Table Mountain - a mountain for all seasons
I woke up one Saturday morning and looked out the window. The day was grey, cold and depressing. The cloud hung thick and low over the mountain, coming right down over Tafelberg road.
I jumped back into bed and lay there thinking: what can we do on a day like this? Movies, read a book, visit friends? Then a thought suddenly struck me. Hey, we've got Cable Cards. Why not go up the cable car to the top of the mountain? We can dress up nice and snug, get whisked up to the table top, have a hot chocolate in the restaurant, take an atmospheric walk around the summit area, then descend back to the gloomy city. That would be something different and actually quite exciting.
So without much ado, Karin and I quickly readied ourselves and drove up to the lower cable station. We found really good parking to boot, due to the grey weather. We smugly flashed our cards at the gate official and climbed aboard. To say we were prepared for Arctic conditions on top was an understatement. We were decked out in down jackets, gloves and beanies. So it was a huge surprise when, about halfway up the mountain, we burst out of the thick grey clouds into the crystal clear atmosphere of a perfect day. We docked on top and walked out to a surreal panorama. It felt like we were on the moon.
We looked out over an ocean of cloud, as far as the eye could see. Every here and there a craggy buttress or peaklet broke through the cotton wool surface. It was windless and warm. A more perfect day would be hard to imagine. Needless to say we stripped off to T-shirts and enjoyed some really special time on this iconic mountain. I was glad I had decided to bring my camera at the last minute, and couldn't stop taking pictures of the incredible cloudscapes.
This is something we would never have done, had it not been for the fact that we had Cable Cards, and what an experience we gained from it. In the last three months, we have used our cards about 10 times already, sometimes to go climbing, and other times just to go for a drink or a picnic.
At R490 for an annual card, it is a really worthwhile investment that all Capetonians should consider.
Tony is the author of the new book Table Mountain Classics, a guide to walks, scrambles and moderate rock climbs on Table Mountain, available in bookstores and outdoor shops in Cape Town.