|Climbing Type||Multi-Pitch Trad|
|Season||All year round|
There are many high quality traditional rock climbs just below the summit of Table Mountain. It offers +/-200 multi pitch routes, up to 11 pitches, with grades ranging from 9 to 32 so there's something for everyone.
Table Mountain is probably the first thing you notice as you drive or fly into Cape Town. It is "mesa" that stands ominously above the city. It offers excellent trad climbing with incredible views to go with it. Table Mountain is a National Monument, hence no bolting is allowed. Also, it is almost always possible to protect whatever you might be climbing with removable "trad gear" although there are some fixed pieces in situ. (a 32/8b climb was put up in July 2003). There are several abseil (rappel) points at strategic places; some with bolts and chains to assist with descents. Should you wish to take the cable car to the top, be sure to get there about a half hour prior to opening time to avoid the long queues in tourist season and on the weekends and public holidays in good weather. More information is available on Wikipedia [Table Mountain]
Table Mountain has three main climbing areas that are accessible from the lower cable station. The first two areas can be seen from the lower station and are the two obvious buttresses that are visible up and to the left. The main climbing area that is home to the quality routes is situated on the final 100m or so of rock cliffs that support the upper cable way station on the north-east side (“Africa Ledge”) overlooking the city and also the west side (“Fountain Ledge”) that graces one with the most spectacular views of the Atlantic seaboard and sunsets that get sucked into the ocean.
How to get there
From the city centre drive up Kloof Street (you will start to see signs indicating the way. The road turns into "Kloof Nek" higher up) when you get to the top of Kloof Nek Road, turn left up Tafelberg road and carry on up. When you see other cars park as close as you can to the cableway station. Walk up the mountain from right of Cable Way Station up the India Venster route but familiarize yourself with the nature of the difficulty by contacting the Mountain Club of South Africa or www.Climb.co.za. There are frequent accidents on this trail and requires a fair level of scrambling experience to do safely (Or take cable car - depending on financial status or how heavy a night you had). It takes about one & a half hours to walk up to "the Ledge".
Fees & Permits
Accommodation & Food
There are stores on Kloof Nek Road otherwise there is a restaurant on top where you can buy a full lunch, coffee & Cake or beers for sundowners. Sleeping on Table Mountain is not allowed.
Attractions & Activities
The climbing is stunning to say the least! The rock type is sandstone and of excellent quality, with great friction. Grades vary from easy to hard. The two main climbing areas emanate from Africa Ledge and the climbs are situated on 80m high cliffs below the cable car station that over-looks the city, and Fountain ledge which faces west over the Atlantic Ocean and Camps Bay.
The Ledge Table Mountain by Leonhard Rust
Rack of cams and nuts - long slings are useful to avoid rope drag. 50m/60m, double ropes recommended.
Take note: if you see cloud gathering around Lions Head there is a good chance it will rain during the course of the day. Climbing is possible all year round all, though it can get very hot in December/January/ February and July/August is can be cold. When the sun is not shining in Cape Town it's either wet or windy, or both! Keep a close eye on the weather report.
There has been an increased rate of crime on the mountain, this is mostly on the lower slopes of the mountain. Be aware and dont go alone.
Table Mountain Climbing Areas
- Klaasen's Buttress
- East of Platteklip
- Africa Amphitheatre
- Africa Ledge
- Maverick Crag
- Fountain Ledge
- Lower Buttresses
- India Venster Trail
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