25 - 26 October 2014
Report & photos courtesy of Dave Sclanders
[CLICK ON PHOTOS TO VIEW FULLSIZE - or view pics in accompanying SIMPLEVIEWER Presentation]
2 previous berg hiking week ends had been cancelled due to forecasted bad weather. This week end looked no better , the forecast was heavy rain from midday on Saturday, through the afternoon, and drizzle and cold on Sunday. However, as we had a warm and secure place for the night, we decided to go . Saturday morning broke clear, and the Giant's Castle Giant and Castle was clear on our southern horizon. However over the Bannerman's Pass area, there was a hint of something building up .
We set off at a good pace, and kept it up all the way to the contour path, where we had our first break. Just a quick snack, as I wanted to get settled into the hut before the rain came, there was a constant threat of bad weather on the horizon.
Pic - 2 - The Giant and the Castle
Pic 3 Bannerman's Face outline on the western escarpment
Pic 4 - Uphill all the way
Pic 5 - Weather building up over Bannerman's
Pic 6 Berg blanketed in cloud. Maybe its time to get some warm kit on ?
Pic 7 Arrived at the contour path junction for a short break. Weather creeping down the mountain behind me.
As we sat enjoying the rest, the weather changed dramatically, to a cold wet wind. We up sticks, and headed to the hut 4,5 kilometers away. The pace was quick, but equally the weather was building. Again, a good pace was taken and, fortunately the rain clouds seemed to stay up a bit higher than us. We pushed on in a tight bunch, and around the corner, Bannerman s Hut came into view. For first time hikers, the hut seems so close, however to the initiated the hut is still a good 20 30 minutes away depending on your legs and fitness at this stage. Looking above the hut, up the Bannerman's Pass valley, the clouds were building again.
Pic 8 - Keep close, walk fast.
Pic 9 - Just around the corner now ??? !!!
Pic 10 - Bad weather up Bannerman's Pass
Arriving dry, but a bit breathless at the hut, we dropped our packs and immediately went to fetch water. The river was extremely dry, and we eventually found a very small pool with water running into it. The last water fetcher had just got in , when the heavens opened, Heavy rain, great flashes of lightening and heavy thunder were the setting for the afternoon. No amount of rain gear would have kept us dry had we been caught in the downpour.
Pic 11 Rain , rain , rain
Pic 12 - Then it cleared a bit !
Pic 13 - Time to stretch the legs, Bannerman's starts to clear
Pic 14 - Lovely afternoon colours
Pic 15 Waterfall from the heavy rain up Bannerman's Pass
The rain came back, and we spent the rest of the afternoon chatting around a few candles. At 17h30 some decided to do supper, and have an early night bed by 19h30.
Pic 16 18 Getting supper
Pic 19 - Sleeping area,
Sunday broke wet and cold, and misty and miserable some say THIS IS THE LIFE ???? After a slow breakfast, we packed, and headed back to the cars.
Pic 20 22 looks great out there !!
Pic 23 - Last warm and dry moment before kitting up to leave
Pic 24 - Ready, Steady , GO !!
Pic 25 Don t Drop back !!!
Pic 26 - Don t go to far ahead !
Pic 27 - The flowers had started to come out .
We pushed on at a good pace , and were later we were passed by 2 fitter, younger men who had spent the night in Spare Rib cave, with the idea of going over the top and coming down one of the passes towards Giant's Castle. With the bad weather, they cancelled that plan, and came down a day earlier. By 11h30 and not too far from camp, some were feeling a bit hungry, so we pulled into a sheltered spot, had a quick snack as we were all wet and cold, and pushed on down to the car park
Pic 28- Quick mid morning snack
Pic 29 Giant s camp, hidden in the mist down the valley
Once back at the cars, a change into warm clothes and shoes brought some feeling back into our bodies. As we had to go back to the office to sign out on the mountain register, we thought that a good cup of hot coffee we be the next best thing. However, the experience was not what we anticipated, and that probably was a low for us for the whole week end.
Thanks to all the team for the great effort in doing a hard walk in a short time. To Katy and Charlie, thanks for your input into the club.