Mini Hike Reports

12 Aug 2016 09:01 #69484 by AdrianT
Replied by AdrianT on topic Mini Hike Reports

Viking wrote:

AdrianT wrote: Very lekker pics, thanks for sharing! However your video is still private so a no go :)


Should be public now,


Sweet thanks Carl :thumbsup: Solid ice that! Good move to turnaround. Always great to see video clips! Maybe time for a Vimeo account? :)

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12 Aug 2016 12:18 #69489 by Macc
Replied by Macc on topic Mini Hike Reports
I have attached some more pics from mine and Vikings trip and summit attempt.

The view walking in towards BMC - were quite hopeful at this point

The snow on Dragon's Back

The beginning of the snow near the top of Cowl Pass

The view as we reached the col at top of Cowl Pass

Viking having fun in the snow with his crampons

"The three rules of mountaineering: It’s always further, taller and harder than it looks."

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The following user(s) said Thank You: diverian, ghaznavid, Smurfatefrog, tonymarshall, AdrianT, Biomech, Ranger

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21 Sep 2016 15:54 - 21 Sep 2016 15:58 #69842 by elinda
Replied by elinda on topic Mini Hike Reports
Richard and I have been wanting to do a snow photographic trip to Sehlabathebe for a while and it all came together this last weekend. We left Bushmans Nek on Sunday morning in drizzle and cold conditions, making our way up Bushmans Nek pass. It started to sleet, and then snow as we started climbing the pass and by the time we reached the old container that marks the border, it was snowing heavily and we estimate the snow to have been about 20cm thick. We continued on to Tarn Cave where we spent the remainder of the afternoon tucked up on our sleeping bags as visibility was practically zero and it was freezing. The snow continued to fall and towards late afternoon a mist came creeping in. We had thought we would only get our first view of the Devils Knuckles the following morning but around about 8pm Richard was excited to discover that the Knuckles were clear - so he lost no time in getting his camera and tripod out. It was the most magical scene, the Knuckles covered in snow under the full moon with the mist in the valleys below. The night was frigid judging by the frozen water in the tarns the following day, but we were pretty sheltered and warm in the cave. We were up early for sunrise shots the next day and treated to some beautiful scenery. It was a perfect day with blue skies and warm sunshine. We spent the day exploring the weird and wonderful rock formations that abound in this park as well as the long abandoned shepherds shelters. Sehlabathebe really is a treasure trove and a must see for any Berg lover as it is just so unique. We stopped by at the old Sehlabathebe lodge where I have spent many happy times in the past - sadly the building is very run down now and falling into disrepair. There are Basotho soldiers based there now who monitor stock theft but I am not sure whether there are any plans afoot to repair the lodge. A new lodge was built a few years ago near the Sehlabathebe village, but as this is a good 5km further away. At the time I visited this, there were very few visitors but this may have changed. I still think you would have to go a long way to beat the view that the old lodge still enjoys. We spent our last night camped in amongst the rock formations and walked out the following day. Even by that afternoon, the snow had mostly melted and it was hard to believe just how quickly it disappeared. An enjoyable and rewarding hike.

Fun in the snow



The container at the border



The Devils Knuckles from Tarn Cave



Devils Knuckles at dawn



Devils Knuckles and one of the many Tarns

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Last edit: 21 Sep 2016 15:58 by elinda.
The following user(s) said Thank You: SeriousTribe2, supertramp, saros

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21 Sep 2016 16:02 #69843 by elinda
Replied by elinda on topic Mini Hike Reports


Irish Cave



Amazing rock formations



Shepherds shelter




Shepherds shelter



Spot our tent - and how quickly the snow disappeared

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21 Sep 2016 16:11 #69844 by Richard Hunt
Replied by Richard Hunt on topic Mini Hike Reports
Great photos Elinda! There are more photos of Sehlabathebe to see at..... richardhuntphotography.co.za/?p=2458
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21 Sep 2016 21:26 #69847 by Biomech
Replied by Biomech on topic Mini Hike Reports
Well that looks like a spectacularly successful photographic trip! Very awesome! *Makes plans for 2017*

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22 Sep 2016 06:13 #69849 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Mini Hike Reports
@Elinda and Richard. Wow you hit the snow right on target. Great shots. You must have been going through batteries with those cold night lone exposures!

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22 Sep 2016 06:48 - 22 Sep 2016 07:55 #69850 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Mini Hike Reports
Now for a rather late entry.

Brad, Elinda, Richard and I did a photographic trip into the Fangs Valley when I was over there this last May.

It was supposed to be a photographic trip with a bit of exploration thrown in. Sadly I came down with something the morning of the start, and really did not feel that good the entire trip, so it ended up with just photography. There were certainly many opportunities to take interesting images on the walk in and out, (well fed nguni cattle come to mind) though with little energy, to spare for photography, and a splitting headache amongst other issues, I dedicated it all to just getting to where we needed to be that night. Three km from our overnight spot, I literally came to a standstill at 5 Star Cave, and was quite convinced that i did not have the strength to continue. This was after a bale, with pack, down the steep bank leading up to the cave, partially due to my near state of collapse, all i had in my mid was rest.

After 10 minutes of rest, Brad's offer to carry my pack the last 3km, and then return to collect his, and Richard saying that I would regret not being in position for some early morning images, was enough to get 'mentally psyched' too continue. Anyway those last 3 odd km up to the Mbundini /Fangs Junction were some of the toughest I have experienced. About 500m to go, i sat down and could just not get up again. Brad, ever the trooper, said that now, given that we could see where we were going to camp, was the time to definitely hand over the pack. This time i did not even protest, which pretty much summed up my near state of collapse. Anyhow, we hiked up to the only point where it was possible to pitch our tents, I started pitching the tent, and he went back for his pack.

That night, my diagnosis of 'gypo' was proven correct. (Apart from the splitting headache during the walk in, I had felt nauseous and had a very painful stomach). I have never had gypo in the Berg, and now really feel for those that do have to endure this while hiking! I might add that i was infected with something due to the poor potable water in Durban. Needless to say I got very little sleep that night as the rhythmic cycles of gypo forced me to run into the bushes every few hours.

The four days up there were, despite the good company, and due to my illness, not my happiest in the berg. However, every cloud has a silver, or in this case golden lining. The photography, with its golden lit early morning clouds made up for the poor health of the photographer. So please enjoy.













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Last edit: 22 Sep 2016 07:55 by Serious tribe.

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22 Sep 2016 09:49 #69856 by Richard Hunt
Replied by Richard Hunt on topic Mini Hike Reports
Great photos Karl. You really broke the copy cat mode in your last image...great photo and different angle :)

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22 Sep 2016 12:49 - 22 Sep 2016 12:51 #69858 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Mini Hike Reports
@Richard Thanx bud. I suppose the obvious shot is the one that you see as you climb up towards the mountains. This is an image that I have wanted to take for many year after I saw John Hone's shot during the late 90's. It is just a mission to get up to this area. I recon it was partly the amazing clouds behind me that made think out of the box a bit, glad I did. These screen res images don't really do the image justice though, you should see it on my 4k monitor, it literally pops out the screen.

So much Berg, so little time with decent light!
Last edit: 22 Sep 2016 12:51 by Serious tribe.
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