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Author Topic: Drakensberg Grand Traverse – by motorcycle  (Read 6062 times)

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Offline Edgar

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Re: Drakensberg Grand Traverse – by motorcycle
« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2017, 11:28:51 am »
The chap with the WHITE face... was he suppose to be at work ? :laughing4:

Probably wanted by Interpol or something like that.... :imaposer:
 

Offline lone riderer

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Re: Drakensberg Grand Traverse – by motorcycle
« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2017, 11:32:57 am »
 :sip:
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Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: Drakensberg Grand Traverse – by motorcycle
« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2017, 12:27:51 pm »
The chap with the WHITE face... was he suppose to be at work ? :laughing4:
I was thinkin why do the one guy wear such a big squire helmet ;)
« Last Edit: July 20, 2017, 05:27:40 pm by ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS »
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Offline LoopSoosStroop

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Re: Drakensberg Grand Traverse – by motorcycle
« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2017, 12:30:40 pm »
Flippit dis snaaks
 

Offline billy-joe

Re: Drakensberg Grand Traverse – by motorcycle
« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2017, 12:39:02 pm »
sub'd, love the 'berg man
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Offline onderbroek

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Re: Drakensberg Grand Traverse – by motorcycle
« Reply #25 on: July 20, 2017, 12:54:35 pm »
Subbing to come read later
hak vrystaat
 

Offline Dirt Junkie

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Re: Drakensberg Grand Traverse – by motorcycle
« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2017, 02:33:52 pm »
sub
Something to think about...
When you complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation, change the situation, or accept your it. All else is madness.

KTM 640 adv,  Aprilia RS 250, Yamaha YZ450F, 2014 KTM 690, 2010 KTM 690R, 2011 BMW F800GS, Yamaha XT600E , 2012 KTM 250 SX-F , KTM 400 EXC, Kawasaki  KLR650, Honda 125 estorm, 2012 KTM 300 XCW, 2008 KTM 690
 

Offline TinusBez

Re: Drakensberg Grand Traverse – by motorcycle
« Reply #27 on: July 20, 2017, 04:20:36 pm »
Beautiful country! Gooi nog
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Offline IanTheTooth

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Re: Drakensberg Grand Traverse – by motorcycle
« Reply #28 on: July 20, 2017, 07:57:57 pm »
Escarpment to Tsoelike catchment

After our stop on the edge of the escarpment we had to make the next big step. At some point we had to cross the rim of the bowl around the catchment area of the Tsoelike River which from the Natal side you see as Mount Mzimude. At 3180m it is not quite as high as the Mashai ridge but still pretty intimidating. The Tsoelike river is of course the same one  that goes past Sehlebathebe and along the border to Quacha's Nek. From the bottom we took the left fork at the cleft up which Iain and Stuart had already navigated towards the frozen waterfall and the large cave.  As Iain said, it is not pretty riding and sometime in the future someone will find the real way through.

 At three thousand meters there is not much in your engine and even less in you and rock steps can tire you out very quickly. At one point I was draped over my bike like a big soft jelly baby more intent on just holding it upright rather than making forward progress with it when a man came down from above and rode it out for me. I'm sure they will keep a very special place in heaven for  Iain after such a good deed!

As we came towards the crest there was a lovely patch of smooth grass to ride over. I got to it first and fell flat on my arse. It was a frozen solid bog. Iain had a good laugh. He had another good laugh when Fred, who'd taken a different line on the other side of the valley, did exactly the same thing. You can see him picking up his bike in the pictures.

When we got to the Tsoelike river it was also frozen solid. On the cliff next to it was a stone hut, the only one we saw on our trip. At this time of year the high berg is eerily empty. All the herds boys and their animals are at a much lower altitude.   
« Last Edit: July 20, 2017, 09:41:52 pm by IanTheTooth »
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Offline IanTheTooth

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Re: Drakensberg Grand Traverse – by motorcycle
« Reply #29 on: July 20, 2017, 08:02:19 pm »
more
« Last Edit: July 20, 2017, 08:06:33 pm by IanTheTooth »
The dog that caught the car. What now?
 
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Offline IanTheTooth

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Re: Drakensberg Grand Traverse – by motorcycle
« Reply #30 on: July 20, 2017, 08:08:27 pm »
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« Last Edit: July 20, 2017, 08:11:34 pm by IanTheTooth »
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Offline IanTheTooth

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Re: Drakensberg Grand Traverse – by motorcycle
« Reply #31 on: July 20, 2017, 08:14:08 pm »
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« Last Edit: July 20, 2017, 08:15:32 pm by IanTheTooth »
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Offline IanTheTooth

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Re: Drakensberg Grand Traverse – by motorcycle
« Reply #32 on: July 20, 2017, 10:10:25 pm »
Mashai Ridge/saddle


The Mashai ridge was the real make or break point of this ride. For many years we wondered if it was possible to get past this enormous obstacle and if we did it would be the point of no return, we would have to continue on to the other end.

