Dragon's Wrath 2012

17 Jan 2012 08:11 - 11 Apr 2012 07:29 #5289 by intrepid
Dragon's Wrath 2012 was created by intrepid
This is the place to gather and discuss all accidents and rescues in the Drakensberg for 2012. 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 about other peoples accidents;
* create undue negative publicity for the Berg.

Historical threads:
5 hiking-related deaths in 2008
Dragon's Wrath 2010
Dragon's Wrath 2011

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 11 Apr 2012 07:29 by intrepid. Reason: changed topic icon

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17 Jan 2012 08:48 - 17 Jan 2012 08:51 #5291 by kliktrak
Replied by kliktrak on topic Dragon's Wrath 2012
I picked up this report from a FB group post.

The date of the incident would be Sat 14 Jan 2012, the post was made on Sunday 15 Jan and refers "yesterday".

<Start>

ZS-HHC, our Jetranger based at Dragon Peaks, in the Central Drakensberg, was dispatched yesterday on a rescue. Brett Tungay rescued a lady on the contour path on the side of the Mhlwazini valley at just over 6000ft, just bellow Gatburg. He could only land about 500m away, in the bottom of the valley so Frik Lemmer (KZN Wildlife) and one of the men in the hiking party had to carry her down through waist high grass and bush, while Brett and the other male hiker carried the back packs and cut a path down to the helicopter. Brett flew her out to the Monks Cowl camp to be taken to hospital. It looks like either a fractured ankle or a snapped ligament in the right leg. We would like to wish her a speedy recovery!

<End>

From this FB group:
www.facebook.com/drakensberg.tourism

but originally posted in:
www.facebook.com/bergflying

Pics from the rescue here, not alot of detail though:
www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.229919830421813.57098.128582170555580&type=1
Last edit: 17 Jan 2012 08:51 by intrepid. Reason: Moved message to a new thread for 2012
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11 Apr 2012 07:28 #53496 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Dragon's Wrath 2012
7 March, hiker airlifted from bottom of Rockeries Pass
Reported in the 2012 Q2 newsletter of the KZN Section of the MCSA :

A 19 year old male fell approximately 12 meters down a cliff, off the path near the bottom of Rockeries Pass, breaking both lower legs and his ankle as well as sustaining a laceration to his head. He was rescued at last light by joint team of MCSA, SAAF and Ezemvelo members in an Oryx helicopter and flown to MediClinic hospital in Pietermaritzburg, where he has since undergone surgery to his legs.


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

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11 Apr 2012 16:45 - 12 Apr 2012 07:25 #53509 by diverian
Replied by diverian on topic Dragon's Wrath 2012
During our recent visit to Injisuthi a minor incident occurred which is probably worth recording as valuable lessons can be learnt from it. On Wednesday 4 April in the morning when I went to fill in the day hike register, I noticed that an early entry had been made at
6 am by a single hiker planning to walk to Monks Cowl and return.

I commented to witchiwoo that he must be a "racing snake" as that is quite a hike (approx 34 km). When we returned to the camp we heard that evening that he had not returned, and that he was in fact an older guy who had been visiting the camp for "20 years". His wife, who was in the camp, was clearly distraught and the officials sent some guys out towards van Heynigings pass at about 7 pm with no success.

He eventually walked into camp mid morning apparently very traumatised having made it to Monks and got lost on the contour path on the way back. He spent a very cold night, it was 5C at the camp that night, in only shorts and a light wind breaker, no food, light or phone to call for assistance. They packed up and left,cutting their holiday short by several days.

If I was planning such a hike, I think I would make contingency plans for a possible "night out" space blanket, warm jacket and pants, some rations and a headlamp, and defintely a cellphone.
Last edit: 12 Apr 2012 07:25 by diverian. Reason: added approx distance
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12 Apr 2012 06:38 #53515 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Dragon's Wrath 2012
In David Bristow's Best Walks of the Drakensberg he actually says that you must always remember, a cell phone on a hike is a necessity, not a luxury. I also agree on the space blanket theory, it costs very little, takes no space and weighs practically nothing, but it can be the difference between life and death.

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24 Oct 2012 07:16 #55508 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Dragon's Wrath 2012
Rescue news from Q4 newsletter of KZN section of the MCSA
kzn.mcsa.org.za/about-us/newsletters/News%20h%202012%20Q4.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1

Rescue News By: Gavin Raubenheimer
On 21 August 2012 a school boy was at Cathedral Peak and broke his fingertip when a rock fell on it. He was "walked out" and taken to a doctor.
Two other minor alerts were received: one for a missing hiker in the Monk's Cowl area and another for a day hiker who got lost in the Tugela Gorge.


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

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16 Jan 2013 20:01 #55891 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Dragon's Wrath 2012
More rescue news written by Gavin Raubenheimer, published from 2013 Q1 newsletter of the KZN Section of the MCSA
kzn.mcsa.org.za/about-us/newsletters/News%20g%202013%20Q1.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1

On Friday 19th October there was a minor alert for a lone, lost hiker in the Ribbon Falls area at Cathedral Peak. Once his location was identified, a private helicopter was sent to fetch him before dark that night.

On Monday 19th November the MCSA was put on Standby for a lone missing hiker at Cathedral Peak. The subject had been missing several days and had not signed the rescue register or obtained a hiking permit. The SAPS search and rescue unit was alerted and Ezemvelo field rangers found the body of the missing person the next day, in his tent at Tseketseke Hut. The apparent cause of death was suicide.

On Wednesday the 5th December there was an Alert for an ill hiker at the bottom of Leslie's Pass. The subject was able to hike out the next day without assistance.


Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
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20 Jan 2013 11:19 - 20 Jan 2013 11:37 #55905 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Dragon's Wrath 2012
Something which should be mentioned under this thread is the dramatic plane crash near Giants Castle in December in which 11 people were killed . This is probably the most dramatic and tragic incident for 1012.

The year appears to have been on the quiet side as far as hiking-related rescues were concerned. Im not sure if we have all the details of all incidents, but there were 3 helicopter rescues, and several "lost or late return" incidents. The most serious injury was the Rockeries Pass incident.

The apparent suicide at Tseketseke is a sad case. There hasn't been a hiking related death in the Berg since 2010, and though this may not strictly count, it's never nice to know that someone has passed on somewhere in the valleys of these mountains that we all love.

This thread is now officially closed to discussion about any new matters, other than the ones listed above. Please see Dragon's Wrath 2013 for new discussion.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 20 Jan 2013 11:37 by intrepid.

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