Page 1 of 1

Second Waterfall Ravine

Posted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 12:08 pm
by vinesh

I've heard about the perilous Second Waterfall Ravine on Devil's Peak in Cape Town. Quite a few climbers have died there in recent years. Where is it? I certainly don't intend to climb it -- rather, I just want to know where it is so that I can avoid it (I'm a beginner)!


Re: Second Waterfall Ravine

Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:46 am
by Drifter
'Walk past the 1st waterfall and on up to the 2nd waterfall through the ravine with stunning sheer cliffs.' ...

go to click on 'Cape Town' at the bottom of the page click on 'rescue' and then click on 'safety guidelines'

From the Mountain Clubs Website

"Safety guidelines...

1.Never hike alone, 4 is an ideal size for a party.
2.Choose the route according to ability, fitness, experience etc. of the party.
3.Tell someone exactly where you are going (up and down routes and expected time of arrival back) and stick to this route and plan.
4.Always go prepared for bad weather and therefore take proper weatherproof clothing even on a sunny day (wind and rain proof); torches - with spare batteries and globes; good footwear - strong boots or shoes with non-slip soles; food; a flask of tea or some other beverage; a rucksack to carry the spare clothing, food etc so as to leave your arms and hands free.
5.Go with somebody who genuinely knows the way, or carry a guidebook, map or description of the route from a person who has done the route.
6.Until you know your way around keep to the straightforward routes on well used paths. Follow the same route down, or one you know well. Heed signs advising of danger and do not take short cuts or go down unknown ravines.
7.Every party should have a leader. The larger the group the greater the need for one.
8.Keep together and travel at the pace of the slowest. Do not split up and go in different directions.
9.Watch the weather and time - turn back in case of threatening bad weather, route taking longer or route no longer easy to follow.
10.On your return tell whoever is expecting you that you are back.


What if it happens to you...

You are with someone who is injured on the mountain:

1.Should someone have an accident, keep calm, stay together as a party until things are sorted out and ascertain to the best of your ability exactly what the injuries are and attend to them where possible.
2.Approach if safe.
3.Apply first aid
4.Check responsiveness, then ABC:
5.Check Airway
6.Check Breathing
7.Check Circulation and stop bleeding
8.If any possibility of spinal damage (especially neck) - do not move the person unless it is necessary to do so for safety reasons.
9.Do not rush off immediately and report an accident. Fifteen minutes or so spent observing reactions and making the person comfortable is time well spent. It happens quite often that even if someone is knocked out temporarily they may not be seriously injured and after a rest are able to walk down.
10.Leave someone with the patient if possible, it is imperative that they remain with them until the rescuers arrive.
11.Go for help - do not run if it is unsafe: you are no help if you do not make it to a phone! For safety it is preferable to send two persons for help.
On their way down they should identify landmarks so that they are able to describe the exact location of the accident or to guide a rescue party to the scene.
Accidents should be reported to the nearest South African Police station or relevant authority responsible for the area in which the accident occurred. For assistance in emergencies phone 10177. Give:
your phone number
where you are
where the accident occurred
what happened
the nature of the injuries
12.Stay at the phone! The mountain rescue leader will contact you for further details. If necessary, send someone else back to help.
Remain available for questioning by the rescue leader so as to be able to give full details of the accident - where, when, how and what.
You become lost or trapped while in the mountains:
13.Don't panic. If you told someone where you were going and when you were returning, a rescue team will come looking for you.
14.If you get lost or find yourself in an area that looks unsafe retrace your steps - do not push on into the unknown.
15.If you cannot find the path you left look for a safe route - preferably down broad open slopes - making sure that at all times you can retrace your steps.
16.If trapped seek shelter. It is important to get out of the wind, but don't hide yourself so well that you become impossible to find.
17.Do not descend an unknown ravine. A cliff or waterfall may be hard to spot in dim light or rain.

Someone does not return from a hike/climb:
Phone 10177 or 10111
Report the incident as being mountain related. State your name and phone number.
Stay at the phone. Someone will contact you for further details
Depending on the nature of the incident, a rescue operation may be started immediately or the rescue leader may decide to postpone until first light, improved weather etc."

Re: Second Waterfall Ravine

Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:31 am
by Brent
There are many documented incidents of rescues/body recoveries in this ravine (Mountain Rescue keeps a detailed database of all events), including one event that claimed the lives of four people in one go. It is to be avoided, as it's loose, hard to navigate and very steep. It is also soggy for most of the year, and very overgrown in places.

It's pretty hard to find the start. If you're looking for a ravine scramble, then rather go for 1st waterfall ravine, or Els ravine. But both in summer, as in winter it's not very pleasant terrain.


Re: Second Waterfall Ravine

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:29 am
by Drifter
Vinesh a book you might want to have a look at as well is called Table Mountain Activity Guide by Fiona McIntosch. I got the book out the library.
On pg 21 of this book it lists dangerous areas to be avoided and they are;

Fountain, Blinkwater and Slangolie Ravines.

First and Second Waterfall Ravines, Dark Gorge and Els Ravine.

Window Gorge.