As it turned out it came up on us quite quickly and when you are there it is quite obvious that there is only one way through. We sat on the North side in the sun and out of the biting wind having our lunch. When we were riding the weather wasn't an issue but as soon as you stopped it got cold very quickly. From where we had lunch the rest of the trip was laid out in front of us all the way to Hodgson's Peak North above Sani Top.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2017, 10:12:35 pm by IanTheTooth »
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Offline IanTheTooth

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Re: Drakensberg Grand Traverse – by motorcycle
« Reply #33 on: July 20, 2017, 10:14:22 pm »
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« Last Edit: July 20, 2017, 10:15:21 pm by IanTheTooth »
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Offline IanTheTooth

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Re: Drakensberg Grand Traverse – by motorcycle
« Reply #34 on: July 20, 2017, 10:17:31 pm »
Rhino Peak


While I was mapping this ride I did notice that Rhino peak was the large freestanding berg extension with fantastic views of the escarpment on both sides but I didn't realize how accessible it would be to us on bikes. I would say from Sani you could hit this easily as a day trip, especially if you take the bridle path through the Sani flats.

When my dad was 60 my parents came out from Scotland to see their new granddaughter and I dragged my dad up Rhino Peak from Drakensberg Gardens. He knew that he couldn't refuse but he knew that he shouldn't be doing it. Standing on the top of Rhino peak as a 60 year old some 28 years later I had very similar thoughts.   When I phoned him up and told him about it when I got home I think he thoroughly enjoyed the irony of it all.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2017, 10:19:47 pm by IanTheTooth »
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Offline IanTheTooth

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Re: Drakensberg Grand Traverse – by motorcycle
« Reply #35 on: July 20, 2017, 10:21:19 pm »
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« Last Edit: July 20, 2017, 10:22:44 pm by IanTheTooth »
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Offline JonW

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Re: Drakensberg Grand Traverse – by motorcycle
« Reply #36 on: July 20, 2017, 10:25:22 pm »
Nice ride Ian  :thumleft:
How can I be lost if I've got nowhere to go?
 

Offline IanTheTooth

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Re: Drakensberg Grand Traverse – by motorcycle
« Reply #37 on: July 20, 2017, 10:25:47 pm »
Sani Top and home

From Rhino Peak and Majoe Matsoe pass onwards the ride became pretty straight forward as the escarpment flattens off in the bowl above Underberg.  The last bit included about one and a half kilometers of tar. When you are sitting stationery on a bike and going at road speed you quickly realize how bloody cold it is.

 Stepping off the bike into a warm bar was a very special feeling and the first beer went down just a treat! Amazingly enough our driver had arrived at Sani top just in time to see our headlamps approaching. It was just past 3 in the afternoon and I think a very respectable time to be out of harm's way. As we drove down the pass the cloud came down over the escarpment and the rain started at Underberg so the lord only knows what it was like on top.

 Although this was a truly successful adventure it could easily have ended in tears and I have to thank Iain and Stuart for all the preparation that they put into this. I was pretty stiff for the next two days.


What's Next?

Iain is already planning the next bit from Sani to Mount Aux Sources. Catch him at:

http://www.rockrabbits.co.za/index.php
facebook:  rockrabbits
« Last Edit: July 20, 2017, 10:28:17 pm by IanTheTooth »
The dog that caught the car. What now?
 
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Offline Xpat

Re: Drakensberg Grand Traverse – by motorcycle
« Reply #38 on: July 20, 2017, 10:40:42 pm »
Fantastic - respect!  :thumleft:

Do you think average middle aged bimbo like me can do it on KTM 500 or is that too big? I wouldn't be able to do it in winter - do you think it may be doable October/Novemberish or heat stroke would be too much of a risk? Ta

Offline IanTheTooth

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Re: Drakensberg Grand Traverse – by motorcycle
« Reply #39 on: July 20, 2017, 10:58:59 pm »
As you see Iain used his 530, mainly because he wasn't sure if his wife was going to pick him up in Underberg and he would have to ride home, but he was pleasantly surprised by how well the big KTM handled the ride and I know both him and Stuart regard the 500 as the ultimate extreme adventure bike. I would do it at Easter if I had the choice. Ian
The dog that caught the car. What now?