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PureFit GO Episode 4: Botmanskop Climb with AJ Calitz

PureFit GO is a six-part series looking to showcase some of the most spectacular trail running trails in the Western Cape. In this fourth episode, AJ Calitz and his faithful trail hounds, show us one of his childhood running routes: the leg-burning climb up to the beacon at the top of Botmanskop, with its 360 degree panoramic views of Stellenbosch, Jonkershoek, and the Franschhoek valley.


The Segment:

The segment climbs 465 metres in 1.9 kilometres, reaching a final elevation of 830 metres above sea level.


The climb starts above the tree line on Botmanskop. The area has recently burned, lending a stark lunar feel to the landscape. A steep, slippery jeep track pops you onto the hiking trail which takes a nearly direct line to the kloof through which you reach the top. No thoughts spared for legs or lungs here. At times the gradient seems close to vertical, and a fine layer of dust, and very loose rocks tests the grip on your shoes to the max.


From a distance, the wall of rock in the kloof seems impenetrable, but as you approach hand and footholds become clearer, and it is possible to scramble and climb your way up. Don't look down if you are afraid of heights: Stellenbosch looks very small from up here. Be warned- trail dogs can't climb any further unassisted, so don't bring them unless you are prepared to leave them to wait.


Towards the top, the boulders get bigger and are precariously place. It takes great skill and care to be able to scramble at speed, and for the less nimble, it is more of a clammy-palmed climb.


The reward at the top is breath-taking views on all sides and a huge sense of achievement as you look down on your starting point. If you weren't sure at the start- this is a good enough reason to run.


Trail Suggestions:

With three more videos on the way, we need your help finding the best trails! If you would like to recommend a trail, please comment below or let us know via our Twitter or Facebook accounts.


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  • MelkbosTrailGirl likes this


Ek bly in die verkeerde provinsie/stad/dorp. Ons berge is 46.5m oor 1.9km (en geen uitsig)...

    • Kylie and MelkbosTrailGirl like this