Sunday 28 August 2011

Feedback Saturday 27th August: Cape Point: Buffelsbay

Sunrise at Buffelsbay

Group photo on top of Canonkop

Looking South from Kanonkop to Cape Point

Firstly Thank- you to Darryl, Gaeleen, Hayley,  Kim, Lanesse, Liz,  Pat, Randolph, Sandy and Sarah for turning up at 0600 on a cold, dark morning to help man the refreshment station for the Puffer run. Your assistance was much appreciated.

After we had packed up the station we drove down to Buffels bay where we were joined by the others.  From the start we had a crystal clear view over a calm False Bay and the sunrise lighting up the face of Paulsberg.  We had an uneventful and beautiful fynbos run up past the visitor's information centre and then up to the crest of Kanonkop with its  panoramic view of the reserve and Cape Point in the distance.   We then descended down the gully and a trot along the beach back to the car park.   A short run of only 8.5 kms taking about 1hr 45m.  [We can make up distance next week, yes?].   
Congratulations to Pat who completed her 20th sortie with our group, clocking up a total distance of 208 Kms

Sunday 21 August 2011

Feedback Saturday 20th August: King's Blockhouse to Skeleton Gorge and Back

Starting out

Sunrise over the City

Muizenberg Peak in the distance

"This is why we get up early on a Saturday morning when we are not feeling too good" Gaeleen
Fortunately not for one of us!

Brief Feedback Sat 20 august: Contour Path:
Block house to Skeleton Gorge and back

Altogether 38 of us RVd at the appointed time and place behind Rhodes Memorial, which it would seem is an unknown landmark to one of our runners who frantically called “where is it?” to Gaeleen as we drove there.  This was the largest turn-out we have had and included 12 newbies.
It was a truly beautiful spring morning as Veronica, one of our trusty navigators, led the way up to the intersection with the contour path close under King’s Blockhouse.  My usually fairly deserted “guards-van” became a place of refuge for a few who either were suffering from unknown bugs or had over-estimated their fitness.  Anyway we chugged steadily along the trail high above UCT and Newlands with outstanding views across the Cape Flats. 
At the junction at Newlands ravine we found Kerry, Bridget and Craig trying to identify two lost dogs. Bridget managed to get hold of the owner who said leave them as they were with his wife who was running in the area.  Having confirmed that she was now aware that she had lost her dogs we moved on. For those of you, who volunteered to do the second leg of the Table Mountain Challenge next month - because it’s flat, think again!  It definitely is not.
Eventually we reached Skeleton Gorge, having had the brakes constantly applied by one very slow newbie, only to find that things had gone pear-shaped as our leading group had given up waiting for us and lacking the steadying influence of a designated navigator/leader simply scattered! [Veronica had to turn back earlier]  From brief snippets gleaned, it seems the front group split into two or three smaller groups and found their own way back; some by eventually retracing our outward route, some via a version of the 2 Oceans route through Newlands forest while others?  Anyway as best we could tell, all got back.  But lesson learnt.
Fortunately for us our slowbie’s sister - a more experienced trail runner, was accompanying her so we decided to leave slowbie at Newlands Forest Station from where she could be fetched by her sister later.
Our sweep group returned via the helicopter pad and into Groote Schuur Estate and up to Rhodes-Mem. 

Altogether 14.3 Kms and we took just on 3hrs.

Monday 15 August 2011


Despite the unanimous forecast of no rain by Cape Town’s leading weather gurus, it rained!  Not to be put off by this 18 pitched up at the RV as scheduled despite a slight problem of finding a safe and legal parking spot along Tafelberg Rd.

Silver trees

Anyway we were soon off running, and downhill for a change, in the cool damp but clear morning air with the whole of the city bowl below us and a view out of the bay towards Blaauwberg and a glimpse of a rising sun appearing over the distant mountains creating a rainbow against the mountain behind us.  One or two minor navigation errors, but nothing of concern.  After a couple of kays, mainly descending towards the old quarry above De Waal drive we altered tack to starboard and started a long climb uphill towards King’s Blockhouse.
From the Blockhouse we followed the lower traverse around Devil’s Peak and dropped down to the end of Tafelberg Rd and an easy jog back to the start.
11.6 Kms in 1hour 50 odd minutes. 

We are all smiling because the rain had stopped!

Route Profile

Sunday 7 August 2011

Feedback Saturday 6th August: Glencairn

Dawn with Hout Bay in the distance

Looking over towards the North

Perhaps the memory of our previous sortie along unknown trails behind Hout Bay has faded or else our group has members who clearly are not deterred by the unknown because 22 turned out for our inaugural sortie along a new and unknown route in the hills behind Glencairn.
We RVd at the appointed time and place in a reasonably mild morning and took to the hills. Three navigators ensured that we followed the planned route which took us along mainly sandy paths through fynbos with wonderful views over towards Chapman’s Peak and Hout Bay and later over False Bay. The unseasonal warm and sunny days we have recently experienced fooled the wild flowers which were beginning to show their colours.
We stopped for a “blaaskans” besides the Kleinplaas Dam which was at a very low level.  Bringing home just how little rain we have had during our “wet” season.  From there it was a pleasant jog over to the Lewis Gay Dam along a short stretch of t*r road and then a looping run along the trail behind the naval village of Da Gama Park and up over the saddle to the parking area.
What does it say?
All in all a successful fynbos run with a few hills to keep the pulse rate up.  Most of the route is runnable with only a few sections where we needed to walk although the sandy sections which will be dry in summer will be heavy going.   No incidents, although I am honour-bound to admit that I had an “encounter of the earth kind” when I tripped shortly after we started. No serious damage done except to my self-esteem. 
Distance was just a few meters short of 14 kms and it took us close to 2hrs30.

The route taken