Who is doing or has done the Grand Traverse

28 Jul 2014 15:57 #61404 by Grandeur

andrew r wrote: Any Grand Traverses planned for the Spring 2014 window?

I have a 3-day hike planned for Mweni area 25-27 September, but would be keen to be part of a re-supply team in the weeks before or after. I am a noob Berg hiker but reasonably fit and keen to learn by doing.

Thanks for the offer but we plan to be finished by then and we hope to do it entirely unsupported from 19-24 Sept

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28 Jul 2014 22:51 #61408 by andrew r
Ok, have fun B) who is in your team?

make a difference. today.

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29 Jul 2014 11:22 #61409 by Grandeur

andrew r wrote: Ok, have fun B) who is in your team?

There will be 4 of us doing it. 2 from GP and 2 from KZN.
I am the only "active" member on this site. One of the other guys used to be a member here a few years ago.

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12 Aug 2014 16:49 #61502 by Dylan
Myself and two to three others (plus two for the first 4 days) are setting off on the GT on the 10th of September 2014 from the Sentinel Car Park. We are giving ourselves 13 days to complete the route including two resupplies. The first resupply is scheduled for the 14th (Day 4) at the top of Organ Pipes Pass and the second resupply at Sani Top on the 20th (Day 10).

Our itinerary at this stage is:

Night 1 (10/09/2014): Ifidi Cave
2 (11/09/2014): Pins Cave
3 (12/09/2014): Easter Cave
4 (13/09/2014): Ndumeni Cave
5 (14/09/2014): Ndedema Cave
6 (15/09/2014): Leslie's Pass
7 (16/09/2014): Bannerman's Pass
8 (17/09/2014): The Tent
9 (18/09/2014): Mkhomazi Pass
10 (19/09/2014): Sani Top
11 (20/09/2014): Stones Pass
12 (21/09/2014): Mzimude Pass
13 (22/09/2014): Finish at Bushman's Nek border post

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12 Aug 2014 20:19 #61503 by AndrewP
Hi Dylan

Do you already have someone lined up to do the re-supply at Organ Pipes? If not, I volunteer to hump up some goodies

Cheers
Andrew

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12 Aug 2014 22:29 #61505 by ghaznavid
Looking at that itinerary has reminded me of one of my old questions:
The high berg escarpment functionally ends at Walkers Peak, yet the official definition of a full KZN Berg GT requires completion at Thamathu Pass or south of there. This has always bugged me - logically if the goal is:
1) to cover the entire KZN/Lesotho border, one would have to continue 30km further south
2) to cover the KZN high Berg escarpment, one could finish at Saddle Nek Pass; or
3) to hike past the last 3000+m KZN peak peak, one would have to complete the traverse south of the Knuckles

Similarly it seems to be considered poor form to finish at Ngwangwane Pass even though it tops out right next to Thamatu Pass and gets you back to the same place over roughly the same distance.

I know that people used to finish a GT at Sani, which makes no logical sense at all seeing as you chop out one of the highest escarpment ridges, as well as 2 of the harder ones (not to mention some of the most scenic escarpment valleys).

Very off topic on this thread - but perhaps someone with a good idea of GT history could provide some insight.

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

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13 Aug 2014 06:57 #61506 by Smurfatefrog
The Raubenheimers briefly mentioned it last night, I assume they chose Bushmans Nek because it is the southern most berg hiking location. As for the pass, they had planned for Thamathu peak to be the last summit but were in no mood to do it so chose to go down Thamathu Pass, not sure if the original plan was to go down a pass further south

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13 Aug 2014 08:44 #61507 by BobbyStanton
Just to continue off topic and annoy everyone, the first recorded GT was done in 1986 and was led by Lawrence Bates of the Mountain Backpackers. I think it was from north to south and it was unsupported. Bushman's Nek is a traditional ending or starting point probably because it is the last easy access point in KZN. I did a half-GT with him and others back in 1974 from Bushman's Nek to Giants Pass. We did stop at Sani but weren't resupplied there. I think we got lost a few times as we strayed away from the escarpment edge. Maps of the area were non-existent. The height of haute couture in the Berg back then were those nylon track suits, the cool ones had three stripes on them. Some guys had smock type tops from the UK, made of canvas, called Cagoules. Veldskoens were common hiking shoes otherwise it was those huge Austrian leather boots (Kastinger, Steinkogler) which probably weighed a few kg each. Everything was cooked over benzine stoves that were as lethal as unexploded bombs. The bof of the trip George Carr, decided that we needed to eat a lot of fat for energy, so we carried quantities of thick fatty bacon which was fried up each day. The tents were all A-frame with two upright poles. Andre Jamet, made in France if I remember correctly. I still have one, out in the garage with all the junk. My rucksack was a Camptrails aluminium H-frame that weighed next to nothing. Also stored somewhere with the junk. Those were the days.
The following user(s) said Thank You: diverian, Stijn, ghaznavid, Smurfatefrog, tonymarshall, Captain, andrew r, Kerry

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13 Aug 2014 14:15 #61508 by Dylan
Thanks Andrew!

I have sent you a PM

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13 Aug 2014 14:27 #61509 by ghaznavid
Thanks for sharing Bobby - very interesting :thumbsup:

@Smurf: that would make sense. I can definitely identify with a hike plan that includes climbing a peak and then not ending up actually climbing it - and that is without doing 200km in very little time beforehand.

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

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