Thursday, December 29, 2011

LAST ONE FOR 2011: JOURNEY TRAILS / MATES RUN .......acsis VOB CHAIRMAN'S RUN.......BASIC CLIMBING COURSES

 

Good morning Everyone

 

Here is the last word (or two) for 2011 at last.

 

In this email:

 

1.       JOURNEY TRAIL / MATES RUN – 31 DECEMBER 2011

2.       acsis VOB CHAIRMAN’S RUN (TRAIL VERSION) – 2 JANUARY 2012

 

3.       acsis VOB Trail Running comment on “B grade” scrambling routes on our runs in future

 

4.       TONY LOURENS COURSES ON EASY SCRAMBLING TECHNIQUES AND BASIC ROPE WORK FOR EASY CLIMBS (particularly on Table Mountain)

 

5.       “TRAIL” MAGAZINE

 

 

 

 

 

1.  SATURDAY 31 DECEMBER 2011 – MATES NEWLANDS FOREST / NEWLANDS RAVINE / SADDLE / KING’S BLOCKHOUSE

 

 

Feedback:  For certain Scottish reasons which I shall not go into (what goes on Newlands Ravine stays in Newlands Ravines) our run didn’t quite shape out as we planned it. We still had a lot of laughs and had a good time, but that leaves us in the unique position that we don’t have to plan a new route this weekend because we have the means available to cut and paste last week’s run. And so that is what we shall do J

 

This will be a very special event indeed for two reasons: It will be the last run of 2011 which was a very nice running year for some of us, and it will also be the absolute last time that we get to run on the 31st of December of ANY year. Yes, facts are facts, the Mayans said that the world is going to end on the 23rd of December next year. So be there or be square!

  

Run Leaders

 

The run will be led by Douglas Rossouw, Michael Ohlsson and Jane Holdcroft.

 

Start Time and Place

 

06h30 start from the car park at the Newlands Forestry Station (where the helipad is as well as the VWS offices) on Union Avenue, Newlands.

 

Route

 

Up to contour path along to and up Newlands Ravine, over saddle to one of the traverses, round to Block House and home via Newlands forest or Contour path- will decide when we get there.

 

Running Times

 

3 hours +-

 

Bring all the usual clobber like water, snacks proper clothes and kit and of course, ICE cold beer.

 

 

 

2.  MONDAY 2 JANUARY 2011 – acsis VOB CHAIRMAN’S RUN (TRAIL VERSION)

 

Start Time and Place

 

06h30 (sharp) start from the car park at the Newlands Forestry Station (where the helipad is as well as the VWS offices) on Union Avenue, Newlands.

 

Route

 

We will make our way up to the contour path and around to the turnstile just below the King’s Blockhouse.  Up to the Blockhouse and then take the Lower Contour Path around Oppelskop Ridge and over to Kloof Corner.  From there, whoever has organised picnics and lifts will proceed to Signal Hill to join the road runners and families for picnics.  Whoever wants to return to the start will turn and head back along the contour path to the split on the Devil’s Peak side of Platteklip.  Proceed up and across The Saddle then down Newlands Ravine to the cars for ICE cold beers.

 

Distance

 

About 15km to Signal Hill.  Maybe a little more.

 

For those doing the return trip, well, it depends where we choose to turn but we can make it anywhere between 15 – 25km of relatively easy stuff.

 

Running Time

 

Probably about 2 ½ hours to Signal Hill.

 

For those doing the return trip, I guess you know me well enough by now to know that I don’t really know.  3 hours? Ish?

 

Difficulty

 

Easy stuff as trail runs go.

 

Important Notes

 

1.       Make sure you are carrying enough water for the full distance you are running.  I would suggest a minimum of 2 litres unless you want to risk ecoli-belly (drinking from the now sparse streams) for the New Year’s Eve.

2.       Dress appropriately for the weather conditions.  Last year it was freezing and poured with rain.  Make sure you check the weather report and as I always say, also stick your head out of the window on the morning as you are getting ready.  At the end of the day it boils down to common sense.

