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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 ...

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 ...