Our hike schedule is continually updated, but here is a list of upcoming hikes.

Please contact any committee member or our meets/hike coordinator for details.

Non members of the Mountain Club may only participate in a meet with prior approval of the meet leader. The meet leader may require the visitor to complete a Temporary Membership application which can be downloaded from the “Forms and Constitution” heading on this website. The completed form must be handed to the meet leader before the start of the meet.

Meet attendance confirmation: please let Meet Leaders know of your intention to attend a Meet by not later than two days before the meet, especially if lifts and other transport arrangements need to be made.

Please read the Description of Grades page to familiarise yourself with the new grading system

 

MEET SCHEDULE FOR 2018 

 

Sat 26 May

BEERVLEI HUT TO HOOGEKRAAL RIVER RETURN – Grade: 2H

Dave Barnes     044 343 1478 or 082 269 5705              ittledoo@gmail.com

This hike is the initial part of the first day of the Outeniqua Trail. The path passes through some fine indigenous forest. There is a steep descent to the river, and depending on erosion, handholds may be necessary in some places. The distance is 18 km and duration about 7 hours.

There is a shorter option to a Hoogekraal tributary, which will reduce the distance by 2.5 km, and avoid the steep section before the Hoogekraal River. This option is easy, on a good path. This can be offered if requested and provided there are sufficient hikers interested to form a viable and safe sub party. The shorter option reduces hiking time by at least an hour.

There is a great swimming place at the Hoogekraal River, a possibility, depending on weather, and bravery.
Meet at the Shell garage near the only traffic light in Sedgefield at 08H00.

Please note, the Shell garage, not the one near the market which is congested on a Saturday.
Alternate meeting points will be arranged once participants are known.

Fri 1 June – Sun 3 June

GECKO TRAIL – LANGEBERG (HIKE and/or MTB) – Grade: 1 – 2+H

Ed Shuttleworth          084 737 5882            ekayshuttleworth@gmail.com

After arriving at Simonskloof Mountain Retreat on the Friday afternoon / evening, we will leave early Saturday morning to complete leg A of the Gecko Trail from Simonskloof to Nuy. This is a 16 km hike (8-9 hours) with frequent river crossings though no swimming should be required. After a short climb we reach the highest point of the day affording wonderful views along the Western Langeberg. From here we descend about 500 metres in height into the formidable Nuy River gorge which we will then follow to our destination.

The weekend will be based at Simonskloof Mountain Retreat campsite, so we will need to get back there after our day’s hike. This is a 75-minute drive. On Sunday we will explore the immediate surrounds of Simonskloof by means of several shorter walks. There are also Mountain Bike trails ranging from 10 – 40 km so those inclined should bring their bikes for the Sunday. Those who don’t fancy the Saturday hike, which is quite a tiring one, should not be deterred from coming to relax and unwind for the weekend in this beautiful and little-known valley. For those who don’t like camping, there are also other accommodation options. Check it out at http://www.simonskloof.com – there is also the option, for those who don’t need to tear back for Monday morning, to spend the whole Sunday at the retreat and return at a leisurely pace on Monday.

Sat 16 June

HIKING IN THE PLEISTOCENE – Grade: 0M

Fred van Berkel  072 112 6507        fn.vanberkel@gmail.com

This is an easy, out-and-back 6 km beach walk from Platbank, Sedgefield to some 120 000-year-old ungulate tracks thought to be made by a long-horned buffalo. The tracks are preserved in fossilized dune rock exposed on the Goukamma Nature Reserve coast. On route, we will stop at tracks attributed to lion, elephant, the giant Cape horse and others.
I will give a talk at the MCSA social on the 3rd May entitled Hiking in the Garden Route during the Pleistocene where I will explain the variable paleo-climate conditions that shaped the distinctive Garden Route coastal scenery we see today and what hiking conditions would have been like for our ancestors. You will benefit from attending the 3rd May talk should you wish to do this stroll into the past.

