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cincol

Oldest cache not yet found?

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I received confirmation via SMS that IPajero is on his way to Cradock peak and he already found the George Peak cache. This is good news and it sounds as if they are enjoying it. We will wait for the logs.

 

I contacted my brother just to inform him that he must be on standby for anything. We are now waiting for the sms from the Cradock peak. This made my day – cache only had to wait for about 6 months. I hope other cachers will leave caches on this mountain as there is enough place for such. This is well done.

 

Sorry Wazat and Analufu - this peaks are now conquered by the Ipajero team. Gerhard

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Win some you loose some... I am only down for a few days in December and caching will be to a minimum i think... Might leave one or two while i am there...

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iPajero wrote such a good log that it gave me an itch to hike somewhere. I was reading about all the caches in the Drakensberg and there are some good ones.

 

Maybe we should plan an event in the Drakensberg. The earth cache is now up for grabs for a long time. If we arrange a weekend or a 3 day hike then we should be able to get some guys together for such an event. Ka-Langalibalele is also open for grabs – this is the oldest FTF not yet found. Lynton and Barend are the owners and maybe we can convince them to join. Wazat, what do you think of this plan, anyone else crazy enough to do a 3 day hike?

 

Gerhard

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Well done iPajero!!

It was my pleasure!!! :unsure::ph34r::rolleyes:

 

...... and for showing us that caching starts on the other side of 50!

 

You do those of us on the other side of 50 proud!!

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To answer the original question in this topic, after updating my GSAK database with all the SA caches (3941 caches, including archived caches), I can confirm that the oldest active SA cache not found is Ka-Langalibalele by Lynton and Barend (GCNCDD). It was placed in December 2004.

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I love challenges and this is the cache that has it all. If I read the listing then not much detail is revealed. I do not know much of this mountain except for some mountaineer’s notes. The satellite images are showing real terrain. To go alone is crazy as this is extreme climbing. For this one you need to be in a group of at least 4 people and you do need to do a lot of preliminary work to determine grading, equipment needed, time constraints, backup plan, weather forecast, etc. I am watching this cache for a long time but I see no attempts. The worst of it all is that it is actually situated just across the Lesotho border. Search and rescue from Lesotho is not good.

 

I still believe that we should try and find this cache. I know a couple of mountaineers in Newcastle who will join us. I will do the footwork and I will do the exploring of the area and the homework to determine the best and safest route. This one have two approaches - from Lesotho or South Africa and the exploring could result in at least two trips over a two month period. But the time has come to find this one – or else replace it if muggled with owners permission. The owner is residing in St Lucia and his last log on was on 10 Sep 2008. I did contact him previously and he did respond but they no longer have the tracks for this mountain. What is quite interested is that the owner have no founds – only one hide to his name.

 

The question that remains is “Is this going to be the ultimate cache and is it going to be there forever, or are we going to change this?” Is there anyone up for a real challenge in the next two months or do we like the easy caches more. Please let me know if you are interested in finding this cache. It will only happen in about 3 months from now. We will be in this area in the near future.

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I love challenges and this is the cache that has it all. If I read the listing then not much detail is revealed. I do not know much of this mountain except for some mountaineer’s notes. The satellite images are showing real terrain. To go alone is crazy as this is extreme climbing. For this one you need to be in a group of at least 4 people and you do need to do a lot of preliminary work to determine grading, equipment needed, time constraints, backup plan, weather forecast, etc. I am watching this cache for a long time but I see no attempts. The worst of it all is that it is actually situated just across the Lesotho border. Search and rescue from Lesotho is not good.

 

I still believe that we should try and find this cache. I know a couple of mountaineers in Newcastle who will join us. I will do the footwork and I will do the exploring of the area and the homework to determine the best and safest route. This one have two approaches - from Lesotho or South Africa and the exploring could result in at least two trips over a two month period. But the time has come to find this one – or else replace it if muggled with owners permission. The owner is residing in St Lucia and his last log on was on 10 Sep 2008. I did contact him previously and he did respond but they no longer have the tracks for this mountain. What is quite interested is that the owner have no founds – only one hide to his name.

