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The Party. (L to R) Fran Hunzicker, Cheryl & Stewart Stiles, Bill Uren, Peter & Susanna Pyke, Cheryl Devine,
Janet Moore,  John Hodgson, Greg Moore, Caroline (guest), Bill Turner, Robin Reid, Amelia Spargo, Greg Devine. Not in photo: Maretha Alant, Tony Bowen (meet leader).

Summary. The hike starts at “Sputnik” carpark near the top of the Outeniqua Pass. This is where the group photo above was taken, looking south. Vensterberg peak is the one just left of centre, and is higher than the un-named peak in the photo to its left. After crossing the highway, the route follows the ridge line, initially on a path which soon becomes sporadic at best. It goes up steeply requiring scrambling and is often overgrown. Near the summit is a short section with exposure. Grade 2 ½.

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Scrambling up the ridge

The hike. Not without some trepedation did we met at Sputnik and start hiking at 8.15 am as a cold front gusted out its final icy gasps at 25 knots. After making several hilltops towards the summit, two turned back leaving 17 to reach the peak in 3 hours.

It was too cold to dilly-dally on the way up, but the weather moderated once we reach the destination.

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Here we take a quick rest before the summit ridge.

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After a quick cuppa, we set off on the return.

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Near the summit is the famed “venster”, with Mossel Bay in the distance.

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Showing the crux. Who says mountaineering isn’t fun?

Half way down the front had died and we lingered long over lunch, taking in splendid vistas against a blue sky backdrop. We were all safely back at Sputnik by 1.30pm.

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

Tony Bowen – meet leader

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