Mini Hike Reports

08 Feb 2016 13:49 #66943 by Stijn
Replied by Stijn on topic Mini Hike Reports
Hi Mayake

The cave can be difficult to find, but with GPS co-ordinates as well as descriptions/photos on this forum, it should be quite doable, even if you have not been in the area. There is a bit of a cairn trail heading to the cave from the top of Thuthumi Pass now too.

In terms of the technical difficulty of accessing the cave, it involves a narrow ledge traverse with a big drop-off. Hikers with mountain experience should not have any difficulty in good conditions, but care needs to be taken and anybody with a fear of heights would really struggle with this section.

Hope that helps!

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08 Feb 2016 15:50 #66945 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Mini Hike Reports
About 100m above Rolands is Upper Ndumeni Cave. It is smaller than Rolands Cave, but easier to find. It has an almost identical view. If anyone in your team has issues with heights, or if you can't find Rolands Cave - that may be a good backup cave.

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

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08 Feb 2016 16:08 - 08 Feb 2016 16:40 #66947 by andrew r
Replied by andrew r on topic Mini Hike Reports
We haven’t really discussed it but I’m sure ghaz will produce another of his comprehensive hike reports in due course, so in the interim here's an outline of this weekend's foray into Vergelegen:

On the weekend 5-7 Feb 2016 andrew r & ghaznavid went on their first trip to Vergelegen with the intention of exploring this remote and infrequently visited part of the Southern Berg by ascending Nhlangeni Pass, bagging a few of the accessible high peaks in the area, and then descending KaNtuba Pass. We achieved all of the above, but the peaks bagged were limited to Sehonghong Peak and KaNtuba Buttress.

At 17:30 on Friday afternoon we left Vergelegen CP and hiked to Birds-nest Cave which we reached by headlamp and spent the night, leaving Saturday morning in partly-cloudy and bright conditions to cover the remainder of the walk in and onwards up Nhlangeni Pass.






The mist/cloud thickened on the pass, to such an extent that 150 vertical meters from the top we had to use the GPS to confirm that we were still heading in the right direction on this very wide pass summit gully. The obvious answer is up (!), but we found that we had drifted out to true left and needed to traverse across to get out unimpeded by the cliffs.




We had ascended in good time but once on top (and back in bright sunshine, the mist stopping at the level of the top of the pass) I needed some time to recover & refuel, while ghaz set to attempting to drain 3cm water from the floor of the cave we had planned to sleep in for the night. Despite extensive drainage works and landfill operations this proved to be beyond our limited resources, so after a swim & hot meal at the river we roamed around the escarpment between Nhlangeni Pass & KaNtuba Buttress, bagging Sehonghong Peak and looking for a suitable alternative shelter for the night. We settled on rigging up a tarp in a rocky alcove that had a fairly soft & sort of flat grassy floor where we spent a blustery but restful night.

An early start found us on top of KaNtuba Buttress to witness another incredible Drakensberg sunrise, and at 6:15 we set off down KaNtuba Pass.






Once down the pass we stopped for morning tea





And then began traversing across towards the ridge leading back to the Nhlangeni valley and to Birds-nest Cave and the trail home.




We pinned our ears back and hastened along the trail back to Vergelegen CP which we reached just before 14:00.

We had been in the mountains for just under 45 hours, had covered 51km, ascended 2400m, slept out at close to 3300m, ascended two peaks over 3300m, witnessed an amazing sunrise, explored two significant passes and some of the terrain in between, seen a Verreaux (black) eagle, several grysbok and a jackal & mountain reedbuck(?) at very close range. Couldn't have asked for more despite the serious blisters I picked up on the balls of both feet and a slightly sprained ankle.

Thanks ghaz for another memorable trip, for sharing the depth of your Berg knowledge which is almost unfathomable and your enthusiasm for exploration & the mountains which is contagious.

make a difference. today.

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Last edit: 08 Feb 2016 16:40 by andrew r. Reason: thanks
The following user(s) said Thank You: Serious tribe, diverian, Stijn, JonWells, ghaznavid, tonymarshall

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08 Feb 2016 18:51 #66950 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Mini Hike Reports

andrew r wrote: We haven’t really discussed it but I’m sure ghaz will produce another of his comprehensive hike reports in due course, so in the interim here's an outline of this weekend's foray into Vergelegen

It is under construction, but should be posted soon...

andrew r wrote: Thanks ghaz for another memorable trip, for sharing the depth of your Berg knowledge which is almost unfathomable and your enthusiasm for exploration & the mountains which is contagious.

Thanks for joining - it was a really awesome hike :thumbsup:

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

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13 Feb 2016 15:34 - 13 Feb 2016 22:49 #67014 by Dillon
Replied by Dillon on topic Mini Hike Reports

Dillon wrote: Just got back from an awesome little weekend away at Garden Castle...


Video by Gus:



Edit: I see Gus beat me to it and started a thread here: www.vertical-endeavour.com/forum/drakensberg-trips/56006-rhino-peak-hike.html#67025

I'll post some pics there when I get a gap.

