Monday, November 28, 2011

acsis VOB TRAIL RUNNING: SATURDAY 3 DECEMBER 2011 - KARBONKELBERG / SUTHER PEAK / SANDY BAY / HOUT BAY DUNES

 

Hi Everyone

 

Can you believe that December is just about upon us ?  Of course this means that the time is here for our final New Balance Trail Shoe Lucky Draw.  This will take place before the run on Saturday.  Two things:

 

·         A huge thank you New Balance for their support this year and for sponsoring pairs of trail running shoes for our bi-monthly lucky draw.  As always, we strongly encourage you to support New Balance in return by buying their high quality trail running (and other sport) products whenever you are considering a purchase.  Thank you to New Balance and especially Katharine Tromp for all of her help during the year.

 

·         As usual we will have a prize for the first trail runner who presents themselves to me in FULL New Balance attire this Saturday morning.  No chancers like we’ve had in the past, please.  Chancers will be forced to down a warm beer BEFORE the run.  If you can’t drink alcohol, then it will be a glass of cod liver oil (apparently its good for you).  If you are a vegetarian then it will be olive oil.

 

 

MONDAY HILL TRAINING

 

This evening we will be doing a new route.  We will start at the Lower Cable Station in the tourist coach parking area just before the cable station on Tafelberg Road.  We will climb up to the contour path and then head straight on up India – Venster to the point where we break off left onto the Right Face – Arrow Face Traverse (in our case it will be the other way around).  Once across this “sensational traverse” we will descend Yellowstone Gully and Union Ravine to the contour path and drop back down to the cars.

 

Start 17h15 sharp.

 

Please note that there is some exposure to heights on this one but certainly nothing worse than we did last Saturday.  J

 

Please let me know if you are attending.

 

 

SATURDAY 3 DECEMBER 2011 – KARBONKELBERG / SUTHER PEAK / SANDY BAY / HOUT BAY DUNES

 

Start Time and Place

 

Hout Bay Harbour at 06h30 sharp.  Drive past Mariners Wharf in the direction of The Sentinel and take the next turning left into the harbour parking area.  Once through the gate we will park just off to the left.

 

 

Route

 

We will follow the Hout Bay Trail Challenge Leg 1 route up to the Karbonkelberg Radar Station and then across to Suther Peak.  From there we drop down to the Hout Bay dunes.  From the dunes we traverse left on the gravel jeep track, all the way to the end it.  Then we drop down to the coastline and follow the narrow track back to the Sandy Bay beach.  Once across the beach we climb back up to the top of the Hout Bay dunes again which we follow down to the houses and then onto the tar for a run in to the harbour through the residential area.

 

 

Distance

 

About 15 – 20km.  I’ll tell you afterwards.  A short route of about 11km can be devised by cutting out the Sandy Bay loop.

 

 

Running Time

 

Allow 3 to 3 ½ hours.

 

 

Difficulty

 

Moderate.

 

 

Important Points

 

1.       Please carry enough water and food for the full run.  As far as I know there is no water on this route.  500ml is normally not nearly enough, especially if it is hot.

2.       Please dress appropriately for the weather conditions.  Let me know if you are in any doubt as to what you should be wearing.

 

3.       Cap and sunblock are highly recommended.

 

4.       There have been muggings in this area so I ask you with tears in my eyes to PLEASE STAY IN GROUPS and be aware of your surroundings!

 

5.       Lots of single track in an area that is not hiked nearly as much as Table Mountain so snakes are not as runner-friendly as other parts of the mountain.  Keep a wary eye out for them.  If you see one, stop and scream.  I don’t know if this is the right thing to do but it certainly seems popular.

 

6.       Please bring a few rand for entrance fee to the harbour (although the “authorities” may not be there at that time to collect) and also a tip for the enthusiastic car guards.

 

7.       Please sign in on the register before starting out on the run.

 

 

REPORT BACK ON THE FREE PIQUES RUN

 

Will have to send this through tomorrow.  I forgot to type it out yesterday and am a little pressed for time today.  Sorry about that.  It was a very interesting run!

 

 

 

 

Have a great week Everyone.

 

Cheers

 

 

Tim

Tim Bellairs (Sir)

acsis VOB Trail Running

Cell:     082 321-0299

 

 

 


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Monday, November 21, 2011

acsis VOB TRAIL RUNNING: VOB FREE PIQUES

 

Good morning Everyone

 

See feedback on last Saturday’s run attached.

