Mnweni: The tale of two hikes

04 Dec 2013 00:19 #59141 by Serious tribe
Nice going guys. Wish I could get to the point of carrying such light packs. Summer can be hot and debilitating, that is true, and we all have our off days.

@ghaz - Unlike u, I cant wait to get back to MWENI ;)

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04 Dec 2013 05:47 #59142 by ghaznavid

Serious tribe wrote: @ghaz - Unlike u, I cant wait to get back to MWENI ;)


I can't wait to get back to the Berg, it doesn't have to be (and won't be) Mnweni.

This year I have been to every carpark between Witsieshoek and Bushman's Nek with 4 exceptions: Lotheni (I have been onto Lotheni a few times this year though), Vergelegen, Cobham and Kamberg. This year was my first time ever at the Injisuthi and Mnweni carparks.

This year I have done 9 passes that I had previously never done, spread over 5 areas (2 at Garden Castle, 3 at Giants Castle, 1 at Monks Cowl, 2 at Mnweni, 1 in the Free State). I have done 7 khulus over 5 areas as well (1 at Garden Castle, 2 at Giants Castle, 1 at Mnweni, 1 Free State and 2 RNNP). I have also done 2 non-khulus that come with highly impressive views at Monk's Cowl (Sterkhorn and Vultures Retreat).

I have done 399km so far this year, 124km in the Northern Berg, 240km in the Central Berg and only 35km in the Southern Berg. If anything all my stats suggest I should do more hiking in the south. Hence will I be back at Mnweni soon - probably not...

Ps. @ST: thanks - I have been waiting for an excuse to unload that mass of largely meaningless stats :laugh:

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04 Dec 2013 07:26 #59144 by HFc
Replied by HFc on topic Mnweni: The tale of two hikes

ghaznavid wrote:
I have done 399km so far this year, 124km in the Northern Berg, 240km in the Central Berg and only 35km in the Southern Berg. If anything all my stats suggest I should do more hiking in the south. Hence will I be back at Mnweni soon - probably not...

Ps. @ST: thanks - I have been waiting for an excuse to unload that mass of largely meaningless stats :laugh:


I like these kind of stats so to me its fun to read.

What is the total elevation climbed for the 399km hiked?

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04 Dec 2013 07:32 #59145 by ghaznavid

Highlands Fanatic wrote: What is the total elevation climbed for the 399km hiked?


Roughly 16.7km, 6km in the north, 9.2km in central, 1.5km in the south :thumbsup:

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04 Dec 2013 08:09 #59146 by Clark
Replied by Clark on topic Mnweni: The tale of two hikes
Crikey, took you all of 6 mins to work that out! Ive only done 2 hike this year and it would take me about an hour to work that out.

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04 Dec 2013 09:09 #59147 by Selous
Hi All

Can't wait for the day when I can go up to an area in the berg for say a week to ten days and go on a pass bagging bender and revel In some of those obscure passes that Ghaz was talking about.

Regards
Selous

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04 Dec 2013 09:31 #59148 by ghaznavid
I'm convinced that if every gully was properly explored, nearby gaps where lined up etc there would be well over 200 passes in the Berg. How many passes have VE members (including what Dave Gay has put on his site) added to the list - off the top of my head:
1) Mzimude Fissure Pass
2) Bollard Pass
3) Middle Mzimkhulu Pass
4) Sandleni Pass
*) Not sure, but possibly Elandshoek and Dykes Pass?
5) South Hlubi
6) North Hlubi
7) Thumb Pass
8) Gypaetus Pass
*) Apes Pass (not sure whose route this one was)
9) Cockade side gully route
10) Christmas Pass
11) South Saddle Pass
12) Manxome Pass
13) Madonna Pass
14) Barricade Pass

I am sure I have left quite a few out. There are definitely plenty left. I really enjoy obscure routes!
The following user(s) said Thank You: Selous

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04 Dec 2013 10:09 #59152 by Fitness

Selous wrote: Hi All

Can't wait for the day when I can go up to an area in the berg for say a week to ten days and go on a pass bagging bender and revel In some of those obscure passes that Ghaz was talking about.

