Mini Hike Reports

17 Mar 2020 19:11 - 17 Mar 2020 19:15 #75770 by elinda
Replied by elinda on topic Mini Hike Reports


Spectacle Cave

 

Smurfatefrog showing the way



Boots and all - walking up the Gorge

 

The Gorge




Very much like a mini Tugela Gorge

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Last edit: 17 Mar 2020 19:15 by elinda. Reason: Additional photo

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17 Mar 2020 19:13 #75771 by elinda
Replied by elinda on topic Mini Hike Reports


Exiting the tunnel




Gorge Cave

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The following user(s) said Thank You: Stijn, JonWells, hikingle, Smurfatefrog, tonymarshall, Papa Dragon

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17 Mar 2020 19:22 #75772 by Papa Dragon
Replied by Papa Dragon on topic Mini Hike Reports
Very enjoyable hike, ridge route more strenuous than one would think, but oh so worth it.
Gorge exploration also worth it..

Thanks for a good hike, and great pics elinda!!

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18 Mar 2020 11:29 #75774 by Smurfatefrog
Replied by Smurfatefrog on topic Mini Hike Reports
A few pics from me



Masubasuba Pass


 

Southern Berg from the Hodgson;s south saddle


View from Hodgsons South Peak


Hodgsons South Peak from top of Amakehla Pass
 

Amakehla Pass


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The following user(s) said Thank You: elinda, Stijn, JonWells, ghaznavid, hikingle, tonymarshall, Papa Dragon, Christinejvr

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19 Mar 2020 09:50 #75777 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Mini Hike Reports
Great to see the Amakehla Tarns full, and I have a plan to head out that way hopefully toward the end of the month.  That is a very special spot, and I have camped there about three times since 2004.  It is though quite a ridge climb to get there, bit well worth it.

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02 Apr 2020 10:08 #75796 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Mini Hike Reports
I had 3 Geoseries marked passes left at Southern Vergelegen, so when I had to work from PMB for a week, I decided to head to Sani Backpackers with Dave van der Veen and have a crack at them.

We camped at the backpackers on Friday night (I drove from Gauteng to PMB on Friday - spent a lot of that day driving). My mother joined us to help with logistics.

The Sani Road is tarred as far as the S-bend by the start of the Giants Cup Trail. They had just graded about 1km past this, so at Sunrise on Saturday morning, we started to walk up the Sani road. After about 1km, we managed to flag down a construction vehicle, which took us to the lower border post.

We slogged up the slopes just north of this, heading towards Phinong Pass:



Once we were on top of the ridge, we found a trail leading east, which we took till it joined the Phinong Pass Trail. We then crossed the trail and traversed on the side slopes towards Mqatsheni Pass. This traverse was slow, the trails on the map were hard to find, and the trails we did find generally died after a short distance.

I will write up Mqatsheni Pass on its thread - but I will say it was harder than expected.


We had lunch above the pass, looking at Ntshintshini Pass, our goal for Sunday morning. We also stopped at Ntshintshini Cave, which was very wet. We walked a bit further on the ledge and found a second cave that I had not seen the last time. We both were absolutely stumped as to what the correct line on Ntshintshini Pass would be - but we had come all this way, we would have to give it a proper go.

We started down Manguan Pass. Turns out the pass was harder than anticipated. I had Intrepid's track and writeup, but I didn't expect the top cliff band to be so scrambly. I picked a bad line, which cost time, but we got down eventually.

We reached Kuala Cave just early enough to not need headlamps, around 7PM.

It was full moon and the waterfall was very loud - so neither of us slept very well. About 15 minutes before the alarm went off, we realised we were both awake and decided to start a bit early.

We left the cave just after first light:


We made our way to Ntshinshini Pass. We had a good look at Manguan Pass, the line really isn't obvious:


Heading up Ntshintshini Pass can be read up on its own thread.


We reached the escarpment. A handshake was in order - this pass had defeated both of us before (a few years apart), so it was great to finally complete it.

The traverse to Phinong Pass proved easy enough. Well, I was very tired by this point - but had to keep plodding along.


We found the top of Phinong Pass easily enough and made our way down to the Sani Border Post. I have written up this pass before, no need to write up about it again.

We reached the lower border post around 3PM. After about half an hour of walking on the Sani Road, we managed to flag a bakkie down and get a lift to the Backpackers.

My [brand new] GPS crashed, so my stats aren't as accurate as I would like.

We did roughly 52km in roughly 31 hours. 4 passes, 4 caves (only 1 that we slept in) all in perfect weather. An epic hike indeed!

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The following user(s) said Thank You: Serious tribe, diverian, elinda, tonymarshall

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05 Apr 2020 15:28 #75800 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Mini Hike Reports
That is a serious waterfall coming over the cave!  No wonder you slept badly.  What was the date of this trip, water in the catchment still looks good?

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06 Apr 2020 08:30 #75801 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Mini Hike Reports
7 to 8 March. Water was pretty good on the SA side, but Lesotho seemed abnormally dry for March. We found a bit of water as high as 2800m on the passes.
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