 

MONDAY HILL TRAINING

 

Today we are going to take advantage of the cooler weather and hoof it up Devils Peak from The Saddle car park starting at 17h15 sharp.  Please let me know if you will be joining me.

 

 

SATURDAY 26 NOVEMBER 2011 – VOB FREE PIQUES CHALLENGE

 

 

Start Time and Place

 

I know you’re going to hate this at first but if the weather is anything like last Saturday then you will thank me.  We are going for a 06h00 start at the Platteklip Gorge car park on Tafelberg Road.  This is just shy of 2km past the Lower Cable Station, driving towards Devils Peak.

 

 

The Route

 

What we are trying to achieve here is to do something akin to the Pensioner’s 3 Peaks but with more running sections so we can stretch those legs out a bit instead of doing straight up and down three times.  It also gives runners the option of doing 1, 2 or all 3 Peaks depending on your time constraints and / or fitness.

 

Leg 1:    Up to the contour path in Platteklip and then, turning left, take the Lower contour path around Oppelskop Ridge to the King’s Blockhouse.  From here it will be straight up the Mowbray Ridge to where the path splits for the Upper Contour Path.  Here we will make things interesting.  Those with a fear of heights will take the upper contour path (right) around to The Saddle and then climb to the top of Devils Peak.  The rest will “race” them by taking the Knife Edge and then the minor scramble on the Newlands side of the mountain which comes out more or less at the summit.  From the summit we will drop down onto The Saddle and then down to the contour path and back to Platteklip car park.

 

Leg 2:    As a recovery run we will cross Tafelberg Road and run down through Deer Park to Kloof Nek and then take the shortest route up Lion’s Head.  Back down to Kloof Nek (where there is a tap to top up water supplies) and then up Kloof Corner to the contour path which we follow back to Platteklip Gorge.

 

Leg 3:    For those with sufficient energy and time, the hike up Platteklip awaits with a dash across to Maclears Beacon via the shortest route and then back along the north edge of the mountain to Platteklip and back down to the car park.

 

Of course the order of events may change, especially if it is a stinking hot day.  But we will be as democratic as possible about this.

 

 

Running Time

 

Quite a long time, really, but it can be made manageable by just doing one or two of the three legs.  Probably about 2 hours per leg.

 

 

Distance

 

Each Leg must be about 10km but perhaps Mr McPherson, being the a seasoned Pensioner’s 3 Peaks campaigner, can provide more accurate info which I will confirm on Friday.

 

 

Difficulty

 

Devils Peak:                        Moderate to tough.

 

Lions Head:                         Moderate

 

Table Mountain:               Moderate to tough.

 

All three in succession:  Tough (probably very tough).

 

Important Notes

 

1.       We cannot emphasise enough how important it is to carry sufficient water on these runs.  Although the distances don’t sound all that far, if it is hot you will go through a lot of water very quickly.  You cannot rely on mountain streams at this time of year, despite the rain we’ve had.  I reckon you could easily go through 2 litres per leg on this run.  This is why we return to Platteklip each time.  Bring a water bottle to keep in your car in order to top up your hydration pack.

2.       If you are attempting more than one Leg you will require nutrition on this run.  Each to their own but bring food.  No collapsing on the mountain please.  We’ll feed you to the snakes.

3.       Bring proper gear / kit / clothing.  Moisture management clothing, windproof / waterproof jacket / space blanket / whistle / cell phone.

4.       Sunscreen and cap / hat.

5.       Ear plugs if you don’t like swearing.

6.       Scottish / English dictionary.

7.       Sense of humour.

8.       ICE cold beers for afterwards.  Robyn, just two for you this time.

9.       Please fill in the register before starting out.

 

 

Table Mountain Trailers (aka acsis VOB Shortish Route Slower Group):    Saturday 26th November:  Glencairn-Kleinplaas Dam circuit

Route
After the hard runs of the last two Saturdays this is a reasonably easy circular route around the koppies behind Glencain and Red Hill and passing the Kleinplaas dam before picking up the Puffer route back to the start.


Rendezvous and Start Time
RV in the parking area on top of Black Hill on the South side of the M6 or Glencain Expressway. 


Ready to start at 0630

How to get there?  From the Fish Hoek/Sun Valley side follow the M6 through the traffic lights at the Fish Hoek-Kommetjie intesection and head up Black Hill.  At the crest of the hill look out for the parking area on your right and park close to the big SAN Parks sign at the far end of the parking area.   

Terrain and Distance
Reasonably easy undulating bush trails with a few modest hills.  Some sandy stretches and a short distances on tar  and farm tracks. Distance about 14kms taking us more or less about 2hrs 30m.

