We arrived early Saturday morning to find a light sprinkling of snow on the Swartberg and a temperature of 7 degrees. Nice cool day for the long hike up the mountain. From the parked cars at 560m, we ascended 1500m over about 12 km to get to Cola’s Cave just before sunset.


Sunset view  from the cave. Lots of ice outside.


Sunday morning we stayed in bed until the sun was well up before we set out for the peak. Lots of scrambling up gullies and boulder hopping. The weather was perfect, clear and crisp.


We had a couple of hours on top. Sitting in the sun, drinking coffee, eating and admiring the fabulous views!


The team on the peak: Werner Frei, Cheryl and Greg Devine, Joan Louwrens, Maretha Alant.


Two other parties joined us on top -got quite busy at one point. Three young guys from Stellenbosch and Cape Town had hiked up from a farm on the north of the peak and pitched a tent on the northern slope. A small brown farm dog had followed them up for the hike and boulder hopped with great agility.

Another group of 7 from Cape Town, Mosselbay and George had stayed at the shelter and hiked to the top of the peak and back down with day packs.


Quite festive to have 16 hikers on the peak, sharing stories!


Our cave – very cold! With a resident  mouse we named Wallace.


Peak Aristata on our way down to the cars Monday.

A great weekend in the mountains with perfect weather conditions. It was well worth having the extra day on top of the peak without having to rush back down the mountain. Thank you Greg and Werner for route finding and cairn spotting!

We managed to go up a very rocky gully, from the cave to the peak and then Werner found another grassy gully (much shorter) back down to the cave. There are many routes and alternative routes towards the peak. Also many cairns.

Karin van Niekerk – meet leader