Northern Berg escarpment loops from Sentinel Car Park/Amphitheatre

12 Mar 2013 06:28 #56248 by Josh of the Bushveld

Hi Josh

Check this link out of a trip that i did last year, it could well fit your bill for a 4 day trip. Fangs Cave is a must.

www.vertical-endeavour.com/forum/8-drakensberg-hiking/55169-northern-berg-photo-trip-august-2012.html?limitstart=0

Hi @ST, I did have a look at your trip report, thanks! It was one of the posts that inspired me to use that itinerary.

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12 Mar 2013 06:36 #56250 by Josh of the Bushveld

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16 Mar 2013 07:02 - 16 Mar 2013 07:02 #56299 by Serious tribe
Hi Josh

It is great having such a resource as this site. Wish it was around in 91 when i started! :thumbsup: Looking forward to your trip report.
Last edit: 16 Mar 2013 07:02 by Serious tribe.

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22 Aug 2014 10:07 #61571 by Drakensbergie
Hi all

So after a year or two of armchair hiking (kudos to contributors to VE) and curtailed plans (broken foot after running into a door... don't ask... :whistle: ) I and a few are heading to the 'berg from September 18-21. Please share your thoughts on:

Day 1: 4:00 from carpark, breakfast at Tugela, heading to Ifidi Cave.

Day 2: a) Ifidi to Fangs, either overnighting in the cave or tenting a bit further down the pass or
b) Ifidi to Crow's Nest - with time to bag some peaks in what I believe is not a very long day.

Day 3: Down again based on day 2 options. I am quite keen for a swim in the river when bottoming out of Fangs...

What can we expect as far as weather, water and security is concerned? Weather and security is relatively well prepared for - but it seems that things are a little drier up top this year...

Thanks a bunch B)

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22 Aug 2014 11:11 - 22 Aug 2014 11:14 #61572 by ghaznavid

broken foot after running into a door... don't ask... :whistle:


2 weeks before I did that Giant's Castle traverse with Viking earlier this year, during a power failure I managed to get the wall plug end of my cellphone charger embedded 5mm into the heel of my foot - doesn't sound bad, but I was unable to stand on that foot for a week. I also walked head first into a road sign in the middle of Chingola, Zambia earlier this year - had to walk about 3km back to where I was staying with blood dripping down my face and lots of people staring (joys of walking a dog). Hence I will laugh with you, not at you :P Sounds like there is probably a good story behind this one though...

Re weather: expect cold weather and dry rivers, check the forecast for possible snow/mist etc - hard to tell what it will be like.

If you come across water along the way, you may want to fill all your bottles and carry the extra weight. Hopefully the rain that fell in PMB yesterday fell in the Berg as well, but Mnweni is one of the driest parts of the Berg, and it is the driest time of the year - so account for the possibility of spending an hour or so hunting for water in the late afternoon.

Regarding the route, looks easy enough - but I'll let the Mnweni-ites reply to that...
Last edit: 22 Aug 2014 11:14 by ghaznavid.

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24 Aug 2014 20:41 #61586 by AndrewP
Yesterday I hiked from Sentinel Car Park to summit of Mt Amery and back.

We left car park after 8am, and took as much time as is legally possible. We stopped for tea twice, collected loads of litter, and gaped at the view (which was really good due to clear air after rains/winds the last few days). This is the first time I have followed the escarpment edge of the Ampitheatre, and I got caught out by every single one of those gullies that forces you to take a detour away from edge to get past. And, still made it to the summit of Mt Amery by 14:30. If you guys set out at 4am, I hope you have some serious cameras with for sunrise photos to justify the early start. Either that or a very thick book to read when you get to the Ifidi Cave in time for lunch.

PS - Mt Amery has some spectacular views, and is highly recommended.

Water levels will obviously change over the next 4 weeks, but for now at least, there is a trickle in the Tugela, and the Ribbon Falls stream is flowing fairly well.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Drakensbergie

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25 Aug 2014 09:23 #61587 by Drakensbergie
Thanks guys.

The plan is to play it by weather. If all is clear, then Mt Amery is definitely in the pipeline. If not, a nice lunch in a warm cave... I want to make the days relatively short from stop to stop.

Thanks for the water pointers.

peace

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25 Aug 2014 15:11 #61589 by Riaang
Hi guys,

We went up Mnweni pass last weekend and there was plenty of water right up to the start of the pass (Chi-chi bush camp). Also found water about 500m onto the escarpment towards Ledgers cave, but is wasn't flowing and there was quite a bit of spoor of animals around - a good time to test out my new Steripen (handheld UV water treatment thingemajig). None of us got sick so it works well :-).

Went down rockeries pass which had much less water till you got to the bottom of the pass where the stream was flowing but definitely less water than Mnweni side.

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28 Aug 2014 19:20 - 28 Aug 2014 19:23 #61623 by Drakensbergie
Thanks for the input folks.

How is the drinking water from the Ribbon Falls stream? Berg'guts or safe?

Any other potential sources around - just taking basic sanitation tablets along...?

Also, what is the distance from Fangs back to the carpark? Doable in a day? Fitness levels are pretty good...

Thanks
Last edit: 28 Aug 2014 19:23 by Drakensbergie.

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29 Aug 2014 09:26 #61630 by Drakensbergie
Ok ok, I know I have lots of questions but I want this to be pretty epic...

So:

Day1: Carpark to Ifidi cave - taking the scenic route...

Day2: Ifidi to Stimela peak - any camping/water/caves around there? If anybody has waipoints for water sources that would be awesome!

Day3: Stimela to carpark (I know - two fit guys...) or at least to Crow's Nest and then down the next morning...

I'm so excited I'm walking 10 km in my dreams every night!

Thanks

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