Cederberg Grand Traverse?

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mokganjetsi
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Cederberg Grand Traverse?

Post by mokganjetsi » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:16 pm

hi guys

wondering if there's an "official" Cederberg Grand Traverse (something similar to the Drakensberg GT where there's a start, finish and compulsory peaks to be ticked-off in between)? Anybody know of / done something like this?

If not, the idea I have is:
Start: Kliphuis campsite (Pakhuis pass)
Peaks: Groot Krakadouw; Sneeukop; Tafelberg; Wolfberg; Sneeuberg; Apollo / Luna Peak
Finish: Kromrivier campsite

Would love any suggestions, feedback etc.

Thanks!
Mok

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ShaolinWood
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Re: Cederberg Grand Traverse?

Post by ShaolinWood » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:21 pm

Sounds great!
I know it's part of the Rim of Africa trail. And that route runs from Kliphuis but then carries on.
If you look on the Slingsby hiking map you can see the route.
There's also the Cederberg Heritage route that goes somewhere around Eselbank and that area... will have to check the map.

But the Rim of Africa route is supposed to be the longest route in the country. It's broken up into 3 sections and runs from the Cederberg through the Koue bokkeveld and carries on all the way to the Outeniqua mountains somewhere.

There was an article about it in one of the SA Mountain mags. I'll have to hunt it down but sure you'll find some info with good ol' Google as well :D
Cheers
Gerhard

Stijn
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Re: Cederberg Grand Traverse?

Post by Stijn » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:46 pm

Hi Willem - as you know I recently did an 8-day traverse from Pakhuis Pass down to Suikerbossie Guest Farm (south of the Sandfontein Arch) and it was a fantastic wilderness experience. I'm surprised the Drakensberg Grand Traverse concept hasn't caught on for the Cederberg - likely because there's a less logical ridgeline/escarpment to follow all the way through.

While Tafelberg and Wolfberg are iconic Cederberg peaks, I'd argue that the "purest" traverse line would skip these and take in Krakadouw and Sneeukop, then crossing the Uitkyk Pass to reach Sneeuberg via Klein Duiwelsgat or perhaps Uilsgat & Eikeboom (the latter keeping you at a higher altitude throughout, but including a significant section of gravel roads from Driehoek to Eikeboom). Then crossing Kromrivier to reach Luna Peak (a real highlight) and continuing south through Breekkrantz and onto the Sandfontein ridge, perhaps making Sandfontein Peak or Gideonskop the final waypoint. While the Cape Nature property ends at Kromrivier, continuing as far south as the Grootrivier Gorge seems to define the entire Cederberg range a bit more logically to me, with the Kouebokkeveld continuing further south from there. That Sandfontein Arch area was also probably my favourite of the entire traverse, being properly wild but still relatively easy to make progress off-trail and surrounded by the most incredible rock formations. Not to be missed!

Including the Tafelberg/Wolfberg ridge would be more complete in terms of having covered the entire Cederberg, but would add a big dog-leg and plenty of farm valley hiking through Sanddrif to get onto the Sneeuberg ridge from there, so it really depends what you're after.

ant
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Re: Cederberg Grand Traverse?

Post by ant » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:47 pm

I've been pondering this for years and was bummed I couldn't join Stijn for the whole walk.

I concur that a Cederberg Grand Traverse would really have to include the Sandfontein Arch in the South.

Ant

mokganjetsi
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Re: Cederberg Grand Traverse?

Post by mokganjetsi » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:14 am

ShaolinWood wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:21 pm
I know it's part of the Rim of Africa trail. And that route runs from Kliphuis but then carries on.
Thanks! There's a write-up on Hiking South Africa's website (I think part 3 will be published soon):
https://www.hikingsouthafrica.co.za/rim ... -traverse/
https://www.hikingsouthafrica.co.za/rim ... raverse-2/

mokganjetsi
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Re: Cederberg Grand Traverse?

Post by mokganjetsi » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:44 am

Stijn, Ant - thanks for your thoughts! I haven't hiked south of Sneeuberg - the pictures of the Sandrivier-arch area looks amazing. 100% agree that it should be included.

The part I think one would have to resolve before suggesting a route is what is the objective and aesthetic of a Cederberg Grand Traverse? I think an efficient line to cover the range lengthwise could be relatively boring and skip a great deal of the Cederberg's magic. The route will by nature be a bit convoluted - as Stijn noted, the Cederberg does not naturally yield a classic traverse "line" like the DGT does. The DGT does however force the route a bit through the necessity to tick the peaks (e.g. the excursion out to Thabana Ntlenyana). The fact that one can ascend and descend the Drakensberg peaks on opposite sides does allow for a more elegant and flowing route, whereas the Cederberg will require a number of there-and-back excursions. I also do not think the "speed record" fraternity will find much traction in the Cederberg - again the route will either be too convoluted or too uninspiring (but who knows?).

