Beveraaskloof Pass (N9)

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Orographic cloud over the Outeniqua mountains is a regular scenario Orographic cloud over the Outeniqua mountains is a regular scenario - Photo: Trygve Roberts

Just north of the Outeniqua mountains along the N9 national route lies a pass that very few people know exists, despite the fact the thousands of vehicles commute over the route daily. The Beveraas Kloof is formed by the north flowing Waboomskraal river that descends from the summit area of the Outeniqua Pass and is fed by at least three powerful tributaries. This lovely section of roadway is mostly overlooked compared to the limelight which inevitably goes to the nearby Outeniqua Pass. The Beveraas Kloof Pass is fairly short at 4,6 km and presents an altitude variance of only 60m producing an easy average gradient of 1:115 with the steepest parts being at 1:11. This road is technically much more of a poort than a pass. It's named after the original farm Beveraas Kloof, which is located on the western side of the road and is frequently listed with the slightly different spelling of Beverass, which is typical of how older names get changed over time to suit a local dialect.

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[Video cover photo by Trygve Roberts ]

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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:

Getting there: Head south from Oudtshoorn towards George or west from Uniondale to arrive at the northern start of the Beveraas Kloof Pass at the intersection of the N9 and the N12. For those wanting to drive the pass in the opposite direction, drive up the Outeniqua Pass towards Oudtshoorn to arrive at the southern start of the pass, approximately 4 km from the northern end of the Outeniqua Pass.

Northern start of the Beveraas Kloof PassNorthern start of the pass at the N9 & N12 / Photo: Trygve RobertsWe filmed this pass from north to south. The kloof lies obscured from view on the right hand side (west) of the road by dense bushes and trees and the N9 remains on it's eastern side, heading steadily southwards amongst intensely cultivated fields and orchards. This valley is home to one of the premier hops growing regions in South Africa with a near perfect micro-climate. Hops is of course, one of the main ingredients used in the beer industry.

A cluster of farms form a patchwork of cultivated greenery towards the southern end of the kloof and include Waboomskraal, Bergsig, Panorama, Arbeidsrug, Oorwinning, Tranquility, Koudouw, Hopsvallei, La Provence and Heidekruin.

The Outeniqua mountains form this single natural passage with towering mountains on either side. The river that runs down the Beveraas Kloof is the Waboomskraal river and it sources at the lip of one of the highest peaks in the range - Kapp se Bakenpiek [1374m] , just a few kilometres to the south. Despite having a relatively small drainage area, this little river packs quite a punch as it's fed by many smaller tributaries and the steepness of the terrain ensures that the run-off is swift. The river provides high quality water for the farms along the entire valley.

Hops production along the Beveraas KloofHops agriculture in the kloof / Photo: NeukohlFor the first 2,4 km the road heads south undulating gently over minor changes in altitude, but at that point it begins climbing more steeply as it reaches the foothills of the Outeniquas. The bends along this road are minor, as are the gradients. The only cautionaries worth mentioning are that the road is subject to frequent mountain mists and heavy rain, which can substantially reduce visibility, with the associated dangers. It is also worth noting that only the last 1,5 km of the pass towards its southern end has emergency shoulders. Cyclists especially need to be aware of this.

The pass ends at the 4,6 km point, just after summiting a small hillock. Continue heading south over the magnificent Outeniqua Pass to arrive in George after a further 17 km.

Fact File:

GPS START  S33.819480 E22.353548
GPS SUMMIT S33.852224 E22.358002
GPS END  S33.856826 E22.360019
DATE FILMED 17.05.2016
NEAREST TOWN George (17 km)

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Mountain Passes South Africa

Mountain Passes South Africa is a website dedicated to the research, documentation, photographing and filming of the mountain passes of South Africa.

Passes are classified according to provinces and feature a text description, Fact File including GPS data, a fully interactive dual-view map and a narrated YouTube video.

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