I’m all for a healthy dose of danger, and this past Sunday I almost had too much of a good thing.
I decided to enjoy the amazing weather we had on Sunday and go for a much yearned for trail run mixed with a semi-epic hike. Semi-epic hikes normally involve a decent level of difficulty (physically or mentally) and leave you feeling physically drained but with a huge sense of accomplishment. As I was running along the pipe track, I had heard of a great hike quite far down, a few stops after the Kasteelpoort trail. As I continued to run across the mountain towards Bakoven side, I came across a sign that was basically a flashing neon invitation for me. It read: DANGEROUS ASCENT.
I let some friends know where I was currently, where I was heading and more or less what time to expect me back (I’ve watched 127 hours, learn from others I say). With that taken care of I head up what seemed to be a heavily underused path.
The sense of adventure from being on this path is phenomenal. It feels like you’re one of a handful of people to have been there, and there is always a sense of danger – walking along paths that are broken and have a drop of 5+ meters on one end, with leaves and branches in your way. I was on all fours for about 40% of this 2 hour plus hike, it is amazing.
As I continued along I came to the main loose rock section and headed up. This involved quite a bit of scrambling and a workout, but loads of fun. When I got to the top of this section, I climbed up the one section, heavily stressed after struggling so much, only to realise I couldn’t get further. As I looked down I realised I didn’t think about going back, and accepted the reality that I might be stuck there.
Fighting fear and focusing everything I had, I climbed down at snails pace, the most carefully I have done anything, and landed safely at the bottom of the ridge. As I was walking down, my shaking legs and body told me “enough now, Kyle”, so I made my way back down to the Pipe Track and home.
Massive adventure, highly recommended (go in a group), and take rope with you in case.