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DateOriginal Topic
16th July 2003Summit of Isandlwana
By Melvin Hunt
This might be a daft question, but has anyone climbed to the top of Isandlwana to get a good view of the battlefield and if so, what is the best route up?
16th July 2003Ian Essex
Just follow the path to the top. If you go on a busy day you will see a steady flow of people going up. There is full access, and to the other hills standing in front, which I can't remember the names of.
The view is worth it.
17th July 2003Mike McCabe
The easiest way up is via a short rock chimney on the northwest face of the crag. It can be found by walking up from the saddle, then contouring anticlockwise along the foot of 'cliff face'. By the time that you reach the northern end, the track will become very obvious. The entrance to the chimney is sometimes screened by the foliage of the bushes at the base, and can appear much more difficult to clib than it really is. That said, do be very careful when the rocks and trail are wet (and thus slippery). Any reasonably agile person can climb the chimney, using the many hand and footholds available. It is however wiser and safer to adopt a 'buddy' en route and to assist each other. The chimney is about 15-20 feet high, and just as easy to climb down. It provides access to the lower level of the summit, and access to the top is an easy walk. There can sometimes be very swift, gusting cross-winds at the top, and it is unwise to go near the edges with the wind behind you. There is a resident 'Dassie' colony at the top. These harmless 'rock rabbits' will not harm you, but should be left alone, and not hand fed. They will usually avoid humans. There is also a 'direct' route, going straight up the southern face, which would take a fit and experienced climber about 12-15 minutes to climb up - and an amateur about 3 seconds to fall down. It is extremely foolhardy to try this, the rock is very friable, and slippery when wet, and the nooks and crannies can contain all sorts of surprising creepy crawlies.
On days when weather is changeable, allow for temperatures to be lower at the summit. Also, beware of lighting strikes and hailstorms suddenly coming in.