Hiking Giants is the hiking option of the Giant’s Cup Trail Run. Many hikers are looking for a real physical challenge in the mountains on an ‘event’ style format, but without the requirement of running, and it is Hiking Giants ambition to provide that opportunity.
Hiking Giants is open only to hikers but otherwise replicates what the Trail Runners do in every way and is staged as one event under the umbrella of the Giant’s Cup Trail Run. Hikers and runners will rub shoulders out on the course and swap stories over the 3 nights in the Hotels along the route. The Giant’s Cup Trail Run has traditionally been limited to 100 runners and this cap will remain in order to preserve the unique intimacy and special camaraderie that is generated during the event.
The principle beneficiary of Hiking Giants is the local branch of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (EKZNW) based at Cobham Nature Reserve. R500 per hiker will be dedicated to this cause that will focus on local issues within the Maloti Drakensberg Park. These include alien vegetation, maintenance of the trails, funding of vital equipment for EKZNW staff and assistance with monitoring of critically endangered species such as the Bearded Vulture.
The event weekend starts with registration and dinner on Thursday 21st May 2020 at the Premier Resort Sani Pass, and finishes at the Bushman’s Nek Resort on Sunday 24th May 2020 with the farewell breakfast.
Registration will take place from 16h00 at Premier Resort Sani Pass.
All accommodation is in hotel rooms on a room sharing basis. Night 1 at Premier Resort Sani Pass, night 2 at Drakensberg Gardens Golf & Spa Resort and night 3 at Bushman’s Nek Berg & Trout Resort.
Dinner and breakfast will be provided at the three hotels where each of the overnight stops occur and lunch will be provided at the finish of both days of the event. For those seeking additional replenishments there are cash bars and restaurants available at all three hotels.
Dinner at Bushman’s Nek Resort on the final night of the event will be in the form of an Awards Dinner whereby the overall podium positions will be awarded their prizes together with any category winners and lucky draw prizes.
Hikers are welcome to book extra seats at the Awards Dinner for friends and family for an additional charge and must do so when entering the event. The cost per extra ticket will be R300 p.p.
On both mornings before the start hikers will be required to pack up their belongings and hand them to a member of the GC Team to be transported to the finish of that particular day. Hikers will then be able to collect their bag from at the finish. Please note we will only accept ONE bag per hiker to be transported.
You vehicle will remain at Premier Resort Sani Pass during the event and there will be shuttle buses available on the Sunday morning to transport you and your bag back to Premier Resort Sani Pass from Bushman’s Nek. We will contact all hikers prior to the event to see which shuttle they require to be booked on. The cost of this shuttle will be R TBC and payable at registration.
There will be a full medical team on standby throughout the event to respond to any medical emergencies that may arise.
Injured or ill hikers will be treated on site by the medical personnel who will gain access by foot, horseback or vehicle where possible.
Should any extraction of a hiker be deemed necessary this will be done by horseback or by vehicle where possible.
The isolated nature of the course means that extraction could prove time consuming and difficult and hikers will be expected to acknowledge this in the indemnity form that will need to be signed when entering the event.
Should the need arise for any security on the Trail this will be provided by EKZNW Field Rangers.
Hiking Giants covers the entire 62km of the iconic 5 Day Giant’s Cup Hiking Trail in only two days. There is the full course option HG 32/30 which covers 32km on Day 1 and 30km on Day 2 and the short course option HG 20/15 which offers 20km on Day 1 and 15km on Day 2. These options mimic what the runners will be facing.
Day 1 of the HG 32/30 is 32km in distance and covers the first 3 days of the traditional Giant’s Cup Hike in one effort. It begins at Sani Pass Hotel and ascends the magnificent Gxalingenwa Gorge before turning onto the official Giant’s Cup Trail after 4km and heading South towards Cobham. Cobham is reached after 12km. From Cobham it is 9km to Mzimkulwana Hut before the last big climb and the 11km to the finish at Castleburn Farm.
Day 1 of the HG 20/15 starts at Cobham to where hikers will be shuttled from their accommodation at Sani Pass Hotel. The Short Course then follows the same route to the finish at Castleburn Farm.
