Hiking Table Mountain via Hout Bay Corner – 27 February 2014

If you’re not bothered about topping out on the iconic tabletop summit of Table Mountain, and if you’re up for a challenge, then Hout Bay Corner is a delightful way up the mountain. It leads up the southwest extremity of the Table Mountain massif, on the southernmost Apostle, and offer glorious views across Hout Bay and the Atlantic Seaboard. Nature, views and adventure all combine to make this one of the best Table Mountain hikes in its grade. Not for those averse to heights, as the route is exposed to heights in places. Route-finding is quite tricky along the lower half, so best go with someone who’s been up there before and can competently provide safety on steep ground, or make use of a Table Mountain guide. Some of the scrambles are tricky and exposed, so the use of a rope is recommended. A short walk from the top leads to Llandudno Peak and Judas Peak, both some of the best vantage points on Table Mountain. This part of the mountain sees few hikers – and the route even fewer – so you’re bound to have only pristine nature as company.

An exciting feature about the route is the unlikely line it takes: up an impressive corner with no obvious weakness. Viewed from below, the route appears difficult and intimidating, but it reveals itself bit by bit as you pick your way between the sheer cliffs. That’s one of the joys of hiking Table Mountain: gaining the summit along an ingenious route that keeps you guessing and in a state of exhilaration all the way to the summit.

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