14 August 2016
Report and photos by Dave Sclanders
[CLICK ON PHOTOS TO VIEW FULLSIZE - or view pics in accompanying SIMPLEVIEWER Presentation]
Meeting at the appointed time by the organizing leader, the 15 of us set off for our walk, very ably led by the 3 farm dogs that attached themselves to us. At times, they seemed to turn around to us and sort of indicate that e should step up the pace a bit !!!
Inhlosane Peak – far in the back ground – our lunch spot.
There is no real identified route up to the summit, so we chose our own way, but whichever way one goes it is “up-hill”, short cuts don’t help. Take the wrong ridge, and sooner or later you might have to drop down into a valley, and climb up the other side to continue in the right direction, or do a longer detour on the current ridge. The hikers were up to the long climb, and with the frequent stops to enjoy the sights and scenes around us which improved with every meter climbed, we reached the top in good time and condition.
Pics 4 – 12 , the Up-Hill and valley crossings , and views on the way up.
Pic 10 – A quick flash as the last of a group of Eland dashed down a valley away from us.
Our organizer and chief whip was one of the first to the top, with the lagers puffing up behind. The dogs seemed very proud to have made the top again, and were rewarded with a bowl of cold water by Neville.
Each to their own, to select a good spot to eat and chatter and admire the great scenery around them. Snow was evident on the Drakensberg far away to the west, but the haze over the mountains did not allow for any pictures to be taken.
Pics 13 – 18 Lunch time R and R. at the top.
A cold wind cut across the top of the peak, and resulted in a few hardy guys, who after having checked out the views, finding a spot out of the wind, and to rest and build up some strength for the haul down the mountain, and back to the cars.
Pic – 19 Rest a while
There is a sort of a tradition that is expected of those whole do reach the beacon at the top of the mountain, and that is that maybe you should leave a piece of your underwear tied onto the beacon. As a few of our party had disappeared from time to time, just as we were ready to start the downhill part, the question was asked “ Who had left some underwear on the beacon ??. The response was surprising, hands shot up all from all around the group.
Pic – 20 Who is not properly dressed ???
Fortunately on closer inspection of the beacon, it was sort of obvious that our members were “just wishing”, as the underwear on the beacon was pretty old and tatty. Let’s hope that this old tradition stays in moth balls. !!
Pic 21 - No new underwear on this beacon
Then it was time to head back down the hill to our cars. And, as some of us know, going down a long steep hill can put a lot of strain on certain leg muscles as some found out. Anyway, we took a different route down, and enjoyed a longer, but less steep way home. The last river was crossed at an old road drift, the last hill did not seem so bad, and with high spirits the group stopped for a last picture at the entrance to the farm.
Pics – 22 - 26
Luckily, on inspection of picture 1 and picture 26, we were happy to see that all the starters managed to get back safely. A great hike with a good group of spirited people, and farm dogs.
Winter is not yet over, very unpredictable weather can still storm out of the mountains and cause serious discomfort. Check the weather for the area you are planning to walk in, and remember always go prepared for the worst scenario. A light day pack is not the sigh of good packing, it is an indication of an incident waiting to happen. “THE WEATHERMAN IS NOT ALWAYS WRONG” – don’t be caught out when he is right and you are wrong. !!! There is only one loser here.