Dragon's Wrath 2011

03 Jan 2011 20:58 #2139 by intrepid
Dragon's Wrath 2011 was created by intrepid
This is the place to gather and discuss all accidents and rescues in the Drakensberg for 2011. The most common are hiking related, though they can also result from other activities such as climbing and paragliding. This thread is inspired by the book "Dragons Wrath" by Reg Pearse & James Byrom, and is an endeavour to continue on in that spirit.

The purpose of this is to:
* concatenate all information about these accidents to keep a concerned Drakensberg community informed;
* express solidarity and concern to those involved in the accidents;
* learn from mistakes made and to heed warnings of risks.

The purpose of this is NOT to:
* criticise or embarrass those involved;
* create media hype or a morbid fascination of other peoples accidents;
* create undue negative publicity for the Berg.

Historical threads:
5 hiking-related deaths in 2008
Dragon's Wrath 2010

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

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05 Jan 2011 18:30 - 05 Jan 2011 19:53 #2152 by tiska
Replied by tiska on topic Dragon's Wrath 2011
news of a chopper rescue in Cathedral Peak. Hikers coming through from Sentinel had a hard time crossing swollen rivers and a chopper was called in to help. More details here:

www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Hikers-rescued-in-Drakensberg-20110105

Report doesn't say which pass the group took down - though probably Mlambonje.

I'm not surprised the rivers were big. I had a hard time crossing some of them in Injisuthi in mid-late December and its rained even more since.
Last edit: 05 Jan 2011 19:53 by tiska.

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06 Jan 2011 12:59 #2155 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Dragon's Wrath 2011
I contacted Jeff Gaisford, Media Manager for EKZNW, and he clarified that the hikers got stuck at the confluence of the Mlambonja and Xeni Rivers. The rescue team that tried to reach them initially could not cross the Tsteketseke River. It is not clear if they descended Mlambonja Pass, but indications are that they did. Jeff asked me to encourage all reading this to fill in the Mountain Rescue /Hiking Registers CLEARLY and completely. The more info they have in an emergency the better. These hikers were pretty thorough in all their arrangements and did all the right things, which made things easier for all.

The EKZNW media release about this incident has been published here .

To keep track of flooding rivers and ideas about alternate routes, please see the thread on Dangerous River Crossings in the Rainy Season .

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

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28 Apr 2011 13:01 #2768 by Aux
Replied by Aux on topic Dragon's Wrath 2011
On the 27th April a hiker got airlifted in the Organs pass area. He pinched a nerve and could not continue. They were trying to do the Grand Travers. No other details are known.

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28 Apr 2011 16:08 #2770 by kliktrak
Replied by kliktrak on topic Dragon's Wrath 2011
hmmm i wonder if thats part of our clubs GT attempt? doing the resupply at Bannermans on 30/04-01/02 so will find out, will post updates if i get any.

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28 Apr 2011 17:48 #2771 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Dragon's Wrath 2011
@Kliktrak: I just did Bannerman Pass on Tuesday. Be careful of using the river next to Bannerman Hut (the river that you follow to climb the pass) as a water source, myself and the person hiking with me both got very sick after filling up our water bottles from it :sick:. We were on our way down the pass and filled up our bottles to cook our supper, shortly after drinking some of the water I felt very sick, what followed was a cycle of thowing up hourly until I realised that it was the water that was causing the problem. Its not very pleasant doing the 11.5km hike back to the car park having had very little slept, and having not been able to hold down any food or water, but I will spare you further graphic details. I do appologise for the half digested food that is near the front door of the hut, hopefully the local wildlife has sorted it out by now, its a horrible place to be sick, especially when the only water you have available is the water that made you sick in the first place and considering that we couldn't go out to get more water.

Any way, enjoy the hike, I don't know what the rivers are usually like at this time of the year (I walked to the hut in July last year and there was basically no water on the contour path, so I don't know if this info helps), but all the streams on the contour path are flowing nicely, but the top of the pass is dry, so the pass isn't bad (I also did the pass in Jan this year and had to content with a flooded pass, also not very pleasant).

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29 Apr 2011 17:16 #2772 by kliktrak
Replied by kliktrak on topic Dragon's Wrath 2011
Ah very sorry to hear that, not cool at all. Thanks for the heads up. Will let u know how it goes upon my return.

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17 May 2011 17:28 #2906 by suricata
Replied by suricata on topic Dragon's Wrath 2011
Hi Aux

We were four hikers not belonging to any club. Two girls, myself and the guy who injured his back. We are experience hikers in the berg and well prepared for the Grand Traverse. We planned to do the traverse unsurported and everything went to plan. Late morning on the fourth day my friend injured his back. This is probably as a result of an old back injury plus a too heavy back pack. The helicopter attempt to land at about 16H00 but the wind was too strong and the rescue was abandoned. They returned the next morning an then airlifted him successfully although the wind was still very strong. The two girls and I decided to call it quits and decended via the Camel. It was very cold and windy where we had to wait and psycological quite hard. We obviosly regret that we did not continue. There are allways a next time.

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19 May 2011 06:43 #2909 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Dragon's Wrath 2011
Thanks for letting us know what happened suricata. It must have been disappointing to abort and hope you guys will pull it off at a later stage. To satisfy my own curiosity, was it the Cathedral Peak chopper that picked him up, or was the rescue co-ordinated by the MCSA? And where exactly was the pick-up?

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

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19 May 2011 17:17 #2917 by suricata
Replied by suricata on topic Dragon's Wrath 2011
Hi Intrepid

The rescue was co-ordinated by the MCSA. They sent an army helicopter to pick him up. The rescue took place at Thuthumi pass just below Ndumeni dome. The one lady has contact with the Mountain backpackers and we will try and find out when they will do the traverse again.

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