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Skoorsteenkam sub

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 Sub, the southernmost of the twin Skoorsteenberg peaks. It follows the ridge most of the way, hence the "'kam" appellation. This is the twin of Skoorsteenkam up the north peak. 

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.

Key Statistics
Grade:  3 ***  Mainly Grade 2 with a few Grade 3 moves
(which can be bypassed by moving left)
Height gain:  420mfrom 120m to 540m
Time:  3 hrs up, 1-2 down depending on route

Route Description:

The route is quite straight forward and easy to find, once you have found the parking place! 

Directions to the parking: From the main road into Hout Bay going towards Chapman's Peak, turn left up Scott Rd, then left one block up into Marais Rd, around a right hand curve and all the way to the top of Marais.  At the top of Marais, go right into Andrews and one block along Andrews follow a short steep cul-de-sac going up left.  (It looks like the driveway to a house, which in fact it is). The parking is at the end of this cul-de-sac. There is space for only two cars, so if a bigger party you will need to find parking lower down.  Don't block the entrance of the house! (On Google Maps this cul-de-sac is marked incorrectly as a through road called Stonehill. Open Source Maps shows it correctly.  Note also that at the top, Andrews is a steep 1:3 one way down i.e. one cannot go up Andrews to get to the parking.)  If you are not familiar with the roads, have a look at http://goo.gl/maps/eDsuD

Having found the parking, the rest is easy.  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 rock bands.  The path fades out after a while - simply continue cross country moving up and left towards the ridge. A bit bushy but nothing serious. 

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 major rock band, go right up an easy broken ramp and then left to regain the ridge. (If you want to avoid a couple of Grade 3 moves on this section, go left below the rock band into the easy gully that runs up between the two Skoosteen peaks.) Cairns were erected at most major breaks through the bands or changes of direction. Want a challenge?  Count how many trademark "Hehery" cairns you can spot! 

Continue up the ridge until the top rock band is reached where the beacon is visible above. Move left at this point, winding through some fun corridors behind big blocks and continue on up towards the beacon, taking either easy ground to the left, or moving back right towards the ridge on an airy traverse and up through a cave formed by the big blocks immediately below the beacon.

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 Vlakenberg and come back down the Hoerikwaggo 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, Lucille Krige, Anne Price, Alet Louw, Kathy Holtzhausen on a U3A CMCA meet on 11 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!  

GPX and GDB tracks of route and surrounding paths.  The map and Google Earth view shown below are also attached for ease of making full page prints.  
Google Earth view with track

Email a comment on the route



Hout Bay Area (ex Tim Cronin).gdb
Tony Heher,
Jun 16, 2013, 6:23 AM
Tony Heher,
Jun 16, 2013, 6:11 AM
Tony Heher,
Jun 16, 2013, 6:04 AM
Tony Heher,
Jun 16, 2013, 6:04 AM