The Mt Aux Sources - Amphitheatre - Tugela thread

23 Apr 2018 19:48 #73271 by Herman
Hi Ivan. Camping near Tugela falls is not a good idea, especially over long weekends this time of year, especially with a small group such as yours. Rather head over to the Ribbon falls area, or even better, Ifidi cave. Also better to get water from a different stream than the Tugela.

Also be sure to read the Berg Alert 2018 thread. You'll see that there have been some incidents in the area this last month.

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25 Apr 2018 13:31 #73307 by Richard Hunt
@Ivan... we are tenting in the Beacon Buttress area on Fri night and the Ribbon Falls area on Sat night. You are welcome to tent with us or anyone else going up there.......

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30 Apr 2018 06:36 #73323 by Richard Hunt
We were up on the Amphitheatre this weekend for 3 days and I was amazed to see this big hiking group. This photo only shows some of the group....85 hikers and 32 tents, a record for me :ohmy:

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30 Apr 2018 08:45 #73324 by Biomech
Good grief! That is rather large - almost a festival.of sorts. Were they all just camping around the Amphitheatre area?

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30 Apr 2018 10:08 #73326 by tiska

Richard Hunt wrote: We were up on the Amphitheatre this weekend for 3 days and I was amazed to see this big hiking group. This photo only shows some of the group....85 hikers and 32 tents, a record for me :ohmy:


Thanks for posting Richard.

It would be good to get VE member RANGER's views on the size of this party.
Is it legal to issue permits to such a large group?

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30 Apr 2018 18:33 #73334 by Papa Dragon
I spoke to a leader of the group, apparently a school group.

They camped near the top of the chain ladders in 32 tents on Friday evening, and then planned to do Mt Aux Sources on Saturday, camp there on Saturday evening, and down on Sunday. There were 58 tents in the upper Tugela basin on Friday night..

The environmental impact of their excretions right at the head of the Tugela must be enormous.

Parts of the summit, and the path down, were filthy on Sunday when we came down... toilet paper, sweet and chip wrappers etc.. This mostly seemed to be from the large number of day trippers..

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04 May 2018 17:25 - 04 May 2018 17:33 #73384 by Colan
We were also up there Saturday night, saw a bunch of Midstream school buses at the parking, so must have been a Matric excursion or something of the like. The campsite was huge! Compare that to only about 4-5 small groups near the falls.

We ascended via the gulley and descended via the ladders. A Witsieshoek guide was escorting some others up the ladders, so they don't seem to be too worried about the safety. We only saw 3 Basotho loners sitting at the top of the ladders. They stuck around for about 10 minutes with no trouble or comment and then ambled off. Otherwise no signs of herders or trouble.

The sunrise was spectacular for those who weren't there
:

Also, it would appear there is some serious building going on at the parking lot. I'm assuming they're upgrading the huts?

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Last edit: 04 May 2018 17:33 by Colan.
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25 Jun 2018 12:08 #73629 by snick
Any recommendations for suitable footwear for the hike? Should they have gripped soles? Boots or shoes?

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25 Jun 2018 16:09 #73638 by Riaang
Depends on the conditions.

Iced up you would need crampons. And definitely climbing ropes.

Just kidding (although true). Anything with a rubber sole will work.  I prefer boots, others prefer trail running shoes, just depends on your preference.

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18 Jul 2018 07:53 #73692 by vivo101
We went for a quick 1.5 day hike around amphitheater during the weekend, trying to find some snow, we transversed the escarpment to Ifidi pass and spent Saturday night in Ifidi cave. Upon arrival at Sentinal car park @ around 11am Saturday , the guard on duty wanted to charge us R180 for spending the night on the berg. At the entrance gate to Witsieshoek a board stated R80 day hike and R80 night on berg, this same board was present at the hut at the car park. I pointed this out to the guard and he replied with "the board is out of date and wrong", although the board clearly stated that it was valid form Feb 2018 - Feb 2019. I have hiked in many areas of the berg and know the Rate is R80 per night (if I remember correctly) , after mentioning this to the guard and refusing to pay R180, he said we can pay at witsieshoek resort on our return. We filled in the mountain register, at which point he removed the board (luckily we took a photo of it) and started our hike. He also mentioned that the two overnight groups before us had each paid R180 per person. Once we arrived back while signing the mountain register, I mentioned that we still need to pay down at the resort, then suddenly his story changed and we only had to pay R80 per person. The board stated R180 for one-way transverse, and this was what he wanted to charge us for. 

"To those who are enthralled by mountains, their wonder is beyond all dispute. To those who are not, their allure is a kind of madness." - Mountain
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