Devil’s Peak via the Saddle Path 2

Since our first expedition up Devil’s Peak ended in disappointment we all agreed to attempt it again as soon as we were all available again. This Sunday was the day we chose to redeem ourselves. Unfortunately we were down one member of the original party due to some back issues, but we had some new friends joining us.

The weather reports for Sunday said cloudy with scattered showers. Upon waking up to full cloud cover with quite a bit of rain, we remembered that the Cape Town weather system doesn’t really care about weather predictions and does just as it wants. Undaunted by the rain, we made our way to the Tafelberg Road starting point.

 Conditions at the start of the trail. Lion's Head should be visible in that photo... Conditions at the start of the trail. Lion’s Head should be visible in that photo…

On the initial steep ascent up the rocky steps the weather proved both a blessing and a curse. The cloudy conditions made it nice and easy to climb at a good pace without the sun tiring us out, but we didn’t really have the great views to admire when taking breaks. We got over this quite quickly as Cape Town really needs the rain, so we were thankful for the bit that we got in the middle of Summer. The cloudy background does help make the colours of the flowers stand out even more though.

After around an hour we reached Breakfast Rock. We stopped here for a bit to put on some extra layers, but couldn’t relax for long because it started raining a bit harder and we wanted to get the difficult climb ahead of us over and done with before conditions worsened even further.

The next section of the trail, normally sandy, was transformed into a slippery, muddy slide that we had to climb up. It was not easy going and I really had second thoughts about making it to the top. Thankfully we all managed to get to the ravine at the top. This is where the wind forced us to turn around on our last attempt. It was a lot colder and wetter, but thankfully not nearly as windy so we decided to press on.

The final 100m ascent to the top was not extremely difficult to follow or traverse. There is a fork in the road that we took a left at, but other than that it is a straightforward path to follow. When we reached the peak we were greeted by a panoramic view of white clouds. Not ideal, but we were still quite ecstatic to have made it given the conditions.

 The view from one of the beacons at the top The view from one of the beacons at the top

Finding our way down from the peak was quite tricky without being able to see very far, but we all managed to make it safely back to the ravine. Quite a few of us found ourselves unintentionally sliding down the steeper muddy bits on the way down though, so be sure to watch your footing if it is wet.

The path down from the ravine back to Tafelberg Road is well marked and easy-to-follow even with very limited visibility which was quite helpful as we needed to get down quite quickly. The rain picked up on the way down and started to affect our spirits. The way down took us an hour and a half going at a steady pace trying to avoid slipping and falling. By the end of it I was thoroughly soaked.

The complete trail took us just under four hours total and while the rain was unpleasant at times I am really glad we hiked this trail under those conditions. It was a fun, unique experience that I’d like to repeat again someday. I still did not get to see the panoramic view from the peak, so another visit to this lovely trail is definitely on the to-do list.

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