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Note: Google Earth software reads the actual topography and ignores roads, cuttings, tunnels, bridges and excavations. The Google Earth vertical-profile animation generates a number of parallax errors, so the profile is only a general guide of what to expect in terms of gradients, distance and elevation. The graph may present some impossible and improbably sharp spikes, which should be ignored.
Digging into the details:
Just to the north of Vryheid, lies the brooding bulk of the 1712m high eZungwini mountain, effectively blocking access into the north. The road and railway line north all share the valley just to the east of the mountain and it is here at the much smaller mountain, Almansnek [1338m] that the road rises to forge its way north along the eastern side of the railway line.
Getting there: From Vryheid take the tarred R69 heading east for 8 km and turn left (north) at GPS S27.775472 E30.886268 onto a tar road. Continue for 4,5 km to the southern start of the pass at the point where the rail line underpasses the road, just west of the Tendeka station.
The road climbs gently at a gradient of 1:35 leaving the Almansnek peak to the right (east) and then swings away to the left in sympathy with the mountain’s contours. 1,3 km after the start, the road swings back to the right again and straightens out into the north to reach the summit at 1303m ASL.
The descent changes direction towards the north-west after the summit and the pass ends at the intersection where another tar road joins this road from the left, which is an alternative access road from Vryheid, serving several farms in the Nooitgedacht area. The railway lines tunnel underneath the road at rhis point and reappear just to the right.
The big peak to your left (west) is the 1712,5m high summit of eZungwini. Continue heading north for 40 km to Paulpietersburg.
|GPS START||S27.738383 E30.883028|
|GPS SUMMIT||S27.723972 E30.880889|
|GPS END||S27.718175 E30.873221|
|DIRECTION - TRAVEL||NNW|
|TIME REQUIRED||8 minutes|
|SPEED LIMIT||60 - 80 kph|
|NEAREST TOWN||Vryheid (12 km)|
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