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

 

2019

Saturday 18 May

JONKERSBERG FROM GROOTDRAAI PICNIC SITE – Grade: 2M

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

Meet at the Shell garage near the only traffic light in Sedgefield to depart 8 am. Note: not the Engen which is congested due to Saturday market.

The hike begins at the Grootdraai picnic spot on the Kom-se-Pad road, some 2 km northeast of Gouna. Initially we go along part of the Terblans trail and later join up with the Outeniqua trail near the Ou masjien site. The Ou masjien is no longer there, now housed at a museum. There is a steep incline through a pine forest, and an ascent to great views of the Knysna Heads and coast on a clear day. This is one of the most scenic spots on the Outeniqua trail. The hike has a bit of everything – great indigenous forest, and spectacular garden route views.

A braai is planned at the Grootdraai picnic spot at the end. The hike should take about five hours.

Sunday 2 June

GROENEWEIDE TO GROENKOP AND PADDAKOP – Grade: 2M

Evie Bowen         071 162 0009   eviebowen24@gmail.com

This is a figure of 8 walk in the Outeniqua mountains. A winter hike – the aim is to spend more time on the mountain above the forest in order to enjoy the views and the sunshine.

All uphill from the parked cars to the “2 kops”, followed by a downhill circuit and variation via the Silver River, with good views and vistas. Mostly looking up towards Cradock Peak, Melville Peak and the surrounding mountains to the east. In the lower area some easy forest gravel track, while on our return expect a section along a good forest path. On higher ground we mostly follow a gravel track. However, at Groenkop we leave the circular track, and we will cross open vegetation and follow the ridgeline for a certain distance to reach our goal – Paddakop. After the fires, this area should be reasonably accessible – a few dead pine logs to leapfrog over, and some interesting new growth fynbos to discover!

Height gain is about 700 m, distance about 15 km and expected time to complete is 6 hours.

Meet at Strawberry Hill Farm for 08h45.

Access via the old 7-Passes road between Saasveld NMMU and Wilderness. This is the property belonging to our members Di and Bill Turner. They have kindly agreed to allow parking. Please proceed into the property, as you reach the first house ahead of you and on your right, please continue further along the track until you reach a large open green paddock where you park.
As you will be arriving early on a Sunday morning, please ensure a “degree of silence!” as there are various cottages and dogs who do not need to be woken up! We will walk from here into the indigenous forest north of the 7-Passes road.

Fri 7 to Sun 9 June

TIERKOP – GROOT SWARTBERG – Grade: 3H

Clive Louw    044 343 2558    clivelouw@telkomsa.net

This is an opportunity to climb the Groot Swartberg from the north up one of the classic lines.

On Friday we travel through Meiringspoort to the Groot Karoo. Our accommodation is at the guest farm, Wilgemond, nestled below the impressive slopes of Tierkop of the Groot Swartberg. The choice is a cottage for four, the many bedrooms in the huge Dutch style farmhouse, or you can camp on the lawn. We will retire early for the long climb up Tierkop at 2 130 m, which involves a 1 200 m gain. The final 150 m is up a ridge that involves more technical scrambling and exposure in places. This climb is similar in nature to Formosa Peak and Cockscomb. Return to Wilgemond for a braai and celebration.

On Sunday you can explore the area and the kloofs. There is an opportunity for fine mountain biking through the back roads that take you through to Klaarstroom, where there is a fine country hotel for coffee and snacks. It is a cycling route of about 30 km which is not too demanding. I will lead the cyclist on this pleasant route.

Please let Clive know by 12th May if you are fairly sure that you will attend so that he can keep the landlord informed of possible attendance.

Sunday 16 June

KRANSHOEK 9 KM TRAIL – Grade: 2+M

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

This hike descends to the coast from the Kranshoek Picnic site through indigenous forest. At the coast it turns eastwards along a beautiful section of coast line before ascending up a steep path starting at the Crooks River estuary. The return path is along the cliff tops back to the Kranshoek viewpoint and ending at the picnic site. Meet at the Kranshoek Picnic site to start walking by 09h00. The very brave can bring swimming gear. We should be back at the cars parked at the picnic site by about 14h00. Braai facilities are available – bring own wood, grid etc.
Remember to bring your Wild Card to gain free access to the area otherwise SANParks will request a small conservation fee at the entrance boom gate.

Sunday 23 June

GEORGE & CRADOCK PEAKS – Grade: 3

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.

