Water Watch 2015
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Its funny its so dry, I thought a few weekends ago there was a few millimeters of snow?
Wezleyb wrote: diverian, are you saying its going to be dry and not much water up there? I have not dont any escarpment hiking in the winter but would like to give it a go this winter. Any idea what the temperatures are over night maybe? Chances of snow in the north? Cheers
Wes, in winter the escarpment can be anything from zero down to -10°C, but would probably average a few below freezing. Last year was extremely dry, you kinda need to plan your hike around known reliable rivers. North generally gets less snow, but its impossible to tell at this stage.
The biggest rivers are generally reliable, although last year was so dry that in July, a team made up of Fitness, Hobbit and myself, had to walk 2km into Lesotho to find stagnant water in the Mzimude River. Bear in mind that I am talking about one of the larger escarpment rivers. In September when I did a 136km hike in the usually wet southern Berg, the Mlambonja River down Mashai Pass was dry to about 2100m and the rivers in every valley aside from the one above Mashai Pass, north of the Leqooa Ridge and the Piseneng River were bone dry. The ones with water sometimes had a small trickle, but mostly just occasional stagnant pools.
If you are running out of water, follow the river downstream and you should find something eventually, but perhaps try to avoid the drier valleys - above Organ Pipes Pass, Tseke Valley etc.
The river by Rat Hole Cave was almost dry a few weeks ago, so I rate we are in for a very dry winter.
It has already been remarked that we appear to be in for a dry winter. Perhaps a water watch thread, similar to Snow Watch etc. is in order. Updates of water availability from members hiking through areas, GPS locations etc...
Just thinking here.