Scrambling 101

So what is this thing called scrambling?

Basically it is the meeting ground between walking and rock climbing. Anything where you might need your hands, either for balance or to move you upwards can be called scrambling. 

“I am afraid of heights can I still do a scramble?”

Yes. Some scrambles only have short sections of technical difficulty with not much exposure. It all depends on the route. It is best to discuss that with your guide or team leader though. I have helped many people deal with their fear of heights. This builds huge confidence and is very empowering. 

What are some of the best scrambles on Table Mountain?

Lions Head is probably the most popular scramble. Most people don’t even think of it as scrambling but just as a path with some ladders and rock sections on it.

India Venster (directly below the cable car) is a very popular route. The rock sections are short and fairly well worn.

Kloof Corner Ridge is the classic mountain ridge with stunning views and significant exposure. 

Mowbray Ridge is one of my favourites. It takes the ridge line directly up from UCT to the summit of Devil’s Peak.

There are many more. 

How strong do I need to be?

Average fitness will get you through the majority of scrambles. 

What gear do I need?

Normal walking shoes and gear is best. I carry a rope and basic gear so that I can ensure the safety of the rest of my party. We don’t pull ourselves up the rope but it is just used as a precaution. The techniques used are also different to normal rock climbing. 

Where can I learn?

It is fairly easy to learn from a qualified guide. Scrambling is a bit of a specialist art. Climbers mostly just solo easier rock sections without any safety precautions so it is better to learn from guides or instructors who have had formal training in this area. It does take practice and great care. 

Published by leorust

Trail runner and outdoor enthusiast. Inspiring others to explore their environment and pushing their limits.

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