Western Cape hiking beyond the usual routes?

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Stockhausen
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Western Cape hiking beyond the usual routes?

Postby Stockhausen » Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:29 am

Hope you all enjoyed a relaxing Easter? I fancy a change to the usual Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Cape Town hikes next Easter! I don't suppose any of you have any Western Cape recommendations? Cederberg, Klein Swarberg, Dutoitskloof near Paarl? Can one hike near Seweweekspoortpiek? I like staying in rest camps (like Thendele or Didima in the Drakensberg). Sedan car access would be ideal too

Any tips would be massively appreciated.

Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Western Cape hiking beyond the usual routes?

Postby Nic Le Maitre » Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:01 am

Seweweekspoort and Towerkop are MCSA property and can be accessed free of charge (if you are a member or with a member) just make arrangements with the relevant farmers to cross their property.

Another good one is a traverse from Franshoek to Limietberg via Wemmershoek Peak, Agtertafelberg valley, the Du Toits Kloof hut, Krom Rivier Hut and then Bainskloof...
Happy climbing
Nic

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DamageINC
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Re: Western Cape hiking beyond the usual routes?

Postby DamageINC » Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:42 pm

How about the Otter Trail - iconic 5 day route? --> Storms River.
Or the shorter version of this Harkeville (over night)? --> Knysna side.
Cederberg - can pretty much make ur own route...up Krakadouw (speling), Tafelberg?

TowerKop is still on my list...with attempt to Trad the top piece?
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Jacques

Stockhausen
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Re: Western Cape hiking beyond the usual routes?

Postby Stockhausen » Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:12 am

Wow thanks for all the information.. The Western Cape has so much to offer - I am overwhelmed! Is Cederberg accessible in little cars e.g. VW Polo?

I want to do long overnight hikes, but my SO would rather stay in a chalet (Thendele style) or a farm to hike out from. Any recommendations in the Cederberg area?

We love our hiking so doing the Otter trail in addition seems like a plan! :thumleft:

Stockhausen
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Re: Western Cape hiking beyond the usual routes?

Postby Stockhausen » Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:59 pm

I regularly give advice on an internet site to prospective visitors to London. I am always curious about what decisions and choices they ended up making, but most don't re-post.. With that in mind, here is a little update on my hiking plans..

I am torn between farms and self-catering chalets at Driehoek, Sanddrif, Dwarsrivier, Jamaka, and Kromrivier.. I want to choose the one that offers the best views as well as easy opportunities to hike up to high points eg Wolfberg Cracks and arch?

I've been told the gravel road off the N7 near Citrusdal is terrible and is best done in a high clearance vehicle. I have heard though that the gravel road turning right just north of Op die Berg is fine for even a little car?

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Justin
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Re: Western Cape hiking beyond the usual routes?

Postby Justin » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:41 pm

Stockhausen wrote:I've been told the gravel road off the N7 near Citrusdal is terrible and is best done in a high clearance vehicle.


Exactly which dirt road are you referring to?
Bad/corrugated gravel roads can be made more pleasant by dropping your tire pressure and/or drive slower.
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Stockhausen
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Re: Western Cape hiking beyond the usual routes?

Postby Stockhausen » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:28 pm

I think it was an unnamed road from the Algeria region that meets the N7 halfway between Citrusdal and Clanwilliam

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Justin
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Re: Western Cape hiking beyond the usual routes?

Postby Justin » Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:06 am

This is the road you are talking about (drives over the Olifants River to Algeria, Tafelberg, Wolfberg cracks, Kromriver...) - http://goo.gl/maps/awj5r

The last time I drove this road it was corrugated but I am almost 100% sure that you would never need a high clearance vehicle to drive it. See above my comments on tyre pressure and taking it slow.
Anyone driven this road lately?
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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Western Cape hiking beyond the usual routes?

Postby Nic Le Maitre » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:55 am

All of the main roads in the Cederberg, with the exception of the Maitjiesrivier to Wupperthal road, are fine in a normal car, just drive slowly over the corrugations. I've seen all sorts of cars deep in the Cederberg from 4x4 to Audi RS4's... A Polo will be more than fine.
Happy climbing
Nic

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Re: Western Cape hiking beyond the usual routes?

Postby Nic Le Maitre » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:56 am

Stockhausen wrote:Wow thanks for all the information.. The Western Cape has so much to offer - I am overwhelmed! Is Cederberg accessible in little cars e.g. VW Polo?

I want to do long overnight hikes, but my SO would rather stay in a chalet (Thendele style) or a farm to hike out from. Any recommendations in the Cederberg area?

We love our hiking so doing the Otter trail in addition seems like a plan! :thumleft:


Stay at Sanddrift, nice and central, has the nicest chalets around.
Happy climbing
Nic

Stockhausen
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Re: Western Cape hiking beyond the usual routes?

Postby Stockhausen » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:16 pm

Thanks - it looks stunning. Can one access the Wolfberg Cracks from there? It looks like they are on private property.

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Re: Western Cape hiking beyond the usual routes?

Postby Nic Le Maitre » Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:06 pm

The Wolfberg Cracks property is owned by the Niewoudts, who run Sanddrift. Permits can be obtained from the farm (Dwarsrivier) just up the road from Sanddrift. It used to be that if you were staying on their property then you did not need a permit but this is (sadly) no longer so. Ostensibly the permit system was put in place so that the farmer would know how many people were where on their property but as no one every checks permits or sees that you return, it doesn't work. We are trying to a get a once-off permit system that you can buy for the entire duration of your stay in place but it is slow going.

FYI, if you are planning on climbing, the West face of the Wolfberg gets afternoon sun in winter and is quite miserable in the shade in the morning. If you are hiking, go explore the Eastern side of the Wolfberg (to your right as you come out of the cracks on top), there is a magnificent amphitheater on that side.
Happy climbing
Nic

Stockhausen
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Re: Western Cape hiking beyond the usual routes?

Postby Stockhausen » Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:13 am

A Niewoudt family also seem to own the Jamaka which has also been recommended in a brochure (alongside Mount Ceder), although it seems to be in a different part to Sanddrif, Kromrivier etc.

We would love to do a climb whilst there - can one access all the walks (eg Wolfberg cracks) and climbs in the area provided permits are bought?

Or does each farm allow only residents onto their "patch"?

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Re: Western Cape hiking beyond the usual routes?

Postby Richard » Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:47 pm

Jamaka is a long way from the "real" Cederberg attractions. You can't get more convenient than Sanddrif. Kromriver and Driehoek are very nice too, but you can walk to the Wolfberg Cracks (hikes and climbs) from the front door of your chalet. Also a short drive to the Maltese Cross/Sneeuberg parking.

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Rastaman
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Re: Western Cape hiking beyond the usual routes?

Postby Rastaman » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:31 am

Does anyone know if there is there water close to the Arch?
Thinking of camping at the Arch.
Hey Nic, is the ampitheater better then the arch? (to camp)

Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Western Cape hiking beyond the usual routes?

Postby Nic Le Maitre » Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:17 am

If it has rained recently there will be water at the Arch in pools, otherwise the nearest water is either on the far side (Tafelberg side) of the arch at the river at Eselsbank, or a spring under the large white rock in the middle of the slope about 3/4 of the way up to cracks from Sanddrift.

The cave you scramble through to get to the amphitheater would make a great campsite. It's large, with a high roof and a flat floor. If you slept there you could leave the tent behind. If the weather is good though, I recommend sleeping at the Arch, the stars are amazing.
Happy climbing
Nic


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