Personally I would prefer a route that attempts to balance the experience and scenery; efficiency and maintaining altitude; and staying in a line. I agree with Stijn that Wolfberg is probably too much of a dogleg (and not really a peak either), but feel that Tafelberg is a quintessential Cederberg Peak and will add a lot of adventure and scenery to the experience.

Lastly, not sure if a CGT route will get acceptance due to the myriad of options, but it's still fun trying to put something together.

My updated route:
Kliphuis
Groot Krakadouw - Sneeukop - Tafelberg - Sneeuberg - Luna peak - Sandfontein peak
Finish at Sandfontein dam?

Any further thoughts?

Stijn
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Re: Cederberg Grand Traverse?

Post by Stijn » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:01 am

Agreed - Tafelberg is pretty special and worth including in the traverse.

There's a very useful path down off the Sandfontein Ridge just east of Kotzesberg, so a landmark near the bottom of that path, where it joins the gravel road might be best as a finishing point. Otherwise just use Suikerbossie Guest Farm another 2km down the road - plenty of camping/accommodation, options to leave cars for logistics and pretty similar to using Kliphuis as a starting point.

I found the northern section from Kliphuis to Sneeukop to have much tougher terrain to traverse off-trail. I had initially intended to follow the crest of the ridge from Krakadouw Pass, over the 3 Krakadouw summits and then further south over Cedar, Chisel, Koupoort & Crevasse Peaks to access the Crystal Pools area, but after taking 11 hours to traverse the Krakadouw summits (spectacular but very slow terrain), opted for the valley trails on the Heuningvlei side for the rest of the way instead.

The start of the traverse could be a bit dull though if hikers just follow the Heuningvlei donkey track from Pakhuis Pass. The trails trough Amon se Poort, taking a loop on the western side of the ridge, before coming back over Krakadouw Pass, offer much better hiking and scenery but do add quite a bit of distance.

ant
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Re: Cederberg Grand Traverse?

Post by ant » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:45 pm

And now for the Cederburg triple...
King Kong, Maidens Prayer and Energy Crisis in a weekend on foot...

mokganjetsi
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Re: Cederberg Grand Traverse?

Post by mokganjetsi » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:04 pm

ant wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:45 pm
And now for the Cederburg triple...
King Kong, Maidens Prayer and Energy Crisis in a weekend on foot..
:shock:
i think you and Hilton are just the right guys for that...... :thumright

mokganjetsi
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Re: Cederberg Grand Traverse?

Post by mokganjetsi » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:22 pm

Stijn wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:01 am
Agreed - Tafelberg is pretty special and worth including in the traverse.
upon reconsidering i was wondering if it really is the best option...... but then it is amazing (aaargh!). also concur with Amon se poort and Krakadouw poort trails instead of the donkey cart track - thought one could rule all in-use jeeptracks and roads as off-limits (other than crossing it) but you will have to use a road at some point, be it to reach Duiwelsgat trail or getting from Driehoek side to Cederhoutkloof.
also had a look at the ridgeline traverse from Groot Krakadouw to Klein Koupoort - but that will be one hell of a mission on its own - hence assuming "there-and-back-the-same-way" paths for most of the peaks.
and finally, also think Suikerbosssie is a good and logical finish - that last 2km dirt road is a nice victory lap.

So, you guys game to go hike it this autumn / winter and then propose the route? :thumleft:

Stijn
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Re: Cederberg Grand Traverse?

Post by Stijn » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:20 pm

Keep me posted! May be keen to join for at least a section if I can make it :)

Brussel
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Re: Cederberg Grand Traverse?

Post by Brussel » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:38 pm

I'm game ant...would love to give it a shot, would need some serious fitness
Friday arvie hike to krakadouw from heuningvlei. climb king king early am sat and start hiking to tafelberg sat afternoon to get a good couple of km under the belt. Its about 30km to tafelberg on foot. Finish hike on sunday and climb maidens prayer and then just push through to wolfberg and climb into the night on energy...


ant wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:45 pm
And now for the Cederburg triple...
King Kong, Maidens Prayer and Energy Crisis in a weekend on foot...

mokganjetsi
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Re: Cederberg Grand Traverse?