Warning!
Summer is here now and most of the rivers and streams are drying up so we cannot count on finding water on our runs.   Dehydration is a real risk during  trail runs so from now on each runner is required to carry their own water bottle or hydration pack during our runs.  And don't forget those whistles!

Peter Rogers

 

 

That’s all for now.  Have a great week, Everyone.

 

Cheers

 

Tim

Tim Bellairs

acsis VOB Trail Running

Cell:     082 321-0299

 

 

Monday, November 14, 2011

acsis VOB TRAIL RUNNING: SATURDAY 19 NOVEMBER 2011 - SILVERMINE SOUTH / EAST

 

Hi Everyone

 

SATURDAY 19 NOVEMBER 2011 – SILVERMINE SOUTH / EAST (GATE 2 / THE R5 GATE / THE MUIZENBERG SIDE OF OUKAAPSEWEG)

 

Start Time and Place

 

07h15 from the car park just inside Silvermine Gate 2.  If you come up Ou Kaapseweg from Tokai: when you reach the top of the pass the road flattens out for a short while, you pass the turn-off on the right which leads to Gate 1 and then the road starts dropping into the Silvermine Valley.  As it begins to drop you will see a road sign indicating a road coming in from the left.  Gently start applying brakes because it comes up rather suddenly on a leftward bend in the road and there on the left you will see a gravel road with a gate across it.  A pleasant gentleman should be in attendance but only from 07h00; hence the slightly later start.  He will require a R5 entrance fee.  Although technically a Wild Card should get you in free, be nice and give him R5 anyway for being there to keep the “wildlife” away from the cars.  The car park is just inside the gate.

 

Route

 

We will keep it a bit shorter to cater for any Sky Runners who are looking for a lighter leg-stretch after their magnificent efforts this last weekend.  Well done to everyone who participated in it. 

 

From the car park we will head off left and climb the little valley east of Wolfkop and from there we will skirt the Higher Steenberg Peak and drop down to the “antenna farm” next to the Lower Steenberg Peak.  From there we will climb Muizenberg Peak and then descend Pecks Valley o’ a Million Steps.  We will then take the contour across to Weary Willy’s Wait (desperately trying to avoid the climb up to Nellie’s Pool).  This is where things start becoming a little negotiable.  We will start climbing Echo Valley.  If we have the services of Douglas and Michael we will try and find “that other cave” that Douglas was going to show us last time we were in this area.  If not, we can either potter around looking for it or we can head straight up Echo Valley to the Amphitheatre.  From there we will continue our Tour de Valleys by heading over to the top of Spes Bona Valley, down Spes Bona and left up to Nellie’s Pool.  We will then take the gravel road to Junction Pool and head back to the cars along the single track that runs parallel to the road for a while and then drops onto the road for a quick sprint back to the cars.

 

Running Time

 

Approximately 2 ½ to 3 hours.  A bit longer if we find the cave and faff around it a bit.

 

 

Distance

 

Probably not more than 15km

 

 

Difficulty

 

I wouldn’t call it easy but it is on the easy side of moderate.

 

 

Important Notes

 

1.       Who knows what is going on with the weather these days so please be prepared for all eventualities in terms of clothes, kit and nutritional requirements.  Water is becoming increasingly scarce on the mountain.

2.       There is no cell phone reception at the start point.  So don’t be late because you won’t be able to let us know.

 

3.       No scary drop-offs and height exposure this week.

 

4.       Please wear sunblock, hate / cap and snake-repellent (ask Bianca – see below).

 

5.       Please sign the attendance register before starting.

 

6.       Have fun.

 

 

 

REPORT BACK ON INDIA-VENSTER / CORRIDOR RUN

 

I have no idea why it’s taken us so long to bring India-Venster into our runs.  I guess it’s because last time we tried starting a run with a climb (the Diagonal Route) there was an immense amount of moaning, Sandra was overcome with heat and had to turn back and the fast group got lost.  Having only done India-Venster twice in my life (both a long time ago) I was, understandably,  a little nervous when we started out.  But not as nervous as I could have been.  Having the super-knowledgeable CRAG-man Rod Prodgers (doing his very first acsis VOB Trail Run) and Snake-Whisperer Bronwyn (who at least has also done the route before) definitely helped settle the nerves.  Of course within minutes the usual light-hearted moaning about the initial climb was soon echoing around the ravines. 

