NATAL TABLE MOUNTAIN
Sunday 2nd April 2000
We set of after some delays towards Nagel Dam. Here the usual entrance road to the resort was closed and a short detour took us in at the far end.
For some distance the path was wide enough to take a vehicle and I could see the point I wanted to get to quite clearly ahead. Then the path rapidly became less and less distinct and finally petered out altogether. So back to the fence which ran some way up the hill and then turned right, which was the direction we wanted to go in. Unfortunately the fence, a 2m high electrified fence which had not been there the last time I had done this walk, then turned to the right again and ran all the way back down to the river we had started from. Liz spotted a hole in the fence (luckily the electricity was off), so, encouraged by Keith we all crawled through the hole, marked the spot with a plastic bag ‑ you can find plastic bags anywhere these days ‑ and tackled the hill head on. The plan was to follow a ridge to a rocky outcrop from which I knew I could find a way to the top, although there was a bit of a rock
scramble ahead. However about half way up the ridge we found the path I was looking for and off we went again. There is now a long traverse round the hill, before the final ascent which proved rather tiring to some. But we all made it and we paused by some trees in one of the curious sinkholes in this part of the mountain to enjoy our lunch with magnificent views. From here it was still about 40 minutes to cross the mountain to a small waterfall, and because of the various delays we decided to turn for home.
We successfully found and negotiated the hole in the fence (good job it had not been repaired). Here Graham adopted a head down position flat on his back which he said was to remove the excess blood from his feet. Keith
took a photo of this extraordinary sight which may or may not find its way to the web site.
I contacted Lawrence Bates, Chairman of the Mountain Backpackers, later and he confirmed that the fence is new and that at the moment there is no good way to reach the summit from Nagel Dam.. A challenging walk with great views. Our party of 11 enjoyed the outing