The Swaarmoed Pass is located approximately 20 km north-east of Ceres. The name translates from Afrikaans into 'Heavy Courage'. The 16 km long tarred pass descends 629 vertical meters from the summit at 1212 m ASL. It is the favourite access route to the snow fields on the highlands near Klondyke and Erfdeel farms, the latter perhaps better known as Matroosberg with a summit altitude of 2249m ASL - it is also the second highest peak in the Western Cape. (The highest being the Seweweeks Peak in the Swartberg range).
The pass is well engineered with gradients seldom exceeding 1:11 and is suitable for all vehicles. The pass offers excellent views over the Warm Bokkeveld and the vast plains of the Ceres valley surrounded by an amphitheatre of rugged mountains. It does snow on this pass and on the rare occassions that this happens, there will immediately be considerable traffic on this pass and if snow coincides with a weekend, expect chaos as thousands of sightseers flock to the area to see the snow. The pass is the main access route to get to Matroosberg, which is the most popular point to gain access to the snowfields and drive the Grade 3 4x4 route up to the Groothoek Canyon viewsite.
The full content of this article is restricted to subscribers.
Subscribe for only R425 a year and get full access to our website (936+ mountain passes), including the videos, the full text of all mountain passes articles, fact-file, interactive map, directions and route files.
Subscribe Now (12 months)
For those who need to only use the website for a single trip or a short time frame, we now also offer a 6 month convenience subscription at R325.
Subscribe Now (6 months)
If you have already subscribed to our site, you can Log in to view the full article.
You will gain full access to the best parts of the website, which include:
- the full content (non subscribers only see about 10% of the text) of 888+ mountain passes,
- plus you get the video(s),
- Fact File,
- Interactive Map,
- and the downloadable Route File.
You will also get our weekly newsletter packed with the latest interesting passes information delivered to your email each Thursday.
Paid subscribers qualify for 10% off the digital downloads from our online shop.
Still not convinced?
You can visit five ‘Open’ pass pages on Mountain Passes South Africa to evaluate what you’ll be getting: