Seven of us, led by Brian Lambourne, ascended Silverstream Ravine after leaving Platteklip Gorge a short distance along the Contour path.
Silverstream traverse is clearly little used judging by the overgrown path, but we were rewarded with the great views over the City, Table Bay and then the Cape Flats as we made our way along the traverse towards our first destination: Ledges.
Brian scampered up to set a top belay – ably belayed by Armelle – and the rest ascended with varying degrees of flair. Michael was awarded the honour of best climber; he went up like a spider! We cheated a bit by hauling packs up on the rope.
After a short water break, we set off across towards Maclear’s Beacon veering left to start our second Ledge: Carrel’s Ledge. We spotted a solitary klipspringer on top of a rock. Approaching this short but great traverse from the northern side was far less daunting as we were gently absorbed into its innards without the spectacular (scary?) view when tackling that from the southern start.
After a leisurely lunch at a safe and dry spot on Carrel’s, we traipsed back up to Maclear’s and on to the welcome Cable Car down.
A hot, almost windless day and a great hike. Thanks to Brian and all who made it so enjoyable.
TRIVIA QUIZ: Who knew Maclear’s Beacon (built in 1865 by Sir Thomas Maclear) was built not to mark the highest point on Table Mountain, but to assist in measuring the curvature of the Earth?! Read more in Lynnette Johns’s article Maclear’s Beacon: much more than just a mound of rocks.
Photo by Michael Ender