Walk up Table Mountain in the

South Easter

After a couple of almost winter days in Cape Town last week the South Easter is back with a vengeance today. Gale force winds, strong sunshine and clear skies over Table Mountain and the mother city.

A perfect day for a hike. We took the most popular route up the mountain. Platteklip Gorge which overlooks the city. Steep but with no dangerous drop offs (in case we got blown off our feet) On a day like this its important to be fully prepared. Despite the heat on Tafelberg road, on the top of the mountain it is freezing.

Platteklip Gorge is the steep "gash" in the middle of Table Mountain

Platteklip starts as it means to go on…….steep! There is a short respite after about 15 minutes. Here you follow the contour path (very briefly) before setting off up the gorge itself. The path zig zags its way up the mountain. The higher you go the shorter the zig zags (and so the steeper the incline)

Looking up the gorge. Its steep!

However it is worth the effort. At every break you can enjoy a real sense of satisfaction each time you stop. The road below gets smaller and smaller whicle the steep sides of the narrowing gorge get closer and closer.   

A break half way up the gorge

At the top the walls of the gorge seem almost close enough to touch. Here the wind funnels down with terrific force and we were forced to put on the windbreakers we had been carrying up to now. This last bit of the gorge is really spectacular.

The top of Platteklip Gorge

Once at the top of the gorge you are out of the wind for a short time. After a short celebration you turn right and head up a short incline which has some chains and poles to help you pull yourself up. Now back in the wind you are on the top of the Western Table. Ahead of you the cable car, shop, restuarant and toilets. Behind you the rest of the mountain spreads out in one of the most spectacular views of the Peninsula.

The view down the peninsula from Table Mountain top

A little further on Camps Bay and the 12 Apostles come into view. Fantastic.

One of the best things about climbing Table Mountain when there is a strong wind means that you can enjoy all these views without the crowds. Once the wind exceeds +/- 30km/hour the cable car closes down. This does mean that the shop, toilet and restuarants are closed. Today we sat in the lee of the restuarant and enjoyed a cup of rooibos tea from my trusty flask before setting off down the mountain again.