West Peak Trail Run

Our trail grading: GREEN 5B
Distance: 11.42km
Extremeness: Technical single track and tough climb
Location: Helderberg Nature Reserve, Somerset West, South Africa
Joggers: Only me

This Saturday the challenge was simple to describe, but tough to complete: up and down West Peak! For those of you who has never ran or hiked up Helderberg mountain, the true toughness of this 900m climb would be hard to grasp. This climb starts from the word "go" and only ends when you reach West Peak at 1043 AMSL after 5.5km!

I started just before sunrise and reached Disa gorge after 30 minutes. I then started up Porcupine Buttress and was slowed by the beautiful views (had to take lots of photos) and the mist, which made the rocky parts fairly slippery. I reached the saddle, which was covered in thick mist, one hour into the jog. From here on you jog a short section of single track and then hit an awesome climb over huge boulders to reach the top of West Peak. There were not mist at the top and an icy clean mountain breeze helped me to cool down while I basked in the sun (and the glory of conquering West Peak) for a few minutes... enjoying the view and eating my energy bar. I then jogged down the Western side of West Peak for the first time and was surprised by the nice, fairly easy descending, single track. When I reached the jeep track again I picked up the pace to ended the Saturday morning fun in just over two hours.

The challenge... up & down West Peak (on the left)
First light on the Eastern side of West Peak
Beautiful view of Gordon's Bay at the top of Porcupine Buttress
The single track becoming steeper with mist moving in on West Peak
Single track with a view
At least someone appreciates the extremeness of my jog... 
Eerie weather as I do some rock hopping to reach West Peak summit
The awesome view from West Peak (above the clouds)
Looking back at West Peak while descending
The beautiful red & orange vineyards of the Stellenbosch wine region
The single track back towards Helderberg Nature Reserve
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