Monday, June 28, 2010

ROUTE DESCRIPTION FOR SATURDAY 3 JULY 2010: LEG 3 OF HOUT BAY TRAIL CHALLENGE (excluding Long Route additions)

From Constantia Nek run down towards Hout Bay for 100m and then turn left at the public footpath/gate just before the entrance to Silvermist. Go through the gate and head up the broad path. Follow the road to the left and behind the Constantia Nek Restaurant. The road then swings right and drops down a bit before starting a tortuous climb up some steps keeping the vineyards on your left and Silvermist on your right. Just when you think the steps will never end, the path cuts off to the right and above Silvermist and you commence a gentler ascent up and over Vlakkenberg Nek. Do not stray from this path. Down the other side, you drop into another valley where you can see the tar road up to the Constantiaberg Mast on the far side. Drop down into this valley and across a small stream and palmiet bushes and then a bit of a climb up the other side. Ignore any paths off to your left or right. You eventually reach the tarred road. Follow the tarred road to the right for a short distance until it starts taking a substantial left turn. You will find a painted white "T" where the contour path starts on the right. Follow the contour path down leftwards (southwards; being careful not to go straight down to Baviaan's Kloof to Hout Bay Hotel (illegal short cut). The correct path to the manganese mines follows the contours of Constantiaberg. The correct path is easy to follow and takes you directly to the upper Manganese Mine. After the mine the path begins dropping more steeply. Be careful not to take a contour path that leads off to the left and around into Blackburn Ravine. Make sure you keep dropping down towards the jeep track that takes you onto Chapman’s Peak Drive (tar road). On race day,do not take any short cuts here – you will be disqualified. Follow the path down to East Fort. On race day you will cross over Chapman’s Peak Drive and go down to lower East Fort (i.e. on the sea side of the road) where you will find a punch for your race card and return to Chapman’s Peak Drive. We won't bother with this on Saturday though.

Once you are back on the Chapman’s Peak drive run down towards Hout Bay Beach on the left hand side of the road. Make your way down to the beach and the cars.

SATURDAY 3 JULY 2010: LEG 3 OF HBTC + CONTOUR PATH EXTENSION

Two things to note about this run:

1. This is a car / lift intensive run. So please note the admin arrangements below.

2. It is a short run but almost entirely single-track. I have added an extension for those wanting a longer, tougher run.


Start Place and Time

I would like to ask that as many people as possible meet at the car park at Hout Bay Beach at 07h20 - just in front of Chapmans Peak Hotel. From there we will organise lifts to Constantia Nek in time for a 07h45 start. Please note the slightly later start (because of the shortness of the run, car admin and the fact that we are overdue an overcast/darker morning).


The Route

Short Route & Walk Route

This is the easiest and shortest of the 3 Legs of the Hout Bay Trail Challenge (HBTC). I will put the full route description on the blog but essentially we start at Constantia Nek, run a couple of hundred meters down the tar road towards Hout Bay and then go through the gate on the left before Silvermist on the left, run back behind the Constantia Nek restaurant and then up and over the right shoulder of Vlakkenberg, onto the tar road which goes to the Mast on Constantiaberg, right onto that road and then almost immediately right onto the great bit of single track that descends past the Manganese Mines and then down to Chapmans Peak Drive at East Fort. From there it is 1 km of tar down to the beach car park.

Long Route

Long route will follow the same route as above until just after the Mines. Here we will turn left and follow the gradually rising "contour" path around into Blackburn Ravine. At the next split we will turn right and descend Blackburn Ravine to where the contour path to Chapmans Peak splits off to the left. We will follow that path to the intersection at the base of Chapmans Peak. Here a choice needs to be made: either turn around and run back to Blackburn Ravine and down or drop immediately down onto Chapmans Peak Drive and run 4 km back along the tar. I will be doing the latter.


Distance

Short Route & Walk

About 8km (we are cutting out the last km of the race along Ecoli Beach).

Long Route

About 15km.


Running Time

Walk : About 3 hours

Short Route : 2 hours maximum.

Long Route : 3 hours.


