A meeting was held at Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge between the Dept of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and their Implementing Agent on Wednesday 25th September. DEA confirmed that they have allocated funds for access projects in the area, and are in the process of submitting plans to include the complete replacement of the Chain Ladders in that project. In the interim the lower ladder on the right remains closed to hikers. Management of Witsieshoek are currently getting experts to assess repair and stabilization options pending the full replacement of the ladders.
On Saturday one of the shackles that bolts the bottom, right-hand chain ladder to the rocks on the Amphitheatre sheared off at the rockface, and has compromised the structure of that ladder. The left-hand ladder has no problems. These ladders are accessed from the Sentinel Peak Car Park by hikers who are hiking to the top of the Amphitheatre and on to Tugela Falls and Mont-aux-Sources. No-one was injured, and the ladder is still attached to the rockface. Temporary nylon rope has been used to reduce the movement of the ladder, but that ladder is unquestionably not safe for use.
The Sentinel Peak Hike is still open and hikers can either use the ladder on the left, which is open, or the Gully.