Die Pieke, Virgin Peaks & Rifberg

The plan was to head up Langrivierkloof, across to Virgin Peaks and Rifberg (First Ridge Peak), and come down the “slabs” route. Since we were able to drive a considerable distance up Langrivierkloof, we tackled Die Pieke as well.

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In April 2015 S.Z. and I headed up the Twins (with great difficulty) via Langrivierkloof, and tried to find our way back down via Nerina Valley. Unfortunately, coming down Vensterkloof, we did not head though the “venster”, but rather disastrously kept going down the kloof. We were soon in a bit of trouble – we had climbed a fair distance down the koof, and reached a vertical drop that could only descended with rope. We had to race back up and head down Langrivierkloof again. This was a valuable lesson in the danger of the mountains.

In contrast, this trip – although much trickier – went a great deal smoother. This time I had a bit of fitness on my side, and there was an experienced leader blazing the way. We made quick work of Langrivier kloof. With the extra time on our hands we made for the Twins (Die Pieke); taking an alternative route involving a few exposed ledges.

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Here, on the higher of the Twins we had a sandwich and enjoyed the view. This was a wonderful vantage point to see Stellenbosch and the giants of the Hotttentots Holland mountains, namely, Victoria Peak and Somerset-Sneeukop.

The rest of the day involved steep climbs and sliding down grass-laden inclines. There were a few dangerous spots along the route, but nothing such as to cause concern. In this manner we reached both the Virgin Peaks and Rifberg (First Ridge Peak), from where we came down the steep “slabs” route.

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Total distance: 11.5 km
Max elevation: 1511 m
Min elevation: 640 m
Total climbing: 1487 m
Total time: 07:47:39
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2 Comments

  1. Schalk Marais

    Hi! Great article and super informative!
    Could you please give some pointers or photos perhaps on the start and finish of Slabs?

    Been looking for it for a while now, but I want to take the correct route, and Jonkershoek en sy Berge is very vague. GPX files also seem to be a bit jumpy around the Rifberge…

    Cheers
    Schalk

    • Hi Schalk,

      I have only done this route once and then it was with the MCSA. I’m not too confident in my direction skills for Slabs! I remember the route was well cairned and that it was crucial to head through a opening in a rock face at the upper start of Slabs. I think it would probably be best to contact anyone in the Stellenbosch section of the MCSA if you want detailed info. Sorry I can’t be of more help! I don’t seem to have any informative photos of Slabs either.

      Cheers
      Peter

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