Photo of the week – January week #4: Spring Buttress

Jan 28, 2014

Spring Buttress, formerly known as the Seventh Apostle Buttress, is one of the 12 Apostles, a chain of peaks extending behind the tabletop summit of Table Mountain. It offers some of the best Table Mountain hiking, if not the best. About 12 routes lead up the Apostles, all of them distinct from its neighbor in character, difficulty and features. Spring Buttress is convoluted and featured, offering much in the way of adventure hiking and scrambling. Several route variations exist, depending on your sense of adventure and experience. One of my all-time favorite Table Mountain hikes lead up Spring Buttress: it starts straight off the Contour Path with a scramble and continues in a series of interesting scrambles and traverses to a narrow ledge, which is followed around an exposed corner to a ridge, where more scrambling on clean and sound rock brings one to a shallow gully that is followed to the top of the buttress. If topping out is not important to you, and you’re looking for more adventure, then a sensational traverse leads off from near base of the gully, known as the Wood-Spring Traverse.  It requires a rope at one point as well as a good head for heights, and debouches high up in Woody Ravine amid spectacular cliffs. Few people bother with Spring Buttress, so you are unlikely to encounter anyone along the way, which adds to its wilderness feel. In many ways it epitomizes what Table Mountain hiking is all about: raw nature, dramatic mountainscapes, scrambling, solitude and interesting rock features. The views are sensational, both outwards over the Atlantic and a pristine stretch of coast and back onto the mountain, especially southwards on the imposing mass of Slangolie Buttress.

If you love nature and you have a sense of adventure with a good head for heights, then Spring Buttress will delight you in so many ways. It’s one buttress that adds a lot of value to Table Mountain hiking.


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