 

The moaning gave way to quiet nervousness as we hit the rock pitches between India and Africa Ravines.  This is the first time I have done them since the steel staples were put in and the climb is now significantly easier than it was.  Having said this, it is still a good way to find out if you have a fear of heights.  A couple of these emerged on the day and I guess I was not the most popular person in the group at this point.   The nerves caused Durbanite new-comer Grant to lose control of his alphabet momentarily and he innocently referred to VOB as VOC.  There was a horrified silence as he teetered on the brink of a “Literacy Award” for a moment.  But we will give him a suspended sentence for his first offence.  After the last little scramble at Fountain Ledge the mood lightened significantly and then the yakking started and never stopped again.  Certain people actually managed to talk on the out-breath AND the in-breath.  Poor Jane and Kathleen had to wait for 45 minutes for us at the top of Platteklip as they had taken the dog-friendly route up Platteklip to the summit. 

 

From this point the run took on a very social note.  The chatting continued unabated, the like of which I have not heard since Lorien last ran with us.  This did, however, cause a speed-split in the group.  By the time we got to Echo Valley the gap between quickies (as in fast runners) and the more conversationally-inclined was starting to widen.  I asked Jane if she would mind leading the faster group as she knew the route well.  The fleeting glimpse of horror past across her face which was soon replaced by her trademark determination.  By all accounts the fast group battled to keep up with her rather than the other way round.  Thanks for taking on this task Jane.  Awesome that you have discovered now what we knew all along, that your place is amongst the fast runners.

 

All went well for the rest of the run, although I did see an ankle-crunching fall in the group that took the short route down Kasteelspoort.  I don’t have the details yet but I am expecting Sian’s report any moment now so that we can deliberate over a Sailing Sandra Award.  Once we were down on the final, open section of the Pipe Track we regrouped for a last time before the final dash in to the car park.  Bianca hauled out a wad of tissues to daintily dab her nose but failed to see that a tissue fell on the ground behind her.  I accusingly said: “Bianca!” and pointed at the ground behind her where the offending tissue lay.  The groups underlying concern about snakes volcanoed out.  Bianca (and others, it must be said) completely misinterpreted the gesture, imagining that there was a fanged terror about to feast on her calves.  Panic spread across her face, a quick “sprint-on-the-spot” and then a scream that shattered windows around Camps Bay and had us all diving for cover.  The subsequent laughter was punctuated by a surprisingly hard punch to my arm.  Bianca clearly works out.  The adrenalin helped us all to finish strongly and then settle down to an ICE cold beer with Geoff and Robyn.

 

Chuck Norris Award:  Bronwyn Pithey for doing her first hard-core trail run without an ankle-brace (and without incident) after shattering her ankle a while back.  Great stuff Bronwyn.  Great return to form.  Well done.

 

Thanks All.  A great run.

 

Have a great week, Everyone.

 

Cheers

 

Tim

Tim Bellairs (Sir)

acsis VOB Trail Running

Cell:     082 321-0299

 

 

 


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Monday, November 7, 2011

acsis VOB TRAIL RUNNING: SATURDAY 12 NOVEMBER 2011 - KLOOF NEK / PLATTEKLIP / ECHO VALLEY / ISOLATION VALLEY / VALLEY OF THE RED GODS / OUDEKRAAL RAVINE / PIPE TRACK

 

Hi Everyone

 

Congratulations to all who participated in the 3 Peaks Challenge on Saturday.  I still think you’re all nuts but well done and we hope you had a great time.

 

HILL TRAINING – MONDAY 7 NOVEMBER 2011

 

Today we will be doing Platteklip Gorge so I can check things out before the run on Saturday.  We will start at the Platteklip Gorge car park on Tafelberg Road at 16h15 on the button.  The car park is just under 2km past the Lower Cable Station.  Please RSVP to me if you intend running.

 

 

 

SATURDAY 12 NOVEMBER - KLOOF NEK / PLATTEKLIP / ECHO VALLEY / ISOLATION VALLEY / VALLEY OF THE RED GODS / OUDEKRAAL RAVINE / PIPE TRACK

 

 

Start Time and Place

 

Kloof Nek car park in front of the SANParks kiosk in time to start running at 06h30 sharp.

