Photo of the week – April week #1: Hiking Table Mountain along the Llanduno Peak Traverse

Skirting round the base of Lekkerwater Crag.

Skirting round the base of Lekkerwater Crag.

Hiking Table Mountain shouldn’t always be just about reaching the famous tabletop summit, but also immersing yourself in the rugged beauty and meditative peace of the mountain. Llandudno Peak Traverse does not lead up anywhere near the “Table”, but it packs a lot in the way of nature, views and solitude. Table Mountain hikes cover all corners of the mountain, only some involve broken terrain (bush / loose rock), leading along a vague trail. The lower section of Llandudno Ravine serves as the approach to Llandudno Peak Traverse: a well-defined trail with a few bits of rock-scrambling. Where the trail heads of Llandudno Ravine watercourse, a vague trail branches off to the left. This is the start of the traverse. From here, it picks a line along sometimes exposed ledges, involving tricky route-finding at times, dipping through folds in the mountain, always bringing new mountainscapes into view.

The surroundings are ever-changing, the scenery delightful, the nature pristine – Table Mountain hiking at its best. The traverse ends at the base of Victoria Ravine, from where the summit of the 12 Apostles can be gained without complication. For those with a good head for heights, leftover energy and a sense of adventure, the adjacent ravine, Victoria Gully, offers a challenging, exhilarating and adventurous way to the top. Wild and remote, Victoria Gully in my opinion typifies Table Mountain hiking; but not to be attempted unless experienced or with a competent Table Mountain guide.

From the summit plateau, a pleasant walk past superb viewpoints lead back to the top Llandudno Ravine. All in all, a charming and at times exhilarating circular route that explores a remote part of the mountain and that takes a place along the best of Table Mountain hikes.