Quote of the week – December week #1: Climbing Table Mountain back in the day

“Great overhangs again forced us to the left for twenty-five feet to another small detached flake ten feet high. From the top of this flake a very tricky traverse to the left helped us to obtain a lodgment in a smooth crack which we ascended to its very awkward exit about twenty-five feet up. An easy twenty-foot face then landed us beneath further overhangs.”

 Extract from an article on the opening ascent of Nerina Crag in the 1931 Journal of the Mountain Club of South Africa.

This passage represents a typical description of an early opening ascent of a Table Mountain climb. The overhangs were always ‘great’, the traverses always ‘tricky’, the cracks always ‘smooth’ and the exit from the crack always ‘awkward’. And having survived all that, you find yourself ‘beneath further overhangs.’ It reads like pulp fiction, but the men who pioneered new climbing routes on Table Mountain were flesh and blood, the crags they scaled fraught with danger and jagged.

Whether hiking or climbing Table Mountain, you can be assured of a sense of achievement when you reach the summit – a feeling that will stay with you for a very long time and made that much more memorable by the challenges overcome and fears conquered on the ascent.

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