Grade: Strenuous to Extreme
Duration: 3 days
Total distance covered: ±26.3km
Total height gain: ±2271m
(All distances should only be used as a guide line and a detailed route description will be supplied on confirmation of booking.)
What makes this special: The summit of Cleft Peak 3281masl is one of the highest points in the area and will give the intrepid adventurers a 360 degree view of the KZN interior from the Amphitheatre all the way to Monks Cowl.
This is usually a 3 day & 2 nights hike for the fit and energetic hikers who want to stand on top of Cleft Peak. This is quite a strenuous hike and you will need a fair level of fitness to complete the trip and the ability to carry a full back pack and tent. The way to the top of the escarpment is via the iconic Camel route and Windy Gap. Organ Pipes Pass via the Old Fire Lookout can be used as an alternative route – however this is a bit longer and might add a day onto the trip as you first have to ascend Mikes Pass. We will descend via Tseketseke and walk down in the shadow of the Column and the Pyramid and camp at the campsite at the foot of the pass.
Route: The first day is one of the longest and toughest days of the whole trip and will test the resolve of every person. The trail starts at the Cathedral Peak car park and we ascend the escarpment via Ribbon Falls and then slowly tackle the Camel that will lead up to Windy Gap and then into Organ Pipes Pass and eventually onto the escarpment. There are a number of campsites next to water and after finding a suitable one we will pitch our tents for the first night.
Cleft Peak is not a walk in the park and at 3722masl is not the highest in the Drakensberg but will still give you a magnificent view over KZN. After summiting the path leads down to Tseketseke Pass and slowly we will make our way down to the bottom of the pass, this is not going to be easy as the downhill will be hard on your knees. Once on the bottom the river will be an ideal place to cool off in and relaxing for the tired feet;
On our last day we walk out the Tseketseke valley with our path taking us in the shadow of the Camel towering over the path and one last look at the mighty Barrier of Spears towering above us. The route back will take us past Ribbon Falls and time permitting is an ideal stop over for a quick swim before continuing on to the car park.
Included: Park & overnight fees, rescue levy and first aid kit.
Excluded: All meals and snacks, stove & pots, sleeping bag, backpack, personal gear and equipment, personal medication and footwear.
Gear Hire is available.
Porters can be included at an additional cost.