Grand Traverse Record Race

15 May 2008 22:54 #94 by Oneye
This thread discusses the Content article: Grand Traverse record attempt aborted due to snowfall

Even I have made these mistakes, so the criticism is partly self.
1. Don't take the manufacturer's word - test all critical equipment at home, seal all unsealed seams twice or three times.
2. Be ready for the worst - as soon as you stop moving you need warmth, and no compromises on it. If saving weight on sleeping bag is key, make one big bag for the whole party, no zips.
3. In the Drakensberg, know where ALL caves are by GPS. If you do so you can get away without a tent, to save weight. (I still carry mine, gives me options, but it weighs only 400g.) Then use the caves - and you need no bivy.
4. With down, no compromises. If it can get wet, don't take it out.

Here is my solution to the weight issue:
a) I have a 100g bivy I made myself
b) I have a 700g -10C down sleeping bag I made myself
c) I have a 400g tent I made myself
d) I use a 8g coke-can alcohol stove I made myself.

For 1200g, a mere feather, I can save myself in any conditions in any mountains - and have. In September 2006, after completing the first circuit of Mt Jagged (solo) which took me 2 weeks, I very comfortably survived a hurricane (yes, 120km/hr gusts, the remnants of a tropical hurricane Ernesto) at 4000m in the Rockies with a meter of snow and screaming spindrift off the 4500m peaks. Stopped me for 2 1/2 days before the sky cleared. The coldest night was the next, clear skies and my highest camp at Twin Thumbs Pass. Found a short cut home - took me only 4 days!

Now you are probably saying, where can I get this stuff, I'll pay anything! Sorry, you cannot get it anywhere.

It makes me mad as hell that my inventiveness is constantly stolen, for it means I cannot share. I have used my inventions since 1997.

Anyone out there willing to manufacture these things under license?

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18 May 2008 22:44 #95 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Grand Traverse Record Race
The group did put a lot of effort into preparation. Hindsight is always 20/20 vision and I think they have learned a lot of lessons. And its never easy when its you out there yourself.

Yes the equipment could have been tested in those conditions, though I've also had my share of dissapointment in gear which I thought was solid.

There were some shelters and caves close to where they bivvied, which could have kept them dry. Still, always good to take at least a bivvy bag, even if sleeping in caves. Very often rain and snow get blown in.

I'm very curious about your 400g tent!

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

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25 Jul 2008 17:32 #105 by Stijn
Replied by Stijn on topic Grand Traverse Record Race
Hi guys

We're organising a race starting on 8 November at the Sentinel Car Park to attempt to break the long-standing traverse record as per the rules set by the Raubenheimer brothers.

This race is being discussed at www.drakensberg.ning.com and we already have a few parties interested.

Join in and lets see how fast it can be done!

Great site by the way (and thanks for the link to my super traverse website :-)

Stijn

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25 Jul 2008 19:43 #108 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Grand Traverse Record Race
So you are having your second attempt at the record - all the best!

Been interested in this for a long while but I think getting prepared by November is too soon for me.

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

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28 Jul 2008 10:02 #109 by Stijn
Replied by Stijn on topic Grand Traverse Record Race
Ja thanks! Hopefully it's a little more injury-free this time... but with guys like Bruce Arnett and Andrew Porter doing the race, me thinks this record is going to take a tumble!

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07 Nov 2008 11:28 #211 by Stijn
Replied by Stijn on topic Grand Traverse Record Race
And they're off! I've decided to skip the suffering this time around - the Bull of Africa was enough for this year :woohoo:

This from Andrew Porter:

"Hello

This weekend, Bruce and I will be attempting the Drakensberg Grand Traverse. We will leave the Sentinel Car Park at 4am Saturday 8t November. We will then push through to Bushman's Nek 200km and about 12000m altitude cmulated gain/loss later in a single push with no rests. If all goes well, we will reach the end at about 8pm Sunday, 40 hours later. The objective is to break the 9.5 year old record set by Gavin Raubenheimer of 109 hours 40 minutes.

A number of other parties will also be out there this weekend. Sid will also pend Saturday night at the top of Champagne Castle to offer some encouragement.

Due to the intrest gathered, Bruce and I will be carrying a yellowbrick tracking device. This will transmit our position every 5 minutes, making it possible to track our progress on the web.

For the armchair runners out there, please go to:
www.drakensberg.ning.com

Here, you will be able to see our position on Google earth, as well as our planned route. The planned route gives estimated timing along the way and a brief description (if you click on the markers) of the route so far. The other teams will be tracked via SMS updates as and when the get cell phone recetion.

Hope to see you out there.

Cheers
Andrew"

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07 Nov 2008 11:43 #213 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Grand Traverse Record Race
Thanks for the update Stijn. I've been following the blog and read that you were skipping this one. Perhaps this is for the best? I must say the thought of 40 hours sounds horrific, and if that ever happens I'm not sure I'll ever bother having a go at that! I'm a mountain junkie but not an adventure racer....and I'd rather spare my joints for many years of hiking and climbing. :)

From Vertical Endeavour we wish the guys attempting the record tomorrow all the best!! We will be watching for updates keenly.

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

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10 Nov 2008 18:45 - 10 Nov 2008 19:17 #215 by domsmooth
Just an update for those who haven't been able to follow Stijn's link.

The boys have all pulled out, leaving 2 teams left in the race against the clock. One team was a mixed team and the one pulled out due to injury. The other 2 guys (aka the "Hares" ) pulled out at Injisuthi due partly to inclement weather, but I think they may have gone out too fast, reaching Cleft peak in under 12hours, from the Sentinel Car Park.

The remaining lady from the mixed team (Christine) pushed on alone trying to catch up with the ladies team ahead of her. Latest news in is that she still has not seen them, more than a day of chasing. The advice from the ground team (at Cathedral Peak) was to come down. I would echo their sentiment personally.

The other ladies are apparently still going full guns ahead.

Will update more as I hear more...:dry:

Lets all help maintain the values for which the Berg was proclaimed a World Heritage Site
Last edit: 10 Nov 2008 19:17 by domsmooth.

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12 Nov 2008 15:55 #218 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Grand Traverse Record Race
Christine did wisely pull out at Bannerman Pass, though this was obviously an agonising decision as she was doing very well and would probably have completed the Traverse. It would have been very dangerous for her to cross the Giants Castle area and beyond. The area has had some troubling incidents of attacks on hikers by the Basotho herdsmen.

The remaining team were at the Giants Castle checkpoint yesterday.

Well done to all that have tried so far, even if you did not complete it!

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

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16 Nov 2008 21:50 #221 by domsmooth
It is officially over. The ladies record has been set (6 days, 13 hours, 11 minutes). Much excitement and drama unfolded as the teams did their best to get across the distance in as short a time as possible.

Well done to the 2 ladies who completed the course, and compliments to those who attempted but for various reasons had to pull out. I am sure we will see you back up there again!

Lets all help maintain the values for which the Berg was proclaimed a World Heritage Site

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