Grand Traverse Solo

20 Oct 2008 09:32 #198 by 1/2pint
Grand Traverse Solo was created by 1/2pint
Hi all,

I am in the process of planning a Solo Grand Traverse, which will take place in April 2009. The idea is to make a documentory film. We are looking to complete the traverse in 12 days. Due to logistic and safety reasons, there will be a support crew, with whom i will be resupplied every 4 days.

I would welcome any advice, assistance or sponsorship, or if you just want to comment, please drop me a line.

Happy Hiking

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20 Oct 2008 14:19 #199 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Grand Traverse Solo
Interesting project! Are you able to share what you intend doing with the film at the end?

Not sure if I follow you totally: are you going to be totally alone and your support crew will resupply you every 4 days, or will a support crew be with you all the time (and do the filming)?

Please feel welcome to continue posting your progress on this site. I'm sure our community will assist as much as possible with any specifics.

The GPS data in the downloads section should be of some use to you.

There is definitely a growing interest in the Grand Traverse, which your project will undoubtedly fuel. We'll also get more general info out on the site in time.

I have the intention of doing another GT round about the same time, taking a week to do it. So we may just see each other up there somewhere. B)

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

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20 Oct 2008 19:00 #200 by 1/2pint
Replied by 1/2pint on topic Grand Traverse Solo
The project will be the first in a collection of short films, which we hope to sell to one of the local broadcasters.

The second is a bicycle trip from Namibia to Cape Point. This will be done by two other guys, I will just be involved with the post production. We also hope to make the films available to outdoor clubs.

The aim of the films is to show that you dont need to be a super-human athlete to get involved in an adventure. You just have to get up and do it.

I will be doing all the filming on my own, but because of the camera equipment I cannot carry enough weight to complete the traverse without being re-supplied.

I have already downloaded the GPS info on the site. At first glance it looks great!
I will give more specific details of what i need in the comming weeks

Thanks

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19 Nov 2008 11:50 #230 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Grand Traverse Solo
Hey 1/2pint, I'm pretty sure you are well aware of the security issues in the Berg and that you've given thought to the extra vulnerability of hiking alone in this regard.

I'd be interested to know what your thoughts are in these matters and if you've come up with any ideas to reduce the risk of running into problems with the Basothos.

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

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19 Nov 2008 18:59 #232 by 1/2pint
Replied by 1/2pint on topic Grand Traverse Solo
Hi all

When it comes to safety on the traverse I must say it is my primary concern. Although the trip is 5 months away I can admit to lying awake on more than one occasion.

I will be hiking over the Easter holidays to increase the number of fellow hikers and have arranged for my re-supply crew to be at the checkpoints a day before me and to only head down again a day after I have passed. This will ensure that I am never further than 1 day away from assistance. I have also kept my re-supply intervals short (3-4 days) for the same reason. It also has the added benefit of not having to descend in order to get help.

Then there is the general good advice: stay away from the caves, stick to the escarpment, camp on the high ground and tie you stuff together at night. Somebody recommended I take pepper spray for the dogs, but I’m not sure how the altitude will affect the canister. I cannot think of anything much worse than a can of pepper spray going ‘pop’ inside your pack! If somebody has tried it please let me know.

I was also considering taking a satellite tracking device like a “Yellow Brick” along, but I noticed that the adventure race guys had problems with theirs, and considering the hefty price to hire one, I’m not sure it’s worth it.

If anybody has any other suggestions I would be most grateful. I am shooting this film in order to promote hiking. The last thing I want is a serious incident.

On a more philosophical note, here is a list of crimes committed in my neighbourhood (+- 10km radius) in just 1 week:

MURDER - 2
RAPE - 1
ROBBERY WITH A FIREARM - 1
STREET ROBBERY - 1
HOUSE ROBBERY - 1
THEFT OF MOTOR VEHICLES - 0

And this is considered an up market area! All in all the Berg seems like a pretty safe place to me. I know its comparing apples with sheep, but you get my point.