Difficulty

Short Route & Walk

Moderate. The customary big climb to start with and then another little one just before the tar road. After that it is fantastic, largely runnable downhill all the way to the finish.

Long Route

Moderate to tough. When the short routers are enjoying the last bit of descent we start climbing again. Then steep downhill as we descend the Ravine and then undulations to Chapmans Peak.


Important Points to Note

Just to repeat that we will need to do some car admin. Before we start we will need to see who is lifting for short route and who for long route. Please give this some thought beforehand. I will try and leave my car at the finish so I can do some ferrying for the long route.

I notice that there are still some runners who are not taking the cold weather "dress code" seriously. We have been very lucky with the weather so far. On Saturday we saw how quickly cold cloud can move in. On a longer run, some people could have been in trouble. If you are still in doubt as to what you should be wearing then drop me an email or visit the blog (http://vobtrail.blogspot.com/). There is a link to two articles on trail running and what to wear. Check them out.

As mentioned before, please think about regrouping on a frequent basis. That doesn't mean you have to wait for everyone; just those who are fairly close behind you and are running more or less your pace. I will sweep and make sure no-one is left behind.

Short route runners, you are on your own from where the long route turns off but it is not far to Chapmans Peak Drive from there.

Please sign the register before starting out.

Have fun. It's not a race. Stop and take in the view. Take some photos.

Monday, June 21, 2010

DETAILED ROUTE DESCRIPTION: SATURDAY 26 JUNE 2010 (EXCLUDING SENTINEL LOOP)

Start in the Hout Bay Harbour parking area. The start is to the west towards Karbonkelberg. You can either use the main car gate to exit onto Harbour Road or there is a small personal gate in the fence further south opposite the Boat Yard entrance. On race day, remember that the small gate is quicker if you get there fairly quickly but if you take too long then you’ll end up in a queue. So decide on your strategy beforehand. Once out in Harbour you turn left and cross over to the other side (of the road) – don’t forget to watch for cars! Proceed along the road until you come to some palm trees on the right. Between two of the palm trees you will see a path which leads up the fire break above the houses of Harbour Heights. This path is quite steep and is in thick beach sand. By the time you reach tar road again you will be breathing heavily and wishing you had stayed in bed (at least for a short while anyway). Turn right into the tar road (Marlin Crescent) and follow it round to the left and upwards. Then you turn right into Bayview Road which is essentially the road you need to stay in although, after passing several roads to the right, it takes a 90 degree turn to the right and then near the end takes a 90 degree turn to the left again. But eventually this brings you out at the access gate to the “reserve” where the road turns to jeep track. In theory, if you just stay on the jeep track this will eventually bring you out at the Radar Station at the very summit of Karbonkelberg. HOWEVER, there are permissible shortcuts between loops in the road but you use these at your peril. They are not as easily found as one might imagine. The first two are easy but the third needs some focus and attention.

The first one leaps out at you as you start on the jeep track just after the gate. The road does an arc around to the left and you can cut straight across the field and rejoin the road a little further up. The merits of this one are debatable.

The second one comes after you have continued up the track in a north westerly direction for a while. The road takes a little kink to the right and then sweeps round to the left. In the little kink there is a path that leads off to the right. This is a good short cut between loops in the road. Once regaining the road again you could turn right and follow the road but most people go straight across the road and into a continuation of the path you have just been on.

This is the third shortcut and the most difficult to follow. The path rises for a short while and as it starts flattening out you need to look for a clear path on the right which you must turn into and follow. Once again you will be plagued with thick sea sand and your legs will scream at you for not staying on the road. But it is a short cut and will eventually intersect with the road again. The danger is that by this stage the road doesn’t really look like a road anymore. So cross this wide-ish track and continue upwards on the narrow path, all the while looking for the first path off to your left. DON’T MISS IT! Follow this first path off to the left and it too rejoins the “road”. Turn right onto the “road” and follow it all the way to the top. It is seriously eroded and as you continue upwards it is full of dongas. It narrows and winds and climbs. Eventually it starts levelling off as you near the top of Karbonkelberg. Some old buildings come into view on your left which were annexures of the Old Radar Station. You need to pass these buildings and look for the path that leads to the old Radar Installation (Beacon 92 the high point to the west). This path is just past those building and proceeds up to the left behind the buildings and then swings right again and you will see the ruin of the Old Radar Station. On race day you will also find PC1. The PC point will either be attached to the door or the ladder; this will be determined by the weather.

