Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register

Author Topic: Rhino Peak  (Read 1131 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline JonW

  • Hilton Hound
  • Global Moderator
  • Forum Whore
  • ***
  • Bike: Boss Hoss (all models)
    Location: Kwazulu Natal
  • Posts: 6,048
  • Thanked: 148 times
Rhino Peak
« on: September 21, 2018, 10:47:20 am »
During my recent 18 month bikeless phase I was reading one of Ian de Toof's ride reports from Lesotho in  and he mentioned that they had got near the peak of the Rhino Horn in the southern berg.

Now as a kid I had climbed to the top of Rhino Horn peak many times during our Drak Gardens Holidays, so naturally I was intrigued with the idea of getting to the peak of the horn (or as close as possible) by bike from the Lesotho side. So after one uneventful solo trip on my newly acquired KTM520 I decided I was ready to get back into the swing of things, and what better way than a ride up into Lesotho. I spent a fair bit of time searching for a route on google Earth without too much joy, so I opted for the easy route and sent Ian a pm asking if he could let me have his track. He obliged, so the ride was on.

The first person i contacted to go with me was Highsider, I like riding with him, he is keen to get off the beaten track, likes exploring and rides well. He was keen, so we set the date for Tuesday, as the weather looked good for the few days leading up to the day and on the day itself. The next decision was whether to ride our bikes all the way to Sani for the trip, or trailer to Himeville and ride from there. I must say I felt like a bit of a wimp even contemplating trailering to Himeville, in the past i wouldn't have thought twice about riding100 odd km to sani, but in the past i didn't have that torture device that passes for a seat on the 520.

So trailering it was and we organized to leave the vehicle and trailer at the Himeville Arms Hotel.

Sani itself was pretty dry and rocky, just like I remembered it from my last ride up about 2 years ago. the section between Sani Pass Hotel and the border post wasn't much fun, very dry and dusty, lots of construction taking place, new bridges etc and stacks of stop and go's.

At the bottom of the pass it was a bit windy but not really noticeable. As we got higher up the wind turned into a gale and it was almost unmanageable. A couple of times at the switchbacks near the top I could feel my bike being blown towards the edge of the road.

After clearing customs we decided to head for Sani Top lodge for a coffee while we waited for the wind to subside. I don't think I have ever ridden in wind that strong. At Sani Lodge we had to park our bikes on the veranda right next to the wall, they would have been blown over if left in the parking area.

We waited inside for about an hour and a half then decided that we better get going, the time was now getting on. the wind had subsided a bit, and as we rode inland towards Black Mountain Pass it did get better.

First pic is taken from the www of Rhino peak, our planned destination.

How can I be lost when I have got nowhere to go?
 
The following users thanked this post: wilfwalk

Offline JonW

  • Hilton Hound
  • Global Moderator
  • Forum Whore
  • ***
  • Bike: Boss Hoss (all models)
    Location: Kwazulu Natal
  • Posts: 6,048
  • Thanked: 148 times
Re: Rhino Peak
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2018, 10:59:37 am »
So after riding for about 3km on the tar we turned off on the track to Sani Stone Cottages.

The track so far was pretty decent, so much so that I was even wondering whether this ride would be an anti-climax. The next few kilometers showed me that it would definitely not be, a nice rocky track led us down into a valley, and from there the track was not obvious at all. Lots of virgin bushes and rocky sections to get through. i was in absolute heaven. Not a sign of civilization for as far as the eye could see.

eventually the track led down to this amazing piece of "lawn" about as big as a few rugby fields, absolutely flat and almost manicured, a huge putting green in the middle of nowhere.

How can I be lost when I have got nowhere to go?
 
The following users thanked this post: wilfwalk

Offline JonW

  • Hilton Hound
  • Global Moderator
  • Forum Whore
  • ***
  • Bike: Boss Hoss (all models)
    Location: Kwazulu Natal
  • Posts: 6,048
  • Thanked: 148 times
Re: Rhino Peak
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2018, 11:11:20 am »
Most of the riding from there was virgin bush, up rocky off-camber climbs, over ridges, rivers and into ravines, with nothing but Ian's track on the GPS to guide us. Some fairly hairy steep downhill rocky sections that had us wondering whether we would make the difficult uphill climb on the way back.

Came across this deserted shepherd's hut which would have suited us nicely if we got stuck out there after dark, if we were about 4 foot tall.
How can I be lost when I have got nowhere to go?
 

Offline JonW

  • Hilton Hound
  • Global Moderator
  • Forum Whore
  • ***
  • Bike: Boss Hoss (all models)
    Location: Kwazulu Natal
  • Posts: 6,048
  • Thanked: 148 times
Re: Rhino Peak
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2018, 11:26:34 am »
After an hour or two more riding and deviating off the GPS track every now and then, we realized that due to our late start time had got the better of us and we weren't going to make it all the way to Rhino peak and back to the road before nightfall.

So we made the difficult decision to abandon the trip and head back towards Sani Lodge. Difficult decision, but no doubt the right one, getting caught out in the mountains in Lesotho wouldn't have been fun, despite now knowing that there was a comfy shepherd's cottage available to stay in.

