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Left Face B

Left Face B route on the front face of TM

LocationStart on Tafelberg Road at the Platteklip Gorge parking.

Overview:  Left Face B (also known as Mystery B) follows an interesting and intricate line up the front face of Table Mountain to the left of Platteklip Gorge. 

Left Face B - Key Statistics
Grade:  3 ****  One 8m and one 3m scramble; exposed
Height gain:  680mfrom 380m at Tafelberg Rd to 1060m
Time:  3-4 hrs up, 1-2 down depending on route


Route Description:  Numbers in {x} refer to corresponding point on the map

Follow the Platteklip Gorge path to the 500m elevation. At the junction with the contour path {1}, turn left for 50m before taking the uphill, clear path, sign-posted Platteklip Gorge.  Climb the zigzag path for 10min, keeping a careful watch for a vague path, on the uphill side, on one of the bends, just before the main path turns back towards the gorge {2}. The path is vague in places but there are plenty of cairns. You will reach a dry watercourse after 20min. Go right to the bushy ridge. From here, keep to the rocks, where you are able to look into Platteklip Gorge, scrambling as you go but gaining height. A little higher you reach a rock face where you must traverse right for five minutes or so.  It is easy to traverse too far on this level as there is a clear path.  If the path comes to an end at a sheer cliff with a difficult rock pitch the only way up, you have gone too far {3}.  Retrace your steps for about 100m and look for the ramp going steep diagonally up to the left {4}. NB *** It is easy to miss because one has to look behind one as one comes along the path in order to see it.  The photographs show this ramp clearly. 

Scramble up a 3m pitch to a ledge, go left and scramble up another 5m. It looks difficult and exposed but is relatively easy. Go to the right for a short distance on easy ground to where a steep grassy gully goes down to the right to meet up with Platteklip Gorge. Go left, ascending a steep narrow grassy gully. Slog up this and move to the left and enjoy the spectacular views over the Mother City, Robben Island, Lion’s Head and so much more {6}. Continue following cairns to a ridge from where you will be able to see the traverse at the 920m level. Go left on a grassy ledge for about 400m. It becomes narrow and exposed at one point and you should either squeeze behind the rock or scramble in front of it.  Eventually come to a tricky 3m rock scramble to gain a higher traverse.{8} Take your time and feel for the good grips. After scrambling up this go to the right to reach a rock face where the path once again becomes narrow. Here you come to an awkward step-over, but with good hand-holds {9}. From here it is an easy scramble to a higher level where one can either go straight up a crack or traverse left on easy ground to the top. Enjoy the peace and quiet before popping out on top of Table Mountain where you are sure to see the surprised looks on tourist’s faces. 

Descent: Platteklip, the cable car or any of the many Back Table options.

(With acknowledement to Karen Watkins.)

Media:


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Tony Heher,
Apr 16, 2009, 12:46 PM
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TMLeftface.gdb
(8k)
Tony Heher,
Apr 16, 2009, 12:46 PM
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