The 9 summits of SA

12 Jun 2012 15:11 - 12 Jun 2012 15:12 #54298 by ghaznavid
ghaznavid created the topic: The 9 summits of SA
I wonder if anyone else on this forum has considered giving the 9 summit chalenge a shot. For those who don't know what that is, thats the goal of climbing the highest point of each of South Africa's provinces.

Per peakbaggers.com , the list is as follows:
1. KZN Mafadi 3451
2. Free State Namahadi 3275 (should actually be Mont-Aux-Sources as this is on the border of the Free State and is 7m higher, but any way, climbing both is always good fun)
3. Eastern Cape Kwa-Duma 3019
4. Mpumalanga Die Berg 2331
5. Western Cape Seweweekspoort Peak 2325
6. Northern Cape Murch Point 2156 (clearly he wasn't just interested in classifying Berg khulus :) )
7. Limpopo Iron Crown 2126
8. Gauteng Suikerbosrand-Toringkop 1913
9. North West Nooitgedacht West 1805

Does anyone know anything about these peaks (other than the top 3). I am specifically interested in doing North West and Gauteng at the moment (or for that matter, anyone keen on climbing them B) )

"Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory." - Ed Viesturs
Last Edit: 12 Jun 2012 15:12 by ghaznavid.

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12 Jun 2012 15:50 #54299 by HFc
HFc replied to: Re: The 9 summits of SA
This is something I want to do as well.

I've done Mafadi, Namahadi, and the two easy ones in Northwest and Gauteng.I'd love to do the rest although logistical info is hard to find for some of them. I for one would love to get some info on the topic.

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12 Jun 2012 17:43 #54300 by Fitness
Fitness replied to: Re: The 9 summits of SA
As inexperienced as I am I'd love to climb all those summits, so if you looking for someone to join you count me in

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12 Jun 2012 19:50 #54302 by ghaznavid
ghaznavid replied to: Re: The 9 summits of SA
This site has some info on the peaks, but not much. And this site has some GPS co-ords, but thats about all I have so far. I haven't come across any write ups describing anything of use on any of the peaks. I must give wiki a shot some time. I guess it comes down to determining if the peak is on someones land or a nature reserve, and getting their equipped to boulder hop and over night.

@RRankin: if you could provide some info/accounts on the North West and Gauteng ones, that would be a great help, those are the ones I am most interested in right now.

@Fitness: Cool, sounds good. Have you done any of them yet? To date I have only crossed KZN off my list, hoping to do Mont-Aux-Sources in spring/summer this year and maybe do Namahadi with it. North West and Gauteng's peaks seem to be pretty close, it may be beneficial to do them at once.

After reading Ginge Fullen's account of climbing the highest point in Senegal (500 odd metres - an easy gentle climb through thick jungle with a polished block of crackless rock on top, he had to cut down a tree to climb the last bit as he didn't have anything to grip onto), I won't take for granted that Mafadi, KwaDuma and Mont-Aux-Sources/Namahadi are the only hard ones (at least altitude sickness isn't a risk on the others). Its always funny reading how a person struggled to do the highest point in the 3 countries with highest points below 100m. He had to break the law to do the highest point in the Maldives (3m), he had to run through security and risk arrest to stand on a helipad in the Vatican (76m) and couldn't find the highest point in the Gambia (53m), he later described the latter as looking like a place where a truck full of building sand had dumped its load...

"Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory." - Ed Viesturs

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13 Jun 2012 11:36 #54314 by intrepid
intrepid replied to: Re: The 9 summits of SA
See this thread for ideas on establishing some better documentation on these summits. For those going after these, you are encouraged to document what you do as much as you can, and if you like I will create some room and categories for this on the site.

I have an interest in them too, though time in the Berg on other projects vs time spent chasing a koppie elsewhere is easily tipped in favour of the former!

Kobus Bresler has done these 9 summits in 9 days before. He is a member of this site, so look him up if you want to get more info.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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13 Jun 2012 13:29 #54315 by HFc
HFc replied to: Re: The 9 summits of SA
@ Ghaz

I used to be a cyclist in a previous life (at least it feels like a previous life). So, both NW and Gauteng peaks were done by mountain bike, that is how easy they are. NW peak is accessible from either Mountain Sanctuary park if you want a decent hike, or from the South via a short but steep dirt road onto the escarpment. We did this one in training in about 2005, my last year of cycling. The Toringkop high ground is a bit off the dirt tracks in that area, but a mountain bike tour ended there that I did in 2002, and I remember some of us walking to the high point the afternoon. No photos, had no camera with me, was a poor student at that stage.

