Sentinel Car Park to Cathedral Peak - Northern Berg Escarpment Traverse

27 Aug 2013 08:41 #58261 by Viking
This might help www.mountainbackpackers.co.za/grand-traverse-2013.html

I'd strongly advise taking a guide too.

“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”
The following user(s) said Thank You: Scott M.

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09 Sep 2013 19:02 #58436 by intrepid
Hi dleverto, considering a lot of Grand Traverses are done over 12-13 days, I would say 10-11 days for the section you are intestested in, does allow amply time to take it slow and have days where you don’t walk at all.

Langalibalele is a good, easy route for exit.

Apri/May is one of my favourite seasons in the Berg. Its when a lot of Grand Traverses are done. Its not too cold, less rain, clearer views, not too dry etc. You can definitely still get days of solid rain, and you can get snow.

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

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09 Sep 2013 19:09 #58437 by intrepid
Hi Des,

1) If gradient and length of descent is a consideration, then yes, definitely.
2) This can definitely be done...I used this approach several times to get into the Mnweni eacarpment. There is also a back route through Lesotho whereby you can connect very quickly to the Fangs area. This is useful for a circular route approach. Lots more can be said about this if you decide this is your option. Read the following write-up for some ideas:
www.vertical-endeavour.com/forum/8-drakensberg-hiking/55169-northern-berg-photo-trip-august-2012.html
3) I've done 8 days without re-supply in the Berg. You can definitely go longer depending on how you pack and what you eat. If you are using porters then I can't imagine 7 days being a big issue.

Consider using the Mnwni guys for guides and porters: www.mnweni.org/

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

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01 Oct 2013 07:48 #58637 by Climbhard
Hi guys

Ive been reading through all the threads to get a bearing on how to approach this walk. I was thinking about starting at Mahai then up to Sentinal carpark the up to the chain ladders etc(simply because we wouldnt have to drive around to witsieshoek which is a far way around)is this worth it? and how long would you say it would take? is it doable in a day? or should I just go from sentinal car park?

So...
Day 1: Mahai to sentinal
Day 2:sentinal to fangs cave(is this possible)
Day 3:Fang pass to ledgers cave
Day 4:ledgers cave to twins cave
Day 5:twins cave via bell traverse to cathedral peak hotel

Would this itinerary work?
What are the areas of concern (with regards to navigation etc)

id appreciate any help guys, thanks a lot

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01 Oct 2013 08:30 #58638 by ghaznavid

Climbhard wrote: Ive been reading through all the threads to get a bearing on how to approach this walk. I was thinking about starting at Mahai then up to Sentinal carpark the up to the chain ladders etc(simply because we wouldnt have to drive around to witsieshoek which is a far way around)is this worth it? and how long would you say it would take? is it doable in a day? or should I just go from sentinal car park?


I did this walk over the easter weekend (writeup at www.vertical-endeavour.com/forum/8-drakensberg-hiking/55256-as-the-crow-flies.html )

Its a nice route, quite easy. If you hitch a ride up Sentinel road (or pay the Witsieshoek guys to drive you up - you can arrange this via email or their facebook page) its definitely doable in a day. Personally I don't like walking on roads, but it is also not too far or difficult to walk up the road.

I enjoyed the route up Basutho Gate, and the stop for lunch at Witsieshoek is always nice - but its not a route I am in a rush to do a second time.

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

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02 Oct 2013 13:34 #58664 by Climbhard
Hey guys
So im confused about the cost involved with hiking in the berg. Im hiking from sentinal car park to cathedral peak over 5 days. what are the entire costs involved with hiking up there and where would I book. Im tired of searching and not finding anything... any help will be appreciated

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03 Oct 2013 06:27 #58669 by intrepid
I've merged a few threads and created this one which is the official thread for discussing the classic Northern Berg Escarpment Traverse, starting from Sentinel Car Park and ending up at Cathedral Peak. The classic 5 day itinerary descends Mlambonja Pass, though there are several variations to this, which include ending off with the Bell Traverse, or heading further South and descending one of the other Cathedral Peak passes. If your plans more or less fit in with this then this is the place to discuss it.

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

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03 Oct 2013 06:47 #58671 by Josh of the Bushveld
I would love to do this trip sometime, perhaps one to plan for 2014?
Interestingly, David Bristow includes this traverse in a late 90s/early 2000s version of his book, but not in his latest edition.

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03 Oct 2013 07:07 #58673 by ghaznavid
@Josh: Perhaps (by contrast to my slightly ludicrous idea of a 26 stage GT) a 3 stage GT would make for an interesting hike. Chain Ladders to Gray's Pass, Gray's Pass to KaNtuba Pass and the KaNtuba Pass to Thamathu Pass.

Perhaps 4 stages and throw in the Free State Berg coming down Mnweni Pass and pushing stage 2 to Langies, and stage 3 to Sani.

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

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03 Oct 2013 07:14 #58674 by ghaznavid
Just realised that half my train of thought is missing from that comment :laugh:

It goes roughly as follows:

@Josh: Great idea, sounds fun :thumbsup:

That makes me think back to my staggered GT idea.... [insert balance of what I said here]

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

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