What an amazing stroke of pure and utter LUCK.
A winter meet that actually took place in the snow.

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Swartberg2

Meet Leader: Evie Bowen
Hikers: MCSA members: Di and Bill Turner (missing from picture) Greg and Cheryl Devine, Greg and Janet Moore, Rina de Leur, Dave Manley, Basher Attwell, Tony Bowen.
Visitor: Gill Manley

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Hike duration: about 5 ½ hours including stops.

Hike distance: about 9 km. The hike should have been longer. However, we started from the Top of the pass instead of Ou Toll. This was due to a very icy road on the downhill side. Generally owing to the snow and icy conditions, the going was slower and it was felt it would be better to return earlier than originally planned. Our total ascent and descent for the day along an undulating path was about 750 m.

Trail Condition: the actual ridge path on the Swartberg seems to be in good condition. Parts of it were completely covered in snow and ice.

Start time: 9.30am from “die Top”. We finished around 3.00 pm.

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Description: What a wonderful sight met us as we arrived at the foot hills of the Swartberg. A crystal clear, blanket of snow covering the higher peaks and ridge line of the mountains. Snow had arrived the previous day/night. The top sections of the road on the pass were very icy and somewhat difficult to negotiate in the early morning.
Our hike started along the ridge path and soon we were feeling and slipping our way through the snow. The scenery unfolding with icy sheets hanging off all the plants was just amazing. All in all, exceptionally fortunate conditions – as just enough snow and ice to create a real sense of winter and adventure, while not too deep to prevent good hiking conditions. Sunshine, brilliant white snow and clear distant views throughout the day, while the wind factor was virtually absent. We climbed the first peak of the day -at Windgathoogte, and the second peak was Alberts Peak. At this point the meet leader decided the day was too short to continue on to the rather distant looking Olieweberg. So instead a lengthy, leisurely lunch in the sun, after which we returned along the same path to meet the road on the top of the pass. Here we were met by numerous day trippers – also out to enjoy the snow.

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On Alberts Berg

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Our route

Thank you to all who supported this meet, pitched up despite a very icy road and for loving every minute of being in the snow.

Evie Bowen – meet leader

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