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 

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 29 July

LEAKY DAM CIRCULAR – Grade 2M

Evie Bowen         071 162 0009             eviebowen24@gmail.com

This hike starts at the NMMU or Saasveld university grounds. We will hike through interesting indigenous forest to Pepsi pools – a chilly swim if you like! Then a slightly slippery path uphill to join an old jeep track which winds through the wonderful Outeniqua foothills and super fynbos to eventually reach the Leaky Dam. From the dam wall we follow a slightly overgrown footpath to the Tierkop hut, further footpath until we gain the jeep track and trundle back to our cars. Delightful views throughout the day.

Meet at the NMMU/Student Housing for 8.15 am. Hike will start at 8.30 am. I have recently walked most of this circuit. The old jeep tracks have been well cleared and are easily accessible. Distance: about 16 km. Allow about 6 hours. Bring snacks for your lunch, and water. Warm clothing and wind protection – it is always colder on the higher ground in the Outeniquas.

Note: Please contact Evie only after 16 July – as she is away for an extended period in Europe.

Saturday 11 August

MODIFIED BRENTON ON SEA – Grade 2+M

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

It is low tide at 9:38 am, and because it is also New Moon, we should have a good beach. Meet at the Nautical South Restaurant at Brenton on Sea at 8:30 where there is lots of parking: this is the little restaurant before one gets to the hotel, not at the hotel itself. We will start hiking at 9:00. To avoid the dangerous bits of path we will amend the route a bit. We will walk back up the hill, turn right into Steenbras Street and then descend to the beach below Steenbras Street. From there we will follow the fisherman’s path along the seashore to the Die Blokke beach, where we will climb back out from the beach, go over the top of the hill and descend back down into another small beach. From here we will continue along the coast until we reach the steps leading up to the Hofmeyr property, where we will climb back up to the top and will follow a dirt road back to Brenton on Sea. We will stop off at the cell phone towers at the top of the Brenton Hill, from where there are wonderful views of the Knysna lagoon, Leisure Island and the Outeniqua Mountains behind. We will then follow the road back to Brenton on Sea where we can have refreshments at the Nautical South Restaurant. The whole hike should not take more than about 4 hours. I might change the
route depending on the condition of the paths. Bring snacks, water, binocs: we might be lucky and see some whales!

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.

Sat 8 September

FOURIESBERG IN THE ATTAKWASKLOOF NATURE RESERVE – Grade: 3H
FYNBOS RAMBLE ACROSS PERDEKOP – Grade: 1M

Greg Moore           021 531 0953 or 044 695 3176         gregmoore@mweb.co.za
Janet Moore

Grade 3H: Fouriesberg in the Attakwaskloof Nature Reserve is not the highest peak but is probably the most remote. It is usually climbed from the north side, but after fires in the last two years, it should be able to be climbed from the south. From Perdekop farm I plan to drive into the Attakwaskloof reserve and climb the un-named peak in front of the farm and then ridge walk / scramble across to Fouriesberg. The distance should be less than 10 km, but it will be tough going with about 1300 m of ascent. Further details to follow.

Grade 1M: For the more social hikers, Janet will lead a relaxed hike across the top of the farm through the fynbos that burnt about ten years ago which should look magnificent in the spring colours. Distance about 6km. Further details to follow.

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.

Sat 20 – Mon 22 Oct

WILLOWMORE WEEKEND –  Grades: 1L to 2+M

Chris Leggatt          083 628 8547          chrisleggatt@live.com

Chris Leggatt invites you to join his celebration of his 30 years of MCSA membership at this magnificent secluded private mountain farm in the last valley before the Great Karoo. The plan is to summit an unnamed peak on Saturday
(Grade 2+). Flatter walks (Grade 1) and mountain biking also possible. Camping next to a rudimentary cottage. Rooftop tents welcome. We will have the use of the cottage for kitchen and toilet, etc. High-clearance vehicles are recommended.

There will be a fee of R 50 per person for the weekend to cover expenses at the farm:
gas, wood, petrol for generator, cleaning staff etc.

Sat 3 – Wed 7 Nov

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

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

We will do the high traverse of the Klein Swartberg all the way from Buffelspoort, to the west of Towerkop, past Towerkop and on to Seweweekspoort Peak and down. This will require four nights out and possibly a fifth, if we stay over at the start. We need to leave vehicles at the end. The first night on the mountain will be near Towerkop somewhere, the following nights at Towerkop (Nel’s Cave), Skull Cave and Cola’s Cave on Seweweekspoort Peak.

This is quite a tough hike over rough country, with no trail on the ridge-line and no water during the day. There should however be water at the night spots. The weather should be benign but quite cold at night high up. We need clear weather for navigation, so a week’s postponement is possible in the case of a cold-front.

Sat 10 November

FISANTEHOEK CIRCULAR – Grade: 2M

Gonny Houtsma                  076 076 3553              gonny.houtsma@gmail.com

The walk starts just outside the Fisantehoek hut on the Outeniqua trail. We hike in the direction of Garden of Eden, turning off on the Petrus-se-Brand cycling route: be aware of cyclists! After about 1,5 km on the cycling route, we hit a dirt road, that leads back to the cars. Total distance a bit over 10 km, a relatively easy walk, although we have to go fairly steep down to a stream and up again. This walk is mainly through indigenous forest.

Meeting point: Shell garage in Sedgefield at 08h00 or at the corner at the hut at about 09h00. There is limited parking, so please share cars as much as possible.

 

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