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Treverton College Team Once Again Set Out To Do The Drakensberg Grand Traverse With The First Girls To Partake

<em>Seated Kai Broom Jarred van Alphen <em><br><em>Front Row Karijn Kooy Georgie Thompson<em><br><em>Back Row Alex Giokos Konstantino Giokos Mr Shaun Robertson Daniel Jonck<em><br><em> <em>

The Drakensberg Grand Traverse is the highest, hardest, and longest hike in South Africa. It stretches along 250km of the Drakensberg escarpment from the Sentinal Car Park in the North (near Harrismith) to Bushman’s Nek in the South (near Underberg). Hikers climb over 11,000 vertical meters, ascending as high as 3480 m above sea level and sometimes descending below 3000 m; the average altitude throughout the walk is 3000m/a/s/l. We will also summit the five highest peaks along the escarpment, namely: Mont-aux-Sources (3281 m), Champagne Castle (3377 m), Mafadi (3450 m), Giants Castle (3319m) and Thabana Ntlenyana (3489 m). 

In 2022, Treverton College was the first school team to complete the Drakensberg Grand Traverse. Jarred van Alphen and Kai Broom managed to complete the traverse in 10 days. This year, the aim is to have the first school girls in a school team complete the traverse from the 25th of March 2023 to the 8th of April 2023. Karijn Kooy and Georgie Thompson are both Grade 12 girls with a number of years of experience walking in the Drakensberg. They will form part of a 10-person team made of three school boys (Alexander and Konstantino Giokos, Daniel Jonck), Mr Kean Broom (the school Headmaster), Mr Derek Brown, Miss Chanelle Oosthuizen, Mr Shaun Robertson and our cameraman Ethan Lundy. The goal is to complete the traverse over 15 days. 

Having enough food for 15 days is a challenge and necessitates two ‘food drops’. The first will be hiked up the Organ Pipes Pass by a separate team of Treverton College hikers on Day 5. To reduce the weight of this food drop for those bringing it up to us, we have chosen to go with dehydrated food provided by the Trail Food Company. The second will be driven up to Sani Pass Pub on Day 12 where we look forward to having a hot meal. You can follow their progress on the link: https://maps.findmespot.com/s/GM5H

Although Jarred van Alphen and Kai Broom are not part of the Drakensberg Grand Traverse trip this year, they are partaking in a 100 km run from the Northern Traverse accompanied by experienced trail runner Pierre Jordaan. Carrying their supplies, they hope to achieve the 100 km run along the escarpment within 30 hours, starting at 5am on the 27th of March. The group will be unsupported; however, using a tracking device, they can be followed. The link for this is here: https://maps.findmespot.com/s/842Y

Altogether this trip promises to be a physical and mental challenge. We will need to rely on each other in order to navigate the many challenges that we are likely to face. One of the main factors will be the mountain weather, which is often temperamental and adds to the adventure and difficulty. To help us navigate the many challenges and make our experience that much more enjoyable, the following companies have partnered with us and helped to sponsor kit and transport; Skull Candy; Cold Storage Management Solutions; Performance Brands (First Ascent and SCS worldwide logistics who donated Cape Storm bags); Berkshire Meats; Halfway Toyota; Tecmed Pharma; The Trail Food Company; and Van Buul International (VBI); Angel Fish Public Relations and Events. We are incredibly grateful for the assistance.  

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