Sterkhorn (Mount Memory) Day Hike

Drakensberg Hikes

Sterkhorn (Mount Memory) Day Hike

The Monk's Cowl Nature Reserve with its breathtaking vistas of sweeping grasslands on the lower reaches, to magnificent towering cliffs and waterfalls cascading for hundreds of metres makes this an area of the Maloti-Drakensberg Park worth visiting.

For very fit and experienced hikers / trail runners Sterkhorn (Mount Memory) can be reached on a day hike and at the top you will find the M.O.T.H memory cross.

IMG 20181104 WA0016 copy

Treverton Pupils and Teachers at the top of Sterkhorn (Image Credit: Travers Pellew)

On Sunday 3 Treverton pupils and 2 teachers took on this day hike which will contribute towards the outdoor pursuits awards the pupils can earn. Monks Cowl was reached at 6.15am and the hike started at 6.30am. The pace was fast and Breakfast Stream was reached an hour later, Blind Man's Corner was passed soon thereafter and a short stop to collect some water at the base of Sterkhorn before commencing the final climb up, only 2 hours had passed!

Two hours later and everyone was at the summit (2 973m), a fantastic achievement to be very proud of.

IMG 20181104 WA0018

Stunning views from the top of Sterkhorn (Image Credit: Travers Pellew)

This hike is not for everyone. The hike to the top of Sterkhorn is 8.3km's with a total elevation gain of just under 1.5km's and the return via the same route making it a very difficult 16.6km day hike.

start sterkhorn

Monks Cowl Nature Reserve - the start

The start of the hike is at the Monks Cowl Nature Reserve offices where you sign the mountain register. Your hike starts on the trail heading to Crystal Falls, the Sphinx and Breakfast Stream. By the time you reach breakfast stream you would have already climbed 550m in elevation over 3.4km's. A good spot to refill your water bottles and have a short rest.

20181104 112213

Breakfast Stream

Next you head towards Blind Man's Corner, 2.5km's and 120m elevation gain, this section is the flattest of the whole route and is an easy stretch.

At Blind Man's Corner you turn left onto the contour path heading towards Injisuthi. You hike 400m along this path till you find a small path leading up towards Sterkhorn. If lucky you may find some water to refill here, else the water you got back at Breakfast Stream will have been the last opportunity.

20181104 084901

The Sterkhorn climb starts in earnest.

Follow the path up to Sterkhorn and your hike now begins in earnest, you have 2.1km's and 720m elevation to go. There are some exposed sections along the hike up where due care needs to be taken and finally some rock scrambling to the top.

GPX track map

Elevation (altitude) diagram of the track

Track length and Trackpoint information

Information Calculated value
Overall distance (metric) 8.1 km
Overall distance (imperial) 5 miles

Elevation / altitude data (metric)

Information Calculated value
Altitude range (highest-lowest point) 1389 m
Minimum altitude (lowest point) 1489 m
Maximum altitude (highest point) 2878 m
Uphill (addition of positive altitude changes) 1431 m
Downhill (addition of negative altitude changes) 45 m

Elevation / altitude data (imperial)

Information Calculated value
Altitude range (highest-lowest point) 4557 ft
Minimum altitude (lowest point) 4885 ft
Maximum altitude (highest point) 9442 ft
Uphill (addition of positive altitude changes) 4695 ft
Downhill (addition of negative altitude changes) 148 ft

Additional info about the hike can be found here.

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.