Sentinel Car Park to Cathedral Peak - Northern Berg Escarpment Traverse

09 Jun 2010 07:54 - 09 Jun 2010 07:55 #1360 by intrepid
Try to arrange with the MCC guys to get a taxi to drop you off at the end of the road in the Ntonjelana valley, this will save you 1 - 1.5 hours of walking (just agree on how far up they will take you exactly before you get in and agree on a price).

On top of Ntonjelana Pass, directly South will be a nameless peak - call it "Easter Peak" if you want. Skirt around the base of it along the Kwakwatsi until you spot what looks like the summit of a pass above you - its kind of the first obvious col between 2 prominent peaks, one of them being Easter Peak. After gaining the col (get water before you do), head North along the ridge of Easter Peak, maximising on the few cairns along there, and pretty soon you should stumble onto the cave, bearing in mind that the entrance is very concealed and that you can stand on top of the cave without knowing it.

The Moremoholo is difficult to miss - its the broad valley taking you from Old Woman towards Mafadi - probably the valley you were thinking of.

Since its only 2 of you I don't think you'll struggle to find good campsites anywhere along the entire route.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 09 Jun 2010 07:55 by intrepid.

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10 Apr 2011 15:02 #2675 by MountainGoat
Hey guys & gals, I'm planning a half traverse from chain ladders to either Langalibalele or Gian't pass from 21 to 27 of April. My 3 friends all can't go as of various reasons, but if anyone is up for a trip please let me know then I'll share a bit more info.

I'm from Bethlehem in the eastern Free State & we can either meet in harrismith or Bhm to drive there. I've already made the arrangements for the pick up at Gian't Castle main camp on 27 April.

As I said more info will be given if anyone is interested. I know it's short notice too, sorry :whistle:

J

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11 Apr 2011 08:12 #2676 by intrepid
Thats too bad Jacques. Would love to do a long traverse again, but I only have the long weekend after Easter available, and also trying to get that trip off the ground.

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

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11 Apr 2011 15:14 #2683 by MountainGoat
Yeah it's kinda sad as we would have been 4 guys (incl myself) & now only me.

I'm not too worried about the first few days, but closer to Giant's Castle I'm a bit sceptic as basotho's are more of a threat there. What are your input on this security issue?

Would love to go the long weekend after easter weekend as well. (or only if this fails) What are you planning?

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12 Apr 2011 07:37 #2685 by intrepid
Giant's Castle seems quiet the last 3 years or so. People even seem to be using Bannerman Cave without problems (that I've heard of). However, problems in this area date back to even Bill Barnes' days, so I don't think we should let our guard down and think things are settled. I suspect that the prosecution of some of the shepherds involved in the Easter 2005 incident sent a clear message out to the rest, but that's only speculation, so don't quote me on it.

I'm thinking of either a trip to Garden Castle area, maybe Rhino and Mzimkhulu Passes, or the Qwa Qwa area in the Namahadi Cutback. Welcome to join if you want.

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

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12 Apr 2011 13:00 #2688 by MountainGoat
We used Bannerman cave like 6 weeks ago & we didn't have any trouble either, but it was my first trip to that area & I was sceptic at first to use it.

I saw some herders from the cave on the opposite side late afternoon , but tried not be seen.

Which other spot in that region (close to Langalibalele) would you recommend to sleep over at?

I'll post my route during the week.



Namahali cutback I havn't done. Only the Namahali pass itself to the chain ladders & tugela Falls. Is that the big cutback to the far right (think west) from the Namahali pass when looking from Fika Patso Resort? Do you know this pass? Which pass do you use when hiking that route?

A friend of mine showed me a 'new' place on google earth the other day. It's to the very far right of Namahali pass. The top of the pass isn't far from some dam walls. You know this place? 28'39.279'S 28'42.540'E

There's a pass that tops out at 28'42.027'S 28'47.174'E Do you know this 1 too?

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12 Apr 2011 13:23 - 13 Apr 2011 09:18 #2689 by intrepid

JacquesBuys wrote: Which other spot in that region (close to Langalibalele) would you recommend to sleep over at?

None :) There's a spot at the base of Gypaetus Point in the valley, before the incline to Bannerman Pass, but that might be too far away for your liking, and there is a kraal further down that valley too. Otherwise try sneak close to the edge along Bannerman Face and see if you can find a little nook somewhere.

Yes the Namahadi Cutback is the cutback further north of Namahadi Pass. It has several passes. Have done 2 there but plenty left.

The first pass you mentioned is called Dagga Neck Pass (its an established name, not my own). It is part of the Maluti Caves Trail area and is accessed differently to the Namahadi Cutback. The dam walls belong to an old ski resort now in ruins. Have walked along the top of that second pass. There are numerous passes along here which access Phuthaditjhaba. There is a major one a couple hundred meters North from that one too.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 13 Apr 2011 09:18 by intrepid.

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13 Apr 2011 08:56 #2694 by ghaznavid
I am planning on doing a 3 day hike on the easter weekend from Giants Castle area, going up Langalibalele Pass, climbing Bannerman Face (the peak, not the actual rock face), Popple Peak, Mafadi, Injisuthi Dome, The Judge, The Corner and then climbing down Corner Pass. I also have the issue of lots of people pulling out, if you would like to join us, please let me know.

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins

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13 Apr 2011 19:02 #2698 by MountainGoat
@ Intrepid: Thanx for that info. Will check the map & let you know if I have some Q's.

...but besides the Giant's Castle area are the other areas safe: southern Cathedral area, also above Grey's / Monk's Cowl & top of Injasuthi? Not that I'll ever let my guard down, but you know, nothing like Giant's?

@ ghaznavid: Sounds like you're gonna have a great weekend. Thx for the invite, might consider if my things turn all the way sour. You leaving on the friday or saturday morning?

J

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13 Apr 2011 19:21 #2701 by ghaznavid
The plan is for us to leave on the Friday and finish on Sunday.

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins

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