Hex Traverse 13 Dec 08

Hex River Traverse report:

Fairy Glen, Thomas Hut, Perry Refuge, Pells and down in 9h13.

I am still trying to get this blog up and going so am playing catch up with recent trips so here goes:

I had long heard of the great Hex Traverse. Despite climbing and walking several isolated areas of the Hex River Mountains I had never connected any of the dots. Today was the day.

Friends of mine Duncan, Gosia and Dan had done one of the standard traverses and wrote about their experience. I quized them a bit more and let the idea brew a little longer. A few weeks ago I realised that I would be in my old home town Worcester with nothing to do for most of a day…..!

That is all I needed I figured. Roger Steel did not need any pursuasion.

Our plan was to start from Fairy Glen, walk up to Thomas Hut via Fonteintjiesberg to Perry Refuge, Across the Pell’s and down to a waiting car at the bottom of Waaihoek. Simple in theory.

Due to the restrictive starting hours we could only enter Fairy Glen at 7h00 and drive past the lion den. The inhabitants were thankfully sleeping and not looking too hungry! A quick 95 min up to Thomas hut saw us fill bottles and bladders to the brim. It was going to be a warm day and the promising looking clouds from earlier did not seem to be hanging around for much longer.

3h to Perry we reconned and we almost made that cutoff if it was not for the magically disapearing GPS which decided to depart our company unanounced.

We did not actually go down to Perry but rather continued to traverse high along the large horseshoe into the heat of the day. We thought we had enough liquid with us an certainly enough time. Just before the first steep gully we met other folk who were going in the opposite direction. Heavy packs and all. They did give us a few sips of nice juice though which was much welcomed.

Finally we got to the very nice pools just before Pells and refilled our bladders and bodies. The short climb up to the ridge and a call to say we would be another hour.

Down, down and more to finally reach Mel who had brought cold juices and a very happy welcome!

9h13. Not bad for a day at the office. I can not believe that nobody has done this before in a day. It is very doable and fun. Certainly more of a fast walk than run. In fact we did not run anything significant but walked pretty much non stop all the way. 3,5 l of liquid capacity and energy food.

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