 

The question that remains is “Is this going to be the ultimate cache and is it going to be there forever, or are we going to change this?” Is there anyone up for a real challenge in the next two months or do we like the easy caches more. Please let me know if you are interested in finding this cache. It will only happen in about 3 months from now. We will be in this area in the near future.

 

I can not believe this is such an issue.

 

I was contacted by someone today about our cache not been found yet, after him being on the forum.

 

Come on guys!!! What is so difficult???

 

Coming from a Mapping/Surveying and GIS background we decided to put a cache up there for fun, while doing a yearly hike in the Drakensberg. We never imagined that it would stay up there for so long.

 

As you can see we are definitely Geocaching amateurs.

 

Do anyone need some help? :-)

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I love challenges and this is the cache that has it all. If I read the listing then not much detail is revealed. I do not know much of this mountain except for some mountaineer’s notes. The satellite images are showing real terrain. To go alone is crazy as this is extreme climbing. For this one you need to be in a group of at least 4 people and you do need to do a lot of preliminary work to determine grading, equipment needed, time constraints, backup plan, weather forecast, etc. I am watching this cache for a long time but I see no attempts. The worst of it all is that it is actually situated just across the Lesotho border. Search and rescue from Lesotho is not good.

 

I still believe that we should try and find this cache. I know a couple of mountaineers in Newcastle who will join us. I will do the footwork and I will do the exploring of the area and the homework to determine the best and safest route. This one have two approaches - from Lesotho or South Africa and the exploring could result in at least two trips over a two month period. But the time has come to find this one – or else replace it if muggled with owners permission. The owner is residing in St Lucia and his last log on was on 10 Sep 2008. I did contact him previously and he did respond but they no longer have the tracks for this mountain. What is quite interested is that the owner have no founds – only one hide to his name.

 

The question that remains is “Is this going to be the ultimate cache and is it going to be there forever, or are we going to change this?” Is there anyone up for a real challenge in the next two months or do we like the easy caches more. Please let me know if you are interested in finding this cache. It will only happen in about 3 months from now. We will be in this area in the near future.

After discussing the recent comments with my friend Lynton, we are raising the following points:

 

Who are the real professionals? :-)

 

We believe in quality rather than quantity.

 

Good luck!

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This was to be my 200th find on the 1st of November along with Rhino and Hedgehog and Die Ysbeers....

 

At the last minute we pulled out due to the weather. One thing we need to remember when doing extreme mountain climbing/hiking is that weather plays a very important role when in the Drakensberg. And there is a very good chance that when it turns nasty up there, your life is at great risk. Seeing that this cache requires from what we had planned a good hike up a pass, a thunderstorm can spell quite a serious problem. The water finds the best route to follow down a mountain. And gullies tend to turn into rivers, with loose rocks tumbling down with the rushing water... Not exactly the best place to be in when it comes down... basically you can end up been the meat in the grinder. So To make this a just do anytime cache is narrowed down to the window of opportunity. Out of the rainy season, and unless you are prepared, out of winter... But then again, snow can happen at anytime in the berg.... So always be prepared...

 

We have decided to postpone this one now to around April or September as these still seem to be the best times to attempt any high altitude caches. There is nothing better than seeing the view from these spots and though the route to them may have you cursing almost every step... every step is worth it... And Neville seeing that you brought this one to everyone's attention, what you say you join us on it....

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Yebo, I eventually got hold of the info. I have the route. I even have the description of the route and the incline - and cairns count and even the name of the cave you have to pass, I also have the time to reach certain points such as the river and time at the final incline and even the waypoint for the parking area. So nice to get hold of the personal logs of a person that have done it before. Half the fun is now gone. If you read the log together with the satellite images it is quite clear where the track is situated. According to this person the route is marked and is clear cut – that also helps.

