The Bell Traverse

24 Apr 2017 11:19 #71417 by Andreas
Replied by Andreas on topic The Bell Traverse
Hi everyone!

Planning to hike the Bell Traverse, sleeping Twins first night -> hiking Cleft peak sleeping Roland's second night -> down the Camel from this Saturday.

I did the reverse of the route in December last year, my question is regarding THIS TIME OF THE YEAR/beginning of May.
1.) How is the water availability on this route (I assume there would still be water still flowing at the river after Twins and bottom of valley approaching Roland's but would there be anything else?)
&
2.) very importantly ice on the rocky/exposed sections of the trail?

Any experience would be appreciated.

Our group in December (someone else led the hike) were comfortable on all the "exposed" sections but it was dry and the coldest time I've hiked in the Drakensberg was the beginning of April with our GT last year (No Drakensberg winter experience, no ice/snow gear, enough warm clothes/sleeping bags)

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24 Apr 2017 11:49 #71418 by Rhinoandhedgehog
Replied by Rhinoandhedgehog on topic The Bell Traverse
We will be in in the area will look out for you guys on Saturday - we are still planing our route.
Cloud is looking heavy on the webcam this morning!
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26 Apr 2017 18:12 #71433 by ruthtbl
Replied by ruthtbl on topic The Bell Traverse
Hi Andreas! We did the Bell Traverse (down from Twins cave to Cathedral Peak Hotel) over the Easter weekend (we went up Cockade Pass to reach the escarpment). There was plenty of water everywhere - most of the rivers were quite full! There were even some unexpected drips along the Bell Traverse itself (enough to fill bottles if needed), although I cannot remember now exactly where they were. Although the temperatures on the escarpment during the night did drop to below freezing, we did not encounter any ice on the Bell Traverse. There were some areas that were a little damp and slippery though, and a little extra caution was needed. You can get some idea of the conditions from the YouTube video I made if you are interested:


'Please accept the stimulation'
The following user(s) said Thank You: diverian, Smurfatefrog, andrew r, Papa Dragon, Rhinoandhedgehog, WarrenM

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27 Apr 2017 05:26 #71434 by Andreas
Replied by Andreas on topic The Bell Traverse
Ruth, you're a champion!

Thank you for the info!

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27 Apr 2017 09:46 #71435 by Rhinoandhedgehog
Replied by Rhinoandhedgehog on topic The Bell Traverse

ruthtbl wrote: You can get some idea of the conditions from the YouTube video I made if you are interested:


Well done nice work.

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27 Apr 2017 13:21 #71436 by ruthtbl
Replied by ruthtbl on topic The Bell Traverse
Thanks Rhinoandhedgehog and Andreas!

'Please accept the stimulation'

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28 Apr 2017 04:49 #71437 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic The Bell Traverse
Sweeeet. That was great. The exposure on the BT looks way worse through the lens than i recall it.

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02 May 2017 11:04 #71450 by Andreas
Replied by Andreas on topic The Bell Traverse
Hi everyone.

Thank you to those who I could chat with, really appreciate all the input.

Luckily our hiking party met up a day beforehand and I made the tough call to abort the planned route because as a group we weren't fit and experienced enough.

We walked via Ribbon falls to Tseketseke Hut (Night 1), along contour path and shortcut to Xeni Cave (Night 2). Obviously taking in all the views, detours and swims for a lekker holiday hike. There is still plenty of water everywhere. (Dark pink line shortcut from contour path above was a fun experience, glad we did it (Not for people afraid of heights or if it's pouring rain).

Thanks again.

Andreas
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23 Mar 2018 14:06 #73041 by petroengel
Replied by petroengel on topic The Bell Traverse
Hello everyone
Can anyone send a picture of the Cathedral Gendarme? I'm tackling the Bells Traverse Easter weekend coming down from the escarpment and read the name a lot. :unsure:
The other thing I was wondering: does anyone have a picture of Orange Peel Gap? :blush: I'd like to be sure when I'm passing what...

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23 Mar 2018 15:30 #73043 by Sanet1
Replied by Sanet1 on topic The Bell Traverse
@Petroengel,

Orange peel gap is the section where you descend the lower berg to the valley floor below. As you come down from Cathedral Peak the path will eventually split at Orange peel gap. Dunno where the path goes if you keep going straight, but at this point you descend down the ridge. The top is fairly overgrown with lush green plants, and it drops down fairly steeply below you. You will clearly see the footpath on the ridge below you turning to the left to the Hotel below.
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