Table Mountain Information Booklet (Blue Mountain), by Tony Lourens
Tony Lourens, author of Table Mountain Information Booklet (Blue Mountain Design & Publishing) discovered the inner magic of Table Mountain as a young boy when his brother and him used to braai in Kirstenbosch with their parents in the 1960s (yes, believe it or not, you were allowed to make fires in Kirstenbosch in those days).
I was probably only 7 or 8 years old then, but I can still recall the allure of the high summits of Fernwood Buttress and the fascination of the deep ravine that I later found to be Skeleton Gorge. I would 'escape' from our picnic place and try and climb up this mysterious gorge as far as I dared before I got too frightened of the powerful depths of the mountains and ran back down to the safety of our friendly fire sizzling with chops and sausages. It was an inexplicable feeling. I was scared, but intoxicated by the undeniable magnetism this mountain held for me. In hindsight, I probably didn't climb very far up Skeleton Gorge, but alone as a young lad, I felt as though I were Edmund Hillary on the first ascent of Mount Everest. I knew then that I had to climb this mountain, but had no way of knowing how and when. Little did I know, I would have to wait another five years before I realised my dream. Table Mountain, as we see it today, is less than 100 million years old, having been eroded over many centuries from a much higher and connected massif to the formation it is now. Composed mainly of sandstone and quartzite, known as Table Mountain Sandstone (TMS), this huge mass rests on a bed of slate, called the Malmesbury Beds, that was laid down approximately 600 million years ago. This, in turn, rests on a foundation of Cape Granite, which was formed by the contact of molten material with the slate. TMS was laid down in layers (bedding planes) over hundreds of millions of years and compressed by its own weight. Massive movements in the Earth's crust caused vertical fractures in these horizontal beds, creating huge rectangular blocks. This process is responsible for the formation of the plethora of vertical and horizontal cracks that adorn Table Mountain's rock walls, giving Cape rock climbing its unique dynamic character.
THE WEATHER ON TABLE MOUNTAIN
Unlike the rest of the country, the South-Western Mediterranean climate, which means it experience summers and cold wet winters. Although this is predominantly the case, and you can generally rely on the weather when planning a holiday, do not take it as a rule, as the weather patterns around Table Mountain can be very unpredictable and can change dramatically in a very short time. It is always prudent to check the forecast before venturing out and to keep a lookout for a change in the weather while out on the hill. There are two important weather systems that affect Cape Town and Table Mountain. The first is the frontal system, which is brought in by the northwesterly and the southwesterly winds. These cold fronts can vary in size and intensity, bringing lashing rain, snow and very cold wind, particularly in the mountains, and lasting anything from a few hours to several days. The second is the Southeaster, which is a strong wind coming from the southeast. Normally this wind is a accompanied by large banks of cloud that hit Table Mountain on the Kirstenbosch side and are forced up and over the top of the mountain to come pouring over the front table as the famous Tablecloth. Sometimes ese clouds are also laden with rain and this system is then referred to as a Black Southeaster. [...]
This is an excerpt from the Table Mountain Information Booklet (Blue Mountain), by Tony Lourens.
Title: Table Mountain Information Booklet
Subtitle: Facts, History, Legends
Type: Region Guide
Author: Tony Lourens
Publisher: Blue Mountain Design & Publishing
Cape Town, South Africa 2015
ISBN 9780987040374 / ISBN 978-0-9870403-7-4
Softcover, 9 x 21 cm, 64 pages, throughout colour and b/w photos
Lourens, Tony im Namibiana-Buchangebot
The Table Mountain Information Booklet from Blue Mountain with lots of facts, history and legends.
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