Pictures: Drakensberg waterfalls turn to ice

Posted by Elise Kirsten on 26 June 2019

After the weekend’s cold front which affected much of the country, some waterfalls in the Drakensberg froze on Monday, 24 June.

Gavin Raubenheimer who runs Peak High Mountaineering, which offers courses in mountaineering (including ice climbing) and also conducts climbing expeditions, shared images of the sheets of ice clinging to the cliff face at Giant’s Castle, as well as thin sheets of ice at Sani Pass, at the ‘Wailing Wall’, ‘Cool Bananas’ and ‘Banana Split’. He wrote on Facebook, ‘After good late summer rains the Drakensberg had plenty of moisture as winter set in. This has resulted in better than usual ice conditions this early in the season.’


He also mentioned that the ice at Sani Pass ‘is generally climbable but thin in places’ and that ‘Giant’s Castle is also formed up well and worth a visit.’

Simon Vickers went exploring and did an ice climb at Banana Split and posted a photo to his Instagram feed saying, ‘First ice climb of the season yesterday at “Cool Bananas”. Ice was not bad for mid June. ‘

‘The ice which climbers use for climbing on actually doesn’t form on the tops of the mountains, but rather in south facing gullys and valleys. On true south facing gullys it is in shadow and much colder. Temps vary between + 5 degrees Celsius to minus 15 degrees Celsius,’ Raubenheimer said, according to IOL.

The Drakensberg Mountain Range is the highest in South Africa and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Featured image: John Banks






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