Posts by Riaan

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
Read More

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
Read More

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
Read More

Table Mountain hikes that involve exposure to heights – 6 May 2016

Exposure to heights is a phrase often used in route-descriptions of Table Mountain hikes. The majority of people I deal with only have a foggy idea what exactly it means. Most Table Mountain hiking routes involve exposure to heights, to some degree of severity, so it’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with the meaning. The first part of the phrase, ‘exposure’, means, as the
Read More

Table Mountain hiking: A few practical tips – 28 April 2016

When it comes to hiking Table Mountain, people’s expectations vary greatly. Most anticipate a manicured trail and gentle gradient; others think of it as mildly strenuous with a few uphill bits to negotiate. Routes differ radically in technicality, physicality and terrain, so expectations need to be adjusted according to the route you’ve decided on. Table Mountain hikes come in all levels of challenge. But in
Read More

Hiking Table Mountain via India Venster – 21 April 2016

Of the 60-odd Table Mountain hiking routes, India Venster in my opinion ranks as one of the best. It leads up an imposing part of the mountain, taking an ingenious line that offers varied views and engaging hiking. Routes like Skeleton Gorge and Platteklip Gorge might be more popular and well-known, but not necessarily better. Different Table Mountain hikes puts on display different facets of the mountain.
Read More

Hiking Table Mountain: How fit must you be – 15 April 2016

There is no short answer to the question, ‘How fit must I be to hike Table Mountain’. Several variables determine whether you should bother or not. The short answer is, you don’t need to be very fit. But if you don’t have much fitness, you need to bring something else to the table (pun intended): motivation / determination, often an offspring of enthusiasm and passion.
Read More

Table Mountain hikes: diversity of views – 7 April 2016

Nothing motivates people more to hike Table Mountain than the prospect of great views. Sure, there are other motivations – connect with nature, exercise, sense of achievement – but the crowning enjoyment often comes down to the quality of views. While hiking Table Mountain shouldn’t just be about views, views, views – the mountain offers so much more – looking at the surrounding landscape from
Read More

Table Mountain hiking routes: Grotto-Cairn Traverse – 1 April 2016

Table Mountain hikes come in all levels of difficulty and adventure, from straightforward trails along well-defined trails involving nothing more technical than big rock steps to challenging ascents leading up near-vertical cliffs and traversing rugged terrain. Of all Table Mountain hiking routes, Grotto-Fountain-Cairn Traverse (GFC) ranks as one of the top three toughest. It ticks all the challenge boxes: strenuous, exposed to heights, technical at times,
Read More

Table Mountain hikes up the Twelve Apostles – 24 March 2016

For diversity and pristine nature, hiking Table Mountain via the Twelve Apostles offers more than any other part of the mountain. Many routes of varying difficulty and character lead up this dissected bastion of Table Mountain, with much variation and numerous add-ons, hidden gems and spectacular viewpoints. The Twelve Apostles is a chain of peaks extending behind the famous tabletop summit of Table Mountain. Considered
Read More