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"Tip-to-Top" Senior Winter Hike - Cape Peninsula

Skilputt - 6 July 2011

Thirteen senior scouts and scouters from the 1st Pinelands Scout Troop spent the first 4 days of July on an epic trek all the way from Cape Point to Signal Hill. They did the whole route unsupported, covering a total of 83km while carrying all supplies/food/equipment with them on their backs. The group went out of its way to specifically route via Maclear’s beacon, which is the highest point on Table Mountain and the peninsula at 1085 meters above sea level – earning the challenge the name “Tip-to-Top”.

The challenges varied, from large daily distances of up to 31km, to wet and cold weather – all taken in stride by the group of tough scouts.

On the second day something unexpected happened – the hiking party was joined by a dog that seemed blissfully happy to follow the them anywhere. The dog, who became affectionately known as “Buck”, eventually ended up following the seniors all the way to signal hill over the remaining 3 days and 52km. “Buck” was later returned to the area where he started following and his greatful owner was found. I am sure that Rudi (“Bucks” real name) will not forget that walk.

The route was as follows:
Day 1 – Started at Cape Point (from the parking lot at the bottom of the funicular) and hiked 31km to the Marine Conservation Station on Red Hill above Simon’s Town. This was the longest day and being the first, was a very tough one. The group only arrived after 9:30pm and slept at the Centre which is in the old SA Navy Signal School navy base (where Just Nuisances grave is).
Day 2 – They hiked from Red Hill (“Buck” started following them from this point) via the Elsjes River area and the Brooklands ghost town through Fish Hoek to the Sunbird Centre between Noordhoek and Clovelly. They slept that rainy night in tents that they were thankful to have lugged along.
Day 3 – A long day with an early start – The party hiked with irregular showers of rain up to Silvermine, along the top of the Tokai Plantation, over the Top of Vlakkenberg down to Constantia Neck where they met up with Erik, a guide from the Table Mountain National Parks, who led them through the Orange Kloof restricted area to the scout mountain club hut on the Back Table of Table Mountain.
Day 4 – The group left the hut and hiked to Maclear’s beacon. Unfortunately the weather was poor and with a cloud on top of the mountain the well anticipated view all the way to Cape Point was unavailable. They then hiked down Platteklip Gorge, along the contour path down to Kloof Nek and past Lions Head to the Parking lot at Signal Hill.

TtT.jpg

To see more photos of the hike click below:
2011-07 Tip-to-Top
2011-07 Tip-to-Top
(87 photos)

There are also some separate wide angle photos:
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Breakfast Rock
- Sunday (Day 3)

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Silvermine to Tokai Rd
(Day 3)

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Climbing Vlakkenberg
(Day 3)

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Walking through Orange Kloof
(Day 3)

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On the Contour Path
- Table Mountain (Day 4)

For The Muse article on the Tip-to-Top, Click here.