From the Radar Station retrace your steps down to the road past the last annexure building on your right. Approximately 50m beyond this roofless ruin there is a fairly obscure path to your left, marked by a small cairn on each side of the road. Watch carefully for it. This is the way to Suther Peak.

Follow the path, which is narrow and the fynbos eina if you are not wearing tights. The path descends into and traverses a beautiful valley in front of you which is normally very wet under foot in winter. You will be wading through head high (and higher) fynbos which sometimes closes in tightly around you. At one point you have to bend over and barge your way through a grove and it seems impossible that the path actually leads through it, but it does and suddenly you are through it and running again. The path begins to bear right and then sharply up and left. You will scramble your way upwards and through roots, undergrowth and low hanging branches. The path splits at one point in the undergrowth. Don’t be tempted to go left and up. This leads to a dangerous dead-end. Go down and to the right and the path soon turns up to the left again and into a small forest of yellow wood trees where you will find the Special Passport Control Point 1 on race day – don’t forget to clip your passport. Please take care in the yellowwood forest as this is an ecologically sensitive area.

As you almost crest the slope / peak in front of you,you know that you must look out for the path to be turning to the right and around the south side of the peak - dropping rapidly in altitude.

This section descends steeply and will necessitate some very minor rock scrambling. On one section there are some ropes to assist you. Use them at your own risk. The area does tend to slow people down so please be patient. This is particularly so at the roped section where only one person can descend safely at a time.

The path is not clear and is marked by cairns. Follow these cairns to the road. Please stick to the path. Make your way down to the saddle between Karbonkelberg and Klein Leeu Koppie – the top of the sand dunes. Please be vigilant in this area.

Near the bottom of the descent you will encounter a road going off to your right. DO NOT FOLLOW THE ROAD. Look carefully for a path on the other side of the intersection and follow that. It leads down to the dunes. At the dunes we will turn right and follow the dunes down to the start of the Hout Bay residential area. We will work our way along the roads, heading ever downwards and harbourwards. Eventually you will end up on the road that leads back to the harbour.

SATURDAY 26 JUNE 2010 - KARBONKELBERG (LEG 1 OF HBTC) + LOOP AROUND THE SENTINEL

SATURDAY 26 JUNE 2010 - KARBONKELBERG (LEG 1 OF HBTC) + LOOP AROUND THE SENTINEL


Start Time and Place

07h30 from the parking area INSIDE the Hout Bay Harbour. i.e. drive past Mariners Wharf and take the next entrance into the harbour a few hundred meters further on on the left. Take a few rand just in case they are charging and of course a few rand to tip the car guards. If anyone needs more comprehensive instructions on how to get to the start, drop me an email.


Route Description

Short and Long Routes as well as the Walk Route

I am not going to go into detail here but will post a comprehensive route description on the blog http://vobtrail.blogspot.com/ . But we will start in the harbour, ascend Karbonkelberg from the Sentinel side of the mountain, to the old radar station at the summit. From there its down into a very wet and soggy, but beautiful valley and up Suther Peak. From there we drop straight down to the dunes between Suther Peak and Klein Leeukoppie. Sandy Bay off to your left. One can go no further than this on Leg 1 as the rest is through private estate and can only be accessed on race day or if you are on first name terms with Sol Kerzner ( which I am not).

So at this point we turn right and run back along the dunes towards the harbour and then through the houses and back to the cars.

Long Route

Those in the mood for an extended run can then carry on down the road past the harbour and onto the path that leads around the Sentinel. Please note that this is only for the hard-core. It is a tough little section and is a little exposed to heights in places. THEREFORE, if it is raining hard or there are very heavy seas running then we will cancel this stage. Essentially you follow the path around to the islands where all the Circe launches takes tourists and then turn right and head up to the Nek between the Sentinel and Karbonkelberg. Thereafter you drop straight back down to the harbour again.

