The accommodation for the first night is a big farm house. The place is huge and has all the basics and more than one needs on a hike. There is even a fridge.
If you enjoy braaing on a hike as we do, I do not recommend using the inside fire place in the kitchen, as this fire place does not draw (hardly at all) and you land up trying to find each other in the kitchen behind all the smoke.
There is an outside braai, but badly situated and awkward to use, so I suggest that you bring your own portable braai (if you have space) and set it up under the oak tree in the garden and enjoy the breathtaking views of the mountains ahead of you.
Another thing we found disappointing, is that when someone used the toilet in the main bathroom, the sewage came back up through the drain’s hole in the bath. After further investigation we found that the drain outside was blocked, and with the amount of overflow, one can see that this drain has been blocked for some time. Thankfully there is another bathroom with a shower and toilet.
The first time you see Arangieskop, you cannot believe that you can walk up this huge mountain in one day. As with all hikes I suggest that you are reasonably fit, but if you are going to tackle this mountain being completely unfit, you are definitely not going to have an enjoyable experience. Let’s look at the no’s. We started at 375 m above sea level, and ended at the hut (that is still 200m short of the summit) at 1484m. That gives you a 1100m ascent with a heavy ruck sack. The last km felt really long. Once again our G.P.S read a distance of only 5.7 km instead of the (9.5) km that the brochure shows.
The overnight hut is probably one on the nicest hiking huts I have ever seen. The hut is very basic, but with hot showers and flush toilets, this is a real bonus. Then there is the view. We usually sit outside the rest of the afternoon and suck in the amazing views of almost the whole Koo valley and the mountains behind it. This is an experience that I will not easily forget and it makes the hard slog up the mountain every bit worth the effort.
These is always a plentiful supply of wood for the outside braai (donkey, for warming the water), the inside coal stove, and an awesome inside fire place. At this altitude even in summer it gets nippy
The highlight of this hike for me is the next morning. And I don’t mean the highlight is the 200m to the summit (that’s quite a shock on the system, the first time you do this hike, just about your first step out the hut is uphill). On a clear morning the highlights is watching the sunrise while you are standing above the clouds at a hight of more than 1600m. I am sure that this is not a sight that you will forget easily.
Even though the path is very well marked, ensure that you have enough battery life in your headlight, because in the pitch dark the path will be difficult to find. Also be sure to have warm clothes handy at the summit, even in summer and can get very cold up there. Oh yes, needless to say, also have your camera nearby.
The first couple of metres of the descent is a little challenging. Be very careful here, especially in winter as this section of the mountain is covered in ice and snow. Even the path a couple of 100 m down can still be very slippery, as all the pools of water in the path are iced up. The rest of the way down is fairly easy, but heavy going on the legs.
Once you are back in the fynbos you are again rewarded with stunning views over Robertson and surrounds. Depending on what time of the year you go you can also be overawed by the beautiful proteas and bird life. Take a while and sit down somewhere and you will see the prolific bird life.
This hike is probably one of the most “difficult” walks in the Western Cape, but we have done it many times and almost every time we are back home, we can’t wait to plan our next walk again.
Arangieskop according to Helga
Do not let anyone ever tell you that Arangieskop is a breeze…they will be lying! When you look back on the massive mountain you have just climbed it seems too unreal. Yes, I said climbed as opposed to hiked. It seems like you are watching one of those “Mount Everest” documentaries where Sir Hillary and those types of crazy chaps are taking their lives into their own hands…believe me – this hike is hectic!!! (Okay, those that know me, know I love exaggeration – for the record, this is a hike).
Let me give you a quick run down of our experience this weekend past. We drove thru to Robertson (or Bob-son as some would say) on the Friday. There we stayed in a very nice old house on the foot of the mountain. (Plumbing fixed since the last time). Breathtaking views, and the magnitude of what you are about to (once again!) do — hits you. The idea of actually getting to the top of this mountain in one day is amazing. You forget that you have to actually come down this same mountain the next – the really hard part. But, if you are a novice, you do not know this yet. You sit there, having a cool refreshing beer (or drink of your choice) and think you are “Cooler as Ekke” to quote Jack Parow. Day one and here the climb starts. Up and up firstly over a very “onnodige” (unnecessary) hill. Then down into the kloof where one ex-hiker of ours got himself and his wife lost – beware, look at the markings and watch the trees from getting your rucksack stuck. Out of the kloof — now go to the left and up, Up and UP. There is only UP from here.
It is very exhausting, especially if you are not as fit or thin as you know you could be! Once you reach the waterfall there is only 2kms to go. Sounds little does it not? Well, two ERG climbing kilos. The men are separated from the boys, bitches from the broads! But, all evil also comes to an end and once you reach the “saddle” you officially know you have made it!