Directions: Take the Groenvlei – Lake Pleasant turnoff about 1 km east of Sedgefield at the western end of Groenvlei and drive to Platbank beach. Meet at Platbank parking lot at 09h00. We walk for 3 km along the beach (low tide at 11h30) towards Buffalo Bay stopping at 10 or more trace fossil sites. After a snack break we return to Myoli.
Wear appropriate beach footwear.

Fri 22 – Sun 24 June

KAMMANASSIE HIGH TRAVERSE – Grade: 3H

Greg Devine    044 871 4755 or 083 378 2587 devinemachines@gmail.com

This will be the high traverse from Buffelsrivier to Mannetjiesberg in the Kammanassie, over three days. There is a trail for the first and last day but in between, we will follow the ridge. We will need tents and to carry some water for the middle day. A vehicle will be left at the foot of Mannetjiesberg to return us to the start at Buffelsrivier.

Sunday 19 August

VENSTERBERG –  Grade 2+M

Tony Bowen       071 162 0008 tonybowen24@gmail.com

This is one of the easier peaks in the Outeniquas. Vensterberg is the peak on your left as you top out on the Outeniqua Pass, heading out of George. Just over the pass there is a right-hand turn into the parking area of the stumpy telecoms mast (the satellite or sputnik). Meet here at 08h00. We cross the main road and head up the easy slopes on a faint path. It is easy going all the way to within 25 metres of the summit, when a bit of easy scrambling is needed. The 360-degree view from the top and the view of Mossel Bay through the ‘window’ are the attractions. It will take about 7 hours with stops for tea and lunch.

Sat 25 August

CRADOCK PEAK (1 579 m) & GEORGE PEAK (1 337m) – Grade: 3H

Stewart Stiles              044 874 6208 or 082 552 2653                 sstiles0@gmail.com

We meet at Witfontein Forest Station at 07h00 to start hiking the Cradock and George Peak Trail. This hike will take the whole day (estimated time back at cars at Witfontein 16h00 to 17h00) so an early start is essential. The route is out and back summiting BOTH Cradock Peak first and then George Peak on the way back and covers about 23 kilometres. Elevation gain 1330 meters. There is very little water on the hike, so you must bring enough for the day. It can get cold and windy on the top so all-weather gear is a must. To reach Cradock Peak there is a small section of scrambling that must be done – this is the Grade 3 section (George Peak grade is 2+H). We walk on a well-trodden path all the way. It is a long way and is quite strenuous, so a good degree of fitness is required.

Fri 21 – Wed 26 September

SWELLENDAM TRAIL – Grade: 2H

Karin van Niekerk     082 956 2422 karinvn@telkomsa.net

This 5-day and 4-night trail has been opened again for hikers. It is situated above Swellendam in the Marloth
Nature reserve in the Langeberg mountain range. It traverses through fynbos and into isolated valleys with streams and indigenous forests. The trail follows a circular route over 5 days. It is described as one of the most beautiful in the Western Cape. The hike covers 58 km and is strenuous. We will leave for Swellendam on Thursday 20th of September and stay in a cottage in the Marloth Reserve.

Thu 4 – Sun 7 October

COCKSCOMB FROM THE SOUTH – Grade: 3H

Greg Devine & Werner Illenberger – 044 871 4755 or 083 378 2587       devinemachines@gmail.com

The last few times that we have done Cockscomb has been from the north, but this time we will take the route from the south, which is reputed to be a bit harder but much more interesting. We will probably get Werner Illenberger from EP Section to guide us. At least one night will be spent in the top cave. More details to follow if there is sufficient interest.

Fri 2 – Tue 6 Nov

KLEIN SWARTBERG TRAVERSE – TOWERKOP TO SEWEWEEKSPOORT PEAK – Grade: 3H

Greg Devine    044 871 4755 or 083 378 2587 devinemachines@gmail.com

This will be the high traverse along the ridge-line from Towerkop to Seweweekspoort Peak. Four nights will be required, sleeping in caves and shelters. We will have to carry our water for each day, but there is water at the caves. This is a tough hike with no trail, over rough country.

 

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