Drakensberg hiking maps

01 Feb 2024 22:19 #78876 by TobiLee
Replied by TobiLee on topic Drakensberg hiking maps
Hi Tony,

Many thanks for your feedback! I did end up opting for the Slingsby maps since most of the native SA hikers seem to trust them. Also they seem a lot sturdier and your response seems to support my decision :) 

Happy trails!
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02 Feb 2024 19:16 #78877 by tonymarshall
Yes, the sturdier quality and waterproof paper is another advantage of the Slingsby Maps too, that I didn't mention.

Enjoy your visit to South Africa, and hope your Grand Traverse goes well.

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08 May 2024 12:10 - 08 May 2024 18:46 #79080 by grae22
Replied by grae22 on topic Drakensberg hiking maps


Noticed this new addition on the new Slingsby map (not present on the Geo series or original Slingsby maps) while planning a low 'Berg hike around Cathedral a week or so back.

It's noted as a good path, but - as such - the line as drawn seemed improbable as it simply plunges down a minor gully. I was a little suspect, but thought it worth a look.

In summary, there is no path other than a short section at the top that traverses into the gully, but this may just be a well established game track.

The top 100 vertical metres are fairly protected from the sun so I figured the grass may just be quick to recover and the path seldom used, but the next 100 are not protected and there is no sign of an actual path.

Unfortunately this lower portion reveals this "path" has received enough hiking traffic to have left a variety of non-paths (there was no dung or other signs typical of buck, etc. so I believe it unlikely most of what we saw is game created). I suspect, in time, this gully will become permanently scarred by the blunderings of "lost" hikers.

We briefly scouted down to ~1700m, but found only further befuddled hiking tracks - only now damaging the steep grass as the gully narrows. I assume the gully "goes" as someone has put it forward to be included on the new maps, but from our lowest point there only appeared to be one potential option. We didn't investigate this as it would've meant further descent on steep grass (the kind that's easily damaged if you're carrying weight and sliding).

I can only guess that someone once thought it a good idea to force a path down to Blue Pools with the idea of hiking a loop from the hotel incorporating Mushroom Rock or Ribbon Falls. Recorded a track, and then mistakenly submitted it for inclusion in the new maps.

I understand the need to go "off path" in the high 'Berg as it's typically the only option to reach unusual passes or climbing objectives, but I find it hard to justify this in the low 'Berg and particularly in popular areas where others will likely (literally) follow in your footsteps... and especially if it ends up on a map (of a high traffic area).

I will try and contact the company that has taken the maps over from Slingsby with a correction (i.e. the path to be removed from the map) - if anyone has a contact please let me know

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I trust this is an isolated example and don't wish to detract from the fantastic work of the contributors to the new maps - they are very much appreciated and presumably this process involved detailing existing paths & features rather than inventing new ones (would be interested to hear if I am incorrect on this).

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Last edit: 08 May 2024 18:46 by grae22.
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08 May 2024 14:18 #79081 by BergAttie
Replied by BergAttie on topic Drakensberg hiking maps
I only have a name: Rudi de Lange at Tracks4Africa. Try contact T4A and ask for him I assume?
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08 May 2024 18:18 - 08 May 2024 18:26 #79082 by tonymarshall
This 'path' came onto the map just before it was finalised for printing, and I don't know it's origin. I also tried it when I was doing some exploring in the area, also being curious about this after noticing it, and it doesn't go all the way down. My experience of it was much the same as you report grae22, except I perhaps went lower than you did, with some very precarious scrambles in the lower section, only to find the section right at the bottom blocked by cliffs, and I could see no way through the cliffs at the bottom. I was not very impressed to have to go all the way back up!

This was after the sale of the maps to Tracks4Africa, and I haven't yet reported this to anyone. I totally agree that this path should be removed from the map. Rudi is not intending to update the maps yet, and it is one of several things (various changes in path/way to go status etc) I have noted to advise him about once he is ready to update the maps.

You can contact Rudi by email, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Last edit: 08 May 2024 18:26 by tonymarshall. Reason: grammar
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12 May 2024 12:36 - 12 May 2024 12:37 #79084 by Serious tribe
I was in the area two weeks ago and also was looking at using this route, but ran out of time to explore it.  From the top there was definitely no real path and looking at google earth, also didn't show up anything worthwhile either, so I dumped it.  Glad I did!  Thanks Tony and Grace for exploring it, saved me a lot of time and sweat.

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Last edit: 12 May 2024 12:37 by Serious tribe.

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14 May 2024 10:34 #79090 by grae22
Replied by grae22 on topic Drakensberg hiking maps

This 'path' came onto the map just before it was finalised for printing, and I don't know it's origin. I also tried it when I was doing some exploring in the area, also being curious about this after noticing it, and it doesn't go all the way down. My experience of it was much the same as you report grae22, except I perhaps went lower than you did, with some very precarious scrambles in the lower section, only to find the section right at the bottom blocked by cliffs, and I could see no way through the cliffs at the bottom. I was not very impressed to have to go all the way back up!

This was after the sale of the maps to Tracks4Africa, and I haven't yet reported this to anyone. I totally agree that this path should be removed from the map. Rudi is not intending to update the maps yet, and it is one of several things (various changes in path/way to go status etc) I have noted to advise him about once he is ready to update the maps.

You can contact Rudi by email, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thanks Tony, I contacted Rudi and he welcomes corrections

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16 May 2024 13:34 #79094 by BergAttie
Replied by BergAttie on topic Drakensberg hiking maps
It will be worthwhile for him to join this forum! Perhaps suggest that to him?

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21 May 2024 11:07 #79101 by Sabine
Replied by Sabine on topic Drakensberg hiking maps
Tony Marshall was very involved in creating the new maps and has put some tracks in there that I have found suspect as well. This might be one of them

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23 May 2024 20:19 #79104 by tiska
Replied by tiska on topic Drakensberg hiking maps
Well, personally, I am very grateful for the efforts of TonyMarshall in converting his experience into map making. It is very much a labour of love.

I recall my first hike from Rockeries to RNNP with no maps. Now we have exceptional resources.

But you know what they say, TM, no good deed deserves to go unpunished!
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