Hike Woody Buttress, Table Mountain

Posted on 22 March 2019

Perhaps you’ve hiked Kasteelpoort too often, or just want to get off the beaten track and onto a trail less travelled. Here’s why you should consider Woody Buttress.

Looking down on Lion’s Head.

Why do this hike?
Aah, Kasteelpoort. For many years it was my favourite way up the mountain. And, prancing about on Diving Board Rock at the top surely counts as one of Table Mountain’s best photo opportunities. But repetition can kill any relationship. If, like me, you’ve done Kasteelpoort to death, it’s time for something completely different.

Instead of a plod up the inside of a ravine, Woody Buttress is a delightful hop, skip and jump up the spine of one of the Apostles. The views may give you vertigo, but it’s hard to beat the pleasure of gripping solid jugs on sandstone monkey stairs as you haul yourself higher, or bounding over boulders like a happy little klipspringer.

Hike description
From the parking spot on Theresa Avenue, Camps Bay, follow the gravel road up and around to the right, until you reach a small stone water tank. Just behind it, turn left onto a steep, narrow path. Follow this up to the first band of rock and skirt around it to the left. Start scrambling up the ridge, taking care to follow the cairns as they lead back and forth across the buttress along the line of least resistance.

The route will eventually take you left around a corner to some bright orange and black-streaked rock walls. Locate a short chimney pitch over a step in the ledge, which is the most technical part of the route, and ascend it carefully. Continue following the path and cairns along the crest of the buttress.

At the top, the path joins up with the main Twelve Apostles path. Turn right along it and then right again shortly afterwards to descend the steep and shady Woody Ravine.

Distance 7km
Duration 3 hours return
Effort Easy, with lots of moderate scrambles and one short chimney pitch
Skill Level Reasonably experienced hikers with decent route-finding and scrambling skills
Parking Theresa Avenue, Camps Bay
Return route Woody Ravine


Also read: A hiker’s guide to keeping safe on Table Mountain

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