Ominious by title, dubious by standing but breath-using and flawlessly nice in reality. Mountaineering to the prime of Devil’s Peak from the Tafelberg Road starting off issue at the front of experience of Desk Mountain is demanding adequate to get your endorphins likely, but considerably extra picturesque than Platteklip.
When the clouds start out rolling more than Table Mountain, slowly producing the “Table Cloth”, you could possibly listen to some locals mutter “Van Hunks up to his nonsense again”.
The fabled tale is that when on a time, Jan van Hunks, a sea captain, ended up acquiring a smoke off with the Devil – with out realising just who he was demanding. They smoked and smoked right until the smoke grew to become so thick, it lined the mountain. There are two versions of how the story ends: 1 statements the Van Hunks threw a strop and the Devil created them both of those vanish to smoke in purgatory for eternity.
The other is that Van Hunks conquer the outdated goat. But this minimal smoke off claims credit rating for each the Table Fabric of clouds and the name of the peak that flanks the additional imposing Table Mountain.
One particular of the other explanations for how Devil’s Peak acquired its name is that it was a mistranslation in excess of the many years – from Duifiespiek (Dove’s Peak) to what it is regarded as now.
Whatever the explanation, the mountain’s name is sufficient to lead you to feel that it is as ominous as it seems as a hike. And that is in advance of you even study the route descriptions and warnings. But as it turns out, it is a beautifully pleasant meander with 360-degree views from virtually all summit details – Desk Mountain, take in your heart out.
It is absolutely less monotonous than Nature’s Stair Master, extra usually recognized as Platteklip, and to an extent – a lot less complicated, way too. Platteklip, even with its reputation as being an uncomplicated ascent to the Table Mountain summit, is basically not quick at all. Well, it is effortless in the perception that you are not likely to be scrambling up open cliff faces. And, supplied you are in fair wellbeing and have a great degree of perseverance, you will almost undoubtedly make it to the top of Platteklip.
But the similar is real for Devil’s Peak, way too. The big difference is that there is none of the stage immediately after move right after a different step and then far more techniques and then just methods and why really don’t I just climb the stairs at residence all day forms of inner thoughts of dread en route to the top.
Probably it is mainly because this is currently being penned on the identical working day of our initially Devil’s Peak summit, but this hike could quite effectively elbow its way into the top 3 favourites of “in and around” Desk Mountain hikes.
It is not that we had been keeping away from Devil’s Peak immediately. And it is not that we were worried – as we identified in the course of our bash up Nursery Buttress, that phrase does not exist in our climbing vocabulary. It is just that we weren’t sure what to be expecting.
Every little thing about the Devil’s Peak climbing route is so inconsistent. Information on how extended it takes to hike up Devil’s Peak vary from two to three hrs, the whole working day, you can go up but never ever come down all over again for the reason that you will be taken captive by dassie bandits who will braai you and share the spoils with the giant akkedis.
From the beginning level on Tafelberg Street to the summit, it took us just more than two hrs. We were aided by delightfully misty ailments, a welcome reprieve from the relentless South African sunshine. On a dry working day, the terrain can be a bit slippery underfoot, especially in direction of the summit in which the rocky paths morph into the seaside-like sand you locate on the major of the mountain vary.
Regardless of our normally dismal timing, the mist began to very clear just as we reached the best. From all angles, it was like an old school Home windows screensaver turning on and off with the metropolis beneath and the sprawling Camps Bay seaside actively playing peekaboo.
The mountain hardly ever loses its magic, but there is something excess magical about completing a route for the very first time. It was like becoming a child in a sweet store.
At one of the summit factors, a lady appeared each thrilled and exasperated that she designed it on that certain day, getting battled to the prime this time. Clearly this prompted me to share some unsolicited existence lessons acquired by way of mountaineering: the upcoming time she feels bereft of self-belief, recall currently – effectively completed.
Traverse across some extra rocks on the lookout for the dassie bandits or in the hopes of turning into a legendary mountain goat, we acquired sucked into a time warp speaking to a delightfully pleasurable and comprehensively intriguing fellow hiker (hello if you are looking at this).
The way down, as is typically the circumstance, concerned having totally dropped for a whilst, irrespective of obtaining a map. Selecting our refusal to rely on map with a GPS telling us where by to go was not plenty of, we also refused to believe a team of hikers who clearly realized what they had been executing and explained to us where to go. Very little to do with me staying as stubborn as the mountain goat I’ll by no means be, every thing to do with the way the landscape experienced opened up and now looked unrecognisable right after Van Hunks and the Devil had upped sticks and stubbed out stompies just after the day’s cigarette smoking.
Devil’s Peak mountaineering route: Overview and fantastic to know
Speedy be aware: Images to observe following enhancing and just after the hike fatigue has been slept off a little bit. Deal with image: @thomasbennie
Parking: There are quite a few methods to approach this route, but for this one particular, we’ll emphasis on the “official” commence position – as marked by the SAN Parks signal – at the front encounter of Desk Mountain. Which is previous the decrease cable motor vehicle and previous the commence of Platteklip. Park near to it if you are commencing here. Your legs will thank you later.
Estimated time and equipment wanted: The route from below is about 5.75km there and back. Trail or mountaineering sneakers with superior grip advisable. At minimum 2l of drinking water and plenty of sunscreen – specifically in summer months. Pack a windbreaker or something to address up, also. The temperature on the mountain has a thoughts of its individual.
Route description: For the zig-zag to the top, observe the tarred Tafelberg Road right until you achieve the indication that errr, claims Devil’s Peak. The summit is at 1001m. Retain likely on the actions until eventually
At the reduce contour route, the route splits in three instructions. There is a indicator marking this, indicating The Blockhouse, Platteklip and Devil’s Peak. Choose Devil’s Peak. Properly, except if you have improved your mind. Then do not.
You will reach many of these silver plaques indicating the route on your journey to the top. There are no distance markers and no yellow footprints, so do keep an eye out to make certain you stay on monitor.
There are also some more noticeable environmentally friendly and yellow route signs, just one of which will reveal The Saddle, Oppelskop and the Contour Route. Stick to the route up The Saddle. That is the bit that connects Devil’s Peak and Table Mountain and almost certainly the place Van Hunks utilized to puff on his pipe.
At the time you attain the top clearings, do not be fooled by the 1st cairn you location – there are three beacons on the leading – but there can be only a single legitimate summit.
Small-leg-o-meter score: Appropriate phase heights for the vertically challenged.