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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 ...

So what is fynbos on Table Mountain?

8th February 2014 – 6:10 pm

Firstly the tricky part about fynbos is that it is pronounced faynbos and not finbos as one might be tempted to say  It refers to the indigenous vegetation found on Table Mountain and is famous for its diversity, colour and resilience to our long dry summers. Most people want to know the time of year that’s best to see fynbos but the answer is not so simple.  Different plants flower at different times of the year so now is good for our disas (orchids) while King Proteas are better later in the year and some plants actually flower in winter. Even to the casual observer fynbos is impressive.  You dont have to be botanically minded to appreciate the delicate irises and hardier ericas and proteas.  You will marvel that the plants grow literally on sand and sometimes even appear to grow out of the rocks! So be sure to take time during your ...

Changeable weather on Table Mountain

28th December 2013 – 7:11 am

From the south easter to heat and then to wet conditions you could say that the weather on Table Mountain and to a lesser degree in Cape Town is variable!  On Christmas Eve the day started out with perfect conditions and not a cloud around, then in the space of 30 minutes cloud covered the mountain and wind closed the cableway.  Even the staff said they had never seen such a quick change - and neither had I! So the reality is that you need to be prepared for sudden changes and always have a warmer layer of clothing and also a rain/shower proof jacket.  This is the case at any time of year and not just winter. Today after two weeks of sun, sun and more sun Table Mountain is no where to be seen and steady rain would mean a very wet hike and no visibility.  It is therefore advisable ...