AML Course Cederberg, a set on Flickr.
This was hardly ‘slackpacking’: slogging up to the base of the ‘Cracks’ and through the narrow ‘Crack’ with full backpacks. The legs definitely felt the extra weight compared with the usual light day pack that I have used on the route before. In order to complete the practical assessment for mountain leadership qualification an overnight hike has to be completed, together with day and night navigation, emergency procedures, first aid, safety on steep ground and leading a group.
Assessor Anthony Hall, had set us a few pre-hike tasks, including planning the route, organising the logistics of getting there, equipment preparation and meal planning. It was off to an early Saturday morning start – 4 a.m. to pick up Annie, then Anthony and finally Neil, before starting the four hour trip up to the Cederberg. I have done this trip a few times recently, but I found it a bit quicker than usual, probably because we were not distracted by any diversions to take photos or chat about features or history.
The stop to collect permits to overnight in the mountains, from the Cape Nature office in Algeria went smoothly, as did the formalities at the Sanddrif office. By shortly after 9 a.m. we were on our way to the parking area at the start. Anthony was soon putting us through our paces, checking our equipment, packing and pre-hike briefing. Then it was the physical stuff, the trek up that slope with the heavy packs, with Annie leading from the start.