photo by Ras Vaughan/

Unsupported Double Drakensberg Grand Traverse

Unsupported Double Drakensberg Grand Traverse


Beginning the morning of Monday, September 11, 2017, I will attempt to complete the first ever completely unsupported solo Double Drakensburg Grand Traverse. I will carry all of my food and gear from beginning to end with no resupply and no accompaniment and only take water from natural sources. My goal is to complete the DDGT in ten days.

The Drakensberg Grand Traverse is a route across the main range of the Drakensberg Escarpment from Sentinal Carpark at the north end to Bushman’s Nek in the south. The route crosses back and forth over the border between South Africa and Lesotho, “The Kingdom In The Sky”. The DGT is roughly 220km (137 miles) long with more than 9000 meters (30,000 feet) of elevation gain, although those numbers vary, because it is not a set trail. The standards for the DGT were established in 1999 by Gavin & Lawrie Raubenheimer. In addition to maintaining a purely unsupported ethic of no resupply and no pacers or crew*, the following checkpoints must be achieved:

  • Ascend the escarpment via the chain ladders at Sentinel Peak
  • Summit Mont Aux Sources (the source of Kwazulu-Natal’s Tugela river)
  • Summit Cleft peak
  • Summit Champagne Castle
  • Summit Mafadi (The highest point in South Africa 3451m)
  • Summit Giants Castle
  • Summit Thabana Ntlenyana (In Lesotho, the highest point in Southern Africa 3482m)
  • Descend via Thamathu Pass to Bushman’s Nek

You can follow my SPOT satellite tracker at:

I will be posting updates throughout the project to my personal Facebook profile and Instagram (although opportunities to do so may be few and far between):

You can also follow the hashtags:

#DoubleDrakensbergGrandTraverse #DDGTOKT #MamaAfrica and

#HominidHomeland as well as #ZeroLimits.

Special Thanks to Altra Running for making this project possible.

Thanks also to Gossamer Gear for their support.

And thanks to Nathan Hydration, Trail Butter, Seven Hills Running Shop, and Honey Stinger.

What a Blessing to be a Biped!

Give Thanks for Life!

What a Blessing to be Alive!

* In January of 2017 Jonathan Newman and Mike van Wyngaard did back-to-back Drakensberg Grand Traverses in 15 days 7 hours 50 minutes, however, their accomplishment would be hard to construe as a Double Drakensberg Grand Traverse, according to the accepted standards. Andrew Porter, holder of the solo FKT, joined them for the return journey, violating a truly unsupported ethic. With all due respect to what they accomplished (and respect is the reason I cite it here), my goal is to complete a true Double Drakensberg Grand Traverse, completely unsupported and in Good Style.