Table Mountain via Skeleton Gorge
On Thursday we decided to tackle Table Mountain via Skeleton Gorge. We heard this was the more vertical route, and potentially a bit of an adventure. However, time estimates varied widely, so we didn’t know exactly what to expect. We easily arrived at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, which provides access to the trails on the southeast (?) side of the mountain. We grabbed a trail map and started off.
Very quickly the trail became steps, and we started to sweat. Pacing was going to be critical! At our first, brief water break, a non-English speaking guy came down the trail, plopped down, and proceeded to have a smoke. It was one of those kinds of days!
After too many steps to count, we were in a rocky ravine. This was going to be more of a scramble than a hike! Here Stina finds the route.
After some scrambling came the ladders! They were actually a welcome change of pace. Here some fellow hikers start up the first ladder.
Finally we reached a marker indicating the end of Skeleton Gorge. The views towards False Bay were stunning!! We had anticipated hiking around the top to get views of Cape Town and the Atlantic, but it looked like it would take quite a bit of time and energy to get there, and we needed to keep some energy in reserve for the hike down. We did jaunt over to one of the reservoirs.
Research indicated that Nursery Ravine, a short distance from Skeleton, might be an easier route down. The traverse to Nursery was very cool, kind of an alien landscape, and after another short break to top off our tanks, we started down. Nursery Ravine lacks the ladders, but was otherwise very challenging. Before long our legs were trembling from the steep descent, but the stunning views buoyed our spirits.
Finally we arrived back at the car, and were relieved to take our shoes off and towel off. Then it was off in search of a cold drink!