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Koo Valley from Arangieskop

The accom­mo­da­tion for the first night is a big farm house. The place is huge and has all the basics and more than one needs on a hike. There is even a fridge.

If you enjoy braaing on a hike as we do, I do not rec­om­mend using the inside fire place in the kitchen, as this fire place does not draw (hardly at all) and you land up try­ing to find each other in the kitchen behind all the smoke.

There is an out­side braai, but badly sit­u­ated and awk­ward to use, so I sug­gest that you bring your own portable braai (if you have space) and set it up under the oak tree in the gar­den and enjoy the breath­tak­ing views of the moun­tains ahead of you.

Another thing we found dis­ap­point­ing, is that when some­one used the toi­let in the main bath­room, the sewage came back up through the drain’s hole in the bath. After fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tion we found that the drain out­side was blocked, and with the amount of over­flow, one can see that this drain has been blocked for some time. Thank­fully there is another bath­room with a shower and toilet.

The first time you see Arang­ieskop, you can­not believe that you can walk up this huge moun­tain in one day. As with all hikes I sug­gest that you are rea­son­ably fit, but if you are going to tackle this moun­tain being com­pletely unfit, you are def­i­nitely not going to have an enjoy­able expe­ri­ence. Let’s look at the no’s. We started at 375 m above sea level, and ended at the hut (that is still 200m short of the sum­mit) at 1484m. That gives you a 1100m ascent with a heavy ruck sack. The last km felt really long. Once again our G.P.S read a dis­tance of only 5.7 km instead of the (9.5) km that the brochure shows.

The overnight hut is prob­a­bly one on the nicest hik­ing huts I have ever seen. The hut is very basic, but with hot show­ers and flush toi­lets, this is a real bonus. Then there is the view. We usu­ally sit out­side the rest of the after­noon and suck in the amaz­ing views of almost the whole Koo val­ley and the moun­tains behind it. This is an expe­ri­ence that I will not eas­ily for­get and it makes the hard slog up the moun­tain every bit worth the effort.

These is always a plen­ti­ful sup­ply of wood for the out­side braai (don­key, for warm­ing the water), the inside coal stove, and an awe­some inside fire place. At this alti­tude even in sum­mer it gets nippy

The high­light of this hike for me is the next morn­ing. And I don’t mean the high­light is the 200m to the sum­mit (that’s quite a shock on the sys­tem, the first time you do this hike, just about your first step out the hut is uphill). On a clear morn­ing the high­lights is watch­ing the sun­rise while you are stand­ing above the clouds at a hight of more than 1600m. I am sure that this is not a sight that you will for­get easily.

Even though the path is very well marked, ensure that you have enough bat­tery life in your head­light, because in the pitch dark the path will be dif­fi­cult to find. Also be sure to have warm clothes handy at the sum­mit, even in sum­mer and can get very cold up there. Oh yes, need­less to say, also have your cam­era nearby.

The first cou­ple of metres of the descent is a lit­tle chal­leng­ing. Be very care­ful here, espe­cially in win­ter as this sec­tion of the moun­tain is cov­ered in ice and snow. Even the path a cou­ple of 100 m down can still be very slip­pery, as all the pools of water in the path are iced up. The rest of the way down is fairly easy, but heavy going on the legs.

Once you are back in the fyn­bos you are again rewarded with stun­ning views over Robert­son and sur­rounds. Depend­ing on what time of the year you go you can also be over­awed by the beau­ti­ful pro­teas and bird life. Take a while and sit down some­where and you will see the pro­lific bird life.

This hike is prob­a­bly one of the most “dif­fi­cult” walks in the West­ern Cape, but we have done it many times and almost every time we are back home, we can’t wait to plan our next walk again.


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Arang­ieskop accord­ing to Helga

Do not let any­one ever tell you that Arang­ieskop is a breeze…they will be lying! When you look back on the mas­sive moun­tain you have just climbed it seems too unreal. Yes, I said climbed as opposed to hiked. It seems like you are watch­ing one of those “Mount Ever­est” doc­u­men­taries where Sir Hillary and those types of crazy chaps are tak­ing their lives into their own hands…believe me – this hike is hec­tic!!! (Okay, those that know me, know I love exag­ger­a­tion – for the record, this is a hike).

