Royal Natal National Park hikes

13 Jul 2012 10:05 #54630 by kliktrak
@diverian - nice thanks for that confirmation

I had noticed the notice :silly: at RNNP when I was there in April about the mudslide being open again! classic route have done it close to 20 times at least over the years - was sad to miss out on mopre due to its closure.

I remember a chain below the ladders from years back that cut to the left down a steep rock section, but i dont recall that very steep "abseil" part, so it must be new.

Hmmm i'll be up close to that area in early Aug, may just plan it in - crack and the mudslide style! :woohoo:

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16 Jul 2012 06:18 - 16 Jul 2012 06:18 #54652 by Serious tribe
I have never done the crack and the mudslide despite being in the area a number of times :blush:
Last edit: 16 Jul 2012 06:18 by Serious tribe.

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11 Jan 2013 02:27 #55839 by Stockhausen
We are regular visitors to the Royal Natal National Park and usual do the obligatory Tugela gorge and Policeman's helmet hike. My wife is not into hardcore climbing, but for our upcoming trip we would like to get off the popular routes and hike/scramble up to some different high points. We are looking for routes that don't require equipment and last up to 3-10 hours.

How far can one hike up Lion's ridge/buttress without equipment? I bet the views are stunning the closer one can get to Eastern Buttress? Also the peak immediately to the North-north-west of Thendele upper camp (south west of Mahai camp) looks inviting in terms of potential views -no trails seem head that way though? I think this is the Dooley - can one get to the top?

Any help would be massively appreciated.

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11 Jan 2013 08:21 - 11 Jan 2013 08:23 #55841 by kliktrak
Greetings

Have you considered the crack (up) to mudslide route (down) - some decent scrambling up and down these two very steep gulleys, views are awesome, another variation is to go up the crack, loop round past witsieshoek hotel and back down mahai pass, there is an amazing valley on the way to the top of mahai pass and a great waterfall and caves along the way, its not as well used as Gorge path.

otherwise skip the crack/mudslide and go up mahai pass to the ridge above etc

these hikes start from the mahai campsite day parking. and take you on the right hand side of the mahai river, to the top of those high ridges.
Last edit: 11 Jan 2013 08:23 by kliktrak.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Stockhausen

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11 Jan 2013 11:10 #55844 by ghaznavid
Cannibal Cave is a nice easy route.

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins
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11 Jan 2013 12:30 #55846 by Stockhausen
The route that includes the crack, the Mahai Pass and up to the hotel sounds great - we will definitely do it, thanks!

It would also be nice to get a view from the eastern side of the park - especially in the morning when the sentinel etc will be beautifully illuminated. My Slingsby map shows a broken line up Lion's ridge so it seems the route is not obvious and the finishing point is at ones discretion.

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11 Jan 2013 12:44 #55847 by kliktrak
Great B)

Really is a fantastic hike through some little trod areas of RNNP and treats one to a diverse range of environments/landscapes.

also for more on Lion Ridge/Buttress, view this extract of Dave Bristow's - Best Walks of the Drakensberg [courtesy of Google Books]

books.google.co.za/books?id=q32vY8TEuisC&pg=PA57&lpg=PA57&dq=dave+bristow+lion's+ridge+route&source=bl&ots=KnD2nk6e8g&sig=5o5polLMl8VvhnjQJcaanG7aIoM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=FwjwUPvLEOW-0QWjpoHADg&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=dave%20bristow%20lion's%20ridge%20route&f=false
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11 Jan 2013 20:10 #55848 by Stockhausen
Thanks Kliktrak. It is as I thought.. We will go up Lions Head as far as we can until scrambling turns into climbing! Have you tried this route? Will do a Trip Report when we go late August...

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13 Jan 2013 18:33 #55849 by Stockhausen
As I am a total geek, I have just bought David Bristow's wonderful book!

Can I just confirm that having climbed up the Crack it is then possible to turn left before the mudslide, and head towards Basotho gate, before swing round towards Mahai Falls and back down again? This route is in my Slingsby map but not David Bristow's map inside the book.

I get a little obsessive about routes as don't like to spend lots of time looking for the route when am out and about - especially as this route is so long too.

How long do you reckon it should take from Tendele, walking towards Tiger Falls first as it is en route?

I like this site a lot - will get others to come and post on the forum.

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14 Jan 2013 08:06 - 14 Jan 2013 08:13 #55855 by kliktrak
Yes, this is the best berg hiking forum and community on the interweb for sure :-)

and yes Dave Bristow's book really is superb.

In reply:

1. Yes, you summit the crack and go on a very clear path to the top of the ridge, before the summit of the ridge there is a path [the first path turning off from the path you are on] that turns left before the top of the ridge, it is not marked ie no sign to indicate where the path goes, and it is far before the mudslide which is on the opposite side of the gudu falls valley - if you start to decend to the gudu river you have missed the path. On a clear day you can see the path going off to the left and up and around the higher ridge that leads to witsieshoek hotel.

the path is clear and goes along the ridge and circles around to the left towards witsieshoek hotel and the basotho gate, the path is very clear and well trodden, and you have brilliant views of the Sentinel and Amphitheatre.
It then descends below witsieshoek in a long arc down to mahai river and past the mahai falls, and mahai cave, then cuts back in the valley and takes you back past the crack, or you can turn right and cross the river and back to look out rock/tiger falls side and down to mahai campsite or back over the ridge to tendele.


2. ill check my maps and give you an estimate on the tendele/tiger falls route - it may be easier to drive to mahai parking on the other side, but ill let you know what I think.
Last edit: 14 Jan 2013 08:13 by kliktrak.

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