Mini Hike Reports

27 Oct 2020 12:17 #76264 by GetaPix
Replied by GetaPix on topic Mini Hike Reports
Certainly raises many more questions about what went down on that hike as well as what could potentially happen with others as well as to others following suite.... My initial reaction is very negative and perhaps Im just thinking to problematic as solutionary (Own word lol) I have raised 3 boys myself hiking etc with them in the mountains and despite being careful, I know I made many mistakes. I see the worms crawling out of this can as I type:(

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27 Oct 2020 13:29 #76265 by vivo101
Replied by vivo101 on topic Mini Hike Reports
I'm all for dogs in the mountains, but its a biased opinion as I own a pointer that runs trail marathons with me.

If your dog has proper recall, is friendly towards others and has the endurance, I don't see any problem with it. The only issue keeping my pointer out of the Mnweni area is the topic of self-rescue, how do you rescue a 30kg dog from a remote area without calling mountain rescue? As I doubt mountain rescue will be pleased using their limited resources rescuing a animal, I could be wrong. I'm investing in a rescue harness from the states allowing me to carry him out should something happen. But not all hiking dog owners will realize the predicament that you could find yourself in.

That being said it does have the potential to look like the local dog park on a Sunday afternoon, Aunt Suzie and her Dachshund with back problems included :whistle:, as this is the only area in the main berg that allows dogs.

I have however found that most trail dogs I have met on more remote trails are no nuisance at all.

I did however have a bad experience with a hikers dog in Fangs Cave over the longweekend. I went up to stash my pack, in order to help a fellow hiker in need up the pass. The dog approached me, off-leash and I though "hey he's off-leash and must be friendly", I extended the back off my hand to introduce myself and he snapped at my finger, drawing some blood. The owner promptly arrived and told me the dogs has some issues towards strangers....fair enough I did not ask.

I'm definitely all for it, just be considerate towards fellow hikers, especially in public areas such as caves.

"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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29 Oct 2020 11:12 - 30 Oct 2020 11:05 #76267 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Mini Hike Reports
I don't own a dog, think I would like to though, in a complex so not allowed.

KZN Wildlife doesn't allow pets into the wilderness areas for a number of reasons, which I dont know of, but could take some guess as per numbered list below. I think Mweni should have the same policy. A few things that come to mind, apart from the rescue one, and no offence I don't think that they should rescue animals, there are bigger issues in this country.

But i digress,
(1)small animals being killed by owners dogs, yes the locals and Basotho have dogs for hunting, true, but they are doing this for food (hopefully), and have been doing this for 100's of years, lets though not open the poaching issue, for me the is HUGELY sore point, but a topic for another discussion.
(2) hikers dog being bitten by locals dog, not a good publicity and opens up animosity and anger toward each other.
(3) as already mentioned, hikers dog bitting other hikers, locals or locals dogs, again fraught with animosity for all parties.
(4) transfer of pet/animal diseases, rabies and intestinal disease and other...

As Badger says to Fox in 'Fantastic Mr Fox' 'In summation, you just gotta not do it, thats all'
Last edit: 30 Oct 2020 11:05 by Serious tribe.
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29 Oct 2020 16:19 #76269 by Pathfinder
Replied by Pathfinder on topic Mini Hike Reports
This is a very tender point for both my husband and I. We have friends who love hiking and they have a 1 year old and a 4 year old. We have always accommodated them on hutted hikes where we don't have to share the hut with other hikers, just to be considerate. We also feel that on certain hutted hikes there are a number of points where emergency services can reach you without any delays or issues. At such a young age the children don't know the difference between the Drakensberg and a safe hutted hike, all they know is that they are on an adventure and absorb nature. The Drakensberg is a place that can very easily turn into a very dangerous place and it should be treated respectfully. The same amount of respect should be shown to rescue services. Perhaps if anything happens to such a young child in the Drakensberg the rescue services team will be under greater pressure to assist, which will in itself put them in danger. The consequences if something goes wrong in situations where babies are involved can be far reaching. Our view is that there is a place for every type of hiker...and the escarpment is not a place for babies.

