#LoveTableMountain is an all consuming passion for Table Mountain and all her elements…not just that flat topped summit forming the backdrop to the city of Cape Town, but an absolute love for the mountains of the southwestern cape, home of the Cape Floral Kingdom which has its roots largely set in Table Mountain Group sandstone. When I talk Table Mountain it includes the Cape of Good Hope (the peninsula running from Signal Hill to Cape Point), I’m talking the Kogelberg across False Bay, the Cederberg in the far north, the Swartberg and the Outeniqua Mountains on the Garden Route and all the Cape Fold Mountains in the Western Cape…but of course the focal point is what most of us think of when referring to Table Mountain – that is the iconic chunk of rock between Kloof Nek and Constantia Nek!
My close affiliation with the Table Mountain Chain – having grown up in the heart of the range at Silvermine – continues today with sharing my passion for this mountain with people from all over the world. I’ve shared my knowledge with many Cape Town locals, South Africans and countless hiking enthusiasts from around the globe!
It’s about wanting spend as much time as possible in the field…be it while leading hikes, while hiking in my personal capacity or for being on the mountain for photographic purposes. My favourite mountain days are those that begin at dawn and end at dusk.
The concept of #LoveTableMountain is closely aligned to the Table Mountain Treks & Tours tagline of #theTableMountainLife which aims at trying to gives Table Mountain visitors a more wholesome experience by leading guided nature trails with massive emphasis on interpreting the unique ecology of the Cape Floral Kingdom. This, instead of simply going onto Table Mountain for a ‘quick morning walk, hike or run…off by 8:00 am, down in the city for the next social appointment before 9:00 am’ or only hiking as it is trendy, a place to snap an Instagram shot, purely for exercise or simply socialising. It is not to dislike whatever reason drives people to get onto the trails (as a first mountain experience can often lead to bigger things, and can play a positive role too in conservation awareness) – as long as it has a positive impact rather than a negative one on our beloved Table Mountain.
#LoveTableMountain is there to constantly remind people of the real beauty in the Cape – the diversity of the rich fynbos biome. To appreciate the small details and not be in a hurry, nor be heading out purely for blue skies and big vistas – again, think of experiencing the many moods with #theTableMountainLife.
It’s about good responsible mountain practise: leaving no trace is as the fore. With hiking now a trend sadly that brings many negative impacts on the environment. Trail degradation (too many people, shortcuts taken and aggressive trail wear by runners), graffiti on rocks and carvings into bark of trees, littering, picking of flowers and noise pollution (cell phones or portable speakers with loud music, split up groups shouting and calling out to others throughout a hike). A higher risk of fire through smoking, illegal campfires by those looking for a ‘micro-adventure’ and sleeping illegally on the mountain in caves, rock shelters or under the stars. Gas burners in the wrong hands can lead to an unwanted fire – and in any case, gas burners are illegal too. Drones are illegal. Swimming in the Table Mountain reservoirs is illegal. Feeding wildlife is illegal. Sadly these are all common sights when hiking on Table Mountain proper…
I’m a big believer of leading by example, addressing improper practise on-site, and spreading the positive values of respecting our Cape Fold Mountains which host the smallest, yet richest kingdom of flora in the world…the Cape!
Partner with me or join me on the trails to get a feel of what #LoveTableMountain is all about.