 

3.       Take the usual precautions against the sun.  Don’t be embarrassed by headgear.  Roger Steele wears something like Darryl Cullinan used to wear on a cricket field but he still runs faster than most people I know.  People will just think you’re eccentric (which is cool) and in most cases they would be right.

 

4.       Watch out for snakes on the paths or if you dash off into the bushes to do what the CEO is famous for.

 

5.       Don’t forget that the Blockhouse area is Mugger-land so let’s be careful there and stick together.  You can put the hammer down when we get onto the Lower Contour after the Blockhouse.

 

6.       If you are returning to Newlands Forest, remember the ICE cold beer.

 

 

3.  SOME FUN ON A SERIOUS NOTE FOR THE NEW YEAR plus SCRAMBLING / EASY ROCK CLIMBING COURSES 2012

 

Some of you will have noticed that occasionally our runs have been taking in some more “interesting” sections (some would call scary or even dangerous).  MATES have been doing the same but they have some experienced rock climbers in their group who provide the necessary assistance  / advice for the less experienced scramblers.  This has not necessarily been the case in the acsis VOB Group.

 

But rather than abandon doing these spectacular paths we have decided to approach the issue in the following way:

 

a.       On the basis that we are a trail running group and not a rock climbing group, GENERALLY our Saturday runs will NOT contain these tricky sections very often.  We will just use them to spice things up from time to time;

 

b.      However, when we do take these scary paths on, we will not be tackling anything worse than a “B” scramble on any of our runs.  To give you an idea of what a B scramble is, this includes Agatha’s Gully (on the MATES CEO’s Christmas Run), India - Venster, Right Face - Arrow Face Traverse, Carrell’s Ledge and the ascent of Devil’s Peak via Mowbray Ridge.  This puts The Ledges route OUT of range for us unless we do a small party of interested runners only.  The Ledges is a “C” scramble / climb on which a rope is not absolutely necessary but is highly recommended.

 

c.       We will always try and have a safe / easy detour for runners to follow around the scary bits;

d.      If there are no easy detours then this will be specified upfront;

 

e.      I (Tim) will be doing a course (see below) on safe scrambling techniques and rope work for easy climbs so that I am more than prepared / trained to assist runners on these easier scrambles if they start freezing up and panicking etc.  

 

f.        And of course, once again I need to draw your attention to our little club disclaimer:  Please be aware that trail running and related activities are 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.”

 

 

Now because we have had a very good response to these quite challenging bits on runs I am investigating doing some courses on basic scrambling and rope techniques (as mentioned above) which will enable people to tackle “C” (The Ledges and Spring Buttress etc) and even “D” grade (easy rock climbs with ropes) with confidence and competence.  Sonia Beard has put me in touch with Tony Lourens who is going to send me some information on his courses.  For those of you who don’t know about Tony, he is the author of “Table Mountain Classics”.  If you are interested in details of unusual and exciting routes on Table Mountain then I highly recommend that you get your hands on the latest updated version (2011) of this book.  I have been messing around on the mountain for the best part of 30 years and he has come up with lots of relatively easy routes that I have never even heard of or imagined.  I can’t wait to get out there and try them out.

 

However, the main point here is:  If you are interested in joining me in doing a course or two on safe scrambling techniques and basic rope-work for easy climbs then please let me know and I will send you the details and co-ordinate convenient dates and times.  Why wait for other people to help you?  Learn to do it yourself and then help others.

 

 

TRAIL MAGAZINE

 

For those who haven’t seen it yet, South Africa’s first magazine strictly on Trail Running has been launched by the same publishers as “Go Multi”.  Unsurprisingly, it is called “Trail”.  It is available at CNA, Dischem and a few other places (check out www.trailmag.co.za ).  It’s actually a great read.  What is particularly impressive about it is the trail runner models that they have used for some of their action photos.  Check out page 52 in particular…………….. J.

 

 

Have an awesome and above all, safe, New Year’s Eve Everyone and I will see you all on the trails in the New Year.

