Latest News! 16th March, 2017

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Looking south-west from the summit over the achingly dry Karoo plains Looking south-west from the summit over the achingly dry Karoo plains - Photo: Trygve Roberts


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

 

 

What is still free to the public on MPSA?

Just a reminder that all of the following are free to the public on the MPSA website:

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Some good reasons to subscribe:
Subscribers get access to the full text description, directions, photos, video, fact file, interactive map, route file and automatically receive the weekly news update. In addition subscribers are entitled to 10% reduction on all products and services offered on our on-line shop. We have some exciting new developements exclusively for our subscribers coming up in 2017.

Route Planning:

We get many requests from readers asking us to plan routes for them. The website is specifically geared to allow any subscriber to plan routes accurately themselves. Please make use of our HELP page, which explains how to use the MASTER MAP effectively for route planning.

Pro-Bono Free Subscription:
At MPSA we recognize that we need to give some people free subscriptions. This category is specifically for those who genuinely cannot afford the R200 per year subscription fee. Please send us an email together with proof of income and we will see how we can assist you. Use this email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

MPSA nominated for an award by the Govt of the Western Cape:
Yesterday we received notification that MPSA has been nominated for an award for 'Best Contribution to the Standardisation and Public Awareness of Geographical Names'. More news on this in two weeks time.

Featured pass of the week:

Our featured pass this week traverses the Sneeuberg range and more specifcally the Wapadsberg mountain. This high altitude pass is located on the R61 route and connects the N9 north of Graaff Reinet with Cradock to the east. This modern version of the pass is a major improvement over the old pass, which remnants can still be seen from the main view-site near the summit.

Along the pass most of the latest engineering techniques can be seen, which include shotcrete supporting of unstable rock faces, wire rock cages to stabilize steeper sections, metal link drop nets to prevent rocks falling on the roadway and long sections of wide V water channels. Most of the steeper sections of the ascents are provided with double lanes to facilitate overtaking of slower moving vehicles. The modern engineering make this pass fairly safe to drive, except in misty, ice or snow conditions.

With a summit altitude of 1768m ASL this pass falls well above the snow line and if you drive this pass in the heart of the winter, make sure you have warm clothing with you, as temperatures regularly fall well below zero. In such cases ice on the tarmac makes driving extremely dangerous and the pass will be closed to traffic.

***** WAPADSBERG PASS *****


New passes added this week:

Saunders Nek (Eastern Cape)
Witkransnek (Eastern Cape)


Trygve Roberts
Editor


Thought for the day: "Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same." -- Carlos Castaneda

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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.
 

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