Yi-Jia Susanne Hou swapping the stage as a solo violinist for an unexpectedly exposed and foggy hike on the Right Face, Arrow Face Traverse on Table Mountain. Here she is at the start of negotiating a ledge above a steep drop.
The Right Face, Arrow Face Traverse tickles just the right nerves for the adrenaline junkies of hikers.
This is one of the most exhilarating routes to the top of Table Mountain, which is certainly not meant for the faint-hearted.
Starting from the lower cable station on Tafelberg Road, we will walk the first steep section to the contour path, from where we will walk on the contour path until we reach Union Ravine. Yellowstone Gully is the route that links Union Ravine and the Right Face, Arrow Face Traverse.
The main objective of the Right Face, Arrow Face Traverse, is to traverse a rock face on the front face of Table Mountain. Along this route you need to squeeze through nooks and cracks and walk on narrow ledges above a very steep drop. You will disappear into a wall and reappear on a narrow ledge with hundreds of meters of cliff to balance on and negotiate.
There are a few non-technical, not particularly difficult scrambles on the Right Face, Arrow Face Traverse. It will definitely not be a problem for anyone who is familiar with scrambling. Above all, it might be comforting for some to know that you do not need to scramble in the exposed areas.
However, on the Right Face, Arrow Face Traverse, the drop-offs are noteworthy and of extreme importance. Therefore you must have nerves of steel, absolutely no fear of heights and no dizziness!
Soon after the traverse, this route meets up with the end of the India Venster, from where both routes continue via Fountain Ledge to the top of Table Mountain.
During this stretch, the scenery changes dramatically from the initial views you had from the front face. You will most likely also catch a bit of a breeze around this corner, so do not forget to bring a warm jacket or wind breaker. It is also good to know that there is no water on the route and you would need to carry a sufficient amount with you to carry you through the hike.
As you get to Fountain Ledge, you are spoiled with extraordinary views over Camps Bay and the Twelve Apostles.
Until here, you will most likely not have met many other hikers on the route.
You will approach the top of Table Mountain from the back table. From there one can see False Bay and the Hottentots Holland mountain range on the furthest side of False Bay.
As to be expected, there are a few very steep walking sections. After all, the idea is to get to the top of Table Mountain! You should have some hiking experience, be fairly fit and have no fear of heights to hike this trail.
The start of the trail is at 363 m above sea level and ends at 1067 m.
Very few people hike this route. There is for instance no clear, obvious path to follow and therefore it is strongly advisable to book a mountain guide.
Including stops, it takes approximately 5 hours to reach the top of Table Mountain. From there, we will take the Cableway down.
An important tip – very strongly built people will not fit through the cracks
PLEASE NOTE: WE WILL NOT COMMENCE THIS HIKE DURING BAD WEATHER CONDITIONS! THE CABLEWAY MAY BE CLOSED DUE TO MAINTENANCE, IN WHICH CASE WE WILL WALK DOWN PLATTEKLIP GORGE. THAT WILL ADD +/-2 HOURS + R400 TO THE TRIP.
1 Person – R3 200
2-4 Persons – R2 000 pp
*Max 4 persons on this trail, with 2 guides.
**Excludes R220 pp Cableway ticket down.
Inside one of the cracks on the Right Face, Arrow Face Traverse