Mnweni: The tale of two hikes

04 Dec 2013 12:13 - 04 Dec 2013 13:25 #59159 by ASL
Replied by ASL on topic Mnweni: The tale of two hikes
excuse my typo's in that last post and I see this online business hasn't done much for my sentence structure either!

All that said, those Northern Cape "manne" could probably have done Stijn's route with bare and a "balsak"!

Check this shot of the top of Rockeries in the mist...


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Last edit: 04 Dec 2013 13:25 by diverian. Reason: Attached image added to text
The following user(s) said Thank You: Stijn, ghaznavid, Smurfatefrog

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04 Dec 2013 12:13 #59160 by ghaznavid

ASL wrote: 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.


:laugh: interrogating! I was being friendly (and looking for an excuse to have yet another short break)...

What you mentioned about the beauty of Mnweni may also in part be something you miss out on by not doing much hiking in Summer. IMO when the weather is clear in summer (e.g. days like Saturday) the Berg is more beautiful than when it is covered in snow. After a thunderstorm when the rock is shimmering black in the sunlight with bright green everywhere - that's my best. There are definitely more waterfalls in summer - it would be interesting to do Gray's Pass in summer and compare the number of waterfalls, there are already plenty in winter!

The size of the rivers in my mind is a bit distorted when compared to everywhere else. E.g. MCC is around 15km from the source of the Mnweni river (probably further) vs say Garden Castle which is 6km from the source of the Mlambonja river and before its merger with the Mzimude and Mashai rivers.

Although - to clarify once more: yes I do think Mnweni is really beautiful. I merely make an arguement of apples and apples. I may also be missing my beloved Rhino Peak - haven't seen it in 10 months :(

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04 Dec 2013 12:16 #59161 by ghaznavid
My pack looks really freaky in that photo :laugh:

The top of Rockeries Pass is really special - no arguement!

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04 Dec 2013 12:20 #59162 by Fitness

ASL wrote: :woohoo:

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.


ASL I have to agree with you on the above, many times I've gone to the berg and thought a nice light fast hike would be awesome, but if truth betold I just love the dramatic rise of the peaks and its silence and I don't want to miss out on that ever. I've also toyed with the idea of doing a hike in my salamon trail shoes but my concern is my ankles on the decent , I might try them in the new year on a short two day hike somewhere.

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04 Dec 2013 12:33 #59163 by ghaznavid
I seem to be great at going off topic so here we go. Photos at Giants and Garden of waterfalls, rock features and greeness:

Note these are provided to back up my point, not to try and say Mnweni isn't beautiful or anything like that...


The Monk at Garden Castle


A view looking out over central Garden Castle


A waterfall on the north slopes of Rhino Peak


Bannerman Face at Giants Castle just after a thunderstorm


Mashai Fangs on Mashai pass


A massive waterfall near Bannerman Pass as seen from Bannerman Face (probably over 200m high)


The Thumb from just north of Thumb Spur Peak

Ps. I could just as easily post similar photos of Mnweni. My point, once again, is just to say that I think the entire Berg is really beautful and it is greatly beneficial to see all of it :thumbsup:

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04 Dec 2013 13:14 #59164 by firephish
jeesh guys, too much information ... what happens on the mountain should stay on the mountain :blink: :silly: ;)

ASL wrote: If you skip the dehydration / bonking part we could comfortably reached the cave by 3.30pm.

The following user(s) said Thank You: Stijn, plouw, Smurfatefrog

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04 Dec 2013 13:30 #59165 by Viking
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”

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04 Dec 2013 18:55 #59167 by ghaznavid

ASL wrote: If you skip the dehydration / bonking part we could comfortably reached the cave by 3.30pm.


You could also get a lift up the road for the 3km or so. We did get an early start and motor the first bit. But yes - I do agree, 3:30 is doable.

I highly rate Mnweni Pass for those who haven't done it. Rockeries makes for a nice loop. I imagine the view of the cutback from Mnweni Buttress Peak is quite something.

As for the peaks - 24 khulus in the bag and I still rate Icidi Crown in the top 3 (really can't decide which I prefer between Icidi Crown, Senqebethu and Mashai).

Next up at Mnweni for me: Up Fangs down Pins or Up Ifidi down Icidi.

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04 Dec 2013 19:59 #59169 by ghaznavid

Selous wrote: 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.


Easter, Freedom Day and Human Rights Day are so close next year that 7 days gives you 16 days off - anyone keen for a Stijn style super-traverse?

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