Thanks for the challenge the other day on FB and putting my little TT tester on Strava. I hope it has got some interest from peeps. I have been planning my come back quite carefully and as such have been keeping a low profile. So low in fact that I seem to spend more time in the pool than on trails but we all have aspirations so let’s stick with those for the time being. I have been judging my attack to the second in order to exert maximum damage.
So you must be wondering when I would spring the big news of my latest FKT on Table Mountain. Well I thought I would start humbly and not make too much of a splash and upset the fast (like Marten) and big sponsored boys (oh there are so many nowadays). So I returned to my old playground and gave the old beast a go.
I seem to recall that I thought sub 20 min was reasonable but only just. Well I can only just claim to fall into that category (by 8 seconds). The good news is that I should have loads of room for improvement on my comeback AND that I have not been chicked yet (don’t tell Katja, Landie etc). For it seems that if it does not appear on Strava, Twitter, Facepage it did not actually happen.
This morning I had a bit more time so we headed up the long hill from Newlands Fire Base parking (yes it was a brutal warm up). Popping out at the junction between Newland’s Forest and Rhodes Memorial with a view of mist. Through the short dip in the dirt road and then left up the faint single track “The Other Woman”. Named so by my friend Tinie because it is so good that you don’t want to tell your wife when you are heading out to play on the trails. One of the most stunning single tracks anywhere.
Once on the Contour Path we picked up the pace and headed to the turnstile. Through this then up the road for a little and an eroded short cut up to the left to the King’s Blockhouse. You will find the track leading up just behind the building. dive left into the bushes shortly after and follow the track upwards. some scrambling onto the ridge itself leads you to a derelict fire lookout. Continue up and onto the ridge itself. A short scramble and down climb leads you to minor peak. We traversed around to the left and then headed down the overgrown zig zags in direction town. Once on the high travers we headed back to Mowbray Ridge and down this to the start. Many variations exist in gaining access to this fantastic part of our hill. 840m vert in under 10km, not bad!
The trails are wet, evenings are dark and temps are cool: perfect for hitting the trails.
I want to list my top ten trail routes that showcase the best of Table Mountain in no particular order. All can be completed in 1 to 3h depending on speed. Today I feature one of my old and all time favorites.
Kringe in die Bos was inspired by trail legend Andre le Grange and came about when I started to lead some CRAG runs. I wanted something unique and interesting. Something that in theory is 100% runnable for most and connects some cool little single tracks with more well known features. Many variations exist and part of the fun of this route is that you can change the overall feel of the route by just changing some little sections. Enjoy the explore!
Park at the Newlands Fire Base. (Free parking) start at the boom and head left up the short section of tar. continue taking the left most option until you are forced to go straight up next to a fence line. This marks the boundary to Kirstenbosch Gardens. At the dirt road turn left again and down the steep hill. Right at the bottom and up up up to the Rollercoaster jeep track which goes up and down little bumps to just above the top gate of Kirstenbosch. Sharp left down the paved section, left, first left. Down the stairs and first left again. Make your way back to Newlands. Yes it is that easy. total trip should be around 8,5 km with 350m of climbing. Enjoy the exploration.
Every Tuesday morning we head out onto the hill come rain or shine. Some outings are more walks, some are more runs. Last week was one of my favorites.
From the Newlands Fire Base, up Woodcutters Trail to the Contour Path, Newlands Ravine to Devil’s Peak Saddle, across to Breakfast Rock, contour to above Oppleskop. Continue all the way to Mowbray Ridge, down this to the Blockhouse. Through the turn style and back to the start. You are doing pretty well to complete this in under 90 min!
I am into week two of testing the Garmin Virb and Go Pro Hero+ cameras so I took the opportunity to collect some footage and see how the cameras did in the dappled early morning light. Enjoy:
So here is a little uphill time trial to have a go at. From the Fire Base do a short warm up (you may want to add an extra loop) Then blast up 1.5km with 332m of altitude gain. I managed 15:28. I wonder if sub 15 min is doable. I did not remember that I had to stop my Garmin at the top. My brain felt a bit fuzzy so I have included some of the walk down but you get the idea. Check the link here.