Let me give you a quick run down of our expe­ri­ence this week­end past. We drove thru to Robert­son (or Bob-​son as some would say) on the Fri­day. There we stayed in a very nice old house on the foot of the moun­tain. (Plumb­ing fixed since the last time). Breath­tak­ing views, and the mag­ni­tude of what you are about to (once again!) do — hits you. The idea of actu­ally get­ting to the top of this moun­tain in one day is amaz­ing. You for­get that you have to actu­ally come down this same moun­tain the next – the really hard part. But, if you are a novice, you do not know this yet. You sit there, hav­ing a cool refresh­ing beer (or drink of your choice) and think you are “Cooler as Ekke” to quote Jack Parow. Day one and here the climb starts. Up and up firstly over a very “onn­odige” (unnec­es­sary) hill. Then down into the kloof where one ex-​hiker of ours got him­self and his wife lost – beware, look at the mark­ings and watch the trees from get­ting your ruck­sack stuck. Out of the kloof — now go to the left and up, Up and UP. There is only UP from here.

It is very exhaust­ing, espe­cially if you are not as fit or thin as you know you could be! Once you reach the water­fall there is only 2kms to go. Sounds lit­tle does it not? Well, two ERG climb­ing kilos. The men are sep­a­rated from the boys, bitches from the broads! But, all evil also comes to an end and once you reach the “sad­dle” you offi­cially know you have made it!

The hut is prob­a­bly the main rea­son (besides insan­ity) why peo­ple like Jens and oth­ers have com­pleted this hike more than 13 times. The hut is superbly built along a rock face with large win­dows and built-​in Jet­mas­ter in the main (bot­tom room/​kitchen) area. There are 2 toi­lets and 2 show­ers. Out­side is an under roof braai area and grass veranda/​view area. Be care­ful not to lean on the flimsy rail­ing! For hot water one has to make a fire to heat the “ket­tle” next to the braai area. Upstairs are three bed­rooms with two 8 beds and one with 4 beds. Below are another three beds.

Right – day two – the descent…one first has to actu­ally reach the sum­mit which is a tough, around 45 min­utes climb. We sug­gest you start walk­ing at 5am in win­ter to see the sun rise at 6am. (Only the men­tally insane will attempt this hike in high sum­mer). On a clear day the sun­rise is breath­tak­ing! Really feels like you are on top of the world. On a less clear day – take many pho­tos and know you were there and also know that you will have to do the hike again to expe­ri­ence this elu­sive yet awe­some sunrise.

Now the down starts with a steep, treach­er­ous lad­der. We had to go down this path a few times with frost and snow! This last week­end how­ever we had a lot of mist mak­ing the whole descent very cold, wet and muddy. Pre­pare your­self for a min­i­mum of two hours of sharp, stren­u­ous DOWNS. If you have knee prob­lems remem­ber the knee guards and walk­ing sticks. Some use pro­tec­tive gloves for their hands – not a bad idea. Once below (you are still basi­cally in the mid­dle of the moun­tain) you then nav­i­gate two kloofs with all the ups and downs and then after some straight, the even­tual long down.

No amount of “gym” train­ing can pre­pare you for this. It is pure mind over mat­ter and just putting one foot in front of the other and keep­ing on going. Stay pos­i­tive and stay sane! As you walk out you still can­not believe you have done this. Pat your­self on the back, say thanks to your chom­mies for all the sup­port and say… “Later big moun­tain” Till next time Helga

cheryl_comment

I will never walk ARAN­G­IES again with­out:
Yster and a Gup­pie!
Brandy but less mix
Stick with shock absorber
Finally all the flip­pen lit­tle mus­cle repair fairies I can find to fol­low me con­stantly sprin­kling “fix me dust” … its one hell of a down… how­ever if the fairies are on strike … being Africa and all … I will just take the trav­e­la­tor down that Wynand and Carl are GOING TO build before we climb again!
Oh
And a limo at the jeep track!!!
Mmmm yip that’s about all

arina_comment

I will never leave my myprodols behind … pop them with a dou­ble brandy and you are in par­adise for a few hours …noooooooo pain wheeeeeeeeeee !!!! They came to the res­cue of a few on Arrangies …!

