Monthly Archives September 2013

Hiking Table Mountain gives you the best views – 28 September 2013

I don’t like to punt Table Mountain hiking for the views you get, but rather for the experience of nature it offers. Hiking Table Mountain is more about seeing the mountain from unique angles than it is to see the surroundings – the city, suburbs and sea – from unique / elevated angles. It’s more about looking inward at the mountain than looking outward at
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Photo of the week – September week #4: Table Mountain's eastern edge

Table Mountain’s tabletop summit extends east-west and measures about 2.6 km in length. The upper cable station with its sprawling amenities occupy the western edge. The viewpoints are contrived and often crowded, and the mountain stripped of grandeur and mystery, offering little in the way of nature and peace. A very different scenario prevails at the opposite end of the ‘Table’. The eastern edge of
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Photo of the week – September week #4: Table Mountain’s eastern edge

Table Mountain’s tabletop summit extends east-west and measures about 2.6 km in length. The upper cable station with its sprawling amenities occupy the western edge. The viewpoints are contrived and often crowded, and the mountain stripped of grandeur and mystery, offering little in the way of nature and peace. A very different scenario prevails at the opposite end of the ‘Table’. The eastern edge of
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Exposure to heights when hiking Table Mountain – 18 September 2013

Hiking Table Mountain almost always involves some degree of exposure to heights – even A-grade (lowest level of difficulty) routes like Skeleton Gorge and Kasteelspoort. For those unfamiliar with the term, exposure to heights basically means nearness or proximity to sheer or steep drop-offs. There are shades of grey: the exposure in Skeleton Gorge is mild compared to that on the Grotto-Cairn Traverse, which could
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Photo of the week – September week #3: Orange Kloof

Orange Kloof is a secluded valley carpeted with indigenous forest / jungle at the back of Table Mountain. Several routes lead up to the 12 Apostles and the Back Table or lower plateau, offering some of the best hiking Table Mountain has to offer, much of it in a jungle setting and off the beaten track. Intake Ravine and Frustration Gorge both lead to the
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Hiking Table Mountain with your nose – 10 September 2013

Experiencing an environment through as many senses as possible helps to gain a deeper appreciation for it, and Table Mountain is no different. Table Mountain hiking brings you in contact with plants that contain fragrant oils: wild geranium, most species of buchu (the most common being the Confetti bush), wild and brown sage, swamp daisy and wild rosemary, to name a few. The flowers of
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Photo of the week – September week #2: Wildlife sightings when hiking Table Mountain

Much as hiking Table Mountain takes you into pristine nature, it serves up little in the way of wildlife i.e. big game. The reason for this is two-fold: the longtime presence of Europeans and the vegetation type. The decline of large game at the Cape started with the arrival of Dutch settlers in 1652, who hunted antelop as a source of fresh meat, trapping and
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Hiking Table Mountain: How challenging do you want it to be – 5 September 2013

An important factor to consider once you’ve decided to hike Table Mountain is how challenging you want it to be. In my experience, most people want views and scenic beauty above all with a bit of challenge thrown in, especially if this allows them to see more views and experience more of the mountain. The intention of hiking Table Mountain (as opposed to taking the
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Photo of the week – September week #1: Grootkop

Hiking Table Mountain enables one to reach the best viewpoints and enjoy different angles onto the mountain. The mountain covers an area 0f 57 square kilometer, and each part of the mountain offers viewpoints that differ greatly from each other. One of my favorite viewpoints is Grootkop, one of the 12 Apostles. Few hikers take the time and make the effort to climb it, however
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