It’s the third time this year that this route is planned and cancelled due to adverse weather conditions and today we couldn’t do the 30m climb as it was too wet so did a variation. I have to admit that I was a little nervous for the climb as it seemed quite daunting as this route is graded a C2! The club has done this route before but I haven’t and listening to them talk about it and seeing their photos, it is quite challenging.
When we got to the Car Park at 7am, I first had to find the nearest bush and had another cup of coffee as its cold! At 7:10 we thought that it’s only going to be 4 of us but the rest starting pulling up and chatted a bit to 2 old hiking buddies who made their way up Platties. 10 of started at 7:20am up Platteklip Gorge onto the contour path (felt a bit strange going up with boots on for a change haha and I pass the 2 ladies hehe) and made our way up to Silverstream Ravine, a couple of meters past the fork and it’s chilly standing still! Brrrr! We hike and we regroup, we hike and we regroup and our (my) legs gets scratched by fynbos! It is a visible path but it’s not a very used one. Oh yes! We had a new lady who joined us today and she only started hiking in January and it’s her first scramble! She did so well that she put the rest of us to shame O_O Not once did she complain about our pace or how hard the hike was! She was still smiling 6 hours later!
At one of our breaks, I found a tiny praying mantis on my hiking bag and when I attempted to gently take it off, it climbed onto my finger so had to take a photo of course! Shaheen was trying to take a close up with me and the mantis but just then it jumped onto my lips so blew it away! I’m sorry mantis L
Anyway, crossing over the ravine, we found that the rocks were slippery and had to be extra careful and the start of many small scrambles. The route also becomes steeper and slipperier with several loose stones and I did slip once. The reed like grass shrubs are also very sharp so have quite a few scratches on my hands with some bleeding hehe. I also knocked my knee on a rock sigh. It’s up an awkward scramble while we were waiting at the traverse for the rest of the group; we decided to go check out the 30m climb.
It was beautiful! (insert love emoji) It was also very wet! Wouldn’t even be able to climb that with rope and a harness as our boots would slip. From where I was standing, I think I would be able to complete that 30m free climb on a dry day 😀
As we were getting wet with the water dripping from above, it was icy cold! My fingers were paining and my bag was at the traverse so rushed back to put my gloves on. The fact that my back was wet from sweat and cold water and with the cold wind biting, I had to get some sun! Eventually some sun and then distraction at the mesmerizing views O_O
Checking out some overhang/cave thingie which was filled with ancient Tahr poop and not noticing once again, I knocked my head sigh.
We had breakfast along the traverse and Shaheen brought her delicious home-made banting bread and not only that! But her banting brownies as well! She saved them for me and told me to do as I want with it. I reluctantly shared (but had 2 slices of the brownies \o/)
Anyway, the rest of the group started to make their way down and when I got up from where I was sitting, I knocked my lower back (rolling my eyes). Anwar, Shaheen and I always like to chill for a bit before heading down as we take in the views. New route means new spectacular views of course!
We reluctantly get a move on and we make our way down what is called ‘Ledges’ and we catch up with Rashaad S and new girl but the rest hurry along haha. They have to stick with us now as they don’t know the route plus required assistance down a few awkward scrambles.
Going down towards the top of Els Buttress/Newlands Ravine, the group is no-where in sight and we cross over the Saddle to the Contour Path and Shaheen really speed up as her knee was not troubling her.
We stop at Silverstream Waterfall for some photos before heading back to the cars at Platteklip Gorge car park where Rashaad J was sleeping in his car haha. We were done at 13:05 but only remembered to check out of Tracking at 13:20. Oops!
Even though we could not do the 30m climb, I am not too disappointed as this route was still a new experience for me and it was still graded a B3 due to scrambles, sheer drops along the traverse plus the scrambles down the Ledges.
I still loved this hike despite the scratches to my hands and legs, knocks to my head, knee and lower back lol It’s all part of the experience \o/
I’ll be on Lion’s Head after work so will tell you about that in my next blog (I’m taking the easy group to Orangekloof next week)
Ciao for now and thank you for reading.
PS – I wrote this over 2 days.