Who is doing or has done the Grand Traverse

06 Jan 2013 08:23 #55806 by ghaznavid
So the MBC GT2013 will be lead by Dave Gay and will be from Sentinel Car Park to Sehlaba Theba 22 March - 5 April. It is up to the group leader to decide whether or not to take non-MBC members (and its really easy and not expensive to join the club). Usually you need to join a training hike or 2 before the hike to qualify for the team.

In my opinion this is the best way to do a GT - last year it was well organised (including the resupply and transport to and from) and worked out very well with a really good group of people.

And for those who are about to ask whether or not I am joining this year - unfortunately not.

I imagine that details will be added to the fixture list soon.

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

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09 Jan 2013 11:06 #55823 by maaikw
Hi Guys

Planning to do the GT between 18 to 31 March. We have about 13 days to play with, I was hopeing if someone out there has done it in a similar timeframe and could give me pointers on potential overnight spots. We have maps and GPS, just struggling a bit to get at least some sort of daily route planned for a 13 day hike. Any recommendations appreciated! We are planning to hike from Sentinel Car Park to Bushmansneck

Regards
Michael

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09 Jan 2013 13:10 #55824 by tonymarshall
Hi Michael,

Welcome to VE.

I would be able to assist you, having done several GT's in 12 days. I would need more info from you regarding your plans, eg: resupply points and dates, etc. Please contact me via Private Message with your details.

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09 Jan 2013 14:49 #55825 by ghaznavid
Welcome to VE :)

Indeed Tony is the best person to talk to - he was on GT with me last year and provided me with so much info as we went along.

If you want to read the story of GT2012 in overly excessive detail (including which ridges where really tough - but unfortunately it was the exact opposite direction to the way you will be doing it) - the story is here .

But seriously - if you delay it by a few days you can join Mountain Backpackers on their annual GT (North to South this year). I seriously recommend doing a GT through them, its being lead by Dave Gay who is very experienced, all logistics such as the resupplies are sorted out for you (you just have to get your food to the person in charge in advance). They also don't charge you any extra amount for joining on the hike, its just the cost of joining the club (which is about R200), and obviously you need to sort out your own food, pay for transport etc.

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins
The following user(s) said Thank You: maaikw

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10 Jan 2013 07:32 #55830 by maaikw
Great post, thank you ghaznavid!
Working though it and making notes of overnight spots. I have inboxed Tony, so looking forward to hear from him.

i have proposed the idea to join the group to rest of team, but we are a bit stuck with working commitments. We'll see if we can get out of it, but in the meantime we dont want to dealy any planning.

Thank you for the info, getting really exited now to do this. :-)

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10 Jan 2013 07:36 #55831 by BobbyStanton
Before we get bowled over with enthusiasm here, let me say that if the leader does not know you and your hiking abilities, your chances of getting on his GT are slim. It's not just a sign up and go situation. You would probably have to outline what you have done before and describe your equipment. It is still his prerogative to accept or reject your application.

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10 Jan 2013 07:58 #55833 by ghaznavid
Usually they make you do a training hike. The one I did last year was supposed to be hiking up Thuthumi Pass and camping at Yodeler's cascades on night 1, hiking down Grey's pass and sleeping at Keith Bush camp on night 2 and returning to Didima via the contour path on day 3 - hectic stuff. We didn't get anywhere near the goal due to KZN Wildlife making us wait 2 hours before taking us up Mike's Pass as well as 2 of us suffering from altitude sickness (or, more likely dehydration - but the symptoms are similar). We ended up going up Organ Pipes Pass and down Thlanyako pass - a good not-too-hard 3 day hike.

I haven't met Dave (whose leading the GT) yet, but I am on a hike with him this weekend, so I can ask him what the training hikes for GT this year are. I imagine his up Jarding Pass down Giants Pass in 2 days one is one of them - thats next month some time.

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

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23 Feb 2013 18:24 #56094 by Stijn
Hey guys - here's a link to Willem Boshoff's account of a recent Grand Traverse they did, starting up Fangs Pass from the MCC and ending at Bushman's Nek. A long read, but well worth it to discover some of the mishaps and adventures they had along the way:

mafadipeak.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/crossing-the-dragon/
The following user(s) said Thank You: Bigsnake, vanhimself

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24 Feb 2013 10:17 - 24 Feb 2013 10:19 #56096 by tiska
Thanks for posting Stijn. Its an interesting read - nicely written and all.

That river crossing in the Mnweni sounds hectic. I would never have come up with the reverse-eddy strategy for getting across! River crossings I experienced in Injusithi in late December were hectic. We crossed with a fairly large party with several of us staying put in the river with the others passed through. When the anchors finally got out of the river, we noticed that the current had undone all our shoe laces. In summer rivers are a dangerous element of the Berg. I've come very close to being washed downstream with a backpack on before. Its scary stuff.


If I were the guys going up that valley I would certainly have opted for Mbundini rather than Fangs given the amount of water around. Its a debate we've had before on VE forum. Time I think to organise a race to see which one works out better!

I've noted the comments on the mozzies in the lower Berg in another thread on the wet summer.
Last edit: 24 Feb 2013 10:19 by tiska.

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07 Apr 2013 18:34 #56568 by ghaznavid
Just had a chat to Otto from the GT 2013 team. They are all back safe and sound. They did a good job of "matching" what we did last year:
- 9 people at Sentinel
- 10 people at Bushmans Nek
- snow around Sandleni

:laugh:

But seriously - no one pulled out, Tish joined from the resupply...

Apparently it was misty and wet for the first 7 days, but was great from there. Otto seems to have really enjoyed it.

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

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