I will never tire of this route. As I mentioned before in my previous blog Woody Buttress, this is one of my favourite scrambles so to do it in the rain, is another experience all together.
16 of us embarked on this route from Kloof Nek car park around 6:30am and as we are making our way along the Pipe Track to the start of Woody Buttress, I noticed that there aren’t any flowers. Not even proteas which are starting to bloom elsewhere on the mountain (not that I’ve taken any pics of Proteas this season yet). The first pic I happen to take is of a trench the Water Council (I assume) dug around a pipe which is leaking (so much for water restrictions so hope that the water that is gushing out of the pipe is put to good use)
Anyway, it is sunny but the peaks are covered in cloud with a 26% chance of showers and we are prepared with rain gear so not daunted by the weather and merrily hike on and as usual, I am at the back of the crowd as I have to take in the views and take the ‘perfect’ photo of a March Lily which is not yet blooming. How do I know it’s a Lily? Well, a guide was walking past and pointing out fauna and flora to her hikers and when she saw me taking photos, she said it’s a March Lily and for the first time, the name actually stuck with me hehe (I always tend to forget the names).
Before making our way up to the Buttress, I take a group photo as this is the last time that we are all together until we have breakfast. The faster hikers are not keen on waiting for us stragglers lolz. Anyway, up we go and climb the first scramble and make sure that the sweeper is up, the sweeper being Anwar.
After a few more scrambles and photos, I attempt to duplicate a stunning photo (if I do say so myself) which I took the last time we did this route but it didn’t come out the same as I didn’t know which position I was in at the time.
Anwar then says that he wants to make it up the most technical scramble before the rain comes so hurry along in an attempt to catch up with the rest of the group. As I was climbing up, it started to drizzle slightly and just as Anwar made it up, it started raining hard and Anwar says Algamdullilah that we made it just in the nick of time as I got wet just taking out my rain jacket – that’s how quickly the rain came.
Its a few more scrambles up wet slippery rocks and we have to be very careful now and assist each other at each climb. We may have the grip with our fingers but it’s easy for our boots to slip and I think I am a better scrambler since the rock-climbing we did about a month back 😛 The rain has stopped and I take out my phone again (my m4 Aqua is no longer waterproof since I dropped it and it cracked so no more underwater pics for me sigh) and as I’m scrambling with my phone in my hand, Anwar reprimands me and I tell him that if I wasn’t comfortable doing so, I wouldn’t be doing it (especially since I injured my left wrist along the way) I’ve become so injury prone of late. If it’s not my hip, back or knee, it’s my wrist sigh. Let’s not forget my feet when I did Platteklip barefoot lol. Well that wasn’t an injury but self-inflicted pain lol
But anyway, it’s time for breakfast in the mist and enjoy each other’s company and share our wares. After salutations, the faster hikers (who are always in a hurry) makes their way down but we stay behind and chill for a bit longer and after answering the call of nature, the rest of us make our way down Woody Ravine. One hiker mentions that the sand looks like beach sand and I tell her that it is as Table Mountain was once at sea level.
Table Mountain is one of the oldest mountains on earth, six times older than the Himalayas and five times older than the Rockies. Its story begins eight hundred million years ago when sandstone began to form underwater.
Around 300 million years ago the mountain was still at sea level during an ice age and ice sheets flattened the layers of sandstone creating the flat surface that today we call the ‘Table Top’.
As I can’t descend a mountain slow (too much strain on my knees) I am ahead now but do wait on someone behind me as to not be too far ahead and it was my intention to pick up litter on our way back but my packet got snagged on a branch and tore so Shaheen did the honors J We filled up that packet you litter bugs! Anyway, I wait for the rest of the group at the bottom of the Ravine and as the last one comes down, I go ahead again as I was getting cold. My clothes hadn’t dried from the rain and sweat yet.
Shaheen and myself to take the ‘perfect’ photo of the now bloomed March Lily 😛 and with the sun out, my clothes thankfully dries and noticed that it didn’t only rain on the peak but ground level as well with puddles which I originally dodged until I remembered that my boots are waterproof lol so walked through the puddles. It’s the first time that Shaheen see a dung beetle on the job so take a video and photos of this lol. I don’t think she will upload that video with the comments that we made 😛
We reached the cars shortly after 12pm I think as I didn’t take note of the time as I am always chilled out doing Woody Buttress J
I am not hiking on Sunday as I will be manning a water table at the Cape Peninsula Marathon so runners (if you read my blog) see you there! The week after, I am hoping to do another barefoot Platties so until my next hike, ciao for now and thank you for reading J