Saturday, January 26, 2013

Report Back #16 – January 2013


Fire near Pakhuis – photo Charité van Rijswijk
 It’s been a bad season for fires in the Cederberg. A huge area in the central ’Berg burned in a December fire that started near the Kliphuis scout camp. It burned towards Sneeuberg and all the way across into the Kromrivier valley. Some of the veld at Dwarsrivier was old and needing to burn, but an awful lot was much too young. I gather that the Maltese Cross area has been closed to hikers until there is some veld recovery.
Pakhuis Farm, a lucky escape!  – photo Charité van Rijswijk
The fire this week burned from Biedouw to the Pakhuis, through Bushmans Kloof, in the east sweeping across near Traveller’s Rest and in the West through Klein Pakhuis and into the Pakhuis mountains. A volunteer firefighter sadly lost his life, and our sympathies go too to Dave and Di Moore and their small sons for the loss of their beautiful home. We have heard from Charité van Rijswijk and Haffie Strauss at Travellers Rest – Haffie reckons it’s the biggest fire she’s ever seen in the area. To Thys Kruger, Jill Wagner and Connie and Lizzie du Toit – we hope you did not suffer too much damage at Alpha, Bushmans Kloof and De Pakhuys. Once again much of the veld was very old and needing a burn, while other areas were much too young.
    Both areas will remain moonscapes until well into winter, unless they enjoy some uncommon late summer rain.
Leipoldt's Grave, Pakhuis Pass – photo Mariaan Smuts
We’ve had some great info from Pieter Malan of Rapport. Pieter reminded me that the huge amphitheatre on the Algeria side of Protea Peak is named ‘Veregat’. “Apparently a group of boswerkers were once fighting a fire in the area and sitting on top of Protea Peak, totally exhausted, looking down into that amphitheatre. One said he wished the hole was filled with feathers, so that he could jump down. And so it became the Veregat amongst forestry workers.”
Pieter pointed out two naming errors, too. The ridge near Driehoek is frequently mispelled as ‘Mied se Berg’. It should be ‘Meid se Berg’, so named because of an occasion when, with fires raging through the Cederberg, there were no men left to fight a fiery outbreak on this ridge. The women of Welbedacht, Driehoek and Eikeboom were called up for fire duty, and hence the name.
Pieter also pointed out that on our sample map Asjas se Grot is correct, but the kloof to the south is incorrectly named Asjas se Kloof. The kloof is the one with the cave, in fact. ‘Asjas’ is frequently mispelled ‘Asias’ on some maps.
Pieter also suggested a new name. “There is another thing, and that is the honouring of Jan Zimri, the path builder who has built/re-opened the footpath from Pakhuis through Amon se Poort to Boskloof in the 1990s. He is also the man who built the ‘new’ path up Wolfbergskeure, replacing a horrible slog up the middle with a decent path. Maybe one of these paths should be known as Jan se pad? He and his fellow builder – the name escapes me now – is the last of the last great Cederberg path builders.” 
I think we can manage ‘Zimri se Pad’ for the Amon se Poort path. Zimri’s Cave is nearby but that will definitely NOT be shown on the map. Any offers on the name of the other path builder?

Pieter added to our debate around the Pakhuis air accident, too ... “You mention the Junkers wreck in Pakhuis. It might interest you that my wife (Sonja Loots) wrote an Afrikaans novel called ‘Spoor’ in the early 1990s in which that plane crash features quite prominently. There should be an old box somewhere in our house with her research for the novel. But where to find it ...”
Finally, Pieter appeals to anyone who has photos of the old Heuningvlei forest station before it was razed to the ground ... he and Isak Koopman of Heuningvlei remember it well, but have no pics.
Rudolf Andrag’s pic of Sneeuberg, from Luna Peak.
Rudolf has provided some great names from the area.

Your helpful contributions ...

Thys Kruger pointed out that De Pakhuys manages Laughenis on behalf of the owners, so we can include it on the map.

Louis Conradie pointed out that Karu Kareb has new owners, so we will try to contact them.
The Waterfall farm we want is the one near Rockwood, Louis, not the Porterville one – we don’t stretch as far south as Porterville, but thanks anyway.

Charles Merry sent this photo of the Breekkrans Arch with its coordinates – it’s the “Arch on Moorrees Peak” in Howes-Howell’s pic, so that’s another one located!

Had a brief but productive visit to Kunje and the surrounding area, with great inputs from the friendly Hanekoms; exploring the byways over the Middelberg Pass has helped to make sense of some of those southern access routes that appear on the CapeNature map. We missed the first farm worker’s strikes in the Citrusdal area by one day ...

Digitizing side two of the map is 95% complete and in the next few weeks we will start sending out bits of map to the resorts that have their own trails, for comment. Unfortunately we are still having to realign the very inaccurate contour lines on the Official Maps, a mammoth task, so all those of you who have asked to be notified of the publication, please remain patient! Click Here if you have not already asked to be notified when the map is launched.

Finally, I am looking for cover pictures – appropriate Cederberg backgrounds preferably including a hiker or three – for the Northern and Southern sections. There will be a prize! – name your own reward, please! All and any pics that are used will be fully acknowledged and will carry your name on the map. Hi-res, uncropped, roll them in.

Inputs already acknowledged [if I have left you out, please let me know!]: 
Rudolf Andrag, Alex Basson, Graham Bellairs, Chris Berens, Willem Beukes, Hendrico Burger, Lizette Burger, Theresa Burton, Eleanore Colyn, Andrea and Moritz Connrad, Louis Conradie, David Donald, Connie & Lizzie du Toit, Laurence Elton, Kerneels Filander, Ferdi Fischer, Carina Hanekom, Theunis Hanekom, Peter Hart, Ronnie Hazell, Tony Heher, Sam Jack, Jeroen Kant, Gerrit Kartsen, Tony Kings, Isak Koopman, Thys Kruger, Paul la Grange, Patrick Lane, Johann Lanz, John Ross, Justin Lawson, Margie le Roux, Nicky Lombard, Tony Lourens, Sandy MacDonald, Pieter Malan, Quinton Martins, Charles Merry, Eugene Moll, Wim Morris, Greg Moseley, Anneke Nieuwoudt, Cisca Nieuwoudt, Jannie and Katrin Nieuwoudt, Marianna Nieuwoudt, Pip Nieuwoudt, Barry Ockhuis, Joey Ockhuis, Kellie of Grasvlei, Caro & Steve Oldroyd, Paddy O’Leary, Mare Olivier, Linton Pope, Peter Jan Randewijk, Trevor Rennison, Galeo Saintz, Mike Scott, Mariet Smit, Mariaan Smuts, Haffie Strauss, Julyan Symons, Gert Theron, Edmund Thompson, Ingar Valentyn, Anne-Marie van der Merwe, Leonie van der Merwe, George van der Watt, Andricus van der Westhuizen, Hennie van der Westhuizen, Johan van der Westhuizen, Mike van Wieringen, Charité van Rijswijck, Kosie Viljoen, Jill Wagner, Torben Wiborg, Ezan Wilson, Steven Windell and Louise Esterhuizen, Mary Anne Zimri

–Kaartman, January 2013

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