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:
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.
We have a full news release this week.
Change is always difficult to cope with and we have some major changes taking place within the website this week. The most important change is the switch to a subscription based site. As all our regulars know, we have been working hard on this for the past 4 months (on the technical side of things), which are finally in place and we are ready for the roll-out. Lower down on this page we explain exactly how this will affect you and what actions you need to take to remain on the mailing list and to continue to enjoy full access to the website.
Secondly, after many requests, we are pleased to announce that a zipped file containing all 670 of the route files in a single download, can now be purchased from our online shop. For our paid subscribers there will be an additional benefit of a 10% reduction off any item on the online shop, including the Route Files digital download.
This week's featured pass takes us back into the beautiful Eastern Cape highlands, not far from Rhodes, where we introduce you to an off-the-beaten-track pass that will have you longing for the open spaces and big mountain-scapes.
Our YouTube channel has just surpassed the 1 million views mark. Finally we're in the premiere league! We are still tweaking the switch-over to the subcriber format and it looks like another week before this finally kicks in. We will provide detailed information in next week's news release.
For those wanting to enter the Ben 10 Eco-Challenge, here is the link: BEN 10 ECO CHALLENGE.
This week we leave the stunning scenery of the Eastern Cape Highlands behind and take a drive to Harrismith on the KZN/Free State border. This magnificent part of South Africa offers exceptional scenic beauty with unique sandstone formations stretching for many kilometres along the border.
Our featured pass this week, was submitted by one of our readers (Dennis Green) and we were most surprised when we researched this little pass as to just how steep it was. Our camera man, Mike Leicester, was so taken with this pass, that he urged us to get it into the front of the production queue. A comment he made was "....a bit like it would feel driving down a mine-shaft...."
So steep is this pass with gradients under 1:3 that it would be impossible to drive it if it weren't concreted. It has logged in as the second steepest pass nationally with an average gradient of just under 1:7 . It's not for the faint-hearted.
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.