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Steenbras Ridge



Location:
 On the north side of Steenbras Gorge, 6km south of Gordon's Bay. See also Crystal Pools and Boskloof Ridge. See Crystal Pools for access information and a parking map

Overview: An enjoyable cross-country scramble up to Steenbras Peak from where a variety of options area available, returning either straight down to the R44, or more interestingly, continuing along the ridge (known as the Dinosaurus-kam!) as far as one wants, then dropping down to the jeep track and returning via Crystal Pools. Good all year round given that it is a south facing climb and one can finish with a swim or two or three.
Key Statistics
Grade:  3 *** on the edge (2 if one moves to the right)
Height gain:   380mfrom 30m to 410m
Time:  2-3 hrs up, 2-4 down depending on route

Route Description:

Start on the Crystal pools path until shortly after the first river crossing.  Where the path rises to a low nek, turn off up the slope (no path) before the path drops down to the river. Follow the ridge keeping as far to the left as possible for some grade 3 scrambling or keep further right (this is bushy) for easier grade 2 walking.

At the top go left to reach the top of Steenbras Peak. From here there are a range of options.  For a quick descent, drop straight down the gully on the other side of Steenbras to the R44 (1 hour).

More interesting is to continue traversing along the so called Dinosaurus-kam over peak 1B (next to Steenbras), Peak 2, Peak 3, Peak 4 and if you are really energetic Peak5. You do need to go either over or round Peak 2 and Peak 3 before traversing down and right to reach the jeep track that runs down from Steenbras Dam to the top of Crystal Pools.  Follow the jeep track and before it ends take the path that cuts off right across a stream and over a shallow nek to pick up the main Crystal Pools path.

Hermit's House: A fascinating find just off the top of peak 1B was a well hidden and well constructed "cave house" complete with tables and chairs, a stove, kitchen, etc. It even had glass windows expertly fitted into the cracks and a camouflaged fiberglass door.  A date inscribed on the wall indicated that the hideout had been in use for 10 years or more. 

Opening party: 2 June 2008 Tony Heher, Margie Growse, Kathleen Holtzhausen, Lucille Krige, Martyn Trainor, Elizabeth Trew (The route may have been done before but no cairns were found and asking around found no one who had any recollection of it being climbed.)

Resources: There is a useful Slingsby map of the gorge, a pdf map of all the routes, and a set of GPS tracks