Here’s something for all you mountain runners! This year’s Four Peaks Mountain Challenge will take place at 6am on Saturday, 1st of October in the Witteberg mountain range near Ficksburg in the Eastern Free State. This challenging mountain is for anyone who wants to challenge the slopes and high ridges of the highest part of the Witteberg – from berg runners and marathon athletes, to serious hikers and others with strong legs!
The Four Peaks Mountain Challenge is a one-day event, organised by individuals from the Mountain Club of South Africa, and presented in collaboration with the management of the Moolmanshoek Guest House and Private Nature Reserve.
This is the perfect oppurtunity to gather a group of friends and head off for a fun yet challenging weekend!
The event will take place in the Moolmanshoek Private Nature Reserve, situated near Visierskerf, the highest peak in the Witteberg mountain range, some 30 km to the north-east of Ficksburg. Moolmanshoek is situated 360 km from Johannesburg, 96 km from Bethlehem and 230 km from Bloemfontein.
2. DATE AND TIME
The challenge will start at 06:00 on Saturday, 1 October 2005 at the Moolmanshoek Guest House. Participants will have to be at Moolmanshoek on the Friday evening for registration and the briefing. On the Saturday evening a braai will be held.
3. THE ROUTE
The route covers a distance of 24 km, traversing the highest part of the Witteberg mountain range and following the high skyline and ridges for most of the distance. It is a circular route, starting at an altitude of 1720 m above sea level and going as high as 2312 m above sea level. The total ascent along the route is more than 1300 meters. Parts of the terrain are so rough that running is not possible. However, most serious hikers and fit people will be able to complete the route within the set time limits.
Along the route you will have to go to the summit of the First Pyramid (2167 m), continue past the Second Pyramid to the beacon at Die Hoek (2227 m). From here to the east and south east, following the ridges, over Jacobsberg (2258 m), down through The Neck (2030 m) and up towards Visierskerf, traversing below the cliffs of this peak on the eastern slopes. With the rough slopes of Visierskerf behind you, it is along the ridges again to the summit of Sikonyelle’s Hat (2312 m) and then all the way down the mountain to the west and north west, and back along farm roads to Moolmanshoek.
4. THE CHALLENGE
While the athletes make a serious race of the challenge and the top competitors manage to finish the race in less than 3 ½ hours, the challenge for the more average people is to do it in less than 8 hours (men) and 9 hours for women. Each participant completing the distance in less than this, will get a Four Peaks medal. The first five men and five women to finish, each get a gold medal, while the others get silver. The first men and the first woman home will also get a trophy. Participants will be totally self-sustainable. Because there is no water along the route, every participant must carry his/her own water/fluids for the total distance. This is part of the challenge.
5. CHECK POINTS
There will be 4 checkpoints along the route, where two marshals will be on duty at each point. They will have basic medical kit and will be in contact with the base at the starting point. Cut-off times will be applied at the last two checkpoints. A 4×4 vehicle will be on standby for possible emergencies.
The following items will be compulsory for all participants: All-terrain shoes/boots, a daypack, water bottle and additional fluid container (3 to 4 litre capacity), high energy food for the day, hat and sunblock, rain jacket, space blanket, plasters and bandage, cell phone and (optional): sun glasses and a camera. A 1: 50 000 map of the area and the route will be provided to all participants and must also be taken along.
There are different types of basic accommodation available to participants and their companions in the Moolmanshoek Reserve, which have all been reserved for the weekend. All of these are at Langesnek, which is about two kilometres from the Guest House and starting point. There are two group dormitories, a backpacker hut (old farm house), and also the new double rooms. There is also ample space to pitch your own tent on the lawns at Langesnek, using the ablution facilities of the dormitories. The Waterkloof house is not available for accommodation any more.
To secure accommodation, you will have to indicate your preference on the entry form. Moolmanshoek has made the accommodation available at special tariffs, and here are the details: Tent camping: R40 per person per night (pre-school kids free); Dormitories: R50 per person per night; Backpacker hut: R55 per person per night; Double rooms (two persons in each) with communal ablution facilities: R75 per person per night; Double room with own bathroom: R100 per person per night. If a kid occupies a bed, the same tariff is charged.
Should you prefer luxurious and more private accommodation, the Moolmanshoek Guest House offer upmarket guest rooms. Please arrange for Guest House accommodation directly with Moolmanshoek: Tel. (051) 933 2220.
8. MEALS AND DRINKS
During the weekend, the Moolmanshoek Guest House will offer two meals to all participants and their companions. On Friday night, you can enjoy a nice pasta rich meal during the registration and briefing session. On Saturday night a delicious braai will be offered during the prize-giving event. A bar service will be available on both nights. The cost of these meals will be R45 for the Friday night and R55 for the Saturday night’s braai). These meals are highly recommended, although you can take your own food if you wish to. The rest of the weekend will be self-catering. You can prepare your own food at the backpacker accommodation, which is equipped with refrigerators, gas stoves, some pots and pans and kitchen utensils.
9. ENTRIES & PAYMENT
Per attachment you will find the ENTRY FORM for the event. The completed form must be e-mailed/faxed/mailed to reach the organizers by 12 September 2005. The entry fee is R120 per participant. This fee, as well as the payment for the accommodation and the two function meals, must be paid before this date. Payment by direct deposit will be preferred. And remember: only 120 entries can be accepted. Late entries will be penalized by adding an additional R40 to the entry fee. No entries will be accepted after 20 September 2005.