Photo of the week – March week #3: Hiking Table Mountain’s southernmost tip

Because the Table Mountain massif covers an area of about 57 square miles, there is lots of views and landscapes to choose from. One of my favorite areas for hiking Table Mountain is the southern extremity of the chain of peaks known as  the Twelve Apostles. When viewed from above, Table Mountain roughly resembles a molar tooth in shape: forming the crown is the actual table top (the flat chunk of rock photographed more than any other aspect); forming the left-hand route is the Twelve Apostles, and located at the tip of the route is the mountain mass in the picture above. Taken from Mount Rhodes and from the southwest, it includes the entire bottom end of the left-hand root. The right-hand root can be seen as a ridge in the background.

Several routes lead up this corner of Table Mountain, offering much in the way of scrambling, views and solitude. Few hikers ever bother with this part of the mountain, which allows one to get really close to nature. The main route up here is Llandudno Ravine, which involves a few bits of scrambling and exposure to heights. Then there’s Llandudno Buttress, somewhat more challenging, and Hout Bay Corner, a quite serious scramble route that necessitates the use of ropes. All these routes converge at the top, from where a path leads up to Judas Peak (the southernmost Apostle), which offers sensational views across Hout Bay Valley and back across Table Mountain, perfect for getting the lie of the land. For more views, head for Llandudno Peak, or Pimple Peak, a rocky knoll on the western edge of the summit that offers unforgettable views onto the Twelve Apostles and Atlantic Seaboard.

And chances are good you will have these views all to yourself…

Yet more reasons why hiking Table Mountain is a far greater experience than most people realize. Table Mountain is much more than just its ‘table’; the southern tip of the Apostles might not be as high as the ‘table’, but it offers much more in the way of nature and solitude, and with great views.