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Is it too hot to hike Table Mountain in summer?

22nd January 2013 – 4:09 pm

The brief answer is no!  However many people think its OK to start at 8 or 9 o clock in the morning or even later.  This on many days is unwise and people do get into trouble occassionally with dehydration and heat stroke. This most commonly happens in Platteklip Gorge where the rock radiates the heat and on certain days it is wind free.
All these potential hazards are totally avoidable with an early start – hike before 7.00a.m is the best advice I can give to anyone here in the summer months.  There will be days when its not so hot and there is cloud cover and wind but dont rely on this especially if you are tackling an exposed route like Platteklip Gorge.
Routes like Kasteelspoort on the western side of Table Mountain are conveniently shaded most of the way up provided you start around 7.00a.m. while Skeleton Gorge has an indigenous  forest to provide a shadier walk.  Once you are on top usually the elevation means a lower temperature and often there is a breeze.  Protect yourself from the sun with sunblock, hat and sunglasses – and of course lots of water to prevent dehydration.
Hiking in the summer months has its own challenges so do be prepared to take advice and start early.  You will then have a much more enjoyable and memorable hike.

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