The Pre-Kloof Fest started as a small affair, with the idea to get some of our maats together and have a time climbing with some chatting and planning for the main Kloof Fest happening in September.
The Kloof Fest is a wonderful thing, word of mouth invites spread and a cool bunch of people arrive in the mountains to enjoy nature in all its glory.
This year it’s going official and we need to be on it. We’re expecting a bunch of new people who will need guidance and assistance in the ways of the wild Magaliesberg. This pre-Kloof Fest was a tester that grew beyond our expectations and probably ended up preparing the crew more than the people that came with on their first time.
Almost all thirty of the Pre-Kloof Fest maats arrived at the new gate into the Askari parking lot and we saw what thirty rows on an Excel spreadsheet looked like in real life.
People falling out of their cars nd psyched for the trip, ranging in experience and preparedness for the weekend ahead, from elite level Kloof Festers with double packs for beer, racks and slacklines to first timers who only had a duffel bag and the ever persistent ultra light hikers with an enviably small backpack.
Some gear was dished out and words were spoken about the beauty of the Magaliesburg and the privilege of spending time in this ancient place. We owe a huge thank you to the MCSA, the JHB section and all the extraordinary volunteers who are involved and keep the club running smoothly and properties and adventures accessible to us in tip top condition.
We missioned up the hill, it’s always the worst the first time you do it as well as being harder than you think it will be. Arriving at the campsite is the highlight of the hike, the stone chairs look so inviting and the view all around is one to be cherished.
We hope we shared a little bit of how special it is for us to be in this place and the responsibility we have, especially in these times, to respect the planet and the truly wild areas we have left on it.
The campsite is at the top of Tonquani, a huge kloof over 1.5km long and up to 80m deep with beautiful swimming pools, amazing scenery and some of the best traditional climbing the Magaliesburg has to offer.
Sunday morning took us on a scenic journey through the Tonquani Complex, an amazing hike through three kloofs and their surrounding areas that form an ancient looking world of rock and water teeming with life.
It started in Upper Tonquani with a walk up Photographers gully. Across a grassy slope with outrageously shaped boulders of coarse quartzite crystals and a camera trap for the leopard that lives in the area and into the top of Cederberg Kloof.
Down past the impressive walls of Boggle and towards Tonquani. A right and then a left into Boulder Kloof and up and up until you can scramble out on the other side of Tonquani and past Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, two big pillars on the slope next to the kloof. A walk down Short gully and you’re back in Upper Tonquani.
A big hike by any standard, and all our friends just cruised through it, enjoying every step.
Some awesome trad climbing went down on Sunday afternoon with peeps trying routes from 12 to 22.
First time trad follows, people leading on trad for the first time and some people even had their first multi pitch experience on trad!
The psyche was high for the quality of the routes in the Upper Tonqs area. The Moke (17) saw multiple ascents, as did Red Corner (17) and Hawks Eye (13). Sunday evening was a social time with everyone chilling and cooking dinner together, taking in the wonderful weekend experience.
Monday dawned bright and sunny and after a very lazy start to the day, some morning climbing was followed with a pack up and hike out in the afternoon.
Arriving at the car after a big mission is always a sad relief, you’ve finally ended the suffering created by a heavy pack and long walk out, but the trip is over, it’s back to the real world.
The Kloof Fest is still a small thing, we hope it grows and helps people experience the power of time in nature and the contentment that comes with having a little bit of stuff and a lot of quality experiences with quality friends.