Day 2 of the HG 32/30 is 30km and starts at Castleburn Farm and covers the last 2 days of the traditional Giant’s Cup Hike. Hikers climb Black Eagle Pass and turn West towards the famous Rhino Peak and the halfway point of Swiman Hut at 15km. From Swiman it’s the long descent down to the Mzimude River crossing before the final climb up to the high point of the event at Langalibilele Pass. Hikers then drop down steeply to Bushman’s Nek Hotel and the finish.
Day 2 of the HG 20/15 starts at Swiman Hut and follows the last 15km of the Giant’s Cup Hike to Bushman’s Nek as described above.
Due to the challenging distances on offer in HG 32/30 there is one cut-off on each day. These cut-offs are generous but must be enforced to prevent hikers potentially coming in after dark.
Day 1 Cut-Off is at Cobham and is 3.5 hours after the Start.
Day 2 Cut-Off is at Swiman and is 4.5 hours after the Start.
There are no Cut-Offs in the HG 20/15.
Due to the variable and potentially dangerous weather experienced in the Drakensberg the Compulsory Kit list is taken very seriously by the Organisers.
We will use weather forecasts to determine the level of kit to be carried by all hikers.
Conservation is a subject close to the heart of Hiking Giants and as a result we take our environmental footprint very seriously. In light of this the event will be a ‘cup free’ event and all hikers will be required to carry their own cup for use on the trail and at the water tables.
Please ensure that you bring your own cup or equivalent to the event.
Entries for Hiking Giants will open on 1st October 2019 at 09h00. Only 100 entries will be made available.
Race Package – includes 3 Nights hotel accommodation on a room sharing basis and 6 meals (dinners / breakfasts) in the three hotels en-route including the awards dinner on the Saturday night
Supporters Package – a limited number of packages for supporters are available at the rate of R 0. This includes 3 nights accommodation on a sharing basis / all hotel meals (3 dinners including awards dinner & 3 breakfasts) / health lunches at end of both days. Any supporters packages required must be selected at time of entry.
The race package also includes:
– 2 Healthy lunches at the finish of each day.
– Quality garment(s) from our apparel partner The North Face.
– A bespoke panorama of the Berg along the Giant’s Cup Trail, hand-sketched by local author and general mountain man Dr Tod Collins.
– Pre dinner entertainment / presentations at the hotels on the Friday and Saturday nights.
– An afternoon of cheese and wine tasting on the Saturday afternoon after the finish of the event.
– Nutrition at the checkpoints along the route.
– Sweeping and support along the trail.
– Access to full medical support during the event and an evacuation plan overseen by EKZNW that includes horses and a helicopter if required.
– R500 from each entry will be donated to EKZNW and these funds will be ring-fenced and used on local projects within the Giant’s Cup biosphere.
– Further donations will be made to the local branch of the Honorary Officers.
– Best of all … a fully supported event along a 62km trail in a World Heritage Site
Hikers will be able to register for the event using a South African ID Number or an International Passport Number, and must be 18-years of age to register.
Once entries are full you may register on the waiting list. If entries become available due to cancellation the waiting list will be used on a first come first served basis. The next person on the waiting list will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to accept their entry otherwise they will be removed from the waiting list and the next in line will be contacted.
Full payment is required on entry. Email confirmations will be sent on completion of the on-line entry form with details of how to make payment. Payments can only be made via EFT or bank deposit.
Please note: payment needs to be received within 48 hours to secure the entry. If no payment is received the entry will be cancelled and you will be notified as such. You will then need to restart the entry process if you wish to enter, providing entries are still available. Only once a participant has paid in full will they have a confirmed spot in the event.
Substitutions can be made but it is the withdrawing participants responsibility to find a substitution and not that of the event organisers.
– A fee of R200 will be charged for all substitutions and apparel gender / size changes will only be made if stock is available.
– After 24th April 2020 no apparel changes will be possible.
– Substitutions will be accepted up until 1st May 2020.
To request a substitution please contact us at email@example.com
The event organisers will refund 90% of the entry fee if an entry is cancelled on or before 24th April 2020.
To request a cancellation please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Under no circumstances may someone take part under another person’s name, proof of identification will be required at registration.