"Mountains are not fair or unfair, they are just dangerous."
Last edit: 13 Feb 2016 22:49 by Dillon.
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29 Mar 2016 17:34 #67522 by AndrewP
Replied by AndrewP on topic Mini Hike Reports
Somehow, I have gotten stuck as the meet leader for the Jhb MCSA Easter meet. I have decided to try find a way of getting in a trip that can appeal to not only fitter and faster climber types, but also to novices.

This year, we tackled the Injasuti area.

It is usual for people to join at the last minute and also for people to pull out at the last minute. When you get to the venue a day early, which has no cell signal, and you then realise that you forgot to tell everyone how and where and when to find you...

We set off as 3 groups. Andre, who knows the way set off early. I set off with the people who made it to the parking area on time and Neil brought up the rear. On the hike up to Centenary Hut, we saw numerous groups of people. Who may or may not have been part of my group.

That night was rather busy. 2 groups of 15+, and at least 3 groups of 3 all crowded around a single hut.


The next morning, I decided to get a little control. I asked everyone to gather for a group photo. The sun was striking the cliffs behind in that typical morning glow, but more importantly, it gave me a chance to count the number of people on the hike. It was also the first time everyone was together, so a few introductions were made. I have no idea how many people should have started out, but from that point on I had to look after 15 people. Easy.

We took the Northern High Approach, while the other large group took the contour path. In the back of my mind, I knew that if the 2 parties converged on the crux of Corner Pass at the same time, it could get messy, so I kept Around the Corner Pass in the back of my mind.

The NHA has a tricky scramble that obviously slowed us down a bit. Everyone managed to get up with their own pack, although I could not help thinking of dominoes.


When we got into the pass proper, I could see the other party a long way down the valley, at least an hour behind. NHA is clearly the way to go.

We got up the pass easily enough, despite a bit of grumbling. For 5 people, this was their first trip to the top of the escarpment, and Corner Pass is not the easiest way up, so well done to all.

We had lunch on top and bounced across to the valley below Upper Injasuti Cave. Another party had set up camp on the true right of the river, so we aimed for a spot on the true left. Which was closer to the Triplets anyway!

Neil and I set off to look at the Triplets, looking for the climbing routes and also finding the descent route to the gulleys leading to the triplets. When I got back to the campsite, Elinda and Richard Hunt where there. They were occupying the campsite on the other side of the valley. I had known we would meet up, but had thought it would be the following evening, so it made for a pleasant surprise.

We made various plans for the following day and went to bed after a lovely evening.

Strong winds the next morning destroyed most plans. Most of the party had planned to summit Mafadi and then head down to Marble Baths. Mafadi was skipped and the long hike down commenced. Neil and I in the meantime set off into the chasms, only to find the wind even stronger down there. We summited Eastern Triplet only, but still had a good time out.

On Monday, by various ways and means, we all got back to our cars.

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The following user(s) said Thank You: elinda, Stijn, ghaznavid, hikingle, Smurfatefrog, tonymarshall, Richard Hunt, andrew r, saros, Biomech, Dave

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29 Mar 2016 18:57 #67524 by Smurfatefrog
Replied by Smurfatefrog on topic Mini Hike Reports
A few random pics from a chilled weekend in the berg



Baboon in a Bell




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The following user(s) said Thank You: elinda, Stijn, ghaznavid, hikingle, pfoj, Richard Hunt, AndrewP, andrew r, saros, Papa Dragon, Biomech

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30 Mar 2016 06:18 #67526 by Richard Hunt
Replied by Richard Hunt on topic Mini Hike Reports
Hi Guys...see a 360 degree video taken from Red Wall Peak 3337m this last week end
and some photos from that area richardhuntphotography.co.za/?p=1043
I really enjoyed all the other reports...well done to Andrew for braving that Triplet on a very windy day!!

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04 Apr 2016 10:27 #67610 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Mini Hike Reports
On 1 April, I took Emily (Quill), Matthew (Molotov Cocktail) and Mike (Hobbit) up to Sleeping Beauty Cave. Emily and Matthew aren't on VE, but I made sure they decided on their mountain names in advance :laugh:

Seeing as Emily and Matthew have done the Giants Cup Trail, but not much else - Mike and I carried everybody's gear.

Emily wants to put together a video report for the hike, so she took a lot of videos. When she posts it on Youtube, I will share it here.



















"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

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04 Apr 2016 10:51 #67611 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Mini Hike Reports
On Saturday, Mike and I took Matthew and Emily up Rhino.

We left at 6:30AM in the mist. It cleared up as the day went on, and aside from the massive gale that was blowing, the weather was great. Personally I would take a gale with good views over a misty day, so I was happy with this.

Near the top of Mashai Pass, Matthew was struggling and he eventually decided that he wouldn't go any further. I managed to push him to go a bit further, but 40m vertically from the top of Mashai Pass, he was not willing to go any further. At this point, I ran ahead to Mike and Emily to give them the go-ahead to climb Rhino and meet us on the way back down.

We finished at around 7:30PM, having made rather slow progress throughout the day. It was Emily's first time hiking above 2200m, first pass and first khulu - what an effort on her part! It was a shame that Matthew didn't make it right to the top, but still a great effort on his part.















On Sunday, I took the Burger family to the waterfall on the Mashai River (about 1km from the blue bridge). It is a great spot with plenty of space to sit, and a few great rock pools.





"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

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