Regards
Selous


Hell yes I completely agree

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04 Dec 2013 11:04 - 04 Dec 2013 11:06 #59157 by ghaznavid

Fitness wrote:

Selous wrote: Hi All

Can't wait for the day when I can go up to an area in the berg for say a week to ten days and go on a pass bagging bender and revel In some of those obscure passes that Ghaz was talking about.

Regards
Selous


Hell yes I completely agree


Just remind me what % of the passes we have done together are even on a map :laugh: looking forward to another epic next weekend :thumbsup:

For the record: According to my notes I have done 5 different passes with Fitness (in order of doing them with the difficulty rating in brackets):
1) Gypaetus Pass (7/10)
2) Langies Pass (2/10)
3) Tsepeng Pass (7/10)
4) Mashai Pass (6/10 - per Stijn's pass writeup)
5) North Hlubi Pass (4/10)

We have done 157km together in the Berg and 4 khulus together (Gypaetus Point 3120m, Mashai 3310m, Bannerman Face 3235m and Senqebethu 3301m).

So that's 3 out of 5 passes being ones with no path, and 3 out of 4 khulus being over 3300m! Not bad stats at all.
Last edit: 04 Dec 2013 11:06 by ghaznavid.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Fitness

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04 Dec 2013 11:56 - 04 Dec 2013 13:22 #59158 by ASL
Replied by ASL on topic Mnweni: The tale of two hikes
:woohoo: This was a great hike! I've been around the berg since 1994 and only been to Mweni once before as somehow I alway ended up somewhere else.

I rate Mweni as the prettiest area I've hiked in to date in SA. I agree with Ghaz about similarities with Grey's in some parts but the overall abundance of water/ water falls and close proximity of high sharp peaks puts it top of my current list in the berg.

The 2nd comment I want to make is about different ideas on hiking. Stijn helped to introduce me to a new paradigm around light and fast this weekend with his approach. If you are prepared to foresake a little comfort and security (blanky)it's possible to experience the Berg quite differently. His pack was 3 or 4 kilo's light than mine and he wore Asics trainers while I wore La Sportiva Halite boots (also quite light). On the walk in I had to concentrate quite hard to walk at the same pace and could see a difference in agility. In retrospect I didn't mind the pack weight but could have done with something lighter on my feet. I do trail running as a way to keep fit and it's certainly easier to move fast in trail shoes but you must be fit and have strong ankles which takes a while to condition yourself for.

As Ghaz wasn't feeling himself and we were lagging a bit I agreed with Stijn that I was happy to do Mweni pass as I hadn't done either and the shorter route gave us more time to reach the top. This immediately brought a contrast into our hike as we went from "snot" speed to slower paced walking.Knowing we had more time we took it and I had plenty of time to examine our surrounds and we took an hour for lunch. Ghaz also did a thorough interrogation of other hikers we encountered. I had to call him off twice with a reminder that we had a destination to get to. So we got lost once by about 40min and lost another 2 hours to dehydration (and faffing) but all in the walk from Cultural Centre to Mponjwane Cave via Mweni pass is very doable in a "leisurely" day. If you skip the dehydration / bonking part we could comfortably reached the cave by 3.30pm.

My thought is this. There are different approaches to be taken depending on your personal goals. I really enjoyed the light and fast stuff as the trail runner in me likes the ideas of the physical challenge. Next time I would commit more wholeheartedly to the light bit and use lighter shoes. On the other hand I still like the idea of taking more time, a few comforts and looking up from the trail a lot more often while taking more photos. Basically I like the idea of a mix of both styles and will probably alternate from here on.

PS. The pic attached is of Pins from Mweni. You can see Ghaz if you look carefully - he's not very big!


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Last edit: 04 Dec 2013 13:22 by diverian. Reason: Attached image added to text
The following user(s) said Thank You: diverian, Stijn, Selous, ruthtbl

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