Photo of the week – November week #3: Table Mountain rocks

Table Mountain hiking routes

Wind-sculpted boulders in Arc Valley

It’s a sad notion among many hikers that Table Mountain hiking revolves around views. And when cloud covers the mountain and there’s no views, then adventure depression sets in – a kind of depression that besets the hiker or traveler when expectations of a place or activity are not met. Hiking Table Mountain is a multi-faceted experience and views a mere ingredient to the mix. Views draw the sense away from your immediate surroundings and fixes them on all that is around the mountain and in the hazy distance, robbing you of a full appreciation of the mountain’s fascinating environment. Many times have I witnessed how hikers neglected the plants, smells and sounds around them in their admiration of the views, only to become acutely aware of it all when cloud springs up and blots out the views. One environmental delight is Table Mountain’s rock-formations: massive boulders sculpted into weird shapes by the wind. Many Table Mountain hikes can be structured to lead through a boulder field without much detouring. Walking among these mangled monoliths is a unique experience that complements the overall hike. They seem to pulsate with energy, almost like they have a life of their own. Two of the best locations are the summit of Klaassens Buttress and the area round Arc Valley leading out to St Michael’s Peak.

Spice up your Table Mountain hiking experience with a visit to a boulder field. Even when the mountain is covered in cloud and views are out of the question, the rocks remain a beguiling sight.

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