Table Mountain hikes: Porcupine Ravine – 2 December 2016

Porcupine Ravine is the name of a route that uses a ravine by that name to reach the summit plateauĀ of the 12 Apostles, a chain of peaks extending behind the famous tabletop summit of Table Mountain. It tops out on Blinkwater Peak, the summit of the highest and first Apostle, from where you hike up to the summit of Table Mountain. Despite the proximity of a city, Table Mountain hiking offers a lot of nature and solitude, both abundant on Porcupine Ravine. The route takes you off-the-beaten track and involves some rugged terrain (bush / loose rock / scrambling), adding a bit of spice to the experience.

Many Table Mountain hikes lead up the 12 Apostles, so why go for Porcupine Ravine? Firstly, it packs a lot of nature with superb views and dramatic mountainscapes. The scrambling adds in a bit of adventure, and ensures that you get a complete mountain experience crowned with a solid sense of achievement. The route offers some of the best viewpoints on the mountain, and combined with the peace and quiet, makes for an unbeatable experience of nature as well as Table Mountain.

The route is not for everyone, though. It’s quite long and strenuous, and the broken terrain can be tricky if you’re unsteady on your feet. You need to be in pretty good shape to enjoy the route. To make it as easy as poossible (as with all Table Mountain hiking routes), we start the route at sunrise, ensuring shade for much of the ascent – a massive bonus in summer.

Hiking Table Mountain shouldn’t just be about reaching the summit. Taking the trail less traveled offers much reward to those up for the challenge and looking to delve beneath the surface of Table Mountain’s character. Certainly, if you’re looking for communion with nature, then this is the route for you, as it’s not uncommon to reach the summit without meeting another person.