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. Visitors are welcome to attend hikes graded less than 3.

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

 

2019

Sunday 14 July

ST BLAIZE TRAIL – Grade: 2M

Gillian Forbes               044 343 2124 or 072 729 1662 forbesgillian1@gmail.com

Meet at 09h00 at The Point parking lot below the St Blaize lighthouse at the southern end of Mossel Bay. This well laid out cliff-top path follows the 60 m contour from Mossel Bay to Dana Bay, 13,5 km to the west. There are stunning views of the rugged coastline. Even though it is winter, the fynbos always puts on a show. The trail runs high above the Pinnacle Point caves where our ‘roots’ are thought to have begun more than 160 000 years ago.
Gillian will arrange for transport to be left at Dana Bay to bring the drivers back to Mossel Bay. Bring water and a snack and be prepared for the vagaries of our coastal winter weather.

Saturday 20 July

Goukamma Nature reserve – Grade 1M

Dave Barnes   0443431478 or 0822695705                      ittledoo@gmail.com

Fortunately, the Goukamma hikes have been re-opened after the fires. The trails have been cleared and are in good repair, making this an easy hike.

The hike begins at the access gate to the Cape Nature offices on the southern bank of Lake Pleasant. It follows a path which ascends a dune, then meanders through the high dunes of the reserve to the beach. We also pass through Milkwood forests unaffected by the fires.

The tide is favourable for a beach return.

On a clear day here are rewarding views from the high dunes. The Outeniqua mountains, Sedgefield, Lake Pleasant, Gerickes Point and the coast from Buffels Bay to Mossel Bay can be seen.

The distance is 14 kilometres, and it takes about 5 hours with stops.

Meet at 08H00 at the Shell garage, Sedgefield, near the only traffic light. NOT at the Engen which will be crowded due to the farmer’s market.

Saturday 3 August

ROBBERG PENINSULA – Grade: 2+M

Hanna Edge   044 381 0014 or 082 492 0405            hanitadut@gmail.com

Meet at the Robberg entrance gate from 08h30 to 09h00 so that we can start walking by about 09h15 to 09h30. It will take a while for everyone to fill in the form and get through the gate. The entrance fee is R50 per person unless you have a Wild Card.

We will hike the northern side first, stopping at the various lookout points and will see, hear and smell the seals, and might be lucky enough to see a circling Great White, or perhaps a whale or two. We will continue to The Point where we will have our lunch. It is low tide at about 11 am so we should be fine, but still need to watch out for rogue waves. From there we will continue along the southern side of the peninsula until we reach The Island. Those that want to can then do the little hike on the boardwalk around The Island, while the others can continue to the end.

Cape Nature has improved the infrastructure tremendously by building many stairs and steps along the southern side and provided handrails along the northern side. So be prepared to climb a few hundred steps (up and down)!

The hike is about 9 km long and will take between 4 to 5 hours including stops. For those who do not want to do the whole hike, there is also the option of taking the shorter route by going down the sand dune to The Island and continuing to the end from there. This hike is about 5.5 km and quite a bit easier than the full circuit.

Bring: Water (there is none en route), sunscreen, binocs, lunch and snacks.

Wear: Good boots or strong walking shoes, hats.

 

Fri 9 to Sun 11 Aug

ROOIBERG TRAVERSE, KLEIN KAROO – Grade: 2+H

Derek Odendaal   076 292 2866          dodendaal@mweb.co.za

The Rooiberg Mountains lie to the south of Calitzdorp and Ladismith. The length of this range is about 45 km, with the highest peak at 1490 m. This 3-day hike will start on top of the Rooiberg Pass and we will be walking along the jeep track running towards the west for a day and a half. Then we will get more adventurous and follow the ridges towards the south (no paths) until we can link up with the jeep track running down a ridge to Vanwyksdorp. Tents/bivvy bags must be carried and camping spots will be rough. Water might be scarce on the higher parts, so carry enough containers.
Access to the Rooiberg Nature Reserve is very limited and we will get special permission. This is a good opportunity to see a large part of this relatively unknown mountain area with its deep gorges and rugged cliffs. If this type of hike tickles your fancy, be sure to join in.

