The Mt Aux Sources - Amphitheatre - Tugela thread

20 Aug 2008 20:16 #123 by JonWells
JonWells created the topic: The Mt Aux Sources - Amphitheatre - Tugela thread
How hectic is the route up the chain ladders at the amphitheatre, I hear it is not recommended for those with a fear of heights? Is there an alternative route to to the summit and much longer will it take?

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20 Aug 2008 20:44 #124 by domsmooth
domsmooth replied to: The Mt Aux Sources - Amphitheatre - Tugela thread
The chain ladder is not hectic at all, in my experience, although I do not have a fear of heights. It is challenging, but a heck of a lot better than climbing up the rock face.

We are considering doing the chain ladder in a month or 2's time as a work function with ages ranging from 64 down to 19. One of my colleagues is 7 months pregnant, and while I am not sure she will climb the ladders, she probably will go with us up to them and wait for us to descend again. It is a very easy access to the summit for those who want to see the summit without doing the long schlep of a pass. I am considering taking my 7 yr old and my 5 yr old up early next year for a picnic at the falls and then back down. Then again, at 7 and 5yrs old, fear of heights is not really an issue, and one ladder is the same as any other. The key I suppose is just to focus on how many more rungs you have to summit.

There is another route to the top via the sentinel gulley, but it is quite steep at the top and although short can be quite exhausting. I know there is a race which Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife put on once a year going up the chain ladder and down the gulley... may be an option if you are okay going up the heights, but not coming down again. If you have hiking poles, take them along. They will be useful on your descent. Saves knees and ankles a whole lot of issues!

Lets all help maintain the values for which the Berg was proclaimed a World Heritage Site

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22 Aug 2008 08:52 - 22 Aug 2008 08:52 #125 by intrepid
intrepid replied to: The Mt Aux Sources - Amphitheatre - Tugela thread
The gully takes around a half hour to an hour longer, depending on how out of breath you get and how much you stop to enjoy the views! It tops out near the summit of Beacon Buttress from where a trail descends down to the falls. At the top, a short detour to the left will give you a view of Sentinel that will leave you tingling.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last Edit: 22 Aug 2008 08:52 by intrepid.

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24 Aug 2008 09:41 #126 by JonWells
JonWells replied to: The Mt Aux Sources - Amphitheatre - Tugela thread
Another question- Is there a hut that can be booked up top?

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25 Aug 2008 08:31 #127 by intrepid
intrepid replied to: The Mt Aux Sources - Amphitheatre - Tugela thread
A hut has existed for many years on top but currently there is no booking system. You'd need to be prepared to share it with others. It is a bit grim and dirty but still good shelter and does offer protection from the Basutho provided the door is securly closed.

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

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26 Aug 2008 15:35 #129 by Hennie
Hennie replied to: The Mt Aux Sources - Amphitheatre - Tugela thread
I just took most of those I work with up the chainladders (on Sat 23/8/2008). Everyone got to the top although some were nervous! There was quite a wind at the chainladder gully. I took up my children (then 8 and 11) last year and they thoroughly enjoyed it. The path is clear although a bit exposed in places. The chainladder hike must be one of the best day hikes this country has on offer.

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28 Aug 2008 09:30 #131 by Errol
Errol replied to: The Mt Aux Sources - Amphitheatre - Tugela thread
My first trip on to the top was via the ladders, initially they may look a bit daunting, but they not that bad. If you have height issues, take it one step at a time i guess... We came down in heavy mist (could see less than 4m)and drizzle, again, it was'nt as bad as i thaught it would be. As already mentioned, the hut aint 5stars, but will keep you out of the elements and more secure from wandering hands...

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22 May 2011 14:23 #2936 by thomas
thomas replied to: Mont aux Sources
I have not been to the top of MauxS for years and hoped for latest updates. Wanted to spend 1st and 2nd July up top. Is the hut open these days? Is the Sentinel Car Park hut open as well? Going up alone, do they allow that these days? Also, has anyone scambled to the Inner Tower from the Escarpment, curious if that is doable or dangerous? Many thanks,

thomas

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24 May 2011 07:54 - 24 May 2011 08:20 #2958 by intrepid
intrepid replied to: Re: Mont aux Sources
Welcome to the forum Thomas.

Yes the car park is still operational and they do allow people up alone (last Thursday a solo Spanish hiker was rescued from the area). The hut on top is open to whoever wants to use it, and is still functional shelter, but it tends to have a lot of litter, inside and outside, and is not always the most cheerful place to sleep. Dig around on the forum for thread on the state of mountain huts - more detail there.

About Inner Tower, I've had two unsuccessful attempts at it from the escarpment, which seems comical given its grade, but its Berg climbing and the grade isn't always totally helpful in assessing a route. I had two different climbing partners on those occasions, and both were totally put off by the grassy pitch right at the start, and then the traverse on the narrow grassy ledge leading to the South East Arete and around the corner to the gully forming the Standard Route. The exposure on this grassy ledge is serious - I would not want to do it unroped and without placing gear. Even the grassy block leading to the ledge - I was kicking footholds into bits of soil and hanging on grass. Getting to the neck between Inner Tower and the escarpment is not too bad. Does involve some minor down-climbing and a traverse across a bit of unstable soil. I'll definitely go back and do it, all 3 summits and also the SE Arete which seems like a fun route, but with gear and with the right people. If you are asking me I wouldn't attempt it solo, but of course its all possible.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last Edit: 24 May 2011 08:20 by intrepid.

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24 May 2011 09:25 #2961 by thomas
thomas replied to: Re: Mont aux Sources
Thank you kindly for the useful advice. If appreciations were money you just earned your salary for the day. I will go up alone but wont need rescuing! I presumed on a weekend there would be people up there as well, especially during July break. Hope for snow.

The Inner Tower sounds more daunting than I imagined so will give it a miss. One could leave a fixed rope and abseil down (dont know the length of the downclimb)?

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