I have considered this route as do-able as it is low tide at 09h30 which is more or less when we will be running in the tide-dependent area. It will also be full moon on Saturday so we can expect a spring low tide.


Distance

Short Route and Walking Route: About 11km

Long Route : About 16 -17km


Running Time

Short Route : About 2 hours

Walking Route : About 3 - 3.5 hours

Long Route : About 3 hours


Difficulty

Generally, a fairly tough run. Big uphill to start (surprise surprise), nice dip with very runnable section to Suther Peak. Short, sharp climb on Suther Peak. Big drop down to the dunes. There is roped section but it is nothing to worry about unless you suffer from extreme fear of heights.

The Sentinel loop is pretty technical and the same vertigo warning applies. Once you have reached the seal-infested islands though, your problems are over.


Important Points to Take Note Of

This is a run you either love or hate, but in either rain or sunshine it is, in my opinion, a brilliant run. In good weather you will see some very special views. This is a rarely run section of the Peninsula. In grotty weather you will experience the thrill and mystery of running in low hanging cloud. Its my favourite.

If the weather is bad we will call for regular regroups as it is easy to get lost on this run, especially in low cloud.

Please watch the weather carefully and dress accordingly. Thermal base layers, waterproof top, space blanket, energy snacks. The accessory du jour will be a whistle (a loud one like the World Cup refs have got) to attract attention if you get lost. I will nag you again and give more details on Friday.

Please sign the register BEFORE setting out. It will be at my car: dark grey Audi A3.
Do not park in the open car park just before Mariners Wharf i.e. at the beach. MW guards get very grumpy about it and it is also less safe than parking in the harbour.

Friday, June 18, 2010

SATURDAY 19 JUNE 2010: MIDWINTER RUN IN TOKAI FOREST - SILVERMINE AND BACK VIA BLACKBURN RAVINE AND MANGANESE MINES

I know I am supposed to be rehearsing some of the Hout Bay Trail Challenge legs but this weekend has some other activities which will be taking people out of town so I thought I would do something different. Once again, I will be looking for a couple of people to get involved with guiding the run as I am going to be restricted to doing the short route. Please would any of the regulars let me know if they are available.


Start Time and Place

The Arboretum car park at Tokai Forest, ready to run at 07h30. If you don't know where this is, please drop me an email and let me know where you will be driving from and I sent you a description of how to get there.


The Route

From the car park we will work our way up to Level 5 either straight up the Elephants Eye path or zig-zagging a little bit on either side of it, studiously avoiding baboons and mountain-bikers. We cross Level 5 on the Elephants Eye path and proceed up to the t-junction in the path. This is where Long and Short Route part company.

Short Route

Will turn right at the junction and follow the path until it descends to Level 5 again where we turn left, run to the end of the road and follow the path that leads to the tar road that goes up to the Mast on Constantiaberg. You will be relieved that we turn right at this point and follow the road back down to the Arboretum.


Walking Route

Same as Short Route. Please note that unfortunately this is a "NO DOGS" walk. This is another reason I am doing it this week as I know Fay is taking Murphy on holiday to Napier for the Patatfees 1/2 marathon. Sorry about that, not my call, its TMNP rules.


Long Route

The suggested Long Route will turn left at the t-junction and follow the path up into Silvermine via the waterfall and onto the ring road that comes up from the dam. Right onto the road which you follow up to the turning (second right; first right being a jeep track) to Blackburn Ravine. Down Blackburn Ravine to the point where the path splits. At the split, keep right and follow the path down the Constantia Nek side of the ravine towards the Manganese Mines. Where you meet the path coming up from East Fort, turn right and start the climb back up to the tar road that goes up to the Mast. The climb is steep at first but gradually becomes runnable in a long slow ascent to the tar road. At the tar road, turn left and follow it all the way down to the Arboretum again. It becomes gravel again after about 1km from where you join it, probably a bit less.


Distances (and other lies)

Short Route and Walking Route : About 10km

Long Route : About 16km but significantly tougher than the short route.


Running Times (and even more lies)

Short Route : About 2 hours

Walking Route : About 3 hours

Long Route : About 3.5 hours


Difficulty


Short Route and Walking Route : Quite tough up to the t-junction. Thereafter, easy running on jeep track and some spectacular single track (with one more short
climb to the tar road). From the tar road its all downhill to the finish.