 

Cheers

 

Tim

Tim Bellairs (Sir)

acsis VOB Trail Running

Cell:     082 321-0299

 

 

 

 


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Thursday, December 22, 2011

MATES RUNS THIS COMING WEEKEND + acsis VOB TRAIL RUNNING PRELIMINARY SCHEDULE FOR JANUARY - MARCH 2012

Hi Everyone

 

 

FRIDAY 23 DECEMBER 2011 – THE MATES / CRAG SUNSET SKYLINE TRAIL RUN

 

If you are unsure of whether or not it is still on, you can either just pitch up as they suggest, and do an alternative run OR contact MATES (in this case mkleynhans@gmail.com) directly  OR drop me (Tim) an email and I will try and find out from Cher or Martin.

 

“So our little jaunt up Mowbray Ridge and Ledges didn't happen as planned last week due to rain. So we are going to do it plus a little extra this coming Friday evening 23rd!

If you are interested in coming, pay close attention to all the details - this is NOT your usual CRAG-type run!  If you struggle with heights or rock scrambling, give this one a skip and we'll see  you next year at the first Crags.  If putting your life on a tiny little ledge is more your style and you fancy yourself as the mountaineering type, then see if you can join us.

 

Route: Up the front of Devil's Peak on Mowbray Ridge  to the summit (some scrambling and exposure to heights) from the Blockhouse.  Then down the other side and up Ledges to MacClears (even more serious scrambling and exposure to heights).  Run the front face, admiring the setting sun and twinkling city lights, and down dependent on visibility, speed and energy, either Kloof Corner (chains and exposure to heights) or India Venster.  Run the contour path back around to the Block House and down to Rhodes Memorial and then down to the cars in UCT.  The scrambles are 3-5 meters at Ledges and the chains at Kloof Corner are about 5 m and way harder than India Venster or Lions Head, so be warned.  We are going at a comfortable pace so we can admire the changing light on our amazing mountain and beautiful peninsula. Cher will set the pace, so don't stress that I'm leading and she says she wants to see the views :-)

 

Duration: Plus minus 4-5 hours (BRING HEADLAMPS!!!  And of course water/food for duration.  Not likely to be any good water on this route at this time of year). 

 

Start Time: 17:00. 

 

Start Location: Sports Hall/Info Centre, UCT Upper Campus (lots of parking space, secure and the cars won't be locked in like they would at Rhodes Mem).

 

Extra Info: Due to the extremity of this run, if the weather is bad, we won't go!  If you're unsure, show up anyway and we can make a decision to do a lower mountain run or take on the full route. 

And one last time, just in case you missed it earlier in the message, this is not the usual CRAG style run.  It has some serious cliff exposure and rock scrambling - be ready for that if you join. Oh yes and this is 100% at your own risk.

 

Cheers
Your questionably intrepid leaders Martin and Cher!”

 

 

 

 

SATURDAY 24 DECEMBER 2011 – MATES NEWLANDS FOREST / NEWLANDS RAVINE / SADDLE / KING’S BLOCKHOUSE

 

Run Leaders

 

The run will be led by Douglas Rossouw, Michael Ohlsson and Jane Holdcroft.

 

 

Start Time and Place

 

06h30 start from the car park at the Newlands Forestry Station (where the helipad is as well as the VWS offices) on Union Avenue, Newlands.

 

Route

 

Up to contour path along to and up Newlands Ravine, over saddle to one of the traverses, round to Block House and home via Newlands forest or Contour path- will decide when we get there.

 

Running Times

 

3 hours +-

 

Bring all the usual clobber like water, snacks proper clothes and kit and of course, ICE cold beer.

 

 

acsis VOB TRAIL RUNNING SCHEDULE OF SATURDAY RUNS FOR JANUARY – MARCH 2012

 

Please find attached hereto.  Note that these might change closer to the time but it is largely representative of what we will be doing.   Any changes will be advertised in plenty of time before the run.

 

 

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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Monday, December 19, 2011

acsis VOB TRAIL RUNNING - CHILL TIME

 

Good morning All

 

 

MONDAY HILL TRAINING

 

Today will be the last hill run for the year.  To round things off we will be sticking to the theme of “trying to doing things a little differently”.   We will start up Platteklip Gorge but then at about half way up we will traverse out to the right in the direction of the Right face Arrow Face Traverse.  We will probably have a sniff around to see if we can find the start of the ledge from this side but will then retrace our footsteps a little and descend via either Yellowstone Gully or Union Ravine.  No undue exposure to terrifying heights and precipitous drop-offs on this run.  Now this is not entirely guesswork.  The route is taken from the 1972 (yes, some of us were alive in 1972) Mountain Club of SA Table Mountain Guide book (see extract attached) which features many routes that do not appear in route books today.  One must ask why but I guess we will find out soon enough.  We will be exploring some of these old routes in 2012.  So there is lots of exciting stuff to come in the New Year to spice up our existing routes.

