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Chimanimani Expeditions

1971 Chimanimani Expeditions

1971 Chimanimani Expeditions

There were two expeditions as usual, B1 and 2 going in May and B3 in September. The first, and much larger, group had the misfortune of a very wet first night. Too many of them did nothing about trying to keep themselves and their Possessions dry and so had a very miserable start to the trip. Of one is reported that he "sat in the open air with water dripping off his nose, wishing his death wish"! It is worth making every effort to keep dry and and hope that future groups will learn from this experience and take the necessary trouble. After this bad start, the weather did improve and things went better, though most of the projects had to be curtailed because of the impossibility of doing a proper series of training walks.

We are very grateful to Mr. Holland for all Chimaniman is during his time here, and are really sorry he is leaving and so will not be available next year.

Addison, Fry P, Orr G, Popplestone were sent on the inner circle route (Saddle, Two Tarns, Martin's Falls) but turned back halfway up Puff-Adder Pass. They were briskly re-routed and eventually got round by way of Poachers Cave and the bottom of Impassable Gorge.

Fox R., Stanning, van Blerk, Young N. were unusually well organised. 0n one occasion GHH found them, where they could by no means have expected to be found, with their sleeping bags in a straight line, and their boots and socks out drying, also carefully arranged in straight lines. After supper they rose as one and marched off into the icy dark to do their washing up! They constructed several rat traps, and planned another for elephant... . They were given a difficult project (Dragons Tooth--Poacher's Cave--Confluence and back), and it is not at all surprising that they failed to complete it.

Allin P., Duffy, Nudds, Sadza were sent to Gemini Peaks and the North Eastern Spur, and proved to be rather lacking in determination for they got to a point from which they could see the Spur and turned straight round. It may be that they did not have time to get there, but there was certainly plenty of time to begin ! They worked well as a group.

Dryden A., Jess, Kunhardt, Bothwell had a very easy project to cross the Eastern Ridge. They were very surprised on reaching the top to find that the mountains drop away very quickly to the Portuguese Plain below.

Atkinson, Hinds D., Hope I.,Malaba S. successfully reached the Dragon's Tooth and were sent off again from St. George's Cave towards Makurupini Falls but had not enough time to get there. On the credit side this group kept together, kept dry, kept cheerful and kept going !

Gillham, Head J., Siddle, Wood had a very easy project into the river Gorge between Martin's and Tucker's falls which they found well within their capabilities. When not walking they seem to have spent most of their time swimming in the mercifully bilharzia-free rivers, while other groups were shivering around their camp-fires.

Bates, Clark, Kemp, Lowe K. were sent to find the route round the western end of the Gemini peaks and succeeded in getting round and finding Paint Rock. They found the wet weather very trying.

Dryden K., Hartley, Hoskings, Ross started rather poorly with a sword fight which resulted in one of them having to be taken to hospital for stitches in his hand. They then got very wet indeed on the first night. They also gave up on their way over Puff-Adder Pass and were sent round over it the other way via Poacher's Cave and Two Tarns. which they successfully completed.

Anand, Long, Lotz, Standish-White got very lost. They were sent off from Two Tarns to Martins Falls, having been pointed in the right direction and disappeared for forty hours before turning up early in the morning. At this stage they were walking straight past Kurasika, from the side away from Martin's Falls. As far as one can tell they had come within a mile of Martin's Falls and had then seen and heard Tucker's Falls. So they had dropped down to the bottom, and come up the side of Tuckers. GHH remarks "before we sent them off on project we had seen their four-headed approach to the non-reading of maps.

Fisher, Glanville, Harvey, Nagar were given a very ambitious project which they only completed by dint of leaving one of their number under a tree, to the fury, and rightly so, of GM who found him thus ensconsed. They were sent over Gemini Peaks to the North East Spur.

Cartwright, Morris, Baynor, Bechner were rather damp- literally, and on the Sunday night, to quote GHH again were dragged into the staff cave like refugee rats from the river. They did not enjoy their project much but were very useful as the basis of the search party organisation.

JWG, Sprague, Upton S. went up in the middle of the July holidays, as the two boys had missed the main trip becauseof illness. They successfully reached the top of Dragon's Tooth, but failed to scale Point 71 because of bad weather. B3, the September group, had splendid weather, and were the first party that I can remember to complete all their projects successfully. A certain lack of imagination may have contributed to their success--they did just what they were told. But they did very well, and were a very pleasant party.

Sambar, Heller. Lamb, Thornton had a very long walk. They set off from St. George's as did all the groups, and marched steadily to the bottom of the Makurupini Falls where they spent the night in the trees. At least one of them was worried by noises during the night. They had a very long walk back the next day, mostly uphill and arrived pretty tired at dusk. This was the first Peterhouse group to reach the bottom of these falls.

Cottis, Mattocks, Small C., Wolstenholme went back to the saddle, up Puff-Adder Pass and well up from there to near the top of 7434, down to Two Tarns and home via Martin's Falls. This is one of our commonest projects, but by no means an easy one as there is no path for much of the way, and they did well to complete it.

Galloway, Glasspool, Golson, Oliver did much the same project as the last group except they were sent to Two Tarns via the bottom of Impassable Gorge instead. They reached the bottom in good order, but then spent some eighteen hours trying to get out again. Eventually they found the route and then moved well and briskly to complete their project on time. They were handicapped by one of their number having a slightly twisted ankle.

Brooke, Hedderick, Malaba J,, Smith H. were given too easy a project and got to the top of Dragon's Tooth, made their detour to Poacher's Cave and were still back at St. George's Cave half a day early. They seemed disappointed that their project had been so easy, though they enjoyed their afternoon off.

Gibson, Kidia A., Kidia K., Melkjorsen, Thorneycroft did the great circle with MC who is well known to like to keep moving. They moved like anything. From Poachers they dropped down to the confluence and on up the elephant track to the low ridge. From here they made a lightning dash to see how far towards the top of Gossamer Falls they could get, which turned out to be a long way though not far enough. They then retraced their tracks to the ridge and walked along it, eventually coming out by climbing the side of Martin's Falls and so home over the Accordian Pleats and Skeleton Pass. Gibson and MC excelled themselves by appearing on the Saddle only two days after they had left St. George's. They were delighted to find that there was no need for a search as everyone had returned from their projects.

The well-established custom of taking a few senior boys as assistant instructors worked well again and we are very grateful to the following for their help: Bell J. A. C., Hall A., Hall M., Johnson C. R., Lewis R., Swanepoel, Young R.

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