What it does mean is that i will definitely be back to get to the top of Rhino peak sometime in the near future. and it was definitely not a waste of time, some magnificent terrain and riding. I also didn't realize it at the time of making the decision to turn around, but I was absolutely buggered from the ride and took a fair bit of strain riding back to the lodge and down Sani . That's what not riding for 18 months will do to you.

Damn I was glad we had decided to trailer to Himeville.

Thanks Kevin for the awesome ride, we will do it again soon.
How can I be lost when I have got nowhere to go?
 
The following users thanked this post: andrew5336, wilfwalk

Offline IanTheTooth

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: AJS (all models)
    Location: Australia
  • Posts: 1,190
  • Thanked: 64 times
  • The past is a foreign country
Re: Rhino Peak
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2018, 02:51:54 pm »
I am very glad to see that you got out to do it Jon. As I told you on the phone you are the first person to ask me about this excellent ride which I thought was a very obvious bit of exploring to do after we had completed the whole trip. The big advantage I had over you was that I was riding with half man half homing pigeon so we didn't waste too much time wondering where to go! If anyone else is considering this and is worried about time a night at Sani Top and an early start will solve all your problems. Rhino Peak is a pretty easy hit but the next step over Mahai ridge is another kettle of fish and once you are committed to that you really have to carry on to Bushmans. I've attached the two routes  so you can have a look at it and get a sense of time and distance and also one for Google Earth. See if you can see Jon's hut.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2018, 02:52:21 pm by IanTheTooth »
The dog that caught the car. What now?
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Rhino Peak
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2018, 03:01:22 pm »
I am very glad to see that you got out to do it Jon. As I told you on the phone you are the first person to ask me about this excellent ride which I thought was a very obvious bit of exploring to do after we had completed the whole trip. The big advantage I had over you was that I was riding with half man half homing pigeon so we didn't waste too much time wondering where to go! If anyone else is considering this and is worried about time a night at Sani Top and an early start will solve all your problems. Rhino Peak is a pretty easy hit but the next step over Mahai ridge is another kettle of fish and once you are committed to that you really have to carry on to Bushmans. I've attached the two routes  so you can have a look at it and get a sense of time and distance and also one for Google Earth. See if you can see Jon's hut.

Ehmm - you might recall I have tried already: http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=217872.60

And didn't make it even though I started early in the morning from the Sani lodge - already the Rhino peak ridge proved too much for me... But then I do lack seriously in the skills department.

But I agree wholeheartedly that this is must for any self-respecting dual sporter iliving in and around (which includes Gauteng) - but do not live under much of illusion that it will get much attention. Good job JonW & Highsider for giving it a go  :thumleft:

Offline IanTheTooth

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: AJS (all models)
    Location: Australia
  • Posts: 1,190
  • Thanked: 64 times
  • The past is a foreign country
Re: Rhino Peak
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2018, 03:43:43 pm »
Sorry Xpat, you seemed almost concurrent at the time and some things you got to before me! Iain is looking for you for a serious ride, the Southern Escarpment.
The dog that caught the car. What now?
 

Offline Highsider

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: KTM 990 Adventure
    Location: Kwazulu Natal
  • Posts: 446
  • Thanked: 42 times
  • I find your lack of faith disturbing - Darth Vadar
    • YouTube Channel
Re: Rhino Peak
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2018, 06:35:49 am »
https://youtu.be/3fUq9F0-8R0
A short video of us wobblers.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
It's not what you ride, it's how you ride...
KTM 990 Adventure '08
BMW R850R '95
KTM 525 EXC '04
 

Offline husky

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 640 Adventure
    Location: Kwazulu Natal
  • Posts: 746
  • Thanked: 13 times
Re: Rhino Peak
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2018, 12:27:52 pm »
Good you are testing the 520 (and yourself). Now I would like a jaunt to SA's high point from Sani - let me know when your next outing is. My 525 has just had the forks re-done so all should be ready; ja right.
 

Offline Highsider

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: KTM 990 Adventure
    Location: Kwazulu Natal
  • Posts: 446
  • Thanked: 42 times
  • I find your lack of faith disturbing - Darth Vadar
    • YouTube Channel
Re: Rhino Peak
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2018, 08:35:59 am »

So close yet so far...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
It's not what you ride, it's how you ride...
KTM 990 Adventure '08
BMW R850R '95
KTM 525 EXC '04
 

Offline IanTheTooth

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: AJS (all models)
    Location: Australia
  • Posts: 1,190
  • Thanked: 64 times
  • The past is a foreign country
Re: Rhino Peak
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2018, 05:34:26 pm »
Jon posted a picture of Rhino peak obviously taken on a colour film many years ago. In my ride report:

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=212796.0

I mentioned that I'd dragged my father up Rhino peak when my daughter was born. It did make an impression on them. As I have been packing I've found this picture that my mother painted of Rhino Peak circa. 1989.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2018, 05:34:59 pm by IanTheTooth »
The dog that caught the car. What now?
 