 

This cache is important. Before you go - try to research the history and what exactly happened in 1873 on this mountain and you will understand the graves, British and San. You will also understand rock 73 which you will pass on your way.

 

Luckily I have climbed above 3400 meters with no AMS symptoms so that is one plus point. Ermelo is situated at 1780 meters ASL so that also helps. I feel sorry for the person rushing from the coast or Nelspruit at 800 meters ASL with an attempt to find this one.

 

Now that I am reading the diary I can not understand why this cache is the oldest. OK, this is not a walk in the park but it is not on the moon either. Yes, it is 29 km return trip and yes the inclines is tough and steep and there is a couple of them. It is also the toughest of all the hiking trials in the area. I will be there on March 2009, so if you want to find this cache before me you should hurry - this one is going down.

 

The only problem that remains is to find 3 people with guts and b*lls. Keep your eye on this listing. Wazat please leave the Corsa at the bottom, you can not take it with.

 

Gerhard

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And Neville seeing that you brought this one to everyone's attention, what you say you join us on it....

 

Mmmm, as long as it doesn't have any vertigo-inducing spots like the Cathedral Peak cache! :D

 

The other thing - I've only just realised that this cache is located in Lesotho, so it isn't the oldest SA cache not yet found.

 

That honour belongs to Sweet 'n Tangy by leapfrogg (GCMFYR), placed in December 2004. However, it is likely that it has been muggled, judging from the logs.

 

The next candidate would be Blouberg Views by X-tream Challenger (GCWYBB), placed in July 2006. Now, that looks like a nice challenge!

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That honour belongs to Sweet 'n Tangy by leapfrogg (GCMFYR), placed in December 2004. However, it is likely that it has been muggled, judging from the logs.

 

The next candidate would be Blouberg Views by X-tream Challenger (GCWYBB), placed in July 2006. Now, that looks like a nice challenge!

 

One has been archived and the other seems to be missing!

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Have you had a look at caches in Zim?

Only 15 caches in the whole country, more that have never been found, than found, oldest unfound April 04.

Says something! :huh:

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Have you had a look at caches in Zim?

Only 15 caches in the whole country, more that have never been found, than found, oldest unfound April 04.

Says something! :D

 

I was ssoooo keen to try for 2 FTF's near Harare earlier this year. But instability stopped my business trip.

 

Still hope to get there sometime

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Africa has some "interesting" stats

 

Like Nigeria - huge country - but only remote caches.

Rwanda - only 2 caches (both mine).

Kenya - 2 in Nairobi - the rest are pretty remote

Djibouti has a few nice ones

DRC/Cameroon and many other countries have none.

 

I'm trying to drop reasonable accessible Earthcaches in most countries I visit - as muggle activity is really high - and Africa has great potential for Earthcaches.

 

so that's an idea for anyone travelling too.

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Ok, this is a little bit confusing. Ka-Langalibalele was the oldest unfound cache is South Africa.

 

It all depends on the map you use. If you use google maps you will find the cache in Lesotho. If you use the 2008 maps from Garmin then it is just inside South Africa. While I was at the cache you could clearly see the international border on the GPS. I also confirmed the area with the reserve and yes according to their description it is inside South Africa and part of Giants Castle. So the Google map is not correct. You can also verify the waypoint with map source and you will note that it is inside RSA. The chopper that went down here is also inside RSA. I will upload photos later to the cache.

 

Gerhard

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Wow Gerhard well done... I was so bored here and I sent mail to you wondering if you were going. I was ready to go but when you didn't reply I guessed the trip was off.... Man what a pity. Anyway I am glad that you had a good safe hike (sort of). Had me worried when you said you were going to consider doing it alone. Congratulations and what a well deserved FTF.... Cannot find any info on the chopper crash and I am guessing that the passengers and crew would have been rescued almost right away. The crash looks OK and not too serious. There was probably an engine failure and the pilot tried to auto rotate but came in too fast and hit the ground hard. Nose up but tail hit the ground and broke off. The skids collapsed at the back cushioning most of the impact and saving the occupants from serious injury. The main rotor is still intact but as it probably wasn't spinning very fast it didn't get damaged. Alternatively the skid might have collapsed when he landed. I can imagine when you saw that it must have been pretty gut wrenching.... I would hate to come across something worse while way up there. At least you could call for help and with the GPS give emergency rescue operations the right co-ordinates.

