Archives for Table Mountain history

Photo of the week – November week #4: Hiking Table Mountain off-the-beaten track

Pristine nature is a major component of what makes Table Mountain hiking such a unique and memorable experience. Despite its proximity to a city and the (conspicuous) presence of a cableway to the summit, Table Mountain retains much wildness – a fact overlooked by most who set out to conquer the mountain on foot. More and more people take to hiking Table Mountain, but mostly along
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Photo of the week – November week #3: Table Mountain hiking from the Saddle

The Saddle is the neck that connects Devil’s Peak to Table Mountain. It’s often through this gap that the Tablecloth cloud-formation first makes it appearance: dense cloud would boil up the back and spill into the city bowl, billowing like smoke, giving rise to the legend of the devil and Van Hunk waging their never-ending smoking contest, from which Devil’s Peak takes it name. On
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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 – April week #4: Frustration Gorge

Back in the early 1930s, two intrepid cragsmen from the Mountain Club of South Africa attempted to put a route up an obscure buttress on a far-flung corner of Table Mountain and met with an unclimbable section a mere 20 feet from the top. They tried everything to get up that last bit of sheer rock, probed left and right for a break in the cliff’s defences that
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Photo of the week – February week #2: Bosch Kloof

Tucked away in Table Mountain’s back of beyond and located near its middle of nowhere is Bosch Kloof, a humble ravine with no claim to fame and no significance other than the mapmaker’s dutiful use of its name to indicate its existence. And far from evoking scenes of grandeur or thoughts of adventure and discovery, its name – old Dutch for ‘wooded ravine’ – merely
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Photo of the week – November week #2: Table Mountain solitudes

The dictionary defines a solitude as a lonely and unfrequented place, and Table Mountain abounds with them. Just yesterday did I have the privilege of passing through two: Valley of the Red Gods and Valley of Isolation, both on the Twelve Apostles. Neither offers much in the way of views, but that only serves to amplify their charm. Table Mountain hiking offers far more than
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Photo of the week – October week #4: Table Mountain's built-up caves

Hiking Table Mountain is first and foremost an experience of nature. Large parts of the mountain remain pristine, the environment unaltered, the peace and solitude undisturbed. The indigenous tribes of the Cape – the Khoi and San – lived on the plains around Table Mountain; if they did leave any rock art or shelters on the mountain in the course of hunting or gathering excursions,
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Photo of the week – October week #4: Table Mountain’s built-up caves

Hiking Table Mountain is first and foremost an experience of nature. Large parts of the mountain remain pristine, the environment unaltered, the peace and solitude undisturbed. The indigenous tribes of the Cape – the Khoi and San – lived on the plains around Table Mountain; if they did leave any rock art or shelters on the mountain in the course of hunting or gathering excursions,
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Quote of the week – May week #1: Fountain Ravine Original

“I boldly lay down flat and wriggled along the upper shelf of rock until I could drop on to the narrow ledge below. Along this six inch ledge I cautiously went crab-fashion.” – Extract from an article by Annie Wilson in the 1900 Journal of the Mountain Club of South Africa, describing her climb up the Fountain Ravine Original route, Table Mountain – In her article,
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Quote of the week – March week #4: Valley of the Red Gods

“For the Red Gods call me out and I must go.” Rudyard Kipling – ‘The Feet of the Young Men’ (1897) So what does that have to do with Table Mountain hiking? Nothing, except for a single thread of detail: There is a hollow on Table Mountain called Valley of the Red Gods, located on the 12 Apostles at the head of Jubilee Ravine. It’s
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