Bell Traverse

05 Jun 2021 09:07 #76945 by Dale_Smith
Bell Traverse was created by Dale_Smith
Hi guys
Planning on hiking the cathedral peak area this week. My wife and I are looking for an epic day hike in the area. Is the Bell Traverse doable in a day? We are both very fit and experienced.

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05 Jun 2021 09:23 #76946 by Smurfatefrog
Replied by Smurfatefrog on topic Bell Traverse
Hi Dale, definitely possible as a day hike. Are you planning to do a loop though, or also back along the Bell Traverse.

Fitness is relative though, perhaps give examples of other big day hikes you've done in the berg

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05 Jun 2021 09:51 #76947 by Dale_Smith
Replied by Dale_Smith on topic Bell Traverse
We haven't done much in the berg as we're from cape Town. On our most recent trip to the berg we did sterkhorn in about 5 to 6 hours. In cape Town we have done the jonkershoek traverse in just under 24 hours. 

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06 Jun 2021 11:18 #76949 by tiska
Replied by tiska on topic Bell Traverse
The Jonkershoek traverse is a more daunting prospect than a continuous Bell Traverse- if only because of the fynbos factor. 

Assuming it will be in winter, then expect no water from around end of first 1/12 of the route to the last 1/4 of the route, in an anticlockwise circuit. 

Those I know who have done the circuit in a day took a slow pace with a finish a little after sunset. Your time on Sterkhorn suggests you’ll be back before then. 

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06 Jun 2021 19:53 #76950 by Dale_Smith
Replied by Dale_Smith on topic Bell Traverse
Thanks Tiska 
We are planning on doing the route as follows: Up from the hotel first up cathedral peak side and then along bell traverse towards the Horns and down just after Mitre back towards the hotel. 
Is this the best route? 
Any tricky navigational stuff on the route? Or any sketchy areas?

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06 Jun 2021 20:28 #76951 by Smurfatefrog
Replied by Smurfatefrog on topic Bell Traverse
By down after Mitre, do you mean down Mlambonja pass?

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06 Jun 2021 21:52 #76952 by TheRealDave
Replied by TheRealDave on topic Bell Traverse
Navigation is straightforward. The only place it gets a bit vague is after the Sisters when you cross over to the western side of the range and head up a short slope. There are cairns at the top of the slope, but they're far apart and the path is not obvious. Just carry on heading up the dusty slope towards the western side of Outer Horn (facing Mnweni) and you'll find the contour path again.

As for sketchy sections, the sketchiest is the narrow ledge on the Mitre; this will be easier if you only have day packs, but take care. There has been some recent discussion here and here . I would also take it slow down Bugger Gulch Gully, which is loose.

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07 Jun 2021 07:12 #76953 by Kylan
Replied by Kylan on topic Bell Traverse
We are planning bell traverse as a 4-day hike, you really want to make the most of it up there. Also remember the micro-climates can change very quickly high up in the berg, so be prepared for mist with little visibility, rain / hail and of course snow, also wet patches on the bell traverse take time to navigate. Take care.

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