Photo of the week – August week #1: Grotto-Fountain-Cairn Traverse

Table Mountain hiking and scrambling

Along an exposed section on the north side of Fountain Ravine

Table Mountain hikes come in all difficulty and adventure levels, from leisurely strolls along the summit plateau to challenging scrambles off the beaten track. The Grotto-Fountain-Cairn Traverse is of the latter kind. The route picks an ingenious line up the western side of Table Mountain’s ‘table’, traversing sheer cliffs and including several tricky scrambles. If you are adventurous, in good shape, up for a challenge and have a good head for heights, then this route will redefine Table Mountain hiking for you. It starts out in Grotto Ravine and gains about two-thirds the heights of the mountain before commencing a long and sensational traverse through Fountain Ravine and above Cairn Ravine to terminate on Kloof Corner Ridge, where you latch onto the India Venster trail along Fountain Ledge to gain the summit. This is one of the most challenging Table Mountain hikes, so best to go with a Table Mountain guide or with someone who knows the route well and can provide safety along exposed sections and on scrambles. If you’re looking to do the route in winter, be aware that the scramble in Fountain Ravine will be very wet and tricky; doing it after heavy rains is not recommended unless you are a strong swimmer.

Hiking Table Mountain along the Grotto-Fountain-Cairn traverse is a wilderness experience spiced up with adventure. the views are superb, the topography impressive and the hiking engaging and stimulating. If you’re up for a real adventure, this is the route to do.

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