Hoëberg has been tickling me for a long time. It is the most prominent peak when I look north from where I
live and work near Sedgefield. Because peaks must be climbed, it was a good reason to put this meet on the
program. Climbing it from the north, is definitely the better option.

The group. Photo by Daniel Carter

Fourteen enthusiastic people gathered at the meeting point at Molen River, north of the mountain. It was
partly cloudy and we could only see parts of the Outeniquas. In the group was Bill Turner, Clive Louw, Greg
and Cheryl Devine, Tony and Evie Bowen, Greg and Janet Moore, Dave and Gill Manley, Charles Smith, Gina
Pelser, Daniel Carter (guest from Australia) and Derek Odendaal.

The Outeniquas near Molen River

We drove further towards the mountain along a farm road and then through a wasteland of wattles and
other exotic trees until it seems clear that we will not get another place to turn the vehicles around. We had
to stop in a line, with only a small space into the thicket behind us to turn around the vehicles one by one. If
one of the drivers lost a car key, we would have a difficult situation…… And awkward things can happen on
the 1st of April.

Through the dense fynbos

We started walking up a spur of the mountain along the jeep track for more than four kilometres. The last
part towards the neck, just north of Hoëberg, was very overgrown and clearly not used any more. From
there, we began our ascent of 500 meters to the summit. We had to find a route up the fynbos-covered
slope. The first bit was dense and difficult, but once we got onto the slope left of a gully running down from
the peak, the going got better and the fynbos was not too high or dense. But it still was not an easy ascent
and quite steep in places. Fortunately, it was a mild day and that also helped us to get through with our
water supply, which we had to carry all the way from the start.

Ascending Hoëberg

Taking a break on the high neck

We made good progress and all reached the neck to the left of the peak, from where we could get a view to
the south. We had another rather steep 150 meters up the mountain and 8 of the party ultimately reached
the summit just after 1 pm. Unfortunately, it was in a cloud and we could not get the nice views we hoped
for. The peak played an April’s fool joke on us! At least we had great views towards the north and the west
along the way.

Summit party, without Greg Moore. Photo by Derek

Strawberry everlasting

After having lunch, we started the descent. On the way down, one of our group members became a bit lost
and had us worried for quite a while. Besides the safety of this person, another concern was the fact that
one of the vehicles in our line would block 3 others from getting out again, should this person remain
missing. At some stage I was even seeing myself sleeping somewhere on the farm while the search for the
missing one was being done by Drew and his crew!

Hoëberg as seen from the north

Wearing coloured clothes proved to be of great value, as we were able to spot Number 14 coming down the
mountain slope when we reached the neck at the base of the slope. With some vocal and physical
assistance, we could guide Number 14 further down and towards the waiting group. I was very relieved
about this and could enjoy the beautiful mild afternoon in the mountains even more on the way down. We
only reached the vehicles after 5 pm and were glad that we could manoeuvre all of them out again!
I think it’s okay to climb a mountain on the 1st of April.

Derek Odendaal – meet leader

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