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Gatberg 25 Nov 2018

Standing at 2329m in the Monks Cowl Region of the Drakensberg is a pretty unconventional mountain. One with a hole in it. She goes by two names: Intunja or Gatberg (in Afrikaans Gat= hole, berg=mountain. I don't think I need to explain this further).

The hike to her summit is 25km return, trekking up to Breakfast Stream and then following a long contour path(8km) to her base. We decided that 25 November would be the day.

On the 24th we had a group travel to Malherbe House in Monks Cowl where they spent the night. The following morning a second party joined, to constitute the 15 souls seeking a fulfilling Sunday adventure.

Photo Credit: Grae Holliday. You can generally see Monks Cowl, Sterkhorn, the Amplets and Cathkin in the background. Thank you haze for keeping them hidden.

We set off at 7:30am into hazy mountains and had passed The Sphynx, Blind Man's Corner and Hlatikhulu Nek in no time at all. It was 11am and we were standing at the base of Gatberg at approximately 1900m asl.

Photo Credit: Grae Holliday

As we started our ascent a storm rumbled in the Didima valley, just North of us. We kept walking. The skies began to grey. We kept walking. As the winds picked up, the storm was blown towards us and I noticed eyes widen. We were 300 vertical meters from the summit, approximately one hour to go. We gave the group an option of continuing or turning around. 6 walked on under the guidance of Graeme Holliday, and 10 of us headed for home.

Photo Credit: Grae Holliday

Every reached Malherbe House unscathed. Grae returned with footage that will make you reach for your boots and car keys.

Photo Credit: Grae Holliday

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