Monday, December 14, 2009



See details below.

Seamus has asked that anyone planning to attend the run, please RSVP to him (082 449 7314 or for two reasons:
  1. He stashes water and cooldrink up in Silvermine the night before as most roadies don't know about hydration packs and carrying your own water. He needs to know how many he is providing for. But this is also a chance for the hard-core trail runners to relax and leave your water bottles behind, knowing that you will have a drink on the way up Noordhoek Peak.
  2. For those who wish to go to Seamus' house afterwards for a breakfast, he needs to cater for numbers.
  3. HOWEVER: if you find that you never RSVP'ed and you still want to do the run, that isn't a problem. Just remember that you will need to carry your own water on the the day.

I quote from Seamus' email:

"Our 10th, and what will sadly (for us) be our last, Noordhoek Peak run will be on Sunday 20th December, starting from 5 Wanderers Close, Constantia Hills at 06,00. (Wanderers Close is the last road to the right off Welgelee Rd).
The run will follow the usual format, with those, like me, who want a shorter run, or who feel (know) that they won't keep up with the quicker runners, starting from the top of Zwaanswyk Road (which is at Level 2). We can still all meet at 06,00 then drive to Zwaanswyk, (or you can go directly to Zwaanswyk if you prefer) where we will then be in time to meet the group coming up from the Arboretum. This option should take about 45 mins off the total running time.
There are number of shortcuts on the route - see below and the map attached (I've been reading too many of Tim's e-mails) - so the run will suit most running speeds, and hopefully we will all arrive at the drinks stop more or less together. (Possibly the faster guys could leave at 06,15 to balance things out a bit).
I am happy to report that the original route from level 5 to the saddle has been cleared and re-instated and is once again runnable, so we will revert to that, and avoid the final assault up the Elephants Eye/Lookout footpath.

The Standard Route

From home to the Arboretum via the Stone Church and Chrysalis Academy.
Through the thatched entrance to the Arboretum.
Follow the Elephants Eye path (keep right) until you reach the gate.
Turn right onto the forestry road and follow it past the big gum tree in the middle of the road - ignoring Levels 1 and 1,5 on your right, take the hairpin left, and follow the road until you reach the 4-way intersection at Level 2
Take the uppermost road to the right for about 200m (we should be waiting for you here) then turn up the Elephants Eye path to Level 3
Turn left along Level 3 and cross the stream at the Redwoods.
Turn right up the hill and follow this road all the way to Level 5, turning left at Level 4 along the way - you can't go wrong - you will always be going UP!
At Level 5 go left for a couple of metres and turn up the footpath to the saddle where the drinks will be stashed. From there follow the concrete road to the Peak.
The return route is just the reverse. When you get to level 3 turn left for about 3 mins then go down the footpath and the rest you know.


From Level 2 where the Zwaanswyk misfits will be waiting, follow the Elephants Eye path to Level 3 (see the dotted line on the map) and then to Level 4 or Level 5 as you wish. Whatever you decide, when you reach the level you have chosen, (they are all signposted) then turn left. Left at Level 4 will leave you with some steep uphill running still to come, while left at Level 5 will be a flat run to the point where we all go up the footpath to the saddle. (don't follow the Elephants Eye path above Level 5)."

I hope to see lots of you there on Sunday. For the record, I will be starting from the top of Swaanswyk Road i.e. directly into the forest. So if anybody wants to do the same and is still unsure of how to find the start then drop me a mail and I will give the description.

Friday, December 11, 2009


The Route

I am going to try something slightly different this week. I have been keen on trying it for some time now. It could be great fun as long as one knows beforehand what we are attempting. We will run a short section of the Pipe Track above Camps Bay as a warm up. Then shortly after the Blinkwater Ravine path we will turn up (left) onto the Diagonal Route path and climb this stunning route to the top of the mountain around the Valley of the Red Gods. This is basically a hike with not much running involved. Its not a difficult climb and there is no scrambling involved. Its quite steep in places but NOT DANGEROUS at all. Once at the top there is some technical downhill stuff as we head down the path to the top of Kasteelspoort. We continue along the path at the top (NOT down Kasteelspoort) through Woody and Slangolie Ravines and then turn down Corridor Ravine. We will then follow the Pipe Track back to Kloof Nek.

Short Route runners can do a nice gentle out and back along the Pipe Track (10km) or follow us to the top and come down Kasteelpoort if you want something a bit more hectic.

Start Place

Kloof Nek car park, at the SANParks kiosk.

Start Time

Ready to run at 06h00 to beat the heat.


Long Route is probably 15km at MOST but tough.

Short Route is 10km of easy running.

