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Swartberg pas ride


tunariaan
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After some snow last week me and my wife decided to go see on Sunday if we could get some snow on the top, unfortunately no snow next to the road only right on the top

Here's some pics

Thea still with her pj's

It was cold on the top and windy but not down on the -'C side

http://i51.tinypic.com/2u72c0n.jpg

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Starting right on the top on a bit of a koppie next to the parking spot

This is the view to Prince Albert side

http://i54.tinypic.com/xcw4z5.jpg

1585m above see level

http://i56.tinypic.com/2nkndk1.jpg

http://i56.tinypic.com/2zrnyc8.jpg

We went down from here Outshoorn side, taking photos on the way down and just chilling, got to the tar road about 9km later, turned around and climbed all the way up again

 

http://i54.tinypic.com/2ly20qr.jpg

http://i51.tinypic.com/313svf5.jpg

Turn around point-some snow still ontop of the mountain

Edited by tunariaan
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Shttp://i52.tinypic.com/b6ev45.jpg%5B/img

 

http://i51.tinypic.com/mccegx.jpg

http://i53.tinypic.com/155jjn9.jpg

http://i51.tinypic.com/sxow29.jpg

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http://i53.tinypic.com/r8wjs8.jpg

 

http://i56.tinypic.com/soxxsn.jpg

When we got back to the car i decided to go off on the other side, my wife was a little bit pissed off cause she had to drive and i had all the fun down , halfway i stopped before the main last section going down

Told here to get dressed again and ride down , we would later fetch the car with a lift (plenty of tourist around)

We flew downhill, i avarage the last 6km on 40km/h

Got to the bottom and send some time waiting for a car, manage to get a lift with some gemans and i send my wife to go get the car

Going down-check the road right at the bottom

 

http://i54.tinypic.com/do1a47.jpg

 

waiting for a lift at the bottom

http://i56.tinypic.com/14domco.jpg

 

Lekker chow in Prince Albert afterwards

 

http://i54.tinypic.com/307or61.jpg

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I am sooooooo jealous!!!

 

Swartberg Pass is one of my favourite rides!!! Always rode the Pass from Prince Albert side, still need to do from the southern side one day.

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Cool. That's what life is all about. Doing what you love with the ones you love. On my to-do list.

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just looking at those pictures makes me want to ride.glad you enjoyed it.i have been up there with the mtb before but it was pissing down and windy.still better than any day at the office though.

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I am sooooooo jealous!!!

 

Swartberg Pass is one of my favourite rides!!! Always rode the Pass from Prince Albert side, still need to do from the southern side one day.

 

Yup. The To Hell and Back in Day race always started in Prince Albert. A full 120km in out of Die Hel in one day... I've never been so relieved to see a town again. But ja, magical place.

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That pass is one of our national treasures. It is also the place where I've been the coldest in my life.

 

Nice ride report. Thanks

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http://i53.tinypic.com/r8wjs8.jpg

 

The pass was built by Thomas Bain, a legend and genius in roadbuilding in 1880 to 1890. They used convict labour to build the pass. The picture shows the dry packed retaining walls. These walls were constructed without using any cement or concrete and was built by hand.

Edited by eccentric1
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http://i53.tinypic.com/r8wjs8.jpg

The pass was built as an alternative route for the Karoo farmers to transport their produce to the harbour at Mosselbay. The only 2 other routes go through Meiringspoort and Seweweekspoort respectively. Both these were (and still are) very prone to flood damage and often remained closed for weeks or months while washed away roads were repaired. In the last 100 years since the Swartberg pass was completed it has never been closed for more than a day or two at a time, and then mostly because of heavy snowfalls. Truly the final masterpiece of Thomas Baines.

 

Currently the sad situation is that routine maintenance is not being done. Especially on the Prince Albert side they have not cleaned out those culverts under the dry stone walls. These get blocked and storm water then runs over the road in stead of under it and washaways occur. Sad to see. Lets hope the Prince Albert Municipality wakes up to the fact that this is a major tourist magnet for the town and do something about it soon. Otherwise it will go the same way as the Baviaanskloof road.

 

Btw, Seweweekspoort is another super (but easier) mtb ride. Meiringspoort unfortunately carries a huge volume of traffic and is tarred, and would have made a super road ride if it wasn't so dangerous.

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