Lastly well done to all who attempted the Grand Traverse last week and congrats to the ladies for completing it.

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19 Nov 2008 21:49 - 19 Nov 2008 21:57 #233 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Grand Traverse Solo
Very interesting, thank you for that.

I like your idea about your support crews always being a day way, that was good thinking. I’m never in the Berg without pepper spray, and it’s not just for the dogs :). The canisters are fine at that altitude, just get a good quality and don’t let it bake in the sun (SWAT and Liquid Bullet are good brands).

True about that caves, though for ones such as Ifidi, Fangs, Rolands etc, they are so tucked away that it possibly may be worth it, provided you are not being watched approaching the area. Avoid camping near passes too if possible, especially the ones that are used by the locals - this page lists which ones are. My own standard security practices are listed here .

Standard practice for me on GT's is not to sleep in the Giants Castle area, which is the most risky. Camping at Judge Pass, starting very early, you can make it through to the side valley at The Tent. It's a long day, but do-able. Thieving does take place around Thabana Ntlenyana, but they tend to be timid and run away when you wake up.

I’ve soloed in the Berg too, though not the GT. I did have a scary situation with smugglers from which I escaped unharmed. I understand the dynamics of what goes on in the mind – you are brave and I truly wish you well! I think you are well prepared in your mind though and thats the most important.

Please do continue to keep us updated and feel free to let us know of anything else you may need.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 19 Nov 2008 21:57 by intrepid.

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29 Jan 2009 16:23 #276 by homearanya
Replied by homearanya on topic Grand Traverse Solo
Hi guys,

It seems that this April is going to be pretty busy on the escarpment.

I am a member of the Mountain Backpackers Club whose main annual event is the Grand Traverse. I'm taking part in it this year's GT. It's my first one. We're doing it in 14 days, starting at Sentinel car park on April 4th finishing at Sehlaba Thebe Lodge on April 17th. We're having 2 re-supplies: at Organ Pipes Pass on April 10th and at Sani Pass on April 14th.

I thought it would be interesting for you to know we'll be up there around that time, just in case we could be of help if anything goes wrong (I can give you my cell phone number if you want to) or want to avoid us altogether :-)

Being my first post I'd like to add this is a fantastic site!!! This site should become the reference of the Drakensberg for hikers!

Thank you very much for your great job!

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30 Jan 2009 18:16 #277 by 1/2pint
Replied by 1/2pint on topic Grand Traverse Solo
Hi

Unfortunately I will be starting my trip on 1 April (the fact that its April fools day is not lost on me) and finnishing 12 days later on my birthday, so we will just be missing each other.

As forbumping into other Hikers, I'm counting on it for security and to interview them for the film.

As far as the filming goes I'm having such trouble with production houses who just dont understand what Hiking entails.
So if anybody has a Production Company and is interested I would love to hear from you. Coversly if there are any Editors of outdoor magazines please drop me a line and I will share the business model with you. (Dont worry it wont cost your magazine a cent)

Thanks guys, I'll keep you posted

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30 Jan 2009 19:45 #278 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Grand Traverse Solo
Thanks homearanya its always encouraging to hear that the site is of use to people!

1/2pint, what is the problem exactly with the production houses? Are they not getting the value of your film - as in the GT is a serious challenge, or what?

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

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30 Jan 2009 23:57 - 31 Jan 2009 00:00 #280 by domsmooth
Replied by domsmooth on topic Grand Traverse Solo
@ 1/2 pint... talk to me. I may have some contacts with some magazines.... like the wild mag etc... PM me!

@ homeranya, as Intrepid said, it is great to have positive feedback. We hope that it will become a reference point, and if you keep us posted on your GT trip, we will post the info here, if you like... Furthermore, tell your backpacker mates to get involved in the site. Hey, ps, write another post, it gets real easy after the second one, and we are wanting people to contribute! ;)

Lets all help maintain the values for which the Berg was proclaimed a World Heritage Site
Last edit: 31 Jan 2009 00:00 by domsmooth.

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