Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Table Mountain Adventure - Platteklip Gorge

For any self respecting visitor or city explorer, at the very top of your list should be a visit to the iconic Table Mountain conveniently situated a stonethrow away from city centre.

Now officially one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, an increasing number of visitors to my city can certainly be expected. Be sure to catch a view from this vanatge point along the Table View coastline...

Or this from the top of Lions Head. (You can clearly see this peak to the right of the main table in the picture above)

Here follows your guide on getting there, your options of getting to the top and back down safely.

Disclaimer: I am not an official of Sanparks or a registered tour guide. But i can offer you some life saving advice, so here goes.

Decide according to your fitness level what exactly you would like to do. Any able bodied person is able to make the climb depending on the chosen route. For the more sedentary and senior citizen, the cable car offers 360' panoramic views in the rotting cart.
Platteklip Gorge is by far the preferred choice of all avid ascenders, offering the most direct and easiest way up. Easy in this case is a relative term ofcourse. Pictured below is a section of what you can expect en-route, with over 800 double steps leading to the top of the 2.1km route and about a 650m ascent between the start and finish, the views won't be the only thing that take your breath away..

It is therefore important not to take this climb lightly. You will have no doubt read at least (I'm hoping) some form of guide as to what to bring along but if not here's a quick guide of what you will no doubt require.

Regardless of the weather, and I would advise you not to consider this in foul weather or to get to the top should the cable car be shut down for whatsoever reason, you'll need at least the very basic of these essentials;

• A fully charged cell phone along with mountain rescue number in the directory. Check with your tour  guide, things change.

• Water, at least one litre per person and an energy drink of some sort. Whatever your poison. If you're in doubt, I'd recommend Powerade as it's least offensive to the pallet of this connoisseur.

• A snack of some sort. It takes some energy getting up.

• Some cash or whatever Maestro or Visa card you're traveling with, should you decide to take the cable car down.

• A lightweight, waterproof jacket or something that can keep you warm when conditions change. You don't want to be stuck up there with a T-shirt on in a fat wet cloud.
Check for local wind and weather predictions.

• Shades, sunscreen, hat, cap, inhaler, camera, you get the point.

Should you run into trouble and unable to get help, prepare to spend some time in the cold before anyone gets to you. Mountain rescue walks up too, luckily much quicker than you so best to stay on one place and listen carefully as wind and cloud make hearing difficult.
Find a warm spot, sheltered from the wind and relax. Have something to eat if you got it.

Enough with the serious stuff. When you're up there and even on your way up, you come to realise exactly why my mountain is considered a natural wonder. You're rewarded with spectacular views of the Cape Town Foreshore, Atlantic Ocean and Robben Island. Here are some shots of my misadventures over the past couple of years..

 Don't try this at home!!!

TBC - If you need info ASAP you can mail me @