Quote of the week – March week #1: hiking Table Mountain in less-than-perfect weather

“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.”

– Henry W. Longfellow –

If there’s one thing that can make or break your experience of hiking Table Mountain, then it’s the weather. Every adverse weather condition impacts on hiking in a different way: wet conditions mean slippery rock, so scrambles are trickier to negotiate; cloud means no views, complicating route-finding; excessive heat is enervating, making the hike tougher; strong wind can be dangerous on exposed routes and usually necessitates a walk-down (strong wind closes the cable car). Any one of these conditions can detract from the overall enjoyment of a hike (for most people; there are those who prefer hiking in the rain, etc.). Adverse weather almost always makes a hike more dangerous: the terrain becomes harder to traverse and the body as well as the mind takes more strain. An experienced mountain guide goes a long way in minimizing the risks associated with hiking in bad weather. The weather on Table Mountain changes very quickly. In fact, most of the time the weather up there is less than perfect. After all, it is a mountain. Being safe in bad weather is one thing; enjoying the hike in such conditions is another. While walking along a non-exposed trail in windy conditions poses little threat, the challenge is to enjoy the hike – and ‘to let it rain’ goes a long way in achieving this.

(c) www.hiketablemountain.co.za