Post by mokganjetsi » Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:52 pm

i plotted a more-or-less route on Google Earth - the nature of the terrain forces you to do a few there an back excursions, with Tafelberg requiring the biggest break in the line; it is however imho not too contrived and therefore I would propose to have it in as part of an "official" CGT.
the issue whether it really is a traverse or should just rater be called a "crossing" is also worth considering.
but for what its worth, this is more or less what it would look like (should take about 8-days normal backpacking style)
and i considered the Heuningvlei jeep track off-limits
CGT Google Earth (post).JPG
CGT Google Earth (post).JPG (244.03 KiB) Viewed 1379 times

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henkg
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Re: Cederberg Grand Traverse?

Post by henkg » Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:22 pm

Due to an injury, that prevents me from climbing, and confluence of a few things, I am considering such a hike in mid Feb.

I’d like to hear your views on water and the sensibility of doing this solo.
You may still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not. Cat Stevens

mokganjetsi
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Re: Cederberg Grand Traverse?

Post by mokganjetsi » Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:17 pm

Henk!
I think there will be water in the main streams but you will have trouble finding any in the smaller streams and drips. Also higher risk of low quality water. I will also be concerned with the 40+ degree C temps - the effect on your body and food. Probably the worst time of the year to do it :wink:
Do you definitely want to do a solo mission?

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ShaolinWood
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Re: Cederberg Grand Traverse?

Post by ShaolinWood » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:56 am

Hey Willem. That trail looks great!!
You say 8 days? Roughly how many km does it read in g-earth? Would probably need to do a food drop somewhere...
I guess a good place would be driehoek since you can easily swing by after Tafelberg... but would be great to avoid "civilisation" altogether :D

Any chance you'd share the route on a larger image? Or the Google Earth map?

Thanks man, that's inspiring!
Cheers
Gerhard

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Re: Cederberg Grand Traverse?

Post by mokganjetsi » Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:56 pm

HI Gerhard

I plotted the lines more-or-less on Google earth; straight lining between points. The Cederberg paths however winds a lot more than say the Drakensberg so the Google earth metrics will be considerably shorter than the actual distances (20% my guess). The paths up to Sneeuberg you can read accurately from the maps; south of Sneeuberg is pretty pathless and my plot is also a guess based on the lie of the land - i haven't actually hiked there. I will post some more detail soon.
CGT Google Earth Sneeukop.JPG
CGT Google Earth Sneeukop.JPG (246.48 KiB) Viewed 819 times

Stijn
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Re: Cederberg Grand Traverse?

Post by Stijn » Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:19 pm

Here's a link to my training log for the 8-day traverse I did. Not exactly what @mok is proposing above as I cut across the Groot Koupoort to get to Algeria, but large chunks of it are similar. Movescount links for daily GPS tracks in there too :)

https://ar.attackpoint.org/viewlog.jsp/ ... 2018-11-27

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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Cederberg Grand Traverse?

Post by Nic Le Maitre » Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:34 pm

ShaolinWood wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:56 am
Hey Willem. That trail looks great!!
You say 8 days? Roughly how many km does it read in g-earth? Would probably need to do a food drop somewhere...
I guess a good place would be driehoek since you can easily swing by after Tafelberg... but would be great to avoid "civilisation" altogether :D

Any chance you'd share the route on a larger image? Or the Google Earth map?

Thanks man, that's inspiring!
Most of the trails you'd follow are on the Slingsby maps
Happy climbing
Nic

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ShaolinWood
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Re: Cederberg Grand Traverse?

Post by ShaolinWood » Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:44 pm

Thanks Willem! Yea I actually just want to nerd out and track it on my hiking map. I think finding the paths and figuring out the actual distances will be half the fun.

Stijn, your 8 day trek sounds rad man!!

Definitely have to do this in the more rainy months. Would suck to carry water around for 8 days.
Cheers
Gerhard

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Re: Cederberg Grand Traverse?

Post by mokganjetsi » Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:52 pm

Gerhard, I collated the screenshots of the individual sections in a pdf doc - send me your e-mail address if you want it.

My 8-day route looks something like this:
Start: Kliphuis campsite to
Day 1: Geelgrot (via Amon se poort) – 17.5km
Day 2: Groot Krakadouw peak – 13.5km
Day 3: Anvil camp – 25km
Day 4: Welbedacht Cave (via Sneeukop) – 17km
Day 5: Sneeuberg hut (via Tafelberg) – 25km
Day 6: Luna Peak (Via Sneeuberg) – 17.5km
Day 7: Sandfontein arch – 15km
Day 8: Suikerbossie guest farm – 10km
Total estimated distance: 140.5km

The terrain and nice campsites forces things a bit but I guess one has to make some calls (e.g. coming down from Krakadouw on Day 2 makes for a much easier Day 3, but then camping up at Krakadouw is amazing). One can stash packs for the Sneeukop, Tafelberg and Sneeuberg summits hence those days will not be quite as bad as they look on paper.

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