Royal Natal National Park hikes

19 Oct 2011 13:07 #4436 by ross
Hi Everyone

I haven't spent much time in Mahai and don't learn that much from the Drakensberg 1:50 000 series maps. :S

I'd like to ask if anyone knows the current status of the Crack and Mudslide? Are one/both closed or were closed for a period? :huh:

What's the quickest and easiest way to get from Mahai to Mont Aux Sources/Amphitheatre and back in a day? Do you have to walk up past the Crack to Witsieshoek and then run up the road, or can you drive around to the Parking lot at Tendele and go up past the Policeman's helmet directly to the parking lot? There are no paths marked on the map or visible on GEarth.

Are there any routes up the amphitheatre from the Tunnel? I've heard of people scaling the Gorge to the Sentinel, and another gulley near the Devils tooth, but I've also heard of people dying there, and not sure what sort of grade they were talking about. :(

Thanks

Ross :)

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20 Oct 2011 09:10 #4444 by kliktrak
Hi

The crack is still open, i think they have taken down most of the signs warning that the path is closed, however the last time i was there in April this year the route is not closed.
It is just the mudslide which is washed away and they have not and will not be rebuilding the path, so do not even attempt it, it is dangerous.

if you have to leave from Mahai camp site, then i recommend the mahai pass path , which takes you past the crack which could take alot of time, although is a more direct way onto the ridge and gets you to witsiehoek hotel quite neatly.

the best way to enjoy the amphitheatre in a day is to drive round and through Phuthaditjhaba, to the sentinel car park, then 2-3 hours hike up the chain ladders and you on top of the amphitheatre.

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24 Oct 2011 07:37 #4484 by intrepid
I checked with Stephen Richert, manager of RNNP: The Mudslide was repaired after the first rockfall damaged it, and then two weeks later it was destroyed completely again by further rock falls after heavy rains. All the ladders were broken. They do intend to repair it once it has fully stabilised (the whole slope is still unstable and thus dangerous). They will also need to obtain funding for the repairs. The Crack is open and can be used.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
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25 Oct 2011 08:01 - 25 Oct 2011 08:02 #4496 by intrepid

ross wrote: What's the quickest and easiest way to get from Mahai to Mont Aux Sources/Amphitheatre and back in a day? Do you have to walk up past the Crack to Witsieshoek and then run up the road, or can you drive around to the Parking lot at Tendele and go up past the Policeman's helmet directly to the parking lot? There are no paths marked on the map or visible on GEarth.

As already said, rather drive there, but if you really want to walk it, then follow the route used for the Mt Aux Sources Challenge: www.montauxsourceschallenge.co.za/routeInfo.php . Note: the trail up to The Neck is closed for rehabilitation.

Are there any routes up the amphitheatre from the Tunnel? I've heard of people scaling the Gorge to the Sentinel, and another gulley near the Devils tooth, but I've also heard of people dying there, and not sure what sort of grade they were talking about.

Inner Tower Gully, which is a scramble. Don't attempt it if not experienced. Not aware of any established routes directly up to the Sentinel side - no documented route in the MCSA route guide... South East Arete of Sentinel maybe, but thats not normally how it is approached. In any case this would all involve technical climbing.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 25 Oct 2011 08:02 by intrepid. Reason: typo

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02 Apr 2012 19:19 #53408 by ghaznavid
[the following post is from my mother]

My friend is in a wheelchair and has been told that there is a path that she can go on at Royal National Park. Can someone tell us where it is? Thanks.

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03 Apr 2012 06:46 - 03 Apr 2012 06:48 #53411 by kliktrak
Yes there is, the route is from the main Mahai campsite off the road a little further on from the causeway across the main river where the campsite starts ie campsite on your right hand side, pathway starts on the left.

so from the main parking for day visitors on the mahai campsite side of RNNP (ie not the trout dam, braai/picnic area and road to the Tugela Gorge side) you start the concrete track from the end of the parking lot which takes you to mahai campsite and the start of the path i refer to above.

It is wide and concreted ideal for wheelchairs and goes on for a fair distance ending just before what is called Queens Causeway, the bridge over the river that finally leads to the Cascades swimming area. Not sure of the exact distance, it is not very far. couple of hundred meters not sure if it is as much as 1km and mainly follows the river.

hope this helps :)
Last edit: 03 Apr 2012 06:48 by kliktrak.
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03 Apr 2012 09:04 #53421 by ghaznavid
Thanks, that should be sufficient information. My mother's friend has been in a wheelchair since she was 3 and she really loves the Drakensberg, she has driven past the barriers on Mikes Pass many years back (naturally with the appropriate permission), flown over certain parts of the berg in a small plane, and spent many holidays in the area. I am hoping to be able to make some plans for her to get up to Sani Top Chalet some time in the future, but I still haven't been able to determine whether or not the chalet is wheelchair accessible.

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04 Apr 2012 10:50 #53434 by Geordie
Sani top Chalets should be OK, but she will need an assistant all the time. Nothing was designed for wheelchairs but a plan can be made for the regular wheel chair. If it's the heavy motorised, self drive job then perhaps not, the car park and walks to the rooms are full of rocks and ice in winter and water in summer.

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04 Apr 2012 11:46 #53435 by ghaznavid
@Geordie: thanks for the info, she is in a non-electric wheelchair, but the biggest issues would be whether or not the doorways are wide enough for a wheelchair, and whether or not there is enough space in the bathrooms for a wheelchair - sadly most outdoor kind of places don't take this into account. Stair/rock related issues are easily sorted out by 2 people lifting up the wheelchair.

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13 Jul 2012 08:10 - 13 Jul 2012 08:11 #54627 by diverian
Spent a week at Mahai doing all the classics in the RNP.... The crack and mudslide are both open, although there are still signs of the damage on the mudslide.I have attached some pics of the mudslide showing the first ladder at the top and what I assume is a new "abseil" chain down a gully just below the first set of ladders. Witchiwoo was ok with it and she is not "big on exposure and heights"!!!





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Last edit: 13 Jul 2012 08:11 by diverian.
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