This hike is dependent on good winter rains in the Klein Karoo. Information on when and where the party will meet will be made available later.

Saturday 17 August

HEROLDS BAY EASTWARDS COASTAL HIKE – Grade: 2M

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

The hike begins at the Monate complex, proceeding eastwards along a coastal path to a large deck on the Oubaai property. This is an easy hike, except for a very short scramble at one point to get down to the beach. There are good hand holds on this short bit. The hike is 11 km, and total ascent is only 290 m, most of which has gradual inclines. Meet at the Shell garage, Sedgefield, near the only traffic light, NOT at the Engen due to the crush at the Saturday market. Alternate meeting points to be arranged once participants are known

Sunday 25 August

CAMPHER’S KLOOF TO PEAK “TEN67” – Grade: 2M

Evie Bowen            071 162 0009        eviebowen24@gmail.com

Meet for 08h45 at the Engen Garage.
This is an easy hike of about 10 km – under 5 hours – depends on the snack breaks. Lovely sunny winter walk – at higher ground with views over the surrounding Outeniquas.

The 2M grade includes the odd holding on to rocks as you ascend the final peak itself, with a good path over some stony ground to the saddle. We ascend the peak on a less defined path.

Meet at the Engen petrol station on the northern outskirts of George (last one on the right) just prior to starting up the Outeniqua Pass. Here we can regroup in less vehicles to save on fuel cost.

We park at the Herold Hop Farm. From here we follow a good trail winding up through what was “wunderbaar” fynbos before the fires. Now some pockets remain in between the new growth which is coming along rapidly. We ascend to the saddle from which we climb up a smaller less defined path to the actual Peak Ten67.

We return by the same route. Some of the party may choose the shorter return option to the Sputnik descending via the neck to the south. However, for this option, you will need to make lift arrangements. If you are lucky, you may be able to catch a Pizza at Waboomskraal on your return, ……hmmmmm , always very busy on ‘sunny Sundays”!

Second half August

SEWEWEEKSPOORTPIEK – Grade: 2+H

Ed Kay-Shuttleworth               084 737 5882 ekayshuttleworth@gmail.com

Just to put members on notice that a small group of us are planning to climb the Western Cape’s highest peak in one day sometime in the following couple of months. This will be undertaken from the north side. Seweweekspoort peak is normally a two-day affair (from the south) but we will stay in a farm cottage for two nights at the foot of the mountain on the far side. The intention is to enjoy a winter climb, but we need to pick our window in respect of the weather very carefully. In order to be sure, we will only decide days before hand when we will do it and it might be midweek! It will be a long day with 1150 metres ascent, 12 km distance and will take about 9 – 10 hours. It’s not a technical climb but one needs to be sure footed as there are a few boulder fields to cross on the way up. Who knows, we might find the “Stone of Damocles” enrobed in snow! If you are interested let me know and I will form a list (with no commitment) which will be finalised closer to the time when we see a chance.

Sat 7 – Wed 11 Sep

KAMMANASSIE GRAND TRAVERSE – Grade: 3H

Greg Devine             083 378 2587           devinemachines@gmail.com

This is a five-day, four-night trip through the best of the Kammanassie range. The walk starts at Vermaakskloof and ends at the farms below Mannetjiesberg. The first and last days are shortish and involve a bit of car ferrying, but the middle three days are quite long and hard. The walk is mostly on an old jeep track, except for day three when we go cross country without a path. The walk takes in Vermaakskloof, the beautiful Bakneskloof, the deep gorge above Buffelsrivier, the huge north-facing kloof, the huge bowling green that is Perdevlakte and the area below Mannetjies.
There is no shelter, so tents must be carried. There is not much water during the days but there is good water at the night-spots. This is an amazing hike through a little-known wilderness area, with great views of all the surrounding mountains.

