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The Party. (L to R) Robyn Reid, Evie Bowen, Cheryl Devine, Karin van Niekerk, Greg Devine, Tony Bowen (meet leader).

Summary. The hike starts at Burnsleigh hop farm, Herold, and follows a stony ridge going SSW, leading to a scramble up to the conical summit of Camferskloofberg (1207m). The return journey follows a rocky ridge in a semi-circle moving NNE back to the cars. The going is tough, with sustained scrambling, but the views are wonderful. Prickly bushes abound. Distance is about 15km (not measured). The round trip takes a full day – 8 ½ to 9½ hours without incidents.

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Camferskloofberg is on the right. The return trip follows the skyline ridge to the left.

Grade: 3. The route requires sustained rock scrambling for many hours, with the remainder of the route over stony terrain. The geological feature is vertically bedded sandstone, necessitating rock hopping and balancing all day! Rescue would need helicopter assistance. It would be unwise to do this route in wet weather or snow. An early start is essential.

The hike. We met at Witfontein at 7.30am, and completed a permit at the gate. We then shared transport to the start of the hike. After parking at the end of Burnsleigh farm at the entrance to the Cape Nature reserve, we turned immediately right (west) and headed up the ridge along the fence line. The ridge then gives a clear line to the nek on the left of the peak (see above). From the nek, the summit party followed a rocky ridge to the beacon on Camferskloofberg, returning down to the nek for lunch.

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At 1.30pm we started the ridge circuit heading NNE from the nek. This was a bit later than it should have been. The
ridge takes a surprisingly long time, as the terrain requires careful rock hopping and scrambling all the way along the ridge. I don’t know if this ridge has a name, but ‘dragons back’ may be apt due to its long and jagged nature.

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At 5.15 the sun set behind Camferskloofberg and we still had a way to go down the ridge. Thankfully the dusk lasted until we made it down to the disused hiking hut. We were pleasantly surprised to see that this is being refurbished and will soon be put to good use again. Another half and hour along the park roadway led us back to the cars. At
6pm, we started the drive back and by now it was pitch dark.

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Cradock Peak, Kransberg, Melville Peak

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Waboomskraal

Thank you to those that joined in and shared the experience.

Tony Bowen – meet leader

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