Gross Spitzkoppe left and the Pontoks (1 – 4) to the right. (the gully between Pontok 2 and 3 is just to the left of where the road dissapears)
The Matterhorn of the Desert stands proud of the flat plain below, Visible for many kilometres in any direction. The best way to take in the surroundings is to get some altitude. The Rock climbs are fairly well documented over the years. See several links at the bottom of this post.
However if you are not carrying all the gear to scale these more serious objectives then there are still some pretty cool adventures to be had.
Spitzkoppe is a granite peak with many large boulders strewn about. Camping is very basic. Long drop toilets are available, showers can be had at the gate entrance, you need to provide everything else. The best is to buy all supplies in Windhoek (including all water – 5l per person per day should be a minimum). Security is not a huge problem but you are advised to keep valuables locked in your car. There are many camping sites dotted about and you have the choice of many different vistas and getting away from it all.
To access the Spitzkoppe take the B2 from Windhoek to Swakopmund. 23km past Usakos you will see signs to Spitzkoppe and Henties Bay. Follow these until you land on the D3716 and drive through the Spitzkoppe Village. Shortly after the shacks finish (with roadside stall selling stones from the area) you will see the main gate on the left. Day and overnight entrance fees are payable here. Cabins are also available.
Spitzkoppe Overview showing the Swakop scramble in blue, Pontok 3 in multi colour and the A indicates the gate to the reserve
at the rock pools look at the Gross Spitzkoppe
The easiest scramble ascends the dome between campsite 1 and The Bridge (a natural rock arch best viewed at sunset). This is south of the gap between the gap between the Pontoks and Gross Spitzkoppe. Park at Campsite 2 and ascend the gentle ramp to the left. This curves up and after a couple of minutes you will pass rock pools (these will obviously only have water after heavy rains) There is a nice shady spot here. Continue up to the left, curving to the right where it steepens slightly. You will find a rock step here with one tricky move. The rest is an easy slop to the top with great views.
Pontok 3 scramble from Movescount
the obvious gully gives access to the nek between Pontok 2 and 3
Park at Campsite 17 and walk up one of the rounded ribs of granite towards the gap between Pontok 2 and 3. You will find cairns here. Soon these will split into a higher and lower ascent. The lower crosses some exposed slabs but follows a more obvious line. The higher winds through some bushes and is probably more direct and possibly quicker. Both options take you to the gully between Pontok 2 and 3. Once here you find a fairly well defined path which goes steeply up. Once at the neck you will find the obvious dyke line to follow. It might feel exposed in places but is not too bad. There is a short step up to be negotiated but otherwise the rest of the route is no problem and can be done quite easily without a rope.
The round trip car back to the car should take between 2 to 3 hours depending.
In theory the Nek can also be accessed from the north but this involves a rather long walk around the base.
There are many other scrambles that can be done here including getting to the top of the South West Wall via the left hand gully but I will save that for my next visit. The Standard Route on the main peak is a must do for any climber irrespective of grade. It is a brilliant feat of route finding and sheer determination.
Check Alard’s Bigwall Page here.