Saturday 6 July

NATURE’S VALLEY PLUS SALT RIVER – Grade: 2M

Hans van Ameyde   044 533 4076 or 073 202 9974      hansvana@mweb.co.za

We start at 09h00 from Nature’s Valley Rest camp and climb up to the view point above the Kalander Trail. From here, we walk towards the picnic site along the R102 for a coffee/tea break and then proceed towards the Salt River mouth, which we will cross at low tide around midday. We will then climb up to the view point for our lunch break.
Thereafter we walk through the coastal forest to cross the Salt river inland (there is a rope) and then up again into the fynbos and back crossing the R102 towards the campsite. We should arrive there by 17h00. Total distance estimated at 20km.

Saturday 20 July

KAMFERSKLOOF TO A VIEWPOINT ABOVE WABOOMS VALLEY – Grade: 1L

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

The hike begins on a hops farm near Herold, proceeding along a jeep track past the original Kamferskloof hiking hut, which is no longer used for the original purpose, but which has been refurbished. This hut was part of a great hike, from Witfontein forest station to Tierkop, overnighting there, then on day two overnighting at the Kamferskloof hut, day three back to Witfontein. The hike we will do is easy, on a path to a viewpoint, with an option to include a small peak with even better views of the entire Wabooms valley, the largest producer of hops in South Africa. The hike takes about four hours without the peak. Meet at 08h00 at the Shell garage near the only traffic light in Sedgefield, NOT at the congested Saturday market. Alternate meeting points will be arranged once participants are known.

Saturday 3 August

ROBBERG PENINSULA – Grade: 2+M

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

Details to follow.

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”!

Fri 6 to Sun 8 Sep

EASTERN GROOT SWARTBERG – RIDGELINE HIKE AT BLESBERG – Grade: 2M and 3M

Evie Bowen           071 162 0009               eviebowen24@gmail.com

Stay at the farm Haggas on the northern side of Groot Swartberg. Drive through Meiringspoort towards Klaarstroom and take the R407 going east. Haggas is about 30 km down the road.

Cottage accommodation: cost around R300 pp per night. The cost includes use of mountain road.

The grading depends on the option you chose: grade 2M on lower sections and 3M for ridgeline hiking.
Arrive on Friday afternoon. Allow for a full day’s hike on Saturday. Sunday morning, further exploring in the area.

On Saturday, after a 4×4 drive, we reach higher ground. The drive is roughly 45 minutes to where we park our cars in Cape Nature area at about 1600 m. The day’s hike involves climbing up to reach the main Swartberg, scrambling along the Swartberg ridgeline (no footpath!! no marked trail and partially new territory for the meet leader). Along the ridge we will take in 2 peaks before reaching our objective, Blesberg 2084 m. We complete our ridge hiking as we move further along towards the next westerly peak. At this point we will drop downhill to meet the 4×4 track and walk back to the cars or cut across country? So far, Evie has only explored Blesberg itself, and a section of the western ridgeline. Interesting rocks, mountain fynbos, and amazing views in all directions into the numerous rocky areas and gorges. Distance along the ridgeline is probably about 6 to7 km with rocky ups and downs and some scrambling. Returning along the road a further 6 km. This trip is very weather dependent.

On Sunday morning – we can hike/explore some of the lower foothills closer to the farm: to be arranged.
Requirements: at least two 4×4 vehicles. On Saturday we will be driving along a well maintained 4×4 track to reach higher terrain. I plan to park cars a short distance after we enter the Cape Nature area. Depending on numbers and cars, a second group wanting an easier hike can take the soft option of driving as far as they like.

Numbers are limited. We will stay on the Farm Haggas where there are 2 cottages sleeping 4 persons: 2 bedrooms with 2 single beds in each cottage. I am hoping we can possibly have at least 1 extra tent for 2 campers attached to each cottage. Good self-catering facilities in the cottages. Ordinary vehicles can reach the farm, however, only 4×4 for the area above the farm towards the main line of the Swartberg.

Note: September in the Swartberg is still winter! The farm is at high altitude – around 1000 m – please be prepared for very cold nights and high chill factor depending on the wind – hopefully milder day time temperatures.
Further details will follow closer to the time.

Thu 12 – Sun 15 Sep

KAMMANASSIE GRAND TRAVERSE – Grade: 3H

Greg Devine             083 378 2587           devinemachines@gmail.com

This is a four-day, three-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 two 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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