1897: Schneeberger

On March 13th, 1897, The Cape Register reported that Carl Wilhelm Schneeberger ascended Devil’s Peak, Table Mountain and Lion’s Head in one day, returning each time to the Johannesburg Hotel in Long Street, Cape Town.


“Table Mountain has been the scene of many fine pedestrian feats, and in a less degree the Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head have shared in the triumphs of mountain climbers: but the ascent of all of them in one day – so far as we know – has never before last Sunday been attempted. On Sunday it was not only attempted however, but successfully achieved by Mr. C.W. Schneeberger, and in splendid time.

He undertook to do his self imposed task between six in the morning, and six in the evening, and finished with an hour and ten minutes to spare. In each ascent he was accompanied by a friend as pacemaker, Mr. E.V. Bentley and Mr. C. Otto sharing this duty, while Mr. G.M. Anderson officiated at the Johannesburg Hotel, which was the starting post and finishing goal from which Mr. Schneeberger had to start and return to each time. The following is a copy of the time-tables:

Johannesburg Hotel to DEVIL’S PEAK and back. Start 6 a.m.Finish 8.55 a.m.Time: 2 hrs. 55 mins.
Johannesburg Hotel to TABLE MOUNTAIN and back. Start 9.55 a.m.Finish 2 p.m.Time: 3 hrs. 55 mins.
Johannesburg Hotel to LION’S HEAD and back. Start 2.35 p.m.Finish 4.50 p.m.Time: 2 hrs. 15 mins.

 FULL TIME 10 HRS. 50 MINS.            NETT TIME 9 HRS. 5 MINS. 

Mr. Schneeberger took ample time after descending the Devil’s Peak to make a substantial breakfast at the Johannesburg Hotel, where he also sat down to dinner after returning from his ascent of Table Mountain before tackling the Lion’s Head. His long wait at breakfast, due to the late arrival of his pace-maker Mr. Otto, who had met with a slight bicycle mishap, was no advantage to him, indeed the reverse, for it allowed his muscles to get stiff, which was undoubtedly the reason for the attacks of cramp he experienced  during his Table Mountain ascent. Against their recurrence on the Lion’s Head Mount, some whisky was carried, a rub of which when the cramp came on, quickly eased the muscles. At the conclusion of this big walk up 9,200 feet of mountain, Mr. Schneeberger was as fresh as paint, and sat down with his pace-makers and friends to the enjoyment of a substantial meal provided by Host Curtis.