"the only certainty in life is its uncertainty"
This is especially true within the current extreme weather patterns. July 2023 was the hottest month ever recorded in the world, and flooding and huge, uncontrolled fires have become a significant part of these extreme weather patterns.
The FNB W2W route and trails cover the Kogelberg Biosphere, including False Bay, Elgin, Botriver and Hemel-en-Aarde, Hermanus areas. All these areas have experienced the highest recorded rainfalls during the 2023 winter and spring, resulting in two floods in June and the biggest, recently in September. Elgin, for instance, gets an average annual rainfall of 650mm. By September, it had already recorded 800mm and then, on 28 and 29 September, it flooded again with a 200mm downpour. This flood resulted in numerous mudslides, the worst along Groenlandberg, affecting Paul Cluver, Oak Valley, Fruitways, Beaumont, Wildekrans and other farms and properties along the Jakkels- and Botrivers. A similar situation is evident in Hemel-en-Aarde, Hermanus, Sir Lowrys Pass, Idiom, Vergelegen and Lourensford. The damage on these farms is enormous. Some lost orchards and vineyards, most lost infrastructure and were without water and electricity for days—our deepest sympathy with these landowners for the terrible losses.
We lost a number of trails and some iconic structures, such as Witklippies and Pofadder bridges, which, together with some trails, were buried and or swept away by raging water and mudslides. It was a massive shock for us and, especially Cape Trails, who over the years, have built these iconic MTB structures and trails. Not only were trails washed away, but also gravel roads. In the Lebanon area, a section of one of our most frequently used gravel roads disappeared into a new canyon.
But don’t despair; we’ve established the most popular MTB trail network over the years with creativity, skills, clever work, and a passion for nature and MTB. We have created new links, built new structures and returned the magic, awaiting around every new corner, berm and drop for you on this year’s FNB W2W Switchback route. Look out and enjoy the new trail sections such as Ystervark, Bosvark, Tip Toe, Jackel’s Eye, Dark Forest, Olive Dash and Canal.
Stay safe, have fun and enjoy the #SeriousGEES.