Table Mountain

Original content sourced from Greg Hamerton’s ‘Fresh Air Site Guide’, 5th edition, 2006.

Warning ! Achtung!

This is a treacherous and ecologically-sensitive site. Guidance by an experienced local pilot is mandatory. A valid Sport-rated licence (IPPI 5), and SANParks Activity Card is required. Do not fly this site alone.

Description

The most complex of the Peninsula sites, made difficult by tricky cliff launches and swirling, ever-changing wind. Excellent ground-handling skills and good judgement are critical.

It is seldom flyable at this site, it is much easier to cross from Lion’s Head.

Location

  • GPS 33°57’47.0″S 18°24’57.1″E (Front Face)
  • GPS 33°57’36.5″S 18°24’21.3″E (The Gully)

Weather

  • North (Front Face)
  • West-South-West (The Gully)

Launch

N wind: the ‘Runway’ is on the front face, looking out over Cape Town, 200m E of Platteklip Gorge. The layout area is near the edge of the cliff, on flat rock. As you run towards the cliff, be prepared for the lip rotor and turbulence that can cause sudden sink. Leaning forwards in the harness, ready to run is essential, as you cannot afford to go off the edge with a slack glider.

NB: The consequence of a bad decision or poor skills at this launch can be catastrophic.

SW wind: the ‘Gully’ faces SSW, and is behind the cable-car station. You have to walk away from the station along the top of the mountain for a few minutes to reach the launch site. Layout over the low bushes and rocks. Immediately after takeoff, you will find yourself in a gully, soaring along the north side of it. You soar out of the gully and onto the main rock faces which form the Twelve Apostles.

NB: The consequence of a bad decision or poor skills at this launch can be catastrophic.

Light ESE: ‘Maclear’s Beacon’ site is 100m E of Maclear’s Beacon, just below a rocky ridge (30 minutes hike from the Upper Cablecar Station in an E direction).

NB: The consequence of a bad decision or poor skills at this launch can be catastrophic.

Landing

  • The Glen Country Club in Camps Bay
  • The rugby field in Upper Orange Road
  • Camps Bay Beach

Cautions

This is a very technical site which is extremely unforgiving. Local knowledge is invaluable. Do not take chances. The consequence of a bad decision or poor skills at this launch can be catastrophic.

HG: Very few pilots have flown here due to the radical cliff launch.

Directions

Up Kloof Nek Road, at the signs that read ‘cablecar’, turn right and go fly at Lions Head rather.

Permission

  • Sports (IPPI 5) pilots only
  • Minimum 200 flights experience
  • Valid Pilots Licence
  • SANParks Activity Permit (Level 2)
  • 2 guided flights are needed from each launch site with an experienced local pilot before flying solo.
  • Do not fly this site alone

SANParks Activity Permit

All pilots flying in the Table Mountain National Park are required to apply annually for a TMNP My Activity Permit (Level 2 – Hang-gliding and paragliding) which currently costs R455pa. These are issued at the SANParks offices.

Caretaker