The Bell Traverse – Drakensberg – last minute training?

Last week 9 of us headed for the hills to enjoy one of the best seasons in the Drakensberg – winter. This usually means clear cloudless skys, freezing nights, possible snow, but definetly no rain and great views despite the haze from the pyromaniac tendencies that all landowners  seem to have during the winter season.

We set off for 3 days to hike the Organ pipes up to the escarpment, cleft peak (3200m+-, 2nd highest peak in SA and 3rd in Southern Africa) across to the Bell traverse and down.

I hoped that this would prep me ever so slightly for what is to come very soon – the himalayas. However these heights dont quite compare but the views do! Our timing was perfect: warm days, no wind and fairly mild nights in contrast to this weekend, where its snowing!

Heading toward Organ pipes pass, a long hard slog!
Heading toward Organ pipes pass, a long hard slog!
The brave continued along a goats track traverse along a precipitous drop off to Rolands cave for the night.
The brave continued along a goats track traverse along a precipitous drop off to Rolands cave for the night.
The Brave (sarah, matt, heather, justin and thora) enjoyed sunrise from the 'topbunk'.
The Brave (sarah, matt, heather, justin and thora) enjoyed sunrise from the 'topbunk'.
The Not so Brave and the Sensible(me & Rich) were happy with our lower bunk. (Belinda and Carlos were cohersed into a sensible sleep)
The Not so Brave and the Sensible(me & Rich) were happy with our lower bunk. (Belinda and Carlos were cohersed into a sensible sleep)
Up to Cleft Peak
Up to Cleft Peak
Views of Cathedral Peak, the Bell and the Chessmen in the background with the Column in the foreground.
Views of Cathedral Peak, the Bell and the Chessmen in the background with the Column in the foreground.
Richard takes the plunge and goes 'scandi' on us... 'invigorating' he said.
Richard takes the plunge and goes 'scandi' on us... 'invigorating' he said.
Views from Twins cave, our 2nd night stop.
Views from Twins cave, our 2nd night stop.
Back down the mountain, the escarpment in the background where we had all just hiked from.
Back down the mountain, the escarpment in the background where we had all just hiked from.

Bridget Ringdahl

Pedaling has been natural to me since the tender age of three. Cycling is practical, fun, it gets you to the corner café, across countries, continents, keeps you fit and is by far the most efficient and environmentally friendly transport option around, being virtually carbon neutral.

I live in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal which is great cycling country, within 10 minutes I can be bouncing along some of the finest single tracks in the province.

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2 thoughts on “The Bell Traverse – Drakensberg – last minute training?
  • So you are now peddling the Himalayas. Go, Bridget! Warm wishes Sally

  • sandy

    Great trip. I did this back in 1987. Enjoy your hiking. Squeeze in every trip and memory while you have time, friends who hike, your health and youth. I still do:). Sandy

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