Hiking in Namibia (part 3)

First read:  Climbing in Namibia part 1

               Climbing in Namibia part 2

The final stages in our Sptizkoppe adventure provided some of the “hairiest”, but most rewarding, moments.

The final pitch was an easy chimney, if you stayed high up in the crack, which the others opted not to do, as they inched their way in the narrow crack below all the way to the summit. We reached the summit around 3pm, and the views were excellent, and writing our names in the logbook was a reward, realising that it was still a long way down.

We managed to find a few names of fellow climbers who we actually knew – that was pretty cool. We also found my wife’s grandparents who made just the 9th ever Ascent in 1950, and her grandmother is either the 1st or 2nd lady (we weren’t sure about the gender of one name) to have climbed the peak.

Then the abseil down proved to be more of an adventure than I hadSwinging for my Life anticipated, as I seem to have misjudged the line down to the hanging abseil-stance, which was about 8m to the left of where I was coming down. Thus I had to do a mad pendulum run across a wall to reach the chains, and only on my 7th pendulum did I get enough arc to grab on to the chains and hold on for dear life. The greatest fear of this was the ropes grinding over the sharp crystal granite above…

A few abseils later, we reached the bottom of the climb as the sun was setting, and walked down the scramble in the dark, returning to much jubilation and celebration and a warm cooked meal by the party below.

The rest of the trip was spent exploring a little bit of the Brandberg – definitely worth heading back for – and Swakopmund, Dune 7, and generally eating lots of German sausage and Botswanan fillet!

Good stuff.

(If you’d like your own hiking story published, feel free to send it to me).

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