Sat 21 – Tue 24 Sept

ROMANSKRAAL AREA – LANGEBERG – Grade: 2M or 2+M

Derek Odendaal         076 292 2866            dodendaal@mweb.co.za

We had to postpone our planned meet (April 2018) in this lovely area near Albertinia after the area burnt in January 2018. The vegetation should have recovered somewhat by September 2019. After our first visit in March 2016, we realised there is a lot more to explore here. There will be different options during this long weekend, from challenging off-route exploration and ascending one of the local high peaks, to more leisurely hiking on the network of jeep tracks in the valleys.

We will hike in for 6 km and establish a base camp next to a stream (370 masl). The explorers will skip this and hike into an unexplored valley to the west and return to the base camp the next afternoon. On day 3, the explorers will take on Paardeberg and try to get to the summit of the impressive Paardeberg Spitz (1220 m), returning to base camp again. The leisurely hikers can follow their own routes and enjoy the scenery of this area from base camp. On day four, we will hike out via a different route and visit some San paintings.

Romanskraal is about 130 km from George. We will meet up at the Engen garage next to the N2 in Albertinia at 8 am on 21 Sept and drive together to the Langeberg from there.

Fri 4 to Sun 6 October

KRUISRIVIER – KANGOBERG, GROOT-SWARTBERG – Grade: 2+M or 1M

Derek Odendaal    dodendaal@mweb.co.za    076 292 2866

Another “Derek Special” – this time exploring an unknown part of the Swartberg in the Kruisrivier area (between the Swartberg Pass and Calitzdorp). This is one of the most scenic areas of the Swartberg. There is also an easy option, just exploring the lower valleys via day walks. The backpacking route will start near Kruisrivier, head up the Kruis River valley, then ascend the southern slopes of the Swartberg up to the wide terrace almost halfway up the mountain. We will then traverse to the west at a height of between 1000 and 1100 m, with Kangoberg towering above us at 2022 m, and make camp near the Goegamma ravine.

The next day we go further west for a few km and start descending the mountain again before the next deep valley, going down to Groenfontein and ending the hike at the main road. The distances will not be more than 10 km per day, but the terrain might be a bit bushy, with two deep ravines to cross (read adventure).

On Friday night we will camp at Kruisrivier Guest farm (where the day walkers can also spend Saturday night). From there you can explore two lovely valleys and ravines, along some farm roads and paths. The cost for camping is R150 pp per night. We meet up at Kruisrivier Guest farm on the Friday afternoon.

Mon 14 – Fri 18 October

SWELLENDAM HIKING TRAIL – Grade: 2H (Fully booked)

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. Final arrangements will be communicated to participants by Karen.

Fri 25 to Sun 27 Oct

KLEIN SWARTBERG BACKPACKING – TOWERKOP LOWER SHELTER – Grade: 2M & 3H

Evie Bowen     071 162 0009            eviebowen24@gmail.com

Evie’s subtitle to this weekend is: Towerkop lower shelter – the tin one!

Grade 2M to reach the camping shelter and grade 3H to traverse around the foot of Towerkop Cave.
Unlimited numbers! For this weekend (2 nights out) we will start on Friday, spend the first afternoon backpacking (allow 5 1/2 hours) to the shelter in the Towerkop Reserve – about 8 km and an ascent of 800 m. Very limited sleeping space in the shelter – so you may have to carry your tent. This makes for a pleasant camp area from which we can do day trips. Fresh water is available in the nearby river. On Saturday we do a day trip ascending a further 600 m to reach the Towerkop cave and explore a portion of the traverse. This will involve some scrambling.

As an alternative, hikers can explore the area around the camp, or laze in the delightful river nearby. On Sunday, we can undertake some further exploring, before heading off down along the same trail to reach our cars. There is a good trail to the Camp area shelter, and a less distinct trail with some scrambling near the top, before you reach the Towerkop cave. You will be camping at altitude – please bring appropriate warm clothing and warm sleeping bags.

Further details will follow. Provisionally we will meet mid-morning, or earlier on Friday in the Ladismith area, drive to where we park our cars on Buffelskloof farm. Return on Sunday afternoon.

 

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