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The name of this hike means flat rock (platte klip in Afrikaans) found on the route. Hiking Platteklip Gorge was the easiest access to the summit of Table Mountain for the early explorers. The stream down Platteklip gorge provided a source of drinking water for the settlement for the ships sailing around the Cape and also a place where laundry was done in Cape Town. Up-relentlessly up! The hike starts under the cable car and ascent to the contour path. It’s the most direct route to the top and the most popular. Once in the gorge the path zig-zags all the way up. As you gain height, the gorge gets narrower. The final 150m is spectacular with huge rock walls on either side, narrowing to 4m. It is not to be trifled with: the going can be tough. Way down by cable car.
The first horse ride up Table Mountain was in 1798. In 1937 Sidney Jarman aged 72 cycled from Constantia Nek to the top of Table Mountain. The first motor car to reach the top was driven in 1928. The fastest ascent of Platteklip Gorge is 27 minutes up with a descent in 11 minutes. Table Mountain was first illuminated in 1947. Paragliders first launched off Table Mountain was in mid 1980. Base jumpers Karl Hayden and Shaun Smith plunged off the mountain in 1998. Bungy jumpers have jumped from the cable car. In 2014 AJ Calitz ran up Table Mountain 14.5 times in 12 hours!
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Check Table Mountain weather forecast and always carry extra clothing. Let someone know the route you are taking and your time of return. Carry water and additional energy food. Take a mobile phone but avoid valuables. Never walk alone always in a group. Keep to the paths and do not pick flora and disturb fauna. Take your litter home with you.
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