Unusual pass data

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With so much data available to us, we sometimes come across weird names, and odd statistics which we list in this category. For example, there are four Ouberg Passes, as well as six Langkloof passes (the most popular pass names)and as many Rooiberg passes. There are those with short names and long names. This page is a compilation of interesting and unusual passes. We add to these categories as information becomes available.

We get countless requests with the question: "When is a pass a pass?"

The answer is complex and almost impossible to define, but we have come up with a broad enough definition to cover most options : A pass is a pass when a road traverses up or down or down and up, or any variable of down and up or through a kloof, or nek of a mountain or a hill or follows the course of a river through a mountain and complies with certain geographical requirements in terms of distance, gradient, number of turns, geological complexity and also if a government department has named any road officially as a pass whether it complies with this definition or not.

Our favourite "padmaker" Graham Ross submitted this list of names which all describe mountain passes: A saddle, canyon, col, neck, defile, gorge, ravine, gap, notch, bwlch (Welsh). [Yes, there really are no vowels in the last one!]

The pass with the longest name: Wildehondskloofhoogte Pass WC

The pass with the starting and end altitude identical (63m) - Constantia Nek WC

The pass with the most unusual name: Ping Pong Cuttings KZN

The most cursed pass: Suikerbossie/Victoria Road WC

The pass with the most misspelt name: Hessekwas Pass WC

The pass with latitude and longtitude similar: Ping Pong Cuttings KZN

The oldest properly engineered pass: Franschoek Pass WC - 1822

The oldest pass: Clooff Pass (now Constantia Nek) WC - 1657

The newest pass: Langeni Pass EC - 2008

The pass with highest average number of corners: Moordenaarskloof Pass EC (1 bend every 53 metres)

The only pass with a double summit of identical altitudes: Bastards Poort WC

The most popular pass name: Langkloof (6) and Rooiberg (6)

The 2nd most popular name: Ouberg (4)

The only official pass which is not a pass: Rankins Pass in Limpopo and Grey's Pass in Cape Town.

Most dangerous pass (accidents): In order and mainly proportionate to traffic volumes.
Van Reenen's Pass KZN
Sir Lowry's Pass WC
Kaaiman's River Pass WC
Hex River Pass WC
Most iconic pass: Sani Pass KZN

Most technical pass to drive: Bastervoetpad Pass EC

Most Northerly pass: Masekwas Poort (LPO)

Most Southerly pass: Akkedisberg Pass  WC

Most Easterly pass: Jozini Pass KZN

Most Westerly pass:  Swartpoort NC

The shortest official pass: Grey's Pass (Cape Town) at 97m. This pass also has the smallest altitude variance of 1m.

Strangest requests on our website: (We're impressed that some folk consider our knowledge to be this vast !)
1. How much will it cost to hire the Helshoogte Pass for a wedding for 92 guests?
2. How much are the caddy fees at Fancourt Golf Club? (Outeniqua Pass)
3. We would like to buy some olive trees from you. (Blinkberg Pass)
4. How many neon lights are there in the Huguenote Tunnel (Du Toits Kloof Pass)


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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.

Master Orientation Map

Master Orientation Map We are as passionate about maps as we are about mountain passes. A good map is a thing of beauty that can transport you into the mists of time or get your sense of adventure churning. It is a place to make discoveries about deserts and seas, mountains and lakes; of roads leading into places you have not been before; a place to pore over holiday destinations or weekend camping trips. A map is your window to the world.

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