Welcome to MountainViews
If you want to use the website often please enrol (quick and free) at top right.

General Whatever you want to say that doesn't fit under the comments about mountains or another forum.
Sort by >

More controls

<< Prev page 1 .. 127 128 129 130 131 132 .. 370 Next page >>
Post details Post   (Expand pics)
Lads,
Just .. by ciarraioch   (Show all posts)
...not sure, but i.. by Conor74   (Show all posts)
Hi just want to kn.. by petercrowley   (Show all posts)
Paul, have you tr.. by mcrtchly   (Show all posts)
I'm preparing a le.. by pdtempan   (Show all posts)
Dessie that's dele.. by simon3   (Show all posts)
I have put a summa.. by Dessie1   (Show all posts)
Co Wicklow walkers.. by aidand   (Show all posts)
kernowclimber
2012-05-07 15:40:45
"The infamous Sani Pass in the Drakensburg Mountains" from kernowclimber Expand pics
The infamous Sani Pass in the Drakensburg Mountains (Expand pics)
Climbing to the top of the Kingdom in the Sky
Getting to the tiny landlocked Kingdom of Lesotho from Kwa Zulu Natal in South Africa is no easy matter. It entails a 9 km drive up the infamous unpaved Sani Pass that snakes its rocky, tortuous way up the edge of an escarpment of the Drankensburg Mountains. With features such as Suicide Bend and Haemorrhoid Hill you need a strong anal nerve and a 4X4 to even attempt it.

Buckshot rain drummed on our 4X4 as it lurched forward over deep gullies scoured by floods, through streams and bad potholes, loose rocks churning beneath the wheels. Mud and freezing temperatures made traction tricky on the numerous hairpin bends – at least we couldn’t see the horrendous death trap drop-offs in the mist. Martin did well to coax the 4X4 up this brutal pass where several vehicles were abandoned and another towed up the final 2 hairpins. Our relief was palpable when the border post and a group of wretched rondavels finally loomed through the cloud and billowing coal smoke at the top of the pass (2874m). A few beers in the nearby Highest Pub in Africa was just reward!

We awoke in our hut to a crimson dawn chasing away the stars. The glistening earth steamed as the sun gently released it from night’s icy grasp. Thatched mokhoro (stone huts) emitted clouds of blue smoke as we drove with our Basotho guide to a nearby village to climb Thabane Ntlenyana (3482m), the highest mountain in Southern Africa. At just over 22 kms, it is not a technical climb over treeless Afro-Montane grassland and a few river crossings only tricky in the rainy season, but it is at altitude. The route traverses a valley for over 4 kms before a steep climb up a ridge followed by a descent into another broad valley. A second ridge must be surmounted before the final pull up the shoulder of the mountain with its crown of rocks.

This is big sheep country, unfenced under expansive blue skies, domain of jackal buzzards. Basotho shepherds clad in balaclavas, woollen blankets and gumboots greet you warmly in rapid Sesotho, the silence broken only by the clanking of sheep bells. With winter approaching there was fresh snow on the higher slopes but the sun was warm on our backs. After 4 hrs we attained the summit, buffeted by strong winds. The Zulus call these mountains Quathlamba or ‘The Barrier of Spears’. We understood why as we gazed upon an army of emerald peaks, most over 3,000m, some topped with a pie crust of basaltic rock gleaming with snow. We watched mesmerised as cloud drifted languidly up over the edge of the dramatic Drakensburg Escarpment below, the inky blue ramparts of the mysterious Giant’s Castle floating between earth and sky beyond.

The descent took just under 3 hrs. You could climb this mountain without a guide but at 35 euro this was money well spent in such a poor community and we learnt much about Basotho culture. In all it took us 7.5 hours with around 1.5 hours of stops and we were back in the pub to celebrate before sunset.
It is an excellent.. by march-fixer   (Show all posts)


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 14 Next page >>
Summit Comment
Camaderry Mountain: Great views from Camaderry
jasonmac 4 hours ago.
Parked at the Glendalough upper lake and paid the 4 euro, glad i did as this hike took me over 4 hours and the carpark was past closing by the time I got back. headed along the left side of lake a...

  
Track
Near Carrignagower, Comeragh Mountains (Ireland)
DenisMc 7 hours ago.
walk, Len: 14.3km, Climb: 730m, Area: Carrignagower, Comeragh Mountains (Irelan...

  
Summit Comment
Croaghskearda: Views
Strikeen 14 hours ago.
Some more views

Summit Comment
Croaghskearda: Views from atop
Strikeen 14 hours ago.
Some spectacular views from this mountain

  
Forum: General
Benbulben Caves
40Shades 2 days ago.
Does anyone have any grid refs for caves in or around Benbulben in Co Sligo ? I know of the one on the left as you ascend the gully from Luke's Bridge but I hear of one in or about Cartronwilliamo...

  
Summit Comment
Slievecoiltia: Will explore next time.
Corkonian 2 days ago.
There is a drive to the top. Busy place. Good views from the top.

Track
A Long Walk to Conigar
CaptainVertigo a day ago.
walk, Len: 27.1km, Climb: 1095m, Area: Coomataggart, Shehy/Knockboy (Ireland) C...

  
Summit Comment
Lacken Hill: Great views. Good spot.
Corkonian 2 days ago.
Good spot and a good place to walk. Final part of the climb to the top is a bit of a challenge. Spectacular wide ranging views from the hill top. Also historical monuments on the hill top. Underst...

  
Forum: General
GPS Device Found
GSheehy 2 weeks ago.
GPS Unit found in the Maumturks . Contact 086/8449239 for details.

Track
Cycle around Ballinastoe etc.
simon3 a day ago.
A cycling track. run, Len: 29.5km, Climb: 399m, Area: Robber's Pass Hill, Dublin/Wicklow (Irelan...

  
Summit Comment
Maumfin: Cattle might be a problem
eamonoc 3 days ago.
On 20/4/2017, at 07.4am drove to L 65405 59318, at area noted as Tievegariff on OS sheet 37. Parked opposite old abandoned cottage, went through gate and onto a well made farm tack uphill to two o...

  
Summit Comment
Cnoc na Sleá: Sunset At The Murder Hole
Aidy 5 days ago.
In my main summit comment I mentioned the steep northern sides of both Crocknasleigh and Gortnalughuge that I had descended to get to the Murder Hole at Boyeeghter Bay for sunset. This photo shows...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 14 Next page >>