Monthly Archives: April 2012

Noordhoek Peak via Steenberg Ridge & Panorama Path

Looking towards False Bay and Simonstown

The direct path from Silvermine Dam to the Blackburn Ravine view point platform is a regular for me, being part of the Hoerikwaggo Trail and a quick and easy way to this popular lookout point. It was great therefore to join Meridian Hiking Club to take a slightly different route up Steenberg Ridge, to walk at a slightly higher level overlooking the Constantia Valley, the Cape Flats and False Bay. After the short climb from the parking area up to the ridge it is fairly level and it is an easy walk to across the top. The path is clear and most of the invasive vegetation has been removed from this area now,

Pausing for photographers to catch up

including the stark, dead pine trees that marked the top of the ridge for a long time. The dead logs are still lying around but the fynbos is looking particularly good and looking down to the Silvermine Dam into the Protea covered Silvermine Valley one has to appreciate how lucky we are to live in the Cape. At the end of the ridge path drops down to cross the Elephants Eye path and link up with the jeep track to the top of Blackburn. The view over Hout Bay, as always, was magnificent. Being a slightly cooler day than we have been used to, with a cool wind blowing and knowing that the views could be admired while we were walking, we did not stay long and retraced our steps to take the path up to the peak above Blackburn Ravine. Strangely, although this is a fairly prominent peak, with a stiff climb to the summit, no map I have consulted gives it a name. At the summit, we paused allow some of the stragglers to catch up the group come together. It does not matter where you stop on this walk, there is superb view in all directions. The higher level allows

Silvermine Valley

you to see Hout Bay, Table Mountain, Constantiaberg, Chapmans Peak, False Bay and the Kalk Bay and Muizenberg Peaks from the same point. The path down from this peak is known as the Panorama

Hout Bay from the Panorama path

Path, for good reason. The main view is over Hout Bay but it is scenic overload. At the next convenient outlook point we stopped for a tea break and to just enjoy the setting. I am not sure if it was just protected from the wind or the weather was being kind to us as we sat to enjoy our refreshments and the warmth of the sun. On an impossible rocky outcrop, not far from where we sat perched two fledgling Rock Kestrels. We watched as they gathered themselves and eventually launched in to flight, encouraged by a small

Orange Breasted Sunbird that buzzed around them. It is some time since I had done this route had anticipated that the walk from where we had tea to Noordhoek Peak, was going to be very short. There were a few more ups and downs than I remembered and time to enjoy the quiet of this fabulous area with the ever changing rock formations and vegetation. After Noordhoek Peak the path comes out on the jeep track where hikers need to be careful of the ever present mountain bikers coming down at speed. It is better for hikers to get off the road on to the adjacent hiking paths as soon as possible. We found the short cut to the Amphitheatre path on the opposite side of the Silvermine Valley to where we started. This is also a path that I have used often and is particularl

Chapmans Peak in the distance

y impressive for the striking layered rock formations near shelter rock. Silvermine Dam and the car park was now in view, although this is also one of those paths that take a bit long

er than one expects, but the end was in sight, just in time for lunch and quick trip down to the Red Herring in Noordhoek for a beer and a snack basket.

For guided day hikes and overnight hiking trails contact Frank: frank@slackpackersa.co.za – Cell: 082-8824388

 

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