Cape Trip day 2 – Matroosberg

Only a few weeks after hearing about its existence, suddenly my plan for the day was to climb Matroosberg.

After a very successful day 1 of my Cape Trip, I decided to have a relatively easy day 2. Matroosberg is the 3rd most prominent mountain in South Africa, although my research had told me it was surprisingly easy.

Tony and myself left Du Toits Hut for Matroosberg Nature Reserve reasonably early, and after a spectacular drive, we found ourselves at the parking lot for the start of the hike.

The route follows a wide river valley for a fairly long time. Due to the nature of the valley, scenery doesn’t change much for the duration of this section. The gradient is consistent, trail is easy to follow – nothing difficult at all. Actually a great hike for beginners.

There is a cave about halfway up, where we stopped for something to eat out of the heat of the day.

Shortly after the cave, there is a hut, just before the steepest section of the ascent. Admittedly not very steep – but it was nice to finally gain some altitude at a reasonable pace.

Matroosberg can be driven up (well, most of the way) – but luckily the jeep track is in a different valley to the hiking trail, so we didn’t have any of those annoying vehicle noises on the way up. But as you reach the saddle – the top of Groothoek Kloof, the two routes merge.

The scenery suddenly goes from homogeneous to absolutely spectacular. The saddle above Groothoek Kloof is one of the most spectacular spots I have ever encountered. My exact words to Tony were “this is what I came here for, not that [pointing down where we had just come from]”.

The final section of the route is either a really bad 4X4 track, or a very eroded by wide hiking trail.

Despite being at the eastern end of the Hex Mountains, there are still some mountains visible in the immediate distance looking out that way. The peak rises above the town of De Doorns, with Ben Heatlie Peak rising above the other side of the valley. The top section is well worth the effort!

The Hex Mountains have a strange beauty – it is a mangled wreckage of rock twisted as it was compressed over a very long period of time very long ago. Its hard to find the best word to describe it – spectacularly beautiful.

We encountered a really strange sign – we weren’t sure what was being prohibited. We joked that it was forbidding people from carving pumpkins with a bone. I posted the photo on a Facebook group, where I was informed it was prohibiting the removal of historical artifacts.

There was a ski lift near the top as well. I am always sad to see structures like this near the top of mountains.

Naturally I need more time in the area, many summits I would like to hike up!

There was a small concrete building on the summit – which was a bit annoying. The view from the top was well worth the effort, though!

The hike back down was fairly straightforward. Overall a fairly easy hike, but well worth the effort.

I stopped in Ceres to get some supper, and supplies for my 3 day hike that would start the following day. What a beautiful setting for a town! I used Mitchells Pass to get back to Worcester, where I spent the night.

These photos of Mitchells Pass were taken from the picnic spots by the side of the road. Many of the more scenic roads in the area have these – which is great.

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