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 sections on Table Mountain hikes are usually not very sustained, but broken up by broad ledges or slope. All Table Mountain hiking routes except one (Platteklip Gorge: the quickest and easiest route to the summit) involves some scrambling, ranging from a few bits of light scrambling with minimal exposure to heights to more sustained scramlbing exposed to heights and involving awkward and / or tricky moves, necessitating the use of a rope.

Hiking Table Mountain up routes that involve scrambling requires no experience. In some cases, they require a head for heights combined with a sense of adventure. Scrambling creates a more intimate experience with the mountain and a sense of really climbing the mountain, adding to the sense of achievement you get once you reach the summit. If you’re looking for adventure on your Table Mountain hike, or like to be off-the-beaten track, then scramble routes are the way to go.

If you’re out of shape, then scrambling can actually feels easier than ‘slope-slogging’ in that it’s more stimulating, rewarding and engaging, distracting you from what might have been the tedium of a slope-slog. For many, the scramble sections of a route end up being the most fun and memorable. And with around 65 Table Mountain hiking routes, it’s possible to determine the level and amount of scrambling as well as the severity of exposure to heights.

Lastly, scrambling lends variety to Table Mountain hiking, adding spice to the experience and exposing you to a new or exhilirating activity you might not have expected from a hike. If you’re open to new experiences and you have a sense of adventure, then consider one of the more adventurous Table Mountain hikes. You might find that it rates higher than even the views.

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