Dogs......we agree with Serious Tribe - Mnweni should consider the same rules when it comes to pets as the KZN wildlife sections. The Berg belong to the Basotho dogs, this in itself is part of the Berg and adds to the beauty and serenity of this place. For me it's also a "safe haven" place and you always know how to handle Basotho dogs because they all almost have the same temperament (haha....just stay away from them :) . Pets are different......I feel for all the dog owners that want a place in nature where their dogs can roam free, but I feel the Berg is not that place....it already belongs to the Basotho dogs.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Serious tribe, diverian, Smurfatefrog, supertramp, HikerParsons, grae22, CBlything, Vishant

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19 Jan 2021 11:17 #76446 by hikingle
Replied by hikingle on topic Mini Hike Reports
Spent 5 days in December taking a leisurely hike from Tugela Falls to Singati Wall. This was the longest period that I have spent on top of the escarpment. So many highlights ... the abundance of water, the ever-changing weather, sunrise at the top of Singati, seeing Mount Amery, camping at Eland River Falls and exploring a little part of that area and last but not least definitely Bilanjil Falls, what a hidden gem (which in my opinion is more spectacular than the Tugela Falls)


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11 Apr 2021 17:02 - 12 Apr 2021 00:35 #76710 by hikingle
Replied by hikingle on topic Mini Hike Reports
Over the Easter Weekend my husband and I spent 4 days in Injisuthi. This was a first 'post recovery' hike after he battled with covid19 in February so the plan was to stay in the valleys and not walk more than 4km a day. With the curfew,  the heavy traffic, we only reached Injisuthi after midday and set out walking at about 13:00. Our plan was Cataract Valley then on to Grindstone Caves, with enough time to stop, rest and explore. At the office, Uncle Dennis told us that the bridge crossing the Del'mhlazini River had been washed away and we would have to boulder hop. I must admit i did get quite a shock at seeing how the floods had changed the entire landscape! It reminded me alot of Mweni. The paths were extremely overgrown and wet. And a few times we did loose the path, but managed to find it quite easily again thanks to the wooden sleepers. The tall overgrown bits even gave me a good 'cardio' workout 

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 It was beautiful seeing the mountain colours changing from green to brown, seeing the Monks Cowl from a different angle and I finally got to see why its called Old Woman Grinding Corn. We only had 1 day of continuous rain but fortunately that day we were to overnight in Grindstone Caves. As per the map, we thought there were only 2 caves, but we came across 3 that one could overnight in... 
Here are some pics from our trip :     
 

Our first nights camp spot

The path leading towards Cataract Valley is on the left of the river  

Yes...there is a path :)

Beautiful secret waterfalls   

Cataract Valley is beautiful 

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Last edit: 12 Apr 2021 00:35 by hikingle. Reason: correction

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13 Apr 2021 11:10 #76722 by Riaang
Replied by Riaang on topic Mini Hike Reports
Beautiful images of a really beautiful area in the Berg
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13 Apr 2021 12:53 #76726 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Mini Hike Reports
Know this valley well, very bushy

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  It is very picturesque, nicely done.
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14 Apr 2021 10:41 - 14 Apr 2021 10:42 #76733 by MattBouch
Replied by MattBouch on topic Mini Hike Reports
Hi. Wanted to share a great day out in Monk's Cowl last weekend: circular route from the campsite, up cowl fork, over between Monks' Cowl and Cathkin, down to Keith Bush Camp, and back to camp. 

A bit more detail:
I left the campsite at 06h15 and headed up toward Blindman's Corner, turning left onto the contour and taking a leisurely hike down to Cowl Fork. Just before Blindman's Corner, I believe I saw the Oryx involved in the Gray's Pass rescue overhead. Could be mistaken though. Anyways. I had a lazy breakfast and coffee at the river and then headed up the pass at 09h30.

For the most part, I stuck to the true left of the river. At about the halfway mark, the banks become too steep, and the boulder hopping and scrambling starts. There are a few tricky sections, but nothing remarkably tough. Although, I would not advise this route in wet weather! The last third of the pass gets considerably steeper, and on loose scree is a hassle. A klipspringer bounded up ahead of me making it look way too easy. 

I reached the summit between Monk's Cowl and Cathkin by 11h15 and enjoyed the views until 12h00  before heading down the other side. I was at Keith's Bush Camp by 12h40. After some lunch and a swim in the river, I made my way back along the contour to Monk's Cowl Campsite. 

All told a thoroughly enjoyable day out. With a light pack, it's a great day hike. Alternatively, overnight at Keith Bush Camp and take things even slower.

A few iPhone snaps from the day.

     

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Last edit: 14 Apr 2021 10:42 by MattBouch. Reason: Clarity

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14 Apr 2021 13:48 - 14 Apr 2021 13:48 #76735 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Mini Hike Reports
Hi Matt
Nice one.  Next time you are feeling energetic and in the area, go up the lhs fork, and you will find Cowl Cave.  Only issue, is that u have to return the same way, but a trip that I think is worth it to stay up in the neck.  These images were from a November hike, but as you know, u can get snow anytime.

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Last edit: 14 Apr 2021 13:48 by Serious tribe.
The following user(s) said Thank You: GetaPix, ASL, Richard Hunt, Riaang

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