Sentinel Car Park to Cathedral Peak - Northern Berg Escarpment Traverse

18 Dec 2008 08:02 #252 by domsmooth
Sounds like you all had a thorough Berg experience. At least 3 seasons in the short time you were up there, greeted by some of nature's more spectacular marvels, and then the pain and grit involved in hiking almost a comrades marathon distance across the top of the Berg.

Well done, to you and the boys, and thanks for the interesting article. I hope that the pain and grit was not so much that it stirred a passion for mountains in the boys like it did for me at 13 on my first berg hike (albeit the Giants Cup trail...).

Lets all help maintain the values for which the Berg was proclaimed a World Heritage Site

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18 Dec 2008 08:04 #253 by intrepid
Thanks so much for taking the time to do this write-up. Sorry you didn't make it all the way but it sounds like it memorable nonetheless. Quite something being responsible for a group of school boys. I'm sure that the trip will stay with them for a long time. As for the weather, hmmm, well, I'll be back there in a few days again and I'm bracing myself...:laugh:

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

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19 Apr 2010 12:21 #1192 by Kragbees
Hi everyone,

We're planning on doing the above mentioned hike in May. We plan on leaving our cars at the hotel and then getting a shuttle service to the car park/Witsieshoek hotel, from where we will start the hike the following day.

Does anyone know how much the hiking costs are ? Does one pay per day in the mountains or how does it work ? What are all the costs involved of any ?

Thanks

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19 Apr 2010 18:14 #1194 by MountainGoat
Hi Kragbees, we did the route this past easter weekend & it was awesome to say the least! We went down Mlambonja pass. You?

It cost R85 per person.

A friend picked us up at the hotel, so we didn't use a shuttle. Please come back to us on what it costs (guess it'll be a fortune)

We had hot / cold & wet, so be prepared for the Dragon.

Enjoy!!!

Jacques

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20 Apr 2010 07:27 #1196 by Kragbees
Hi Jacques,

Thanks for the reply ! We will also be going down Mlambonja, apparently it's quite steep down ? My girlfriend is quite worried :unsure: , but I'm sure she will make it.

I heard yesterday that the cost for the shuttle service is R200 per person from the hotel to Sentinel. Guess its expensive, but not TOO bad ...

Yes we're mainly preparing for the cold/wet, as you know it can be 4 seasons in 1 day !

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20 Apr 2010 08:33 - 20 Apr 2010 08:37 #1197 by intrepid
R200 per person is not too bad compared to other prices I've heard:
www.vertical-endeavour.com/forum/8-drakensberg-hiking/549-transport-to-sentinal-escarpment-traverse.html

The R85 is what the QwaQwa guys charge if you start any sort of traverse from Sentinel, especially if you don't finish back at the car park again. Thats about it. I've never paid anyone else for that kind of a traverse and I don't think there is a system for handling that anyway.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 20 Apr 2010 08:37 by intrepid.

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20 Apr 2010 13:24 #1198 by MountainGoat
I'm with Intrepid on the R200. Definitely not bad. How many is the minimum of passengers that they take? Does the hotel offer this service or is private?

It's not too steep down, but the normal rule applies: Be careful on loose rocks. The Rocky area could drain your energy a bit if wet, since extra caution should be taken not to slip. The bushes in the "bottom" are a bit confusing at times, but also not serious. Worst thing is that you need to turn back & take another route. (after about 50m of bundu bashing-haha)
If your & her fitness is OK then she'll make it. Thing is to ALWAYS have a positive mindset about hiking & passes (& things in general)

Want to go in again this winter for another "small traverse" of 5-7 days-cant wait!!!

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05 Jun 2010 11:32 #1353 by MountainGoat
Hi all,
A friend & I are going to do a mini (or rather half) traverse next week.

Here's the deal: We're going up Ntonjelana pass on thursday morning & sleeping +- in the valley near Mlambonja pass.

Day 2:
Hiking down the escarpment (duh :P ) & sleep at either Roland's cave or in the valley just after Little Saddle.

Day 3: Making our way to Witch Peak & sleep in the 1 of the valleys close by.
Anyone know of a good overnight spot close by?

Day 4: Continueing along the escarpment down to Old Woman Grinding Corn. Sleeping at +- 29'08"S. 29'20E or once more- Does anyone know of a good resting place around here?

Day 5: Going down -or rather up to Mafadi & sleeping in Injisuthi Summit cave.

Just before I continue, I just want to say that I've planned a bit more for each day in the event of misfortune coming our way.

Day 6: Hiking on to Judges pass which will be the final resting place for this trip. (In the valley just below/ behind the pass?

Day 7: Hiking down to bannerman's pass & making our way to Giant's Castle Main Camp where a friend will pick us up.

This will be completely new territory for me. I only know the berg up to Mlambonja pass, so I'm open to new ideas and suggestions.

Jacques

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08 Jun 2010 08:54 #1357 by intrepid
My 2 cents:

Day 1: start out early. Remember Easter Cave as an option.

Day 2: Carrying on to Little Saddle is quite a long day, Rolands is more realistic. The Saddle ridge is steep and long, and going around is just plain long - have done both (of course its all possible, it all depends on how long and hard you want to push).

Day 3: Didima Cave is great (just collect water on the approach). Lovely stream and waterfall below The Witch to camp too. You could also camp in the next bowl-valley, below Pampiring. There is also a cave there which I refer to as Reido Cave.

Day 4: If you're ok with deviating from the escarpment edge, the Moremoholo valley is wide and flat along this stretch...plenty of places to pitch a tent.

Day 5: Close to Judge Pass there are some good spots along the stream - have camped there more than once.

Have fun!

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

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08 Jun 2010 10:06 #1358 by MountainGoat
Thanx for your 2cents intrepid!

We want to start out +- 07:00 from Mweni Cultural Centre. About Easter cave: I've been close but not sure how to get to it. If you are at the top of Ntonjelana pass with the first berg to your left, could you describe how to get there?

Day 2 will be Roland's then B)

About day 4 in the Moremoholo Valley: Have you got gps for it as I don't have it from the map or is it the valley I've mentioned?

Will definitely have fun! It'll be my last "long" hike this winter as my leave is almost used up :angry:

J

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