Running Time


Long Route: 2,5 hours

Short Route: 90 minutes


Long Route is going to be pretty tough. The first km or so is easy running and a nice warm up. The ascent of Diagonal Route is a walk. The path along the top is technical running at about 60% runnable. It starts off more technical and gradually becomes easier. The descent of Corridor is actually quite runnable if you are careful but the surface is quite loose in places. Please try and minimise your impact on the path and try and stick to the more solid surfaces to help prevent degradation of the path. The Pipe Track is very runnable although the section between Corridor and Slangolie Ravines is fairly narrow and tricky to run on in places. But after the descent through the trees into Slangolie the running becomes much easier and the last section is just over 5kms of nice easy running in along the Pipe Track.

Short route: Easy running. 99% Runnable.

  1. There will be compulsory regroups at the bottom of Diagonal Route and the top of Diagonal Route on the way out. After that, go mad.
  2. Don't rely on there being water on the mountain. Please bring water (Sandra).
  3. Long route runners, an energy snack is advisable to beat the low blood sugar level spins.
  4. Please try and carry a phone on this one.
  5. The usual snake alert applies.
  6. Sign the register before starting.

Friday, December 4, 2009



The Route

We start in the Car Park which is normally thick with mountain bikers. We will head up the gravel road in the direction of Constantia Nek. Most of you will be familiar with this gravel road as it is the main track up into the forest. After about 1 km of gentle climbing (yes it is gentle, it just feels ugly when you're on a mountain bike) we will take the first road to the right and work our way over to the bottom of the switchbacks. We will climb the switchbacks and rejoin gravel road at the Vlakkenberg Nek.

At the point, the Short Short route can follow the road down to the car park.

The Ordinary Short Route will climb the section of tarred road that leads to the contour path (off to the left of the road) across the Constantia Face of Constantiaberg until it joins gravel road again, then climb the path off to the right (carefully avoiding the BLISTER BUSH) to the slightly higher contour path and follow this until it joins up with the Elephants Eye path. Descend the Elephants Eye path back to the car park.

The Long Route will climb the tar road to the point where the path to the Manganese Mines and Blackburn Ravine appears to the right of the road. Follow this path past the Manganese Mines and once you have started the steep part of the descent to Balckburn Ravine, look out for the path to the left that leads into the upper part of the ravine. Take this path and then join the main Blackburn path to the top of the ravine (the wooden platform). From here you follow the "stone highway" back towards Silvermine until you reach the gravel jeep track. Turn left (downwards) until you reach the sign on the left indicating the Elephants Eye path. Take this path and follow it all the way back down to the car park at the Arboretum.

Start Place

The Arboretum / Mountain Bikers Car Park in Tokai Forest. If you are on the M3 coming from Newlands then take the Tokai Road Exit (which is the last exit before you get to the end of of the M3. Turn right into Tokai Road and follow it all the way up to the traffic circle. Go straight across. Steenberg Golf Course is now on your left and Forest Glade Housing complex on your right. DO NOT take Zwaanswyk Road which goes off to your left. Keep going straight and the road narrows considerably. At the T-junction at the Tokai Manor House turn left and follow the gravel road into the car park. That's where we start.

Start Time

Ready to run by 06h00. Don't moan. It gets hot early. And I have to drive in from Milnerton.


Short Short Route: About 6km

Short Route: About 10 - 12km

Long Route: About 20km

Running Time

Who the h*ll knows ? My best guesses:

Short Short Route: About 1 hour

Short Route: About 1 1/2 hours (maybe 2 if you do the section up to the higher contour path)

Long Route: At least 2 1/2 hours (still quite a big climb in Blackburn Ravine).

Please carry your own water, wind-breaker / waterproof jacket, whistle, energy snacks for Long Route.
  • Watch your footing, particularly on the forestry roads. We have more falls on these roads than anywhere else as runners get complacent. Notably me. I was the first one in the group to take a dive on these roads. If you fall, try not to fall on your face. It freaks everyone out.
  • In Tokai Forest, please be VERY aware of the mountain bikers. Most of them are very friendly but we have encountered some real pieces of work in the past. Remember that we are far better placed to get out of the way. We are travelling at slower speeds, we can hear them long before they are aware of us and we can go places that they can't. And generally we have better dispositions than they do. Jokes......I am having a go at the MTB'ers in our midst.
  • In particular, when we are climbing the switchbacks, give way to the mountain bikers. They spend a lot of money each year maintaining this track and they really do have right of way here. We haven't had problems before though.
  • Be very nice to any SANParks Rangers you may see out there. They might be Leighan Mossop, Hennie Delport or Chris Botes and we are being very nice to them. We are proving that trail runners are environmentally friendly and careful about our impact on the area.
  • Keep an eye out for snakes, as usual.
  • Sun block.
  • Please sign the register anyway as we need to know who is still out there on the mountain.
  • See you tomorrow.