Mini Hike Reports

12 Jul 2019 19:15 - 12 Jul 2019 19:16 #75150 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Mini Hike Reports
So last weekend a team of 11 of us did the Giants Cup Trail. 3 bailed at half distance (2 had planned to do half from the start), while the rest finished in around 14h30.

Steve (Ranger) and myself took the detour to Swiman Hut to make sure we covered the full trail, so we finished in 14h34 - well, that is my excuse for why everyone else finished ahead of us anyway :lol:

Overall an awesome day out!

I have said I probably won't do the Giants Cup Trail again so many times now that I am going to stop saying that. It is such a fun training route - easy Berg conditions with great scenery, but easy to bail if it doesn't go so well and plenty of shelter if a surprise storm hits.

Here's some photos:


Full story at:
jonathantheghaznavid.wordpress.com/2019/07/12/crossing-the-giant/

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Last edit: 12 Jul 2019 19:16 by ghaznavid.
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13 Aug 2019 10:38 #75250 by leeuw
Replied by leeuw on topic Mini Hike Reports
This past long weekend we headed out for our annual guys only Drakensberg hike weekend. The Plan was to go from MC to KBC and then up
via Grays and down Ships Prow.

Day 1

We got of to a late start as we were driving from Hartbeespoort and we always have a
traditional breakfast stop in Harrismith. We headed of from MC at 0930
making good way to BMC were we stopped for lunch.  The berg is very dry
at the moment and we were greeted by a raging berg fire moving up the
valley towards Keartlands pass,  The rest of the afternoon went well,
although very hot and we reached KBC late afternoon.  Water is scarce at
the moment but found water in the river next to KBC. By night fall the
mist had settled in and we settled for the night.

Day 2

The mist was set in and we made our ascent of Grays starting in thick
mist.  Having done Grays a couple of times before navigation went well
and we topped out on top at 1230.  After lunch we set of up the Nkosana
river to our campsite about 1km from the top of Ships prow.  By mid
afternoon the mist cleared on top and we explored the top of Champagne
and the surrounding valleys.  What a delight.  With the sun setting the
temperature dropped quickly.  By 1900 every one was settled in their
tents ready to brave the cold. As per my routine midnight urge to
"pieppie" I got out and found everything frozen solid. The temperature
dropped to about -8 degrees at midnight.

Day 3

SAILING THE SHIP

We awoke to a beautiful but cold morning.  Setting off we made good
headway to the top of Ships Prow, the wind howling.  None of us had done
Ships before.  In doing my homework I had an idea of what lay ahead...
And it did not disappoint.  Looking up at the Ship form the bottom is
always breathtaking but finally standing next to it was mind BLOWING. 
And needless to say the riverbed section did not disappoint... The
bottom of Ships is absolutely the hardest thing I've experienced
hahahahahaha.  (I said once is is enough for me.... maybe in a couple of
years I will think about doing Ships again)  After lunch we set off
doing the last contour sections to BMC which included some night hiking
in beautiful starry conditions. We ended up pushing to Breakfast Stream
reaching camp at 2100.

*Just a side note.  I am dumb struct at the lack of education or pure ignorance of some hikers.  We found toilet
paper and rubbish literally half a meter from the stream.  I mean
really???  After burning as much as I could we settled in for a good
night rest.

Day 4

Was a casual stroll back to the cars via the sphinx topping of an epic and Great adventure with a great bunch of guys.

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13 Aug 2019 11:55 #75251 by PietPieke
Replied by PietPieke on topic Mini Hike Reports
what an amazing experience... definitely one of my hardest hikes ever and still busy recovering from what we called "yoga forest" at the bottom of Shipsprow. up,over,down,under, around.... we had it all. 
Cant wait to see that mountain again
Thanks Leeuw for an awsome and very well organised hike  
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14 Aug 2019 10:19 - 14 Aug 2019 10:24 #75253 by Dave
Replied by Dave on topic Mini Hike Reports
Ship's Prow is an awesome descent. For others' reference: Just remember to stay left in the riverbed, and you can follow cairns and paths all the way down. There is also no need to enter the "yoga forest," which is terribly overgrown. It's much easier to carry on down the stream to the toe of the hill (the dark patch just left of centre in pic four, out of sequence, above), turn left back up the next small valley, and join the contour path from there.
Last edit: 14 Aug 2019 10:24 by Dave.
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15 Aug 2019 17:41 #75257 by Riaang
Replied by Riaang on topic Mini Hike Reports
Ships is awesome, it is still one of my all time favourite spots in the Berg. As a rule I don't bring any new equipment on a Ships hike, as anything looks a few years older after doing that bottom river bed section.

As a matter of interest, on our last Ships ascent I decided to measured the height of the prow. The total height was just under 500m, something like 489m or so. It looks so small on photos, but it takes forever going up those grassy slopes. 

Still, watching the sunrise from the campsite at the bottom of Ships still ranks as one of my favourites!

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15 Aug 2019 21:15 #75258 by leeuw
Replied by leeuw on topic Mini Hike Reports
The Prow is indeed an awesome sight to see. I remember standing on top of the pass with my heart skipping a beat or two... Thinking are we actually going down this. But it was great. 

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25 Aug 2019 19:06 #75278 by Smurfatefrog
Replied by Smurfatefrog on topic Mini Hike Reports
In the middle of July 5 of us set off from Cathedral Peak hotel with the intention of Tseketseke Hut for night 1, up Tseketseke pass and tenting behind Cockade pass, and then down Cockade on day 3.

When filling in the register we noticed another group (that turned out to be riang) had already left for Tseke hut so we decided to use the camping spot on the contour path below the hut.
The spot was smaller than I remembered... so 2 tents were pitched and 3 of us slept in the open.
The temp dropped to -3°C and we woke up covered in frost.

Heading up the pass was very slow, with one hiker really struggling, we got to about 2500m when we decided it would be best to head back down and stay at the hut, which was free.
Singlespeed and Papa Dragon headed back down with Antonio, while Kirsty and I left our packs at 2500m, went up the pass, had lunch on Tseke peak and then headed back down to the hut.
We walked out via Ribbons falls, seeing as we headed in past Mushroom rock.

 






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25 Aug 2019 19:37 #75279 by Smurfatefrog
Replied by Smurfatefrog on topic Mini Hike Reports
On the August long weekend two of us left Durban heading for Giants Castle, after about 30 minutes we had changed our plans to Garden Castle. 
The weekend had gale force winds forecast so we wanted some sheltered caves.

Day 1 we headed up Tsepeng pass south to Mzimude cave. We walked through burnt grass the whole route until about 2500m. The valley up to Sleeping Beauty cave still has some smouldering grass
It was quite dry on the escarpment having to walk about 1km into Lesotho to get water.
During the night the winds picked up and by sunrise it was very unpleasant! We had planned to head north along the escarpment and drop down Mzimkhulu pass, but a day on the escarpment did not seem like a fun day out. So we stayed sheltered in Mzimude cave and headed down Mzimude pass later in the morning.

It was peaceful in the little berg so we settled in at Wave cave for a calm night... until midnight... the wind started pumping again with a few clothing items blowing around. Luckily it wasn't too cold, and we managed to mostly keep out of the wind. 

The wind died down and we had a warm walkout. There were some dark clouds accumulating over the escarpment though, and just after Puffadder rock we had some drizzle and thunder!
Most of Hidden valley was burnt too, we had to use buffs as a filter to get non-ash filled water from the Mzimude river








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