Friends of Stellenbosch Mountain
We hold our regular hacks once a month, normally on the third Saturday of the month, with exceptions. The next hacks are scheduled for:
|20 August 2022
|Joint outing with amaMaties: one-hour hack plus hike
Note earlier starting time. FSM supplies equipment. Bring along if you have: gloves, preferably welding gloves. Also see "What to bring" below
|17 September 2022
Starting time subject to change. FSM supplies loppers and poppers. Bring along if you have: gloves, weeding tools such as
garden fork, garden clipper. Tea and snacks afterwards as usual. Also see "What to bring" below
|15 October 2022
||7:00 or 13:30
Starting time to be finalised later
We usually meet at the main gate to the Paradyskloof nature area, also known as Eden Forest. Here is a street map to the meet-up
location. The hack itself typically takes two hours; together with getting organised, reaching the hack site and the social afterwards, the entire hack event usually takes 3.5
The reason for the early times is threefold: Hacking can be hard work, and especially in summer, the hard physical work is best carried out in the coolness of the morning. It
also allows hackers to do their Saturday shopping. And early mornings with sun flooding the dewy valley, the Cape Flats and Table Mountain in the distance are spectacular.
What to bring
Conditions change, but in general you want to bring along:
For more information email heggers AT pm DOT me
- Old but durable clothing, solid shoes or boots. Leave your plakkies at home.
- Sunglasses, hat, sun lotion. You need some kind of protective glasses or goggles, even in cloudy weather, in order to protect your eyes from the undergrowth.
- Cell phone, turned on. The mountain is large and people spread out.
- Very durable gloves if you have some; we do supply gloves if you have none. Welders gloves are great.
- Water bottle for the hack itself, plus a snack and coffee mug for the party afterwards.
- Garden shears or weeding trowel, if you have one. This is not all that important.
- FSM provides other necessary tools and equipment: bowsaws, poppers, loppers, spray bottles and also gloves.
What to expect
Hacks are our core activity. We drive in convoy from the gate to some corner of the fynbos or renosterveld nature area of Stellenbosch Mountain, hike the last part of the way,
and then saw, cut or pull the alien invasive plant species which occur. Afterwards, we have a social with tea, cool drink, cookies, whatever is brought along.
The terrain varies widely. Sometimes we work in low-lying territory close to the cars; at other times a bit of walking is needed. Special hacks can imply going up onto the
higher mountain slopes. The vegetation can vary from small shrubs on open terrain to dense river thicket. You can expect to have need of all your muscles and even your
brain. This is much better than gym training, and it's free.
You can expect to meet good people: professionals, retirees, students, parents, children, all sorts. Ages vary from 6 to 84. They all care deeply about our nature heritage and
its future and about Stellenbosch. They don't brag or build brand, but they are worth their weight in gold.
Last but not least: the Cape fynbos is unique, and it is beautiful. Expect to be surprised by the large variety of shapes, sizes, colours and the sheer diversity and
inventiveness of the fynbos ecosystem. There is always something in flower, but August, September and October are the best. If you are lucky, you may find yourself on a tour of
the morning's discoveries led by an attending botanist.
Attendance register and indemnity
If you want to participate in a hack, you are required to sign the attendance register and indemnity form at the start of the hack. No exceptions can be made.