Iron Crown

25 Nov 2018 07:22 - 25 Nov 2018 07:52 #74268 by tonymarshall
Iron Crown was created by tonymarshall
In October I had an unexpected opportunity to hike to the top of Iron Crown, the highest peak in Limpopo province. I was attending a Mountain Walking Guide training course that Neil Margetts presented near Polokwane, and helping Neil with presenting the mapwork, navigation, gps and practical aspects of the training. Four local adventure guides Zander, Jeremiah, Nathaniel and Marcus attended, as well as Neil's girlfriend Nadine, and admin lady Louise. Although the local guys were mainly involved in hiking in Magoebaskloof, the zip line, and kloofing, they had all been up Iron Crown, and it was suggested as the route for our practical hike at the end of the course.  

We drove to where the hike starts, through Haenertsburg town, along a gravel public road which passes the farms Weighton, Forest Glen and Fountain Head, passing through some natural forest and plantations towards Iron Crown, and parked the bakkie at the start of the trail on the farm Paeroa. The drive was about 7 km, and although we had a bakkie, the road would be easily drivable with a small car, but beware if it has been raining as there are some steep sections on the way which may become difficult. I have put a gps track of this road – the same route used in the Iron Crown half marathon – in the downloads section. 

The gravel road starts on the corner of Kerk St (Church St) and Commisaris St in Haenertsburg. 

 

A sign at the start of the road indicates the Department of Forestry Forest Glen Indigenous Forest is along the road. 

 

We parked next to road, at the start of the trail, which can be seen at the left opposite the bakkie in the photo below. The trail is between the burnt and unburnt grass. 


 
It was misty and damp, and cold, but cleared up a bit as we started the hike, ascending quite steeply up the path.  

 

The grass was burnt along the path, so our feet didn’t get wet, which they would have if the grass was long. 

 

The route later joined the plantation road, which is also part of a mountain bike trail, and we started to ascend above the mist. I have also put a track of the hike in the downloads section. 

 

The network of roads through the plantation are followed towards the summit, and the mist was still around. 

 

There were several turnoffs and junctions on the road, which I have marked on the track in the downloads section. 

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Last edit: 25 Nov 2018 07:52 by tonymarshall.

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25 Nov 2018 07:36 - 25 Nov 2018 07:50 #74269 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Iron Crown
We took a group photo along the way, fltr Tony, Neil, Louise, Nathi, Nadine, Jeremiah, Marcus and Zander. 

 

The plantation of pine trees stretches right to the summit, and was surprisingly pleasant to walk through. 

 

The last bit of plantation road, before the final steep trail section up to the summit. 

 

A view up the steep, rocky trail to the summit. 

 

A view down the steep section, back towards the road. Unfortunately the mist prevented any views to the summit during the hike, and blocked most of the summit view.  

 

The peak has several cellphone and radio aerials and associated buildings housing the electrical equipment, and several older abandoned ruins, which is quite sad as it all really intrudes into what should be a natural setting, The summit is rocky,
lots of boulders with a lot of bushes. 

 

At the trig beacon on the summit, Trig Beacon 20, Iron Crown. From where the trail starts where we had parked, to the summit of Iron Crown was 3.3 km, with an ascent of 500m. 

 

After a break on the summit, we descended back to the plantation road, and had a bit of a view back along the way we had ascended.  

 

Normally you would just head back the same way, but we left the plantation road to hike through the veld, and practise some of the navigation and rope skills that had been learned on the training course. A low cliff at the base of a steep descent
provided a good opportunity for Zander to set up a rope handrail. At the bottom we passed several interesting deep excavations, probably old mining exploration pits, before returning to the bakkie, and driving out the way we drove in.  

Via a much longer drive, it is possible to drive all the way to the top of Iron Crown.

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Last edit: 25 Nov 2018 07:50 by tonymarshall.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Serious tribe, elinda, ghaznavid, hikingle, Dave, Christinejvr, WarrenM

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