Franschoek - Sir Lowrys pass

What started as a “lets explore Elands pass” (near Sir Lowrys pass) has snow balled into a longer hike - theoretically Franschoek to Sir Lowrys pass. But is at this stage a discussion roughly aiming for two nights / three days starting in two weeks time.

Got the 1;50,000 Maps to cover the area and an old (1994) Boland Hiking Trail map there seems to be a way to get from Berg River to meet up with the Jonkershoek Boland trail around Banghoek peak but I just cant figure it out with my info at this stage.

Anyone got any suggestions or done it previously?

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Also interested in this topic. @Arno and me have chatted about a hike from Sir Lowrys Pass to Du Toits Kloof Pass (N2 to N1), which would also require to do the section that you are mentioning. There is an old Boland Hiking Trail section on the topographical map linking Hottentots Holland Reserve and Mont Rochelle Reserve - not sure if this is still in use. This is roughly to the South-East of the Franschhoek mountains. It looks like one could also take an “own path” version from Jonkershoek directly to Franschhoek (eg. via Bergriviersnek), but that might mean you have to walk through private land.

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now this sounds interesting. i live in Somerset West and would love to do a hike like this one day in the future.
i hiked Mont Rochelle in Franschhoek a few months ago and got chatting to the ranger there on duty and he says there is talk of making a new trail from there to Stellenbosch. Aimed at the runners to complete in a day.

your route sounds like you will be going through the Hottentots Holland hike which has an awesome hut there at Landroskop hut which has 6 bedrooms if i remember correctly.

From Mont Rochelle on the Franschoek pass road there is a link path to the west of turn off from Mont Rochelle that heads South - I had initially envisaged using this to then head onto the Jonkershoek (and Boland) trails, but the detail is missing, and quite honestly on the maps, it looks positively treacherous.
There is a way up from Devilstooth in Franschoek, that is apparently very dramatic

The route to Landroskop hut to my knowledge is currently closed, and a bunch of paths within that reserve are also closed. so you’re encouraged to use their Jeep track currently. Im not sure what the situation is with crossing from Jonkershoek to Hottentot hollands But will figure it out

I think the path you are referring to is the same one I saw on the map (the part of the Boland Hiking trail). Regarding Devils Tooth, it could be accessed from the Banhoek Conservancy in Kylemore. If one were to walk via Duiwelskloof (also in Banhoek) you can reach Drakenstein peak and Banhoek peak from there. I believe it would be possible to climb up one of these peaks and to walk to Bergriviersnek in Jonkershoek from there (or do the walk in the other direction). Altough it looks like hard going. That route is a bit off from your intended plan which is to link Grabouw and Franschhoek. The problem with many great route plans, is the joke that all great hiking routes happen where the topographical maps overlap, making it more confusing to get a bird’s eye view :joy:

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I’ve been looking at Kleinmond to Du Toits Kloof(and beyond) for some time now. Also started off with one localised area and then my mind+maps runs wild with possibilities. I’ve visited some ‘unknown’ sections of this route but all seems quite do-able. One section I’m struggling with is around Emerald Peak so I can coss through to Monte Rochelle. Trying to follow the ridgeline but may need to drop down lower.

Thanks for this! I have an annual permit at Mont Rochelle. I’ve been linking various trails in Mont Rochelle, running & hiking, and look forward to the new trail.

Do you have GPX files of your routes?

I was very fortunate to have a “local expert” when I was in the Eastern Cape, so I just had to show up for hikes with snacks and water. But back in the Western Cape, I find myself scared of the unknowns and can’t get myself out the door and into the mountains. Silly.

For Mont Rochelle Trails?

Yessir!

You don’t need .gpx files for Mont Rochelle Trails. See https://www.montrochellehiking.co.za/downloads
Here you can download the brochure, which includes a detailed map. You can also purchase the same at the MNR for R20.