Ladies Romancing The Stone Day Hike

Hike 1 of the Table Mountain Hiking Odyssey

Ladies Romancing The Stone Day Hike

Hike 1 of the Table Mountain Hiking Odyssey

Ladies Romancing The Stone Day Hike

Hike 1 of the Table Mountain Hiking Odyssey


The ’Romancing the Stone’ hike starts and ends on the Camp’s Bay side of Table Mountain, extending all along the historic Pipe Track and up the Twelve Apostles via Corridor Ravine, exploring interesting rock features as it continues back along the ridge and down via the Kasteelspoort Trail.

As one gently gains height over the first few kilometres, Lion’s Head and the famous Camp’s Bay and Clifton beaches below reclaim their prehistoric stature as houses, roads and buildings quickly start taking on comparatively diminutive proportions. The path lures one along, the cliff faces of the Twelve Apostles towering out dramatically above, and the pristine slope of the mountain quietly dropping away into the sea down below. In the early-morning light, the shimmering Atlantic Ocean stretches out into the distance as if forever. We pass through a magnificent, forested ravine and up to a small cave, where we stop for a coffee-break whilst taking in this dramatic scene.

Continuing along a high contour path, the Twelve Apostles stretching out to the South like watchmen rising out of the ocean, the stately Corridor Buttress and wide open Corridor Ravine comes into view. Step by step one ascends up the ravine, pausing regularly to take in the views of rock face, mountain and ocean, waves crashing along the shoreline, the summit arriving sooner than one would’ve wanted. One finds oneself midway along the Twelve Apostle ridgeline, on a clear day, the Back Table, Orange Kloof, False Bay and Constantiaberg all comes into view. The city completely forgotten, one suddenly becomes aware of the silence.


A small footpath leads us out towards a high rocky outcrop, where we are met with unexpected jaw-dropping views and a totally new perspective as Table Mountain and Lion’s Head once again comes into view and towers out in front of us. The rock flattens out, inviting us to enjoy an early lunch-break here, taking it all in. From here a faint path curls around and suddenly into a rock crevasse, as if we are literally entering and passing through and not just across the mountain. We go on to discover this hidden gem of interlinking slits and rock fractures, called Tranquillity Cracks. We explore the labyrinth of corridors, passing ancient yellowwood trees to find some more surprising and fascinating viewpoints across Camps Bay.

Spilling out on the other side, we continue along the undulating rocky footpath through ancient fynbos and rock formations, enchantment all round. Here a king protea in bud, there bunches of pale-pink ericas all along the footpath. Birds, frogs clicking, is that a Klipspringer hiding inamongst the rocks?

Too soon we reach the start of the route down, but not before stopping at the top of Kasteelspoort for some photos on the famous ‘Diving Board’ rock formation that protrudes out of the cliff face like a giant shark, the footpath far down below. Kasteelspoort’s imposing rock buttress was the first ‘Apostle’ to receive a name, ‘Kasteelsberg’, Afrikaans for ‘Castle Mountain’, and looking at it, one can understand why. We follow the steep rocky footpath down the Poort, and think of the Malay flower pickers that originally walked this path, collecting flowers and builds to sell to sustain their families. In the late 1800’s, the path was given a more sturdy construction as it was extensively used as access for labourers constructing the water reservoirs on top of the mountain, remnants of an old cableway used during that time, still visible along the path as we descend.

With a sense of achievement and awe, and somehow a little bit changed inside, we return back to where we started out, on Theresa Avenue, now looking at The Mountain through new eyes.  



Famous features along the route:

–          Historic Pipe Track

–          Corridor Ravine

–          Tranquility Cracks

–          ‘Saucy dog’ Rock Formation

–          ‘Diving Board’ Rock Formation

–          Historic Aerial Cableway Foundation

–          Kasteelspoort Trail

Average hiking fitness is a requirement for this hike. Please remember to bring a warm jacket and beanie as well as rain jacket along in your daypack as the weather in the mountain can change suddenly to be rainy and cold, even in summer.

There is no water along the way. Participants should carry their own snacks and drinks including at least 2 litres of water per person and hydrate regularly on the way. A warm drink of choice will be provided during the coffee break in the morning. Please remember to bring your own mug. Participants should bring and carry their own personal medication as necessary. – 

Please wear comfortable, worn-in hiking shoes, a hat and apply sunscreen regularly

Classification – Moderately difficult (3/5), medium-length day-hike on a mountainous footpath

Terrain description –We start out on a slight uphill on a jeep track followed by an easy contour path with a short steep section through the forest, just after 3 km’s. The rocky footpath continues along a high contour for another 900m’s and then follows a relatively steep uphill section rising about 300m over another 900m’s to the top of the Twelve Apostle ridge. From here the path is relatively ‘mountain-flat’ with some short up and downhill sections along the way, until we reach the Diving Board. Then follows the descent down Kasteelspoort trail, a relatively steep, rocky downhill footpath, dropping approximately 520m over 2.25km.

Total Elevation Gain (all the uphills along the entire route):  Approximately 640m

Total Distance:  Approximately 9.4 km

Duration: Approximately 6 to 7 hours (could vary depending on fitness levels of participants and conditions on the day)

This is a circular hike, we start and end at the same point

 Day Hike Itinerary

08h00 – Participants arrive via their own transport at starting point of the hike on Theresa Avenue, Camps Bay, Cape Town. -33.9631°, 18.3843° Search for ‘Kasteelspoort Starting point’ on Google Maps

08h00  – 08h15 – Introduction and briefing

We hike to Slangolie cave for our coffee-break

Coffee-break to lunch-break

Continue along to the top of the Twelve Apostle ridgeline and our lunch-break spot overlooking Lion’s Head and Table Mountain Lunch-break to end of hike We hike through Tranquility cracks, visit an ancient Tree Mimetes and continue along to the ‘Diving Board’ rock formation where we stop for photos, after which we continue back down via Kasteelspoort trail to Theresa Avenue, where the hike ends.

15h00 – Hike Ends (approximation)