After hearing that in the region of 100 people had booked for this hike through Getaway Magazine, I had grave reservations about the wisdom of the event, particularly as there had been quite a bit of cloud on the Mountain over the previous few days.
The day turned out to be one of Cape Town’s perfect late autumn days, with absolutely clear sky and very little wind. Still with some reservations, I felt a bit more comfortable with the situation. There were a few good hike leaders that were bringing up the rear and were prepared to monitor and return with those that would find the route too strenuous. It was certainly a diverse group, with some seasoned hikers, complete hiking novices and family groups with kids. If nothing else it was festive.
The route would take us down to the end of the Pipe Track, up Corridor Ravine to the Twelve Apostles path and back down Kasteelspoort. A good days hiking covering everything from easy walking along the contour, to some steep climbing uphill, a variable path along the top and mild downhill scrambling. It is amazing how quickly a group of this size can spread out, bringing back memories for me of the Argus Cycle Tour, where you can set out in a group of 1000 and end up cycling almost alone in places. The fast guys set off at pace and soon disappeared along the Pipe Track. I was probably somewhere in the middle and there was good conversation and undemanding walking. By the time we got to this section, there were a few hikers that were clearly not going to make it up Corridor. We managed to link them up with the group turning back and I continued up the Ravine with a small group that now formed the rear guard, although I later discovered that there was a group behind us.
Corridor is a pleasant route up on a good path, that has recently seem some good maintenance work by Table Mountain National Park. It is not too steep, but gets the heart rate up and made me feel that I had a some good exercise after the easy first part. At the top we met up with some of the rest, but the main party had already moved on. This was a good place for lunch and the ripe camembert and cucumber sandwich I had brought along, tasted pretty good.
Having not done this route for some time I was happy that my memory of it was spot on as we set out towards Kasteelspoort. The path is good and going straightforward. The small group I was with wanted to do a deviation to Tranquility Cracks, which is always a rewarding experience. By the time we had done this detour it put us right at the back of the main group but we did catch up with some of the other backmarkers at Kasteelspoort.
By this time some of the less regular hikers were starting to feel the effects of the unaccustomed exercise and there were a few sore muscles and stiff knees, resulting in a fairly slow trek down to the contour path. It always seems to take longer than I expect to get back to the Pipe Track when coming down Kasteelspoort and it was good to get back on the level path. It is still quite a way from here until the finish at Kloof Nek, but it was a jovial group that had enjoyed the day out. It was an enjoyable day, but I was pleased to be sure that everyone in our group was back safe and sound. Although it was a good day, I am sure that I would not want to do it with a group this size in less perfect weather conditions.
For guided Table Mountain hikes and overnight hiking trails contact Frank: firstname.lastname@example.org