 

So today we start at 17h15 from the car park at the foot of Platteklip Gorge on Tafelberg Road.  It is just under 2km past the Lower Cable Station. 

 

Please let me know if you are going to attend.

 

 

acsis VOB TRAIL RUNS FROM NOW UNTIL 31 DECEMBER 2011

 

………………………..………………………………

 

 

 

 

 

Hahahaha!  Okay, I think it’s time for a short break.  My body is telling me it is time to sit and drink beer without having to go for a run first. 

 

I know Jane Holdcroft is keen to do a run this coming Saturday (24 December) but I am going to schedule in all of my Christmas shopping for Saturday morning (after a long sip of Rescue Remedy).  So it is quite possible that Jane will be taking a run or that MATES will organise one or even a combo between the two…..although Jane is a MATES runner………oh, you know what I mean…….  In that case I will send the details out as soon as they are available. 

 

I will also be circulating the schedule of acsis VOB-organised runs for January 2012 fairly shortly too, so this is not the last you’ll be hearing from me this year.

 

 

 

FEEDBACK FROM THE SILVERMINE NORTH / WEST RUN

 

We couldn’t have picked a more perfect day for this run.  Glorious weather.  Bright sunshine with just a very gentle breeze to cool things off.  22 of us set off down toward the mountain bike car park.  Half way up Steenberg Ridge we were 23.  Huh ?  Yes……..  Then the big climb.  Good grief but that climb to the mast is longer than I remember.  You know you’re having a sluggish day when you get to the regroup point at the tar road and someone (not sure if it was Jackie or Dirk) had brewed up a pot of tea !!!!!  That is definitely a first.  No, I lie, Michele Priestman did it once but that was when she was doing a gentle run at the back.  These two were at the front!  Nevertheless, years of gentle abuse from my trail running colleagues have hardened me to these “insults” and so we soon set off again light hearts and heavy legs.

 

At the very highest point of the run, the fence around the Mast, Allison Lamb was overcome with the excitement of: having conquered the climb / her new trail shoes / altitude sickness / all of the above and slammed herself into the ground, as one does when excited.  I must say that I expected the Sailing Sandra to come on the descent to Blackburn Ravine but no, Allison stole a yard on the rest of the pack and displayed just the right amount of blood and pain to not be in any danger and yet convincingly scoop herself a Sailing Sandra Award.  I didn’t actually see the fall but the usual agents of treachery drew my attention to the incident and of course the wounds could not be hidden when we were swimming in the Dam afterwards.  Well done Allison.  Glad it was no worse though.

 

At the regroup at the Blackburn Ravine platform we decided to split the pack.  The run had been very technical to that point and some seemed keen to stretch the legs out a bit so half of the pack decided to head  down the stone highway so they could do a bit of a gallop on jeep track up and over past Noordhoek Peak and then down to the Dam.  The rest of us took the more technical Panorama Trail over towards  Noordhoek Peak (a tradition at this time of year).  After a shortish while we saw in the distance ahead of us the group who elected to RUN the jeep track……….they were WALKING!!!!!  HAH !!!!! 

 

It was absolutely perfect at Noordhoek Peak.  Sunny, wind-free and so clear you could see forever.  This is fairly rare at this time of year as the peak is often plagued by a brisk south-easter.  But by now we were all thinking of the Dam and a refreshing dip followed by ICE cold beer.  So we picked the shortest route and headed straight down and over Crassula Ridge / Hillcrest Path and down to the Dam, plunged in and then basked in the sun.

 

What a way to end the year.  Thanks everyone for a great run and great company.

