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TMNP: Silvermine Caves

Agulhas, Bontebok, Table Mountain, Tankwa Karoo, West Coast
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Bush Baptist
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Unread postby Bush Baptist » Fri Nov 02, 2007 4:42 pm

Hi behne & welcome to the forum

I was told of many caves in the system in my youth, but we lived quite far away and only went a few times in larger groups. The last time I remember that White Dome was quite a squeeze and I got stuck crawling into Devil's Pit. I had to relax completely and be pulled in and out by my outstretched arms. Not a happy experience. Nowadays I doubt that I am thin enough to fall into DP from the top!
Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".

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Unread postby behne » Sat Nov 03, 2007 6:10 pm

I remember that White Dome has two branches and I think the RH one was narrow in places, ending in a low chamber. Devil's Pit was accessed either via an abseil, or via an extremely narrow passage after Free Drinks Saloon and Horripilation Chamber. This narrow tunnel was often filled with sand and I recall thinking that the whole area felt a little unstable, unlike most of the other caves. That tunnel is much shorter than the Narrows of Ronans but is definitely very tight.
Thinking about these caves is getting me quite keen to head up there again soon.

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Unread postby naturelover » Sat Nov 03, 2007 6:37 pm

Hi all

We have another caver in our midst, welcome behne. Have you ever done the Robinhood cave trail?

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Unread postby behne » Mon Nov 05, 2007 12:53 pm

Hi Nature Lover, and others
Not sure exactly what you mean by "Robinhood cave trail" but I guess you are referring to the cave system which connects Robin Hood Cavern and Ronan's Well? You can start in Robin Hood's (in the Amphitheatre) and go through a boulder choke into the Ronan's Well system, exiting in Echo Valley. I wouldn't describe this as a trail! It is probably the most difficult cave up there entailing some climbing and very tight wriggling. The whole thing must be about 1km long if you explore the extension as well. So, yes, I have done it a number of times but not in the last few years. I think I'd have to lose a bit of weight before heading back :D

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Unread postby naturelover » Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:32 pm

Hi behne

Sorry about the bad choice of words, but tha was what I was reffering too.
What about Egyptian cave, have you been there?

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Unread postby behne » Tue Nov 06, 2007 2:42 pm

Some time back some friends and I were a little obsessed with caves and found most of the 70 odd caves listed in the old guide we had. We even found a few that weren't in the guide, most notably a deep pit called "Death Leap cave". So yes, I know Egyptian Cave, as well as most of the others in the Amphitheatre area. All this reminiscing is getting me quite keen to head up there again.

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Unread postby naturelover » Fri Nov 09, 2007 7:46 pm

Hi behne

Which would you say is the most difficult of all the caves you have explored?

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Unread postby behne » Sun Nov 11, 2007 9:12 pm

Hi Nature lover
Of the Kalk Bay caves the hardest cave physically (for me) has always been Ronans Well with its tight squeezes and tricky scrambling/climbing. But, the descent into Death Leap involves a long abseil in quite a dangerous (loose) shaft. Then you are faced with the problem of getting back up. Quite a technical challenge! There's a draft which blows near the end of the extension of Ronans which might just link with Death Leap. This would be a tricky trip!
Other Peninsula caving challenges, of a far more technical nature, are of course found on Table Mountain ...

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Bush Baptist
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Unread postby Bush Baptist » Mon Nov 12, 2007 9:13 am

We just went for fun, took only a torch and a jersey and drank from the 'free drinks saloon'.
Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".

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Unread postby naturelover » Thu Nov 22, 2007 7:51 pm

Hi all

What about the caves at Orange Kloof and the ones at the Valley of Isolation on Table Mountain?
Ask not what your plant can do for you but what you can do for your planet.

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Link to a great website on the Silvermine Caves

Unread postby jerkant » Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:00 pm

I love walking in the Silvermine mountains, it's quite difficult to get information on the caves. However I was able to find the following great website on the caves in Silvermine (and other areas). Some very usefull maps on Boomslang Cave are also available on this website.
http://www.darklife.co.za/bin/darklife

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restio
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Unread postby restio » Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:14 pm

Hi jerkant, and welcome to the forums! :D

Thanks for that useful link!
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)


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