Posts by Riaan

India Venster: Is it dangerous? – 23 August 2016

I’m often amused, sometimes mildly annoyed, at hikers’ attempts to assess India Venster’s difficulty. Some dismiss it as a short and sweet way to the summit; others swear it to be the scariest thing they’ve ever attempted. So where on the danger and difficulty scale does the route really fall? There’s no short answer, as it depends on a number of factors. To the person with average
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Table Mountain hiking routes: Silvertree Ravine – 11 August 2016

Looking for a Table Mountain hike away from the usual well-trodden routes? How about exploring Silverstream Ravine? Although it starts from the same place as the famous Platteklip Gorge on the northern face of Table Mountain, this delightful route soon enters a shady kloof which feels far from the familiar. On a recent outing to explore this route, we started up on a warm winter’s
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A sojourn from Table Mountain hiking: Exploring the Richtersveld – 29 July 2016

As a professional Mountain Guide, I hike Table Mountain very regularly, so it is sometimes necessary to get away from the usual, and to find some terrain as different as possible from the familiar hiking Table Mountain. So where will it be? Where can a Table Mountain local find the solitude of the wilderness, and an inspiring new landscape? Look no further than the desert
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Table Mountain hiking in the rain – 15 July 2016

Cape Town gets most of its rain in winter (June to August). Table Mountain’s summit records about 4 times more rain than the city, so you’re quite likely to experience rain when hiking Table Mountain over this period. Not that you’re guaranteed to get dry conditions during the other months, but it’s more likely. While it’s possible to hike Table Mountain in the rain, it’s not as pleasant
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Hiking Table Mountain in less-than-ideal conditions – 7 July 2016

As with all mountains, Table Mountain attracts lots of cloud and rain. It’s called orographic weather – micro-climates generated by topography – and it’s usually bad. Proximity to an ocean doesn’t help. Weather very much dictates the experience gained from hiking Table Mountain: hiking in the cloud as opposed to the clear is very different. Add wind and rain, both common occurrences on the mountain,
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Table Mountain hiking in winter – 30 June 2016

About 70% of Cape Town’s annual rainfall occurs June to August. Cold fronts lash the Cape over this period, bringing cold and stormy weather that lasts anything form 2 to 5 days. Table Mountain catches a lot of cloud and precipitation is higher than the surrounding area. Driving rain drenches the mountain, ravines gush with torrents of rainwater and waterfalls can be seen cascading down
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Hiking Table Mountain: how fit must you be – 16 June 2016

The short answer: you need to be in reasonable shape to enjoy hiking Table Mountain up one of the more scenic routes. The key words: enjoy and scenic routes. There are many Table Mountain hikes. Routes lead up all sides of the mountain, offering different views, topography, vegetation, technicality and adventure levels. Platteklip Gorge is the quickest and easiest route to the summit, but also
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Hiking Table Mountain up the Twelve Apostles – 8 June 2016

The Twelve Apostles is a chain of peaks extending behind the famous tabletop summit of Table Mountain. It’s considered part of Table Mountain despite being separated by a deep ravine. Each of the peaks represents an Apostle, though there are anything from 15 to 19 peaks, depending on what you count as a peak; most people agree on 17 peaks. Many Table Mountain hikes lead
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Table Mountain hiking: what is scrambling – 29 May 2016

Table Mountain rises sheer above Cape Town’s city center. Lined with cliffs, it seems impregnable to the hiker, scalable only to climbers. But hiking routes exist, threading through the cliffs and around overhangs, ingeniously outflanking impassable terrain. It should come then as no surprise that most Table Mountain hiking routes involve elementary climbing, commonly referred to as scrambling, at some points along the way. When it comes to Table
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Table Mountain hikes: what views do you want? – 20 May 2016

Different Table Mountain hikes offer different views. There are basically three views, on the ascent, and with hundreds of variations on these: sea views, city views and inland views / jungle setting. Let’s briefly look at each. Routes leading up the 12 Apostles (a chain of peals extending behind the famous table top summit of Table Mountain, and considered part of Table Mountain) offer sea
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