I should rename this hike as The Hike to End All Hikes… when we originally planned made plans for our 13 Peaks Trail Adventure, this hike seemed like a really good idea. On paper that is… because believe it or not miles on the road just don’t in any way equate to miles vertically up and down the mountains. In real life though, we continued to make mistakes and continued to believe that if we just did better, we would manage it. After this hike, we completely adapted our plan to fit us… and from there on out our hikes became much more manageable and doable and dare I say fun. This hike was a turning point for us in the 13 Peak challenge, it was time to make this Challenge work for us and our abilities.

This hike is possibly the wildest adventure we have ever been on… in terms of a day out on the mountain… and why you really have to head out prepared for any and every eventuality. The first rule, that we learned on our first hike… take much more water than you think you will need, and take energy boosting snacks, because you are going to need them. The second rule, that we learned on this particular hike… that miles on the road are not the same as miles on the trails. Miles on the trails, particularly on the back corner of Table Mountain are not the clearest, and while we did have our strava route and maps with us, the paths are unclear for first timers and at the end of the day, in the dark… well… it got a lot later out on the trails than we planned for.

Kloof Corner, along the Contour Path to Platteklip Gorge.


This is a lovely, lovely hike… and the beginning of the 13 Peaks Trails taking us to places that we have never been before.
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We were at this stage in fairly tight lockdown and only allowed to leave the house at 6am, so we specially stayed over at a friend’s house (they were way at the time) in the city and we were on the trail at about 6:10… in the morning.

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This little stretch starts at Kloof corner with a fairly steep uphill, its stairs, loads of them… but it is not too long.

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Put your head in gear and just march up them… by the time you get to the top of the stairs you are about 1/3 of the way up the mountain and just between me and you, I find that terribly encouraging.

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From there we had a wonderful walk along the contour path, its flat, its quiet, with just a couple of early morning runners. It turned out to be a wonderfully misty morning, with the odd peek at the city below. A really easy 3km wander… and just lovely.

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Everything was great… and I am going to say, again… this section is a lovely… when you get to Platteklip Gorge, it will be quite apparent that you are there, you will meet crowds and crowds of hikers attempting this extremely popular route. If I was hiking this as a family hike… this is where I would head down… and call it a day… a lovely family friendly hike on Table Mountain.
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My Nemesis, Platteklip Gorge


Everyone was smiling and very chipper and almost ready to face my nemesis. However, we were about to conquer 13 Peaks and my biggest fear on Table Mountain… Platteklip Gorge. My previous experience with Platteklip Gorge was a while before I began my fitness journey and had left me getting up Table Mountain in other way, ever since.
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Platteklip Gorge is the most popular way for folk to to get to the top of Table Mountain, don’t ask me why… it is a long long long flight of stony stairs, and I really wouldn’t recommend it as a family hike and there are much easier ways to get up Table Mountain… that being said… this was on our route and I gathered myself and got there.
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Don’t let anyone tell you that you are nearly there, you probably aren’t…
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But if you take it slowly and just keep moving, no matter how slow… slowly slowly moving… you will eventually get there…
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And we got there!!! The mist turned into a gentle rain, and we were able to re-fill our water bottles at the top of the gorge (which turned out to be very lucky for us). We popped out on top of the mountain, had a snack and then… straight on to…

Maclear’s Beacon


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So this walk from the top of Platteklip to Maclear’s Beacon is a nice family walk too… and if you make use of the Cable Car on a family birthday, then this is a definitely the way to get your regular family to the top of Table Mountain.
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At this stage it was pouring… but I was still smiling from getting up Platteklip!!!
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And I mean pouring…
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It is safe to say that we were thrilled to collect another Peak!!!
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Gotta say, I was thrilled to be there…
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Then Across to Kasteelspoort


We have done this hike before so many times, a trip along Smuts Track and a gallop through Echo Valley… we were a week or two early to spot the annual Disa show… but we were in good spirits and the rain eased…
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It was further than we remembered, and with the rain and all we got to the top of Kasteelspoort mid-afternoon and we had to make a decision…
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To head down the mountain and call it a day… or keep going… knowing that we were fairly close to two more peaks and the thought of going down only to come up again the next week was more than we could stand thinking about. On the map it didn’t look that far, and to be honest it isn’t… but we were tired, we had had an early start and had been pushing through the rain all day. Anyway, we chose to go on… and learned a good lesson. When you have had enough, call it a day… but on we went to Grootkop.