Still counts though... :silly:

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13 Jun 2012 15:08 #54320 by brio
brio replied to: Re: The 9 summits of SA
Hi
@Ghaz
Did a quick look today on googe maps (terrain on) at NW and Gauteng. From what I see is a road goes near the top of each. :P
So if driving maybe both can be done in a day. Probably dirt and unsure of the quality. (But that is cheating. :angry: )

Also the NW highest spot is not a peak but a slope of the peak, which is in Gauteng. NW border is on the WNW slope.

Let me know when you plan this. Will join if I can. Have not done any of these.

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13 Jun 2012 18:34 - 13 Jun 2012 18:40 #54324 by Stijn
Stijn replied to: Re: The 9 summits of SA
I have almost summitted Seweweekspoort Peak before after a rugged 4-day traverse from Towerkop to the West. Unfortunately we got caught in a blizzard on our last day and had to escape the mountain after camping within 1km of the top for a full day...

The easiest way to bag it would be to hike up from the gravel road to the North of the peak. About 5km one-way and close to 1000m ascent without a path IIRC. So it can be done as a day hike but you'd have to arrange access with the farmer - you can probably chat to the relevant MCSA section as they often do this hike.

Oh, and don't underestimate the Western Cape mountain ranges like the Swartberg and the Hex River Mountains - the Berg may have the sheer altitude but in my hikes while at UCT, I found these ranges to be far more rugged, wild and challenging. Defintely worth the trip (or several)!
Last Edit: 13 Jun 2012 18:40 by Stijn.

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13 Jun 2012 18:46 #54325 by ghaznavid
ghaznavid replied to: Re: The 9 summits of SA
@Intrepid: Thanks for the link - that thread was so significant that the text appearing below every post I put on this forum is from Ginge Fullen's website! I was actually trying to remember how I discovered about that website. I think the Karen you referred to may be my brother's boss, he always talks about how his boss is doing the highest point in every country in Africa. Small world...

@Brio: I'm not big on peak driving either. I always question where the line is, driving up Sani and climbing Thabana Ntlenyana is a darn hard hike, but walking to the highest point in Malta would be pointless. Thats interesting about the highest point in North-West, Kuwait and Monaco both have a highest point on the slopes of a peak/hills. I imagine its hard to actually find the highest points, I must get exact GPS co-ords...

@anyone interested in joining: I am hoping to head up to Jo'burg in December this year. I hope to plan something like this:
- Head up to JHB with a hopefully fairly full car to save on petrol :)
- Leave JHB early in the morning and do the North West peak, drive back to JHB that evening
- Head from JHB to the Gauteng peak the next day and find somewhere to stay in the direction of the Free State
- Head the next morning to Witsieshoek and head up the chain ladders, sleep somewhere up there, as close to Mont-Aux-Sources as possible
- Head up Mont-Aux-Sources and Namahadi and down Namahadi Pass, camp somewhere around here (hopefully I can find a map of the area, the Singsby map doesn't show a route back to Witsieshoek, it probably requires some walking up that road)
- Head back to my area of the planet with lots of photos and good memories :woohoo:

Thoughts?

"Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory." - Ed Viesturs

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14 Jun 2012 20:15 #54347 by ghaznavid
ghaznavid replied to: Re: The 9 summits of SA
Another way of going for it would be to have a crack at the speed record - I think its 8 days 6 hours and some change - lots of GPS data and research required! I can't find anything online about who holds the record or the rules - it makes a huge difference if you only start the clock when you stand on peak 1 and stop it when you stand on peak 9 vs stopping the clock when you return to your starting point. No prizes for guessing which peak would come first on a time run if the timer only starts on the summit...

If I can get a group of 4 or 5 together so driving and costs can be shared, maybe attach some awareness of some cause or some publicity for fund raising thing to it, it could be good fun, challenging (especially doing Kwa-Duma, Mafadi and Namahadi, in that order)...

"Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory." - Ed Viesturs

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