I think Hazelnut's advice regarding VE vertical-endeavour.com is good - ClimbZA is great for climbing questions, but VE is specific to the Drakensberg, and mostly hiking. There are also writeups and photos of many of the Berg passes.
If you are wanting to do some climbing - there are plenty of climbing routes, but you just must be prepared for the exposure, bad rock and lack of gear. Personally my Berg climbing experience isn't extensive - I have done a bit of C/D grade stuff, but nothing that I have ever used rope on (I did have to abseil down a stretch in the Inner Tower Gully 2 weeks ago, but didn't have ropes going up). In the Inner Tower Gully a large rock (slightly larger than a soccer ball) was dislodged while I was scrambling up a slope, it rolled over my leg while I was falling (only about 1m) - fortunately I only picked up a few bruises, but I have had this kind of stuff happening on a few occasions. On Thumb Pass a few months ago my fellow hiker dislodged a large rock and I had to jump out of the way, on Grays Pass I loosed an avalanche of scree - but was fortunately at the back of the group so there was no injury to anyone.
But don't get me wrong - the Berg is awesome, just be careful and if you don't like what I describe above - there are still over 60 passes were you won't have to deal with this!
If you specifically want to go climbing - Sentinel is rated as an awesome peak, there are plenty of routes, certain anchors for belays on the more popular routes and the walk-in isn't hectic. The standard route is 2 pitches, but I think everyone would recommend Angus Leppan. Otherwise there is Cathedral Peak (roped or unroped routes), Inner Horn and Outer Horn both have some routes and potential for new ones too.
tuna wrote:I love the extreme hiking and tough terrain but I don't want to do anything stupid. are there any alternative routes you can suggest that will include a hard hike and preferably one or two days sleep in the berg with a nice view like the one in the picture.
Plenty of them! Tseketseke Peak can be reached on a 3 day hike - I rate it as one of the Best views.
It depends on whether you are driving in from the north or flying to Durban and driving from there. The Southern Berg has some really awesome views - but is very far if you aren't coming from the Durban side.
- Sentinel Car Park provides easy access to the top. You can hike from there via the escarpment edge to the Icidi are (which has incredible views) and return via the rivers. This also has plenty of good caves along the way.
- The Mnweni standard loop of going up Mnweni Pass and down Rockeries Pass is also a nice one. I did it in 2 days last year, a 3rd day would have been good. This also has caves, and you can hire a guide from the Mnweni Cultural Centre
- From Didima you could head up the Mlambonja Pass and down Organ Pipes Pass. This also has caves along the way, although - even with a GPS you will probably struggle to find Roland's Cave, and the walkin on that is crazy! This would give you the view from the spot in that photo.
- Up Gray's Pass and down Ships Prow is a pretty awesome, although tough. Only 1 usable cave on this route.
- Plenty of combos of hikes at Giants Castle in 3 days. I'd go up Giant's Pass down Langalibalele Pass
- The Sani/Hodgesons loop at Cobham is a good one
- Up Mzimude Pass and down Mashai Pass is another great one, but unlike most of the passes listed above, there is no trail on Mzimude Pass.
If you google "Vertical Endeavour Mashai Pass" (switch the pass name with any other one of them) you should get a writeup and photos of the route.
Hope that helps!