Monks Cowl Area
5 – 6 November 2011
A group of 5 of us set off from Calfargie in the central berg to hike to Stable cave. This is a route not used by hikers as it is a bit out of the way from the Monk’s Cowl office, from where the hike usually starts from. The views along the way are good , and we soon found ourselves climbing the long and steepish “Jacobs Ladder” pass. The day was hot, and our pace was relatively slow.
Stable cave is a large cave with plenty of good sleeping places. The one area has a built up wall section to give added protection against the environment.
Thee main problem with Stable cave is that it is far from a water source in the dry winter period. The cave is high up the slope, and the river bed is far away. We tried a rocky area where we thought the water may be, but found it nearly dry, then had to go all the way down to the river bed to find water. While we were there a swim was in order, however the long hard pull back up to the cave with full water bags negated the cooling effect of the river
From the cave we could see the famous Devil’s Tooth in the far horizon - the Devils Tooth is at the Amphitheatre ion the northern berg. Later a very red sunset showed across the Cathedral Peak area. A bad sign for tomorrow !!!
We awoke to heavy misty conditions, so after breakfast we packed up and left. The first part of the downhill path home was done in swirling mist. Then the mist cleared , and we had a good walk back to the cars
We had hoped that the Spring flowers would be out, however with the lack of rain , the good showing we were hoping to see was not there, however we still managed a small glimpse of some of the magnificent flowers of the Drakensberg
We arrived at the cars fairly early, then had to drive to the Monks Cowl office to sign out of the Mountain Register , this is an important part of the paper work involved in doing a trip into the mountains. It is important at this time of the year to ensure that you know where the water sources are in relation to where you may be Overnighting. Carrying empty water bags with you , so that you are able to fetch water from a far distance from your night camp is very essential to enjoying a multi day hike.