 

Once again, congrats on the find. Pity we abandoned our plans for this last month. But you snooze you loose.

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Ok, this is a little bit confusing. Ka-Langalibalele was the oldest unfound cache is South Africa.

 

It all depends on the map you use. If you use google maps you will find the cache in Lesotho. If you use the 2008 maps from Garmin then it is just inside South Africa.

<snip>

So the Google map is not correct.

 

Gerhard,

 

Experience taught nót to trust Garmap either insofar cadastral boundaries are concerned.

 

The Garmin boundary data is transferred directly from CDSM (Chief Directorate: Surveys & Mapping) 1:50 000 topo-cadastral maps, on which the boundaries are far from accurate.

 

Also, these 1:50 000 maps are created to be used on that scale (or smaller) and are not to be upscaled like GPSr's do.

 

If it's really important to know beyond doubt in which country the cache is, your best bet would be to get a Land-surveyor or someone from the Surveyor-General to assist. Any map off the shelf just won't do, as the cache is so close to the border.

 

I know a Land Surveyor who might be able to help. :D

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There is a chopper pilot that is coming around tomorrow at 10h00 for coffee. He is busy tracing the owner. He is keen to look at the position of the chopper and the photos of the instruments. He even simulated the crash of Hansie and showed me the final report which is too technical to understand. All I understand that there was no way out. He could share some light as he flew this kind of chopper before.

 

Maybe my log is reflecting negative. This is one of the best hikes I have done. I tried to sketch in my log how quickly conditions can change on this mountain. It can be sunny and warm as in my case and suddenly things changed. I hope it serves as a lesson. The core of my log is “Be prepared”. It can even snow in the mountain at that height – even in December. The wind speed at one stage was about 30 km/hrs and the chilling factor was severe. I hope cachers will be ready if conditions do change. It is statistically speaking safer on this mountain than in Newcastle itself. I speak under correction but I think about 55 people died on these mountains in the last 100 years of which most were falls and slips which most could have been prevented with some training and experience. To me that is the sad part. Most people think because they walked on a pavement before and that they are fit that they are qualified enough to do walks in the mountains. Maybe some knowledge will add some sound confidence to some cachers and maybe they will discover a new world. Maybe they will visit more caches in the mountains.

 

I included a hyper link to full details on hiking information on one of my caches called “Outeniqua Mountain Cross”. It could help somebody and it does add value to anyone doing walks. It even help explaining basic roping which is a must know issue. One day you could need this. You can never have enough experience in the wild and you will never be a master. That day you are one fool. I hope someone will read the information and that it will help someone some day.

 

The cache is not just about the walk. I spend another day in this area. There is so much history involved in this area that it is quite absurd that there are not more visits. The cache is about the British, Basotho and the San people. Main cave is close by and it is worth a visit. There are about 500 different paintings inside this cave. On your way to this cache you will also find Rock 73 which was carved by the cook of Regiment 73 about 130 years ago. The area is fantastic with good views. Only the last part is a real challenge. But it is worth it. To enjoy it one need to go up and stay on the mountain for a day or two. This will remove some of the punishment. But I did see many flowers, waterfalls and the water is crystal clear as there are no settlement areas upstream. I even brought some water home. At the end of the day it is not about the cache but what the cache is showing you. I climbed around in this area and there are some wonderful places which I would like to explore more. I will be back in this area. If one compares this location for example Monks Cowl then you will find that Monks Cowl is actually more severe with his chain ladders. Here you can walk and enjoy.