To the Top of Grootkop


We decided rather than going all the way down the mountain, just to come up again that we would continue on… it was a rookie mistake and one we won’t make again. Honestly, fresh legs are better than tired legs… very tired legs… but no-one was cold, we had water and snacks and we had to get our heads back in the game and head on.
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Don’t for one second think that the top of Table Mountain is flat, and rolling hills is actually a euphemism for several ups and downs…
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But when we got to this solid wall of rock in the path. I realised, not for the first time, that the 13 Peaks Challenge is not just a series of hikes connected together. I was going to have to raise my game to get up and over that… and just possibly, don’t look down.
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There are times when you have no choice and you discover that you can do so much more than you ever imagined you could!!!
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After that the sun came out…
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We did find a beautiful rest spot at the base of Grootkop, before bracing ourselves saying… “How bad could it be?” Well after all the rain, what is typically a sandy peak became a mudlside… nothing to hold onto and every step forward was several steps backwards.

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I needed a helping hand a lot of the way up, at this stage it was an entirely mental game… just keep going, it is too far to turn back and there is only one way to get to the end… keep going.
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We made it up…
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Another peak in the bag… but we had had enough. At this stage we were all tired and decided to boost ourselves with all our snacks and energy drinks for the last push…
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Judas Betrayed Us…


And on we went… “rolling hills” that are actually mountains to clamber over…
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Endless… downs and ups and ups and downs… absolutley beautiful and I was sorry that we were rushing through it all.
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Turned out to be a stunning evening, and we knew we were very close to Judas Peak…
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The sun was setting and we decided we needed to get off the mountain stat. So we passed Judas Peak by and headed towards LLundudno Ravine…
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Still optimistic that we could make it down before dark, let alone the lockdown curfew at nine pm.
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And Finally Llundudno Ravine


It turns out that Llundudno Ravine is not for the fainthearted, we were extremely tired, it is a tricky route, that we hadn’t done before and loads of vertical down, more than clambering… and I guess what trail runners would call “a little technical.”
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Before we knew it... it was pitch dark. New Moon. And as we turned the corner loadshedding... all the lights from the urban lights below us went out and we were literally in the pitch dark. Luckily we had packed battery packs for our phones and cell phone torches got us down. Not a lot of photos... because... pitch dark... but don't worry, we went back in the daylight!!!
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We made it home, long after dark, long after curfew. We did it. Our #bestbalegasocks carried us through... and we got to rest and recover for a week, before we got back on the trails again.

Champions of the Day


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13 Peaks: Segment 4: Kloof Corner to Suikerbossie

Previous Posts in this Series:

Se7en and The Thirteen Peak Challenge…

  1. 13 Peaks and Segment 1: Signal Hill to Lion’s Head…
  2. 13 Peaks and Segment 2: Muizenberg Peak…
  3. 13 Peaks and Segment 3: From the Vida Truck to Kloof Corner…

3 Replies to “13 Peaks and Segment 4: Kloof Corner to Suikerbossie.”

  1. Hi, just found your blog. My husband and I just started the 13 peaks. Our next is the top of Platteklip to Maclear’s Beacon. I am worried about Platteklip. I am a not a serious hikwr or trail r,unner not that i am fit but I move, is the Platteklip Gorge scary? For some reason I am worried, is it like the Kloof corner stairs?

    How is the route from maclear to the next?

    Some pointers?

    I look forward to your response…

  2. Hi, just found your blog.

    Very informative, love how you write.

    My husband and I just started the 13 peaks. Our next is the top of Platteklip to Maclear’s Beacon. I am worried about Platteklip. I am a not a serious hikwr or trail r,unner not that i am fit but I move, is the Platteklip Gorge scary? For some reason I am worried, is it like the Kloof corner stairs?

    How is the route from maclear to the next?

    Some pointers?

    I look forward to your response…

  3. Hi Patience, lovely to meet you online too… I wrote a follow up blog post to this one, where I tell about our next segment: Kasteelspoort to Suikerbossie. We did so much better the second time. The hike from Kloof Corner is lovely, the hike up Platteklip is tough, not impossible… I did it!!! But it does go on for ever. This section was a really long way and we should have broken it up and come off at Kasteelspoort… it just depends on how fit you are. We used the Strava map to guide us, and the route was easy enough to follow. You do have to carry battery packs to keep your phones alive though!!! All the best on your adventure!!!

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