Before the Traverse hike began, an experience Grand Traverse hiker called Johan told us that his number one tip for the berg is that we don’t belong there.

We began the hike as normal, departing in high hopes with the goal in our minds. By lunchtime on the first day, we had already climbed over 1km in altitude and were all feeling it big time. I remember arriving at camp, pitching my tent and laying in my sleeping bag, not moving for 45 minutes. I was broken.

The next day came, and my bag still weighed a third of my body weight, but I decided to change my mindset and just push myself. That was the day we covered the second most distance on the trip, which motivated the group.

The third day came around,  we started at 4am with a 450m climb in 1km, 3180m elevation, it was a heavy start to the morning, and it really drained us for the day. By 7am, we had only covered 6km. With the group in pain, we managed to make the least distance of the trip that day.

Just from the first 3 days, you can see how the berg can play with you. It really takes more of a mental toll on you than physical.  But from the fourth day onwards, the days got easier, bags got lighter, and the group got stronger.

We summited the highest peak in South Africa on the fifth day. We summited the highest peak in Lesotho two days after. We started to see the end goal as we continued on, and that’s when we started pushing ourselves a bit more and started covering more distance in the days.

The last day came about, and we were all sad to see it end, but we were all exhausted and needed a bit of civilisation. Many lessons were learnt, and lots of pain was experienced, but it all added to the amazing experience.

I’ll never forget the insane scale of the landscape and the beautiful scenery. I’ll also never forget the suffocating uphills and negative-degree winds. It was an experience of a lifetime, and I’ll most likely be doing it again.

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