Summits to conquer in 2013 MzansiBride

Winona Griggs

Summits I Can’t Wait to Conquer in 2013

Hey there! As a self-proclaimed peak bagger, I’m always excited about a fresh start to the year, because it means I get to tackle some epic summits. So, here’s a list of my absolute favorites that I’m itching to check off in 2013.

Cathedral Peak, KwaZulu-Natal

Get ready for a thrilling adventure! The Cathedral Peak hike is a 20-kilometer round trip that will definitely make for an epic day in the hills. You can expect up to nine hours of exploration and wonder. This trail has it all for us passionate peak baggers: breathtaking mountain scenery, rugged sandstone cliffs shaped by the unforgiving elements, soothing streams and waterfalls that will make your heart sing, and a final leg that will truly test your mettle—a daring scramble over slabs and rock steps, with one special surprise—a handy ladder to lend you a hand.

Hey there! Let me tell you about this amazing hiking trail that starts just below the Cathedral Peak Hotel. It’s quite an adventure! So, here’s what you do: after traveling about 400 meters, take a right turn onto a clearly marked path. This path will lead you across the Mlambonja River.

Now, get ready for a steep climb! You’ll be making your way through grasslands and tackling two challenging gullies. Don’t worry though, the effort is totally worth it! Once you reach the summit pyramid, you’ll be treated to an absolutely breathtaking view. Just imagine looking out over those lush valleys and gazing at the other awe-inspiring peaks. It’s truly an experience like no other!

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Okay, before you head out on this epic journey, there are a couple of things you need to know. First, you’ll need to get a day permit, which costs R30. Don’t forget to stop by the Didima Resort to organize your permit and to get a guide if you need one. It’s also important to fill out the mountain register before you set off on your hike. And remember, once you’re back, make sure to sign in again.

Now, timing is key. It’s best to start early in the day, especially during the summer months. You see, thunderstorms tend to roll in during the afternoon, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the weather as you make your way up the trail.

Oh, and here’s a bonus: if you happen to be staying at the Cathedral Peak Hotel, they offer free guided hikes for their guests. How cool is that? So, don’t miss out on this incredible adventure!

Are you looking for a new hiking adventure? Look no further than Little Lion’s Head in the Western Cape. This stunning hike is the perfect alternative to the popular Lion’s Head trail in Cape Town. With its three-kilometer round trip, it’s a great option for an evening excursion, taking only about 90 minutes to complete. Don’t forget to bring some refreshing drinks to enjoy the sunset!

If you’re looking for an adventure, follow the sign to Mount Rhodes off the M6 between Llandudno and Hout Bay. You can park at Valley View Road near the big gate that blocks the road heading up to the right. Just ring the bell on the right-hand side of the gate, and security will let you in.

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Once inside, it’s time to start your journey. The first step is to walk for about 10 minutes until you reach a bend in the road. From there, you can pick up the path that leads to the ridge of the little peak. It might not be well-marked in some places, but don’t worry – you can’t really get lost. Just trust your instincts and take the easiest route through the rock bands until you reach the summit.

From the top, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Twelve Apostles and Hout Bay. It’s a magnificent sight that will leave you in awe of the natural beauty that surrounds you.

Compassberg, Eastern Cape

Scaling the rugged 2,502-meter Compassberg is a thrilling adventure for us hikers who are in good shape. The appeal of this majestic peak, rising out of the vast Karoo plains, lies in its remote location. But even reaching the starting point is an exciting part of the journey. After a bumpy 40-minute drive from the peaceful town of Nieu-Bethesda, we arrive at McCabe’s farm. This is where the marked trail begins. The farmer kindly points us in the right direction, but we must stay alert as it can be easy to lose our way on the steep sections. The entire hike will take us approximately six to eight hours, but the breathtaking panoramic view from the summit, stretching over the rocky hills to Graaff-Reinet and beyond, makes it all worthwhile.

You can obtain permits for R20 per person from Brenda and Alf McCabe. Give them a call at 049-842-2420.

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Photo captured by Shaen Adey.

Photo captured by Shaen Adey.

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