Climbing the Bell

05 May 2016 14:53 - 05 May 2016 14:54 #68225 by Viking
Climbing the Bell was created by Viking
Over the May Day long weekend, Macc and myself successfully climbed The Bell via Hoopers route during a three day trip to Didima. Jackson joined us for a few minutes of the trip too – more on that later.

We set off from the Hikers parking at around 8:30am with our packs weighing in at around 20kgs each with all the climbing gear. Jackson had arranged to join us for part of the trip, but was running late so we got started without him. The weather was a bit cloudy but not as bad as we had expected or as had been predicted.
This did not last long though and by the time we stopped to collect water at the waterfall, the forecast was suddenly spot on and it had become cold and wet. We put our jackets on at the waterfall, filled up with 7-8 litres of water each and plodded up the ridge with our packs now nearly 30kgs each.
Jackson soon caught up with us but as he wasn’t carrying climbing gear or a tent and the fact that it was cold and wet and you couldn’t take a break for longer than 2 minutes without shivering, he passed us and we only saw him again the next day. He had to push on for Bell cave as he was tent-less but we told him that we might tent along the path as we had seen at least two other parties heading for Bell Cave.

We stopped for a break again at the top of orange-peel-gap, this however did not last long as it was very cold. By this time my legs were not enjoying the 30kg pack and were threatening to cramp up.




We carried on along the path for a bit, passing a group that had set up a tent to escape the weather. Not long after this, with my quads starting to cramp up, we found a spot to set up our tent and escape the weather. It was 1pm and we were a bit short of our goal of Bell cave.

Our camp spot.



We sat out the weather with soup and snacks and our spirits were soon lifted. The weather lifted too and we were able to cook supper outside the tent.

The next morning we woke to frozen tents and we recorded temps of -3.5C.



But the sun soon rose and burnt off the mist.



We packed up and carried on to bell cave, with the odd stop to catch our breath and take in the scenery.



Once at Bell Cave we sorted out gear, hid our packs and set off. We also found Jacksons hidden pack and knew he was off trying one of the Horns.



From the nek between Cathedral you traverse towards the Mnweni side and then make your way up to the highest grass band.
Looking down to the nek between Cathedral and Bell. You can see the Bell traverse path in the mid right hand section of the photograph.



Shortly after taking this picture we saw Jackson watching us from near Bell Cave. He indicated to us that he was heading back down to the car park. He had given the Inner Horn a solo go but told me later that he was either off track or the “easy scramble” wasn’t so easy.

From the grass band you work your way around to the South face where Hoopers route begins. Macc took the lead on the first pitch and I took the second. The climbing went smoothly and we got to know a few Erica bushes quite well at the stances!

Pitch 1.


Pitch 2.

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

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Last edit: 05 May 2016 14:54 by Viking.

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05 May 2016 14:59 #68226 by Viking
Replied by Viking on topic Climbing the Bell
After these relatively short pitches the summit was only a scramble away.

Cathedral from the summit.



Outer Horn from the summit.



Traditional summit selfie.



Our Summit book entry.



View towards Mnweni from the summit.



We spent a leisurely half hour to 45 mins on the summit, reading through the book, eating lunch enjoying the view. This was the first summit in our Godbold quest that we had been able to take some time on the summit. For Rhino we summited late in the afternoon so were pressed for time. On Pyramid we were pressed for time and the weather was looking ominous (January!) On Angus-Leppan the weather was also looking nasty and on Mponjwane we summited late in the afternoon again.

We got down the two abseils without incident but I must make mention of the slightly scary move getting to the first set of chains!

The second abseil.





We strolled back to the cave and settled in for a comfortable, dry and later rather windy night.
The next morning we left the cave at 8 and popped up Cathedral standard route on the way down.
We were back down at the car park at 1:45pm and after a queue to shower at the campsite, joined Smurf and co for lunch at the hotel.

From going through the rescue register I noted at least 12 VE members hiking at Didima this weekend. Good to see the names out there!

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

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The following user(s) said Thank You: elinda, Stijn, ghaznavid, Smurfatefrog, Macc, AndrewP, Papa Dragon

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05 May 2016 15:51 #68233 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Climbing the Bell
Thanks for sharing, Carl! I am enjoying reading up on these climbing trips. My guess is that Giants via Sherman's route is next, with Monks Cowl Standard Route to finish off. Not that I think you guys will stop there.

Viking wrote: From going through the rescue register I noted at least 12 VE members hiking at Didima this weekend. Good to see the names out there!

And yet Hobbit and I managed to miss all of you. I promise we didn't smell that bad :laugh:

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06 May 2016 12:31 #68258 by Viking
Replied by Viking on topic Climbing the Bell

ghaznavid wrote: Thanks for sharing, Carl! I am enjoying reading up on these climbing trips. My guess is that Giants via Sherman's route is next, with Monks Cowl Standard Route to finish off. Not that I think you guys will stop there.


Ja pretty much hey. Except we hope to do Scholes route on Giants.

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

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06 May 2016 13:38 #68263 by Viking
Replied by Viking on topic Climbing the Bell

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

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