Camel, Cleft, Bell traverse run

17 Nov 2021 08:16 #77309 by BergAttie
I am planning to do the classic Camel, Cleft, Elephant, Bell, Cathedral route as a  single day run in December. I am experienced in the Berg and very familiar with the areas involved. Does anyone perhaps have a complete GPX (or portions of the route) available to share with me.

We are planning to set off at 4am and to do the route clockwise to ease water management mainly. Anyone that has done this and can offer some insights on time it took as well as general advice? I expect this to be a 14-15 hour day at least.
 

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
17 Nov 2021 08:51 #77310 by Smurfatefrog
Sure, attached.
It has a detour to Rolands cave, other than that it's the route you described

Please login or register to view the file attached to this post.

The following user(s) said Thank You: wildingo

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
17 Nov 2021 08:51 #77311 by ghaznavid
I haven't done that exact variation, but I have day hiked Cleft via Organ Pipes Pass and have day hiked up Cockade Pass down Bell Traverse. It will be an epic, but a great day out!

For the track, go to the downloads section, download the tracks for Camel Pass, Bell Traverse and the Grand Traverse, and stitch them together on Basecamp.

I have said it many times before, but that section of Drakensberg between Elephant and Cleft is the most spectacular section of the range in my opinion. 4 of the 7 passes I've rated 5* for quality are around there (Xeni, Cockade, Camel and Organ Pipes).

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
17 Nov 2021 16:17 #77312 by LouislG
I can perhaps share some of our experiences in terms of water and timing.

We (3 of us) have gone up to Cleft Peak via the Hotel, Mushroom Rock, Camel, and Organ Pipes pass.

The distance from the hotel to Cleft was around 13.7 km and took us just over 3 hours, with 2 hours back down again via the same route. (Out and back round trip 5.5 hours, 26km, 1900m elevation gain)

The biggest issue was the heat (End of September) going into mid 30 degrees, and we found zero water on the route and didn't want to scout for water down in the valleys far below (We didn't know the area that well nor wanted to detour as there was a World Cup Rugby game starting soon)

Needless to say, as timing can be very subjective to an individual, we were traveling very light and what we initially thought would take 3.5 hours took 5.5. Perhaps a factor to take into consideration.

Water management and a backup plan for bad weather are factors I would investigate if I had to do this route.

Good luck, it sounds proper
The following user(s) said Thank You: wildingo

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
17 Nov 2021 21:36 #77313 by ThomLO
I did that exact route in April, just anti-clockwise and with a slight detour up Cathedral Peak. I choose doing it that way to avoid doing the Bell Traverse on tired legs and potentially in the dark. I drank a decent amount of water and filled a one litre water bottle at that stream you cross above Sherman Cave, and that got me all the way to Lesotho, although it was a cold morning with thick mist and drizzle until the High Berg. The route is spectacular and that was one of my best berg runs to date. I have attached the route that I was following, although I see other people have already done so.

Strava link:  www.strava.com/activities/5061167993

Route:  

Please login or register to view the file attached to this post.

The following user(s) said Thank You: wildingo

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
18 Nov 2021 10:56 #77314 by BergAttie
Thanks for all the feedback. Impressive time there ThomLo! I considered the risk of the traverse on fatigued legs but in December heat I think the scales tips towards hydration so I'd rather go up Camel.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
Powered by Kunena Forum