Latest News! 7th September, 2017

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Wonder at the beautiful stone walls at this hairpin bend on the Rooiberg Pass Wonder at the beautiful stone walls at this hairpin bend on the Rooiberg Pass - Photo: BikeHub

Red, Blue and Gray

We're going red today. Together with Blou and Vaal, these three colours occupy a considerable number of pass names across the length and breadth of South Africa. On the website we have Rooiberg, Rooinek, Rooipoort, Rooihoogte (2), Rooikloof and Rooi Ivoor. Our featured pass today is the Rooiberg Pass which connects Calitzdorp with the little hamlet of Van Wyksdorp. This pass can be quite daunting to drive in a normal car, but it is doable, providing you pick a window of dry weather and you drive slowly and carefully. Ideally you should be in a higher clearance vehicle, but a 4WD is not mandatory. We refilmed this classic pass during June 2017 and have produced a new video set.

We explore the town of Calitzdorp and unpack it's history; sample some of the finest Port available as we tackle the Rooiberg Pass via a 3 piece video set. The pass, which dates back to 1928 and has a set of magnificent dry packed supporting walls on it's northern side, has almost 70 bends, corners and curves of which 6 are full hairpins, so you will enjoy constantly changing scenery. Near the summit at a bushy clearing, you'll find a large pile of loose stones. Legend has it that every traveller must add a stone to this cairn, to ensure a safe descent down the other side of the pass. The Helskloof Pass in the far Northern Cape has a similar free tolling system. More lower down.....

Winner of the Go Pro HERO Actioncam

And the winner of the GoPro by lucky draw is Corrie van Rensburg of Pretoria North. Corrie subscribed on 18th April, 2017. What an investment that R200 was! Congratulations Corrie. Please call us on 083 658 8888 to claim your prize, so we can make arrangements for the delivery. We will be running a new subscription promo very soon with a different prize. Watch this space....

 

 

Pass Hunting 101
As promised last week, we will feature a brief section of our HELP page each week, to ensure you are able to enjoy all the features we have built into the site. This week we focus on how to find a pass.

There are several ways to do this and depending on what information you have about a pass, you can try any of the following methods.

1. If you know the name of the pass or a part of the name of the pass, go directly to the search bar, which you will find near the top right hand side of each page. Please note that on mobile devices, the search bar appears right at the bottom of the page. Our website is mobile friendly, so it rearranges the way a page displays for optimal viewing enjoyment. Now type the name of the pass you are wanting to find. It is best to leave the word 'pass' out of the title (otherwise you will get a very long list of results!). For example if you are searching for Rooiberg Pass, just type in 'Rooiberg'. A set of results will display in likely order of importance below the search bar. Scroll through the results until you find the pass you are looking for. Click on the hyperlinked name, and the appropriate page will open up. Take care to spell correctly for accurate results. If you're not sure of the spelling, type in just a part of the name (eg Rooi) which will produce every pass or poort with that word in it's title.

2. If you don't know the name of a pass, but you know roughly where it is, please use the Master Map, which we explained in detail last week.

3. If you dont know the name, but you know in which province a pass is, go to the HOME page > FIND A PASS > then select your province of choice. The province will page will download with all the passes in that province displaying alphabetically. Scroll through the passes on each page until you find the one you are looking for.

If you forget any or all of the above, just go to our HELP page, where everything is explained in detail.

Of Hairpins, Aloes, Mystique Tolls and well oiled Villages
Van Wyksdorp was featured two weeks ago as it is the closest inhabited place near the Assegaaibosch Pass. If you intend driving the Rooiberg Pass, you will be driving the Assegaaibosch Pass as well as both passes are part of the same road (P1661). It is highly recommended to read up on that pass as well and watch the video which covers a very narrow section with very steep drop-offs, which can be a bit intimidating for first time users of this road. Between the two passes, there is a long high level valley which carries the perfectly chosen name of Dwars in die Weg. It's of interest that there is another Dwars in die Weg off the N7 in the Sandveld region.

Enjoy the Rooiberg Pass with it's sharp corners, and stunning views. If you get there in late winter you'll be treated to the sight of thousands of bright red flowering aloes. Stop awhile in Van Wyksdorp which must hold the South African record for the most liquor stores for the smallest population!

Please forward this newsletter to family or friends you think might enjoy the content. The featured pass remains open to everyone from Thursday through till Sunday. 


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Trygve Roberts
Editor

Thought for the day: "Happiness lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort" ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt.

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.

View Master Orientation Map...