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In winter book early in your stay

29th May 2015 – 2:35 pm

Winter has suddenly arrived - I can hardly believe I was on the beach a week ago - so anyone planning to hike during these next few months should be prepared to switch days if possible. Even so you could be unlucky and there might not be a suitable day.  Winter is a mixture of the most beautiful days and the most awful days. Right now we are having a bad run and looks like it is going to continue for a few more days.  So sorry for those who have missed out. Cape Town is an outdoors city and rainy weather isnt  the order of the day.  Everywhere looks more attractive when the sun is shinning and this city is no exception. So try to be flexible  when you book during the next three months and for that matter at all  times- with Table Mountain and Cape Town you just never ...

Winter is on its way

5th May 2015 – 8:09 am

May is normally the month when our winter rains begin.  We have had a very dry April and overall a very dry summer hence all the fires in the Cape Peninsula.  Luckily Table Mountain escaped but a lot of southern section of the national park is hardly recognisable.  Fynbos (the indigenous vegetation) recovers quickly after fire  and it is part of the natural cycle. It can also weather our long dry summers and people are amazed about how green the mountain is during the summer months and also how lush. Torrential rain now with no vegetation to hold the sandy soill in place could cause some landslides and Chapman’s Peak is especially vunerable so let’s hope it doesnt have to close for a prolonged period. The winter months can be a great time to hike so dont be put off by thoughts of getting drenched.  We have plenty of good days, sunny ...

Walk with Pietro in March

23rd February 2015 – 10:13 am

I am back in the UK for a stint with family so Pietro will be holding the fort for the next 4 weeks. He will be assisted by Irene and Ray.  All are very experienced and have hiked not just Table Mountain but all over the Western Cape.  If you are booking a hike in the next month be assured you will be in good hands. Pietro has taken over the reins now on three occasions and although I will answering emails he will be leading most walks and answering all phone enquiries. I  hope to do some walking in UK but winter can be a bit harsh weatherwise especially for someone used to the drier and sunnier slopes of Table Mountain! I am sure you will enjoy your stay in Cape Town and be sure you hike Table Mountain so you can have an experience not to forget.

Happy New Year!

31st December 2014 – 5:52 pm

The Christmas/ New Year season is peak time in Cape Town and also on Table Mountain.  There are long queues for the cableway unless you arrive really early (7.00a.m.) then of course you cant be sure it will open so you may queue in vain!  Of course you can escape the wait and consider walking up instead but this is not for everyone and a reasonable level of fitness is required.  Bear in mind there is always the possibility you may have to hike down. The main trail up the front of Table Mountain gets very busy at this time so consider the alternatives of Kasteelspoort and Skeleton Gorge as much quieter alternatives.  They do take longer (at least 4 hours normally) but well worth the extra effort for the peace and quiet.  Please dont hestitate to ask for my recommendations but be sure to tell me a bit about yourself ...

Unseasonably cold!

16th November 2014 – 5:40 pm

It just proves you never know what to expect on Table Mountain.  Here we are in November and we’ve just had a week of cold (by our standards) and wet and windy weather.  The temperature has been 15C to 18C - and that’s at sea level!  On top of Table Mountain its been a lot colder of course.  So apologies to anyone who was here for the last week, you got the unexpected.  However its about to change tomorrow with back to normal temperatures for this time of year. It is always best when hiking to be prepared for all conditions and its impossible to predict much in advance what to expect on the day.  Pack your layers and a jacket and on certain days gloves and a warm hat. We are now approaching our busiest time so its best to book in advance if you can.  The weather will be more ...

Back after a break

19th September 2014 – 3:41 pm

It seems like I was away from home and Table Mountain for a very long time but it is good to be back again.  So far Ive hiked up three times and in excellent weather.  However the last couple of days the weather has changed dramatically and we’ve been back to winter.  In typical Cape fashion though the weekend brings clear, sunny and warm conditions.  You just never know! I managed some walks in England, Wales and Ireland during my time away just missing out on Scotland!  In Wales I did a beautiful coastal walk in the Gower Peninsula.  In Ireland as I had just a brief stay and  did a short but scenic walk up Slievenamon in Co Tipperary and in England I tackled the higher peak of Helvelyn in wonderful clear conditions. I also did a scenic walk in the Yorkshire Dales which I visited for the second time. It ...

Walk up and down Table Mountain

30th July 2014 – 10:15 am

Its that time of year again and the cableway is closed for annual maintenance.  So now the only way to get to the top is to walk up and of course down.  The walk down does add on quite a lot to the hike so dont underestimate what you are undertaking and be prepared. Many people arrive in Cape Town and dont realise that the cableway is closed.  They decide to hike but not realising that this is around a 4 1/2 hour round trip for someone of average fitness.  This is if you take the shortest option of Platteklip Gorge.   The route is steep and all steps, the steps are high and the terrain uneven making the descent a bit tricky for those unused to this type of exercise.  Legs can turn to jelly especially nearing the end. The conditions can be variable at this time of year so be ...

Winter is here – be prepared!

11th June 2014 – 3:45 pm

Winter has suddenly crept up on us and the temperature at night has been just above freezing. We have also experienced lots of rain in the last two weeks.  However no snow yet on Table Mountain.  The rain has meant little hiking for the last ten days but today its beautiful - sun and its warming up nicely as the day goes on. For those coming to hike bring your warm gear and rain gear just in case.  The rain has meant there is now lots of water running off the mountain making it quite spectacular -  so there is a bonus.  Winter can be a great time to hike, no heat to worry about and often less wind.  So dont be put off - just add some layers and a jacket and youre ready to hike.  Gloves and a warm hat may also be useful and they dont take up ...

Hike up or ride up Table Mountain?

4th May 2014 – 3:37 pm

If you are in reasonable shape then the answer is definitely hike up not just for the reward of having got there the hard way but also for the opportuntity of experiencing so much more of what Table Mountain has to offer.  If you are sedentary, older and/or overweight perhaps not such a good idea!  All the routes up are steep and stepped and could not be described as easy. Then rather cableway both ways and take the alternative hike on top of around 2 hours, lots to see with the pain! Obviously many people are in between (not very fit but not sedentary) so the shorter ascent of Platteklip Gorge is a safer option. However the routes of Kasteelspoort and Skeleton Gorge do allow you to experience the quieter Back Table as well as the Front Table of Table Mountain so consider improving your fitness before you arrive and tackle ...

Fitness level required for hiking Table Mountain

23rd March 2014 – 7:13 am

As fitness is very subjective this is a difficult question to answer.  Unfortunately age does  play a role so an older sedentary person should not consider taking on the challenge while a young inactive person will often manage.  Genetics play a definite role with some people more athletically inclined and others less fortunate. As a guideline those who are not active ( do regular exercise) or who dont enjoy exerting themselves should consider doing some training first.  Anyone middle aged  and sedentary would definitely want to get in shape and do regular aerobic exercise to at least a moderate level for a month or more before attempting the hike. I do get people who have to turn back and many could have continued if they had done some prior training.  We should all be incorporating exercise into our lives so dont suddenly take on a challenge like Table Mountain and expect to ...