Hilton College Conservancy, Gwen's Falls Four
28 April, 2019
Leaders: Eric Esenwein and Alistair Nixon
Duration: 3-4 hours
20 hikers

Report and photos by Alistair Nixon

[CLICK ON PHOTOS TO VIEW FULLSIZE - or view pics in accompanying SIMPLEVIEWER Presentation]

HCC is a special place to hike. Access is allowed to bona_fide clubs with permission coming from the Estates Manager. There are a selection of hikes with varying grades. This hike was grade 3 with a few challenges! Our destination was to see Gwen's Four waterfall.

We parked near the Estates offices and shared transport down as sedan cars could have been challenged by the road. We drove to Derek's Place which is a boma for hire and has the ultimate "loo with a view". From here it is a few kilometres to Gwen's Spruit where the hike really begins. The hike goes upstream and in a short space of time enters the gorge which progressively gets more and more impressive. The path follows very close to the stream. There are a few moments where root clinging, tree embracing and ladders are essential to navigate the path.

Gwen's Four falls can only be viewed from below by undertaking some bundu bashing. A few waited at the cave while others made there way to the falls. A short steep climb out brings the path to the top of the falls. From here a few hikers climbed further to see Gwen's three and two. After crossing the stream and top of the falls the route starts its return. The path moves out of the gorge and through grassland. The path down has been partially eroded as a result of the rains so certain parts were difficult to navigate. Back to Derek's where we had a brief stop and enjoyed the valley views from the viewing platforms.

Our thanks to Hilton College for allowing us access.

Pic. 1 - Eric on recce car is at the top
Pic. 2 - Eric on the recce
Pic. 3 - Recce Gwen One
Pic. 4 - 6 derek's

Pic. 7 - gwen's spruit
Pic. 8 - tree hugging
Pic. 9 - root hugging
Pic. 10 - whale rock
Pic. 11 - 13 gorge
Pic. 14 - enjoying the moment
Pic. 15 - some waiting at the cave
Pic. 16 - bundu bash to Gwen's Four
Pic. 17- View towards Umgeni Valley
Pic. 18 - Eric guides to Gwen's Four

Pic. 19 - Route home
Pic. 20 - Blesbok on parade
Pic. 21 - caterpillars
Pic. 22 - Route home
Pic. 23 - Our picturesque meeting point on HC
Pic. 24 - Howick Falls on the way home