Posts by bonline

Photo of the month – July 2015: Table Mountain hikes along the Twelve Apostles

Hiking Table Mountain up all its routes, I’m always struck by the diversity of views you get. Some of the most dramatic views can be found on the Twelve Apostles, a chain of peaks extending behind the famous tabletop summit of Table Mountain and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. This dissected bastion of the mountain offers countless views that never fail to charm and delight. Several Table Mountain
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Hiking Table Mountain via the India Venster route – 8 July 2015

Route choice is of paramount importance in optimizing your Table Mountain hiking experience. Many routes lead up Table Mountain of varying difficulty and offering different views, terrain, topography, views, adventure levels and even mood or atmosphere. Factors to consider when deciding on a route include fitness level, sense of adventure, love for nature, ability to cope with sheer drops, preferences in terms of views and / or
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Table Mountain hiking trails: what terrain to expect – 2 July 2015

Table Mountain hikes cover all sorts of terrain and leads through diverse environments. The quickest and easiest route to the summit, Platteklip Gorge, follows a well-defined trail consisting of rock-steps, many requiring a high step. It meanders up a deep gorge, the gradient steep at times. The trail is always rocky and uneven, or covered with scree (loose stones). Table Mountain hiking trails don’t get
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Table Mountain hiking around Grootkop – 23 June 2015

Once known as the Gable Mountains, and also the Castle Mountains, the Twelve Apostles extend behind the famous and iconic tabletop summit of Table Mountain. This chain of peaks – most with their own buttresses – are considered part of Table Mountain and offers some of the best hiking on the Cape Peninsula. No less than eighteen peaks comprise the Apostles, though some count only sixteen or
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The diversity of hiking Table Mountain – 16 June 2015

Table Mountain hikes packs a lot of diversity in terms of terrain and vegetation as well as views. Trails run the length and breadth of the mountain, covering an area of roughly 58 square kilometres. Micro-climates contribute to floral diversity, ranging from indigenous forest to marshland to dense stands of fragrant and indigenous shrub. Often, the northern slopes would bake in the summer sun while dense cloud
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Photo of the month – 10 June 2015: Hiking Table Mountain off-the-beaten track

There are about 38 Table Mountain hiking routes that takes you from the base of the mountain to the summit, with many more variations. About 80% of people who hike up Table Mountain do so via Platteklip Gorge, the quickest and easiest route to the summit, but also the least scenic and exciting. Of the remaining 20%, about 15% hike up via either Skeleton Gorge,
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Hiking Table Mountain for the views – 1 June 2015

My own philosophy never to hike a mountain for the views alone was put to the test a few years ago when I spent 6 excruciating days hacking my way through dense jungle up the side of a remote 1500-meter peak. Tall jungle on the ascent meant no views, and I was looking forward to the peak’s rocky summit cone for distant views. Dense fog greeted me on the
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Hiking Table Mountain: with or without a guide? – 25 May 2015

“Do I really need a guide to hike up Table Mountain.” The short answer is No. The long answer: No, but making use of a guide maximizes the experience and minimizes the risk. Minimizes the risk – what risk? The risk of getting lost, of falling victim to the changeable weather and unforgiving terrain. Despite its location next to a city and the existence of a cableway
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Hiking Table Mountain in winter – 18 May 2015

With the Cape winter fast approaching, a few facts about Table Mountain hiking bear reminding. About 70% of Cape Town’s rainfall occurs in winter – June to August – so be sure to pack a good-quality rain-jacket along with a fleece / soft-shell. Gloves and beanie come in handy, too. The mountain attracts more cloud, gets more rain, experiences more wind and colder temperatures (at height, due
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Table Mountain hiking environments – 11 May 2015

For a mountain that would rise to the rank of a mere foothill in most mountain ranges, Table Mountain includes an uncanny variety of settings, of environments, and moods. Four distinct sides featuring jungle, cityscape and ocean; around 38 hiking routes with countless variations; ever-changing weather, often serving up four seasons in a day; striking and diverse topography. All these elements create endless permutations of hiking conditions
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