History of Team Sanlam Painted Wolf

22 August, 2016

Waaihoek-Mostershoek traverse

Waaihoek-Mostershoek traverse- doing the homework for ARWC

It’s difficult to say no to a big day out in the mountains with some friends, and when that doubles up as good training for ARWC it is impossible not to go.

Robyn and Mike (her husband) were keen to do a traverse from Waaihoek to the summit of Mostershoek in the Hex river valley. I’d done the route once before years ago but my memory of climb huge hill to the top, turn left along the ridge till you hit the pyramid of Mosterdshoek and climb it to the top was not exactly fool proof. Luckily they brought a map and 2 page route description.

Turns out my memory of the route was on the money. We started off climbing a big hill. 1300m vertical gain to start the day off with, and then turned left to the ridge. From above the ridge looked flat. It was not, and had plenty of small gendarmes and rocky steps to negotiate. Never too steep or technical but spicy enough to keep you interested and focused on not slipping off the ridge.

The next big climb up Mostershoek went according to plan. We found the gulley that leads to the summit and didn’t grovel too much to tag the summit beacon after about 4 ½ hours on the go.

You have 2 options to get back to the car. First is to reverse the route, the second is to find a grassy spur leading off the main ridge. There are plenty of stories of people trying to descent the wrong spur and heading into “man-eating fynbos” “unplanned bivouacs” “precarious wet rock scrambles”. We fortunately hit a great line off the main ridge and ran down to the car with only a short thrash through some burnt proteas to build some character.

Back at the car in a 7 hour round trip. Almost felt too easy but I am sure we are going to pay for it at some point. The mountains always have the last laugh.



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