View from Judas Peak
Judas Peak is the 12th apostle…that is the 12th peak in the Twelve Apostle Mountain range. They are all still part of the greater Table Mountain range, internationally recognized as one of the most diverse floral kingdoms on the planet. Judas Peak is the second highest peak in Hout Bay. It’s been teasing me for years as I have been daunted by it’s height and size, too scared to attempt it in the wrong weather and without the guidance of someone that has conquered the peak before.
|The usual posse had gathered for a mountain walk on Sunday morning. Encouraged by Billy, who had been most of the way up before, we set off to the top of Judas Peak. We all have a great respect for mountains and are very sensible mountain walkers, taking the right precautions where necessary. Especially for Judas Peak - it’s not one to be toyed with, mistakes here could be fatal. After all, the reason Billy did not make it to the top last time is that his walking buddy froze up due to the precipitous heights along the path. It took him a good hour of chilling to calm the lad down and coax him back down safely. Freezing up because you are scared of heights is no fun. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS WALK IF YOU ARE AT ALL CONCERNED ABOUT HEIGHTS!|
|OK, OK this is not Mount Everest and I’m no mountain climber. There is a path to follow and there is no rope climbing involved. All I’m trying to do is point out the obvious and give you some good safety guidelines.|
|We started our walk at the Ruyteplaats security estate entrance. From there, follow the path up the mountain along the top of the pine tree plantation. There is a path that turns off left from this path, heading directly up the mountain. If you had carried on with the path without turning left here, you would end up at a nice waterfall. I’ve been there loads of times and today was definitely the day for getting to the top of Judas Peak. After turning left off the main path, the gradient increases quickly. All but the really fit will find themselves puffing up the mountain path. It’s a pleasure to stop and catch your breath as the views are spectacular in all directions.|
I’ve been on many hikes in the mountains and I’m sad to say that I’m a bit blasé about the incredible scenic beauty, the plant life and the thousands of birds that surround you. Judas Peak refocused my attention! One cannot help but be awestruck and inspired in these surroundings. The path leads you under the sheer rock faces of the peak, to the gorge where the path leads to the top. The rock faces are really intimidating and would be a rock climbers dream. It would be more like a nightmare for me if I had to attempt them but then …each to his own.
Looking down over Llandudno beach and the Atlantic ocean stretching out before you is incredible. The views from here are unique. Unless you have the bucks for a helicopter flip over this area you ain’t gonna get this vantage and perspective.
The gorge provides an “easy” access to the top. “Easy” meaning no rope climbing but it is really steep and in some places it is somewhat of a clamber straight up. Once out of the gorge, it’s not so steep a climb anymore. Be careful of your footing; not because it’s really tricky, but because you will not be looking where you are going! The views are that hypnotic. The pics I took are great BUT it cannot possibly tell the full story. I’m sure you have heard the expression…“You had to be there”…
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