 

This is also a good place for an event. There are shorter walks - one is about 1.5 hours long. Entrance is R25 and you can go and walk for the day, not a bad price.

 

Ok, I will keep this cache as a Lesotho cache. Jors, when are we taking the surveyor up this mountain?

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Hi Gerhard,

 

Your posts and your log on the Ka-Langalibalele cache have really inspired me! I have contacted Wazat to see if he can join me on a hike there.

 

Where did you start hiking, i.e. where did you park your vehicle? Are you able to send me your tracklog in Mapsource format, so that I can transfer it to my eTrex Vista?

 

Also, the fact that I do not need a passport to get there is great, as my passport has expired!

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That is what worried me Gerhard. I know how conditions can change up there and was sort of in a panic when you said you were up there alone. Summer is a magic time up there but when that storm comes it is best to be down below. My guess is that the storm hit around 2 to 3 pm. Years in the berg during summer I have expected summer storms round this time so it is probably best to tackle the climb from around 4am. Early I know but that haves you back on the little berg by 2. Alternatively getting up there early and finding a good spot to camp. Not in the flood area and hopefully out of lightning. Or wait for September when it is probably a lot safer. (?)

 

Must let me know about the chopper pilot's plans. He might need a photographer up there with him to take pictures LOL.... nudge nudge wink wink...

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ZS-RYR crashed on 19 April 2008 with pilot and 3 pax on board. No injuries. It was on a charter flight when it suffered a loss of power after take-off at location. Chopper was owner by Dragon Peaks Parks (Pty) Ltd and was not written off. Strange that it is still on the mountain. Perhaps the insurance company will still recover it at some stage?

 

See this link for details. ZS-RYR Reference

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Ok, mental note to myself. Never speak to a pilot again that is really confusing. He explained many things but I do not understand. He explained to me the procedure if lift is needed and suddenly you lost it – it is quite freaky to hear how they cut power and they go into an auto rotate. My mind is saying more power.

 

I showed him the photos of the Robinson R44 and then I received very hard words from him. His words are “Never assumed that they are ok or that they are rescued, you need to confirm and you need to report the accident”. He showed me the procedure to switch on the radio, leave the master switch out of the equation. That is easy for him but I would rather walk 20 km then to fiddle with switches and set the plane on fire. It could cause a lot of explanation to the authority why the plane was burned to the ground. :lol:

 

The alternative procedure is much easy to remember. You need to take the GPS waypoint of the aircraft, you then need to phone the nearest or any manned airport. Oribi is the nearest airfield in the area. According to him this pilot was or should be in possession of a commercial license as it is obvious that passengers were carried. If he was flying passengers around it is a legal obligation to file a flight plan with the nearest manned tower. You can also contact www.caa.co.za and you then need to click on “Contact us” on the right hand side of the page you will people on standby. We reported it to Chris Williams who is an accident investigator. He confirmed that the crash was reported on 16 December 2008. The passengers was shaken and the pilot received minor injuries and they were air lifted very quickly. The hikers that were on this mountain two days before me thus lied about being on top and they were caught out. Liar liar your pants are on fire. This accident investigator will release more information when he is back at office on the 5 January 2009. It should be interesting.

 

The seats that were cut are not normal standards. The authorities will never allow broken or cut seats. The seats were cut after the accident or during the accident. There is no blood so it was done after the accident. According to him the pilot will cut the seats after such an accident to make the seats unattractive so that people will not steal it. The pilot will not allow glass inside the chopper – there is a little compartment on the side they use. Only one glass was found at the site and this glass is broken, he used the glass to cut the seats.

 

He estimates the value of the plane around R3 million rand and you do not leave such an accident scene unguarded.

