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Which route to choose

2nd October 2010 – 4:40 pm

Having difficulty deciding which route to choose?  Much depends on how much time you have for the hike and how many hours you feel comfortable walking.  The shortest route is Platteklip Gorge, the trail up the front face of the mountain – average time of 2 1/2 hours to the cableway.  However do not be deceived – the trail is steep and stepped – all rock steps, many high and a little use of hands required.  Despite the steepness of the ascent this is still the best route for the not so fit to take.  While ascending you can enjoy expansive views of the city of Cape Town and beyond,  gradually narrowing but no less dramatic as you make your way upwards.
If you have a little more time to spare rather choose Kasteelspoort (from the western or Twelve Apostles side of Table Mountain) or Skeleton Gorge which ascends from the eastern side starting from Kirstenbosch Gardens.  Both these walks take you across the Back Table of Table Mountain before a second ascent to the Front Table.  The advantage is getting to see more of the mountain, a greater variety of flora and fauna, rock formations and some different views.  Well worth the  extra effort!
Better still devote a full day  – only if you are a regular exercise person and up to 7 hours of walking.  The descent this time is down Platteklip Gorge (of course if the cableway is running you can opt out of this).  So you need strength in the legs to handle this steep and stepped path down and you may feel the effects the next day!
Please don’t hestitate if you need advice regarding the route and what might be best for you.  Remember if you are wanting to fit in another tour on the same day one can never rely 100% on the cablecar to take you down.  Always allow time to walk down – it may close with less than one hours warning.

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