19 April 2011 by Roy Barford

Platteklip Gorge hiking: Work your way up Table Mountain

Image courtesy Travis Robertson

While the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway will get you to the top of South Africa’s most famous mountain within five minutes, you may appreciate the view from the top more if you hike up via Platteklip Gorge.

This hike starts from the Lower Cableway Station, where safe parking is available. The path snakes steeply up, taking climbers to the left of the Upper Cableway Station, as they face the Mountain.

My Scottish friend, Lawrence Broadley, who has climbed more than 30 Munros, says Platteklip Gorge is one of the most rewarding hikes he has completed, because of its intensity. The highest point on Table Mountain is 1 086m above sea level and the rocky Platteklip Gorge route is the most direct when making the journey on foot.

When packing for your expedition, bear in mind that the temperature on top of Table Mountain can be up to 7&#176C colder than at the foot. Although this route may be short in terms of duration, don’t underestimate it when selecting footwear.

Hikers of reasonable fitness levels should be able to reach the summit in around 90 minutes, while experienced hill runners could do it in half this time. The descent is, however, the tricky part and more time must be allowed for this.

A popular option is to hike to the top, have lunch or coffee at the café and then take the cable car back to the bottom. A ticket down will cost R45 before 09h30 and R90 thereafter.

When packing for your expedition, bear in mind that the temperature on top of Table Mountain can be up to 7&#176C colder than at the foot. Although this route may be short in terms of duration, don’t underestimate it when selecting footwear.

Get all the information you need about Platteklip Gorge hiking on the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway website.

In the event of an emergency, phone Metro Rescue on +27 (0)21 948 9900.

Category: Adventure

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