From last week’s Top 10 Table Mountain hiking location on the southwestern tip of the mountain, we move across to the northern half of the east side. Lush and green, and dissected by forested ravines, the eastern slopes of the mountain rises sheer from the southern suburbs – a delightful and bewitching sight to the mountaineer and nature lover. Set amid the verdure and geological drama is The Pulpit, a spur that constitutes the middle section of Hiddingh Buttress and accessible via only one Table Mountain hiking route: Hiddingh-Ascension – a challenging 6-hour hike that involves rugged terrain, scrambling and exposure to heights. The route is rarely done, and the Pulpit, a 20-minute detour, even more rarely visited. Which of course adds to its allure. Mother Nature generously endowed its tip with a rocky terrace, enticing the visitor to linger and take in the surroundings over a mug of tea. And what surroundings! Glorious views across the interior towards the Country mountains and False Bay, with beetling cliffs towering at your back. The whole place exudes wildness, grandeur and solitude – all ingredients to a memorable Table Mountain hiking experience. I’ve visited the Pulpit several times, and each time leaves me enraptured.
Perhaps not one to tick off for the inexperienced or non-adventurous hiker, the Pulpit is one of those topographical gems that makes Table Mountain hiking the exhilarating activity that it is.