“The nearness of Table Mountain to Cape Town has one disadvantage – it tempts rock-climbers to overdo the ‘difficult stuff’. The wisest climber and the one who usually retains a life-long active interest in the pastime is the man who nurses his nerve. He does a really difficult climb occasionally, those of moderate difficulty often, and now and then indulges in just plain slope.”
Extract from an article in the 1936 Journal of the Mountain Club of South Africa.
No philosophy holds true for all men, all of the time, but there is certainly truth in the above assertion for the average climber.
There is no shortage of routes on Table Mountain, allowing hikers and climbers to choose exactly the difficulty and nature of the ascent. The more routes you know, the more you can fine-tune the route to your and your companions’ skills and preferences. For example, let’s say you feel like a B-grade scramble route, you could then decide how much B-grade scrambling you would like on the route: 10% of the way, 50% of the way, whatever. You could then opt for the kind of views you want while scrambling: sea views, city and harbour views, forest views / setting. You could then decide on the degree of exposure to heights. Sunny or shady. Long or short. Open or bushy. Remote or accessible. One that offers a C-grade variation, should you wish to spice things up.
And so, you have the same choices in almost all grades. Decisions, decisions. That’s the hardest part about having Table Mountain in your backyard: deciding what route to do!
The possibilities for hiking and climbing on Table Mountain are legion. There’s no need to overdo the ‘difficult stuff’ and no excuse to languish in the easy stuff.