In summer the Afromontane forest offers welcome shade almost all the way up skeleton Gorge, the toughest section. The climb is steep and unrelenting, although not difficult or requiring more than an ability to climb a wooden ladder and negotiate a few rocky steps with most under estimating the effort required, particularly when wanting to go all the way to Maclear’s Beacon.
The walk starts in the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, but the heart of this route begins at the intersection of Skeleton Gorge and the Contour Path. The first part in the forest – you will be encountering and ascending on climbing log and stone steps. About two-thirds of the way up – a series of wooden ladders eases the way over steep rocks, which can be slippery when wet. This route should be avoided after heavy rain!
When used as a half day hike then either descend via the same route or Nursery Ravine (steep). Great to use this route as start of a full day hike and then finish your hike at the top Cable Station or descend via India Venster/Platteklip Gorge.