helga_comment

I would not leave behind warm clothes, my down sleep­ing bag, Ger­mo­lene and my nail file. Ger­mo­lene is good for patch­ing and sooth­ing chaffing areas, insect bites, minor cuts and bruises…much bet­ter than Vase­line or Fis­san Paste.

janice_comment

Limo, Coke & Allesver­loren Port vir die koue aande :-)

morne_comments

I was the only one out of our group of ten that was stung by the bees. That really sucks, why could a few of them not get my brother, Wynand as well!

paul_comment

Will never leave my Trekking Pole behind, cause you going to need it to save the legs on the downs

Update(4.5 months later)

Our group” have walked this moun­tain many times, and it never ceases to amaze me how one can appre­ci­ate this moun­tain dif­fer­ently almost every time that you walk it.

This time the moun­tain was shrouded in a thick blan­ket of mist for almost the whole two days of our hike. At times it looked like you were deep in a rain­for­est some­where in the Amazon.(See pho­tos) The mist was so thick at times it actu­ally felt like a light rain. Need­less to say we were soaked (I’m not sure if it was due to the per­spir­ing or the mist).

For­tu­nately the path is very well marked, and at no point did we feel like we were in any dan­ger of get­ting lost, although walk­ing in the mist is not advisable.

When we were here 4.5 months ago, I men­tioned that the bath­room had plumb­ing prob­lems, but I am glad to say that this prob­lem has been fully sorted out since.

The farm­house once again, was spot­lessly clean when we arrived, and the mod­ern day com­forts at the house makes this hike even more of a pleasure.

The first night we were the only group at the farm­house and again we thought that we had the whole hike to our­selves, but were we sur­prised when at about 17H00, a group of about ten (most of them prob­a­bly in their mid twen­ties) joined us at the top hut.

It did not nearly look like any of them had just walked Arang­ieskop. When most of us arrived a the hut we just plunked down for a cou­ple of min­utes, just glad to have made it.

Like I said before we have been hik­ing for some years, and have seen many strange things on hikes, but never ever, not even in our wildest dreams , could we imag­ine some­one car­ry­ing a full scale axe up Arang­ieskop. I don’t know if we were more shocked or surprised.

A few wines later, we were won­der­ing why on earth would some­one carry an axe up the moun­tain. Then it came to us, maybe they are wait­ing for us to fall asleep and then they were going to make one of those “snuff” movies.

Need­less to say at that point in time we hastily con­fis­cated his axe (we were more than them). Karel, if you are read­ing this, you guys were good fun. Thanks for all the laughs.

I usu­ally end off by ask­ing the ques­tion “Would I do this hike again?”. Even though this is a really tough hike, the answer will still be “Most cer­tainly yes” , but not this year again, twice is enough. Our next hike must be some­thing much more relaxing.

Arang­ieskop, Robertson
Con­tact Details
Tel no 0236262426 G.P.S. S33 45.515 E19 52.743
Cell no 079 4137254 Email This email address is being pro­tected from spam­bots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Fax 0236268242 Web­site
Hike Details
Near­est Town Robert­son Max Per­sons 23
Dis­tance from Town 7km, 12 mins Overnight Shel­ter

Yes

Map to start of hike View Map Brochure Click here
No of days Two Trail Type Cir­cu­lar
Tips and things to do

These tips will prob­a­bly apply to many camp sites, but this is what we thought should not be forgotten

1. If you are going to start walk­ing early on day two to watch the sun­rise, ensure that you have your head­light with you. On this hike you do not need a head­light as their is elec­tric­ity at both huts.

2. Make sure that you have a warm jacket with you, as it is almost always freez­ing up there.

Writ­ten on 25/​11/​2013, 18:26 by Heleen
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