18 of us set out just after the scheduled time of 06h45 in a gentle NW wind with high cloud. We reached the Diagonal path off the Pipe Track in good time and had a well paced ascent around the base of Porcupine to the turnoff for the next buttress, Jubilee. The cloud had descended somewhat and made for very pleasant hiking temperatures. The pitches around Jubilee and up to the mandatory bevy break cave were dry and comfortably managed by everyone. We had ascended into the cloud so had limited vistas which were nevertheless a welcome accompaniment to the refreshments.
After the break we enjoyed a slow traverse around the bases of Barrier and Valken buttresses, dropping down slightly before ascending to the base of Kasteels. We followed this level until popping out on the KP freeway just below Breakfast Rock. A short stint up KP took us to the turnoff for a traverse towards Postern. After skirting it’s base, we scrambled up Postern to our lunch stop on the southern side. A leisurely long lunch was enjoyed with fleeting views of Wood buttress through breaks in the cloud blowing in from the west.
As if on schedule, the cloud cleared when we set off to complete the seventh buttress, Wood. We had spectacular views of Camps Bay, Clifton, Robben Island, Lions Head and Signal Hill, all in good light considering it was midday; the fragmented cloud remnants assisted this. The paraglider pilots took full advantage of the moderate westerly and at one time sixteen were counted on the seaward side of Signal Hill. We continued round and up Wood buttress on it’s southerly side topping out at the ‘elephant’ which was ridden by a first-timer, as is tradition. The descent down Woody Ravine was well shaded and evenly paced with a short break midway to rest knees and feet.
We returned via the Pipe Track in two groups, the latter lot arriving at the vehicles at 14h00.