Mini Hike Reports

09 Jan 2019 20:47 #74500 by Sterkhorn
Replied by Sterkhorn on topic Mini Hike Reports
@Elinda I actually slept the first night at Curtain Cave, made my way up to Black Rock Cave the next day, left my pack there and went on to explore Sherry Cave (new) and Painter's Cave. On my return I collected water from the stream flowing down to Whyte's Cave. One definitely needs to carry water up there in dry weather - not sure it would be suitable in wet weather. Definitely worth the effort of carrying the extra weight.
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13 Jan 2019 08:39 #74527 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Mini Hike Reports
On Friday and Saturday this week, Ross and I did a 2 day loop at Lotheni. We went up Buttress Pass (thanks TonyM for the track, it was very helpful) and descended KaMasihlenga Pass. We were planning on using Hlathimba Pass, but Ross wanted Redi, so we changed plans slightly.

Buttress Pass is very steep, but fairly short. There is a scrambly bit near the top, which we mostly skipped by staying on the true right grass bank. When you are forced into the gully, there is a short easy scramble, which I avoided by taking a zig-zag traverse on a ledge on the left - but the scramble itself would also be very easy. Ross used the scramble. At the top grass ledge, we took the easier line and traversed left (true right) and walked off onto the escarpment instead of doing the last few scrambles.

We had a close call with about 10 dogs. The shepherds were with them and tried to call them off, but the dogs only backed off after getting very close to us. But not harm done - Ross' first time experiencing one of the less pleasant parts of Drakensberg hiking.

We spent the night in North Hlathimba Cave, which was much bigger than expected, mostly dry and very well sheltered. Actually a really good cave.

Saturday morning we went up Redi and Terateng before heading down KaMasihlenga Pass.  The pass proved to be fairly steep and exposed in places. We only managed to pick up the trail again just after Yellowwood Cave, so our descent was fairly slow. But we were back at the car just before 2PM, so we weren't exactly slow.

Weather was perfect on both days, not a cloud in the sky. A strong wind on Saturday morning was slightly unpleasant, but all things considered, the weather couldn't have been much better.

   

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins

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13 Jan 2019 08:40 #74528 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Mini Hike Reports

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins

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13 Jan 2019 08:42 #74529 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Mini Hike Reports
   

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins

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The following user(s) said Thank You: Stijn, hikingle, MarkT, tonymarshall, Richard Hunt, Redshift3, Dave

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15 Jan 2019 21:59 #74547 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Mini Hike Reports

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins

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29 Jan 2019 17:45 #74582 by hikingle
Replied by hikingle on topic Mini Hike Reports
I was fortunate to spend my New Years in the Cathedral Peak area. My brother from Brazil was visiting and was keen to do an overnight hike in the Drakensberg. Due to his phobia of heights and time constraint we planned a hike to Neptune Pools / Marble Baths with a little exploring up the Contour Path. 
The Drakensberg continues to amaze me...each area is so unique and i am always left in awe of its beauty! 
Here's a few pics...








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29 Jan 2019 17:49 - 29 Jan 2019 18:25 #74583 by hikingle
Replied by hikingle on topic Mini Hike Reports






After 6 years, countless trails and memories to last a life time ... my Hi-Tec boot retired 

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Last edit: 29 Jan 2019 18:25 by hikingle.

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19 Feb 2019 17:56 #74668 by elinda
Replied by elinda on topic Mini Hike Reports
A serious case of cabin fever motivated us to get out into the Berg again after an absence of almost three months!  Despite this it almost didn’t happen as up until Friday morning, the weather forecast had not been looking good at all.  But then happily the weather gods decided to take pity on us and it started looking a lot more promising, so we decided to take a chance and go for it.  Chibini Tarn is situated between Highmoor and Lotheni on a high plateau below the contour path.  It's a longish walk to get there from either point and not many hikers go that way.  We thought it would be good to revisit and left from the Highmoor office in bright sunny weather.  It's about  14kms to the contour path and the clouds had started to gather around the Giant, promising a rain shower or two later on.



 We then headed south towards Lotheni with Chibini Tarn  about another 2km further on  and clearly visible.  It had a lot more water than on our previous visit and indeed the Berg is looking very lush and green with water everywhere.  Our tent had been up for half an hour before the rain arrived, so it was good timing!  




We enjoyed some coffee followed by an afternoon siesta  - always my best to be snug in a tent with the sound of the rain falling!  We ventured out after it had stopped and spent some time taking photographs of the beautiful cloud formations and dramatic skies before settling in for the night.  The temperature dropped to a chilly 6 degrees and we had a constant wind all night.

