This past weekend Afriski Mountain Resort was abuzz. With 3 days of daring adventure awaiting the Snow+Rock 2017 riders the long weekend promised to be spectacular. With a diverse and exciting schedule planned, Afriski did not disappoint. Once again, visitors to the Mountain Kingdom left with new experiences and fond memories.
Riders of all experience levels had the opportunity to put their skills to the test. The Afriski guides, with their intimate knowledge of the local routes and trails, escorted the enthusiastic riders through valleys, around bends and over mountains. Over the three days of hard riding, Snow+Rock contestants were treated to all of the topographical extremes of Lesotho. The riders returned tired to the resort each afternoon, but each with the biggest of grins. Over the Snow+Rock weekend, the riders experienced some of the most beautiful roads and vistas in Southern Africa.
Friday morning’s weather was perfect – blue skies and little wind. The enduro riders gathered under an Afriski branded tent just across the border alongside the Caledon’s River. The riders were eager to depart. Crossing the dry river bed posed some challenges – especially the section known as the tight squeeze. Living up to its name, this technical section of the route forced riders to tackle tight corners and narrow exits in the soft, dry sand.
While the enduro riders were struggling around tight corners in the soft sand of the Caledon’s riverbed, the adventure bike riders were leaving Clarens in the dust. The route passed through Golden Gate and into Lesotho via Monantsa’s Pass. At this point, some of the adventure riders headed back to the resort – the call of a cold Maluti beer just too strong. The remaining riders continued on to the finish at Mamohase.
The second day of riding began at Mamohase. An easy going green route and technical red route were the choices for the day. The green routers took a leisurely ride towards the KhuKhune River. The first technical section of the green route involved jumping over an eroded gap along the route. One of the riders described this section as initially “intimidating, but not so scary” once completed. With heart rates now a little higher, the green route continued on through the mountains and local villages.
The awe inspiring Dragon’s Back was the next challenge. With steps and turns, this sheer cliff section is even more thrilling than a Games of Thrones novel. The red route riders also had the pleasure of riding the Dragon’s Back. This, after already handling some tricky technical sections at Passes by Pools. By this stage, the heat was deadly – and Proposal Pass, Divorce and Pipeline Hill still awaited. Seeing the photographers at the top of Pipeline Hill, all exhaustion was temporarily forgotten. With the photo shoot now behind them, the route dropped down into the riverbed once more. A claystone downhill section was the last challenge before heading back to Mamohase and the waiting trailers.
Kith and Kin entertained the tired riders with soft acoustics during dinner. The party started when 4AM took to the stage.
Trail options included a mixture of both on-road and off-road riding. Some of the adventure motorcycle riders only travelled along the tarred roads, but others were keen to tackle the more adventurous off-road trails heading towards Katse Dam. Although a long day, the outride to this impressive dam was well worth the effort. Despite travelling the same routes, each rider had a different story to tell.
Thank You to Our Sponsors
Thank you to all the parties and organisors involved in making Snow+Rock 2017 such a successful event: Afriski, Raceworx KTM, Wild West Enduro and all their staff. We’re looking forward to the 2018 Snow+Rock event!