The party: Tony Bowen (meet leader), Evie Bowen, Karin van Niekerk, Greg Devine, Rosie Shaw (guest), Maretha Alant**, Bill Uren**. (** excluding Bloupunt).

Arangies1

From Dassieshoek Hut 1 (380m). Arangieskop (1700m) with cloud cover.

Route descriptions: Good descriptions may be found in the book by Mike Lundy “Weekend Trails in the Western Cape” (Human & Rousseau, sixth edition).
Booking: Both trails need to be booked with the local municipalities. The total cost for 3 nights in the trail huts and permits for the trails amounted to R432 per person.
Condition of trails: The trail paths were well routed and marked, and in good condition except for recent wash-aways in the Butterspoon Forest gorge section. The lower part of Butterspoon gorge was overgrown in places and route finding tricky. The huts were clean and all in acceptable condition.
Weather: We had perfect hiking weather all three days.

Grade: 2 ½. There are a number of steep sections on the descent from Arangieskop on day 2, requiring use of hand-holds. A slip could have consequences. It would be unwise to do this route in wet weather or snow, and under these circumstances the party should return back down the ‘up-route’. The trip is strenuous and fitness is essential.

Arangies2

After overnighting at Dassieshoek Hut 1 (near Robertson), the ascent to Arangieskop hut is 10km, where the party stayed on night two. This overlooks the Koo Valley to the north. Next morning the peak (1700m) is bagged before descending through Butterspoon Forest gorge and back to base (13km).

Arangies3

Next day, starting from Die Ou Muel at Montague, the route to Bloupunt (1266m) is a pleasant round trip (16km), and not as strenuous as the two prior days.
Overall rating: I rate this trip as supurb and well worth the effort. Thank you to those that joined in and shared the experience.

Arangies4

Comparison between Cradock Peak & Arangieskop – which hike is more severe?
Bill Uren kindly gave me the following data outputs he captured using his GPS.
I have adjusted the images to give the same vertical and horizontal distances, and same relative starting height.

Arangies5From this it can be seen that the vertical height gained is about the same, but Arangieskop round trip is 24.1 km versus 17.4 for Cradock Peak (these are actual path distances measured by the GPS). However Arangieskop is done over two days, whereas we do Cradock Peak in one. On the other hand, Arangieskop involves backbacking with overnight gear and food. So that the leaves the question of which is more severe wide open!!

Tony Bowen 23 April 2015

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