Vaalribbokkop Pine Hike March 2016

22 Mar 2016 16:38 - 22 Mar 2016 16:59 #67430 by Papa Dragon
Our March pine tree working hike had a bit of a difference- we had a film crew from 50/50 with us!

Our group of 8, cameraman Phillip Lennon, presenter Bertus Louw, VE members Smurfatefrog, JulieMK, Night Hawk Bravo, WezleyB, Papa Dragon, and a friend of Wezley, Lorrinde, met at Drakensberg Sun car park on Saturday morning.




After the usual preparations, plus a bit more for the filming equipment, we were taken closer to the bottom of Jacob's Ladder by a EKZNW vehicle. We started the stretch up the ridge in beautiful weather, too beautiful as it was very hot, and unfortunately Phillip and Night Hawk Bravo had to turn back. So the 6 of us carried on, Bertus taking on a dual role now of presenter and cameraman.

Filming a hike takes much longer than hiking, as we learned, stopping, setting up camera, hiking past, checking footage, packing up camera etc.. I'm sure Bertus did a lot more k's than the rest of us.

Here's a random pic of the Little Berg "escarpment" on the route to the cave:


We got to the cave at about 3 in the afternoon, set up camp. and then checked around or lazed about...
The cave on Sunday morning...






After a quick breakfast we went out to tackle some pines that we had identified from a previous trip, and were soon hard at work, sawing, chopping and filming....







We treated a total of 15 trees on the hike, only one of those was very young, and some were very large.



Part 2 to follow shortly.

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Last edit: 22 Mar 2016 16:59 by Papa Dragon.
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22 Mar 2016 17:45 - 24 Mar 2016 16:52 #67431 by Papa Dragon
Part 2

After felling, ringbarking and cutting out those trees, we made our way towards the slopes of Vaalribbokkop itself , where we had treated trees in August 2015, and January this year. Results looked promising, and no saplings were found close to these trees.

Pines do have their uses in the 'Berg :laugh: :laugh:




After follow-up on these pines, we made our way back down to some beautiful pools in the Hospitaalspruit, for a well deserved swim.....


Monday morning came all too soon, and time to pack up, and start the walk out, with Bertus filming the last few links and cuts that he needed. Before we left the area though, we identified a sizeable cluster of pines to tackle on our May working hike, spotted by eagle-eyed JulieMK, the group's pine spotter...

A few more pics in random order...

Cathkin from the walk in...


Bertus hard at work




JulieMK being interviewd by Bertus, Lorrinde looking on.


Beauty, brains and brawn in 2 packages.... :)


This was a great experience, the hike was fun, the group dynamics fantastic, and great to see how a film clip is made. Bertus enjoyed it as well, and is keen to come hiking with us in the future, as a hiker though!

We hope that through this we get some exposure and generate some interest, on the forum as well as the public, for the pine work, the forum, our 'Berg and the environment in general.

A big thank you to Phillip, who is also a member of the forum, for showing an interest in the topic to begin with, and to Bertus for his field work, company and fun on the hike.

To the team, well done guys, was an awesome trip, great fun, and as a bonus we got some very worthwhile work done.

If anyone is keen on joining a pine working hike in future, please contact tonymarshall, diverian, or myself.

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Last edit: 24 Mar 2016 16:52 by Papa Dragon.
The following user(s) said Thank You: intrepid, Stijn, ghaznavid, Smurfatefrog, tonymarshall, AndrewP, andrew r, Biomech, JulieMK

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22 Mar 2016 18:13 #67432 by intrepid
Well done guys - definitely a proud way to mark the 5 year anniversary of the Pine Tree Project! I wish I could have joined you guys. This is a significant milestone - not just because of the media exposure - but because of the team that did it. What has been demonstrated here is that we all have the power to act and make a difference in the Berg. The way in which Papa Dragon and JulieMK, and the team that has joined them on their various trips, have taken up the initiative and stuck to it is something we always hoped would happen with the Pine Tree Project. VE has adopted significant portions of the Monk's Cowl/Culfargie area now, and it is exciting to think of what a difference this is already making.

By the way, 14 ring-barked trees is hard work for a day. You wouldn't necessarily realise this until you actually get out there and try it yourself! Keep up the good work guys! :thumbsup:

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
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22 Mar 2016 18:19 #67433 by Smurfatefrog
Thanks for arranging it all Roger, it was a great trip!

It was a really interesting hike, especially seeing how these type of things are recorded.
It was frustrating at times but well worth it!
We'd be discussing plans and next thing Bertus tells us to repeat everything we just said so he can record it, and when we packed up we did a walk through of the cave picking up small bits of rubbish, Bertus spotted us doing it and got us to throw it all back on the floor so he could record us picking it up again :laugh:
Another one was recording his first drink of berg water, I think there were 8 first sips including him tripping twice, Wesley's not pushing the record button once, and one sip that was quickly spat out after it contained a clump of something.

A welcome stop in the shade of Stable Cave on the way


Cliffs at the top of the lower berg where we filmed a couple shots


Wes being interviewed on what is packed for a day of pine chopping


The cluster we tackled, the huge one is a lot bigger than it looks in this pic


On our way up Vaalribbokkop


Not the worst view


Time for my interview


Wes helped quite a bit with the camera work, here he is with Bertus up a pine

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The following user(s) said Thank You: intrepid, ghaznavid, tonymarshall, AndrewP, Papa Dragon, JulieMK

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22 Mar 2016 18:40 #67434 by Papa Dragon
Thanks intrepid, and thanks for the encouragement and guidance.
Great pics, thanks Smurf.. :thumbsup:

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22 Mar 2016 20:01 #67437 by AndrewP
Well done guys. That is a lot of hard work. And, it seems you had some fun as well :)
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22 Mar 2016 20:26 #67439 by ghaznavid
Well done guys :thumbsup:

Please let us know when it will be on - it will be awesome to see some friendly faces on TV ;)

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22 Mar 2016 20:49 #67442 by Papa Dragon

ghaznavid wrote:
Please let us know when it will be on.


Will certainly do that, as soon as Philip lets me know the date.

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22 Mar 2016 21:00 #67443 by Papa Dragon
Also a big thank you to Mark Robertson, OIC Monks Cowl EKZNW, flatdoggy on the forum. His help with the admin arrangements and helping us with a lift to shorten the walk in, is much appreciated.

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23 Mar 2016 15:37 #67447 by Biomech
Well done to all involved. This is a fantastic example of dedication and team work.

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