Home‎ > ‎Peninsula‎ > ‎Silvermine‎ > ‎

Trappies Surprise

Location: Trappieskop, Kalk Bay 

Overview: A clean, short fun route up the front of Trappieskop. Although the approach looks bushy, the bush can be easily avoided. The "surprise" is that there is such an easy route up this forbidding looking face!  This is particularly pleasant route on a cold, sunny winter's morning. There are also some easier but fun scrambling routes further along Trappies (towards Noordhoek) up through the crags used by sport climbers.

Key Statistics
Grade:  5 ****  Mostly grade 3 but one 3m very exposed move that needs to be roped.
Height gain:  190mfrom 50m to 240m
Time:  2 hrs up, 1 down

Route Description:

The start is in Godfrey Rd, the cul-de-sac at the end of Boyes Drive above Kalk Bay.   Walk up the firebreak off Godfrey Rd (about 100m from the Trappieskop steps) and along the break for about 100m towards Trappieskop.

Find the faint path 
used by hackers (marked with cairns) which leads up through a break in the bush.  Take this up through a series of small rock bands towards a 5m rock band higher up, heading left if an obstacle is reached. Although the way looks rather bushy one can dodge around anything serious and the way is fairly clear.

Once at the level of the 5m rockband, traverse left and then up towards the large overhangs on the middle of Trappieskop. The line is not critical and one could in fact take a diagonal line all the way from the firebreak.  Pick a line that suits you and that maximizes rock and minimizes bush! 

Whatever way is taken, the objective is to reach the right hand end of the long ledge that runs along the base of Trappieskop below the large overhangs.  Once on this ledge, traverse left to a large block with a small gully behind it. Go up this gully (about 7m) to reach a narrow dassie traverse.  Crawl along this traverse to the end - it's (very) obvious when one can't go any further! 

It's at this point that things get interesting.  The 3m steep face has good handholds but rather indifferent footholds so it is a matter of heaving one's self up and onto the ledge above.  The exposure at the point is quite severe and a rope is advised for this move. A few meters above this step, traverse left around a large block and then up a gully and easy rock onto the top of this part of Trappieskop, which is fact a long, gently sloping plateau leading up to the top rock band.

An alternative to going straight up is to move up diagonally left to a cave on the ocean side - makes a sheltered tea spot if a north wester is blowing. Traverse left out of the cave i.e. towards Fish Hoek, for a variety of interesting scrambling up chimneys, blocks and tunnels, before continuing on the ridge towards the very large cave near the top of Trappies.  
This cave is on the right (north) side of the buttress ahead.  The bush looks intimidating but it is in fact easy to find a way through. Scramble up to the cave and be amazed and dismayed at the graffiti which covers the walls. (The cave is accessible from a gully down from the top of Trappieskop about 100m further round to the right.)  From the cave, move left and find the way to the top through, up and around a series of blocks and slabs. There are a couple of alternatives to the top.  The furthermost left has a fun chimney. 

This brings one out on the broad, flat rock terrace known as the Kalk Bay Lookout.  The path from Trappieskop peak ends on this terrace. Admire the view and astonish the gapers by telling them you came "straight up" before heading off west along the faint path to Trappieskop peak.  The path runs across rock on the north side of the ridge initially and then becomes well defined. 

Return down via the normal path on the west side of Trappieskop, meeting the path up from the Trappies steps at the nek and then back down to Godfrey Road.  A small party can do the route in under 2 hours, so it makes a pleasant quick afternoon or morning outing. The north facing slopes and rock of Trappies dry out quickly in winter, and this is a particularly pleasant outing on a cold, but sunny, winters day. 

Opening party: 20 July 2010 -  Tony Heher (leader), Peggy de Kock, Moiragh Girdwood, Margie Growse, Kathy Holtzhausen, Lucille Krige, Martyn Trainor and Marge Vermark.  No cairns were found so it appears this is a new route. 

The opening story:  The route was discovered "by accident"!   On the 13 July a meet to explore Cave Peak was aborted as it was a bitterly cold (but sunny) day.  Sitting out of the wind in the sunshine we eyed Trappieskop bathed in sunshine - and in the lee of the wind.  We followed the climbers paths that run up to the rock bands immediately below Trappies peak, admiring the many bolted sport climbing routes that adorn this crag. Some fun exploring up the cracks above the climbing crags led us to explore elsewhere on Trappies the following week. 

When we returned, Tony scrabbled through the rock pitch with difficulty, making a bit of a hash of it!  Having watched this, the rest of the party said "we're not doing that", to which Tony replied, "well, I'm not coming back down so find your own way up!" This motivated the rest to give it a try and found that with the security of a rope, it was not too bad. 

If you don't like the exposed rock move on Trappies Surprise, the route described above is part of several alternative pleasant grade 2 or 3 scrambles up through the climbers crags.  They make for an interesting change from the normal plod up the back of Trappies. The take off for all these is the nek between Trappieskop and Cave Peak. Some of the paths are shown on the map. 


Comment by email