TRAINING TRAILS IN TOWN
Let Nature Give You A Run For Your Money
Team WITC are tackling trails once more and have signed up for the 2017 Cell C AfricanX Trailrun presented by ASICS, taking place from 17 – 19 March 2017. For a recap of our training last year for the three-day trail race, read our 2016 Running The AfricanX feature. However, for those looking at getting into trail running or wanting a less painfully long stage race, we have listed three of our favourite trails in town to get you started!
KASTEELS POORT – ATLANTIC SEASIDE
After a draining day at work or early morning sunrise trail, the popular Pipe Track is an easy go to – not much navigating needed as you follow the long diagonal path across the mountain and although the route is fairly flat (emphasis on fairly), the terrain is a bit rocky. Surrounded by beautiful sea views, this trail really is a must and if you feeling adventurous and keen on a burning bum climb, take the Kasteels Poort route all the way to the top of the mountain, which finishes near the reservoirs and mountain huts.
Start: for a little trailing and more time on your feet, you can start from the beginning of the Pipe Track, at the foot of Table Mountain road. Follow the pipe track until the Kasteels Poort signage on your left. Alternatively access from the top of Theresa Avenue, follow the tar road for approximately 10min to the last sharp bend to the right. Stay on the cement road for another 50 – 60metres reaching a path heading up the slope on the left – follow to the Pipe Track and the start of Kasteels Poort.
Route: Follow the obvious path which gradually rises as it traverses rightwards below Barrier Ravine, Valken Buttress etc. and finally, cresting the ‘Band Stand’, around the corner entering the Poort. To come down, you can either follow the same route back, or mission towards the Table Mountain Cable Car which is quite a distance away, but be careful of not going off path as there are a lot of routes from there that may get you lost.
LIONS HEAD LOOP
Another go-to run of ours, is the loop around Lions Head which offers epic views of the city, seaside and Table Mountain as you follow the trail around the mountain. Although you can’t beat the sweeping 360 views from on top of Lions Head, the trek to the top can be frustrating in season with all the tourists along the way, waiting at the ladders and chains upon ascending, we enjoy opting for the roundabout route, which allows for more time running and less time dodging dudes as you try make your way up.
Start: there are two entrance points to the Lions Head loop, the first is on Kloof Nek Road (as you drive down towards Camps Bay there is a path and signage on your right) and the second entrance, which is our personal favourite, is along the Signal Hill road from Kloof Nek, a few hundred metres up the hill on your left where you will see a hut at the jeep-track and set of stairs on your right which is the start of the loop heading towards Signal Hill.
Route: Follow the route towards Signal Hill and stick to your right until you reach a corner at the Kramat (the tomb of Sayed Mahmud) which will be in sight. Follow the path to the left and over the hill heading towards Sea Point and as the path forks to the left, follow the trail toward
Camp’s Bay. The path continues around the slopes, before reaching another fork where you should stay left and head up the stairs into the pine trees on a hill. Mission through the center of the trees and back onto the trail on the other side. Make your way to the bottom of the trail which links you back onto the busy Kloof Nek Road. Head over to the pavement on the opposite end and turn left towards Kloof Nek, turning left to Signal Hill back to where you started.
KLOOF CORNER & TABLE MOUNTAIN CONTOUR PATH
This has to be one of the most beautiful climbs overlooking both the city and sea views. It’s a steep hike, perfect for some strength stair training and scenic evening trail overlooking the sunset across the Atlantic Ocean.
3/4hrs walk depending on route
Start: as you drive up Tafelberg Road you will see a parking lot on your left a couple of hundred meters before the Cable Car. Cross the road to the signage where there is a set of stairs – the start of Kloof Corner.
Route: Follow the steep path all the way to the top. On your left there is a beautiful lookout point which overlooks Camps Bay and the coastal road towards Hour Bay. To continue the adventure head left and follow the contour path that runs diagonally across Table Mountain. Depending on the distance you feel like running or walking, you can link back onto Tafelberg Road by following the signage on the left, down India Venster, Platteklip Gorge or Saddle Path and then take a left on Tafelberg Road back to the car.
Also, remember to run with a mate, pepper spray and ideally with a furry friend for protection. As beautiful as our mountains are, the reality is that safety is still a major issue and unfortunately there are still a lot of attacks that happen, so be vigilant and safe folks!
Copy Reference: Table Mountain Classics by Tony Lourens and cape-hike.co.za
And to end off the dirty trail missions we love to head to the beach for an (almost unbearable) icy ocean swim.
Glen beach post mountain mission:
Images by: Wellness in the City Photography