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Skoorsteenkam


Location: Hout Bay, starting from the top of Andrews Rd in Scott Estate (finding the start is the hardest part - see Google Map!)



Overview: This is a pleasant short scramble following an obvious direct line up Skoorsteenberg, the northernmost of the twin Skoorsteenberg peaks. See also Skoorsteenkam Sub

Note: There is confusion over the naming of the Skoorsteen peaks.  On many maps the Skoorsteenberg peaks are called Skoorsteenkop, whereas Skoorsteenkop is actually the small squat pinnacle located lower down to the West overlooking Hout Bay valley (shown on the Hout Bay & Sandy Bay Area map).

Key Statistics
Grade:  3 ***  Mainly Grade 2 with a few Grade 3 moves
(which can be bypassed by moving right)
Height gain:  430mfrom 120m to 550m
Time:  3 hrs up, 1-2 down depending on route


Parking: See Skoorsteenkam Sub for a description of how to get to the parking in Andrews Rd.

Route Description: 
Go up the jeep track from the parking area for about 100m, passing a path on the right (this is the direct path down) and 50m further on take the path that zig zags up towards the first low rockbands.  The path fades out after a while - simply continue cross country traversing left towards the ridge below the lowest rockband. A bit bushy but nothing serious. 

Cross the ridge (this is the recommeded start for Skoorsteenkam Sub) and continue across the valley on a shallow ascending traverse to the next ridge.  Once on the ridge, follow that up finding easy breaks through the small rock bands. This is easy pleasant going with minimal vegetation on the ridge. At the first substantive rockband, go right up and then left to regain the ridge.  Cairns were erected at most major breaks through the bands or changes of direction.

Continue up the ridge until below the high top rockband. Follow a right hand ramp leading up through the bands and then traverse left on a ledge to a narrow crack.  The crack is bushy lower down, but clear rock above.  Ascend this and then traverse right towards what looks like a dead end immediately below the summit to find a pleasant easy ramp going left which brings one out on top. (If you want to avoid a couple of Grade 3 moves on this section, go right after the ramp into the obvious easy gully that runs up between the two Skoorsteen peaks.)

There are many options for the return route.  The quickest is to cross over to the path that runs from Vlakkenberg to Skoorsteenberg, head East on that to the lowest point and then find the path down to the right into Baviaanskloof.  A bit faint initially but it is well marked with cairns and soon becomes more distinct. 

Alternatives are to go on towards Vlakkenberg and come back down the Hoerikwaggoe Trail to East Fort (assuming you have left a car there) or go West and come down past Skoorsteenkop to Whitlers Way (assuming you have left a car there and have arranged access through the private gate that controls access from this side) or North to Constantia Nek i.e. there are many options. 

Opening party:
 Tony Heher and Jon Rhode on a U3A CMCA meet on 21 June 2013.  It is such an obvious line that one is hesitant to call it a new route as it has quite likely been done before by locals. But with no other description of it being known, and as there were no cairns marking a route, we will take the credit for want of anyone else staking a claim!  

Resources
  • GPX and GDB tracks of route and surrounding paths are attached below.
  • Map and Google Earth views shown below are also attached for ease of making full page prints.
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Skoorsteenkam edited.gdb
(12k)
Tony Heher,
Jun 21, 2013, 3:02 PM
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Tony Heher,
Jun 21, 2013, 3:02 PM
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Skoorsteenkam.gpx
(57k)
Tony Heher,
Jun 21, 2013, 3:03 PM
Ċ
Tony Heher,
Jun 21, 2013, 3:03 PM
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