Mountain Passes News

Win a GoPro Hero 4 Silver by subscribing

This week we are launching a competition where we will be drawing the name of one of our lucky subscribers to win the versatile and powerful GoPro Hero 4 Silver action camera. There are more details lower down this page.

Ben 10 Eco-Challenge hotting up!

Another long weekend behind the belt as motorists took to the highways and byways enjoying this magnificent country we live in. Reports are coming in that the Eastern Cape highlands had plenty of bikers and 4x4's driving/riding the Ben 10 Eco-Challenge. This is heartening news and wonderful to see the challenge is gaining momentum and acceptance. This week the next five people to complete the challenge, submitted their photographic proof and tracklogs. Well done to Zak Nel from Queenstown, who completed the challenge in 3 days in a Mitsubishi Triton 4x4, and Llesyri Joa and Bruce Muzik who nailed places 3 & 4 on adventure motorcycles. Llesyri is the first lady to complete the challenge. You go girl!

Scott Hoare and Johann Alberts have secured positions 5 & 6. Entries are now at 32 and counting. Just a reminder that there is no closing date and we will keep the challenge open as long as there is interest. The only limitation is that the challenge must be completed within 7 consecutive days or shorter. You can enter here: Ben 10 Eco-Challenge.

Featured pass of the week

Our featured pass this week is an absolute winner and yet few people have driven it. We filmed this fabulous pass in December, 2016 in perfect summer weather with inky blue skies. The pass displays some of the finest engineering to be seen anywhere in South Africa and offers, chicane style corners, arrestor beds, split level corners, vertical cuttings and a 235m long elevated viaduct over precious indigenous forests with some yellowwood trees older than 800 years. Two view sites near the summit offer views that will leave you breathless.


Magical Eastern Cape:

The Eastern Cape has an amazing variety of passes on offer and this week we take a closer look at a major high altitude pass, frequently under cloud in summer and snow in winter. It's located on the tarred R61 route between Graaff Reinet and Cradock and offers 33 kms of stunning Karoo mountain scenery on a modern, beautifully engineered tarred road.

 

Subscriber update and tips

A quick update on our transition to a subscriber based website - The response has been overwhelmingly positive and subscriptions are streaming in every day. Thank you to one and all for supporting the passes project. Your subscription will ensure that we are able to continue producing and researching SA's passes and poorts and keeping them there for posterity. Anyone with log-in issues should contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will gladly resolve any technical issues for you. It is good practice when you open the site to first log-in on the LOG-IN page.

For those subscribing or upgrading, once your account has been activated, our system sends you an automated email with a click back authentication code, which verifies your email as the correct IP address. This is to ensure that we prevent any spam onto our system. Some servers tag these automated emails as junk mail or spam, so please remember to check your junk folder if you dont receive the authentication email within a day.

Ben 10 Eco-Challenge

Entries for the Ben 10 Eco-Challenge are at 28 already, with just 1 person having so far successfully completed the challenge. If you want to enter, please use this link to complete the entry form and please note that entry is free. The concept behind the challenge is to support eco-tourism in the Eastern Cape Highlands. Remember there are three weekend accommodation prizes being offered as prizes for those successfully completing the challenge. We will draw one lucky winner every time that 20 entries have completed the challenge. Weekends on offer are at Tiffindell Ski Resort, Tenahead Mountain Lodge and the Mountain Shadows Hotel.

Enter the challenge on this link: http://mountainpassessouthafrica.co.za/find-a-pass/ben10.html

 

 

The migration from free site to subscription site has been successfully completed, but many people had issues with the log-in system and other technical issues. Each and every one of those were personally addressed and resolved. Besides the 4500 automated emails that were dispatched, we answered a further 1802 emails in person in an effort to ensure that everyone is happy. If anyone needs assistance with access or log-in issues, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

As a reward to all those who have subscribed, there wll be various incentives available, so keep an eye on the online shop, plus we will announce these via this news letter. The news letter itself will remain free to everyone, as will all other menu components of the website, including the Master Map and the Extreme Passes page.

For those paying per EFT, please remember to email your proof of payment so we can activate your account as soon as we can. Also a reminder to anyone who genuinely cannot afford the subscription, that we do have a pro-bono policy in place, but will require proof of income to validate the free subscription. Just send us an email.

Today's pass is one of those off the beaten track roads that very few people know about. Often it is these scenic little quiet back roads that completely captivate the more adventurous traveller. This gravel poort follows one of those typical Karoo rivers which are bone dry for most of the year, yet become dangerous, raging torrents when the rains eventually come. This one is near Laingsburg and the famous flood of 1981 brings back vivid memories when floods in the area brought devastation and heartache to the small Karoo town.

 

Firstly we need to acknowledge the unprecedented support of our subscribers in terms of signing up for the annual subscription. What it tells us is that the vast majority understand the quality and effort that has gone into the creation and constant improvement to the website. Only one person out of all our subscribers had a small whinge about the cost of the subscription, but after a short email conversation, he too took up the subscription. In effect we have had 100% conversion to the new format. It wasn't without a few technical glitches here and there, but we have worked diligently on resolving all of the transfer problems and will continue to do so until every last subscriber is happy and logged in successfully with us.

In between resolving log-in issues we found a really nice pass for you to enjoy this week. It's one of our perennial favourites and rate it one of the two most beautiful poorts in South Africa. We refilmed it on the 14th December, 2016 in perfect summer weather and produced the 18 km long drive over a double feature video set.

Another action packed week for the people running the admin department at MPSA as our transition into the subscription module is happening relatively smoothly. Many of our subscribers had forgotten their user names and passwords, so we've created a special help page to help those having difficulties with the changeover. Please use this link:

http://mountainpassessouthafrica.co.za/members/help.html

If you are receiving this news letter, it means you are either an upgraded (paid) subscriber or still on the free option until the 28th February, 2017. We urge all of you who have not yet upgraded to the paid option, to do so BEFORE the end of this month, to avoid a bottle-neck on that day. For all of you that have already upgraded, thank you for your valued support of the project.

Over the past few weeks, we have systematically featured the passes forming part of the Ben 10 Eco Challenge. We especially went to the Eastern Cape in December to refilm all of the passes, to provide up to date video footage for everyone wanting to complete the challenge. There are only two passes left to feature and this week it is the turn of the steepest of the 10 passes.

Mountain Passes South Africa

Our website is 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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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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