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Cederberg 125-year Anniversary Meet

125-year anniversary 31 October 2016 Cederberg 125-year Anniversary Meet

The 2016 National Meet was hosted by the Cape Town Section at Sanddrif and Kromrivier in the Cederberg from 30 September to 8 October.

Approximately 100 members attended over the eight days, some coming only for a long weekend, while others stayed longer or arrived later. Members came from across the country, and from England. The intention was to accommodate both rock climbers and the hiking fraternity, making use of the cottages and campsites on both farms, when not further afield.

The weekend started with an enjoyable “get-to-know-each-other-and-what’s-on” braai at a Kromrivier cottage on Friday evening, 30 September. As a number of multi-day hikes set off the next morning, that was the last we saw of those hiking teams.

Helen Kleynhans, Chris Kruyshaar, Torben Wiborg, Hans Scheffler and Ursula Athiros each led different multi-day hikes to the Club’s Breekkrants property; Helen and Hans leaving on Saturday 1 October, Ursula’s group on Tuesday, and Torben’s team on the Thursday. The teams enjoyed hikes to the far ends of the Breekkrants, climbing a number of peaks such as the Winterbach, Breekkrants Twins, Apollo, Maanskyn, Lunar, Apex Peak, and Donkerkloof Kop, a few of which required some entertaining scrambling to gain their summits.

Torben’s and Ursula’s groups had the added fun of being caught out in adverse weather, on both Thursday night when rain and some sleet came through, with the temperature dropping below zero, and again on Saturday evening and night when storm conditions prevailed, which were fortunately followed by a beautifully warm Sunday morning for the hike out.

Anton Kraemer led a fast team from Sanddrif via the Cracks, Wolfberg Arch, and Corridor Peak to climb Tafelberg, where they spent one night.

A variety of rock routes were climbed, mostly in the Wolfberg Cracks area, led by Jacques Raubenheimer, David Webster, Brain Watts, Megan Beaumont and Robert Breyer. These included classics such as ‘Eclipse’ and ‘Little Red Rooster’, both of which saw multiple ascents. Willem le Roux almost on-sighted ‘Red Rain’ (26), a rather serious undertaking, while Brian led a party of five up the Maltese Cross.

Sneeuberg, the highest peak in the Cederberg at 2027m was climbed over nine hours on Saturday 1 October by a relatively fast team of six. Reaching the top was an inspiring moment after the scramble along the challenging ridge. Sneeuberg was summited by two other parties, one of which was led by Paul Verhoeven, whose party overnighted at the Sneeuberg Hut.

Other day hikes were to Bakmakersfontein in the Breekkrants, Truitjieskraalberge, the Maltese Cross, Wolfberg Cracks, the Wolfberg Arch, and around the Pup and Sugarloaf.

Rika du Plessis, CapeNature’s Cederberg Manager, led members on a most informative tour of the Stadsaal, covering many aspects of the Cederberg’s history, from the geology, fauna and flora, to the original inhabitants, their rock art, and the early settlers. Rika’s enthusiastic talk was much appreciated.

The Observatory provided a stunning talk and views of the heavens on the Saturday evening. Late on Sunday afternoon, the Nieuwoudt family presented a beer tasting for members at their brand new and most impressive Kromrivier visitor centre, restaurant and Nieuw Brew brewery, which – needless to say! – developed into a most convivial evening. Similarly, on the Monday afternoon, members were able to appreciate the fine wines available at a wine tasting event at the Cederberg Private Cellar at Dwarsrivier.

The Cederberg meet was a National Meet with a difference, where members could partake in a variety of activities in addition to mountaineering, while enjoying all that the Cederberg has to offer.

Many thanks to all who led the hikes and climbs, to Robert Breyer for the organisation, to CapeNature, Sanddrift and Kromrivier for hosting us, and most importantly, thank you to all who attended. It was wonderful to meet members from afar, and especially so as you made the week so much fun.

Martin Hutton-Squire


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