Friday, 30 September 2011

Lion's Head

My Favorite view.  Those mountain peeks are called "the Twelve Apostles"
Almost to the top! just another brutal rock climb and we're there

We made it in time for the sunset! well done us
SO I know I already talked about my astonishing hike up devil’s peak—the tallest and most wicked, dangerous, epic hike there is. . . but it was not my first hike in Cape Town.  The first hike I went on was Lion’s Head, the mountain that over looks the whole city and is a wicked fun hiking activity.  I've climbed it twice- once at sunset on the full moon and once at sunrise.  The sunset hike is a definite thing you have to do here-- says people on my program (I personally almost didn't hike it because I found this statement annoying, BUT I did climb it and I'm very happy I did).  For the sunset you climb it and watch the sunset at the top then you can turn around and watch the full moon rise up over Table Mountain.  I personally liked the sunrise hike better because it is light out, so you can actually see as you hike your way down.

This is the "elephant" holding up the mountain.  The Face is on the left- can you see it?

The first part of the hike is the hardest.  While it is a straight path, it is a straight path at a 75-degree angle and you are trying to walk quickly because it looks easy, which it is not.  Once you get to the rockier sections it gets easier.  The rocks make it a nice steady climb. . . until they turn into a rock wall.  You are truly rock climbing up parts but there are steel rods and chains hammered into the side so you have places to grab and pull yourself up.  I thought I was super tuff because I just lunged up and grabbed hold of these very stylish steel spikes and swung myself up.  It was not until I was half way through this climb that I realized if I leaned back and lost my grip I would be lost over the side of the mountain.  I started white knuckling the chains for the rest of the journey.  The next section after the rock climbing is still almost like rock climbing, but much less dangerous.  The rocks are shaped like stairs but at points you need to stretch up and use your whole body to get over the rocks and in certain parts ladders are installed because it is too steep. 

The sun rise!
My Roommate Jen climbing on up

Repping the Denver people and the awkward hand stance
The views are absolutely amazing.  You can see all the way around the city stretching from the suburbs to downtown to the waterfront.  My favorite views were from the little caves we found.  In the caves you can see all the strata lines from when the mountain had been under water.  There was a section on the hike that I thought was even more dangerous than the rock climbing, but it was the coolest part of the hike.  There was a massive tree with tangled roots exposed that were so warn from people traipsing all over them that they were molded to people’s foot holds and very slippery.  Honestly this hike is a bit more dangerous now that I’m thinking of it.  If you slipped at any section not just the rock climbing you would get very hurt and tumble off the side of the mountain but while your doing it families, children, and dogs are all about so you don’t really appreciate the danger.  Another activity of South Africa checked off the list!

Also!  sorry for the weird arrangement of photos- despite both my parents and brother working with computers I have no clue as to how to work them.  fail.

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