 

 

WRAP UP

 

I know I will be seeing some of you at the Manor House 16km on Family Day / Boxing Day but I guess I won’t be seeing most of you until next year now.  So it just remains for me to leave you with the following:

 

First of all, to all of you who have supported these runs over the last year, thank you and it has been wonderful having you along on the runs. They would have been very lonely Saturday mornings without you.  A group of runners slugging down beer in a car park early on a Saturday morning is very socially acceptable.  One person on their own is just weird and a bit sad.  J  

 

To all of those who have assumed responsibilities of leading groups, whether formally like Jane, Mike and Douglas have done over the year or informally when a run has split up on a particular day, a massive thank you.  And also a big thank you to the MATES crew with whom we have worked so well and seamlessly over the last year.  Often one couldn’t tell whether the Saturday run was a VOB run or a MATES run.  And quite honestly, did it really matter ?  Thanks everyone.

 

To those celebrating Christmas, have a blessed and peaceful Christmas.  Don’t hold back but be safe.  To those who are simply taking a break, have a wonderful chill out and come back rejuvenated and stronger for having had some rest (and probably a bit fatter…..not that you’re fat now, you understand…….of course not…..no…..).

 

Have a fantastic, successful, happy and, very particularly, an injury-free (the usual scrapes, bumps and bruises don’t count) New Year Everyone.

 

Cheers for now and have a great week.

 

Tim

Tim Bellairs (Sir)

acsis VOB Trail Running

Cell:     082 321-0299

 

 

 

Monday, December 12, 2011

acsis VOB TRAIL RUNNING: SATURDAY 17 DECEMBER 2011 - SILVERMINE NORTH / WEST plus MATES NIGHT RUN

 

 

Hi Everyone

 

 

MONDAY HILL TRAINING

 

This is the penultimate hill run for the year. 

 

Today we will do Devils Peak.  17h15 start from The Saddle car park on Tafelberg Road, about 3km past the lower cable station.

 

Next week we will do Platteklip as far as the traverse to Yellowstone Gully.  We will traverse across towards Right Face / Arrow Face but WILL NOT do the ledge.  I am so OVER ledges for the year.  Instead we will descend via Yellowstone Gully and Union Ravine with a short dash back along the contour path to Platteklip.  Probably nothing potentially fatal on this run.

 

 

SATURDAY 17 DECEMBER 2011 – DOUBLE HEADER (SLIVERMINE NORTH / WEST) and MATES NIGHT RUN

 

I was going to cancel the acsis VOB run in favour of just teaming up with MATES  for the evening run.  But then I discovered, with my busy social schedule, that I can’t do the night run as I am due to attend a small soiree on Saturday evening.  I guess it’s just that time of year…….  So I will be doing a lighter, shorter run in the morning for those who feel like doing a warm-up for the main event in the evening.  So here are the details for both runs:

 

Morning run in Silvermine North / West – in lieu of the traditional “Noordhoek Peak Run” which will move to a new timeslot in February.

 

Start Time and Place

 

07h15 from the Silvermine Dam car park.  You access this through Silvermine Gate 1 / R20 Side.  The Gate only opens at 07h00.  If you drive up Ou Kaapseweg from Tokai, it is the first turning to your right as you get to the crest of the mountain pass where the road flattens out before the descent to Sun Valley.

 

 

Route

 

From the car park we will head up onto Steenberg Ridge and make our way up to the Elephants Eye path.  We will climb past the Elephants Eye and on up to the tar road near the Constantiaberg Mast.  From the mast we will descend to the wooden platform at the top of Blackburn Ravine.  From there we will take the Panorama Trail over to Noordhoek Peak.  From the peak we will decide on a course of action.  If it’s hot  we will cross the jeep track and head back over to the Dam for a swim.  If the day is cold / wet / windy and / or generally miserable we will extend the run a bit with a loop down towards the entrance gate and then run up the River Walk to finish off on.

 

 

Distance

 

About 12 – 15km depending on the weather.

 

 

Time

 

Allow about 3 hours to enjoy the views.

 

 

Difficulty

 

Moderate.  One big climb and a few “undulations”.

 

 

Important Notes

 

1.       Please carry plenty of water with you and some energy snacks.

2.       Please make sure you are properly dressed for the weather conditions and carrying the basic safety equipment (windproof jacket, cell phone, whistle, space blanket).