 


 

 

We packed up the following morning under blue skies although the wind was still present and never dropped for the remainder of the day.




 We headed down one of the ridges that lead to the Mooi River Valley and came across several perfect round circles in the grass. A little while later we saw what we thought was a Hartebeest antelope lying in the centre of one of the circles.  He moved off very quickly once he saw us and we saw that this must be where they sleep as there were droppings and the grass was very fine and flat, almost like a golf green.  Hartebeest were introduced at Highmoor many years ago and seem to have survived there which does not seem to be the case in other Parks Board areas.  



 We enjoyed sweeping views of the Giant and surrounds for the remainder of the hike and were back at the carpark by midday.Good to be back in the Berg and just what the Dr ordered!

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26 Feb 2019 12:24 - 26 Feb 2019 12:32 #74684 by vivo101
Replied by vivo101 on topic Mini Hike Reports
Over the weekend myself and some friends had a fastpacking adventure in the Injasuti area. We arrived friday night in pouring rain and went to bed hoping the weather will be in out favor. We had a 7am start after finally deciding what gear to leave at camp and made our way up to corner pass under blue skies. We reached centenary hut in about 2hours and had a quick breather, thereafter we made our way up the northern high approach towards corner. The pass was a breeze (having done it in snow previously), we topped out in roughly 30min from where the path leads in from the approach.



We made our way along the Trojan Wall edge and up towards Mafadi, unfortunately we were turned around due to a fast approaching storm and reached Injasuti Summit Cave by 14:00pm. A really fun day out of 22km and 2120m vertical gain. After the storm passed we spent the rest of the afternoon lounging in the best pool in the berg overlooking the eastern triplet. 

The next morning we watched the sunrise and set of at 6:30am. The group was keen to summit the anti-climactic Mafadi and so we did. Having some time on our hands we bagged Lesser Injasuti Buttress, Greater Injasuti Buttress and Red Wall on the way to Leslies, the countless waterfalls cascading down the Red Wall during summer is breathtaking. We descended Leslies to the lower campsite in about 60min and started BunduBashing, even taking the path on the left side of the valley is a mission, especially on sunburned legs. We had a quick dip at marble baths and made our way back to Injasuti camp in 7hours 44min covering a total of 27.5km. 




All in all another memorable adventure in the berg, I will choose the fast and light option more often from now on. 

On a side note: Centenary Hut is being vandalized at a high rate. The front porch roof is missing(used to shutter up windows), lots of trash inside and graffiti on the walls. Also signs of campfires being made inside, one of the walls is burned black. It will soon not be worthwhile to even attempt to make use of it.


"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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Last edit: 26 Feb 2019 12:32 by vivo101.

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27 Feb 2019 20:21 - 27 Feb 2019 20:27 #74693 by Smurfatefrog
Replied by Smurfatefrog on topic Mini Hike Reports
On 19 and 20 January Kirsty and I made a last minute plan for a hike at Giants Castle, only leaving Durban mid-morning on the Saturday.
We had lunch on a chalet veranda with light drizzle coming down, and set off at 13:30 hoping it would clear a bit...
Our plan was to get to Bannerman Hut and decide from there based on the weather, Spare RIb cave and Bannerman cave were both options. (it was almost full moon)
We made good time to the hut in 2h30 only to be in mist and constant drizzle, I decided heading up in the mist would be miserable and Spare Rib cave would be even more miserable with nothing drying, so we changed into dry clothes and had a chilled night in the hut.

At 4:30 we were up hoping for clear weather... no rain but thick mist! We climbed straight back into our sleeping bags... nevertheless we still got going up Bannerman Pass at 5:30.

A little while later it cleared for literally 30 seconds before closing in again


We stopped for breakfast at Spare Rib cave, very glad didn't spend the night there


Finally above the mist at around 2850m


Mist chasing us as we headed up Sanqebethu


View south from Sanqebethu. Glad to have a view after last time I bagged it in thick mist


We stopped for a snack break at Bannerman cave, and then headed down Langies pass and into the mist, by the contour path we were below the clouds again to be back at the car just after 3PM

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Last edit: 27 Feb 2019 20:27 by Smurfatefrog.
The following user(s) said Thank You: diverian, elinda, Stijn, JonWells, tonymarshall, Richard Hunt, andrew r, Andreas, Dave, WarrenM

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