In usual PopcornCandi style, my first time up Table Mountain in daylight where I can actually see the view (the first time up was a 5am trek up Platteklip Gorge in the rain and mist to try find snow. There was no snow. And no view.) was for the sole purpose of attaching myself to a rope and tipping backwards off of it to abseil off Table Mountain.
Abseil Africa host daily abseil trips off Table Mountain and offer a 112m abseil at just over 1000m vertical, making it the highest commercial abseil in the world. At a cost of R750 and the priceless adrenalin rush, you get to experience the mountain in a very different way.
It’s not so scary until you are tipped off the edge at 1000m, putting your life in the hands of some ropes and some crazy guys at the top. One of the reasons I decided to do this was to experience the literal sense of letting go and placing trust in someone/something else. And that is exactly what you have to do. When you tip over the edge, they ask you to release everything and lean back, arms in the air. Trust the rope, trust the people operating it all at the top and just let go. It’s all about accepting it all and just letting go. It was a fantastic feeling.
Granted, I spent a lot of the time on the abseil focusing on the rock face, trying not to look down and remembering to breathe, but once I jumped past the overhang and knew that there was a ledge somewhere underneath me (still pretty far away, but not 1000m!), just hanging out and looking around at the crazy views was unreal.
Looking back, it was a walk in the park. Table Mountain National Park, but just the mountain bit. And literally a walk down it.
*If you’re afraid of heights, this is NOT the activity for you!
- If you’re going on a weekend, go at least 2 hours before the time as the queues for the cable car up can be excruciating and you could miss your slot, particularly in peak season. Alternatively, try and book the earliest slot to try and get in before the mad rush. Book your tickets for the cable car online and use that queue as it moves quicker.
- Wear lots of sunscreen. When you get to the ledge at the bottom of the abseil, you still have a 20-30min walk back up to the top in full sun.
- Wear pants that are quite thick. The harnesses they use are not padded and not very comfortable, so will cut into you if you’re hanging around too long with thin pants. If you’re a rock climber or that kind of guy, you can take and use your own harness
- Take your own food and have a picnic afterwards. The restaurant at the top is overpriced and busy busy busy. Annoying when all you want is an ice cold drink and to sit and chill after your adventure.