Photo of the week – July week #2: Hiking Table Mountain via Blinkwater Ravine

Table Mountain hiking: Blinkwater Ravine

Blinkwater Ravine

Blinkwater Ravine slices up the northwestern side of Table Mountain, serving as a separation between the ‘Table’ and the 12 Apostles. Tucked away in the recesses of a massive fold in the western aspect of the mountain, it offers lots of geological drama and pristine nature. The ravine terminates about 170 meters below the tabletop summit, at the head of Echo Valley, source of the largest stream on the mountain (Disa Stream).

Hiking Table Mountain via Blinkwater Ravine is a great alternative to the more popular Kasteelspoort and Skeleton Gorge. The route offers patches of indigenous Afro-montane forest as well as sea views, and leads up an unfrequented part of the mountain where peace and quiet can be had in abundance. It gets morning shade, ideal for a hot summer’s day. Not one to do in winter, though, when the ravine carries water and some of the scrambles are wet and slippery. The trail is not always obvious, so best to go with someone who knows the route; or make use of a Table Mountain guide. A few bits of tricky scrambling and some exposure to heights along the upper sections also requires that you go with a competent leader.

The route used to be very popular before it was closed off in the mid 1980s following a rock-slide halfway up the ravine. The terrain has since stabilized and does not pose a danger to hikers mindful of lose rock.

Few, if any, Table Mountain hikes offers as grand and imposing an approach as Blinkwater Ravine. The mountain rears up to the left and right, dissected by ravines, featured with buttresses and ridges – a pocket of wilderness a stone’s throw away from the city. Table Mountain hiking can be as wild and challenging as you want it to be while offering unique settings – seaboard peaks, jungle, cliffside traverses, marshy plateaus, to name a few.

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