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DrakensBerg grand traverse

Drakensberg Mountain Range

Description

A 210 km (8000m ascent) single stage, self-sufficient and self-navigated  race across the Drakensberg Mountain range bordering South Africa and Lesotho. 

Date

This WAS Not your normal G (&) t

The DGT is a 210 km (8000m ascent) single stage, self-sufficient and self-navigated  race across the Drakensberg Mountain range bordering South Africa and Lesotho.  The aim is to tag some of the iconic Drakensberg peaks. What made it especially  hard was functioning at high altitude, carrying our own food and sleep stuff, as well as  managing the relentless terrain and extreme weather conditions. The cut off was 100hours. This was a paired event; I was joined by Erica Terblanche for this crazy adventure. 

The weather was not kind. Rain, sleet, hail, mist and freezing conditions. There was also some bright sunshine! We gave it our best shot but missed the cut-off at Leslies Pass, about 80km into the adventure. We learnt some very valuable lessons. Route navigation is paramount, even with a GPS. The GPS is accurate 70% of the time. This is OK during the day, but tricky at night. We also learnt that we both do need reading glasses! It can also get brutally cold. The correct kit, albeit expensive, is an absolute necessity. [Note to self: a black garbage bag is not an adequate waterproof layer]. Success in the DGT probably equates to one fundamental principle; time in the mountains: recce the route, explore the terrain, test your kit. Know your partner.  It's called "paying your school fees". 

The Dragon, as beautiful as she is, is also a fiery beast.  She has laid down a serious challenge. We most certainly will be back. Next year we will return to once again worship at her feet. What a privilege to get your  butt kicked by such a wicked temptress.       

 

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