Sentinel Car Park to Cathedral Peak - Northern Berg Escarpment Traverse

13 Apr 2011 19:26 #2702 by MountainGoat
Great, will keep you posted here.

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14 Apr 2011 11:40 #2708 by gollum
Hey guys, myself and a friend are hiking from Cathedral Peak to the Amphitheater from 23 to 30 April. Along the way we plan to climb Cathedral Peak, the Bell, Mponjwane and the Sentinel. I will make my own post regarding this, but just a quick head's up. A friendly face along the way will be very welcome!

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14 Apr 2011 12:43 - 14 Apr 2011 12:44 #2711 by kliktrak
Durban based hiking club I belong to, MountainBackpackers is having their annual GT starting on Easter weekend from Sentinel/chain ladders (north).
www.mountainbackpackers.co.za/index.php?option=com_fabrik&view=table&tableid=3&calculations=0&fabriklayout=fe_fixtures

A resupply hike is planned for the following weekend, Up bannermans pass on Sun 01 May, meet GT party and camp above bannerman's, and return down Langalibalele pass Mon 02 May.

Meet up if anyone is passing through.

Gotta love the long weekends for decent hiking missions :woohoo:
Last edit: 14 Apr 2011 12:44 by kliktrak.

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14 Apr 2011 13:55 - 14 Apr 2011 14:29 #2714 by MountainGoat
Sounds AWESOME! & long weekends RULEZZZ!!! B)

@ gollum: Yeah, a friendly face & a quick 10min ( to an hour) chat is always welcome :thumbsup:

@ kliktrak: Will have a look at the site & info on the site. However my plans are to be a bit quicker than bannerman on the next sunday. I want to start off on friday morning & go all the way to Fangs pass!

If my memory serves me correctlymy half traverse goes like this:

Day 2: (Saturday) I want to stretch to Ntonjelana pass.

Day 3: (Sunday) to between Roland's cave & Tlanyaku pass.

Day 4: (Monday)I'm gonna try to push all the way to somewhere between Ships Prow & Leslies pass.

Day 5: (Tuesday) Try & work my way through to as close as I can to Bannerman's pass, but still try & find a safe & 'comfy' space

Day 6: (Wednesday) Hike out with Langalibalele pass to Giant's Castle main camp.

The reason for this 'hard' mission is to test myself on a half traverse to see what I'm capable of doing. Next year will be the BIG one!

Might still change some plans as I'm going by myself.


@ Intrepid: About that valley you mentioned below Gepaetus point... can you perhaps give me a gps location, because it looks like this might be right on the way from lesotho to the Judge.

If all else fails I'll look for that nook. Have found such a place once when we miss judged "mhlamboja" pass. This is a place between Ntonjelana, easter cave on the one side & Mhlambonja on the other.
Just enough for 2...
Last edit: 14 Apr 2011 14:29 by MountainGoat. Reason: question asked

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18 Apr 2011 07:11 #2726 by Stijn
@Jacques - if you're going solo, I'd recommend the following caves which are nicely tucked away and align with your planned schedule:

Night 1: Fangs Cave - about 100-200m down Fangs Pass, up a side-gully to the right (when facing down the pass). Bit of a detour to get to (maybe 30 mins from the escarpment river) but well sheltered and secluded.

Night 2: Easter Cave - accessed thorugh one of the saddles on the high ridge between Ntonjelana & Mlambonja Passes. Small but provides good shelter and hidden from Lesotho's view - excellent sunrise over the Cathedral Range!

You'll find the GPS co-ords on this site somewhere I'm sure.

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18 Apr 2011 18:38 #2733 by intrepid

JacquesBuys wrote: @ Intrepid: About that valley you mentioned below Gepaetus point... can you perhaps give me a gps location, because it looks like this might be right on the way from lesotho to the Judge.

S29 14.509 E29 25.399
Since its only one tent, you wont struggle find a suitable spot anywhere in that area.

I assume you read the security update recently posted on the Berg Alert thread....so much for this area being quiet. Take care out there!

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

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20 Apr 2011 07:30 #2750 by MountainGoat
Thanx for that info guys :thumbsup:

@ Stijn: We found a little cave +-200m down Fang on the left hand side which only fits 2 people. Awesome little cave. Can post a pic sometime if you want?

Tried to find Easter once, but I wasn't really sure where to look /find it. Might actually find it this time...

@Intrepid. I've read the security report (it was the one from gaznavid?) I'll have a look at that point & perhaps stay there, but if it looks shakey I'm gonna try find that nook...

Might not go alone after all. An old hike friend of mine might come along-though he's not too fit, but we might end up staying another day & that should be enough time.

Thanx again for the participants! Will see you guys when I'm (we're) back!

Take care this long weekend in the berg!

GOD Bless:)

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16 Feb 2012 21:30 #53062 by ulisan
Hi there,

Wow - what a great forum! Very nice folks and lots of helpful information.
We, Lisa and Uli from Sweden, plan for the 5-day hike from Sentinel Car Park to the Cathedral Peak (called the Northern Drakensberg Traverse?). Now we have some questions and maybe some here in the forum may be able to help:

+ When we communicated with one of hostels in the surrounding, they told us
that this hike should be only done with a tour guide. From what
we understand from available tour descriptions in the internet, the five-day hike is not
extremely difficult and a good map with a compass may be sufficient for orientation.
We are both quite experienced trekkers and know how to read a map and use a
compass.
Would you recommend us to look for a tour guide?

+ We try to figure out a transport form the Cathedral to any close town or
to the BazBus, so that we can get back to Johannesburg. Do you know if
there is a some kind of schedule for a transport, e.g. for guided tours to
the Cathedral?

+ We would love to have (a) good map(s) of the Northern Drakensberg area,
covering the tour we are planning to do. Can you recommend us a specific map(s)
and how are they available? We contacted several hotels and hostels and tourist information, but have still not got any helpful feedback.

Many thanks to all in advance,
Lisa & Uli

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17 Feb 2012 06:09 #53063 by ghaznavid
Hi

As much as I have never done the hike you are referring to, it is an amazing hike :)

A tour guide is usually quite expensive and doesn't add much value (in my opinion), but make sure you familiarize yourself with security matters and don't sleep near the top of Tugela Falls (the security threads cover these risks and the appropriate responses, so you can get enough info by reading them).

Which route are you planning on using to get to Cathedral Peak? I.e. Mlambonja Pass, Bell Traverse or a pass south of the Cathedral Range? A GPS is usually the best asset in these situations, for example if you use Tseketseke Pass, numerous hikers have needed rescue when taking the wrong turnoff from the top.

For transport, try contacting Cathedral Peak Hotel, they should have some good recommendations and they usually respond pretty quickly (messages via their facebook page also get answered very quickly).

The KZN Wildlife maps are very good and clear (you would need map 1 and map 2, they cost around R40-R50 each and you should be able to get them from any outdoor shop, just maybe email them in advance and ask them to hold the maps for you). The old ones can be downloaded from www.berg.co.za but are not as clear as the new maps.

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

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17 Feb 2012 08:01 #53064 by diverian
Agree with Ghaz, GPS is the way to go. A download of the route you are proposing is available on the site.Maps are nice as a backup and to see the "big picture".

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