Giant’s Castle – A 3 day hike – December 2010

The effort rewarded. Amazing views of the Long Wall.

Last December 2010, I was asked to guide a group of hikers to the top of Giant’s Castle, at 3314m the 10th highest point in the Drakensberg Mountains. The peak gives name to the Giants Castle area in the Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park.

The hike was planned as a 3 day return trip. This way you only have to carry your backpack to the bottom Giant’s Castle Pass for 10km and do the peak as a day hike. Carrying only a daypack with only the essential gear makes the 1000m climb far less challenging and much more enjoyable for everybody.

If you would like to do this hike contact us at [email protected] or have a look at our website www.spanafrican-adventures.co.za for other exciting hikes.

The party. From right to left: Werner, Paul, Dave, Duncan and myself.

 

Paul resting on the comfy grass.

 

Werner and Duncan making their way up the steep path. Giant’s Camp in the background.

 

Giant’s Castle

 

Paul hiking on Giant’s Ridge.

 

Werner and the Giant.

 

The Giant’s Ridge seemed to go forever!

 

Aiming to the pass

 

Our camp is at the end of the path. Somehow close but still more than an hour away.

 

The first day we gained more than 600m.

 

In summer mist is alway hovering.

 

4:30 am the next morning. From my brand new E3 Summit Element. Heavy but bombproof (I hope)

 

Dave getting mentally prepared for the Giant.

 

Sunrises are always especial in the Drakensberg

 

Our camp. What a beautiful setting!

 

Not a single cloud in the sky: quite a sight in summer.

 

Giant’s Castle pass is steep (as it’s any pass in the Drakensberg). Although we were unladed it still felt hard. It always does!

 

The top of Giant’s Castle pass is visible. it’s still a long slog up.

 

Almost there!

 

Paul feeling like a bird.

 

1000m above the camp!

 

No fear for Dave.

 

The group enjoying the heights!

 

Back down the same way!

 

Dave’s nest.

 

Duncan’s Nest (note the pump in the foreground)

 

5 star accommodation.

 

Duncan’s Inn.

Carlos Gonzalez

Life has been good since his arrival in South Africa. It was September 2005 and he fell in love with the country straightaway. Places like the Drakensberg, Wild Coast and the Midlands provide all the inspiration he needs. After the taste of freedom, working in an office again was out of the question. He has since qualified as a nature and mountain guide, and as his friends joke, embarked on a serious love affair... with the Drakensberg, where he spends most weekends.

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