A battle with Gravity - A return to the Wilderness, Part 2
Here, below, is a look at a truly grand weekend, tackling my toughest hike thus far. A great challenge it most definitely is, though the real test lies – knowing now what I went through – in going back and, having at it again. This was my first time (along with several others), but there were those in our team who were climbing this mountain for the 2nd, 3rd and even 5th time (our leader Ricky has made it a yearly pilgrimage for the last half a decade).
I won’t regale you as to why we climb, why we brave freezing temperatures, or what compels us to wade through thick foliage or clamber up and over boulders on all fours… that’s for another day (or perhaps last week’s entry, but I will say that it is a deep and resolute compulsion… actually, it can be summed up in a simple way: it makes you come alive!
For we were not made for offices, streets, suits and skyscrapers, we were made for the wild. It will not shout nor prance, it will appear to you as a subtle tap on the shoulder, a veritable whispered secret, in the way the sea calls to a sailor. Once you turn to answer, you'll keep going back for more... for ourselves, for closeness to God, for survival, a photo op, for passion, inspiration, or just, to escape.
High Fives, slaps on the back and hugs to Lenoray, Ricky, Juwelin, Mama T, Nina, Quentin, Mike, Frank, Gavin, Nicole… and of course me. To great company, breathtaking views and sore limbs; Cheers! Till the next time...
"To-morrow We Disappear Into The Unknown"
-- Chapter title, 'The Lost World' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
"You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself."
- Alan Alda
"As one who has often felt this need, and who has found refreshment in wild places, I attest to the recreational value of wilderness."
- George Aiken
The Hut close to the summit sleeps about 20 so if your team is not big you will probably end up sharing the facilities with several teams.
You will hence have to pre-book as there’s usually a waiting list (we somehow managed to squeeze in at the perfect time). Contact Megan for further arrangements and ironing out of details MZimri@langeberg.gov.za
The arrangements are as follows; you’ll drive to the “base” hut/house where your cars will be driven to a more secure location in the town of Robertson – where from you’ll be shuttled back to the house (facilities include beds/mattresses, kitchen, indoor braai, hot water, toilets etc… there is electricity). You’ll climb up to the hut on day one (also with warm water, mattresses braai place, so bring your own meat). You climb down on day 2 – brace yourself, it’s a B*t*h of a down climb! Call ahead on the way down for the shuttle, so you can collect your car/s.
This hike is rated as SEVERE - and it lives up to it!
From Worcester, enter Robertson (on main road/Voortrekker)
Turn Left into Paul Kruger Street (just before KFC).
Continue along this road for a while. It will feel as though you’re exiting Robertson as it bears/deviates slightly to the right.
Eventually you’ll come to a four-way stop (with green fields ahead and to the right)
Turn left into Paddy Street. (*Apologies, I was tired and didn’t count the number of streets you’ll pass to get this far). You’ll then pass through a small suburb.
Drive straight; continue past the Dagbreek Primary School, and over the speed bumps.
Eventually the road will turn to gravel and will bend toward the left.
The road will wind up into the hills for a kilometer or 2 until you find the Dassishoek hut on your left (it has an open sided corrugated iron carport on one side.
- Go in peace - God Bless! -
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