 

My friend studied the instruments for a long time and one thing that I remember is that he stated that the accident occurred on take off. One of the pre-flight checks is to set the compass bearing towards direction of travel. The compass bearing is set for east. He was flying east and picked up trouble or he was on his way from that point. My friend said that all pilots must receive training in mountains as the conditions are completely different. To get the fuel mixture correct is tricky at that height. It is easy to lift off and suddenly you can run out of lift and you can come down quickly. According to him the first 10 meters is the critical part and with the hot air rising from the pass could indicate trouble. Also it does concerned him is that no glass particles were found inside the chopper, the impact came from the inside to the outside.

 

I asked him if the skids were the cause. The answer was it is not likely. The skids is part of the safety cell, the chopper is build onto this cell and frame. It is emphasizing the power of the impact and how fast the pilot took it down. I also did not know this but you can not hit the ground with the tail rotor. The part that protects the tail rotor is now nearly under the chopper. To him that is an indication that the chopper was spinning and that the tail hit the ground first with impact and then the rest came down.

 

When I saw the chopper I first thought the cache owner was really nice for such a big container. Only then I start to realise that people could be injured. I had no cell phone reception in the pass and that made me really worried. That was the moment when I started to calculate how one can share 1 disprin between 4 people. It is amazing what caching can show you. Geocaching never fails to bore one. At Herrie’s in Meiringspoort I found an unknown bottle dating back to early 1900’s and here I found a chopper. Ok, with the bottle I have a slight problem - the museum in Oudtshoorn asked me to donate it. So I have to take it back sometime.

 

I think my point is getting through. We have such a lovely country with so many nice walks. For example Warthog’s Kliprivier caches. A location with no access fees but you can walk in the reserve and yet so many are not doing it. When I sat down in Giants Castle for breakfast I mostly meet foreigners. We should not have so many unfound caches in mountains. Look at Matata’s caches. Lovely area and it need a little bit of walking but you can go and enjoy it. Our forefathers walked across the mountain bear footed but we struggle to walk with our cosy sleeping bags and fancy backpacks and nice energy potions.

 

Maybe we must hold an event of a different kind. My gut feeling is that there are people that want to do caches in nature but they lack the confidence or the skill to enjoy it and to start doing it. I exclude herby many cachers that do have a love for mountains and walks in nature. You can not preach to the converted. Maybe we should hold an event and get a guru from one of the mountaineering clubs to introduce some of the aspects. Hold an event where everybody can learn something knew. Choose one of the easy walks in Giants Castle as a test. The first question my wife asked was “How many snakes did you see on your 29 km trip?” My answer was none. So I asked my wife what you do if you meet a snake. She could not answer this one.

 

Guys I hope I got some itching back on the feet and I hope to see more logging on caches in nature. It is so nice to do these walks. There will come a time when we are to old to do this and it is now the time to enjoy it.

 

Yes, I forgot one thing. I carried my passport all the way up to the cache nicely sealed in a plastic bag as this cache is inside Lesotho. I still do not agree with Jors but we did agree to disagree. You do not need your passport. I also confirmed with Giants Castle.

 

I will wait for the log from Wazat and Blackjack Bailey. I know that Ysbeer will do this as well as Rhino and Hedgehog. Do it as a two day trip – then it more enjoyable. There is crystal clear water and it is enjoyable. If you need to see the chopper you must go up quickly – they planning to lift it during January.

 

Gerhard

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This is weird. It crashed in April and it crashed again on 16 Dec. I guess it is safer to walk. I am glad I do not have to explain this to the authority or to the insurance guys. :lol:

 

Gerhard

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How about an Event in February but at Monks Cowl or Cathedral Peak. They have campsites at reasonable rates. I am keen. Dragon Peaks camp site have anchor points for abseiling but I am not sure on what the costs could be on getting someone like the adventure teams to show us the ropes. It might be a bit pricey. Plus how many people are gonna be OK after climbing a peak.

