The Mt Aux Sources - Amphitheatre - Tugela thread

28 Apr 2016 11:20 #68056 by AdrianT

ghaznavid wrote:
Closing the chain ladders will probably also stop those guys who always sit at the top from doing that - at least for a while.


Closing them doesn't make a difference. Just before them is a steep gulley which I always use to get up.

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28 Apr 2016 11:30 #68057 by Dwightmulligan
Hi guys.... are there any of you guys going up the chain ladders on the 30th sunrise? We are 4 people going through to Ifidi Cave for the night... and its always better to travel in as large groups as possible. So just trying to figure out if we might be walking into you guys if you are going? Regarding the alarm system... I'm going to try a tripwite boundry alarm as an early warning system... figured I'd hook the line up to a handbag alarm.. its got a key ring with a pin that sits rather firm... and only once it gets pulled out does it alarm... setting up the trip wire knee hight with some long pegs around the camp...what do you think...
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28 Apr 2016 12:13 #68058 by Ranger
I would like to remind everyone that all entrance fees for access to the Amphitheatre area are paid to Witsieshoek resort, who manage the land on behalf of the local community. Their land includes the Chain Ladders. KZN Wildlife does not receive any income. The KZN Wildlife land (ie Royal Natal) only begins above the chain ladders, and ends near Mount Amery. Many people are under the impression that they are paying fees to KZN Wildlife when they enter Witsieshoek for services such as mountain rescue - this is incorrect.
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28 Apr 2016 12:19 - 28 Apr 2016 12:21 #68059 by Dwightmulligan
Are there any hikers heading up the Chain ladders in the early morning of the 30th? We are 4 and planni g on sleeping at Ifidi Cave... would feel more comfortable in making the hike... even if its only a part of the hike as a group effort...planning on comming down on Monday. Thanks.
Last edit: 28 Apr 2016 12:21 by Dwightmulligan.

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28 Apr 2016 12:25 #68060 by supertramp
Hi Dwightmulligan,

We are a group of 14 people that are leaving from Sentinel Car Park on Saturday morning at 8AM. Our plan is to set camp at the base of Mount Amery. Given that you are leaving at sunrise we'll probably miss each other.

With regards to an alarm system: We plan on setting up a perimeter with gut and those alarms that the carp fishermen use. One guy in our group also has his own tripwire system that works with a cracker.

Each one of use will also carry his own pepper spray. I'm still playing around with the idea of setting up a nightwatch but I've got confidence in our "early warning system". Obviously we'll practice extra caution and be as aware of our surroundings as humanly possible.

Personally I feel that if I give in and cancel my hike plans I will just allow the situation to become personal and to interfere with my love of the mountains. I refuse to become a prisoner of outside circumstances.
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28 Apr 2016 12:26 - 28 Apr 2016 12:27 #68061 by LouisvV
From this post it seems that there have been rangers posted in the hut on the amphitheater on 30 March
:
see here..
Last edit: 28 Apr 2016 12:27 by LouisvV. Reason: edit

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28 Apr 2016 12:56 - 28 Apr 2016 12:59 #68063 by Dwightmulligan
Hopefully they will be placed there on the 30th of April as well. Thanks
Last edit: 28 Apr 2016 12:59 by Dwightmulligan.

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28 Apr 2016 13:19 #68064 by Richard Hunt
@ Ranger: That's why when we did our last GT we paid our entrance/daily fees to the ranger at Cobham a month before we started the GT. The GT route we took was more along the escarpment/border and therefore the fees due to KZN Wildlife...also important for rescue if needed. If there are any future issues especially with security or rescue the KZN Wildlife must be recognized as the authority of the whole Berg Area and included at all times.

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28 Apr 2016 13:20 #68065 by ghaznavid

AdrianT wrote:

ghaznavid wrote:
Closing the chain ladders will probably also stop those guys who always sit at the top from doing that - at least for a while.


Closing them doesn't make a difference. Just before them is a steep gulley which I always use to get up.

I am aware of Beacon Buttress Gully and a few other routes that can be used to gain access to the top of the Chain Ladders. My point is that physically baring access to the most common route would at least keep a lot of people from going up. The majority of those who go up despite a ban and physical barriers would hopefully at least be people who are more knowledgeable on the problems. Or at a minimum, a physical barrier would cause some to wonder what the cause is, and hopefully they would at least discover the reason they can't use the route.

I am saying that this would make a good short term measure, not a long term solution.

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28 Apr 2016 18:57 - 28 Apr 2016 18:58 #68085 by intrepid
I think thats the whole idea of closing the Amphitheatre as an official entry point - you can't physically cordon off the area to prevent people from entering who are determined to do so. Its a way of indicating and appealing to the public that it is closed for a reason and that they should stay away.

In any case, as things currently stand, I would urge hikers not to camp on or near the Amphitheatre anyway. If the guards at camping at the Falls, then it would be OK to camp near them. Camping at Mount Amery is acceptable for those who understand and accept the risk and who take precautions in getting there, as with Ifidi Cave. Thats as far as I would go in terms of where to camp. Personally I would stay away for a while. Following this incident, it will probably take a long time for us to be able to asses the situation properly and to get an idea of what the risk is going forward.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 28 Apr 2016 18:58 by intrepid.
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