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Pipe-track, Oudekraal Ridge, Apostles Track Kasteelspoort Route

I did this route on a misty autumn day in April where the visibility was restricted to ten metres at most the entire day. The section before the ascent is on a fairly exposed path which is not easy to follow, and then takes you through a fairly isolated part of the mountain.

Getting there: park at Kloof Nek. The parking area is immediately to the left as you turn up the Table Mountain Road from the traffic circle at the top of the Nek. There is a set of stairs leading up to the pipe-track on the opposite side of the road. Alternately, you can start from Theresa Avenue by driving from the Nek down Camp’s Bay Drive, and turning left into Fiskaal, which becomes Francolin, and then Theresa. You can park here [S 33°57.778′, E 018°23.057′] and walk up the concrete strip road to the Pipe-track.
Difficulty: difficult route with exposure

The Pipe-track is the path that follows the contour of Table Mountain above Camps Bay and on. The path is very easy to follow as far as Corridor Ravine (which is where it officially ends) and most of the main ascents are clearly sign-posted. The route is quite popular, and you should see plenty of other hikers around — I happened upon the friendly folk from the Belville Hiking Club here. When I reached Corridor Ravine, however, I almost missed the path leading off the Corridor Route. This is why I recommend that you only try this route with a guide, or a map at the very least.

The path from Corridor Ravine onwards is NOT well established, and I saw no other hikers on this part of the mountain. Its goes around Corridor Buttress below St Paul’s Peak, and this section is fairly difficult to pick out, in addition to which you are traversing fairly steep slopes with decent cliffs both above — and more importantly — below you. It does however give you the benefit of feeling like you are truly in the great outdoors, in addition to which I found a whole lot of specimens of the Common Paintbrush (first sighting on Table Mountain), and spotted a few Autumn Painted Ladies (first sighting ever).

The ascent from Oudekraal Ravine up Oudekraal Ridge is on an easy to follow but loose path. Once at the top, you will join the Twelve Apostles Track, heading North towards Cape Town. You will pass the heads of all the ravines you passed on your way South on the Pipe-track, until you reach the head of Kasteelspoort which is where you will descend to the Pipe-track once again. I caught up to the Belville Hikers as they summited at Corridor, and chatted with some of the lovely ladies in the group as we made our way past “The Saucy Dog” [S 33°58.711′, E 018°23.317'].

About 15 minutes from the Saucy Dog you will reach the head of Kasteelspoort [S 33°58.339′, E 018°23.677']. Kasteelspoort is set to become one of my favourite routes up and down Table Mountain as it is a well established, relatively easy and safe to walk both up and down directions. Once at the bottom you are on the Pipe-track once more, and can head back to your starting point.

Table Mountain map

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