David and I looked back at Victoria Peak, from whence we came. David laughed. “We went straight up the steepest part!!”
I looked over at Oscar, who was grinning. Eh well. We’d purposely contoured around the mountain to find an easier path up than the normal route, because we were carrying two days worth of gear on this traverse.
We had good intentions but ended up, as David put it, going straight up the steepest part. It’s scree. A scree treadmill… One step up, a half step slide back. Finally the scree gave way to boulders.
Whewee, it was going to be long days if the entire ridge was like this, I thought. Luckily, it wasn’t. Spionkop is the steepest section, but we managed that easily even with our big backpacks. The rest was largely a wonderful ridge walk. Hot, and windy.
Others who have done this route have noted that the scenery doesn’t change much. That’s because the scale is so humongous. In such vastness, it was the little things underfoot that commanded our special attention. Alpine flowers and succulents, the amazing color of the rocks, geological variety.
The layers of cream, terracotta and salmon, minty-grey and slate grey.. Rainbow slopes.