Photo of the week: July week #3

The Lion’s Mantle…

A fogbound Lion’s Head as seen from halfway up the India Venster route on Table Mountain’s north face. This is a fairly rare occurrence, around ¬†5 to 8 times a year, usually in Autumn (March / April) and Spring (September / October). It happens when warm, moisture-laden air wafts in from the west and condenses on contact with cooler air above the cold ¬†waters along the Cape west coast. The fog dissipates as it passes over the warmer land surface, especially that of the inner city, only sometimes engulfing Lion’s Head and parts of Table Mountain and the Cape Peninsula.

Hiking on Table Mountain on days when fog rolls in from the Atlantic doesn’t get any better. The views are dynamic as the fog eddies and swirls around the mountain, giving one the impression of being at a great height while creating dramatic and atmospheric situations in balmy conditions with little or no wind. The fog often piles up against the Twelve Apostles, giving them the appearance of rising sheer from the ocean.

Cloud on or around the mountain might limit the views, but renders the landscape mystical and surreal. A hike on Table Mountain often involves heavy cloud, but it need not spoil the experience. I find that hiking up Table Mountain in the mist and cloud forces me more to focus on my surroundings than what’s out there, faraway. Those conditions make for a more intimate experience with the mountain.