By Geoff Hardy
It’s a big drive down to Castle so we needed a big day to make the most of it!
We started by biking 4 km along a gas plant road and then stashed our bikes in the trees by a fork in the road. From there we hiked up the mostly dry Spionkop Creek. It was only a few minutes along the creek when I stumbled over a wobbly rock and broke my thumb on a rock. Fortunately we were not going to let that slow us down so we continued on up to Mt Roche (also known as Spread Eagle Mountain).
From the summit of Roche, it was a pretty quick detour down to the outlier known as Mount Yarrow before heading back to Spionkop Ridge. Travel along the ridge had enough colourful rock and variety of terrain to keep us amused. As we neared the summit, the wind went from breezy to blasting. At the summit we decided that due to the stormy looking weather rolling in, we would pass on visiting Loaf Mountain and headed down to the col and out the valley.
There was quite a bit of route-finding on the way down the valley to avoid bush-whacking and various cliffs. After the fun of the ridge traverse, this part seemed really long. Eventually we got back to the bikes, where we were grateful for an easy ride down to the car – we hardly needed to pedal.
Stats: 8km bike, 27km hike, 1975m elevation gain, 10:30 hours