Do you have to be very fit to hike up Table Mountain?
At its highest point Table Mountain is 1085 m. (3500 ft)so in terms of mountains its not huge. This being said it is still not a doddle as wherever you choose to climb up (and there are several routes) it is pretty steep. My feeling is anyone of moderate fitness can make it and really enjoy it. The secret is to take your time. (think like a tortoise) and with such wonderful views whichever way you look you don’t need an excuse to take a break.The fastest and arguably the easiest route up the mountain is Platteklip Gorge. I say easy because it is not technical at all. (it basically resembles a flight of stairs) it also takes you straight to the plateau. People do race up it in half an hour (we are talking professional athletes here) others can proudly say they take an hour. Going at a steady pace a fairly fit person can do it in an hour and a half. From the top it is 15 minutes to the cable car and you can cheat and ride down.
The next quickest route to the plateau is India Venster. This is a technical route with some fun easy scrambling an exposure. Slightly longer it takes a little longer than Platteklip Gorge and has more variation of views as it takes you right around the western plateau overlooking Camps Bay.
Most other hiking trails take much longer to reach the plateau as they take you onto the back of Table Mountain first. There are several routes. All pretty steep, with varying levels of exposure and technicality. Each side of the mountain is different in terms of flora and each route has its own character. The absolute easiest route is up the jeep track from Constantia Nek. This is a winding road that takes you onto the back Table. But it is also one of the longest routes being about 16km from the plateau itself.
Tempted? Contact Binny to find out about guided hiking on Table Mountain and the route best suited for you. You will be amazed how quickly you leave the sounds of the city behind and escape into wonderful wilderness.