Re: Second Waterfall Ravine

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:47 am
by ant
Second waterfall is certainly a dangerous place.
The reason that it, and several other places like it, have the reputation (and statistics) they do is because the layout of the terrain is such that people intending to do an easier route get funnelled into / onto it, and, detirmined to make a success of their day out, they push on in the hope of making it work.

Most accidents happen as a result of several bad decisions, rather than simply an instantanious slip of the foot, and pushing ahead in unplanned territory is usually the first.

There are people who intentionally head to second waterfall, but it's not a recommended way to push the envolope

Re: Second Waterfall Ravine

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:08 pm
by Justin
Second Waterfall Ravine comes in as the second most dangerous place on TM (after Devils Peak)

Check out S.A. Mountain Accidents Database web site click 'Search Now'

Very interesting website 8)

Re: Second Waterfall Ravine

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:44 pm
by st0ne
I think the info on the "S.A. Mountain Accidents Database web site" is misleading. How does Lion's head get third on this list, then Platteklip gorge, both being easy walks? They are certainly not dangerous places to be at all, under any conditions.

People will have accidents in all kinds of places. Statistically though, your chances of having an accident in a place like Second ravine are good. It's a very gnarly place to go.

Statistical sites like this are no good at all. There's even a listing for a place called "Unknown", which will have an effect on all the other data.

I'd say, most dangerous ravine on TM is 'Second', then Dark Gorge. One must venture up there at your own risk. It's a VERY risky place to be. If you've ever been up that way, you'll quickly change your mind and head down for beers :drunken:

Re: Second Waterfall Ravine

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:53 pm
by nosmo
Maybe the heading "Most dangerous areas on Table Mountain" is the misleading bit. Fact is, at least 10 people have died on Lion's Head, and 9 in Platteklip gorge. Probably impossible to get the numbers, but it would be more useful to have these numbers together with the amount of visitors each place sees.

Re: Second Waterfall Ravine

Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:50 am
by Nic Le Maitre

The "Most dangerous areas on TM" sections works by counting the total number of fatalities in an area and rating the areas accordingly. Therefore Platteklip is the most dangerous as it has the most deaths.

The database is maintained by a volunteer, who certainly doesn't time to sit and count people going up and down TM but it would be great to be able to correlate it to the number of people using each area... ...Any volunteers to count them?

Re: Second Waterfall Ravine

Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:42 am
by nosmo
Exactly, the actual numbers would be almost impossible to get. Awesome effort by Andrew Lewis to maintain the db.

Re: Second Waterfall Ravine

Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:09 pm
by vinesh
Evidently the "most dangerous areas" on the mountain is a moot point -- as you say I'd guess the popular areas will have far more accidents than those areas visited only by a few experienced hikers. Also, for example Lions' Head has four times the number of injuries than deaths, whereas Second Waterfall has twice as many deaths as injuries. Interesting database though, I was surprised that Devil's Peak has had more registered deaths than any of the other places. I wonder how its death toll compares to other peaks for example in the Drakensberg.

Thanks for the book recommendation Drifter, I'll try to find it. Does it have maps of the trails on the mountain? I'm actually trying to find a good book with maps of the hikes on the mountain. Google Earth is OK to see the layout of many of the walks on the lower parts, but its usefulness is limited...

ant I get what you're saying -- that's exactly the type of mistake I want to avoid, hence I wanted to know where this Second Waterfall Ravine is (i.e. so that I don't come across it and foolishly think that I should try it out).

Re: Second Waterfall Ravine

Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:44 pm
by Drifter
Hi Vinesh

The book Table Mountain Activity Guide has maps of Table Mountain in it with lots of hiking trails showing on the same map, the book doesn't show a specific hiking trail by itself on a map with a written description giving you directions , it would be better to look for hiking guide books at your local library or buy a hiking guide book for Table Mountain which is just a hiking guide book.

Regards Drifter

Re: Second Waterfall Ravine

Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:48 pm
by Nic Le Maitre
Hi Vinesh

An awesome map of TM is the Peter Slingsby map, it shows all the well know trails, marks dangerous areas etc.

You can get it from Exclusive books/Wordsworth/CNA... or order it online from

Re: Second Waterfall Ravine

Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:03 pm
by vinesh
Hi, thanks a lot! Will get the Slingsby map

Re: Second Waterfall Ravine

Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:14 pm
by Hassaant

I understand 2nd WaterFall is quiet dangerous & steep but BlinkWater,Fountain Carin Traverse,Slangolie Ravine,First WaterFall Ravine & Dark Gorge is duable as I myself has done all of them.

I myself today did 2nd WaterFall Ravine 85%.I turn around didn't do last incline which is dangerous.Going down was extremely difficult as its very slippery,loose rocks,wet field even roots of the plants are loose you can't hold them.I am sharing few pictures of the 2nd WaterFall Ravine taken today & replying to this post after 12 years :).I highly don't recommend any climber and hiker to do Second WaterFall Ravine.

I am planning to do Els Ravine next weekend.

Kind Regards
Cape town

Re: Second Waterfall Ravine

Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:15 pm
by Hassaant
Uploading another 3 as it allowed 3 pictures at a time.