G T non stop advice

20 Apr 2018 21:14 #73253 by Darren
G T non stop advice was created by Darren
Evening chaps / ladies

I'm planning to do the GT in December non stop.

Is there any one who has done this and willing to share advice ?

Mainly the best route.

Up to November I will be running sections of the route and familiarizing myself with landmarks.

I'm all ears

Thanks
Darren

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
21 Apr 2018 12:45 #73256 by AndrewP
Replied by AndrewP on topic G T non stop advice
Hello Darren

The info you want can be found in the grand traverse section of the forum. It is easiest if you display all topics in that section than trying to do a search.

What route you consider best is based on your personal preference. Avoiding dogs, slope angles on the hills and choices of distance vs path will depend on you. So, for that, you just have to spend time out there working it out.

It obviously depends on your definition of non stop, but to date I am the only person to have done a GT without any stops for sleep.

If you ask specifics, I will happily help out.

Cheers
Andrew

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
21 Apr 2018 14:34 #73257 by Darren
Replied by Darren on topic G T non stop advice
Hi Andrew

That's for the above msg.

Yes I'm planning to do it with a 4hr rest ever 20hrs.

I know it won't be easy, I'm up for the challenge.

I would like to contact you direct at a later stage if you don't mind.

Thanks

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
21 Apr 2018 14:45 #73258 by Darren
Replied by Darren on topic G T non stop advice
My bad

I'm so slow, I never recognized your name at fisrt.

You the " Andrew". A legend.

Kudos to you on the GT.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
22 Apr 2018 16:12 #73260 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic G T non stop advice
A few questions - seeing as your question is very general:
How much Drakensberg experience do you have?
Have you done a 20h day before?
Are you going solo or in a team?
What time are you shooting for?

As Andrew mentioned - plenty of info in the GT section. A lot of GT writeups are at this link:
www.vertical-endeavour.com/forum/5.html

A GT is a very worthwhile hike, but also has a lot of potential to go wrong. Not a trip to take lightly - but the fact that you are asking questions 8 months in advance suggests you aren't taking it lightly.

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

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
22 Apr 2018 17:20 #73261 by Darren
Replied by Darren on topic G T non stop advice
Thanks again for another reply.

Yes going solo ( if there's someone who want to join ). Just find it easier to train and prepare ace out.
Time , not sure. By July I will be able to answer it.

Experience, done a few hikes / sky runs in the berg.

The reason I started to ask questions is that I'm aware of organized GT hikes and wasn't sure about the speed/ non stop GT. Also any sort of info not found in the write ups I might have missed like the one comment Andrew made about running on slopes.

Thanks, I will go look at the links you sent.

Much appreciated

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
22 Apr 2018 18:59 #73262 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic G T non stop advice
Training is key to pulling this off - and there is no substitute for big days in the mountains. Altitude and trail conditions (or no trail at all) will always slow you down, not to mention fatigue. And Small Berg training, but while better than around town, it still isn't the same as a big day on top.

Doing your first GT solo and fast-and-light is, ummm, brave, but not impossible.

Make sure you recce the route properly first - if you compare the tracks of the two fastest times, you will notice a few massive differences in route choices (and direction). What is best for you might not be best for someone else - for example, there is no way I am doing the Yodeler's Cascades route again any time soon, and I will do my best to avoid the Jarateng - but most people use both of these lines (and somehow don't get eaten by the large fluffy pets along the way).

December has advantages and disadvantages - lots of daylight is great, but mist and rain are very common, and being caught in a big storm on a fast and light trip is not fun (talking from far too much experience on this one). Being solo in that scenario makes things even worse - at least if you have a team mate, you just need one of you to be sufficiently alright to deal with emergencies, on your own means everything is down to you. I find the mountains roughly double in size when I'm alone - everything is harder and more difficult.

20 hour days are really difficult to pull off, and will require practice. My longest day ever was 21 hours of hiking (northern high traverse in a continuous push), but that was just a single day - I most certainly wasn't up for doing anything the next day. On my first speed GT (107h51 with AndrewP), we moved the start time to 4AM from day 3 onward, having started days 1 and 2 at 3AM - I simply couldn't function with such an early start. Sometimes more sleep means a faster time, as does better sleep (so don't go too light on your sleeping bag and air mattress).

Hiking in the dark also requires practice. On my first speed GT I was very happy to let Andrew do all the navigational work. My second fast traverse was almost entirely in daylight, so that was easy and Andrew was on my 3rd (we had to disqualify that time as we were forced to hit Sani due to really bad weather). Trails also look different in the dark, and if it is misty and new moon - it is even harder to see what's going on.

You have 8 months, you will need to put a lot of work in to pull this off. Best to get to work immediately.

Have you downloaded the GPS tracks in the downloads section? Stijn's record route and Intrepid's master GT track are both very helpful. Study each section and look at the variations.

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

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
22 Apr 2018 22:00 #73264 by Stijn
Replied by Stijn on topic G T non stop advice
While all the above points are valid if you're trying to get your fastest possible time, there is no real need for recces, etc if you have the right sort of off-trail endurance experience for this sort of thing.

For example, close to half the times on the speed GT leaderboard were set by groups with zero to very little Berg experience.

It's the solo aspect that would be most challenging IMO. Otherwise, given the right experience, conditioning and fitness... just go for it! :)
The following user(s) said Thank You: AdrianT, Christinejvr

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
23 Apr 2018 18:10 #73268 by AndrewP
Replied by AndrewP on topic G T non stop advice
The hardest part of a solo GT is the night. The top of the escarpment is huge, lonely and it still scares me.

A few long days, especially along the route itself will do you a lot of good. My advise is to include a few night runs. Start moving at about the right time that you get to the top of the escarpment as it gets dark. Walk/run anywhere until about midnight. You can now turn around and go home. Do that a few times and the GT itself will be the easiest it will ever get. Preferably pick a route you have done before so you do not have to worry about finding paths, dodging kraals and skirting cliffs and can blindly follow a GPS track you are familiar with. And, it helps to have a target 6 hours away instead of running backwards and forwards. Try get in a full moon, no moon, good weather, bad weather etc. The stretch between Greys Pass and Mafadi is pretty good for this as there are no dogs to worry about and you can easy extend by following the path towards Judge pass if you like.

Most of the speed attempt write-ups have a good lesson learnt section. The general tips though are:
- pick good weather, pick good weather and pick good weather
- navigation at night is slow
- there are more hills on top than you think possible, they will break you down
- packs tend to be too heavy

PS - my comment about slopes was rather one of: I prefer to power hike up a short steep hill instead of trying to run up a long gentle hill and make route choices accordingly. On same point, I never zig-zag. Other people pick different gradients as their optimal line, and thus would find that my ideal line is not their ideal line
The following user(s) said Thank You: AdrianT, Andreas, Gudstff

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
Powered by Kunena Forum