Ascent of Table Mountain on 2014-01-06

Climber: Christopher D'Aiuto

Date:Monday, January 6, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Train
Peak:Table Mountain
    Location:South Africa
    Elevation:3560 ft / 1085 m

Ascent Trip Report

I took the Metro (plus) train from my backpackers to Claremont Station, the closest station to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, and arrived at 7:42am. I took the shortest road route to the entrance, which opened at 8 am. The road walk was 40 min and 3.52 miles, but with the benefit of having started at about 90 ft (my watch altimeter said 80 ft outside the station) so that most of the mountain's vertical face was climbed.

The gardens entrance is at 416 ft. Entrance fee is R45, map is R5, credit accepted. I walked the paved paths to Smuts Track/Yellowwood Trail toward Maclear's Beacon (the highest point of Table Mountain). The signage along most the trail was fantastic with some rocky sections higher up where you need to use your intuition to choose the path going higher. The trail in and past the gardens was well maintained with wood and rock steps, a section of about five wooden ladders (starting at S33 58.846, E18 25.142), and about 120 vertical feet of basic scrambling in the Newlands stream. Don't miss the waterfall when exiting the gardens (S33 58.928, E18 25.401), which on my day was low flow. Also note that you should stop scrambling when you come to the large rock bunds across the stream and turn on the trail on your right. The only other tricky area is once coming to the top of the table from the gorge you come to a couple forks without signs. Take a right at the first and then a left at the second and you come to a nice trail map.

It's worth noting that the table plateau was covered in wild flowers blooming, uncharacteristically late one man commented.

The weather this day was cloudy all day. When I walked the top the wind speed gradually quickened. The air was filled with mist that hung to any exposed hair. Raincoat was essential for warmth and staying drier, but I wore shorts the whole time without ill effect (no blister bushes I guess on that side). Once at the at 10:45am summit the misty gusts were harsh so went right back down. Thankfully it only rained when I was back to the bottom of the gardens. Coming down the scramble section and gorge was not as bad as I thought it'd be with wet rocks; I never slipped and fell, but went slow. I got back to the Metro just before 2pm.

I passed several groups taking late starts, also hoping the mists cleared. They never did by the end of the day.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3470 ft / 1057 m
    Round-Trip Distance:17 mi / 27.4 km
    Route:Skeleton Gorge
    Trailhead:Claremont Metro Station  90 ft / 27 m
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble
    Weather:Drizzle, Cold, Very Windy, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 5 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 5 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Christopher D'Aiuto
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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