Posts by Riaan

Hiking Table Mountain via India Venster – 17 July 2017

Few Table Mountain hikes meet hikers’ expectations as consistently as India Venster. It’s arguably the best half-day route to the famous tabletop summit and involves scrambling (easy climbing) and exposure to heights (narrow ledges) about 15% of the way – nothing extreme, but you need a fairly good head for heights. If you have a mild aversion to heights and you’re up for an adventure,
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Table Mountain hiking traverses – 11 July 2017

Some Table Mountain hiking routes involve traverses – sections of trail leading sideways (as opposed to up) to circumvent cliffs – ensuring the easiest possible line (line of least resistance), and also serve to link routes or to leapfrog to another section of mountain without undue detouring. Traverses vary in difficulty: some lead across an open slope with minimal exposure to heights, while others follow narrow, intimidating ledges that
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Types of Table Mountain hiking routes – 20 June 2017

There are more than a hundred hiking routes up Table Mountain. These can be grouped into 4 types. The first type is represented by a single route, Platteklip Gorge: the quickest and easiest route to the summit, but not the nicest. Most people complete it in around 2.5 hours with varying degrees of exertion. As far as Table Mountain hiking goes, it doesn’t quite do
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Table Mountain hiking routes: Which is best? – 8 June 2017

About 65 hiking routes lead up Table Mountain, each unique in terms of views, difficulty, terrain, vegetation or atmosphere. Differences might be restricted to only one of the aforementioned aspects, but often include more than one, and in some cases, all. For most, views dictate route choice rather than difficulty, to their consternation. Others blindly defer to the recommendations or reviews of others. In my opinion, the
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Table Mountain hiking routes: Frustration Gorge – 4 June 2017

Frustration Gorge is a delightful route off-the-beaten track that leads up from Orange Kloof, a lush, secluded valley with restricted entrance located at the back of Table Mountain. The route follows a ravine choked with Afro-montane forest, a type of forest reminiscent of tropical jungle, and involves some B-grade scrambling with only one bit mildly exposed to heights. As far as Table Mountain hikes go, Frustration
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Table Mountain hiking routes: Level of difficulty – 26 May 2017

All Table Mountain hikes are graded A, A+, B, B+, C or C+. Grading denotes technicality, not physicality. Put differently, the grading gives you an indication of the hardest move required to complete the route, NOT how strenuous the route is. An A-grade route involves no technical difficulty, while a C+ route involves some elementary rock-climbing. Proper climbing (with ropes, gear and harness) are generally
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Table Mountain hikes off-the-beaten track: Grootkop – 16 May 2017

Few locals bother with Grootkop, let alone overseas visitors. Yet, it is one of the most interesting peaks that make up the 12 Apostles (the chain of peaks extending behind the famous tabletop summit of Table Mountain) and offers some of the best views on the mountain. For most, hiking Table Mountain is incomplete without gaining the ‘Table’, or upper plateau, but there is much more
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Table Mountain hikes: take a walk on the wild side – 9 May 2017

It’s easy to assume that Table Mountain offers little wilderness and nature due to its proximity to a city. The presence of a cableway to the summit suggests to many that the mountain has been tamed. But beyond the cableway precinct, and above the mountain’s lower slopes bordering the city, much remains the same as when the first European set foot on the mountain. And there’s
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Table Mountain hiking routes – 25 April 2017

About 65 hiking routes lead up Table Mountain, each offering a unique experience. Hike Table Mountain is the only mountain-guiding company that offers guided hikes and scrambles up all these routes. Route choice plays a very important part in your overall experience of hiking Table Mountain. Several factors determine route choice, e.g. fitness level, sense of adventure, ability to deal with narrow ledges, personal preferences
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Table Mountain hikes: What is scrambling? – 14 April 2017

When it comes to Table Mountain hiking, scrambling has nothing to do with eggs. Scrambling can be defined as elementary climbing and involves the use of hands to negotiate steep rock sections. It’s the grey area between walking and climbing. Some would class steep hiking as easy scrambling, others hard scrambling as easy rock-climbing. There are shades of grey; it’s not a precise science. Scramble
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