Posts by Riaan

Table Mountain hiking: weathering the mountain's micro-climates – 19 February 2016

The first thing you should know about Table Mountain’s weather is that it can turn on a dime. The second thing is that the mountain gets a lot of cloud. And cloud means little or no views. Located at sea level Cape Town weather is often described as four-seasons-in-a-day. Add in a 1000 meters of sudden elevation and you can add a fifth season to
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Hiking Table Mountain second time round – 6 February 2016

The famous table top summit of Table Mountain constitutes only about 7% of the total surface area of Table Mountain, leaving a lot of mountain to explore and a lot of views to experience. Most people want to top out on the famous “Table”, understandably, but if you’re looking for second helpings when it comes to hiking Table Mountain, there is a feast of routes
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Fitness required for hiking Table Mountain – 18 January 2016

While fitness is an important component to hiking Table Mountain, it shouldn’t be the last word in your assessment of whether to hike up or cable car up, or what route to take. Equally important, and sometimes even more, is your level of enthusiasm for hiking Table Mountain. Ask yourself, how determined are you; how enthused are you; how motivated are you? Motivation and determination compensates
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Table Mountain hiking in the Southeaster – 12 January 2016

Cape Town summers are marked by the occurrence of a strong wind known as the Southeaster, locally known as the Cape Doctor. It blows from around early November to early February, sometimes for days on end. As a fair-weather wind, it typically brings clear skies to the Cape with hot conditions prevailing, but its consistency and ferocity tends to get under your skin, making it the scourge
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Table Mountain hiking via the Twelve Apostles – 7 January 2016

The Twelve Apostles is a chain of peaks extending behind the famous tabletop summit of Table Mountain. Considered part of Table Mountain, it actually consists of 17 peaks (though some count only 16, others 18 – the exact number remains elusive). This bastion of the Table Mountain massif offers more solitude in that you don’t see or hear the city. The peaks overlook the Atlantic
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Table Mountain hikes: what's easy and what's not – 21 December 2015

I sometimes get asked about the “easy way” up Table Mountain. It’s called the cableway. Hiking Table Mountain requires effort. All routes are strenuous, some technical and awkward in addition. The easiest way is Platteklip Gorge – but it’s not easy: it’s still strenuous. The other routes are either more strenuous or more technical with exposure to heights, or both. So how strenuous is the easiest route?
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Hiking Table Mountain via India Venster – 16 December 2015

India Venster is arguably the best half-day hike to the tabletop summit of Table Mountain – if you have at least a fairly good head for heights. About 15% of the route involves scrambling (elementary climbing) and exposure to heights (vertical drops), nothing extreme, but not to be discounted either. If you’re not great with heights, then you need to be up for a challenge
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Table Mountain hiking weather in summer – 7 December 2015

If you’re looking to hike Table Mountain in summer, take into account the Southeaster, Cape Town’s prevailing summer wind. Locally known as the Cape Doctor (for ridding the city of smog), it often reaches gale force, generating a micro-climate on the mountain through the formation of the Tablecloth: cloud that engulfs the mountain and pouring down the front face. While Cape Town summers are typically hot
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Why hike up Table Mountain? – 30 November 2015

Hiking Table Mountain is not for everyone (what is?), but if you’re adventurous or active-minded, if you love nature or getting off-the-beaten track, if you want to experience the essence of the mountain and its true nature, if you want unique views and dramatic settings, if you have an inquisitive mind, if you like to challenge yourself, or if you simply want to burn off
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Hiking Table Mountain via Left Face 'B' – 26 November 2015

Table Mountain hikes take many levels of difficulty and challenge while offering a variety of terrain as well as views. Most people know Table Mountain by its iconic table-like shape, flanked by Devil’s Peak on the left and the slightly lower Lion’s Head on the right. This famous side of the mountain, the north face, overlooks the city center and presents no obvious break through the
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