Mini Hike Reports

06 Aug 2018 08:32 #73787 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Mini Hike Reports
Over the weekend I lead an MCSA hike at Giants Castle, part of the MCSA Mountain Challenge (event 3 of 6).

Our group of 8 gradually dwindled to 3, with both of the people who signed up having never hiked to the top of the Drakensberg before.

On Saturday we hiked up to Giants Summit Cave. The weather was sporadic, with periods of wind, rain and sunshine. Mel and Chris did very well, especially considering that it was their first pass.

There was a bit of water at 2800m when you hit the final summit gully, so we filled up all our bottles. On the escarpment we also found a large amount of ice, so we broke off about 2 litres worth and took it to the cave.

On Sunday morning, as we were preparing to leave, it started snowing - so we waited for the weather to clear a bit. We summitted Giants Pass Peak (first 3000er for Mel and Chris). We had planned to go up Giants - but the clouds looked ominous, and Chris was in jeans and his raincoat hadn't been coping very well - so we opted to skip the peak.

We went down Elandshoek Pass - which was fairly scenic, and not particularly difficult (actually a really easy and short pass). Near the bottom, two Basothos at around 2900m started shouting at us and saying we must come back up the pass to them (not sure who they were and why they were saying this). This was a bit unnerving - especially with the reputation this pass has. Anyway - we didn't see or hear from them again after that. The only time I have ever had orders like that shouted at me in the Berg was when a soldier was shouting at me for going down the chain ladders before talking to him - although it would be the first I have heard of Lesotho military at Giants Castle.

The walk out from Elandshoek back to Giants is long - but we took the bypass trail that crosses the ridge at 2500m and cuts about 5km off the route. The Lotheni side is a simple grass slope, and the Giants side has a good trail (although the trail heads towards the Highmoor junction, so we made up our own line).

We got back to the car park just after 3PM. Total distance was 31km.
 

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06 Aug 2018 08:35 #73788 by ghaznavid
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06 Aug 2018 08:36 #73789 by ghaznavid
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06 Aug 2018 10:36 #73790 by GriffBaker
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Lekker. I need to do Elandshoek sometime soon.

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06 Aug 2018 10:47 - 06 Aug 2018 10:49 #73791 by GriffBaker
Replied by GriffBaker on topic Mini Hike Reports
A short video that Henk @thesecretadventure made of our hike last weekend along with @MarkT.

https://www.facebook.com/TheSecretAdventurer/videos/1325507097583959/ 

Up Organ Pipes via the Camel route, overnighting in Roland's cave then traversing to overnight in Twins and down the bell Traverse on the last day.

Also, some pics I took.

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Last edit: 06 Aug 2018 10:49 by GriffBaker.
The following user(s) said Thank You: diverian, elinda, Stijn, ghaznavid, hikingle, MarkT, tonymarshall, Dave, WarrenM

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06 Aug 2018 11:47 #73792 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Mini Hike Reports
Thanks, some nice pics as well.

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06 Aug 2018 14:45 #73793 by elinda
Replied by elinda on topic Mini Hike Reports
Great photos Griffbaker!  Thanks for sharing

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12 Aug 2018 19:17 #73812 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Mini Hike Reports
Seeing as Tony will probably post a detailed writeup on Didima Pass, I'll keep this post nice and short - although I have a lot of photos.

Over the long weekend, Tony, Lorinda and I did a 4 day hike at Didima. Day 1 to Schoongezicht Cave, day 2 to Didima Cave via Didima Pass, day 3 back to Schoongezicht Cave via Tlanyako Pass and day 4 back to the car. We were going to do day 3 to Rolands and day 4 down Windsor Castle Pass, but there was too much snow, so we opted to head back down.

Short note on Didima Pass: the approach is slow. We were slower due to persistent rain that made rock hopping rather slippery. The pass starts at 2350m and till about 2700m is made up of a sequence of waterfalls that you have to bypass or scramble up - which are often loose and a bit exposed. If it was iced up or the river was any higher, many of these wouldn't go. Two of them required climbing in the riverbed, and getting wet was inevitable. I wasn't counting but there were roughly 10 waterfalls that we had to contend with. At 2700m, there is a large grassy bank which you traverse to the left to hit the summit gully, which is a standard steep grass gully. The pass is more slow than difficult and definitely not one for beginners or those who don't enjoy scrambling. The views are great, but most certainly not a pass I would want to do again.

Also note: when the weather forecast predicts 30cm of snow, go in hiking boots, not trail shoes :lol:

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12 Aug 2018 19:19 #73813 by ghaznavid
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12 Aug 2018 19:21 #73814 by ghaznavid
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The following user(s) said Thank You: Andreas, Dave, GriffBaker

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