Each year since 2008 now I’ve tried to make sure I undertake at least one, if not two, multi-day hiking trips to the Drakensberg mountain range in South Africa. Winter is normally best for weather conditions and it’s great to experience the colder climate that we don’t normally feel in Durban. Our trip up to Giants Castle peak in May 2012 sure lived up to expectations. The weather was perfect for 3 days, albeit a bit windy on Saturday night on top of the escarpment. The trip was planned around the full moon being easier to see at night under the bright moonlight. This also provided for some great moonscape photography. On day one we left the hotel (1750m) to head up Giant’s Ridge to the contour path (2300m) and then find a level enough spot to pitch 2 tents at the base of the Pass for the first night’s camp. We got going as early as possible to ascend Giant’s Pass, one of the Berg’s steeper boulder passes that doesn’t require climbing which tops out at just over 3000m. This took a little under 3 hours. The wind had already picked up significanly on the top so there were decisions to be made once we arrived at the intended camp spot as to weather we pitch tents or take shelter from the wind by some rock drop off and sleep under the stars. We felt it wiser to pitch tents because of the cold. Before doing this though my main intent of this climb was to summit Giant’s Peak (3310m) – this was absolutely sensational and well worth the extra 300m to the peak. We survived night 2 being kept awake by wind flapping tents and made the 5 hour descent back to the Giants Castle hotel in time for a drive home for Sunday evening. Everyone enjoyed the trip immensely and felt a great sense of achievement in accomplishing the taming of the Giant! Enjoy my photographic feedback below.
Taming the Giant 2012
May 8, 2012 by 17 Comments