The Hiddingh-Ascension route up Table Mountain begins in Newlands Forest and takes you up what must truly be one of the remotest parts of the mountain. Much of the path is marked only by the odd rock and the chances of bumping into anyone else on this route is highly unlikely. It is tough route with some scrambling that requires a good level of fitness and is one of my favourites as the scenery is truly magnificent.
I do not recommend doing this route without someone who knows the route, or bringing dogs or young children.
You begin in the forest and head towards the contour path. Here the paths are clear and open filled with dog walkers and runners. The turn off the contour path and up Hiddingh Ravine is marked by a relatively small rock cairn. Here you see a vague path leading up through the trees. This path climbs steeply weaving between trees until taking you to the river itself. From here you climb up the river bed.
It should take you about an hour until you reach a large visible cairn. Here you turn right and traverse along the cliff face. This is a wonderful section of the path with yellow wood trees interspersed among caves along the cliff face. After 20 minutes and you turn steeply up and scramble up to a clear platform. The ground here is loose.
From the platform you again traverse to the right and after another half an hour begin to scramble up Ascension buttress following rockcairs. On reaching the rockface again turn right and drop down into Ascension ravine. Looking up you see the beauty of the green gulley stretching out above you. Anther steep climb follows until a final step scramble bring you to the top.
From here follow the path for 5 minutes and you will join the main Smuts path to Maclears Beacon.
An amazing route for the more adventurous hikers.
Click here for information on this hike and on other routes on Table Mountain.