I don’t know what I was thinking, thinking that I am fit and strong enough to hike Platteklip Gorge and then go Rock-Climbing on the same day!
My daughter had to be at the Aquarium at 10am for an undetermined amount of time so decided to hike Platties. At 10am. I said I would never start hiking that late, especially Platties but alas, that’s exactly what I did. Check in with Tracking at 10am with an ETA of 12:30. I can be up and down in 2 hours but picking up litter takes time.
Up I go and I’m struggling already as it’s unexpectedly hot! I’m dressed for cold weather and I start sweating early on already and not intending to take photos, I take photos lol. It does thankfully become cooler the higher I go.
As I reach the contour path, 2 veteran hikers who started from the Lower Cable Car said that starting from the bottom is much harder and I replied that it’s a nice warm up but in my head I’m thinking it’s bloody hard! These guys are super fit and whenever I get close to catching up with them, they are out of sight. They also told me that I am not allowed to pass them lol.
Another young lady told me that I look tired and in response I said that I am very tired! And this was before the halfway mark lol. This was when I got and old hiking buddy and members from Ommiedraai and chatted a bit J
I also passed a broken ceramic mug which I meant to pick up on my way down and thought, who brings glass/ceramic crockery on the mountain?!
Anyway, I ‘play tag’ with other hikers as we pass each other and finally caught up with the veteran hikers and said again that I am not allowed to pass them as how would that make them feel. I replied that how do all the other hikers they passed feel hehe.
Finally reached the top at 11:09 and updated tracking and notified them I will be going down at 11:20am. Had water and coffee and posed for a photo with a chocolate glazed doughnut but didn’t eat it haha.
Its then that I realised that I must have forgotten my plastic bag in the car sigh. There wasn’t that much litter so it’s ok. I didn’t pick up the cigarette butts or bottle tops but did stuff the sweet and chips wrappers and lollipop stick and straws and stuffed it into the bottles I picked up. In the most awkward of places. I had to climb down from the path quite a few times which is dangerous! If I should fall and injure myself and when the Rescue team asks what am I doing off the path? Well, I picked up a bottle someone threw down there!
On my way down, I pass the hikers still going up and when I saw the young lady who said I looked tired at the bottom still, I then told her ‘you look tired’ 😀
Tourists going up saw how many bottles I had in my hands and how awkward it was carrying them and they thankfully offered to carry it up with them and throw it away. At once section. Where it’s barred off with barbed wire! (For a reason) I asked other hikers to hold it open for me so that I don’t get snagged. It was a funny sight!
It was really painfully slow going down and even told myself (yes, I actually said it out loud to myself) that this is taking forever! After 1h10m! I finally checked out of tracking! It took me the same time to go down as I took going up! My legs were tired but I loved it and I have another date with the mountain elsewhere for another adventure!
Llewellyn and Farzana just got there and was about to set up the first climb which was one I haven’t done and I’m like yay! But I’m also, gawd I’m tired! Llewellyn sets up and cleans the route while Farzana is belaying. Its then her turn to climb and then mine. I wasn’t prepared for them to climb so quickly and didn’t even have my harness on yet lol. I put it on and I’m told that it’s on wrong *roll my eyes* I have to loosen all the straps and take the thing off for them to untwist where its twisted and upside down and they show me what to check and everything is aligned before putting the harness on. I had on my shoes before I even put on the harness haha.
Llewellyn is my belay and I struggle almost from onset! My nails are too long for the tiny finger holds and I feel my calf muscle pulling stiff but not sore so endure it. My leg start shaking (they call it Elvis legs haha) and immediately lose confidence that I can do this climb (which I should be able to do!) I’m now seriously doubting myself as I couldn’t even do any climbs at Lakeside the last time I went rock-climbing with my daughter.
Farzana gives me a stern ‘pep-talk’ and I pay attention and heed Llewellyn’s guidance with each step. It was painfully slow and had to rest quite a few times! My legs were tired from my hike so climbed with my arms instead which is the biggest no-no!
I eventually and successfully reach the top and got my self-confidence back! Yay! I did it! I am so very grateful to both Llewellyn and Farzana and thanked them both after I repelled down. I’m soaring with endorphins and relief that this climb wasn’t just another fail! 😀
I had no strength to even lift the flask out of my bag to pour me coffee haha.
Farzana then set up and lead the next climb but doesn’t clean it so up Llewellyn goes to lead and clean the route. I think it was a 15 graded route and the previous one a 14. Google is not helping me with pictures and patterns sigh
Up and down they both go quite swiftly and my arms thankfully gotten some strength back and up I go (quicker this time) and seriously doubting the grading as the 14 was much harder than the 15.
I then go off to answer the call of nature when I pass a lady that works across the hall from me ^_^
They set up the next one (a 16 I think) and this one I’ve successfully climbed before. See…..My Maiden Rock Climb
Llewellyn wanted me to lead belay him and told him ‘are you nuts?! I don’t even trust my own life in my own hands, how can you trust me with yours haha’ (referring to tying my own knots) I need to learn how to belay and be of some help to others instead of only taking and not giving back so to say but now is not the time to do it. Maybe on a 9 graded climb or something and when I’ve built up enough confidence J
Up I go and I could feel that I don’t have the strength but attempt a few times before giving up. My arms could not hold me and my leg started to shake again. Never mind, I had 2 successful climbs so I’m happy J
The daughter had to be picked up and we pack up as it was getting quite cold as well J
Thank you guys for a great afternoon of climbing sharing your equipment, knowledge, patience and many laughs!
Ah yes, today (Monday) every muscle in my arms, shoulder and upper back is sore lol. On the drive home yesterday, my calf muscle pulled stiff and sore. If I sit too long today, I walk funny until my muscles relax. A very good sore indeed 😀
No mountain adventures for me next week as I will be marshalling for the Ommiedraai road race.
Until my next mountain adventure, thank you for reading and ciao for now J