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Hells Gates

Location: The section of the Disa River gorge between the Orange Kloof Ring Road and the back of the Slangolie Gorge fissure below the 1891 entrance to the original Woodhead Tunnel. 

Overview: A summer route in a delightful indigenously wooded kloof, with pleasant pools and relatively easy rock scrambling provided it is dry. Some sections are steep in places and need careful climbing.

Key Statistics
Grade:  3 ****  approx 5.5 km till meeting People's path near old Tunnel 
Height gain:  317m: from 223m at Constantia Nek to 540m at hell's Gates
Time:  4-5 hrs up (with stops), 2hrs down depending on route

Route Description:

First of all, make sure you get your permit for Orange Kloof from the SAN Parks office a short way up the Signal Hill road from Kloof Nek (as at Dec 2012), as it is not worth risking a R500 fine if caught without it!

Park at Constantia Nek and follow the Ring Road until it descends to a concrete causeway across the Disa River that runs down from the Woodhead Dam. Enter the kloof here,and follow the stream either in the river bed, or on a path along the sides. The slideshow gives an idea of some of the obstacles you will encounter, the most notable being the slippery traverse on a very narrow sloping ledge next to a deep pool, where one false step will result in an unexpected swim and possibly a ruined camera or cellphone!

After viewing the Hell's Gate cleft, you retrace your steps and traverse out onto an unfortunately very bushy slope with a faint track that leads up to the People's path close to where one can go and view the original 1891 entrance to the Woodhead tunnel. Now you either follow the path up to the Dam wall, or descend to the ring road to go back.

Orange Kloof Hells Gates.gdb
Mountain Meanders,
Oct 9, 2016, 8:22 PM