3 September: the first Tablecloth of the season.
If there’s one thing that marks the end of the winter, then it’s the arrival of the Southeaster wind and the accompanying formation of the Tablecloth, a veil of streamlined cloud that engulfs the mountain. I was privileged to witness the first Tablecloth of the new season take shape, building up on the mountain’s eastern ramparts before spilling over the front edge of the mountain.
Hiking on Table Mountain in the Tablecloth presents a new set of challenges and joys. Most people dislike the Southeaster, preferring to stay indoors and pray for it to blow itself out sooner rather than later. Few enjoy hiking in a gale-force wind, but I think it’s pretty special, especially with the weird cloud formations often whipped up. It presents the mountain in a unique way and clears the city of smog.
Hiking Table Mountain in the Southeaster and Tablecloth might wreak havoc with your hair-do and blot out the view, but it endows the environment with a wildness that can be both exciting and invigorating.