Water Watch 2019

17 Jan 2019 07:56 #74553 by intrepid
Water Watch 2019 was created by intrepid
This is the official thread for Water Watch 2019. Post all water-availability related matters here for the Drakensberg. Everyone is encouraged to post updates from trips that they have just been on.

Historical Water Watch threads:
2015-2017
2018




The 2018 thread moved a little slowly. We will see how things go in 2019 to see if it really needs to be broken up into an annual thread, or if it just needs one collective thread like it started off as.

I have copy and pasted the following from the 2018 thread as a reminder of some ideas on how to develop this:

In order to stimulate participation on this thread, I have drawn up a list of commonly used camp-spots, caves and routes where water availability may be an issue. This is just off the top of my head to get the ball rolling. We can also add strategic on-route fill up spots on popular passes or on the escarpment. The idea for people to post updates on the water situation at those locations whenever they have recently been there.

Amphitheatre escarpment, including Tugela Falls & Crows Nest Cave
Ifidi Cave
Madonna Pass and Fang's Pass area, including Rat Hole Cave and Fang's Cave
Mnweni Pass and Rockeries Pass area, including Ledger's Cave and Mponjwane Cave
Bell Traverse, including Twins Cave and Bell Cave
Organ Pipes Pass area including Roland Cave and all other caves on the Ndumeni Dome
Thuthumi Ridge and Camel routes up Organ Pipes Pass
Didima Cave
Keith Bush Camp
Upper Injasuthi Cave
Bannerman Cave

Please suggest more commonly used or important locations.

It may also be an interesting exercise to draw up a list of camp spots and caves where water is never an issue. For example, has the water at Nkosazana Cave ever dried up?

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

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17 Jan 2019 08:52 #74554 by firephish
Replied by firephish on topic Water Watch 2019
Bell Traverse, including Twins Cave and Bell Cave

Did the Bell Traverse this last weekend, water was not too bad at the moment. We  observed the following:
Bell Traverse: two nice strong trickles between inner & outer Horns, besides that not much until you come down off Cathedral Peak.
Bell Cave: very slow drip, about 200ml / hour. Drip 15/20m below cave even slower.
Twins Cave: Drip in Twins Cave is dripping ok, about 500ml/ hour there is also a proper trickle that is much faster about 3/4s of the way to Twins Cave Annex.

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18 Jun 2019 06:59 #75079 by Peter Hattingh
Replied by Peter Hattingh on topic Water Watch 2019
Can anyone indicate what the water situation is now on the Amphitheatre, particularly Ribbon Falls, Ifidi area?

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18 Jun 2019 12:39 #75084 by Vishant
Replied by Vishant on topic Water Watch 2019
Hi 

Over the past weekend in the amphitheater region , the tugela , bilanji and kubedu rivers had frozen top layers ( easily broken to reach the water with a handheld stone ) as the day progressed the ice melted to larger pieces which floated in pools as the rivers flowed slowly.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Serious tribe, Peter Hattingh

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19 Jun 2019 06:42 #75088 by Peter Hattingh
Replied by Peter Hattingh on topic Water Watch 2019
Thank you!

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26 Jun 2019 17:47 #75116 by Peter Hattingh
Replied by Peter Hattingh on topic Water Watch 2019
Amphitheatre region:   During the week up to 25 June 2019, water was easily available from the Tugela to Ifiidi area, even though a fair bit of this was in the form of ice.

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01 Oct 2019 10:19 #75359 by Riaang
Replied by Riaang on topic Water Watch 2019
Cathedral Peak region:

last week I took my family on a 5 day berg hike in the Cathedral Peak area. We went to Xeni cave, then up Zeni pass (Zeni South), to Twins cave, then South again to Upper Ndumeni cave, down the Camel and spent the final evening at Ribbon falls cave. In this entire area the lower Berg still had plenty of water, but it is a different situation on the escarpment. Nowhere did we find running water (as in summer when the river flows), it was mostly stagnant pools. At best one pool would slowly overflow into a pool lower down, but in my opinion it is very dry and water is running out quickly. The very limited amount of snowfall hasn't helped this situation at all. 

When we hiked from Twins to Upper Ndumeni cave, we had to detour a bit into Lesotho to find water. I wanted to take the kids over Cleft peak on the escarpment, but that would have meant a further detour into Lesotho, so we went over the lowest point on Cleft peak (Lesotho side). You might need to factor in a detour into Lesotho if it doesn't rain or snow soon.

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01 Oct 2019 21:51 #75361 by ruan
Replied by ruan on topic Water Watch 2019
On 21 September we started our 4 day Mafadi Loop via Judges and Leslies pass. Below follows a quick summary of the water points we had
Day1:
River all the way to the start of heartbreak hill
Stream at Centenary hut, small trickles but at least flowing

Day 2:
Stream at bottom of Corner pass
Small stream quarter of the way up Judges
Puddles in the valley on the way to Injisuthi Summit Cave (needed purification)
Flowing stream west of the cave in the valley below Mafadi

Day3:
No water on escarpment on the way to Leslies
Looked like there was some water if you dropped into the valley behind Leslies(but we were too tired to walk down)
Stream was flowing halfway down Leslies

Day4:
Water in the river all the way back to Injisuthi Campsite
The following user(s) said Thank You: DeonS

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10 Oct 2019 13:13 #75376 by Riaang
Replied by Riaang on topic Water Watch 2019
Anybody know what the water situation is currently like on the escarpment between Fangs pass and Mnweni pass?

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10 Oct 2019 14:58 #75377 by vivo101
Replied by vivo101 on topic Water Watch 2019
@ RiaanG. We slept in the side valley behind Black and Tan wall over the September longweekend. The river in the main valley was dry with stagnant murky pools, I had to walk almost to inline with fangs to find water I was comfortable with to drink.  

Small stream into Hanging valleys pass (1) is dry, stream into the main gully at the back of mnweni curtback (2) is dry. River in the valley below Mnweni Butress Pass summit (3) is stagnant with lots of sheep activity in the area, same goes for streams between the Mnweni and Rockeries summits. Escarpment is very very dry at the moment.

Hope this helps 



"To those who are enthralled by mountains, their wonder is beyond all dispute. To those who are not, their allure is a kind of madness." - Mountain

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