Another day, another mountain

Joakim Johnson, my partner in climbing mountains in Namibia.  We left on the morning of the 19th of May for Damaraland, Namibia.

About a year back on a previous hike up the Doros Crater the two of us saw a mountain in the distance that looked very enticing, and there and then decided that one day we will climb this mountain.  This is the story of us and the mountain.

The mountain form part of the Huab River hills, and lie on the South Bank of the river.  It is about 4 kilometres South of Mikberg.  Our route took us through Save the Rhino camp, and onwards to the Huab River.  Late in the afternoon there were no more tracks that led us closer to this mountain so we left the vehicle and started to walk.  In our backpacks were 13 litres of water each, and enough food for 4 days, as we did not know exactly how tough this mountain would be to climb.  That first evening we slept at the foot of the mountain, after hiking about 6 kilometres to get there. As the sun set we studied this mountain and worked out a route that we would follow the next morning.

As the sun rose we started hiking.  The climb was steep and there were some scree slopes to be negotiated, but not too tough at all. We started at around 780 metres above sea level and that morning at 10:00 we were on top of the mountain, its height being 1310 metres above sea level.

After walking around its rim, we decided to spend the night in order for Joakim to get some sunset and sunrise photos.  I must add that from a distance the top of this mountain looked flat and a lot like Table Mountain in Cape Town.  This was not the case when we got to the top. It was boulder strewn, and we had to put in a lot of effort just to make ourselves a relatively flat area where we could sleep that night.

The wind was howling after dinner, but we had a fire going, and once inside our sleeping bags, the starts of the Southern hemisphere were so close one could nearly reach out and touch them.  Deafening silence expect for the wind were to be our companion for the night.

The next day we descended the mountain and walked back to the vehicle.  After some discussion we decided to spend the day exploring the area, as we have seen plenty of game. That said we followed every track we could, and just before lunch, Joakim came across some Rock Engravings in a dry riverbed. What a find it was!

That night we slept at Hyena’s Den and once again the silence of the desert assailed our senses.  It was truly spectacular. Saturday morning we returned to Swakopmund, and thus ended our quick visit to an unnamed mountain near the Huab River.

Climbing and exploring areas where few people venture is becoming a trademark for me and Joakim. This time it was another success, and both of us appreciated what nature showed us. From chameleons to herds of springbuck.  From crystals that we found in the area to rock engravings of the past.  The silence, the colour and the patience of the Namibian Desert will live in our hearts and minds for a long time to come.

Thank you Namibian Viking.

Kobus Alberts

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