Table Mountain on the India Venster Route, January 2nd, 2019

After a really good nights sleep, I felt the urge to compensate all my sitting on a plane the day before with a good chunk of hiking.
Staying at a hotel downtown and with local transport being more of a joke, it seemed just right to start by walking the few km’s up to the trailhead.
Already on beforehand I decided to hike up India Venster, definitely my favorite access way to the mountaintop from last time I was in Cape Town.

Lucky enough, the wind was too strong for the cable car to operate and so I already suspected that the top would be nice and quiet.
Not many people on the trail, I passed two couples pretty soon after starting the hike and then didn’t meet anyone until close to the end of the trail, when two guys who originally came up Platterklip gorge and had planned for the cable car on the way down, passed by in the opposite direction.
Here I decided to backtrack my way down to the starting point once having checked out the upper station.

I was pretty keen on a coffee and have to admit being a little disappointed when it turned out nothing had opened up for the day… The thought that all the people working up there, of course, got transported with the cable car, hadn’t crossed my mind, and I had built up some expectation of the tasty Flat White I would enjoy once finishing the climb. Anyway, water did have to suffice and soon after my arrival I headed back down, only wearing shorts and a t-shirt was quickly getting chilly in the wind.

Lots of fun going down the same route, just take it easy when it gets steep. You might have found out Yourself it’s sometimes faster going up than down when the gig involves some climbing 😉

Met a few people coming up the trail and passed a group going down after having climbed the Platterklip Gorge and originally wanting to go down by cable car.
Frankly, I was a little baffled by the choice to take this route as an alternative to the cable, it’s definitely not the easiest one!

Anyway, once at the contour path crossing I decided to call it a day and return to my hotel, naturally making a stop for some good coffee on the way!

Please let me know if You tried this route or plan to do so!

Peace be the Journey // Claes

More Table Mountain – India Venster to Skeleton Gorge and Kirstenbosch


Starting at the lower Cable Car station the India Venster (meaning Indian Window in Afrikaans) trail soon crosses the contour path and runs steeply up the mountain side. It is generally considered to be on the more difficult side and partly closer to climbing then hiking.

The trail passes under the cable car several times during the first part and every time I see the car pass by me I get this mixed feelings of envying the easy transport and pity the passengers missing out on this beautiful and fun hike!
I have to admit that the trail is so much fun, I have to remind myself to stop and enjoy the view every now and then!

Getting even better during the second half of the trail, almost vertical at times yet with great grips and threads not really difficult to climb. Still I recommend anyone being advert to heights to chose another route up this mountain. Some parts are very close to the edge along impressing drops!

Heading for the Café at the upper station for a nice double Cortado I made a new friend from Perth, Australia and got company for the rest of the hike. We took the trail leading south to the Woodhead reservoir, crossed the dam and turned east heading for Kirstenbosch Garden through Skeleton gorge.

Just before reaching the gorge and at the most eastern end of the Hely-Hutchinson reservoir there´s a fantastic sandy area almost forming a beach right on the mountain. Had swimming in the reservoirs been allowed, this had been a great place for a refreshing dip 😀

The decent through Skeleton Gorge soon follows a creek carrying no water this time of the year yet should be impossible to pass during rain fall. Leading through beautiful shady forrest and offering fun climbing parts and even a few ladders it´s a treat after the scourging sun on the top af the mountain. A short walk after reaching the bottom of the gorge lies the botanical garden of Kirstenbosch, unfortunately I didn´t have time to explore the garden itself, got that saved for another day!

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Peace // Claes