Sneeuberg – June 2014

I’ve had this blog for quite some time but never really had the time to update it. So, instead of sitting on loads of photos I’ve decided to share the beauty of what is lying just up the road from us here in Cape Town. In June 2014 Brad Pienaar and I made a trip up to the Cederberg, an area I am not familiar with at all. After this hike I realised I need to make more of a plan to explore the area properly. Roll on two years later I’ve yet to return to this exact area but this is something I need to rectify, and soon.

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I’ll keep the article very short and let the photos do the talking. Basically we left the vehicle at Algeria campsite and walked from there, out and return. We decided to walk along the road which proved to be rather boring. In hindsight it may have been better to find the single track path on the left at the expense of a slower pace. Luckily it’s not overly long before one turns off onto single track. Leaving a vehicle here could be possible, but risky. At least at the campsite we had peace of mind.

The going is slightly uphill and eventually it starts dropping into a stunning gorge. After some more time the paths climbs out from the contour it was following and you continue some more until reaching the hut at Sneeuberg some 20 km from Algeria camp site. We had visions of summiting the peak, but the short winter day meant we had run out of time and the thought of sipping a scotch and enjoying the evening light seemed a better proposition. We’d also left Cape Town very early that morning but if I recall we didn’t leave too late. Well, maybe we did.

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Me.

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Brad Pienaar. (Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 lens)

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Early on in the hike.

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Looking back (south) to the Algeria camp site.

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Before the path starts dropping.

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Brad collecting water.

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Brad very pleased with himself!

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Contour path as it snakes around this incredible gorge.

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Oh the views are super!

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You can see the path on the other side. This is the best part of the hike.

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Myself, enjoying the views. For the record, those were red shorts once upon a time…

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Last rest stop before the final bit.

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Sneeuberg on the left, the highest peak in the Cederberg, sitting at 2027m I believe.

We stayed in Brad’s tent on this trip, which turned out to be somewhat cosy. I’m not sure on the model but it’s some sort of K-Way tent and sitting upright is impossible. Lying side by side our shoulders were also touching which wasn’t fantastic. But probably better than slumming it on the hut, which was next door to us. It was a lovely evening though and I had an attempt at a star trail photo and we sipped whisky chilled with pieces of snow we found lying around – perfect!

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Sneeuberg in the background, the hut just out of shot on the right.

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The hut.

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Brad looking well pleased still. He’s a machine – never gets tired.

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Me, in my favourite colour. No not pink, GREEN!

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Evening dinner.

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Pointing to the good stuff.

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Did someone say whisky?

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A perfect piece of ice/snow for chilling a drink.

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Job done.

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Ah. I only noticed now how small rations were. If I recall only Brad brought whisky, which he was kind enough to share with me. Shot!

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Brad climbing up to get the shot.

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Sunset in the Cederberg. Deathly silent. This is such a fantastic place to be!

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Brad cooking dinner and posing for a slightly longer than normal exposure time.

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Camp site.

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Star trail. The moon got me a bit on this one. If it wasn’t that cold I may have taken another.

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Sunrise.

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Early morning beauty.

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The final push back home was very cold and windy. I didn’t even have long pants with me so I wore some thermals under my pink, uhm red shorts.

The next morning arrived cold and windy. The hike back was a bit of a slog and as I didn’t have the nice comfy Sof Sole insoles that I now have, my feet really hurt. I’d been sitting at a computer for way too long and not hiking enough in 2014 (and no running) I would imagine so I’d become a bit soft. The last few kilometres were painful. Very glad to have done that hike and I need to make a plan to go back before the heat of summer returns as this place gets stupidly hot. Till next time!

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