Soulful Sunday Exploring!

The heights charm us, but the steps do not; with the mountain in our view we love to walk the plains. ~ Goethe Quotes

This past weekend I headed out to the mountain again for some hiking. With Judi along for company, we had no specific trail we wanted to do and although we had decided to start at the Devil’s Peak trail, we planned on going up and taking the path between Devil’s Peak and Table Mountain and heading towards the back of the mountain. It’s a route we hadn’t done before and although I guessed it led towards Southern Suburbs, it was definitely a morning of discovery.

It felt so good to be back on the mountain again and in no hurry at all, we strolled along the pathway as we zigzagged our way up towards Devil’s Peak. The sun was surprisingly hot and I was completely overdressed for the climb up, my thinking as I dressed that morning was that the autumn early morning chill would still be around. I guess I got that wrong!

Reaching the split in the path that would take us up to Devil’s Peak, we turned right and headed towards what the sign said was Newlands Ravine.

No particular route in mind, just the direction in which we wanted to go.

No particular route in mind, just the direction in which we wanted to go.

Spoilt yet again with beautiful views like this.

Spoilt yet again with beautiful views like this.

Wandering towards the back of the mountain between Devil's Peak and Table Mountain.

Wandering towards the back of the mountain between Devil’s Peak and Table Mountain.

A little further along we came to a sign saying Pulpit Rock lookout. Neither of us had been there before so we decided to go and check it out. With beautiful views stretching as far as the eye could see across the South Peninsula, we climbed onto one of the rocks and stopped for a snack break.

Never been there before, off to Pulpit Rock to check it out.

Never been there before, off to Pulpit Rock to check it out.

Pulpit Rock lookout. The views were beautiful.

Pulpit Rock lookout. The views were beautiful.

Views from Pulpit Rock.

Views from Pulpit Rock.

Views from Pulpit Rock.

Views from Pulpit Rock.

Views from Pulpit Rock.

Views from Pulpit Rock.

A short while later we headed back and diverged to the left along the trail that would take us to Newlands Ravine via Newlands Forest. We climbed up steadily and over the top until we eventually reached the ravine. Still shaded by the mountain, covered in greenery, it was a stone pathway leading steeply down the ravine. Looking down upon the world, so limitless as it stretched away at my feet, feeling that infinite unspeakable sense of nearness to Heaven in that moment.

We headed someway down where it started getting even steeper and as Judi currently has a dodgy knee we turned back and headed up to some sunny rocks where we stopped for a lunch break before heading back down the mountain again.

Making our way up and over to Newlands Ravine.

Making our way up and over to Newlands Ravine.

At the top of Newlands Ravine.

At the top of Newlands Ravine.

Standing at the top of Newlands Ravine, ready to descend.

Standing at the top of Newlands Ravine, ready to descend.

Descending Newlands Ravine.

Descending Newlands Ravine.

I have since read up about the Newlands Ravine route and it said the following: “… a knee-shaking descent. This is a fairly steep route from Newlands Forest directly up to the Saddle. Though not as steep or rocky as Nursery Ravine or Skeleton Gorge, it is slightly higher. This is one for: shorts, sturdy shoes. This is not one for the unfit.”

This is definitely going to be a good training hike for us when we are back in the swing of training for our next big mountain.

Beautiful views looking back over Signal Hill and Robben Island.

Beautiful views looking back over Signal Hill and Robben Island.

Lunch stop with a view.

Lunch stop with a view.

A wonderful morning on the mountain and spoilt with more magnificent views on the way back down.

A wonderful morning on the mountain and again we were spoilt with more magnificent views on the way back down.

Speaking of which… with two of the Seven Summits climbed, although on Aconcagua we were just 450 metres short of the summit due to bad weather (a redo will be done), it is only natural that we start talking about what mountain is next. Although we haven’t decided exactly which one is next, (we kinda had decided in passing chats but it’s always nice to throw in alternatives too!) so now we have lined up the next two that we want to climb. I have already made some inquiries about the one and our next step is now to round-up our hiking partner, Simon, and throw some options at him. Of course we are hoping to encourage some of our Aconcagua team mates to come and join us too once we know exactly what and when!

Which brings me on to the next bit… unfortunately, climbing these high altitude mountains costs a considerable amount of money each time (and our exchange rate doesn’t help either) so some saving has to begin and for people like me, I have to get my leave, which is currently sitting in negative due to my month off in Argentina in January, back into the positive so I can start saving all my leave for my next trip to the mountain! We have some exciting ideas for some training in the run up to the next mountain too so before you know it I’ll be back on the mountain training again instead of doing these lovely leisurely hikes.

Our way is not soft grass; it’s a mountain path with lots of rocks. But it goes upwards, forward, toward the sun. ~ Dr. Ruth Westheimer

Intentions are being set, plans are being discussed, but it is a long way to go still…

But this is how it all begins…

And so the ideas for my 3rd Seven Summit climb has begun!

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~ All Photos By Me ~

P.S. I am diligently (when the mood strikes) writing my Aconcagua story, with day-by-day accounts of what I experienced on the mountain, with pictures to bring it all to life. These things take time but it’s a work in progress and as soon as it’s all done, you’ll be the first to read it all here, so stay tuned, I am working on getting out!

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