 

3.       Sun protection is important at this time of year (sunblock and cap).

 

4.       The usual caution about snakes on the path applies.  Watch where you put your feet.

 

5.       Bring entrance fee money (about R20) plus a tip for the car guard at the car park.  Wild Card will get you in free but still bring a tip for the car guard.

 

6.       Remember there is no cell phone reception at the Start but you can pick signal up from time to time on the route.  So don’t be late because you won’t be able to tell us.

 

7.       Bring a costume and towel for a swim in the Dam afterwards if the weather is good.

 

8.       Regardless of the weather, bring ICE cold beer for afterwards.

 

 

TABLE MOUNTAIN TRAILERS (Medium Distance Slower Group)

 

No more runs this year.

 

 

MATES EVENING RUN – SATURDAY 17 DECEMBER 2011

 

“Our buddy Nico Thirion from Pertorsh has asked us to organise a night run for the period while he is in Cape Town so we thought why not? Herewith details: 

Where: We will start from the parking lot of the Brass Bell / Kalkbay Station ‘cos there are some cool car guards here.

When: In time to start running at 19H30.

Route: Up a piece of Echo Valley, through Boomslang Cave (waddaya mean you are afraid of the dark?) to emerge in time to see the sunset over Kommetjie. Then Amphitheatre, Tarturus Cave (maybe even in there as well) then over to St James Peak and Muizenberg Peak and stuff. The rest will be made up as we go along.

Duration: About 4 hours.

Pace: It’s night time, so no heroics.

What: Weather appropriate clothes – pack a little bit more warmish things than you think. Snax. Snax breaks are strictly enforced. Camera’s with flash so you can snap the city lights. Water to drink on the run. Here’s the killer – beer for drinking on the rocks afterwards, sez Mike. I think we’re gonna freeze, which is where the warmish stuff comes in.”

 

DETAILS (REMINDER) OF MATES CEO’S CHRISTMAS RUN

Will be sent out tomorrow with a summary of Other Great Runs for the rest of the year.

 

 

FEEDBACK REGARDING THE CONSTANTIA NEK TO MACLEARS BEACON RUN LAST SATURDAY

Well the morning started off innocently enough with us mocking the Norwegian weather report of rain by mid-morning and scoffing at Bronwyn’s warning that Carrell’s Ledge would be wet and slippery.  It was a clear, sunny morning after all.  Then the tiny warning signs started appearing……….like Sari eating my breakfast which I foolishly put down on a tree stump.  Jane leapt into action in a move that I initially thought was to save my breakfast but actually turned out to be a move to split the food evenly between Sari and Willow before Sari chowed the whole thing herself.  Fair enough.  It wasn’t a very nice bar anyway.

Then Mike walked over to start a conversation with someone who appeared to be Linda Doke.  After his opening barrage of light-hearted abuse, she turned around……..and yes, you guessed it…..it wasn’t Linda.  Awkward !!!!!!!  But you must KNOW how much we enjoyed that.

Then as we headed out of the car park, a car alarm went off and Mark had to dash back to go and sort it out.  Then on the first climb a cell phone started ringing (Kevin’s, I rather suspect, although it could have been Paul’s) and I remembered I had left my cell phone on the seat of my car…….*&&^$#@%^&*!!!!!!.....there was NO WAY I was going back to fetch it. 

