Monthly Archives February 2013

Photo of the week – February week #4: Table Mountain hiking adventure

 – Topping out on Hiddingh-Ascension – Hiking Table Mountain can vary from a gentle stroll up a well-defined path to an exposed scramble far off the beaten track. It’s easy to think of Table Mountain as tame, because there’s a cable car to the summit and a city wrapped around it. But do not be deceived: Table Mountain is still very much a wilderness. A good
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Quote of the week – February week #4: The spirit of the mountains

“One should not seek for a mere scrambling ground among the mountains, but rather for their spirit.” – Extract from an article in the Journal of the Mountain Club of South Africa, 1934 – A noble thought, though esoteric and a bit dogmatic. Seek whatever you want in the mountains, as long as you carry your trash out and respect nature as well as other
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Photo of the week – February week #3: Table Mountain hiking at dawn

Early bird gets the worm, and that certainly holds true when hiking Table Mountain. The air is crisper, cooler and clearer, and the light softer. Colors are richer (often washed out and hazy later in the day), making it the ideal time for taking great photos. During the hotter months – October to March – it makes a lot of sense to start early, before
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Quote of the week – February week #3: Table Mountain retrospection

“Acquaintance with the mysteries and beauties of Skeleton Gorge or the Window was confined to a very few stalwarts, and these ravines were the field of the wood cutter, the wood gatherer and a few furtive wanderers, whose occupations were somewhat obscure, their only obvious activity being the hawking of ferns and plants. But few of the rest of the community penetrated to the haunts
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Photo of the week – February week #2: Table Mountain Red Disa

  One of the rare delights of hiking Table Mountain in February is the sight of Red Disas (Disa uniflora) along certain streams. Also known as the Pride of Table Mountain, it ranks as the most striking of the 70-odd Disa species found on the Cape Peninsula. It loves damp, semi-shaded riverbanks in the mist belt of Table Mountain, above 500m. Its peak flowering time
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Quote of the week – February week #2: Table Mountain hiking routes of yesteryear

“… but until comparatively recent times (about 1880), there were only about half-a-dozen routes which were used. These included Platte Klip Gorge, Kasteel’s Poort, Slangolie Gorge, Skeleton Ravine and a route up the suburban side of Table Mountain, near the Saddle.” – Extract from an article in The Annual of the Mountain Club of South Africa, 1926 – Needless to say, a good number of routes
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Quote of the week – February week #1: A healthy dose of mountain

“Truly it may be said that the outside of a mountain is good for the inside of a man.”  ~ George Wherry, Alpine Notes and the Climbing Foot, 1896 ~ Back in 1503, a Portuguese explorer by the name of Antonio de Saldanha became the first European to set foot on the flat-topped summit of Table Mountain. He wasn’t looking for adventure, exercise or nature;
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Photo of the week – February week #1: hiking Table Mountain off the beaten track

The Ferny Dell If you’re looking for wilderness, solitude and adventure, then I suggest hiking Table Mountain up the Hiddingh-Ascension route via the Ferny Dell variation. In my humble opinion, this is the most challenging hiking route on Table Mountain and will change the way you look at the mountain forever. But it’s not for the unfit or fainthearted: difficult terrain combined with maximum elevation
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Photo of the week – January week #4: Table Mountain rock-formations

  Hiking up Table Mountain when it is free of cloud, views invariably take center stage. Flowers, birds and topography become less attractive than the grandeur of unseen landscapes and distant horizons. But mountains tend to attract cloud, and Table Mountain is no different, and then views are restricted to your immediate surroundings, which often amount to little more than a  tree, a bush and
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