Monthly Archives November 2012

Quote of the week – November week #4: Table Mountain solitude

“For the solitude of the mountains is something different from the Byronean solitude of the ‘pathless wood’ or ‘lonely shore’. It is something grander, more inspiring, more overwhelming, more sublime.” E.G. Pells – extract from his article in the 1931 Journal of the Mountain Club of South Africa I received an inquiry the other day from an elderly lady for a Table Mountain hike –
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Photo of the week – November week #4: Adventure & Discovery

High up on Finisteraar Crack If you think Table Mountain is tame and trampled because of its proximity to a city and a cable car to the summit, then an ascent of Finisteraar Crack will shatter any such notions. Located on the majestic Fernwood Buttress on the eastern side of Table Mountain, the route follows a prominent fault line that slashes across the lower portions
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Photo of the week – November week #4: Adventure & Discovery

High up on Finisteraar Crack If you think Table Mountain is tame and trampled because of its proximity to a city and a cable car to the summit, then an ascent of Finisteraar Crack will shatter any such notions. Located on the majestic Fernwood Buttress on the eastern side of Table Mountain, the route follows a prominent fault line that slashes across the lower portions
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Photo of the week – November week #3: Blinkwater Needle

Topping out on the Needle. There are many unique locations and rock features on Table Mountain, and in my opinion Blinkwater Needle ranks as one of the best. It’s basically a pinnacle (the ‘Needle’) about two-thirds the way up Table Mountain on the northern slopes of the first of the Twelve Apostles. It takes its name from the adjacent ravine, Blinkwater (‘Shiny Water’) Ravine, which
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Quote of the week – November week #3: Communion with mountains

“My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing.”  – Aldous Huxley – Aldous’ father no doubt possessed the sensibilities of a true nature lover. Most people take to the mountains for exercise, adventure or to de-stress. Few experience the spiritual benefits of walking among, or up, mountains. But it’s there for the taking. A good friend of mine, an avid
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Photo of the week – November week 2: Eastern Table

 The eastern edge of Table Mountain Viewpoints abound on Table Mountain. But there are those select few positions on the mountain that thrills and animates even the most stolid hiker. The one in the photo is an example of such a location. Rarely visited and hard to find, this vantage point gives one the sensation of floating in midair. The eastern edge of Table Mountain
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Quote of the week – November week #2: Table Mountain's tabletop

“Being thus alone I strolled in solitude on the flat top of the Table Mountain until 8 in the evening, the moon and stars shining very brightly, and then lay down to rest in some scrub between the rocks; but little sleep could I get, especially when I thought of the height of the hill, and the dangerous solitude of the same, where dwelt so
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Quote of the week – November week #2: Table Mountain’s tabletop

“Being thus alone I strolled in solitude on the flat top of the Table Mountain until 8 in the evening, the moon and stars shining very brightly, and then lay down to rest in some scrub between the rocks; but little sleep could I get, especially when I thought of the height of the hill, and the dangerous solitude of the same, where dwelt so
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The best and worst about Skeleton Gorge

I have already expressed my sentiments on Skeleton Gorge in a blog post titled Skeleton Gorge: To do or not to do (published April 2012), but feel that it deserves a bit more elaboration, especially in light of its popularity as a hiking route up Table Mountain. And since the choice of a route can make or break one’s experience of the mountain, I will
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Photo of the week – November week #1: Carrel's Ledge

The crux on Carrel’s Ledge: an exposed step-around.   For those with a sense of adventure, Table Mountain offers several sensational traverses that lead across imposing cliffs that would otherwise have remained inaccessible to all but the boldest rock-climbers. These traverses require little in the way of climbing prowess, but you need to be sure-footed and composed. More importantly, you need a good head for
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