Monthly Archives June 2013

The four faces of Table Mountain – 24 June 2013

Table Mountain consists of four distinct sides, each offering unique views, vegetation, atmosphere, topography and sounds, adding much stimulation and diversity to Table Mountain hiking. Take sounds for example, often neglected in the presence of grand views or imposing topography, but noteworthy when hiking Table Mountain. Last Sunday saw me on a unfrequented route on the front face of Table Mountain – the side that
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Photo of the week – June week #4: Hiking Table Mountain with its head in the clouds

The best views and most dramatic settings on Table Mountain always involve a bit of cloud. A mountain without cloud lack an essential and intrinsic ingredient to what defines mountains. It adds a sense of grandeur, mystery, solitude and eeriness. The views are dynamic rather than static; the cloud and light are in a constant state of change. The surroundings also acquire a different mood:
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Table Mountain mystified – 18 June 2013

Although it’s easy to get lost when hiking Table Mountain in the mist if you don’t know the mountain well, all is not lost due to no views. Table Mountain is more than just a viewing platform. Certain parts of the mountain feature fields of oddly-shaped boulders that seem to come alive in the presence of mist. These boulders fields amply compensates for a lack
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Photo of the week – June week #3: Porcupine Ravine

Table Mountain hiking routes are like people in that they all have a distinct character. There are always distinguishing features to a route, whether it be landscape, views, vegetation, rock-formations or just ambiance. Porcupine Ravine is a shallow ravine that leads up the 12 Apostles, alongside the first and highest Apostle, Porcupine Buttress (with its disjointed summit, Blinkwater Peak). The ravine actually serves as the
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Hiking Table Mountain in winter: Waterfalls – 11 June 2013

One of the many delights of hiking Table Mountain in winter is the occurrence of waterfalls. Ravines and dry watercourses spring, especially after heavy downpours, when white ribbons of water streak the mountainside. The best time to hike in winter is directly after a cold front, when there is lots of rainwater runoff and the air is crisp and flush. The mountain seems alive as
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Photo of the Week – June Week #2: Dark Gorge

A few thousand Table Mountain hikes under my belt and there I stood, enthralled by my surroundings – by the hiss and splatter of cascading water, the grandeur of sheer rock faces, the mystery of jungle, the meditative presence of solitude. The place: Dark Gorge on Table Mountain, a deep ravine that slices up the eastern side of the Saddle (the neck linking Table Mountain
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Distribution of Table Mountain routes – 6 June 2013

Route selection is a major component to hiking up Table Mountain. The wrong route can very much ruin the experience – or, at worst, ruin you. Routes are like people in that they have distinguishing attributes, so to get the most out of your Table Mountain hiking experience, it’s important to match yourself with the right route. There are more or less 20 hiking routes
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Photo of the week – June week #1: Blinkwater Needle

Table Mountain hiking encompasses far more than simply reaching the iconic and famous tabletop summit. Sprinkled across the length and breadth of the Table Mountain massif are topographical tidbits worth the time and effort required to reach them. One such tidbit can be found on the north side of Porcupine Buttress, the first of the Twelve Apostles. Known as Blinkwater Needle, this lone pinnacle makes
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