Top 10 Table Mountain hiking location #4: Blinkwater Needle – 28 November 2013

One of the delights of hiking Table Mountain is gaining the summit of a pinnacle or rock tower – also known as a needle. Blinkwater Needle is a conspicuous pinnacle about two-thirds up the north side of the first (most northern) of the 12 Apostles. Several needles can be found on Table Mountain, all offering unique locations, but Blinkwater Needle in my opinion ranks as the most sensational. It can be reached via only one hiking route, Blind Gully, quite challenging and tricky to find. After the confines of the gully with its tall vegetation, a climb up the needle leaves you with a feeling of being suspended in midair. The summit consists of a 3-meter-square platform, with sheer drops on all sides and magnificent views in all directions – out over the Atlantic, down into Blinkwater Ravine and back towards the mountain. A more perfect lunch or tea spot can hardly be imagined. The scramble up to the summit is quite tricky and inexperienced climbers should make use of a rope. Few people ever visit Blinkwater Needle, and its location in a remote part of the mountain combines to endow it with a sense of solitude and wildness.

Table Mountain hiking is not only about special views, but also special places, and Blinkwater Needle comes close to being my most special place on Table Mountain. Not one to attempt without a competent Table Mountain guide or someone who knows the route well and can provide safety on steep ground.

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