The trip to Bailiff’s Cottage turned out to be a rather sedate walk but thereafter the whip got cracked and we were running.  We all managed to hang together up the long climb to just before Maclears Beacon.  Then it was decision time.  The group of sensible runners under Jane’s guidance decided to give Carrell’s Ledge a complete miss and were to head straight on up to Maclears.  The rest started following me down a path to the right………..which turned out to be the wrong path ……… and the mocking began (sigh).  I quick adjustment saw us onto the right path.  As the path got narrower and narrower I noticed fewer and fewer people following me along the fairly precarious approach path.  I got to the start of the ledge and then the eating of words began……Bronwyn was right…..there was water pooled up along the ledge, cascading into the precipitous ravine below.  It was looking very slippery indeed.  A glance back along the way I had come revealed 15 very concerned faces.  Their mouths may have been jeering but their faces were saying “are you seriously expecting us to go there?????”.  The tough call: I could not risk taking them onto the ledge in those conditions.  All you need is for one person to panic and freeze and it spreads like an infection.  Mike, Douglas, Margaret, Kevin et al, being experienced and with solid heads for height, decided to do it anyway and I wasn’t concerned about them.  They know what they’re doing.  I made my way back along the approach path anticipating the barrage of teasing I suspected was waiting for me but was surprised by friendly response.  I suspect it was overwhelming relief.  From the vantage point that they saw the Ledge, it looks truly terrifying.  In truth, once you are actually on it, it is much less frightening (barring one or two little “step-over” points).  It’s the “getting onto the ledge” that is the worst part.

So the bulk of the group did the quick climb to Maclears to find that the sensible runners had displayed even more good sense and were long one.  Knowing that I had been over the route with Jane and that they were in excellent hands, this was actually a relief.  Far rather that than be faced with a bunch of cold, grumpy runners, frustrated from having to wait.  And, as the Norwegians had forecast, the clouds had started to roll in.  Yum Yum….more words to eat.  So we waited a while for the Christmas Carrellers to join us…..and they never arrived.  The crows were starting to circle above us (pretty freaky).  Then we saw them at the bottom of the long valley running down towards Devils Peak……but they were heading in the wrong direction.  We got into brief cell phone contact in which they professed to be “looking for Maclears Beacon” by heading exactly the wrong way.  With a group chuckle we abandoned them (they were fine) and did the awesome scenic path along the north face of the Table as far as Platteklip Gorge.  The drop down to Echo Valley at the head of Blinkwater Ravine was stunning and is one that we rarely do.  Really beautiful views.  Then heading down Echo Valley I was in front……which I hate……..because it is a little overgrown and I have this mortal fear of writhing around in agony after being bitten by a snake so I resorted to trotting like a Lipizzaner.  It looks ridiculous and I’m pretty sure it makes no difference at all but just feels safer.

The rest of the run was fairly uneventful and I was confident that there would be no Sailing Sandra Awards.  But Mark Allen was determined to leave with a trophy and on the final sprint descent, he hooked the toe of his shoe on one of those treacherous steps and made us all proud.  SUPERB effort.  The judges all raised their scoreboards: 10….10…..10……10.  A perfect performance.  After the dust settled he looked like he had had a run in with Hannibal Lecter with a noticeable amount of skin missing.  However, Mark seemed more concerned about the trouble he was going to be in when he got home for being so late.  I’m sure his wife was waiting for him with a bottle of Friars Balsam,,,,,,,ooooo eina!  Well done Mark, the gold medal is yours for the week.  Hope you weren’t in too much dwang.

The final joy of the day was just pipping Mike and Kevin to the finish.  They had found their bearings and had caught up with us at last.  They had been in hot pursuit since spotting us from the top of the mountain and were thundering down behind me.  A warning shout from Roger gave me just enough time to put on a little burst of speed to beat them down.  No prizes for it but the disappointed on their faces was reward enough.  J

Then all such matters were set aside as we quaffed down the ICE cold beers in the car park to the amusement of the passing hikers.

 

That’s it.  Have a great week Everyone.

Cheers

Tim

Tim Bellairs (Sir)

acsis VOB Trail Running

Cell:     082 321-0299

 

 


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Monday, December 5, 2011

acsis VOB TRAIL RUNNING: SATURDAY 10 DECEMBER 2011 - CONSTANTIA NEK TO MACLEARS BEACON AND BACK VIA FRONT TABLE & DAMS

 

 

Good morning Everyone

 

So here we are again!

 

 

NEW BALANCE TRAIL SHOE LUCKY DRAW

 

The last New Balance Trail Shoe lucky draw took place before the run on Saturday.  Once again The Table Mountain Trailers cleaned up and the voucher goes to Allison Lamb.  I am sure she has won it before too! 

 

A final HUGE thank you to New Balance for the support and wonderful vouchers this year.  Please PLEASE support New Balance in return by buying their awesome gear when you replenish your trail running (and any other sport) stocks and also by supporting their sponsored events.

