I’ve been hiking Table Mountain up all the routes and in all weather conditions, so you could be forgiven for thinking that my appreciation of the environment has dulled somewhat, but you’d be very wrong. An ascent of Spring Buttress last week reminded me once again how varied and multi-faceted Table Mountain hiking and scrambling really is. I had done the route several times, but for much of the way I was exuberant and exhilarated by the setting, the unique angles on the adjacent buttresses and the quality of the hiking. Actually, this kind of thing happens to me on a regular basis: a renewed infatuation with Table Mountain and her hidden treasures. This time, it only happened on Spring Buttress.
Table Mountain hiking routes each has a character, not unlike people, featuring unique attributes, quirks and nuances. Spring Buttress is the seventh Apostle and offers several hiking variations and a host of climbing routes of all difficulty levels. Flanked by the imposing Slangolie Buttress and Ravine on one side and views across the first half-dozen Apostles and Table Mountain summit on the other, and with views down pristine slopes and across the Atlantic, the setting is hard to beat. Best to use a Table Mountain guide to explore this buttress, as the routes are not obvious and the trails indistinct. An experienced guide will also be able to pick the best route suited to your sense of adventure and abilities. A feature of the buttress is the Wood-Spring traverse, a sensational traverse about two-thirds the way up that terminates in Woody Ravine – only for the adventurous and those with a good head for heights.
If you think Table Mountain hiking is urban and tame, with little in the way of wilderness and nature, then a hike or scramble up Spring Buttress will dash your misconceptions of the mountain.