Monthly Archives June 2014

The benefits of hiking Table Mountain with a guide – 24 June 2014

A lot of people think that a guide merely shows the way. While route-finding certainly ranks high up as a guide’s responsibilities, there’s more than meets the eye. Table Mountain hiking presents a unique situation in that you have a mountain near a city, creating the impression that the mountain is tame and therefore does not merit the use of a guide. The quickest and
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Photo of the week – June week #4: Cairn Ravine

You can hike up every single ravine on Table Mountain – and there are many – only to find Cairn Ravine completely different in almost every way. Not exactly the most frequented ravine, Cairn Ravine cuts up the west side of the famous and iconic tabletop summit of Table Mountain, not quite making it to the top of the mountain, but providing varied hiking and
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Photo of the week – June week #3: Hiking up the back of Table Mountain

The famous and iconic front (north) side of Table Mountain cannot be more different from the unseen back (south) of the mountain. Not unlike the dark side of the moon, it remains unfrequented and experienced only by the more inquisitive hiker eager to venture off-the-beaten track. The sheer and sun-baked front consists of sparse vegetation, the back slopes down at a lesser gradient, with much of
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Hiking Table Mountain via Platteklip Gorge – 18 June 2014

Mention Table Mountain hiking and Platteklip Gorge invariably crops up in the conversation. As the most popular r0ute up Table Mountain, it has become synonymous to hiking Table Mountain. Because of its inclusion in all articles and literature relating to Table Mountain hikes, many people are under the impression that it’s the best route to the summit. Here are the basic facts about the route:
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Hiking down Table Mountain – 14 June 2014

What goes up must come down. Reaching the summit of a mountain is only the halfway mark. People often forget this, or discount the descent as negligible in the scheme of things. When it comes to Table Mountain hiking, you have the luxury of a cable car to whisk you back down – but not always. The cable car often closes due to strong wind,
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Photo of the week – June week #2: Orange Buttress

On entering Orange Kloof from Constantia Nek, your gaze will be drawn by a chain of pristine buttresses bounding the valley on the left. Also forming the “back” of the southern Apostles,they lack a collective name, though each buttress and ravine has been named and boasts a route, the most popular being Myburgh’s Waterfall Ravine followed by Frustration Gorge and Intake Ravine. The remainder of
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Photo of the week – June week #1: Traverses on Table Mountain hikes

It’s rare that you can climb a mountain without traversing – moving horizontally as opposed to vertically – and it’s no different when it comes to Table Mountain hiking. Traverses occur where a usually sheer rock band has to be bypassed; if the way ahead in line with the lower sections of the route is barred, then a traverse leads off left or right to
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How fit must I be to hike up Table Mountain? – 9 June 2014

The short answer: Depends how determined you are. The fitter you are, the less determination it’s going to take – and the more route options are available. I’ve had desperately unfit people enjoy hiking Table Mountain more than people of average fitness; the discerning factor is determination. A lot also depends on your expectations and interests. If you have a solid sense of adventure, then
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Table Mountain's diverse settings – 3 June 2014

Imagine starting your hike in a lush valley, pristine but for a dirt road contouring the base, then entering a jungle – indigenous Afro-montane forest – and picking your way across moss-covered boulders and past crystalline cascades, the outside world shut out by a canopy of branches. At some point, the jungle fizzles out, leaving you at the upper reaches of a deep ravine with views
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Table Mountain’s diverse settings – 3 June 2014

Imagine starting your hike in a lush valley, pristine but for a dirt road contouring the base, then entering a jungle – indigenous Afro-montane forest – and picking your way across moss-covered boulders and past crystalline cascades, the outside world shut out by a canopy of branches. At some point, the jungle fizzles out, leaving you at the upper reaches of a deep ravine with views
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