Archives for Table Mountain climbing

The mental aspect of hiking Table Mountain – 6 August 2013

Expectations have the power to shape an experience, and this holds true when it comes to hiking Table Mountain. Most people know very little what to expect. I’ve had people who were surprised to find that it involves uphill walking. Because of the mountain’s proximity to a city, it’s easy to think of Table Mountain as tame and underestimate the amount of time and energy
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Walking vs Scrambling – 6 July 2013

The great majority of hiking routes leading up Table Mountain involve scrambling at some point along the way. Scrambling can be defined as the grey area between walking and climbing; to be safe, consider it as easy or elementary climbing. Some people view easy scrambling as steep walking; hard scrambling can safely be called easy climbing. There are shades of grey; it is not a
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Photo of the week – May week #2: Woody Buttress

If you know enough routes, hiking Table Mountain offer decades of outdoor fun and adventure. I was reminded of this the other day when doing the Woody Buttress route on the Twelve Apostles, a lesser-known route that involves lots of B-grade scrambling  and  a few bits of exposure to heights. Starting out from the Pipe Track, I was hailed by another Table Mountain guide who
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Quote of the week – May week #1: Fountain Ravine Original

“I boldly lay down flat and wriggled along the upper shelf of rock until I could drop on to the narrow ledge below. Along this six inch ledge I cautiously went crab-fashion.” – Extract from an article by Annie Wilson in the 1900 Journal of the Mountain Club of South Africa, describing her climb up the Fountain Ravine Original route, Table Mountain – In her article,
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Photo of the week – April week #3: Grotto-Fountain-Cairn Traverse

The Grotto-Fountain-Cairn Traverse must rank as one of the most challenging and sensational hiking routes on Table Mountain. It leads up the imposing west side of the mountain, picking an ingenious line past forbidding cliffs. Table Mountain hiking does not get more exciting than this. The route follows Grotto Ravine to a point about midway up the mountain, then traverses across a series of cliffs
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Photo of the week – April week #2: Table Mountain adventure hiking

Many hiking routes lead up the Twelve Apostles – the chain of peaks extending behind Table Mountain’s tabletop summit – offering dramatic and featured topography with sea views and solitude. One of the more challenging routes is Woody Buttress, a B-grade (intermediate difficulty) ascent that offers varied scrambling on clean and sound rock. If you have a sense of adventure, then this is vintage Table
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Quote of the week – April week #3: How long to hike Table Mountain?

“How long to get upstairs?” Question by a German hiker wanting to know the duration of our proposed route up Table Mountain.   Hiking up Table Mountain can take anything from 25 minutes (time achieved by some trail-runners  up the easiest route) to 34 days (time taken by an eighteenth-century expedition to survey the mountain and botanize along the way). The average times taken to
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Quote of the week – April week #2: Table Mountain adventure

“Where the ledge ends, the leader ties on and passes round a bulge. Anything more sensational could not be wished. He finds himself on a little ledge, a few inches wide, split, fissured, looking like a row of crazy unstable tiles. He sees nothing below except the slope eight hundred feet below, while the face above presses him outwards. Carefully he works his way around.
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Quote of the week – April week #1: The Spirit of the Mountains

“Our route mattered little. We seemed to float up the lower slopes with a minimum of effort; over small pitches of rock; into little heather-choked gullies; and up onto a mountain’s crest. Rocky peaklet followed rocky peaklet and we flitted from top to top until, after what seemed merely minutes but was probably hours, we arrived at the main summit. We had climbed a mountain
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Photo of the week – March week #2: Table Mountain pinnacles and spires

One of the joys about hiking Table Mountain is the many sensational positions you can get yourself into with some ingenuity, and often times nerve, by scaling a pinnacle or some other salient rock feature. Table Mountain’s dramatic geology offers several vantage points that will exhilarate you. Blinkwater Needle is one of the best, reachable along a route that involves intermediate scrambling. Other vantage points
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