Berg Alert 2016
I was wondering the same thing!
tonymarshall wrote: How on earth did Fangs Pass ever become involved in as a location for this incident?
On night 1 of my GT last December, we considered camping just upstream from there, but thought better of it. Instead we went 1km up the river towards Icidi Pass and found a nice concealed spot.
Ranger wrote: @ Viking
We are in constant contact with the LMP and I forwarded them a comprehensive list the day after the incident, together with details for the three injured hikers. Please could you pass on the details for the person you are dealing with I would appreciate it. We can apply pressure from our side too.
We are also in communication with the SANDF, who have taken over borderline control. Watch this space...
Ok that's good to know, I didn't know what or how much was being done and whilst I don't want to create unnecessary admin for anyone or be a hindrance, I believe that the more angles we cover and apply pressure from, the greater our chances of a positive outcome.
I have emailed you all my info.
“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”
At this stage status quo remains ie: the area is open for overnighting as well as day visits. We do however advise the use of a guide for day hikes and do not encourage overnighting in the area. Those wishing to overnight can do so but are strongly advised to take a guide and security with them, set up watch systems etc at night, and go with a minimum group size of six people. The area has been quiet crime wise for a few months since the SANDF began their patrols there, but at this stage they are not overnighting there which means that we do not advise overnighting there.
While we cant influence what goes on in the country, what it means is that vigilance and practical sense might still be the only way we as hikers can protect ourselves. The fact that most interactions, read the recent one that Ghaz posted, are pleasant is in our favour. We need to try and keep it that way.
Following engagement with stakeholders Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife has adopted the following summarised into the form of signage which will soon be erected. The bottom line is that we strongly discourage overnighting in that area and that day hikes are preferable with a guide.
TO ALL HIKERS
Due to the risk of theft and other unlawful activity hikers are advised not to overnight in the area from the chain ladders to Fangs Pass on top of the escarpment. Use of a guide is recommended for all day hikes in the above area. A minimum party size of four hikers and a guide is recommended. Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife regrets any inconvenience caused but will not be liable for the safety of persons or their property. Your understanding and cooperation is appreciated.
Further to this we advise hikers to fill out the mountain rescue register and to ensure that they sign out upon return.
Please note: As of the 1st of Jan 2017, hikers entering the World Heritage Site (Royal Natal Section) will be required to pay entry fees and be in possession of proof of payment. At this stage, entry for adults is R40, children under 12 R20, and overnighting R60 pppn. We intend implementing the sale of ticket books to surrounding establishments and guides who should then be able to sell entries into the Park without the hassle of physically having to pay at Royal Natal. The good part in this is that it ensures you are fully covered for the cost of Mountain Rescue throughout the entire Drakensberg, especially for those doing the GT and shorter overnight trips. Please note though that spot checks will be undertaken from the 1st and that those who are not in possession of proof of payment (ie entry tickets) may be prosecuted. Below is a copy of the notice that will soon be in place at both entry points:
WORLD HERITAGE SITE
NOTICE TO VISITORS
PLEASE TAKE NOTE THAT ALL VISITORS ACCESSING THE MALOTI-DRAKENSBERG PARK WORLD HERITAGE SITE FROM WITSIESHOEK MOUNTAIN RESORT/SENTINEL CAR PARK ARE REQUIRED TO PAY APPLICABLE ENTRANCE/CAMPING FEES.
ACCESS TO THE WORLD HERITAGE SITE FROM SENTINEL CAR PARK BEGINS ONCE YOU REACH THE FLAT ESCARPMENT ABOVE THE CHAIN LADDERS:
ENTRANCE FEES: ADULTS R40
CHILDREN (3-12 YEARS) R20
OVERNIGHT CAMPING FEES: PER PERSON PER NIGHT R60
PLEASE RETAIN YOUR INVOICE AT ALL TIMES ON YOUR WALK AS YOU MAY BE REQUESTED TO PRODUCE IT AS PROOF OF PAYMENT.
A portion of the entrance fee is paid into the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Emergency Rescue levy. This levy will be used to cover costs in the event of a Mountain Rescue by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.
All visitors entering the World Heritage Site must please complete the Mountain Rescue Register and sign out on their return. This information could save your life.
Entrance to the World Heritage Site is entirely at the visitor’s own risk and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife will not be held liable for any claim
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS FOR EMERGENCIES IN THE WORLD HERITAGE SITE:
CONSERVATION MANAGER ROYAL NATAL 082 459 0279 OR 036 4386 412 (ALL HOURS)
MAHAI DUTY MANAGER 076 588 4656 (ALL HOURS)
THENDELE DUTY MANAGER 072 186 2188 (ALL HOURS)
MOUNTAIN CLUB OF SA 0800 005 133 (ALL HOURS)
THANK YOU AND ENJOY YOUR HIKE
To quote John Muir - " Climb the mountains and get their good tidings".