Fish Hoek, Western Cape

Written by Jacques Marais
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The aroma of mountain buchu and wild rosemary on the morning breeze. A surround-sound symphony of black swifts shrilling , punctuated by occasional interjections from peregrine falcons and white-necked ravens. And the first rays of the sun painting #FalseBay in a hundred amber hues …

That’s all part of the deal when you join

Mike Wakeford and Eva Kjellsdotter on a #dawnpatrol ascent up the eastern face of Elsies Peak. Everything goes, from gnarly traverses and big-exposure ridgeline scrambles, to some of the best #tradclimbing routes anywhere on the planet. The crag’s history timelines back to beyond the beginning of the 20th century, with some of South Africa’s most legendary climbers honing their skills upon these heart-stoppingly gorgeous cliffs. And what a privilege to enjoy your morning #coffee with a view across #DreamStreetRose, arguably one of the most epic trad climbs on the sub-continent.
You don’t want to attempt any of these Elsies scramble on your own, though, for a whole host of reasons. Firstly, you may succumb to the #MoronVirus and kill yourself, or waste precious resources in getting #MountainRescue to come to your aid if you get stuck on a flakey route. More importantly, this is an extremely fragile mountain environment and you don’t want to destroy the delicate ecosystem eking out an existence here upon the edge of the bay. Rather book a solid mountain guide, like Mike, who will enrich your experience a hundred-fold.

This past weekend was made for more than one #adventure, though, so we also got to cross the Peninsula spine to hook up with Nichelle and

Christo Swanepoel . Despite a pumping south-easter, we did an exploratory sail in their yacht, Pluto, scudding along the icy swell pounding into the sea cliffs rearing up towards #ChapmansPeak. More good #coffee – and an unexpected breakfast #grappa from Dario’s Café – Italian Restaurant’s

in Hout Bay – eventually morphed into an evening #braai (with a #trailrun and such a kiff #surf, thrown in for good measure somewhere along the way).

The #TopGear Awards of the day go to the

Vibram FiveFingers South Africa and Vivobarefoot South Africa shoes, IHFProducts – Polar in SA

#Grit watch, GoPro South Africa #MAX360 camera, Core Merino base-layer and Sealand Gear
#spex camera pack. To get hold of #TopGuide Mike, go check out www.guidedbymike.co.za... Finally, thanks for the sterling company – as always – and great photos, Karyn Marais 💙

Click here to view the pics

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