Why use a guide when hiking Table Mountain? – 26 May 2014

Despite Table Mountain’s proximity to a city and the existence of a cable car to its summit, it remains a mountain and therefore due respect. The mountain is higher, bigger and more rugged than most people think. The terrain is unforgiving and the weather capricious. Many routes lead up all sides of the mountain, each showcasing a different aspect of the mountain as well as unique views. Therefore, making use of a guide is a good idea for the following reason:

– Safety, both with regards route-finding and weather.

– Peace of mind. Allows you to enjoy the environment and views without fretting over logistics and route and weather.

– Maximizes / enhances your experience of the mountain, from learning about the fauna, flora, history, geology and topography of the mountain to doing the best route suited to your preferences, fitness and experience. Also, being shown the hidden gems of the mountain, whether topographical features or dramatic viewpoints.

There’s another, overlooked, reason why a guide can maximize your Table Mountain hiking experience: it allows you to step safely outside your comfort zone and do things you never thought possible, thereby adding adventure and excitement to what would’ve been a tedious slog and instilling a real sense of achievement. I see it all the time: hikers, dismayed when confronted by near-vertical terrain, emerge jubilant and flush with exhilaration; others declare a newfound hobby or passion by the time they reach the summit; still, others look back in disbelief at their line of ascent. Table Mountain hikes differ greatly in the kind and severity of difficulties encountered on the mountain, so a guide versed with all the routes are able to select the ideal route suited to a hiker’s needs and abilities. Routes that involve scrambling are not to be tackled by the inexperienced; however, in the company of an experienced and competent mountain-guide familiar with climbing techniques and techniques for ensuring safety on steep ground, even a person with fear of heights and no experience in climbing or mountains can safely enjoy the high places generally reserved for the experienced mountaineer.

Therefore, one of the overlooked advantages of making use of a Table Mountain guide is that it allows you to safely do a route you never thought possible. All that’s needed is a sense of adventure and a willingness to face a challenge and step outside your comfort zone.

(c) www.hiketablemountain.co.za