Who is doing or has done the Grand Traverse

18 Apr 2012 14:13 #53598 by Andrew McAughey
Our planned overnight stops look something like this, either in the cave or camped nearby... as on occasion we have not been able to find one or two of the "legendary" Drakensberg caves... This trip I will be having yet another look for Fangs Cave, my last trip left me convinced it does not exist...

Day 1: Sentinel car park - Escarpment - Overnight Icidi Cave
Day 2: Icidi Cave - Escarpment - Mpojwane Cave
Day 3: Mponjwane Cave - Escarpment - Overnight at Ndumeni Caves
Day 4: Ndumeni Caves - Escarpment - Overnight Didima Cave
Day 5: Didima Cave - Escarpment - Overnight Injisuthi Summit Cave
Day 6: Injisuthi Summit Cave - Escarpment - Overnight Bannerman Cave
Day 7: Bannerman Cave - Escarpment - Overnight Lynx Cave
Day 8: Lynx Cave - Escarpment - Overnight and Resupply Sani Top Chalets
Day 9: Sani Top Chalets - Escarpment - Pigeon Hole Cave
Day 10: Pigeon Hole Cave - Bushmans Nek

I am comfortable with the first five days as we have done them on various hikes before. Neither of us have been further south than Injisuthi, does anyone know if days 6 -10 are realistic?

We will have two spare days for Justin...
Justin case we need them

Thanks
Andrew

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18 Apr 2012 14:48 #53599 by tiska
A quick note on Fangs Cave - which is so much better than Icidi Cave. I spent many pre GPS years looking for Fangs Cave and eventually found it.
To find the cave, descend Fangs pass and a few minutes from the top you'll see a gully going up to your right. Fangs Cave is on the left when ascending this gully. The gully is easy to find because it is the only one with a characteristic rock arch at the top.

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18 Apr 2012 16:06 - 18 Apr 2012 16:09 #53600 by ghaznavid

Andrew McAughey wrote: I am comfortable with the first five days as we have done them on various hikes before. Neither of us have been further south than Injisuthi, does anyone know if days 6 -10 are realistic?


Upper Injisuthi Cave to Bannerman Cave is a fairly short day, thats only about 10km. In addition to this, Bannerman Cave has a bad reputation (although - unless you get through to the south side of Redi Peak from UI Cave, you have to sleep in the "danger zone" one way or another). Maybe consider Lotheni Cave (although you should read up on the cave first - its placement is convenient, I don't know how it is otherwise). This point assumes that you haven't planned that to be a rest day.

Days 8 and 9 are doable, but really tough, approx 25km each, but at least you will have light packs before the resupply, so it is possible.

I don't actually know Pigeon Hole Cave, but some details on it would be nice - sounds like the place to be in a storm...

I would mock you for that "Justin time" joke if I hadn't made a very similar joke 2 hours ago while coaching a wargames team (although that was a person whose name is in fact Justin and his troops where "Justin" charging range)... :laugh:

2 days till I start my GT! :woohoo:

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins
Last edit: 18 Apr 2012 16:09 by ghaznavid.

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19 Apr 2012 05:19 #53603 by Christine
MBC being their 2012 GT tomorrow; so I would like to wish all hikers a safe, fun and enjoyable hike. It's an experience you will never forget .. hopefully for all the right reasons ;)

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19 Apr 2012 05:27 #53605 by Stijn

mnt_tiska wrote: I spent many pre GPS years looking for Fangs Cave and eventually found it.


I can relate, except that we got lucky on our first trip. Our standard cave-finding method (with our group of 3) was to put one person on each buttress flanking the top of the pass. Then the runner (usually Alex), would take instruction from us and investigate every potenial spot as viewed from the buttresses. For Fangs Cave in particular, there were many shouts of "further... further" which Alex mistook to be "faster... faster", much to his frustration! :P

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19 Apr 2012 06:24 #53606 by intrepid
@Andrew: you do have some longish days in your itinerary, but in doing the GT in 10 days that is going to happen. People do it in even less time, so its all do-able depending on what you are up for. I agree with ghaz's comment about your Day 7 to Bannerman Cave: doesn't really match the length of all your other days. Consider pushing on to Lotheni Cave...and have fun with all the ups and downs of that stretch :)

PS: the bottom boom on the Sentinel road is left open when not manned after hours. Just pay the guard at the car park.

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

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19 Apr 2012 06:25 #53607 by ghaznavid

Christine wrote: MBC being their 2012 GT tomorrow; so I would like to wish all hikers a safe, fun and enjoyable hike. It's an experience you will never forget .. hopefully for all the right reasons ;)


Thanks :)

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins

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19 Apr 2012 06:29 #53608 by intrepid
All the best to everyone doing their GT's shortly! Hope it all goes well and that the weather lets you off lightly. :thumbsup:

@ghaz: enjoy it! You are obligated to take more than 5000 pictures and submit a minimum 5 page gab to the blogs afterwards. Please try and leave some peaks unnamed along the way.

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

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19 Apr 2012 06:43 #53609 by ghaznavid
Thanks Intrepid :) I got an extra 8gb SD card, so I now have the capacity to take about 6000 pics.

10 years later: a history professor specialising in the 10th century Middle East nations looks at the latest edition of the EKZN maps and tries to figure out why there is a peak in the middle of nowhere called "Ghaznavid Peak"...

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins

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19 Apr 2012 07:20 #53610 by kliktrak
All the best for successul GTs everyone! :thumbsup:

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