Hiking Table Mountain: slog or adventure – 19 May 2014

One man’s plod is another man’s adventure; and one man’s adventure is another man’s trauma. Table Mountain hikes vary greatly in character, just like people. Route choice can make or break the experience. But that’s another topic: the point I want to drive home in this blog post is that hiking up Table Mountain does not have to be a relentless uphill slog. Many routes involve scrambling – elementary climbing – that makes for more stimulating and engaging hiking. If you have a sense of adventure, then incorporating scrambling into your hike will greatly enhance your experience of the mountain. Most Table Mountain hikes involve scrambling, varying from basic and non-exposed to awkward and exposed to heights. Some routes offer more scrambling than others. Making use of a competent and knowledgeable Table Mountain guide allows you to choose the severity and amount of scrambling you want to do, as well as the type of views you get on the ascent.

Scrambling is not necessarily the domain of the adrenalin junkie or rock-climber: anyone can do it – and a lot of people are surprised at how much fun it is. Best to give it a whirl under the guidance of a competent mountain-guide, as scrambling can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Tackling Table Mountain on foot is not a walk, and it needn’t be a slog. Don’t think of Table Mountain hiking as a prolonged session on a stair-master; if you’re unfit, then you’re bound to enjoy scrambling more than a route that involves mostly slope-work. Drawing on the expertise of an experienced guide is invaluable if you’re looking to get the most out of your experience of hiking up Table Mountain.

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