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Monday, November 30, 2009

Devils Peak the easy way


Hiking Trail: Devils Peak (via the Saddle - not the Saddle Ravine as stated previously)
Name of Reserve / Area: Table Mountain National Park
Nearest Town: Cape Town
Province: Western Cape
Country: South Africa

Duration of hike: 4 hours

Directions to get there: From Cape Town CBD, take Buitengracht Road, the one road that goes straight up to the cable way and becomes Kloofnek Road. At the top of the road, just before you cross over into Camps Bay, turn left into Tafelberg Road. This road hugs the mountain, which if you drive along it all the way, eventually becomes a dead end. Drive pass the Cable Way house on your right and follow the road for another 3km. Pass Platteklip gorge parking and soon you will find another parking area and a sign directing you to the start of Devils Peak.



Best time of year to go: Anytime

What costs did you incur to do this hike: none

How safe is it: Fairly safe. There are no exposed areas which need to be climbed. Its all straight forward walking. Take a mace spray with you at all times.

Fresh Water: The stream above runs almost all year, but its always recommended that you carry sufficient water along with you.

Difficulty: Moderate. A fit person can climb to the top in about 1 hour. We climbed for about an hour and half, taking it easy and enjoying the photo opportunities it provided along the way.

Pets: Allowed. Always make sure you also cater for your pets when hiking on the mountain. They also need regular refueling like you do. The paths can give their paws deep painful blisters if the day is very hot.

How will I rate this hike? Since May this year, I have done this hike about 6 times from all different angles. This route, via Tafelberg Road is the easiest one. Each route up this mountain is really awesome.



This hike starts with a steep climb up zig-zag steps leading to the Contour path above.



Once you reach the contour path, take a sharp left at this sign indicating the route towards Oppelskop and Devils Peak.



Climb more steep steps for another 10 minutes and soon the path will flatten out until you reach the Saddle (The Saddle is the section which connects Table Mountain with Devils Peak.)





At the Saddle the path will reach a T-junction. Left will take you around the front of Devils Peak - which is not where you want to go now. Take a right and follow the path up and towards the on coming stream. The stream is your path for a short while. Walk for about 10 minutes along the stream and then reach another 3 way path. This time turn left and start walking upwards towards Devils Peak.





I am always in awe about the beautiful views this mountain has to offer us. Once we reached the top we strolled around all 3 beacons and then went to find some shelter from the cold wind to enjoy our picnic and well deserved coffee.







Below is an image of Alex looking down onto the Knifes Edge. This is the first route that we ever took to climb Devils Peak. It was an incredibly hard climb and at times very exposed. Again, we were entertained by the breathtaking views of the Knifes Edge from all directions.






Looking down onto our return path, one can see the zig-zag path on the side of Table Mountain leading towards the Contour Path. Tafelberg Road is also clearly seen in the image below.



This little river had the most beautiful tiny waterfalls along the way. We followed the river down towards the Contour path again.





We often forget to stop and enjoy the views. Today we took it easy and consumed every special moment this walk could offer us.



The zig-zag path will take you back to where you parked your car in the road below.



The image below is just a FYI. I have been noticing many stones lately WITHOUT the direction plates on them. Are they being stolen or are these stones waiting for direction plates? Does anyone have any idea, as I would be very sad if its the former.



Photos: Alex Aitkenhead

As always, thanks Alex! I love working with your pictures.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi J,

loved the 'hiking devils peak - the easy way' pics, makes me want to get out and go up the mountain ;-)

What lens is Alex using for those shots, its a nice wide angle but without any distortion.

take care
Nick

Juanita said...

Hi Nick,

Alex uses a fisheye as far as I know. Hope this explains it?

regards,
Juanita

Anonymous said...

Best time of year = not winter, for us locals it goes without saying. It can suddenly get misty with poor visibility on top in summer too

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