Table Mountain mystified – 18 June 2013

Although it’s easy to get lost when hiking Table Mountain in the mist if you don’t know the mountain well, all is not lost due to no views. Table Mountain is more than just a viewing platform. Certain parts of the mountain feature fields of oddly-shaped boulders that seem to come alive in the presence of mist. These boulders fields amply compensates for a lack of views. Surreal, otherworldly, mystical and eerie, they seem to be the dwelling place of the spirit of the mountain. In these locations, and in misty conditions, Table Mountain hiking becomes an activity focused inwards at the mountain rather than outwards towards the view and the distant horizon, away from the mountain. The mountain takes center stage and the absence of views accentuates the landscape’s features, allowing one to perceive nuances that would otherwise have passed unnoticed. Four areas that contain boulder fields are the summit of Klaasens Buttress extending towards Belle Ombre peak, the summit of Porcupine Buttress extending east from Blinkwater Peak, the Firtree Drainage on the Eastern Table and the summit of Nursery Buttress. So don’t despair when cloud engulfs the mountain and blots out the views; turn to the mountain itself for attraction and stimulation: the rocks, the plants, the mystery of a mist-shrouded landscape.

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