“The sight of the summit beacon indicates something accomplished by very real and patient effort, and often by skill and daring. It is the slow persistent step-by-step which has conquered the heights. There is no hurry, no spasmodic rush. It is a quiet, steady, joyous, upward movement, typifying the daily upward climb of the individual towards the realisation of the highest ideals and ultimate goal.”
Extract from an article in the 1938 Journal of the Mountain Club of South Africa.
On Table Mountain, the summit beacon typically takes the form of a crude rock pile known as a cairn. But what they lack in appearance, they make up for in significance. Although climbing a mountain is a goal-driven pursuit – reaching the summit – it does not preclude one from enjoying the climb itself. It is along the way that growth and self-discovery occur. It is in the throes of the ascent that we conquer our demons and push back physical and mental boundaries. That’s all part of the deal when hiking Table Mountain. You top out with a sense of accomplishment; you have the right to stand beside the summit beacon; you have earned your views. To me, the mental rewards outweigh the physical.
Hiking up Table Mountain reward you in many ways and you only know exactly what they are when you stand beside the summit beacon.