Seweweekspoort FKT

8 December 2017

The Seweweekspoort FKT

After a long itch to summit the highest peak in the Western Cape – we plotted and planned a different approach to what was the lesser of two suggested routes. Although somewhat ambitious we weighed up all the options and decided to cycle from the small town of Barrydale, in the Western Cape, along the R62 to Ladismith. Once there we made our way towards the base of Seweweekspoort, stashed our bikes in the fynbos surrounding the mountain, on a friendly farmers land and made our way up the southern slope in an attempt to bag the snow-covered peak.

With only one weekend to complete the round trip, we had to move fast and light, traveling through the night on our bicycles. Although we dealt with freezing Karoo temperatures, the road was superbly quiet, still and without a breath of wind all night long.

We watched the sun rise and set alone on the road, nobody in sight

Chilly breakfast on the road to Ladismith

Making the switch from two wheels to our own two feet, after 6 hours of being on the bikes and covering 100km, we were very happy to be finally moving on foot.

There was no time for sleep – we needed to cycle out and back, climb that mountain and be back in Barrydale all within 24 hours.

The stone shelter on the southern slope is recommended as an overnight spot to those wanting to reach the summit and back down in one day. It proved a good lunch spot for us on the way up.

The elusive Seweweekspoort peak. Sadly we didn’t make it to the top – the list of excuses can go on, but our ambitions along an unmarked route and our lack of gear and food to survive a bivvy out on the snowy summit, meant we had to turn back and make the cycle back to Barrydale. Many lessons were learned and these sort of journeys are forever worthwhile.

An inevitable flat tire, after 18 hours on the go, it was a challenge of both will and patience.

Back in Barrydale, 2 am Sunday morning.
After 21 hours on the go, time for a cold beer and warm bed!

 

Words by:

Simon Pocock

Photos by:

Xavier Briel

 

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