 3 chocolate wrappers right next to the footpath. We suspected it came from hikers as it was mainly chocolate wrappers. However, I also noticed a lot of tissue and toilet paper pieces right next to the footpaths. While these will typically degrade fairly quickly, I didn't appreciate walking through where somebody did their business right next to the footpath. More of a problem next to Tseke hut and Twins cave. I mean, how difficult can it be to just walk 50m away from the sleeping area?

You are spot on with the Widdringtonias :-) I wasn't aware that this tree (more like a large scrub) is indigenous to South Africa. The young plants looked just like pine trees to me (especially the seeds), now I know better. Happy to leave them in the ground - they make excellent support structures when having to pull yourself up a steep section :-) 

..


A very satisfying habit to cultivate, is to try to pick up trail trash when you see it..
Good for the wilderness area, good for the next hikers on the trail, and good for your soul... ;)
Last edit: 29 Jul 2019 19:36 by Papa Dragon.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Smurfatefrog

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01 Aug 2019 10:54 #75199 by Papa Dragon
Replied by Papa Dragon on topic The Pine Tree Project
Thank you for the donation, Jawitz Properties PMB...
The following user(s) said Thank You: Macc

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07 Aug 2019 20:23 - 09 Aug 2019 11:14 #75230 by Papa Dragon
Replied by Papa Dragon on topic The Pine Tree Project
Our work hike this last weekend was a follow up in the Hospitalspruit catchment area. Very encouraging to see a lot of dead trees that we had treated previously, but also a bit concerning to see trees that we had left for dead or dying, actually flourishing. Just shows the worth of trying to get the trees felled as far as possible..

There were 8 of us in total on this meet, with 4 being first timers. Elinda will be joining us to take care of record keeping and admin, Richard S brought along 2 very able recruits, Flatdoggy brought one of the Honorary Officers from the Monk's Cowl HO group, then singlespeed and myself.

We worked in the Hospitalspruit Cave area, and down the Hospitalspruit on the Friday, and spent the night in Vaalribbokkop Cave. Saturday we split up again. with groups worhing 3 sites. Regrouped in Stable Cave for Saturday night.. We have started using 2-way radios, which has made a huge difference in the efficiency of the group, being able to split up but remain in comms ..

Walk out on Sunday morning, Singlespeed and Richard doing some research on a previous site above Jacob's Ladder, and the rest of us doing a little bit of work on a wattle cluster near the bottom of Jacob's Ladder. Flatdoggy will send a team in shortly to tackle the wattle in this area.

Total of 20 trees felled, but considerin this was a follow up in an area worked already, and the trees were spread out, not a bad count. 

Our next work hike for the year is scheduled as an "off-site" meet at mKhomazi, not our usual area, Watch this space..

Again, thanks team for commitment and work..
Last edit: 09 Aug 2019 11:14 by Papa Dragon.
The following user(s) said Thank You: MarkT, Smurfatefrog, Macc, Dave

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09 Aug 2019 11:22 #75234 by Papa Dragon
Replied by Papa Dragon on topic The Pine Tree Project
Edited the above, 20 trees, not 2, thanks Macc
The following user(s) said Thank You: Macc

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05 Sep 2019 14:56 #75298 by Papa Dragon
Replied by Papa Dragon on topic The Pine Tree Project
Our next work hike is scheduled for the 1 to 3rd of November.

It will be held at Mkhomazi, we will camp at the rondavel, and tackle the pines on day hikes.

Friday to Sunday..

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