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 easiest route up Table Mountain, Platteklip Gorge, can fairly safely be ascended by most people in good weather conditions. But it’s the least scenic and exciting route up Table Mountain and does not do the mountain justice as far as hiking goes.
To really experience the essence and true nature of the mountain, it’s best to hike up via one of the 30-odd other routes, all of which are more difficult, either in terms of route-finding, length or technicality – or a combination of these. It follows then that a guide allows you to get the most out of hiking Table Mountain; it maximizes your experience of the mountain, giving you perspectives not found on Platteklip Gorge or a cursory visit to the summit with the cable car. It takes the guesswork out of hiking Table Mountain, enabling you to relax and not fret about route-finding, changing weather or missing out on spectacular viewpoints and unique topographical features. You also learn about the mountain’s history, fauna, flora and geology. Most importantly, a guide ensures your safety and wellbeing, and also providing expertise and assistance in the event of contingency, whether it be an ankle sprain or an acute onset of nausea.
Table Mountain hikes have much to offer, but only through the use of a guide can you safely and confidently probe the mountain’s hidden gems and inner recesses.