Top 10 Table Mountain hiking location #6: Klaasens Buttress – 20 December 2013

Tucked away in Orange Kloof, Klaasens Buttress protrudes modestly from the inside of the southeastern bastion of the Table Mountain massif, overlooking one of the most pristine and beautiful areas on the mountain. Few know of its charms, suspecting it of being little more than a rocky mound, but its summit area contains some of the most unusual rock-formations on Table Mountain: a jumble of wind-sculpted boulders, with protruding rock gargoyles, interspersed with nooks, crannies and passages. Few Table Mountain hikes offers such a density of features as the summit of Klaasens Buttress. But that’s only one part of it: the views from the highest point commands the entire mountain, from the southern tip of the 12 Apostles to both sides of the “Table”, then eastwards to the Country Mountains and across False Bay and southward across the spine of the Peninsula. Then you walk to the sheer eastern edge and are spoiled with more glorious views, this times into Orange Kloof – a wilderness area carpeted with indigenous forest (jungle). This location, with its views into Orange Kloof and set among bizarre rock-formations, is one of the best tea / lunch spots you’ll find on the mountain. Hiking Table Mountain up the Constantia Corner route, about 2 hours, will bring you to the back end of the buttress, from where you follow a faint trail to its western edge. Few souls ever venture out there, so you will most likely have the place to itself.

Table Mountain hiking provides a never-ending source of pleasure and inspiration if you know your way around the mountain. Variables like vegetation, terrain, topography, views, weather, the ambiance / mood of a place and light conditions all spice up the hiking, keeping it fresh and engaging.