Stories from Table Mountain’s trails

Enjoying the launch, Helen Hays, from Hout Bay, Carole Sherratt, from Sea Point, and Linda Lloyd, from Hout Bay.

Mountain guide Riaan Vorster launched his book, Lines of Least Resistance: Vignettes on Table Mountain’s 101 hiking and scrambling routes, at Exclusive Books, at the V&A Waterfront, on Wednesday February 8.

The Higgovale author was in conversation with John Compton, the emeritus associate professor in UCT’s department of geological sciences who provided geological background for the book

Table Mountain was a blank map 100 years ago until mountaineers such as Ken Cameron came along and regularly had route descriptions published in the Cape Times, according to Mr Vorster.

Mr Vorster’s love and knowledge of Table Mountain, among other peaks, grew from childhood and he has many scars from exploring its routes.

Mountaineer and Table Mountain expert Mike Scott, of Orangezicht, describes the book as “a marvellous piece of historical detective work that shatters lots of myths and mystery around first ascents”.

The book is not a guide to the routes but more a compilation of essays on routes opened prior to 1952, from A to C+ grade. It is suitable for anyone with a love of mountain matters, from hikers, climbers and trail runners to historians and tour guides.

Hikers Carly Wise from Wynberg, Christopher Every from Rosebank and Santie Gouws from Observatory.
Author and mountain guide Riaan Vorster, of Higgovale, with Patric Stenhaus and Stephanie Ellis, both from Rondebosch.
Katherine Forsythe, of Mowbray, with Johan Enqvist, of Observatory.
Professor John Compton, of Pinelands, with Anton Kruger, of Sea Point.
Loréne Jeantet with Johan Janse van Vuuren, both from Muizenberg.
Siobahn Duffy, from Newlands, with Nicole Jacobs and Tamzin Ross-Neville, both from Green Point.