Berg Alert 2011

03 Feb 2011 11:40 #2353 by zen101
Replied by zen101 on topic Re: Berg Alert 2011
Was not my intention at all, but point taken!!

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04 Feb 2011 02:39 - 04 Feb 2011 02:53 #2355 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Re: Berg Alert 2011
No problem, some might take it the wrong way. Also good on you for helping to rid the Drakensberg of litter.

Any info on the security situation in the Zeni/Cockade Pass area?
Last edit: 04 Feb 2011 02:53 by Serious tribe.

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08 Feb 2011 06:11 #2357 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Re: Berg Alert 2011
Any info on the security situation in the Zeni/Cockade Pass area?

Also there was an interesting article on the Time magazine on this site dates March 1956. The account can be found in the Barrier of Spears on pages 167 & 169. It is quite amazing how the language of both pieces is quite different to how it would be worded today. Very emotive back then. As you read, you can almost hear the music reaching a crescendo as they did in the old movies of the 50's

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08 Feb 2011 08:48 #2358 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Re: Berg Alert 2011
Many of the Berg security issues we have these days are actually not that new are they! :)

Re: Xeni and Cockade, haven't been there very recently. My own general feeling is that this area is very quiet as far as smuggling goes, and so, for example, leaving tents and gear at the bottom camp sites is relatively safe. The escarpment between the two passes also seems to be fairly quiet in terms of shepherds and kraals, and probably no smuggling. That they graze their livestock there, and pass through at times is a definite and there are the usual signs of that. But the high ridge between the two passes presents a more remote area, a little further away from busier valleys.

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

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10 Feb 2011 01:37 #2368 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Re: Berg Alert 2011
@intrepid

Thanx for the info. I went ton to GE the other day and did a scout of the river valleys in the area. And look what I found. There are at least 7 settlemets in the immediate area, and likely there are more, i only looked for about 10min. It does not mean that there will be problems, but it is always good to know the area.

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10 Feb 2011 10:33 #2378 by Sterkhorn
Replied by Sterkhorn on topic Re: Berg Alert 2011
@Intrepid

On the 27th April 2009 we came across this rather large stash above Cockade Pass(obviously waiting for nightfall). It had gone the next day.



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10 Feb 2011 11:03 #2381 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Re: Berg Alert 2011
My goodness, well I never....our fellow mountain goats are using Cockade on occasion! Thanks Sterkhorn, that is a very important update! I'll update this on the list of passes I maintain on the blogs...even the unlikely Ifidi and Icidi get used on occasion.

ST: true that there are kraals around, along with grazing tracks and those tidy shepherd cairns. Still strikes me as a quiet area, especially up on the ridge - but I wouldn't leave my gear there unattended anyway...and evidently not at the bottom of these passes anymore either :laugh: .

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

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15 Feb 2011 18:18 #2414 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Re: Berg Alert 2011
In reference to my last post above, this is the list of passes I keep maintained:
www.vertical-endeavour.com/blog/38-drakensberg/passes/64-passes-of-ukhahlamba-drakensberg-park.html

If you come across evidence of any sort of use by locals or Basuths please let us know. I use this to establish the ratings on this table. Also, be encouraged to post useful photos of passes for reference. These should go into the Drakensberg>>Passes gallery. If I notice a good photo I link it to this table. I have more of my own to post, but don't always get around to it, and its nice to see other folks' shots. Something similar for caves is in the making.

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

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05 Apr 2011 09:35 #2649 by shamanjustin
Replied by shamanjustin on topic Re: Berg Alert 2011
My fiance and me went to the ampitheare in March for a week and stayed on the Ampitheatre for four nights. It was just the two of us and we hiked from Tugela to Ribbon Falls over the few days. We encounter alot of shepards on the top but they keep to themselves and the few we did pass on occassions always ask for sweets or cigarettes, but never gave us any problems.
We were the only two hikers up there at the time and don't know if we were just lucky, but the people there seem to keep to themselves, and are very peacefull.

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05 Apr 2011 18:47 - 05 Apr 2011 19:18 #2656 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Re: Berg Alert 2011
It is true that our encounters with the Basuths can often be positive. And so they should be. The Basotho are a warm and friendly people. And there are even parts left in Lesotho where they don't readily ask for sweets and cigarettes. Unfortunately there are some bad apples, and some of them happen to live near the Amphitheatre (and this is nothing new). Naturally not all of them are bad. It is fortunate that you didn't get night-time visitors, especially spending more than one night in the same area. It is also possible that you did get visited while you were asleep, but you may have packed your gear away properly, and they didn't loosen or slash your tent. Camping at Ribbon Falls as you did, is generally a much better plan than at Tugela Falls too.

I've been informed of a recent incident at the Falls that took place just over 2 weeks ago. A group of hikers where intending to camp there but were harassed by 2 groups of Basuths, 7 in total. They felt the situation was escalating and packed up their things and walked back down. This isn't the first I hear of that kind of thing. I don't have exact details of what transpired but hope to secure more details.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 05 Apr 2011 19:18 by intrepid.

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