Hiking Table Mountain up Left Face 'B' – 6 March 2014

Hundreds of routes lead up the iconic front of Table Mountain, most of them climbing routes, only five hiking routes, four of which involve scrambling and two of those of a technical degree that necessitates the use of ropes for the average hiker. The only hiking route up the famous front face of Table Mountain not requiring ropes – and does not follow the natural line of weakness offered by ravines – is Left Face ‘B’. It tackles the mountain head-on, threading through imposing cliffs to eventually gain the summit smack in the center of the tabletop. A more ingenious line up the mountain can hardly be imagine: from below, the way ahead bristles with overhangs, and the sheer faces appears impregnable. Here’s a Table Mountain hiking route that keeps you guessing all the way. Only a faint path and the occasional cairn mark the way. Scrambling and exposure to heights add to the adventure. Table Mountain hikes all have a notable distinction, and in this case it’s a full frontal ascent of the famous tabletop of Table Mountain. Nowhere does the routes duck into the benevolent and sheltered confines of a ravine, or does it sneak around the less steep back of the mountain, but continues upward on the open face of the mountain, picking an improbable line. The route has another distinction: it tops out abruptly onto the tabletop – a feature shared in lesser degrees by other routes. One moment you’re scrambling up a near-vertical face with the city 3000 feet / 1000 meters below your feet, the next you find yourself on the flat summit plateau.

(c) www.hiketablemountain.co.za