BLOG: Joshua Le Roux
The Wolfberg Cracks, or The March To The Arch, as my buddies and I call it. From there, it was all uphill for the rest of the group of five. We chose to keep the group small in order to have fewer hassles and a good source of energy to keep us going on our journey.
Important information: To book the hike, it would cost us R200 each for the conservation fees. However, there is another R100 that is charged when you get to the Cederberg to check into the hike.
If you're a fan of hiking, you know that every trip requires preparation. If you want to hike overnight, for example, the first step is to prepare in advance. The tricky part is knowing what to take and what to leave behind…
These are the things we took with us on our 2-day hike on 8-9 May 2021
What we packed:
- 60 Litre Hiking Backpack
- 1 x 2-man tent
- First Aid Kit
- LOTS OF WATER - a minimum of 4 Litres
- Headlamp or torch
- Food (Fruit, Nuts, Sandwich, Biltong, two-minute noodle,etc)
- Change of WARM clothes
- Sleeping bag
- Rope (very Important)
- Gas + Kettle and a Pot
- A little Flask of Whisky
- Small blow-up mattress
How We Got there
One thing is certain: we had a good time because we were all in the same vehicle, which was only possible because we had rented a car which was a Volkswagen Kombi 4 motion.
This vehicle was incredible. With our five hiking backpacks and plenty of open space, it easily fit all five of us.
We decided to drive together because it would be easier and more cost-effective to divide the fuel. The ride was fantastic, and it was an excellent choice for the Cederberg Road, which is primarily uneven gravel. When you are driving on that gravel road, you should deflate your tires substantially. Since there were five people and we didn't have a tire gauge. We each took a tire and set a timer for 30 seconds while deflating.
We left Cape Town at 6:00 a.m., took a one-hour break, and then drove to Sandrift in the Cederberg. The journey into Sandrif is breathtaking, as you ride high up on well-kept gravel roads while surrounded by the magnificent Cederberg mountain range. We signed in and paid our R100 hike fee at the Sandrift Reception before heading to the Cracks. After passing through a gate, you'll arrive at the Wolfberg Parking Lot, which is at the start of the hike.
We arrived at the parking lot of the Wolfberg Cracks, and immediately set out to begin our hike. The hike from the parking lot is relatively short but very steep. My legs were already cramping up and we hadn't even begun our ascent yet!
We started ascending around 9.00 a.m. We decided to take it easy on the first part of the mountain because our packs were so heavy and there was such a steep ascent ahead of us. We had two rests before entering the Wolfberg Cracks.
We saw a few people on the trail, generally families, but no other overnight hikers. We took a pause and ate a short snack just before climbing up into the cracks.
This was the beginning of the happy memories. We had a couple of ropes to climb and some challenging areas to navigate with our large bags, but the well-kept hiking trail made it possible.
We were ecstatic as everything began to darken, leading to a small tunnel that we had to pass through, which was exceedingly difficult with our heavy packs.
When we got into the deep cracks, it was around 12 p.m. The fractures were so effectively concealed that it became absolutely black, necessitating the use of a torch.
We had one more tight squeeze, which required us to remove our packs, crushing the bananas in my bag.
After we got out, the payoff was fantastic. From left to right, we could only see towering mountain peaks where the light was just peeping through but bouncing off the rocks, providing us with enough light.
We were all blown away by this amazing natural rock edifice, which was surprisingly quiet. We took our time peering through the cracks before continuing on after a little bite to eat and taking in the spectacular views. The crack constricted as we progressed, forcing us to drop our bags and rely on the rope to help us ascend a steep slope. This is where teamwork came in handy.