Nursery Buttress

Page Type
South Africa, Africa
Route Type:
Time Required:
Half a day
Rock Difficulty:
Class 3

Route Quality: 0 Votes

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Page By:
Nursery Buttress
Created On: Sep 27, 2007
Last Edited On: Sep 27, 2007


A nice scrambling route up Table Mountain's East side. A pleasant alternative to the more popular routes up the mountain, especially for those willing to be a bit more daring.

Getting There

Enter through the top gate of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. If you enter before 8AM you don't need to pay an entrance fee. Take the main paths up until you reach the Contour Path at about 300 meters elevation. Follow this past the base of Nursery Ravine until you reach the first watercourse. This is the start of the scramble.

Route Description

The water course is narrow and slippery, but not difficult to follow. Eventually, you get out of the small stream and onto a wide bushy ledge below the lowest rock band. Follow cairns to the left and scramble up the rock wall at the end of the path.

Pass a small rock window at the top and continue up the slope to the next rock-band where you will see another window, much larger than the previous one. This one will be quite obvious when you find it. Ascend to the right of the window to a ledge, then traverse to the right past a small cave, and up through a corridor.

There are cairns along the way, appearing every so often as a reward for making the right decision.

You'll then reach a 15 meter face on the right side of the buttress that can be climbed with easy holds. After this you'll have reached the grassy slope just over half way up the buttress at an elevation of about 550 meters. Across this part the path is bushy, but still discernable and passable.

Slog up the slope, tending slightly rightwards, to the upper section, which can be tackled in more than one place and presents no difficulties. (There is a faint trail that tends to the left, but you'll find yourself at the edge of the sheer dropoff into Nursery Ravine.)

Once you reach the top of the Buttress, descent can be done down either Nursery Ravine or Skeleton Gorge back to Kirstenbosch.

Essential Gear

Nothing special needed. Just keep in mind that conditions on Table Mountain can change quickly, so bring water, food and rain gear.