Logistics for Climbing on the Sentinel

07 Sep 2020 13:45 #76029 by BrianG
Hey Folks.

It's been a few years since I was last in the Berg and even more since I was at the Sentinel Car Park. I'm starting to think about a climbing mission to the Sentinel and Mponjwane next winter and was wondering about a couple of things. Will probably want to spend at least a couple of days climbing on the Sentinel "warming-up" for Mponjwane. Planning to do Angus-Leppan and maybe the relatively new Margetts/McCann line.
So a few questions:
- Apart from Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge, are there any other options for 2/3 nights in that area? Are the sleeping arrangements at the Sentinel car park any better than in the past? Never stayed there but it always seemed a bit grim.... A basic Backpackers or even (secure) tenting could be an option. WML seems a bit pricey these days; even the "backpackers" option seems a bit steep especially for a few nights.
- Any comments on the M/M line.

Thanks in advance, Brian

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07 Sep 2020 15:38 #76030 by DesPorter
Hi Brian,
You are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Fika Patso dam is close by but the same price as Witsieshoek. The resort next to the dam on Oliviershoek has reasonable camping but a long way off and the resort Quantani on the other side is closer but rather pricey. Mahai is possible but then you will have to take the transport to the car park. Either stay at the car park or else the cave on route to the chain ladder and replenish from the car as needed. Another consideration is the road depending on what you will be driving.

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08 Sep 2020 09:54 #76036 by BrianG
Hi Des.
Thanks for the input. Yes, there doesn't seem to be too many options. May well consider "car camping" or tenting and possibly WML for a bit of R&R before heading south :-) I'm not aware of the cave near the chain ladders so that could be an option too. I assume that's "Sentinel Cave" as per GPS co-ords posted elsewhere? Is it a safe, especially if we wanted to leave gear there unattended - perhaps a silly question...?

Cheers Brian

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08 Sep 2020 10:15 #76037 by Andreas
We hiked past the Sentinal Car Park 1st of January this year and they we in the process building a fancy new building. 2x layer insulated glass and all. I'm really not sure of the purpose of the building, we were in a hurry so didn't chat to the guards, but might be a new hikers hut and for the convenience of the location it might be worth it to find out.

At that stage the road from Witsieshoek to the car park was still only paved roughly from half way up, but as bad as the road is you would still find "normal" small cars at the parking lot.

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08 Sep 2020 16:13 #76039 by BrianG
Mmmm, interesting.... Thanks. I just did a bit of a Google recce but couldn't find out anything about this; or even more basic info about the "mountain gate". I understand it's Free State Enviro Affairs and Tourism but their main website doesn't have any info and the FS Tourism Website appears to be non-functional. ... Oh well....

Anyone else been up there recently; have any more info?

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11 Sep 2020 07:57 #76050 by grae22
Hi Brian. Apparently the construction at the car park is complete (or near complete), but no word on when whatever will be there will open (a restaurant, I believe). Word is safety at Sentinel Cave is fine these days and there is also another cave closer to the chain-ladders.

- Graeme

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11 Sep 2020 09:10 #76054 by BrianG
Thanks Graeme. will follow the developments with interest. Mission only planned for next year so hopefully there'll be some news in the future...

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