Tucked away in the north-western end of the Langeberg is a cluster of remote, high mountains known as the Kwadousberge. These include Keeromsberg (2071m) and the striking Saw Edge Peak (1723m). This weekend we would only tackle the ‘babies’ of the range, Rabiesberg (1663m) and Naudésberg (1644m).
Our plan was to camp at Simonskloof Mountain Retreat and tackle the peaks as day hikes. Rabiesberg would be the main challenge: it would require 10+ hours of off-trail tramping with 1800m+ of ascent. Naudésberg, comparatively, would be a dawdle. There is a path to the summit and a mere 1000m of ascent.
We set off for Rabiesberg at 6:30 on Saturday morning in some intermittent drizzle. We made good progress until we found ourselves staring up at a (dripping) waterfall with a sheer drop impeding our progress. I had unwittingly taken us on a detour, adding at least 30min to our day.
Fortunately, there was no mutiny and we were across the Nuy River in no time. Next up, was a steep slog which brought us to a tricky-looking knife’s edge. We bypassed this easily via a scratchy traverse but were now faced with the toughest section of the day: 2 hours of thick, head-high Proteas.
The party was in good spirits and, with conversations about red quarks and blue-antigreen gluons keeping us sharp, we were soon onto easier ground and quickly covered the final stretch to the summit. Up top, the views were spectacular: the cloud had lifted just in time for us and now we could marvel at the mountains stretching out in all directions.
After scoffing down a quick lunch, it was time to head back down: we still had 5+ hours to go.
Our bundu-bash down the mountain was incident-free and, after a sweaty scramble up the notorious Cobra gully, we were back at camp.
On Sunday we were permitted a bit of a lie-in and got ourselves on the trail sometime after 8. It was a far cry from the rigors of Rabiesberg: we were on a good path (by Mountain Club standards) all day. We reached the Telkom tower at ~1300m after 80 minutes and breezed to the summit in under 3 hours.
After an early lunch at the summit and a dip in a pool, it was time to say goodbye to a lovely weekend in the mountains.