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 require care and a good head for heights.

Table Mountain hikes can be structured to include traverses with the purpose of adding spice (adventure) to a hike. The most sensational and ingenious traverses provides a solid adrenalin rush, but should only be attempted with an experienced mountain-guide. If you’re up for adventure and have a good head for heights, then the following traverses will delight: Right Face-Arrow Face, Carrel’s Ledge, Grotto-Fountain-Cairn and Wood-Spring. If you’re not fond of heights, and you’re okay with rugged terrain (bush / loose rock), then consider Lekkerwater Traverse or Llandudno Peak Traverse.

Hiking Table Mountain offers ample diversity and opportunity to spice up your hike, dashing the common perception of hiking being a relentless upward toil. One of the many advantages of making use of a Table Mountain guide is that it gets you off the beaten track and provides opportunity for adventure. Traverses open up sections of mountain where only a handful of very competent climbers dare go, while showcasing stunning rock-formations and topography.

Table Mountain hiking routes can also be varied through the use of traverses to form what is known as composite routes. This often serves to make a route more consistent in its level of difficulty. While practically all Table Mountain hiking routes involves traversing, only a handful offer a recognized traverse: a section of trail offering access across an otherwise impassable section of mountain. This typically involves exposure to heights, so not to be trifled with if inexperienced, or if you don’t know the route well, or if you’re nervous of heights.

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