Bruce and Nicci took me on a beautiful hike on Sunday. Table Mountain has three "contour paths" at different topographic levels. We entered the Newlands Forest from below and worked our way up to an upper path. The view from the bottom was pretty nice.
On the flanks of Table Mountain it felt so similar to a hike on Mt. Tamalpais on a really hot day. The same introduced eucalyptus trees are being removed. The fynbos reminds me so much of our coast chaparral back home. And then there are a few little things that don't look like home, like giant red locusts.
Looking around on the lower slopes, it's pretty clear that most of the flanks of TM are debris flow deposits. Reddish, silty matrix with clasts from pebbles to giant house-sized boulders everywhere. As you may know, Table Mountain (as seen above) gets its weather-resistance and its tabliness from the Peninsula Fm. Sandstone (I would call it a quartzite myself) which is shallow marine, nearly perfectly sorted arenite with rare pebble beds and lenses - and the pebbles are vein quartz (by and large.) There are remnants of the Pakhuis tillites on top - depositionally (unconformably) overlying the sandstone. Anyway long story short, was wondering why no slope stability problems on this oversteepened (according to my calves) pile of quartz dust and paleosols. Here's the quick answer:
plants. Native fynbos, specifically. Also no uplift.
Bruce, Nicci and Shadow:
Hoping to join them again for a hike all the way up to the top one of these weekends