 

The berg has so much to offer in great hikes and scenery but the big factor remains... Have you got the guts. I helped what to me seemed like an experienced hiker up Cathedral peak. The poor woman was in tears at one spot only 50 or so meters from the top. But with a sheer drop to contend with only a meter away she started to panic. This is one thing one must not do when up there. It is not for the nervous person to do. On what seemed like a relatively easy traverse across rock even our own Bats called it quits. We were so gutted that he couldn't gather the courage to do this but it is good to know that he knew his limits. It could have been dangerous to have gone on for him. Everyone has their limit and we need to respect that. We cannot push people beyond what they are unless they want to. Or as in this womans case get into a state of panic. Panic can cause a serious fatality and if it can involve others you need to act quick.

 

So thanks Gerhard for stealing the FTF from us... LOL. Hopefully with a bit of luck we can spark a little interest and have an event out in the Berg. And for those willing to take on the challenge... Get some 3km high caches found....

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You can count me in - as long as we stay away from "Just climb it. I wanted to plant some caches at Giants Castle but I will wait for the outcome on the KNP issue.

Gerhard

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This is weird. It crashed in April and it crashed again on 16 Dec. I guess it is safer to walk. I am glad I do not have to explain this to the authority or to the insurance guys. :anitongue:

 

Gerhard

 

This seems pretty weird indeed as according to this LINK the Robinson - construction # 10218 - was written off on 19/4/2008. The other link that I gave also indicated a write off. I do not profess to be an expert on aviation by no means, but it is my understanding that the registraton number would not have been re-issued to another aircraft so soon after having being written off and it is a huge coincidence that the same aircraft crashed twice on the same mountain within less than 8 months! :laughing: Did it actually crash again on 16 December? I cannot seem to find any report / reference / etc to it havingcrashed again, but then the December statistics will not be available for a while yet. There does not seem to be any reference in any of the newspapers either. Have not had the oportunity to check SAPS reports from Drakensberg stations yet.

 

Any other news / information on the matter would be welcomed.

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... as this cache is inside Lesotho. I still do not agree with Jors but we did agree to disagree.

Gerhard,

 

Talked to my good friend the surveyor, and he am keen for a casual stroll to the peak. :laughing:

 

Also, there's no need for an agreement to disagree, I only indicated not to trust certain map info, and haven't aired an opinion to in which country the cache is. :anitongue:

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Cincol, I did not want to comment on this one. I did note this but you open the box but you touch a very interesting point and I can see that your mind is racing. You are very analytical.

 

Known facts.

1. Chris Williams is a “Crash and accident investigator from CAA. (civil aviation authority)

2. He confirmed the accident which was indeed reported on 16 December 2008.

3. He will comment on 5 January 2009 on the reasons of the crash.

4. No rust marks were noticed at the crash seen on any component inside or outside; there were no leaves, grass and/or excessive water due to rain inside the cab. If this was the same crash scene as on April 2008 the condition would not be the same.

5. Normal procedure is to remove the plane as soon as possible to investigate the rotor failure.

6. The photo of the glass taken at the scene clearly shows that it is on top of the grass with no grass growing into it or around it. There are no marks or dirt or any sign of it been dumped for nearly 8 months.

7. The battery is still inside the side where you do some of your pre flight checks such as oil levels. In Lesotho this is the first thing that goes missing. Leave your vehicle alone and when you return 30 minutes later the battery could be gone with no trace of any person in the area. I did check out of curiosity.

8. No stripping of the chopper took place. Nothing is disturbed.

 

What is so funny to me is the fact that this chopper belongs to Giants Castle and yet the ranger knows nothing of the crash- even 11 days after the crash he still have no idea.

 

Surely if you have R3 million on a peak you will make sure that the relevant people know about it - especially the person in charge of the area. If it was my chopper guess where some of the rangers would have spent their Christmas. If this is indeed a second crash then someone is in real trouble – maybe I was in the wrong place and in the wrong time at the wrong location. It is also very clear to me that this plane had the same failure than before and that they will have serious problem with the insurance guys. Maybe this will be a good story for the newspapers if this plane crashed twice due to rotor failure in 8 months and they are transporting visitors up and down the mountains at regular intervals.

