Juan-Jacques Moller, Gideon Engelbrecht, Wian de Klerk, Hugo Badenhorst, Anri McLean, Cameron Buys, Jenelle de Jongh, Jade Barnatt and Jordin Young.

Nine determined Plasie hikers knew that the weekend of 30 September to 2 October would prove to be a challenge. The set hike of 48km to qualify for a Silver Presidents Award was met with an attitude of “game on”. Armed with loaded backpacks and walking sticks they kicked off from the Broederstroom hut as part of the Magoebaskloof hiking trail.

By the end of day one spirits were high, despite aching muscles, and the de Hoek hut proved a welcome sight.

Day two was the most anticipated of all. A treacherous climb over hill and dale towards the hut at Woodbush proved that hiking in Magoebaskloof was all but a walk in the park.

Homeward bound, the last 4km lead down an open road. A severe rain and hail storm revived the spirits of the tired hikers. Muddy but happy, everyone glowed with achievement.

To quote Jade Barnatt, a grade 10 hiker: “I can say with confidence that physical strength only got us halfway… it was mental strength that got us to the finish line after 48 kilometres.”