Taking You To New Heights
Explore southern Africa’s most jaw-dropping mountain ranges, from the Drakensberg to Mount Kenya
Join Peak High Mountaineering on their extreme expeditions, exploring the most striking rock and mountain features found in southern Africa. Peak High Mountaineering offers a variety of activities for the extreme adventurists out there, such as hiking, rock climbing or mountaineering, as well as ice and snow expeditions. With a variety of sturdy equipment to hire and a guide with over 20 years of experience leading the way, Peak High Mountaineering is offers safe and responsible guided hikes and climbs. Also on offer are a variety of training courses, from beginner climbing courses to adventure race training. Experience the outdoors like never before with Peak High Mountaineering and push yourself to new heights.
While most the equipment can be hired out, please ensure that you know what clothing items and other essentials you need to bring along when booking your chosen activity
Depends on the activity chosen
Participants must be aware that the activities on offer require a certain level of fitness to complete
Clothing appropriate for the activity chosen
Closed shoes, warm jacket, windbreaker, thermals, long pants Please ensure that you know what clothing and equipment is required when booking your chosen activity
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Peak High Mountaineering is South Africa’s leader in guided hiking and mountaineering. They conduct tours and courses in a variety of destinations in southern Africa, including the Drakensberg, Cape Town (Table Mountain), Cederberg, Magaliesberg and Free State.
Peak high offers guided ascents of most peaks in the Drakensberg. The climbs vary from easy scrambles to severe challenges. The peaks are all located a wilderness area and World Heritage Site. You do need to be fit and to have had some prior climbing experience. You must also be able to belay properly using double ropes and be competent at abseiling. The Drakensberg is the highest mountain range in South Africa and is a vast area of rugged mountains that are a hiking paradise. Due to its natural beauty and biodiversity value, the Drakensberg area was also declared a World Heritage Site.
Peak High Mountaineering offers Drakensberg hiking tours to all Drakensberg regions, including Mount-aux-Sources, Cathedral Peak, Champagne Castle and Sani Pass. These tours are all guided by professional, qualified mountain guides. These hikes can be anything from easy two-day hikes up to multi-day treks, with or without porters. Peak High also offer rock and ice climbing trips to the most impressive peaks, where clients can feel the exhilaration of climbing large peaks, deep in a wilderness area. Snow and ice climbs are in condition between June and August each year.
The highest mountain in southern Africa is Thabana Ntlenyana (3 482m or 11 424ft) and is situated in the Kingdom of Lesotho, just west of Sani Pass. The highest peak within the borders of South Africa is Mafadi (3 450m or 11 322ft) and is located in the central Drakensberg. The entire uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, which contains the Drakensberg Mountains, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, preserved for is natural fauna, flora and cultural heritage. It consists of an escarpment that runs for more than 240-kilometers, starting at Sentinel Peak in the north and ending at the Devil’s Knuckles in the south.
South Africa has a vast number of challenging rock-climbing venues, such as the Cederberg, Table Mountain, Swinburne and the Magaliesberg. Single or multiday climbing tours of these regions and others are available.
Peak High Mountaineering also conduct climbing expeditions on request to Mt. Kenya, Spitzkop in Namibia, the European Alps, the Andes and the Rwenzori Mountains of Uganda. Mount Kenya rises to over five thousand meters in a remote area of east Africa. By any standards, it is a very rugged and wild area with high crags and hanging glaciers. The massif consists of four distinct summits. The highest summit is named Batian and stands at 5199 meters. Second is Nelion at 5188 meters, third is Point Lenana at 4985 meters and fourth is Point John, 4883 meters.
Batian, Nelion and Pt. John require technical climbing to reach their summits, while Point Lenana a trekking peak. All climbing routes on Batian and Nelion are usually climbed as 2-day routes with one night being spent on the mountain and for this reason there is a small metal hut (box) on the summit of Nelion. This is called the Howell Hut, named after Alan Howell, a local climber, who erected it.
Due to the mountain being on the equator, there are two climbing seasons. The southern side experiences winter from June till August while the northern side is having “summer” climbing during this period. These seasons are reversed from November till March.
Guided ascents can be done of any route depending on the clients’ previous experience. However as an introduction to the peaks, it is best to try for an ascent of the Normal Route on Nelion via the east face. Once reaching the summit of Nelion one can then cross the “Gate of Mists” to summit Batian.
This route is best done during December to March and sometimes can be climbed during the other season if not much snow has fallen. The other route worth doing is the North Face Standard Route, best climbed in the northern hemisphere’s summer, namely June to August. Both routes are easy to moderate in grade and are very long. Most of the pitches are roped scrambles with a few pitches of about South African grade 15 or USA 5.6 or UK technical grade 4a.
Mt. Kenya has fantastic trekking routes and is worth a visit simply for this reason. Unlike Kilimanjaro, the trails are not overcrowded or badly littered. There are a few dozen routes to follow in the region, each with its own charm. Of particular interest is the Chogoria and the Sirimon Routes. An ascent of Point Lenana can also be incorporated into a trekking holiday. Often trekkers join up with a climbing party for a slightly reduced fee. Porters are available when hiking to a climb or on a trek.
Spitzkop, is a towering granite peak in the middle of the Namib desert, and is located a few hours’ drive west of the capital city, Windhoek. This mountain gives high quality rock climbing, scrambling and hiking. The massif consists of Gross Spitzkop and numerous satellite peaks including the “Pontok” peaks.
The “Spitzkoppe” as they are known by the German speaking inhabitants, rise from of the wind worn desert floor giving the visiting climber a taste of the vastness and beauty of Africa.
There are many different routes on the main peak and surrounding summits. Most are moderate slab or crack system routes that follow obvious lines of weakness. In recent years a number of moderate to extreme sport lines, including multi-pitch routes have been added to this venue.
The “Standard Route” and “Abrasion”, both classic moderate lines, give very good traditional climbing. Both these routes take all day to complete and descent is by multiple abseils.
There are a few moderate-to-extreme sport routes located on the smaller buttresses. Of interest is a line called “Desert Rose” which consists of 6 pitches all of grade 13.
The area gives very good walking and scrambling. These walks are good alternatives during non-climbing days or for family members to enjoy. There is a wide variety of desert vegetation, animals and birds to be observed.
Guided Trips to Spitzkop are carried out on a pay-as-you-go system. The guide is paid a daily fee plus all other expenses. Clients meet the Guide either in Windhoek or in South Africa and then the party flies to Namibia. From there a car is hired to get to the mountain. (Other over-land options can be organised on request.)
The best time to visit this area is in the winter months from June to August. Peak High provides all the climbing and camping equipment and makes the necessary arrangements. Quotations are made up for each individual expedition.
Peak High Mountaineering is also a certified Mountain Development Trust (MDT) service provider. They offer both certified and recreational courses in skills such as abseiling, mountain walking, rock and ice climbing.