 

 

The Route

 

Don’t be put off by the start.  We will get just about all of the major climbing over in the first few kilometres before the heat kicks in (if applicable) and then enjoy a very much “downhill” run along the top and on the shaded side of the mountain.  99% single track with tons of runnable stuff once we have ascended Platteklip Gorge.  Starting at Kloof Nek we will cut up through the gum trees to the start of the Kloof Corner path which we follow up to the contour path.  Take the contour path to Platteklip Gorge.  Up Platteklip and across to the Echo Valley path.  Optional excursion to Maclears Beacon.  Down into Echo Valley where we hang a right and then a left over into Isolation Valley, Valley of the Red Gods, past the tops of Kasteelspoort, Woody Ravine, Slangolie Ravine, Corridor Ravine and then down Oudekraal Ravine.  There is a little bit of a slow, scratchy section across to the Pipe Track but once we are there we have an easy run in to Kloof Nek.

 

Shortcuts: Once we have reached Kasteelspoort on the way out we have several options for shortcuts for those with time / energy  constraints.  In fact if it is really hot we might elect to take one of these anyway.

 

Running Time

 

At least 3 ½ hours for the average runner.

 

Distance

 

About 20km

 

Difficulty

 

A reasonably tough run in that it starts with a short(ish), sharp climb followed by about 2km of contour path and then the big climb up Platteklip.  After that things get much easier.

 

 

Important Notes

 

1.       We are entering that part of the year where carrying water and energy snacks will be crucial.  This run in particular has a very sweaty start and water and electrolytes need to be replaced frequently.  Please take this seriously and don’t do what I did last weekend……..

 

2.       Equally, the right clothes are important.  This week we are going to the top of the mountain so the proper gear will be important.  Please make sure you are correctly equipped for the weather conditions.  I will send a weather forecast on Friday.

 

3.       Bronwyn “The Snake Whisperer” Pithey has been encountering cobras and puffadders on the mountain again (although she is a little light on photographic evidence).  So let’s keep an eye out for snakes on the paths; especially those running in front when the weather is conducive to snake-sunbathing.

 

4.       Slap on that sunblock in liberal quantities and wear caps etc.  At least these precautions will prolong that youthful visage for week we trail runners are so well known and also keep certain dread ailments at bay.

 

5.       Please sign the register before setting out.

 

6.       Let’s have some fun out there.  It’s not a race.

 

 

 

 

Table Mountain Trailers
acsis-VOB's Trail running short route-slow group

Saturday 12th November

Lion’s Head/Signal Hill circuit

Route


A clockwise circular route around Lion’s Head and Signal hill.
  We start by running down Kloof Rd and after about 500m turn right onto the trail which runs around the lower reaches of Lion’s Head and then heads off in a Northerly direction along the Western flank of Signal Hill.  We then circle round Signal Hill below the lookout point and climb up to pass over the road to the lookout and parking area and then pick-up the trail past the Kramat which then runs above Signal Hill Rd. back to the traffic circle.

 

Rendezvous and Start Time


RV in the upper Kloofnek parking area next to the Information Kiosk ready to start at 0630.

 

How to get there? 

 

Drive up Kloofnek road to the traffic circle at the top and then turn off left into Tafelberg Rd as if you were going up to the cableway.  About 200m up Tafelberg Rd on your left is a parking area.  Park in the upper level close to the Information Kiosk

 

Terrain and Distance

 

Mostly undulating gravel trail with a few hills, distance about 11kms

 



Brief Report Back from Newlands Forest Run

 

1.       I did a Daksha and forgot my hydration pack at home but remembered the beers.  Doh!  And then had no-one to drink beers with so took them home again.  I must add that it was magnificent running without a pack though.  Stupid, but enjoyable.

 

2.       Jane and David tried to take a short-cut (time constraints), had a “navigational malfunction”, got pretty scratched up and arrived at the finish 5 minutes after the rest of us (a joint Missing Margaret Award).

 

3.       Bridget sprained her ankle but failed to declare it until the following day.  Because she is new to the group she gets away with a warning.  Bridget please note that failure to disclose information like this for inclusion in the Sailing Sandra Awards is a felony.  This also applies to witnesses who are sworn to secrecy and who aid and abet in the covering up of these falls.  Sandra’s own fall this week was minor, by her very high standards, and not a nominatable (is that a word? I don’t think it is) event this week.  No Sailing Sandra Award this week.

 

4.       It took said Sandra all of 6 minutes before issuing the first curse word of the day (which cannot be repeated in an email).

 

5.       Otherwise, it was a very runnable, thoroughly enjoyable outing.  Thanks for the company Everyone.

 

 

That’s it for now.

 

Have a great week Everyone.

 

Cheers

 

Tim

Tim Bellairs (Sir)

acsis VOB Trail Running

Cell:     082 321-0299

 


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This email is confidential and is intended for the addressee only.
The following link will take you to Nedbank's legal notice.
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