Steenberg Ridge scramble

A brief description of the fantastic scramble just above Lakeside.
A new year and a new adventure. All Cape Tonian’s have seen it. Very in your face in just the right light. Right there in front of you, up on the hill, just at the end of the road. The M3 that is. Steenberg Ridge is the broken ridge running up the side of the hills above Lakeside. Just park your car at the pub at the start of Boyes Drive and walk to the first bend on Boyes Drive. From here take a vague path until this levels out and continue up the hill to the left of the blocky gendarme. The initial climbing starts up the obvious white, stepped faces. This little warm up gets you onto the crest of the ridge and the crux pitch. From here continue up the buttresses to the large rock window just below the top. You will now be on Steenberg Peak, close to the Naval antennae. Follow the cairns to the jeep track which is easily followed to the Silvermine East gate on Ou Kaapse Weg.
And so with none of the above knowledge I followed my old climbing friend Gareth up this little adventure on the 2nd of Jan. I was advised to bring rock shoes and chalk. But seeing as my chalk bag was a solid block of caked chalk from exactly a year ago I only managed to scratch together two (yes one left and one right) climbing shoe. Somehow they had mysteriously shrunk while gathering dust in my cupboard for the last 12 months or so.
The story of my caked chalk bag is one that I am not certain I want to revisit. It involved no free-climbing on my part just carrying a very heavy pack filled with metal a very long way up a hill only to be rained on for 36h straight while not losing my sense of humour.
The route finding was surprisingly straightforward on Steenberg Ridge with the odd cairn to be found on ledges along the way. The rock is solid and gear seemed fine to me, but then I was not really looking. The overall grade would clock in at 11 or so.
What a grand way to start the New Year!

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