 

I know I thanked Katharine Tromp (New Balance) last week as she has been fantastic in organising the vouchers for us.  But just because she represents our sponsors doesn’t give her immunity from getting a hiding when she gets out of hand.  Here I refer specifically to The New Balance Surfer’s Challenge at Kommetjie yesterday.  As we were lining up at the start on Long Beach I heard a familiar voice behind me saying: “Oh I am just going to run to the first rocks and back.”  Ladies and gentlemen, that is  all of about 1km in total!!!!!  No prizes for guessing who that was!  Yes indeed.  And looking in such fine running form too.  SIES Katharine !  J  Although I must say that by quarter of the way through the race I was thinking “why the hell didn’t I do the same?”.  Particularly tough conditions this year running it on the high tide.  Soft sand the whole way (and a small hangover as contributing factor).

 

 

MONDAY HILL TRAINING

 

After last week’s adrenalin rush, this week will be safe and boring in comparison but it has attractions of its own.  Stunning 360 degree views of Cape Town, as well as friendly hikers and tourists to chat to and who make us feel tough.

 

Today is Lion’s Head day.  We will start at 17h15 sharp from the Kloof Nek car park just in front of the SANParks Info Centre.  We will take the runnable single track to the canons and then start heading up to the left and up to the top.  The descent will be along the jeep track.  Make sure you bring some water.  Please RSVP if you are coming.

 

 

SATURDAY 10 DECEMBER 2011 - CONSTANTIA NEK TO MACLEARS BEACON AND BACK VIA FRONT TABLE & DAMS

 

Start Time and Place

 

06h00 from Constantia Nek car park.  A change from our calendar as advertised a few weeks ago.  And yes an early one to beat the heat although generally we seem to be facing gale force south-easters these days.  Don’t worry, we don’t do these early starts for long.

 

 

Route

 

Up the steps / Bridle Path to the Hoerikwaggo / Bailiff’s Cottage.  Shortly thereafter turn right onto the Puffer Path which we follow all the way up to Maclears Beacon.  In keeping with our new edge of danger, there will be an option of doing Carrel’s Ledge just before Maclears if there are any takers and if the wind is not blowing.  This ledge has a very similar “brown corduroy” rating as the Right Face – Arrow Face Traverse.  My hands are starting to sweat again just thinking about it.  We will discuss it further on the day.  From Maclears we will take the path along the top of the front face of Table Mountain so we can enjoy the views.  We end up at Platteklip Gorge where we will head down left into Echo Valley.  Then left again down Echo Valley and then right over to the dams.  Around Hely-Hutchinson Dam and down Ash Valley back to the Puffer Path and then down the steps to the cars.

 

Safe short routes are available.  On the way out to Maclears, short route runners can turn up any of four valleys to come out at the dams and take the cement road back to the start.

 

 

Distance

 

About 20km? 

 

Running Time

 

3 ½ hours?

 

 

Difficulty

 

Moderate

 

Important Notes

 

1.       Carrying water is paramount at this time of year.  As this is a longish run, snacks are necessary too and I promise not to make facetious comments about “is this a run or a picnic?”.

2.       Please wear appropriate clothing for the weather conditions and carry the right gear.  We are going to the top of the mountain and it can get very cold up there, even in summer if the south-easter is howling.

 

3.       Snakes are being spotted in abundance in the summer heat.  Let’s just keep an eye where we are putting our feet.

 

4.       Protection from the sun – sunblock and a cap.

 

5.       Please sign in on the register before starting out.

 

6.       Rehydration supplies for afterwards, especially ICE cold beer.

 

 

REPORT BACK ON SATURDAY 3 DECEMBER 2011: KARBONKELBERG / SUTHER PEAK / SANDY BAY LOOP

 

As is becoming tradition.  This will have to wait until tomorrow.  Busy time of year so will sit down at my pc tonight.  Sorry about that.

 

Have a great week Everyone.

 

Cheers

 

Tim

Tim Bellairs (Sir)

acsis VOB Trail Running

Cell:     082 321-0299

 


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Nedbank Limited Reg No 1951/000009/06. The following link displays
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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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