 

I remember the time when Samora went down close to the 60 km mark at the electrical fence between South Africa. We were operating in that region between South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique after his death. We were there about 2 months after the crash and you still could pick up small pieces of the frames and very small parts in that area against the hill. Close to this area is an access point which is used by the villagers to cross into Mozambique. It is a little bridge under the electrical fence. I have no idea if the conditions are still the same. There is a little village close by and it was a hot spot of real trouble. The old LM radio station was located in Mozambique on top of the hill but it was full of holes. Some white catholic woman operated in this area as well. We had the chance to see the plane. If I can remember correctly we visited Komati where the plane was stored. It was quite amazing to see the plane. Everything was packed out in the hanger. Every part was placed where it belonged. The details were unbelievable. If I compare the two crash sites then there is no doubt in my mind – this chopper went down very recently.

 

I will wait for 5 January for the official story but I can’t wait to hear this one. They can’t cover this one as more than one person has reported it.

 

Wazat the group is growing. Jors and his friend is also joining. When are we going for the stroll?

 

 

 

Gerhard

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Hee hee I see a big can of worms been opened if this chopper crashed twice. Imagine the people who went up with it. They may just as well sue for quite a bit.

 

A stroll sounds like fun. Maybe we can get a helicopter pilot involved? WasabiGPS where are you?

 

Neville and I may tackle the mountain this weekend. I am a bit weary of going upu with expensive camera gear in these weather conditions but it would be great to get very detailed shots of the chopper.

 

I think this might be bigger than going for the cache now. LOL.

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Gerhard - you were there. You saw the wreckage so I respect your judgement on the "age" of the wreckage. All I saw was the couple of photographs that you posted on the cache listing site. As Wazat says, there might be some explaining to be done in the near future when the rest of the story gets out. :D;) I wonder what the reason is that this one has been kept so quiet? BTW, have you considered contacting the newspapers about it? :D I am sure that one of the Star's or the Daily News' journos would love a little "mystery" story to play with. You might even be rewarded quite hansomely for your photos as well. :D

 

All in all this sounds like an interesting story that might unfold here. I am looking forward to reading about its developments in the New Year. Please keep us posted on what might be published locally. Tell us what the outcome of Chris' investigation on 5 January is as well it you will.

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I learned to stay away from newspapers. This is like meeting a pack of wolves. You do not get out of it in own piece.

 

I loved my hike and that was my satisfaction. Geocaching has taught me to stay away from choppers on mountains. According to my friend the pilot it does happen that one looses the lift at that height. I just hope the guys flying up the mountains realises this.

 

I am going back to this area in April to discover more – I think there is much more at that peaks to see. I also would like to see if I can get to the caves as indicated on my trip log. About 3 years ago I was standing on that other peak of 3400 meters and I could see it and it made me itch. I want to go on top again.

 

Guys, I have 3 calcified vertebras and I have gout in my right foot. If you read the report on the medical condition of my back you will be shocked. They wanted to put pins in my back and I refused. If a cripple like me can do it in one day then you have a much better chance to do it. The only other thing I have is that I can dig deep if the going gets tough. It is all in the mind. When are the others going – do not let this cripple beat you. :D:D

 

I will give feedback on the 5 Jan or as soon as the info is send to me.

Gerhard

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Well done to Wazat and Blackjack Bailey for visiting Ka-Langalibalele. I received a phone call this afternoon at 13h00, confirming that are at the top. I will wait for their logs. But it was great to hear that they were there. Well done guys and I hope you enjoy it. Yes, they also had the chance to see the chopper. Wazat tried to get it started for a quick descent but it will be nicer to walk down. :ph34r:

 

Gerhard

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I was lucky that i was not injured by a piece of that chopper that got blown down the mountain while we were standing there. We took note of this and put the door inside. I am not sure where the other piece ended up. Hopefully someplace not too dangerous. Will add more later to this story. Great hike and a wonderful cache.

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