Saturday 24 September 2016

FEEDBACK: TABLE MOUNTAIN TRAILERS: Saturday 24th September - The Back Table and Dams

A cool and cloudy Heritage Day saw a group of 26 starting from Constantia Nek, hearts pumping with the stiff climb up the steps to the concrete road known as Clayton's Road. These steps never get easier, no matter how many times you do them!

At the top, we glimpsed a glittering De Villiers Dam on our left and sipped some water at the Overseer's Cottage before we turned off the road and onto the single track leading to Ash Valley. We could see that we were in for a cold and misty run as the cloud hung thick and low over the mountain like a soft grey blanket. Those that had left rain jackets behind in the car regretted their decisions.

We continued through the valley undeterred by the weather, admiring the stunning flora all around us and imagining how colourful it would have been if only the sun had been out! This really is the most beautiful secret garden. We continued on, maintaining a fair pace, until we spotted the famous signpost near the dam wall that separates Woodhead Reservoir from Hely Hutchinson Reservoir and had some fun and games with the group photo. A short race then took place between those that ran atop the dam wall and those that ran under it, and the bottomers won!


At the Waterworks Museum, we stopped for a rest and a few photos, and marveled at the men that had lived and worked there 100 years ago to build the dam.

Our final climb was into the ravine where we usually spot the Red Disas to see what might be flowering there at this time of the year. Unfortunately, not much! We did see some lovely Old Man's Beard on the trees but most of the plant life was still in its winter guise.

Heading back around Junction Peak, we met up with Smuts Track and passed the top of Skeleton Gorge and Nursery Ravine, still in awe of the views and natural beauty around us. Waterfalls were flowing abundantly. Sadly, one of our number twisted an already poorly ankle and was in a lot of pain, so two of the group put foot and dashed back down the mountain to seek help in the form of wheels. The rest of us walked awhile with the injured soldier before reaching the Overseers Cottage again and running back down the road.

The Medium Group completed the 14.5 kms in 3 hours 35 minutes, a whole hour behind the Fast Group, who had covered the same distance. The Slow Group turned back at the Waterworks Museum, giving them a total distance of 12.5 kms in 3h15. Today's total ascent was 630m.

This week's run organiser was Lorraine Nevin.
Photos by Liz Brash, Jo Boswell & Lorraine Nevin. Lots more on our facebook page too.
© Peter Slingsby

Saturday 17 September 2016

FEEDBACK: TABLE MOUNTAIN TRAILERS Saturday 17th September 2016 - Silvermine Nature Reserve- Sunbird Centre

The start was cold and overcast with a breeze that had visited the Antarctic before arriving in Cape Town. A small group of around 27 runners divided into the 3 groups and quickly set off down the welcome downhill to the Sunbird centre. 

That was the last time we saw the fast group, ably led by Paul and Hein. They had already packed up and gone by the time we got back!

The long slog up to Dead Man's path warmed us up quickly and jackets were shed.  We climbed up and around to the amphitheatre, took a group photo and enjoyed the downhill back to the jeep track. 

What a beautiful day for running - lots of streams, the waterfall was flowing strongly, the flowers were out and the sun started peeping through.
A group decision after the fisherman's single track saw us detour to the waterfall path which was new to some. Homeward bound with a spring in our step!

Peter's group took a shorter route and arrived home before us

The medium group did 13kms in 2h24 - including regroups, photos, dancing and chatting.