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Back from Vietnam and Laos

9th July 2017 – 11:35 am

I decided to take a break from the Cape winter and headed to South East Asia to meet up with some friends and also to hike Fansipan, the highest  mountain in Indochina.  Having already spent quite a lot of time in this area, the heat and humidity was still  overwhelming at times. After a week in Laos and an overnight boat cruise on the magnificent Halong Bay I caught the bus to Sapa to tackle Fansipan. Its not a difficult hike but conditions weren't the best with steady rain and it was also very wet and muddy underfoot.  Probably the hike is best done in the dry season! I didnt see much in the way of views but still enjoyed the challenge and the exercise. Back in Cape Town the winter brings its normal good and bad conditions for hiking Table Mountain.  So if you're headed this way do try and ...

Hiking in winter – or is it summer!?

5th May 2017 – 10:14 am

April must have been one of the warmest on record in Cape Town with temperatures around 30C on many days. The trend seems to be continuing in May with temperatures still well above average. So not matter what time of the year you're planning to be here to hike Table Mountain expect the unexpected! All Capetonians are hoping for rain as our dams are well below what they should be and we have strict water restrictions but as yet no rationing.  However please be considerate during your stay and use water sparingly. May is looking like a good month to hike Table Mountain, less wind and not too hot. It is always a good idea to be flexible if you can and have a additional day you can swap to if necessary. Have some warmer layers with you and a jacket - as with all mountains you never know how conditions will ...

We are 21 years old!

21st January 2017 – 10:35 am

This month we celebrate 21 years of operating guided hikes on Table Mountain. Little did I think in 1997 that my initial thoughts of starting this business would grow into my full time profession for 21 years - and still going strong.! I am lucky to have some great guides who also lead hikes on my behalf and I must mention Pietro in particular and in recent times Lynette has done an excellent job and provided invaluable assistance. I reckon I have led over 2 thousand ascents, a rough guess as I have never been one for keeping count or records. Of course the routes are very familiar to me but I am lucky to see it through other people's eyes for the first time and their amazement of the beauty and variety of all they experience is a great reward for me. I thank all who have supported me over the ...

Hiking Table Mountain – when it’s hot!

11th December 2016 – 8:53 am

December, January and February are the hottest months in the Cape and some overseas visitors don't realise that an early start is essential for a safe and easier hike to the top of Table Mountain.  I see visitors starting at 10.30a.m. and even 12.00p.m. at the hottest time of the day and in the full sun. This is foolish and every year people are rescued and suffer from dehydration and heat exhaustion as a result. So please when I say you'll be picked up at 6.00a.m this is necessary for your own safety so don't suggest 8.30a.m. as the time you would prefer! I don't accept bookings at these times during the summer months. We do get temperatures of well over 30C on some days and hiking up Table Mountain is a strenuous exercise. It would be foolish to make it more difficult if not dangerous for yourself and take up ...

Back soon to Table Mountain

10th September 2016 – 3:56 pm

Its been a long stay away for me in Europe, luckily escaping the Cape Town winter - however compared to a northern European summer its definitely a lot more sunnier there!  I look forward to seeing Table Mountain again and of course ascending on a regular basis. I was fortunate to have walked part of the Portuguese section of the famous ‘camino’ and experienced some of the lovely scenery in this country and see lots of the sights. We walked from just north of Porto to just past the Spanish border and then headed south to walk a day on the camino to Fatima located just north of Lisbon. Lots of people going north bound to Santiago de Compestella and no one one on the route bound for Fatima. I guess the original is a lot more famous and of historic significance to many people. The walking is not difficult however choosing ...

Away on holiday!

19th July 2016 – 3:36 pm

Winter is the time I usually take my annual leave and escape the Cape winter - even though it really isnt that bad and doesnt compare to winters in northern Europe.  There is no snow!  It has been known for there to be a little snow on the top of Table Mountain but dont pack your crampons - you wont need them! Pietro, Lynette and some of my other trusted colleagues will be leading and organising hikes while I am away and all are most capable and well experienced. You’ll always be in good hands.  I still answer emails and communicate on a daily basis with Cape Town. The English weather has taken an African turn and today its 30C! Quite a surprise as the summer has been disappointing here and June was particularly wet.  Please do take your wet weather gear if youre heading to Cape Town over the next few ...

What to take – winter and summer

16th May 2016 – 4:20 pm

For those who are not experienced hikers and those not knowing what conditions to expect on Table Mountain you may need some advice on how to dress and what to take with you. In summer conditions can be very variable  - some days you’ll need no more than a T shirt and other days you’ll need a warmer layer and a jacket. The wind and cloud dictate the temperature and very occasionally there may be some rain. The forecast the day before will help guide you but always have a warm layer with you just in case. Shorts are the best, no jeans and comfortable loose fitting clothing and of course good walking shoes or boots. You dont need hiking boots on Table Mountain, trainers are fine so long as they are fairly sturdy.  We provide 1 litre of water and some snacks but by all means take along any extra ...

How fit do I need to be?

8th February 2016 – 9:32 am

Many people underestimate Table Mountain and what the walk up entails and the terrain. For a fit, active person it normally poses no problem.  All the routes are steep and stepped - and its the steps that some people find difficult especially as they are high and the terrain is uneven. Some of the routes require  use of hands, Skeleton Gorge and Kasteelspoort and both have ladders.  Platteklip Gorge I regard as the easiest option even though it is a continual steep ascent. So you need to be used to regular exercise or if you have youth on your side you may be lucky enough to have a natural ability and fitness.  By regular exercise I mean 3-4 times weekly of aerobic exercise that raises the heart rate significantly. Flat walking will not be sufficent. If this is not you and you’re not a natural then provided you have a couple of months before ...

Why choose a guided walk?

5th December 2015 – 7:47 pm

Many people (mainly locals however) hike Table Mountain without a guide. Usually they are familar with the route or at least one person in the group is.  So it is advisable to know the terrain and also be aware of how changeable and variable the weather can be. Guided means you dont have to worry about navigation and your guide can also advise you on what each route entails and what might suit you best.  You will also have the opportunity to learn  about the fauna and flora and the many points of interest. Even if you hike elsewhere unguided it is mostly recommended that Table Mountain with its sheer rock face is best treated with caution and respect  It has vertical cliffs and edges in places and paths that are not always clearly marked. It has had over the years been the site of many rescues and searches - not something ...

Back from Russia, UK and Ireland

14th September 2015 – 1:52 pm

I arrived back a few days ago having spent over 2 months in Europe. Its good to be back and see Table Mountain again!  I did some hiking in Russia and in Ireland while in UK for a change I spent time at a racing stables exercising race horses.   Its defintely less strenuous than hiking up Table Mountain and has its own thrills of speed and excitment. It seems as if winter is over with temperatures yesterday in the high twenties. From the top of Table Mountain it looked like Camps Bay beach was busy as no doubt the other beaches were also.  This is the peculiarity of the Cape - you never know what to expect! So always come prepared with some clothes for all seasons if you are planning to be here on holiday. Its good to be back in Cape Town, and thanks to Pietro, Johan, Irene and Liesel ...