The hut is probably the main reason (besides insanity) why people like Jens and others have completed this hike more than 13 times. The hut is superbly built along a rock face with large windows and built-in Jetmaster in the main (bottom room/kitchen) area. There are 2 toilets and 2 showers. Outside is an under roof braai area and grass veranda/view area. Be careful not to lean on the flimsy railing! For hot water one has to make a fire to heat the “kettle” next to the braai area. Upstairs are three bedrooms with two 8 beds and one with 4 beds. Below are another three beds.
Right – day two – the descent…one first has to actually reach the summit which is a tough, around 45 minutes climb. We suggest you start walking at 5am in winter to see the sun rise at 6am. (Only the mentally insane will attempt this hike in high summer). On a clear day the sunrise is breathtaking! Really feels like you are on top of the world. On a less clear day – take many photos and know you were there and also know that you will have to do the hike again to experience this elusive yet awesome sunrise.
Now the down starts with a steep, treacherous ladder. We had to go down this path a few times with frost and snow! This last weekend however we had a lot of mist making the whole descent very cold, wet and muddy. Prepare yourself for a minimum of two hours of sharp, strenuous DOWNS. If you have knee problems remember the knee guards and walking sticks. Some use protective gloves for their hands – not a bad idea. Once below (you are still basically in the middle of the mountain) you then navigate two kloofs with all the ups and downs and then after some straight, the eventual long down.
No amount of “gym” training can prepare you for this. It is pure mind over matter and just putting one foot in front of the other and keeping on going. Stay positive and stay sane! As you walk out you still cannot believe you have done this. Pat yourself on the back, say thanks to your chommies for all the support and say… “Later big mountain” Till next time Helga
I will never walk ARANGIES again without:
I will never leave my myprodols behind … pop them with a double brandy and you are in paradise for a few hours …noooooooo pain wheeeeeeeeeee !!!! They came to the rescue of a few on Arrangies …!
I would not leave behind warm clothes, my down sleeping bag, Germolene and my nail file. Germolene is good for patching and soothing chaffing areas, insect bites, minor cuts and bruises…much better than Vaseline or Fissan Paste.
Limo, Coke & Allesverloren Port vir die koue aande :-)
I was the only one out of our group of ten that was stung by the bees. That really sucks, why could a few of them not get my brother, Wynand as well!
Will never leave my Trekking Pole behind, cause you going to need it to save the legs on the downs
Update(4.5 months later)
“Our group” have walked this mountain many times, and it never ceases to amaze me how one can appreciate this mountain differently almost every time that you walk it.
This time the mountain was shrouded in a thick blanket of mist for almost the whole two days of our hike. At times it looked like you were deep in a rainforest somewhere in the Amazon.(See photos) The mist was so thick at times it actually felt like a light rain. Needless to say we were soaked (I’m not sure if it was due to the perspiring or the mist).
Fortunately the path is very well marked, and at no point did we feel like we were in any danger of getting lost, although walking in the mist is not advisable.
When we were here 4.5 months ago, I mentioned that the bathroom had plumbing problems, but I am glad to say that this problem has been fully sorted out since.
The farmhouse once again, was spotlessly clean when we arrived, and the modern day comforts at the house makes this hike even more of a pleasure.
The first night we were the only group at the farmhouse and again we thought that we had the whole hike to ourselves, but were we surprised when at about 17H00, a group of about ten (most of them probably in their mid twenties) joined us at the top hut.
It did not nearly look like any of them had just walked Arangieskop. When most of us arrived a the hut we just plunked down for a couple of minutes, just glad to have made it.
Like I said before we have been hiking for some years, and have seen many strange things on hikes, but never ever, not even in our wildest dreams , could we imagine someone carrying a full scale axe up Arangieskop. I don’t know if we were more shocked or surprised.
A few wines later, we were wondering why on earth would someone carry an axe up the mountain. Then it came to us, maybe they are waiting for us to fall asleep and then they were going to make one of those “snuff” movies.
Needless to say at that point in time we hastily confiscated his axe (we were more than them). Karel, if you are reading this, you guys were good fun. Thanks for all the laughs.
I usually end off by asking the question “Would I do this hike again?”. Even though this is a really tough hike, the answer will still be “Most certainly yes” , but not this year again, twice is enough. Our next hike must be something much more relaxing.
|Tel no||023 — 6262426||G.P.S.||S33 45.515 E19 52.743|
|Fax||023 — 6268242||Website|
|Nearest Town||Robertson||Max Persons||23|
|Distance from Town||7km, 12 mins||Overnight Shelter||
|Map to start of hike||View Map||Brochure||Click here|
|No of days||Two||Trail Type||Circular|
|Tips and things to do|