Perdekop: racing the front

Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve, Franschhoek

Every now and then Kevin gets the itch. On this day, in the full knowledge that a mommy of a cold front was on its way he talked me into a quick ascent of Perdekop, east of Franschhoek Pass. The hike up enjoyed brilliant blue skies and the panoramas from the top (1580 m ASL) were truly spectacular, more so because we were the only humans up there. The round trip is about 14 km from the top of the pass and fairly easy going for good walkers, with the return leg via the Wemmershoek lookout. But for us it was 12.2 km (with a 923 m climb and descent) because we returned the way we had come, racing down to beat the approaching front.

Perdekop looking north-west. The front stacks up in the distance

We had no expectation of finding snow up there, so it was the “icing on the cake” as it were, but the reason we rushed down was the experience of being blown off our feet as we left the peak. This was a first for both of us. Kevin was prone, clinging on to a rock. I was on all fours and unable to make headway. Momentary panic flashed across my mind: “are we going to be able to get off this mountain?”. As the gust abated we ran off the peak and then made the decision to take the quickest route back. Worth it, though. A Google Earth track and photos follow …

Looking west to Franschhoek Pass
Milk urn? Here?

If the map does not render, download the kmz file and view on Google Earth

Stettynskloof from Perdekop

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3 comments to Perdekop: racing the front

  • Great site & great write-ups on your trips! I too want to go and explore the mountains in the Cape one day (reason for wanting to move there).

    Are these trails only accessible for MCSA members?

    Keep up the good work – very informative and thank for sharing the tracks!

  • Thanks Louis. No most are public trails unless specified otherwise.

  • Nico van der Watt

    This looks great. I want to do a snow-hike this year and was looking forward to Victoria Peak. Unfortunately the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve has been closing their jeep track (to the white bridge) whenever there is snow on the mountains. This looks like a good alternative snow-hike for us to do.

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