The following users thanked this post: wilfwalk

Offline JonW

  • Hilton Hound
  • Global Moderator
  • Forum Whore
  • ***
  • Bike: Boss Hoss (all models)
    Location: Kwazulu Natal
  • Posts: 6,048
  • Thanked: 148 times
Re: Rhino Peak
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2018, 06:18:42 pm »
Nice Ian.

Kind of glad we didn't make it to the top of Rhino, gives us good motivation to get back to Lesotho in the next month or two to complete the trip.

Next time we'll overnight at Sani Top to get an early start.
How can I be lost when I have got nowhere to go?
 
The following users thanked this post: Bullet

Offline Bullet

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: KTM 1190 Adventure
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 342
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • 1190 Adventure, 500 EXC-F (6 Day), 250 XC-W
Re: Rhino Peak
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2019, 11:00:20 am »
Nice Ian.

Kind of glad we didn't make it to the top of Rhino, gives us good motivation to get back to Lesotho in the next month or two to complete the trip.

Next time we'll overnight at Sani Top to get an early start.
Gonna be mad if you do round 2 without me.
B120, Cub200, KDX175, YZ125, XT250, XR600, XR400, GG EC250, XT600, XT660, 200XC-W, 990Adv, 250XC-W, 640Adv, 250XC-W, 800XC, 690Adv,Montessa250, 1190Adv, Beta300Evo2, NC700X, 1050Adv, 250XC-W, 500EXC-F
 

Offline husky

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 640 Adventure
    Location: Kwazulu Natal
  • Posts: 746
  • Thanked: 13 times
Re: Rhino Peak
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2019, 07:12:11 am »
Nice Ian.

Kind of glad we didn't make it to the top of Rhino, gives us good motivation to get back to Lesotho in the next month or two to complete the trip.

Next time we'll overnight at Sani Top to get an early start.
Gonna be mad if you do round 2 without me.

I won't be mad but please let us know when you plan it.
 

Offline JonW

  • Hilton Hound
  • Global Moderator
  • Forum Whore
  • ***
  • Bike: Boss Hoss (all models)
    Location: Kwazulu Natal
  • Posts: 6,048
  • Thanked: 148 times
Re: Rhino Peak
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2019, 01:43:47 pm »
Will do husky, probably in the next few weeks.

Doing Thule Pass and across the top to Sehlabathebe this weekend, so @Bullet might not even be speaking to me anymore after that  :biggrin:
How can I be lost when I have got nowhere to go?
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Rhino Peak
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2019, 01:57:37 pm »
Will do husky, probably in the next few weeks.

Doing Thule Pass and across the top to Sehlabathebe this weekend, so @Bullet might not even be speaking to me anymore after that  :biggrin:

So why not just get it all donein one go  this weekend - in a way the shortest way from Sehlabathebe back to Hiton is over the Rhino peak, isn't it?  :peepwall: :pot:

Highsider can show you the way: http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=236081.0

 :biggrin:
« Last Edit: October 27, 2019, 01:58:24 pm by Xpat »
 
The following users thanked this post: Bullet

Offline Bullet

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: KTM 1190 Adventure
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 342
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • 1190 Adventure, 500 EXC-F (6 Day), 250 XC-W
Re: Rhino Peak
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2019, 02:34:36 pm »
Will do husky, probably in the next few weeks.

Doing Thule Pass and across the top to Sehlabathebe this weekend, so @Bullet might not even be speaking to me anymore after that  :biggrin:

So why not just get it all donein one go  this weekend - in a way the shortest way from Sehlabathebe back to Hiton is over the Rhino peak, isn't it?  :peepwall: :pot:

Highsider can show you the way: http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=236081.0

 :biggrin:

Sounds like a plan
B120, Cub200, KDX175, YZ125, XT250, XR600, XR400, GG EC250, XT600, XT660, 200XC-W, 990Adv, 250XC-W, 640Adv, 250XC-W, 800XC, 690Adv,Montessa250, 1190Adv, Beta300Evo2, NC700X, 1050Adv, 250XC-W, 500EXC-F
 

Offline IanTheTooth

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: AJS (all models)
    Location: Australia
  • Posts: 1,190
  • Thanked: 64 times
  • The past is a foreign country
Re: Rhino Peak
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2019, 12:24:35 am »
Fighting talk there Martin! Good time of the year to do it as well. I have to admit that I'm starting to miss the riding now.
The dog that caught the car. What now?
 

Offline JonW

  • Hilton Hound
  • Global Moderator
  • Forum Whore
  • ***
  • Bike: Boss Hoss (all models)
    Location: Kwazulu Natal
  • Posts: 6,048
  • Thanked: 148 times
Re: Rhino Peak
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2019, 10:24:37 am »


So why not just get it all donein one go  this weekend - in a way the shortest way from Sehlabathebe back to Hiton is over the Rhino peak, isn't it?  :peepwall: :pot:

Highsider can show you the way: http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=236081.0

 :biggrin:

Getting to Sehlabathebe from the top of Thule Pass is going to be a mission in itself, so I'll wait until you are ready to come down again and do the traverse with us.  :biggrin: :thumleft:
How can I be lost when I have got nowhere to go?