This has been a great year for hiking and discovering trails all over Table Mountain that we have never hiked on before. Not to mention tackling trails that are harder than we thought we could do, and that is because I just can’t resist a challenge. At the beginning if the year, when we completed the 13 Peaks Challenge, we were not at a level where we could routinely get up and out the door and conquer a half marathon on a given day… but we have slowly but surely gotten there and it has been a blast.

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This year we joined the Gone2Gone Challenge as a family… and yes, my super athlete running lads went back every time, to do it over faster, better, more often… but the point is, I tackled new things, I climbed new mountains. I rediscovered that trail runners are not insanely fast, in fact I am going to whisper that the difference between hikers and trail runners, is really the fact that the one group take a pack with a load of food in it and the others take hydration vests with gels and bars. Whichever group you are with doesn’t matter, once you are on the trails, everyone is friendly.

Gone 2 Gone Part 1: The Vlakkenberg Trail

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The first route was a crisp, cold, dark start, but once we got to the tree line, it was light and totally worth the glorious sunrise. And where in the world do you get to run through a silver tree forest, that I didn’t even know existed… on the way up to Vlakkenberg Peak.

And so worth it for the sunrise…
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As you break from through the trees, it is time to go up. This crazy steep little section had most trailers catching their breath… and when we realised just how popular this challenge was going to be.
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But a marvellous trick I have learned on my up and up and up over the past year… if you slow down and keep on moving you get there sooner rather than later. Stopping for breaks is not the best strategy for steep gradients… really slow and keep moving forwards is a better strategy.
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And a mountain top absolutely covered in Proteas…

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And another peak for the year, in the bag….
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And onwards with these nutters… Down to Contantia Nek and up again…
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Through waterfalls…
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And down through Cecelia Forest… and back to the start.

Gone 2 Gone Part 2: Kloof Corner

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A month later and an early start, because I knew Kloof Corner was looming and when I am worried about something and early start is the best start, get at it and get it over with!!!
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Walking in the moonlight… and yes it was colder than cold… but warmed up to a glorious day!!!
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And up through the Glen, why have I never been here before, it is lovely…
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And proteas all the way up…
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And Kloof Corner turned out to be more fun than frightening…
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Along the contour path…
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Down under the Cable Car…
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Back above the city…
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And back to the start… happy days!!!
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Gone 2 Gone Part 3: Up and Over…

This route had my favourite way up Table Mountain… so from the Waterfront, around Lion’s Head and along the pipe track, and then up Kasteelspoort. It is my absolute favourite way up… on a stunning misty morning… and my least favourite way down: Nursery Ravine…

Another month and another early start, it is definitely getting lighter in the mornings…
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It was a cool and misty day… in fact, we met a couple of folk turning back… but it turned out to be glorious and totally worth the icy start.

Up and up Kasteelspoort…
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Definitely that woooohooo feeling…
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Photos at the dams…

And then my Nemesis… Nursery Ravine, I cannot love.

But did remember to pause and enjoy it, and take a photo of the butter spoon tree because it brings back very fond memories of time on the mountains with my dad.
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Back through Cecelia Forest…

And down to the store in Constantia.

Challenge done and dusted. If you had asked me at the begining of the challenge if I could hike from the the Gone store in the Waterfront to the Gone store in Constantia, over Table Mountain… I would have said that is ridiculous, I could not even have imagined it… and yet it is done and dusted. We loved the three months of the Gone2Gone Challenge… no time to overthink things and wonder if you can or can’t do something, sometimes you just have to take the first step and keep on going.

Gone2Gone Photo Gallery…

Click on the Image to see all the photos from our adventures…

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