The day dawned bright, but cold and a little windy. We had camped well above 3000m at the top of the previous day’s hill on a saddle. Magnificent views made up for the cold, but in hindsight a saddle on the escarpment edge is just not the right place to camp.
Nevertheless, we could see our whole day’s hike ahead of us from breakfast and made quick work of some nice downhill. We postponed lunch until we were at the very base of Cleft peak, the second of our checkpoint peaks. In the intensified wind, we found a sheltered spot just as snow came down. Just enough for the novelty of it while we made lunch. At this point we knew we had underestimated our appetites and so we ate our emergency rations hoping the resupply team arrived on time. 2 Minute noodles and tuna with crackers while a light snow fell, amazing.
Cleft peak gave us views that really are something to marvel at. A tough climb, but well worth the effort. We could see some Oryx helicopters doing their thing well below us, an amazing feeling. We could also see our resupply team arrive over Organ Pipes pass, a sigh of relief escaped me. It seemed to take an age to get down to them, but when we finally made it down there was a massive celebration. We had completed the first quarter of the GT.
This resupply was a party of three, Led by John “Zimbo”, Patrick “Postman” followed strong with Lucinda “Thunder Thighs”, who was making her first ever trip to the top of the Berg on foot. What a champion.
They had carried with them enough supplies for themselves, but also our food for the next three days. Together we found the Ndumeni caves together before a brief outing to Rolands cave. This cave is almost directly above Ndumeni Caves, but it is high on the side of the cliff face. It’s an adventure to get to, and I understand why it is not shown on the map – there is a fatal drop awaiting any unsure footed person attempting to reach this cave. The view is magnificent, and the awesome factor makes this my favourite berg cave.
After much storytelling and laughter, we all headed for bed. Josh and I elected to bivvy outside the cave as weather was clear and the caves too small for five of us. That night we were woken a few times by Klipspringer making a sort of barking sound at us. It seems we were bivvying right in their usual pathway.