Photo of the week – January week #1: Porcupine Ravine

Near the summit of Porcupine Buttress.

Near the summit of Porcupine Buttress

For sea views, solitude and sculpted sandstone, look no further than Porcupine Ravine, one of several Table Mountain hiking routes leading up the 12 Apostles. The route ascends the lower slopes of Porcupine Buttress, first of the 12 Apostles, before ducking into Porcupine Ravine, where it follows the watercourse to near the summit, involving a few bits of fun scrambling and offering two viewpoints from the crest of Porcupine Buttress into the impressive amphitheater of Blinkwater Ravine.  From the top of the ravine, you can either continue along miry Arc Valley and its dramatic rock-formations, or strike up to the left and top out on Blinkwater Peak, highest point on the 12 Apostles and a superb viewpoint. A short walk eastwards brings you to the main Apostle path, where a left turn takes you through Echo Valley and up the the top of Platteklip Gorge near the upper cable station.

As far as hiking Table Mountain goes, Porcupine Ravine ranks as one of the most enjoyable routes for nature-lovers wishing to get off the beaten track, but with not too much adventure i.e. exposure to heights and scrambling. Best done in summer, as the ravine gets a generous supply of run-off during the winter rain, complicating progress. With stunning viewpoints along the way, engaging hiking, dramatic rock-formations and lots of nature / peace and quiet, this is a Table Mountain hike that does justice to Table Mountain hiking.

(c) www.hiketablemountain.co.za