With the news of heavy snow falls on Tuesday and some light snow on Wednesday there was only one place that the Baha Boys were going to spend Woman’s Day…and that was being manly in the Berg with a little fly fishing on the side.
We decided to head up slightly later than normally knowing that the water temperatures would be cold and that the fishing would be slow. That said we didn’t want to leave it too late since there was bound to be lots of people heading up to see the snow. So at 6am Nick arrived at my door, we packed the Terios, and headed for Kamberg.
After our usual cup of coffee in an overly crowded garage we began the trek. Our first issue was encountered just outside of Balgowan where we came to a standstill on the freeway. Apparently a snow drift had slid across the road and a truck had jack-knifed. Catastrophe!
Thankfully, being in a 4×4, we managed to hop the middle island and headed back towards the previous off ramp. There we encountered our first small taste of adventure. The dirt road we used to link from the freeway to the back route to Nottingham Road was closed for all vehicles other than 4x4s. Game on!
As we neared Nottingham Road on the back roads the snow began to thicken and before we knew it we were surrounded by pure white fields with bravely grazing cows. Our excitement grew as we began to picture the thick snow we were now expecting in the Kamberg area. Sadly our excitement was short lived as the snow began to thin towards Rossetta.
Thankfully as we neared Kamberg the snow once again started to build up and when we arrived we were greeted by white mountains, snow up to the water’s edge, and icy tracks up to the office. The Terios made short work of the icy tracks but a few other overnight visitors were less lucky and had to park half way up the hill.
We took full advantage of the natural luge course by using the only sled we could find, our gas bottle, to ride the tracks. This left both of us roaring with laughter and wishing we were more prepared sled wise.
Down at the water we skottled up a quick egg and bacon breakfast, with another cup of coffee, before getting down to some serious fishing.
As we suspected the fishing was slow. We tried everything from deep and slow to large Mrs Simpsons and small nymphs. Nick did have one small knock but that was about all the excitement the morning session had to offer.
Lunch time was spent enjoying a snow chilled beer and building a snow (fly fisher) man. It’s amazing how snow can instantly turn adults back into children, but then I suppose that’s the fun of it all. So after throwing a few snowballs we picked up our fly rods and got back to some fishing.
Sadly the afternoon session was also fishless and at 3:30pm we decided that it was time to call it a day. It was amazing to see that roughly half the snow on the mountains had melted in just the few hours that we had been there. We packed up our kit, climbed into the Terios, and began our journey home. Little did we know the adventure that the trip would hold…
Rather than heading back the same way we came, we opted to take the shortcut past Reekie Lynn. It started off well but the further we drove the deeper the snow got on the road. Soon we met up with a few other 4x4s and were taking it in turns to plough through the deeper sections. We were often forced to leave the road when the snow got too thick (well over a meter in places) and drive on the higher ledges which had less snow cover.
After a few steep and slippery climbs the other 4x4s opted to turn around while we ventured forth having the time of our lives. It was slow going with me walking sections looking for the shallower snow and less slippery ground. Nick meanwhile manned the wheel of his trusty steed.
Eventually we caught up to another group of more serious 4×4 enthusiasts. We formed what can only be described as a clan and spent the next hour or two helping each other through the rough sections, towing out cars, and pushing people when they got stuck.
It was an incredible adventure and great to see the camaraderie people form in times of need. The last 500 meters took close to an hour but we all loved every minute of it and stayed to make sure everyone got through.
Eventually we ended up on top of a 5 meter high, 45 degree bank, with the tar road below us. One by one the vehicles descended the slippery bank before saying their goodbyes and heading home. What an experience!
After that we were expecting it to be easy going home. Sadly we were mistaken as the freeways were at a near standstill (from Howick) thanks to a combination of Joburg tourists heading to Durban and snow seekers returning from their day’s activities. Pietermartizburg was no better and eventually we were forced to head home through Bisley Nature Reserve…complete with a few Impala just to add to the adventure.
By the time we got home at close to 8pm we were both exhausted, but it was well worth it and a day we’ll never forget!