Long Route : Generally a reasonably tough run but with a lovely easy few kilometres to finish on. Quite a healthy climb to the Blackburn
Ravine turn-off. Then a breathtaking descent towards Hout Bay followed by the long-ish climb back up to the tar road. Then
the lovely finish - downhill all the way back to the cars. Awesome views.


Important Notes (PLEASE READ)

I cannot stress enough the importance of being properly dressed in this weather. Particularly on the Long Route you will be expected to be dressed in moisture management, thermal base layers and have at least a good waterproof top with you AND an emergency / space blanket.

Long run - please also take some nutrition (energy bars / drink etc) as this cold weather can really sap your strength quickly.

Something to keep your head warm if you stop. You lose a lot of heat through your head.

Water. I am less stressed about this now as there will be plenty of drinkable water on the mountain but for those who (quite rightly) don't trust any streams, please make sure you are carrying your own.

Please look out for mountain bikers and leap out of their way in Tokai Forest and the road in Silvermine. Its easier for us then them.

I am calling for volunteers to lead the long route.

Remember, Walkers - no dogs this week. Unfortunately no dogs allowed on any of the runs at any stage. Highly controversial topic which has taken years to debate at club level generally. We are not dog-haters. Most of us love dogs.
Please sign the register before setting out.

CYA clause: Please be aware that trail running is inherently riskier and more dangerous than road running. You are participating in these runs voluntarily and whilst acsis VOB and the organisers of the runs take all reasonable precautions to ensure runner safety, it can never be fully guaranteed. To this end, acsis VOB and the organisers personally cannot be held liable for claims relating to injuries, disabilities and deaths, inter alia, that may occur during these events. You are participating entirely at your own risk. Please ensure that you are medically fit to be participating and make sure that you are properly kitted out for each particular run so as not to place yourself at undue risk.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

SATURDAY 12 JUNE 2010 - FULL ROUTE DESCRIPTION

Start on the “Public Footpath” just outside the Ruyterplaats gate. Follow the Suikerbossie Restaurant fence line upwards until you find the path on the left leading up the mountain. Follow this path until you reach the contour path above the pine forest. There are a few paths in this area and it can get confusing but they all seem to lead in the same direction. You need to make sure that you pick one of the paths that proceeds in an easterly direction (towards Constantia Nek) above the pines until you reach and intersection where a clear path to your left leads directly up towards the mountain. Take this path which climbs quite quickly to the ridge above you (300m) - Hout Bay Corner.

Follow this path along the ridge to your right, scramble up a few ledges until you are under the cliff face. The scrambles are far less of a challenge these days as they now have steel staples secured to the rocks to help you climb. After the second scramble, you are up on a ledge. Head towards the sea and follow the path round to the left (towards Camps Bay) and towards the bottom of Llandudno Ravine.

The path runs below the cliff face and is narrow and sometimes fairly exposed – please take care, especially if visibility is poor. After traversing for a short while the path climbs steeply again and begins a second traverse in the same direction. At times the path appears to climb but suddenly comes to a dead end. If this happens, don’t panic. Just retrace your steps a little and you will find that you missed a turn where the path suddenly dropped down to your left and you didn’t see it. At one point on the second traverse here is an unclear path to the right (marked by a small cairn) which leads to a serious scramble and you don’t want to be going that way. Keep going until you get to the entrance to Llandudno Ravine.
The correct path up the ravine starts at the second stream, which you need to cross carefully. There are hand holds (trusty steel staples again) to assist you. The surface may be slippery and there are patches of loose gravel/stone. It is recommended that you walk up this section in groups, to avoid rocks falling on runners below. The path up Llandudno Ravine has been rehabilitated and is far more secure than in previous years – thanks to previous years’ donations which helped repair this path. Nevertheless it is quite merciless as you still tend to slide back one step for every two that you take.

But suddenly you pop out almost unexpectedly at the top of the ravine. The climbing isn’t over but the worst is behind you.

