Photo of the week – August week #3: Llandudno Traverse

Traversing past the base of Llandudno Gorge

Traversing past the base of Llandudno Gorge

There are two kinds of traverses:  those performed out of necessity in order to reach the summit and those used to access a different part of the mountain or for scenic purposes. Llandudno Traverse falls in to the latter kind. Several Table Mountain hikes and climbs lead off it, and it also provides engaging hiking along a pristine and unfrequented part of Table Mountain, the southern segment of the 12 Apostles. Stretching from Llandudno Ravine to Victoria Ravine, it covers varied terrain and offers superb views. Route-finding is tricky, so best to make use of a Table Mountain guide or go with someone who knows it well. It involves rugged terrain (bush / loose rock) as well as one or two bits of exposure, so not to be regarded as a walk in the park, despite its gentle gradients. Table Mountain hiking routes that lead up from the Llandudno Traverse includes Grove Walk and Llandudno Gorge. The traverse is done more for scenic purposes as an approach to another route. The Lekkerwater Traverse runs parallel to it and a little lower down, joining the Llandudno Traverse near the base of Grove Buttress. The two traverses can consequently be done on a single outing to form a circular route without reaching the top of the mountain, a good option for days when the Southeaster is blowing and dense cloud covers the mountain.

Hiking Table Mountain does not always have to mean reaching the summit. Exploring the features and folds of the mountain, marvelling at the varied topography and finding some endemic Peninsula flora or flowering orchids all count as worthy objectives for a mountain walk.

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