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Cederberg: Shadow Peak & Tafelberg

Leader: Andrew Young 5 March 2022 Cederberg: Shadow Peak & Tafelberg

There is always something magical about the Cederberg so we were looking for some of this when we went up Shadow Peak to catch the end of the snow protea season and also to explore the top of the iconic Tafelberg.

Setting off early on Saturday morning we made our way up the beautiful Welbedacht valley past the pinnacle and had a quick break at the cave near the top. We settled on a camp above the waterfall on the Nuwejaarsrivier.

In the afternoon, we did a day trip to Shadow Peak. There are a lot more plants just below the peak than on Sneeuberg, which is still in recovery after the fire two years ago. Unfortunately there were only a few “white beauties” still around, so would recommend that you visit there early to mid-February if you are wanting to see the snow proteas. On the way back we found the Nuwejaarsgrot as marked on Slingsby’s map.

Apart from a lovely little “bath” despite the low water levels, our camp also had an amazing view of Tafelberg, where we headed the next day.

The ascent up the gully at the pillarbox is one of the most fun ascents of any mountain. It involves getting up a scree slope, a small “leap of faith” and a chain. Immediately after getting up the chain, double back to your right and you’ll find the sputnik. On top enjoy the rugged lunar landscape and don’t forget to peek over the edge down the sheer cliffs. And if you look carefully you’ll find a “watercave” with what appears to be a perennial drip. On the way down we had a look at spout cave and quite a few other overhangs that would offer shelter in inclement weather.

It was only in descending Welbedacht kloof that we began to feel the Cederberg heat in the valley below. But the saving grace were the pools at the base of the descent and just before the car park. And if you’ve never had a swim after a hot afternoon in the Cederberg then you’re missing an experience in your life.

Thandi Davies
Thandi Davies

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