Table Mountain is not a high mountain. At around 1,085m above sea-level it pales in comparison to the mighty Mt. Kinabalu, which stands tall at 4,095m.
I’ve climbed Mt. Kinabalu 6 times, twice of which were in one day. That doesn’t mean Table Mountain can’t hurt you. Because she can. And, if you disrespect her, she will.
I arrived back in Cape Town on 15 January, which marked just about 2½ months of severely reduced exercise.
Before that I played 1 – 2 hours of Ultimate 3 times per week. Then, suddenly, nothing.
Last Saturday I was super keen to climb Table Mountain, my spiritual home, to which I had been drawn since getting back and could no longer resist.
It has something to do with the fact that I was born in her shadow. There’s just something inexplicable that makes me gravitate towards that mountain.
Saturday morning I was at the foot of the Platteklip Gorge hiking trail perhaps a smidgen later than I had intended and, after finding a parking space amongst the many cars there, started the climb at 08:26am.
The wind was howling, but there was only a thin blanket of cloud cover on the left side of the mountain, so really, perfect conditions for a hike.
My prep left much to be desired. I had 3 litres of water and my camera, and that was about it. Nothing for the cold, nothing for the sun, but regardless of my actual physical state, my body was energised by the magnificence of Table Mountain.
To my own surprise I bounced to the top in an hour, and by 09:30am I was walking around the table top, taking pictures. I specifically visited the spot where Jeb Corliss launched that fateful flight from, which I had watched in excited horror back in Malaysia, and grabbed some video (below) of the rolling clouds.
After a quick tour of the facilities around the cable station, which was closed due to the extremely strong wind, I made my way back down again.
Against my better judgement, I ran.
My legs weren’t really up for this challenge, and halfway down I had to slow to a walk as they turned to jelly and threatened to strike. Rehydrating helped a bit, but the fact is that I’m just that out of shape.
By the time I reached the bottom again I could hardly stand and plonked into the car for the drive home.
The next few days were tough. In spite of a good stretch before bed that night, I woke up the next day stiff as a lead pipe.
I thought a good session of Ultimate on Sunday would help, but I think it made things worse.
You’d think I’ve learned my lesson, but guess what I’m doing again on Saturday?
Yup, Table Mountain.