Tseketseke Hut

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Poll: Do you use Tseketseke Hut and should it be restored?

I use the hut & it should be restored
14 25%
I don't use it but would if it were restored
33 58.9%
It doesn't matter to me
2 3.6%
I don't use it & it should not be restored
4 7.1%
Other (please comment)
3 5.4%
Total number of voters: 56 ( mike_crom, AdrianT, Rhinoandhedgehog, vize, Captain ) See more
Only registered users can participate to this poll
21 Sep 2010 11:49 #1762 by intrepid
intrepid created the topic: Tseketseke Hut
The condition of this hut seems to be worse every time I visit it. Havent been there for about 4 years now. The last I remember of it, there were some loose floor boards near the door that you couldn't sleep on, but the main sleeping area was on the dirt at the back of the hut. There was still a door, but no window shutter at the back. Has anyone been there in the last few weeks and know what condition it is in? Planning on using it in November.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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22 Sep 2010 11:39 #1770 by Hermann
Hermann replied to: Tseketseke Hut
Hi
i was there two weeks ago (10 sept) we had to spread out the tent inside,we also tried to close the window next to the door with the floor board planks...remains of it. water also dripped inside from roof,no water in river below it either. previous hikers also left garbage in the hut.....but after two nights on the escarpment...not too shabby!!!

it must have been a great hut,when it was built. Does anyone know the history of the hut?

Regards

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22 Sep 2010 12:48 #1775 by tiska
tiska replied to: Tseketseke Hut
Tseketseke hut was built by Mr Malcolm Moor and his mates, probably in the 1950s. Malcolm was a pioneer berg climber having opened several of the classics in the Berg such as the North Ifidi Pinacle. Malcolm also still holds the record for climbing the 3 Injesuthi Triplets in three days (from the escarpment side).

I think Martin Winter (after whose family Winterton is named) might also have been involved with the hut building. Malcolm told me that most of the bits for the hut were carried in. Malcolm Moor and Martin Winter both farm in the Escourt/Bergville area.

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22 Sep 2010 17:09 #1780 by intrepid
intrepid replied to: Tseketseke Hut
Thanks Hermann and mnt_tiska for the info. The first time I slept in the hut the floor was still in tact and it had bunk beds, though you couldn't sleep on them because they didn't have boards.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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09 May 2012 08:50 - 09 May 2012 09:10 #53788 by intrepid
intrepid replied to: Tseketseke Hut
Who uses Tseketseke Hut? What should become of it?

For some background please read the following threads:
www.vertical-endeavour.com/forum/14-drakensberg-general/1968-state-of-mountain-huts.html
www.vertical-endeavour.com/forum/14-drakensberg-general/1762-tseketseke-hut.html

I approached KZN Wildlife with the proposal to do some basic maintenance on the hut so that it does not fall into ruin. They seem open to this idea. Currently it is still a remarkably sound structure (in spite of some issues) in an awesome location. Nice haven for exploring the area, for climbing Pyramid and Column, and best of all you can leave the tent behind.

Of course, it is a man-made interference. On the other hand its been around longer than a lot of us and is part of the Berg we know today. There used to be a hut at Keith Bush Camp which was dismantled when the Mdedelelo Wilderness Area was proclaimed (because a wilderness area dictates no man-made structures). So far, Tseketseke Hut has escaped the same fate even though it is in the Mlambonja Wilderness Area. Officially the hut will one day be removed because of this. The reality is that this is not a priority and budgets and resources are focused on other things for the time being.

However, the authorities seem open to entertain the idea of leaving it there if it serves a purpose and if there is enough support and interest in keeping it there. It may have to be moved out of the river bed however.

I propose doing some basic maintenance to it which would include rust treatment and a fresh coat of green paint, finding a new way of handling the window shutters, and finding a new way of latching the door. At least in this way it will not fall into total ruin. It would remain a simple, robust shelter which is all that is needed really. The first time I used it, there was still a wooden floor and old bunk beds, but this is not necessary. This maintenance work would be entirely voluntary and self-funded. And it would be done with the acceptance that the authorities may still one day decide to remove it.

So, what does everyone else think? Please let me have your comments and please participate in the poll: this is very important and will give KZN Wildlife an idea of how much interest there is in the hut. The restoration mentioned in the poll refers more to the long-term maintenance and involvement from KZN-Wildlife (that they officially recognise it again), rather than the basic maintenance I am proposing.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last Edit: 09 May 2012 09:10 by intrepid.

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09 May 2012 11:13 #53791 by ghaznavid
ghaznavid replied to: Tseketseke Hut
I am always a fan of mountain huts in places like this, especially when they are barely visible from the top,but what is the point of repairing this hut when it is likely to be washed away in the next major flood in the area?

"Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory." - Ed Viesturs

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09 May 2012 11:31 #53792 by intrepid
intrepid replied to: Tseketseke Hut
I'm not sure how likely that is ghaz. Its been there for a pretty long time and even survived the recent flooding. That risk definitely is there though, and if the hut is to stay, it is one of the reasons that it should get moved out of the river bed.

My guess is that within the next 10 years the chances of the roof rusting through and the hut becoming a useless, rusted up ruin might be higher than the chances of the hut being washed away. This is also why the authorities think that some basic maintenance will help even if the hut is removed in years to come. Certainly I wouldn't want to put too much time and effort into it.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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09 May 2012 12:43 #53800 by tiska
tiska replied to: Tseketseke Hut
I would love to see the Tseke hut restored having enjoyed many great evenings there. Without wanting to damp enthusiasm, I do worry about the longevity of the restoration, esp given how the hut has been treated over the last 10 years. For decades it was prime - floor, bunks, windows etc. Then in a matter of years it got trashed.

The most important project I can think of in the Berg is maintaining the contour paths. Once they are too overgrown to walk, they will close themselves over in a couple of seasons. Its happening as I type. Removing the woody plants from the path edges would keep them open for 5 years +.

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10 May 2012 05:54 #53809 by Aux
Aux replied to: Tseketseke Hut
I would love to see that the hut get some work done to it. For climbers it is in a 5 star location, and with all the gear already in your pack you dont want to carry a tent. The hut is part of Tseketseke as much as the column and cleft peak. It is a landmark on the pass itself. Intrepid i have send you a PM

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15 May 2012 11:42 #53878 by intrepid
intrepid replied to: Tseketseke Hut
Get your votes in for those that haven't yet.

@mnt_tiska: I suspect contour path maintenance, and even extension, is already a higher priority. Will see what I can find out.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
The following user(s) said Thank You: tiska

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