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.
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 …
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