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Climbing Lionshead

A climb a day keeps the doctor at bay - this mountain is run up by some people every morning before they go to work as it offers you views, scenery, and a vast amount of fresh air. I did this walk for the first time and need not ask why they chose this hike over a gym any day. It is truly spectacular!

My first climbing adventure for 2011 came at the end of year when I went on a trip to Capetown. To make it a memorable trip, my friends decided we all needed to do a mountain climb. However as an inexperienced climber myself we decided that we would start by getting to the top of Lionshead and maybe tackle the mighty table mountain on my next trip.

Photo by nicx

So I got on my walking shoes and early on a Sunday morning, we started our adventure, it was a cool morning, which is always great when climbing especially for the unfit like myself – being tired and cool is better then being tired and hot! The first part of the walk is a very gentle incline up a dirt road, this then becomes steep for a section with a few rocky sections. You walk in a circle around the whole hill so it gives you fantastic views of all sides of Capetown and the sea below.

As you start to finish your first circle round you hit a ladder which is easy to get up (it is about 2m), for the narrower sections along the edge, there is steel chaining for you to hold onto if you are feeling a bit nervous. You will come to another ladder and then a rock climb, the rock climb is not too bad and there are permanent steel pins and chains to help you get up so you do not need to bring your own. As you get close to the top, it is a little more challenging as the path is not flat but rather, you climb up and over the rock but nothing too hectic.

Once you are at the top, it is time to just stand in awe at the beauty around you and take some pictures from 669m above sea level! When we all got up there, the mist was flowing in and we decided to not wait too long ‘til our descent, as the mist can get pretty thick and reduces your visibility a fair amount, so bear that in mind if you’re considering this walk and want to get some great shots – do a little weather report check. The whole walk took no more then 2:30 to 3 hours up and down with some stops and food breaks in between but it all depends on your fitness level.

I advise you take some water for your walk up and some snacks for on the way and to have a little picnic once you are at the top, oh and for your bag, a wise option are back packs as my camera bag was swinging around everywhere and can get a little in the way at times.

So if you are wondering if you can tackle table mountain but a little unsure, then do a walk up Lionshead to up your confidence and give you a little taste of what you may encounter on a steeper, longer hike.

written by nicx

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