Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 1
redsox_mark

Table Mountain caches and hikes

Recommended Posts

For the second time in a month; I have a short notice business trip to South Africa - with one extra day for fun.

Last time it was Joburg, This time it is Cape Town, and the "fun day" is Friday (2 Dec).

 

I like the idea of doing some hiking to find caches on/near Table Mountain. About me... I'm 52 years old. In good health, though not in as good shape as I would like. I have good boots and experience hiking in mountain areas - though most of that when I was younger, and I have no technical climbing experience (or desires). At home (in England) I'll often hike 5 or 6 miles to find caches; though not in mountains (some hills).

 

From brief research (brief as I only found out about the trip yesterday) I've found:

 

- The Pipe Trail: Looks like a nice walk and not difficult. Along side rather than up the mountain. Several caches on the route.

- Platteklip Gorge: Looks like the easiest walk up to the top; though not easy. Not sure about caches on the route.

- Take the cable car to the top: Some caches at the top... then walk from there? But to where... I don't want to fall off!

 

I know it's short notice, but any advice would be appreciated.

 

Lastly - I've seen lots of safety guidelines which state not to walk alone. Now I know that it is good common sense anywhere in the mountains not to walk alone; but that is a risk I have taken other places (making sure I was prepared, and also keeping within my abilities). Are there particular safety issues in this area, or am I just seeing the common sense that it is best not to hike alone. As I will be alone.....

 

Mark

Share this post


Link to post

Pity I can't get Friday off, as mountain walking is my thing, would have taken you on a route.

If you are going to be on your own, I think all 3 of your suggestions are reasonable, and as good as any other places to walk on the mountain. All the places you elected are reasonably safe from a crime perspective. There are areas of the mountain associated with muggings but the areas you have elected are not crime hot spots.

I think that if you are experienced in walking in mountains, there is little to worry about with regard to hiking in those spots on the mountain.

The pipe track is easily accessible, but a little unrewarding to me. It does offer a bit of interest in the ravines and with a nice view along the way, but is not as interesting as the other of your options.

 

Platteklip gorge is not the most "exciting" way up the mountain, but will be some good exercise. It is a TOUGH walk if you are not used to walks with altitude changes. In summer it can be VERY HOT as it is sheltered from the wind and offers no shade. Many a tourist has been caught out, being unprepared for the hard slog in the heat. So if you want to do it, do it early in the morning, take LOADS of water, hats, sunscreen, AND A JACKET (the weather can change on table mountain blindingly fast). Also take money to take the cableway down (it is a knee grinding arduous walk down. There aren't really any caches on route, the walk is quite tough, but rewarding when you reach the top.

 

If you take the cableway (or if you are still feeling strong after walking up Platteklip), there are many caches that can be reached within an easy, quite exciting, walk to Maclear's Beacon. The walk is flat, can be done as a bit of a circuit, and takes one across the front cliff of Table Mountain. As long as you are mildly cautious (taking the weather into account too) it is quite safe, with some nice caches along the way.

 

Best option: (if you are fit enough) Up Platteklip (early, plenty of rest time) then across to Maclear's Beacon, then back and down the cableway.

 

Naturally this is only my opinion...others may have other suggestions.............

Share this post


Link to post

THANKS very much, CapeDoc. Very helpful advice. I also was contacted by a English cacher who has done a lot of caching in Cape Town and he provided similar advice.

 

I'll be a bit pressed for time and don't want to do more than I can handle...so my current thought is to start early and take the cable car up; do a loop to Maclear's Beacon and back.... cable car back down... then do some of the pipe track (depending on the time.). Weather permitting of course.

 

I will bring a waterproof jacket, sunscreen and lots of water. I also need to buy a hat as I forgot to bring one with me.

I was just out at the waterfront but forgot to buy one. I did by a map though! Also found a few city caches.

 

Mark

Share this post


Link to post

If you take the cableway (or if you are still feeling strong after walking up Platteklip), there are many caches that can be reached within an easy, quite exciting, walk to Maclear's Beacon. The walk is flat, can be done as a bit of a circuit, and takes one across the front cliff of Table Mountain. As long as you are mildly cautious (taking the weather into account too) it is quite safe, with some nice caches along the way.

 

Back home now, and just an update (in case anyone finds this thread useful in the future). Thanks to great advice by CapeDoc and also j4pos (j4pos lives in England but have a lot of caching experience in South Africa) I had an amazing time. I decided to start in the morning doing what is quoted above. I took the cableway up, then took the "alternative" path to Maclear's Beacon. I did find this a bit scary in places where the path went near the edge, but was careful, and it was exciting. The weather was clear for most of the trickiest part; then the weather changed and the cloud ("tablecloth") came in, as well as high winds. So I got to experience the mountain in two quite different weather conditions.

 

By the time I finished the circuit they were preparing to close the cableway due to the weather. I took the cableway back down, then walked the Pipe Track. This didn't have the excitement level of the mountain-top circuit, but was a nice walk all the same; with views towards Camps Bay as well as the mountain cliffs with the tablecloth on. It was still windy, but it was sunny down at this level, and the path was straightforward.

 

In summary - I had about a 3 hour circular walk on top in the morning; then a 3 hour there and back walk on the Pipe Track in the afternoon. At the end I was a bit tired but very happy.

 

Mark

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 1

×
×
  • Create New...