Winter Hiking on Table Mountain – 26 September 2019

After the long dry summers, Cape Town is steadily hit by cold front after cold front. The temperatures drop and the rain starts falling. For most people this is not ideal hiking weather.

However, there are a variety of advantages of hiking during winter. The rainfall provides us with spectacular waterfalls all around the mountain. We have about twenty-five natural streams and four underground rivers flowing off Table Mountain.

Once the cold fronts push on, we are left with crisp skies. The clear blue sky lasts until the next cold front moves in. The clean winter skies reward us with unspoiled views over the city and down the peninsula.

During winter it’s typical for a morning cloud to hover over the city, which leaves a clear view of ocean-like clouds from the summit of Table Mountain. As the sun warms the day the cloud slowly burns off to flaunt the city below.

Hiking Table Mountain in winter offers an atmospheric experience when we are caught in the cold front clouds. We are often presented with an array of rainbows glistening through the clouds.

A definite advantage is that we can start hiking at any time of the day. Temperatures are cool and more often on the chilly side.

The key is to dress in layers, winter often means that we are adding and removing layers throughout the hike. It’s also recommended to bring a rain jacket for the unexpected rain. Cape Town being a winter rainfall area presents us with a moody weather pattern on Table Mountain.

Something to be aware of is the Cableway closure in conjunction with the weather. The Cableway also closes for about two weeks every winter for annual maintenance. This means that we would hike up and back down. With all the rain the hike down can be quite slippery.

Winter hiking should not deter you from exploring the slopes of Table Mountain. We do need to be more aware of the weather conditions as they are unpredictable. The many weather moods of Table Mountain are a part of what makes it such a special experience.