Some of the benefits of being a mountain club member are that you get to go to places that you would not normally be able to explore – and camp out there – and share the mountains with like-minded people who also know what they are doing in these lofty places. Although this hike uses recognised hiking trails, most of which are part of the Boland Trail or Jonkershoek’s various trails, you would not be able to camp near Sterrekykerskop (loosely translated as “stargazers’ peak”) with a panoramic view of the Jonkershoek valley.
A late-afternoon start saw us hurry up the Sphinx route from Nuweberg to Landdroskop where we stayed at Shamrock hut. That evening the black south-easter commenced its assault. Day 2 saw us head out west on the track to Jonkershoek, hoping to summit Somerset-Sneeukop, but misty rain and wind made that option rather unattractive, so we continued north to the Panorama Trail. Our camp in the lee of a rock pile where the wind screams over the watershed was set up in sunny weather, but that night the south-easter raged cold and noisy outside. The next morning we set off in low cloud and at the Kurktrekker junction turned south down Boegoekloof. This was a pleasant, steady downhill walk to Nuweberg under a steadily clearing sky. Boegoekloof harbours a number of rock pools that would make for very pleasant swimming in warmer weather. The weather didn’t deter Santie, however.
The circuit is about 31.3 km in total, and gains and loses 1583m in elevation.
This video will not play on mobile devices nor in certain countries – copyright issues
An old, official Boland Trail map refers to Sterrekykerskop as Guardian Peak, but Ernst Lotz’s authoritative book, Jonkershoek en sy berge, and various club old hands maintain that Guardian Peak is actually an alternative name for Haelkop, towering further to the north-west. Maybe a reader can resolve the issue by commenting below?
Or download the GPS track and view in Google Earth