VE Berg Trip 3

07 Aug 2013 23:46 - 08 Aug 2013 03:10 #57979 by intrepid
VE Berg Trip 3 was created by intrepid
The next VE Berg trip is confirmed for the weekend of November 2-3. We will be focusing on the Hlatikhulu area at Monk's Cowl.

We are in the process of working out a way to work specifically with KZN Wildlife at Monk's Cowl. Their allocated Working For Water resources are going into clearing Wonder Valley for the next 5 years (the pine infestation is really bad there). They might get some allocation for a "high altitude" team which will focus on pines higher up, and on difficult locations such as steep slopes and along cliffs. This is a relatively new thing which is being launched in the Berg. They still need our contribution and help. Specifically they want us to assist with the pines around Hlatikhulu and The V. Many of these are on steep slopes and have relatively difficult access.

We are working out some specific details with them which includes a waiver of hiking fees for work done (ie if you do some pine chopping as part of your hiking trip, you don't have to pay). We will also try to work a way of getting the necessary tools to the site for people who want to do this, so you don't have to be supply or carry them yourself. More on this later.

This trip will be the pilot for launching this co-operation with KZN Wildlife. They will be present on our trip too and will be giving us training and instruction. It will be a good opportunity to strengthen ties between the public and the authorities.

We are making the official part of the trip over a weekend in order to make it easier for people to attend. You do not need to take time off. We are however encouraging people to take the Monday off (November 4th). This will be more of a fun day and we can look at climbing Sterkhorn, Turret or Amphlett. Currently I envisage that 2 hours on Saturday morning will go toward an introductory discussion at the office. After this we will start the hike to the Hlatikhulu area, either via Keartlands Pass (another infested area) or via Steilberg. We will probably arrive in the afternoon. The rest of the day will go towards tackling a few pines as well as simply scoping the area. We also need to collect some quality video and photographs that will go towards making an informative reference available to the public. Most of Sunday will go towards the same. Those that are only staying for the weekend can walk out on that day. Monday will be informal and more relaxed.

Hope to see many of you there!

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 08 Aug 2013 03:10 by intrepid. Reason: typo

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08 Aug 2013 06:29 #57985 by Josh of the Bushveld
Replied by Josh of the Bushveld on topic VE Berg Trip 3
Sounds interesting, will try make a plan

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08 Aug 2013 08:37 #57989 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic VE Berg Trip 3
Its hard to schedule that far ahead, but I will try to be there. Would be fun to get the photos and videos :thumbsup:

I assume we would be using climbing gear to cut trees in dodgy areas - ropes anchored off nearby trees or something?

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13 Aug 2013 04:16 #58042 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic VE Berg Trip 3

ghaznavid wrote: I assume we would be using climbing gear to cut trees in dodgy areas - ropes anchored off nearby trees or something?

Looks like I may need to include this as an activity this time to provoke some more interest in the trip :cheer:

The idea definitely is that hikers and climbers are more accustomed to navigating on difficult terrain compared to an average Working for Water squad. Some of the pines are on cliff edges and will need some rope-work for safety. If we do this it is entirely at our own risk, just as if you are climbing a peak in the Berg. The new, specialised high-altitude squads will also be focusing on these.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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13 Aug 2013 07:30 #58044 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic VE Berg Trip 3

intrepid wrote: Looks like I may need to include this as an activity this time to provoke some more interest in the trip :cheer:


I wonder what would happen if you added a climb up Cathkin Standard Route [hint, hint] :laugh:

Some cool walks that can be done from there with the base camp setup. E.g. Intunja is also an option.

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02 Oct 2013 08:42 #58661 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic VE Berg Trip 3
Just a reminder for the upcoming VE trip, November 2-3 with the optional fun day extending to November 4th.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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02 Oct 2013 10:51 #58663 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic VE Berg Trip 3
Sadly I won't be able to make it :(

But good luck to the guys who are going - I'm sure you'll have a great time :thumbsup:

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01 Nov 2013 13:46 #58940 by Viking
Replied by Viking on topic VE Berg Trip 3
For those going, enjoy the trip! Would have loved to join. Oh well, next time maybe.
Look forward to the report.

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

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05 Nov 2013 08:45 - 05 Nov 2013 08:45 #58960 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic VE Berg Trip 3
Many thanks to tonymarshall, Lorina, diverian, Witchiwoo and ClimbyKel for being part of this trip and making it the success that it was! Without your enthusiasm and commitment it definitely could not have been that.

It wasn't just about the 85 odd tress cut down, and the 6 that were ring-barked. Nor was it just about the 4 man-hours that went into ring-barking possibly the biggest pine tree in VE's memory. It was about being out there, sharing laughs and memories, and loving and caring for the Berg. In my mind it was a significant trip that strengthened our ties and co-operation with KZN Wildlife, and one that will pave the way to improving the way VE operates. Lots of significant discussion on various topics were held.

Glimpsing into 2014, we will be looking at adopting several, specific valleys in the Berg which we will commit to clearing of pine and monitor on-goingly. We will also endeavour to increase the frequency of our trips and plan and manage them better. More on this to follow.

I'm sure more details on this trip will be shared over the next few days.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 05 Nov 2013 08:45 by intrepid.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Serious tribe, Stijn, ghaznavid, Smurfatefrog, Viking

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05 Nov 2013 10:08 #58961 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic VE Berg Trip 3
Great work guys! Looking forward to a writeup.

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