Today’s hike reminded me how much I miss adventure hiking. As much as I love Rock-Climbing and Trail Running, both of which I would love to do more of, my first love is and will always be adventure hikes. What do I mean by adventure hikes? B4+ graded hikes (Even though Mystery B is a B2)
The last time I hiked with the club was 02nd October 2016 (5 months ago). I’m even no longer a member of Hikers Paradise Adventure Club as I just don’t have the time to hike with them and today made me realise just how much I miss it, the hikes that they have to offer and I want to get back to that. I even had to pay a R20 guest fee which I forgot about *insert embarrassed face* (Anwar, you have it in my own words that I owe the club a R20)
Anyway, we are to meet at Platteklip at 6:30am for 6:45am start and I only get to Platties at 6:45am and have to look for parking! How did Platteklip become the next Lion’s Head since the last time I’ve been up there?! (just over a month ago). When I normally get to Platties, I can count the cars on 1 hand!
Anyway Taahir and his friends are already there (I forgot who is who so going to refer to them as Steven/Richard) and I assumed that Shoaib and Zubeida are hiking on their own but to my pleasant surprise! They are hiking with the club as well. (They joined Shaheen on her hike with friends up Spilhaus Buttress last year and I assisted Hike with Shaheen and friends)
While waiting for the late-comers, we have a fat chat and even considered bailing on the hike as it’s getting late and we have places to go. The weather doesn’t look great to the others either but I assure them that we’ve done this hike in the rain already. Besides, I don’t have my rain-jacket nor by rain-cover so I’m not prepared for rain lol.
Eventually the late-comers arrive and Anwar checks into Tracking at 7:15am/10 pax and our route and I’m leading us up Platties at my pace with Taahir and Steven/Richard in tow. Assuming we are going to wait on the rest on the contour path, Taahir says we should rather wait at the turn-off to Mystery B and up we go.
Get to the turn-off and we wait. And we wait some more. Zubeida, Shoaib and Claudine catch up with us and we wait some more. Steven/Richard and I are pressed for time and we even consider just going up Platties after we saw a guy coming down, soaking wet! He says it’s wet up there. But we persevere as I assure them we still have enough time.
When the others eventually arrive, I saw a bottle in the bush and put on the path. I want to see if anyone picked it up when I come down…
Anyway, I’m leading us up the path and the fynbos is wet! This means that our pants and boots are getting wet as well. Not from rain mind you but from the heavy mist. I ask Taahir to lead as I’m clearing the cobwebs but he says no it’s fine, I’m doing a great job lol. I did however see a Golden Orb’s web in time and not disintegrate it’s home so moved around it.
Up, up and up we go and some sights are familiar and other’s not but do know what to look out for. Taahir and I help each other out when we are unsure which way to go. The cairns helped too. Up the first tiny scramble and then it’s onto the next tricky one. Seriously tricky dangerous scramble. It’s short one but oh so awkward. Taahir attempts to go up first but assists Steven/Richard to go up ahead and then pull him up. I’m next and I struggle! Geez, I remember struggling the last time as well! .left Face/Mystery B in 2015)
Thank you Steven/Richard! He helps everyone else up safely as well! Everyone being Steven/Richard, Taahir, Zubeida, Shoiab, Claudine and I. Anwar, Habibah and I don’t know what’s the other guy’s name is faaaaarrrrr behind.
And we wait. And we wait some more. We have to wait as they would need assistance up that tricky section as well. We call out their names but no answer from them. The mist clears up a bit so could take photos of the views and we snack as well. Don’t normally take snack breaks but we had nothing better to do than wait. They ask which way we going next and I pointed out to the gulley. It’s covered in thick mist and Steven/Richard says we going into the Abyss to which I replied yes lol.
We eventually see another group coming up as well. A rather large group but they took another route. I think it’s the route we took when I first did Mystery B. Anwar decided to take that route as well so off we go. This was also the last time we saw him on today’s hike. I’m leading again and my socks are soaked. Eventually my boots are soaked too and walking all squishy squishy in them. Salomon! I don’t think your boots are waterproof any longer and I’ve only had them for 1.5 years.
Up we go through the gulley and when I get to the first look-out, I tell them to come check out the view! Omg! The view! When they got up, they saw no view lol. Thick mist blocked everything. Further up we go to the next look-out thinking that Anwar could not be that far behind and we wait a bit. The wind picked up then and as we were all getting cold, we decided to move on with the other hiking group not far behind us.
Next up is the scramble at the dead end. We can’t see anything as we are traversing the ledge. I come to a spot with cairns and that spot looked like the scramble at the dead end which I’m pretty sure is at the dead-end but that cairn threw my instincts off. That scramble looked the same as the dead –end scramble and Taahir assures me that the scramble is at a dead-end so should carry on, and on we go.
Before that scramble however, we decided to have breakfast at the overhang. Thinking that Anwar will catch up with us. It’s the large group that caught up with us however which turned out to be Meridian Hiking Club. They said that the route we took made the route a C grade haha.
Anyway, they pass us, we are getting cold again and decided to wait until they are all up the scramble before we go. Up we go the last awkward scramble at the dead end. One more scramble to go before we reach the top. Before then however, I spot what I assume is a blue disa to which Taahir confirms that it is and I jump for joy and scream and almost fall backwards haha! Photo I must take! I no longer take as many photos as I usually do as my battery dies quickly these days. I do have my power bank but charging and taking photos are a schlep.
Steven/Richard, Claudine, Zubeida, Shoaib and I decide to go along and we run-off. I try to keep up but I can’t! They are clearly runners! I then hear Zubeida calling out for Shoaib and I call out for her through the thick mist and she tells me I can go ahead. I asked her if she is sure and if she knows how to get to Platteklip from there and she says yes. It’s not hard to find anyway. Off I go and catch up with Claudine with Steven/Richard long gone.
We caught up with Meridian at the top of Platties and down we go. We hear a large group making one hellova noise and I groan. It sounded as though they were singing in a stadium sigh. Some guy coming up said there’s a rugby team coming up. Unbeknownst to us! It was really a rugby team! The Argentenian Jaguares team! We had to take photos of and with them of course! Claudine and I are so chuffed to get this opportunity! We welcomed them to our beautiful city and they thanked us as we departed them. They were really really a huge group! Now we don’t mind the singing at all! It made us happy!
We greet the rest of the guys still coming up with ‘Welcome to our beautiful city and enjoy your stay’ and they thank us and say it really is a beautiful city. Those that could speak English of course. One guy asked me a question in Spanish and I looked totally lost! I had no idea what he was asking or saying but with hand gestures I could make out ‘how long to the top’ I told him about an hour and he seemed to understand me hehe! Another guy asked me with hand gestures if I had water and poured some for him into his bottle from my Bladder.
I pick up bottles here and there off the path with another hiker playing tag assisting me with the barbed wire. I’m pretty chuffed to report that there’s no longer that much litter on the path! Only 1 bag full and I didn’t even crush the bottles and cans for space! Also! someone picked up the bottle I left on the path on our way up! Thank you stranger!
I’m way ahead of Claudine now as I no longer see her when I look out for her but we are not far from the cars so I go ahead.
I update tracking at 12pm that 3 pax is SOM with 1pax not far behind me.
It’s only when I got home and starting to relax that my body started to feel as though a rugby player tackled me! I’m really feeling yesterday’s rock-climbing strain in my forearms as well! Everything is heavy!
It’s been a while that I’ve been this sore from mountain adventures and I love it! No pain, no gain – Pain is pleasure after all!
What a sublime hike that was! Thanks guys!
Until my next mountain adventure, ciao for now and thank you reading this long one!