Years before our time, our ancestors vowed to explore each and every inch of this planet and embrace every given opportunity to gear up and embark on an adventure… today, with things clearly being a bit more modernized and couches being the orderly choice of den, adventures become far and few without the right group of likeminded company.
But we do exist, we are out there. This last weekend, I escaped the comfort of the cities maze to venture into the heart of Magaliesberg and take on its best kept secret, the Grootkloof chasm. Just a few kilometers of natures untouched perfection with ‘kloofing’ being your mode of transport. Kloofing dates back to those same ancestors that relied on their own two legs and a handful of resources to get from start to finish of their expeditions. Think of a combination between trekking, abseiling, rock hopping and the occasional bum-slide or face-plant depending on your footing over mossy crags and sludge laced streams… not quite something for city folk with no backbone.
As unappealing as it may sound, there is something different about being in a space of nature that has no evidence of any other human ever crossing its expanse. I think it’s the sensation of feeling totally vulnerable in such an exposed territory that makes it almost slightly unsettling… a defenseless sucker at the mercy of mother natures will.
Despite all the instilled fear, the route is actually pretty straight forward and just by putting a little bit of thought into your actions, you end up having the best day of your life. Essentially, you meander through a deep crack that splits in mountain and involves a series of obstacles including scrambling, abseiling and the occasional jump into a rock pool below.
Obviously the abseil requires a bit of rope know-how, so from a safety perspective it’s crucial you take someone that has enough experience to get you down safely and can utilize the gear the correct way.
That, or you’ll find yourself getting sent home in an envelope after you’ve reached the floor of your 15m fall. Totally up to you though.
The character of the kloof could be described as somewhat Jurassic. Vines and ferns are draped between the rocky walls and the occasional waterfall leaks through the stonework. The boulders are what create the challenge. Drizzled throughout the chasm and scattered with tree trunks with ponds and pools between the entanglements of thicket.
By now I’m sure it’s obvious that gear obviously plays a huge part in an adventure like this, so how well you prepped your kit will influence how much you enjoy your day in one way or another.
When it comes to my gear prep, I’m fussy as hell. My kit has to make it to the end in one piece, no excuses. Durability is a must, practicality is demanded and I won’t even get into colouring.
Check out my gear:
Osprey Tempest 30ℓ pack
Sea To Summit dry sac
High UV Buff®
Vibram Five Fingers KSO
Black Diamond Momentum Harness
DMM Standard Figure 8
Beal Edlinger Rope
Maynards Jelly Beans and a Fanta Grape
Keen to join me on the next kloofing adventure?