Over the weekend of 21/22 April, I lead an MCSA hike at Giants Castle.
The plan was simple – hike to Bannerman Hut, leave our gear at the hut with those that aren’t keen to head up, head up Gypaetus Pass and down Bannerman Pass, spend the night back at the hut and walk out on Sunday. And, for once, a hike went exactly according to plan.
The team at the start
As always, Bannerman Ridge starts with a steep sustained hill – but fortunately this was a fast team, so everyone made it up this section surprisingly quickly.
We saw five eland on the walk in. The other two were further along.
We reached the hut around midday, and six of us set out for Gypaetus Pass by 1PM. Gordan mentioned that he only wanted to hike to the mist line and would return upon reaching that.
Crossing the Martial Eagle Stream and getting out onto the ridge
The pass was steep, as usual, but the team made very good pace up it, hitting mist around 2800m.
I like this photo – it makes the route look nice and steep!
The top section was tricky to navigate in the mist, so we took an unusual line to the summit, but it worked – so no issue there.
The traditional summit-selfie. This was Di and Cheryl’s first time on the escarpment.
We descended via Bannerman Pass. The mist cleared briefly to give us a bit of a view. We arrived back at the hut after dark, at 6:33PM. We only needed headlamps for the last half an hour or so. The team’s pace was very good.
On Sunday morning we walked out via the same route we walked in. We stopped for a break at the Tarn along the way.