This official pass hardly conforms to the definition of a pass and if you were not aware of it, you would barely notice it as you cruise along the R60 between Ashton and Robertson. The 'pass' only has three gentle bends and climbs just 39m in altitude over 3 km.
It provides access to a number of points of interest in the Robertson Valley, which include the historic Rietvallei Wine Estate and the well known Sheilam Cactus Farm.
The hill is named after a settler farmer in the area - Gideon Francois Malherbe who lived from 1854 to 1922. The farms in the area remain in the Malherbe family to this day.
This official pass is located on the tarred 60 route just west of Robertson. The pass has a single S-curve with a deep cutting near the summit. The average gradient of 1:46 is watered down by the classic profile with some sections being fairly steep at 1:12.
It has recently (2019) undergone reconstruction and resurfacing and has overtaking lanes on both sides of the pass for vehicles ascending. The road carries heavy traffic and a lot of slow moving trucks frequent the route. There are no apparent dangers on the pass and drivers travelling in either direction can enjoy sweeping views of the Robertson Winelands. At the western end of the pass is the well known wine farm - Graham Beck wines, which you can't miss as it has a huge South African flag at the entrance.
The pass is named after the original farm over which it traverses - one of several old Dutch farms dating back to the 1700's.
This scenic tarred pass connects the lovely riverside town of Bonnievale with the R60 a few kilometres to the east of Ashton. Its a fairly short pass at 3 km and gains 94m in altitude, producing an average gradient of 1:32. There are five relatively easy curves and bends along the pass as it meanders up towards the neck and summit called Skilpadshoogte, which translates into Tortoise Heights. The steepest section is the final 600m on the southern side of the summit where the gradient ramps up to a stiff 1:7
The Remhoogte Pass (Brake Heights Pass) is one of three back to back passes on the R60 between Swellendam and Ashton. The other two are the Bakoondhoogte and Leeuriviershoogte Passes. This is the biggest of the three in terms of altitude gained and when summiting from the eastern approach, it provides exceptional views over the valley around Ashton with the vista of a semi circle of mountains to the right and ahead.
This pass is located close to the western side of Swellendam on the tarred R60. It should be viewed in conjunction with its sister pass Bakoondhoogte which starts where this one ends, making it, to all intents and purposes, one long pass. The scenery is exceptional as the road runs along the foothills of the Langeberg Mountains. The Leeurivier (Lions River) has cut a deep gorge through the mountains and the eastern hills of this gorge are named Leeuriviershoogte (Lions River Heights), after which the pass is named.
This scenic pass is located roughly midway between Ashton and Swellendam on the tarred R60 route. It offers beautiful and sometimes dramatic views in every direction and more or less follows the east-west axis of the Langeberg Mountains on its southern side. We apologize for the half completed road refurbishment project in the video clip, but Stop/Go's are a part of our daily lives and we endure them happily in the sure knowledge that the authorities are working on vital infrastructure like roads.
The pass is in excellent condition and of average length at 4,4 km with a modest altitude variance of 100 metres. It is suitable for all vehicles and the latest realignment project on this pass has removed all the dangerous corners and blind rises, which were present on the old road. The R60 is becoming a popular alternative road to the N2 a little further to the south, and as such you can expect to find heavy trucks and buses on this road.
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.
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.