Follow the clear path which keeps climbing gently eastwards until you reach some green anti-erosion fencing. At that point the path you want to be on swings off to the left and upwards. It levels off quite quickly though and heads northwards over solid rock so watch the path carefully. If the visibility is poor please be careful. The path is initially feint, however it has been well marked with cairns. The path swings east- north-east (to your right….for those who were never boy scouts / girl guides / Voortrekkers) again and climbs a wide shallow valley which is soggy under foot and there are numerous paths which become streams in winter. But all of the paths come out more or less in the same place so just try and keep slightly to the left of centre in the valley. At the top of the valley one proceeds in the same direction along a lovely flattish and very runnable section and onto the southerly slope of a small hill. As the path opens up it starts swinging north again. There are a few paths in this area but when in doubt, look for and aim at a medium sized boulder, standing alone, which has been described as looking like a large baboon dropping. When you reach that, the path is clear and you head north-east and swiftly downhill into another broad valley which leads across to Grootkop. Grootkop should be clearly visible unless there is low cloud. But you will know you are on the right track if you are bounding along some easily runnable single track which will remind you just why you do trail running.

You then start the climb up the right (eastern) shoulder of Grootkop. It is a steep narrow path which can sap your strength quickly so treat it with respect. You will pass Grootkop and find yourself going down through a tunnel / window formed between two large overhanging boulders as you descend along a rocky path which then undulates fairly gently towards the Front Table of Table Mountain.

You will pass through the tops of numerous unmarked ravines which descend to the Camps Bay side of the mountain. First is Oudekraal Ravine, then Corridor Ravine and then a fairly steep descent into Slangolie Ravine. Along the main path you are following you will notice other paths leading down into these ravines and their associated buttresses but your path is clear and unmistakeable. As you approach the last little bit of the drop into Slangolie Ravine you are confronted with the choice of scrambling down a simple rock band or taking the path to the right which traverses around the rock band but soon returns to the foot of the scramble. The scramble is not difficult at all. It looks quite hairy from above but once you start climbing down it becomes obvious how easy it is, particularly if you start a little off to the left hand side of it. At the bottom of the drop you will find a sign saying “Dangerous Descent” which refers to the path down Slangolie to the Pipe Track. But you are not going that way.

Proceed in the same direction you were before up the slope on the other side of the ravine. Next you drop into Woody Ravine which is marked as such and then up a little more on the other side. The path levels out and after a short while you will encounter a large cylindrical SANParks “cairn” right in the middle of the path with direction markers on it. In theory it is IMPOSSIBLE to miss this cairn BUT it has been done before (trust me) so keep an eye out for it. This is your signal to take the path to your right along the “old railway track” towards Woodhead Dam. Upon following this path, as you approach some tall trees and a few huts, look out for a path to the right. This leads directly to the wall of the dam which you run across.
On the far side of the dam you encounter the concrete jeep track. Turn right onto the jeep track and stick to this until you start the proper descent of the mountain. You pass two dams on your left, the larger Victoria Dam and the smaller Alexandra Dam. Then you approach a stone cottage on your left and another dam, the De Villiers Dam, on your right. Thereafter the road starts dropping steeply down to the south-west and then suddenly hits a hairpin bend to the left which you follow. Just after the hairpin there is a “shortcut” path off to the right. But experience has revealed that this is not really a shortcut. Stay on the road where you can run much faster and you will beat anyone who takes the shortcut. If you stay on the road, which is then intermittently gravel and concrete, you come to another hairpin to the right, followed by a tight zig-zag and then continues down to the south-west. When you get to the next major hairpin to the left, look out for a path dropping off to the right. This is a “must-do” shortcut which brings you out at the gate at Constantia Nek.

SATURDAY 12 JUNE 2010 - SUIKERBOSSIE TO CONSTANTIA NEK VIA GROOTKOP

RSVP's: Lifts from Finish (Constantia Nek) to Start (Top of Suikerbossie) and vice versa

Essentially, you are responsible for organising your own lifts but we will do everything we can to help.

This is a slight departure from the usual type of run as we have a finish point which is several difficult kms from the start point and we are going to have to do some motor vehicle PT. Typically, most people want to leave their vehicles at the Finish so that they can duck home straight after the run. But I am looking for some volunteers to leave cars at the Finish and who will then give runners a lift back to their cars at the Start. Please let me know if you can help with lifts.


Start Time and Place

Those giving or needing lifts from Constantia Nek, please meet there at Constantia Nek at 07h10. I will be there and will need a lift to the start.

Those going straight to the Start, please be ready to run at 07h30.

To get to the start: if you are heading up the infamous Suikerbossie Hill from Hout Bay, just before you reach the top of the hill you will see a road off to the right which leads to the Suikerbossie Restaurant and the Ruyteplaats Residential Estate. Turn into the road and it very quickly veers left and you are heading straights towards the gate of the Ruyteplaats Estate. Just before you get to the gates of said estate you will find a parking area on the left. This is where we will gather and start. The actual path begins just to the left of the Ruyteplaats gate. For a more detailed description, drop me an email.


The Route

The Long Route

This route has as vicious a start as one could possibly hope to have (or not have, really) on a trail run. I am going to keep the description brief but if anyone wants the full thing, I have a copy on hand and can email it to you on request. I will also post it on the blog (http://vobtrail.blogspot.com/).

We start climbing Hout Bay Corner and then traverse around the Llandudno side and ascend Llandudno Ravine. From the top of the Ravine we turn left and head over to (and over) Grootkop and then on to just before Kateelspoort when we turn right and run over to the Dams. We cross the Woodhead Dam wall and then take the concrete road to the right which we follow all the way back down to Constantia Nek.


The Short Route & Walk

As there is no satisfactory short run and walk from Suikerbossie, the short route will start at Constantia Nek and head up the Bridle Path to the Dams and back.

I am looking for two (at least) interested parties to lead the Short Route and the Walk.


Distance

Long Route: About 16km

Short Route: About 10 - 12km

Walk: About 10km


Running Time

Long Route: About 3 - 3.5 hours

Short Route: About 2 hours

Walk: About 3 hours


Difficulty

Long Route

This is generally a reasonably tough run but it is also a run of two halves. The first half is tough but the second half is very easy. From the start to the top of Llandudno Ravine it is very tough going. Lots of walking with a few jogs in between. From top of Llandudno to Grootkop, much easier. 80% runnable. Tough climb over Grootkop and then undulating to the turn just before Kasteelspoort. Thereafter it is easy, flat and downhill running all of the way to the end.

Short Route and Walk

Also consists of two halves. Reasonably steep uphill on the road and shortcut paths all the way to the Hoerikwaggo Cottage at the top. Quite level from there to the Dams. Then the opposite on the way back.


Important Notes

VERY IMPORTANT: Decent wet weather gear must be worn and carried on these runs. If you are in any doubt whatsoever about exactly what is required then please email me and I will explain. We are going to be on top of the mountain and things can get nasty very quickly. In particular, you must have water, snacks, a good quality waterproof top, an emergency / space blanket and preferably a decent whistle. If it is raining and you arrive for the Long Run without the necessary stuff then we reserve the right to turn you back. It really is for your own safety.

Please sign the register before starting.

Bring a big box of tissues for all the tears on the first half of the run.

Friday, June 4, 2010

SATURDAY 5 JUNE 2010: - BYE

This is just a reminder that there will be no OFFICIAL acsis VOB Trail Run or Walk this weekend because of Old Fishermans Trail Challenge on Saturday and the acsis VOB Table Mountain 16km on Sunday. But I look forward to seeing you all out there again next weekend instead.


HOWEVER:

Jane Holdcroft will be doing a run from the Kloof Nek Car Park on Saturday morning at 07h00 and anyone is welcome. Here are the details:
"Meeting at the same car park as last Saturday (Kloof Nek/Tafelberg Rd)

From there running along the pipe track above Camps Bay to Kastelport up it along to the dam and then turning right along Echo Valley to Platteklip - down Platteklip and back to the car.

Distance - not far but hard going on the legs! Would suggest about 3.5 hours - guessing!

Many thanks and kind regards

Jane Holdcroft

07908 52582 / Jane.Holdcroft@santam.co.za"