Swartberg Pass (North side, gravel)

 Swartberg Pass (North side, gravel)   

The Swartberg Pass is for many South Africans, the rubicon of gravel road passes. There is an allure and a mystique around this old pass, coupled with its status as a national monument, which elevates this pass to the very top of the list. It was Thomas Bain’s final and best piece of road building. It was built using convict labour, and opened on 10 January 1888. The dry-stone retaining walls, supporting some of its hairpin bends, are still in place and over 130 years old. The Swartberg mountains are amongst the best exposed fold mountain chains in the world, and the pass slices through magnificently scenic geological formations. The contortions in the rock display astonishing anticlines and synclines, and the vivid coloration of the surrounding Quartzite is remarkable. The pass is especially known for the unusual geology that is exposed at its Northern end. Here, seven-hundred-metre-high quartzite cliffs of the upper Table Mountain Group can be seen, and these are often tilted through 90 degrees (sometimes even more). Arguably the most famous of all these cliff faces is the spectacular ’Wall of Fire’. Much of the Swartberg is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Region: Western Cape
City: Prince Albert

Distance: 13.34 km
Elevation Gain: 892 m
Elevation Loss: 63 m
Difficulty: 837 (Hard)
FIETS Index: 5.19 FIETS
Avg Grade: 6.25 %
Max cat climb: HC
Min elevation: 737 m
Max elevation: 1568 m
Ride Category: Epic Climb

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Rank Name Date Time Power W/Kg Speed
* Elevation power correction

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