Helderberg Brown Trail Run

Our trail grading: ORANGE 2A
Distance: 8.5km
Extremeness: A very tough climb & eroded jeep and single track
Location: Helderberg Nature Reserve, Somerset West, South Africa
Joggers: Only me

This was the first time I have every completed the seldom-traveled Brown Hiking Trail. I also started with an alternative route and instead of jogging through the pine plantation, I jogged towards Erinvale's fence and up towards the start of the Brown route. The Brown route is a fairly technical jeep track and the only hiking route in Helderberg Nature Reserve that is not a loop. After the first proper autumn rain the route was beautiful and I enjoyed jogging through the unique Cape fynbos and hundreds of Protea bushes. Make no mistake, the climb is incredibly tough and I suppose the "A" grading is maybe pushing it since even very fit extreme joggers would struggle to keep jogging the entire 4km climb (400m altitude gain). The Brown route stops abruptly and it would have been awesome if it connect to one of Lourensford's upper contour jeep tracks. After admiring the view of Lourensford and the Hottentots Holland Mountains I packed my camera away and picked up the pace for the demanding and wet downhill.

Hangklip and False Bay in the distance
Jogging between Protea bushes... only in the Western Cape
Fake smile while I catch my breath on the tough climb
More altitude this time with most of Somerset West, Strand and Gordon's Bay visible
Lourensford farm and the beautiful Hottentots Holland Mountains
The end of the Brown Hiking route and the Dome!

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