Monday, 10 March 2014

Drakensberg Grand Traverse: new record attempt

Photo: Kelvin Trautman/ Red Bull Content Pool

Drakensberg Grand Traverse is an unmarked mountain route of approximately 220 kilometres. It runs from the North to the South of the Drakensberg mountains. The route starts from the Sentinal car park and ends at the Bushman’s Nek border post. Various checkpoints/summits have to be visited along the way. These include The Chain Ladders, Mont-aux-Sources summit (3282m), Cleft Peak summit (3277m), Champagne Castle summit (3377m), Mafadi summit (3451m), Giant’s Castle summit (3314m) and Thabana Ntlenyana summit (3482m). Thomathu Pass must be used to descend to Bushman’s Nek.

Rules governing record attempts state that the attempt must be entirely self-supported (i.e. no seconds, food caches or resupplies) and entirely on foot. GPS is allowed.

At the inaugural FEAT event in October 2010 Cobus van Zyl took to the FEAT stage to talk about setting a new record, with Ryno Griesel, of 60 hours, 29 minutes, 30 seconds (men's pair; April 2010). [The solo record still stands at 61hours, 24minutes, 11seconds - it was set in December 2008 by Andrew Porter.]

In his talk, Cobus said that in the right conditions and with athletes in optimal condition taking the perfect routes, that a 40-hour time was possible.

Cobus and Ryno are both adventure racing friends and over the period of 23-27 March 2014 they'll be out there. This time Ryno pairs up with trail runner Ryan Sandes for the attempt. Cobus, together with Ryno's brother Stephan and friend Gert Forster, will handle safety and logistics down below for the pair.

This is going to be one helluva exciting attempt to follow and with Red Bull sponsorship and support it will have all the necessary bells and whistles to track the pair as they work their way across the Drakensberg day and night.

When they actually start will depend on the weather conditions at this time.

You can find all the tracking and info here, on these sites and platforms.

For live tracking and updates visit and also Twitter - @RedBullZA, @RyanSandes and @Ryno_Griesel. Alternatively, track the hashtag #DrakTraverse across all social channels.

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