It was time to do our annual ‘torture-my-daughter’ hike. Once a year, I will take her on a route she hasn’t done before and this time I decided that I’m going to take her on her first scramble. It was time. She’s 16 years old now and can handle it.
Note, this is a big thing for me. Extract from our last hike: Woody Ravine with Mini-me
‘’Anyway it’s off to the Surfboard now for compulsory photos plus breakfast. I tell Taahirah to take photos from various angles and I go. The mist comes and goes and the wind come in gusts so I fear falling off or the rock breaking off meh! Anyway, I am on the edge but after, I saw it wasn’t taken at quite the right angle and now its Taahirah’s turn and she goes off WITH DIRE WARNINGS! If she falls off and dies, I’m going to go after and kill her and haunt her! Try not to go to the edge because you know how I’m going to stress my head off so try not to stress me out too much! I am such a stress pot that she doesn’t even go up and down the chains on Lion’s Head when I’m around hehe ok not funny for her as I am super paranoid about her safety. And yet I don’t want to be too over-protective and have to allow her to live life. I risk my own life on a weekly basis after all’
Ah yes, the struggle to let go is real. But who else are am I going to trust taking her on a scramble hike but me?! I’m capable enough taking other so why not my own daughter?! She’s been wanting to do it for years but my answer was always no.
The night before, she Googles the route and first thing she reads is ‘Death’. Why would I want to take her on a route where people die?! I tell her to read the reasons. One guy hiked with flops and the other veered off the path. May they R.I.P.
Check in with Tracking at 6:30am route and ETA of 12pm. I also inform them that it is her first scramble and will turn around if I find that she can’t do the route.
Up we go and she’s hiking at a good pace. I don’t say anything about pacing herself and let her be. She only takes a breathers here and there and she’s sweating buckets. Despite the misty weather, it’s quite humid and I’m sweating too. Whenever she takes a breather, I take photos.
We have a 5 minute break on the contour path and with a quick prayer, up we go. Taahirah hardly talks to me on our hikes as she focuses on each step and just wanting to get through it. Just prior to the first scramble I give her the rules of scrambling. Don’t use your knees! Feel for secure finger holds and up she goes like a pro! She doesn’t need any guidance from me. She’s done rock-climbing with me so know what to do J
Before our second 5 minute break, I have to answer the call of nature in nature hehe. She has a break while I take photos of course.
Up we go some more and trail-runners pass us now and again and wish each one of them luck for next week’s Ultra Marathon. Some reply thanks and others reply, no they are running it hehe. Can you imagine running on the mountain for 100km?! In 1 day! Ok there’s the 65k as well. But still that is long! I think there’s a shorter route as well.
Anyway! I’m deviating. Before I can even take my phone out to take photos of her scrambling, she’s up already! I did however take a video (uploaded to Facebook) of her climbing the staples and chains and still didn’t require any help/guidance from me! She’s a natural!
Another 5 minute snack and photo break and she’s exhausted. Oh yes! John and his daughter (who I haven’t seen in months!) is hiking Cairn Ravine and will be going down India Venster and was hoping to see them but missed them by 5 minutes
We traverse to Platties now and watch the ropes falling down for people prepping to do some abseiling! Bucket List!
I’m also trying to control my anxiety knowing that the final scramble is coming up and just this one section is most awkward. The step over around a rock is what I’m worried about! But I worried for nothing! There’s a bit where she can go up without stepping over haha! I haven’t seen it before as I haven’t hiked UP India Venster in a while as we only use the route come down haha.
Taahirah absolutely loved it and asked for more scrambles and told her sorry, that was the last one on the route. Traverse some more and I spot a strewn bottle under a boulder. I can’t very well move the boulder so we tried to get it but failed. I then broke off a dried branch and moved the bottle closer for Taahirah to get the other side. Success!
We reached the top of Platties at 09:15. Actually great timing and breakfast is had. We only break for 10 minutes though as it’s quite cold and update tracking to shorten our ETA to 10:30am. Original estimated time was 12pm 😀
Down we go but not before asking other hikers to take photos of us and picking up litter of course. Lots of it! O_O I mentally kick myself for only bringing one packet with as this is Platties after all and have to have 2 packets for the litter. Although on my most recent Platties hikes, there wasn’t as much litter. Taahirah helped me and I had to climb off the path several times! She held the barbwire up so I don’t get snagged and after doing this quite a few times, she was becoming more and more cranky with exhaustion but I wasn’t about to leave those bottles and cans and packets and even a 5l can just there!
Not even halfway down, my packet was chock n block full despite crushing the plastic cans and plastic bottles. Nothing I can do about the glass bottles though. I update Tracking yet again to extend ETA to 11:30am as picking up so much little is taking an awfully long time. Also, I had to be careful not to fall down the path as my daughter was getting worried at some sections. She says out loud ‘Mommy, don’t fall! If you fall and die, I’m going to be without a mother and I’m not going to like that’ Other hikers laughed at her comment.
A tourist! Yes a tourist! From America! Was also picking up bottles on her way up. I was so embarrassed that a tourist had to pick up our litter from the mountain. Lots of people thanked us and another lady said that she would see the litter and say it’s disgusting but never thought to pick it up before seeing us doing it so she will do so too from now on 😀 Her partner also had an additional packet for us so that helped a lot!
Another hiker asked me for juice or something and showed it was litter lol.
It was getting warmer and warmer as the mist was clearing and the sun beating on us by the time we reached the contour path again. Taahirah had no interest on waiting on me so I could not climb down paths to collect bottles thrown down so only picked up the discarded wrappers along the path. My arms were straining with the weight of the bag. It’s a lot heavier hiking with
Checked out of Tracking at 11:40am to a very annoyed Taahirah who didn’t even want to speak to me at that stage. Apparently she had a headache. She did say she had one at the start of the hike but after drinking 2l water (leaving almost nothing for me) I assumed her headache was gone by then.
Not sure if she will do another ‘torture-my-daughter’ hike unless I make it another scramble. Watch this space.
Until my next hike, ciao for now and thank you reading.