Table Mountain: 2, Us: 0
She looms gorgeously over our Bo-Kaap guesthouse, daring us to conquer her precarious trails and rocky peaks.
For Agri, who can never resist an athletic challenge or the fun of a risky adventure, it’s a no brainer. We ARE climbing the mountain. I protest. Doesn’t it look kinda rainy at the top?
Of course, he wins, cuz there’s a secret part of me that also wants to try the ascent (I’m just nervous about the climb and my lack of athletic prowess). It’s Table Mountain for goodness sakes. Duh.
We make a plan to trek to the peak, and then take the aerial cableway back down to the bottom.
Conditions are good when we start the climb, and the trail is absolutely stunning. We only pass 4 or 5 other hikers along the way, and it feels truly remote. The “path” is challenging, mostly made up of loose rocks that have been held together and formed into ‘stairs’ with metal wire. Some portions of the trail are downright scary, requiring walking next to a steep cliff, with large stones hanging ominously over top of us.
About 2/3 of the way up the mountain, it starts raining, and things get really scary. Even ‘Agri the Brave’ is a wee bit frightened. It’s cloudy, visibility is low, getting colder, the rocks are slippery and the trail is steep and difficult. We soldier on though. We’re so close to the top, it would be a shame to stop. Besides, when we get there, we’ll get to enjoy the no doubt amazing scenery through the warm windows of the cable car.
Things get worse the closer we get to the top however, and we seriously consider turning back around. Even though I’m frightened, we decide to continue forward since it will be much faster to take the cable car down than to backtrack.
When we’re about 1 hour from the peak, we run into a local hiker on her way back down, who informs us that the aerial cableway service has been canceled, due to treacherous conditions. 😦
We have no choice, but to turn back around and retrace our steps. It’s a terrifying descent down. We survive though, and wouldn’t you know it. The sun comes out, and it is resplendent.
Have you hiked Table Mountain? Did you make it to the peak? Was it as glorious as we imagined it would be?