THE TRAILS

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EXTREME

Runtheberg 2-Day Trail Race

Exclusively single-track, foot-path or mountain-running.
Technical in places; lots of steep climbing and descent; boulder hopping and rock jumping; river crossings; great balance between some steep climbs, technical trail and fast running.

EXTREME DAY 1

25km of spectacular mountain running along the ridgeline of the Little Berg, the mountains forming the border between KZN and the Free State. With a net ascent of 1600m this one is for the climbers. A large part of the route takes place on the The Cavern’s famous Big Five Hiking Route. Look out for magnificent views of the soaring Amphitheatre to the west, and sprawling Tugela River Valley to the east while Sterkfontein Dam sparkles to the north.

EXTREME DAY 2

This one is for the runners. 25km of mostly fast runnable single-track flowing through the gorgeous Putterill Valley in the imposing shadow of The Amphitheatre. The route starts and finishes at All Out Adventures, with most of the day’s 820m net ascent coming in the form of the demanding but hugely rewarding climb up and over the magnificent Montusi Peak in the middle.

EXTREME

Runtheberg 2-Day Trail Race

Exclusively single-track, foot-path or mountain-running.
Technical in places; lots of steep climbing and descent; boulder hopping and rock jumping; river crossings; great balance between some steep climbs, technical trail and fast running.

EXTREME DAY 1

25km of spectacular mountain running along the ridgeline of the Little Berg, the mountains forming the border between KZN and the Free State. With a net ascent of 1600m this one is for the climbers. A large part of the route takes place on the The Cavern’s famous Big Five Hiking Route. Look out for magnificent views of the soaring Amphitheatre to the west, and sprawling Tugela River Valley to the east while Sterkfontein Dam sparkles to the north.

EXTREME DAY 2

This one is for the runners. 25km of mostly fast runnable single-track flowing through the gorgeous Putterill Valley in the imposing shadow of The Amphitheatre. The route starts and finishes at All Out Adventures, with most of the day’s 820m net ascent coming in the form of the demanding but hugely rewarding climb up and over the magnificent Montusi Peak in the middle.

EXTREME DAY 1

EXTREME DAY 2

CHALLENGE

Runtheberg 2-Day Trail Race

Exclusively single-track, foot-path or mountain-running.
Moderately technical; some climbing/descent; boulders & rivers; lots of good running.
Panoramic views, spectacular scenery and the best that the Montusi Valley has to offer.

CHALLENGE DAY 1

17km of technical, runnable single-track trail with a net ascent of 780m. This is a spectacular day of challenging and rewarding true mountain trail running.

CHALLENGE DAY 2

This is a day for running and views. 15km of awesome fast runnable single-track flowing through the gorgeous Putterill Valley in the imposing shadow of The Amphitheatre.

CHALLENGE

Runtheberg 2-Day Trail Race

Exclusively single-track, foot-path or mountain-running.
Moderately technical; some climbing/descent; boulders & rivers; lots of good running.
Panoramic views, spectacular scenery and the best that the Montusi Valley has to offer.

CHALLENGE DAY 1

17km of technical, runnable single-track trail with a net ascent of 780m. This is a spectacular day of challenging and rewarding true mountain trail running.

CHALLENGE DAY 2

This is a day for running and views. 15km of awesome fast runnable single-track flowing through the gorgeous Putterill Valley in the imposing shadow of The Amphitheatre.

CHALLENGE DAY 1

CHALLENGE DAY 2

LITE

Runtheberg 2-Day Trail Race

16km of single-track mountain running, reasonably technical with great views. A perfect race for beginners wanting to dip their toes in trail running.

LITE DAY 1

9km of single-track mountain running. Just about the most fun a trail can give while still being called “Lite”.

LITE DAY 2

Just over 6km of awesome, fast, runnable single-track flowing through the gorgeous Putterill Valley in the imposing shadow of The Amphitheatre.

LITE

Runtheberg 2-Day Trail Race

16km of single-track mountain running, reasonably technical with great views. A perfect race for beginners wanting to dip their toes in trail running.

LITE DAY 1

9km of single-track mountain running. Just about the most fun a trail can give while still being called “Lite”.

LITE DAY 2

Just over 6km of awesome, fast, runnable single-track flowing through the gorgeous Putterill Valley in the imposing shadow of The Amphitheatre.

LITE DAY 1

LITE DAY 2

extreme day 1

The trail starts with a friendly downhill from the lawns at The Cavern, giving runners a chance to warm up nicely before turning uphill on the jeep track towards Sungubala. The field is nicely spread and legs are moving when it turns onto a fantastic stretch of runnable single track towards and through the ancient magical Fern Forest before starting the long and steep ascent up the mighty Hlolela Mountain, where the Extreme earns its name.

The climb starts with a series of steep zig-zags up to the base of the Ace of Clubs – 3 dramatic sandstone cliffs – followed by a dramatic scramble up the rocks, roots and ladders of Cilla Gully, where runners will pop out only to realise that the trail still goes up and up. The notorious Nose will truly test your head for heights with a non-technical but quad-busting vertiginous climb up a trail that falls steeply away on both sides, but the views are stupendous! The top of the climb eventually comes at 2137m, the highpoint of the race, and runners are rewarded on clear days with the incomparable panorama of the unmistakeable Amphitheatre and magnificent Northern Drakensberg.

The climbing isn’t over. Following a sketchy descent its time to conquer Battleship, after which runners get to enjoy a good few kilometres of exhilarating undulating ridge running as they reel in the peaks of Cold Hill and Sugarloaf. In good weather conditions we recommend that those not racing take some time to soak in the environment, the views, and the feeling of running on the top of the world.

What goes up must come down. The aptly named Devil’s Staircase will test the downhill skills (and knees) of even the most experienced runners, and vertigo sufferers will once again have to close their eyes and hold tight as they drop down the treacherous Cavern Gap.

Next stop is the welcome Water Table in the dramatic Cannibal Cave, where runners will have a chance to replenish water stocks and tuck into some delicious treats before setting out on the fantastic run to the Finish at All Out Adventures. What follows is some of the most memorable runnable mountain single track that a trail runner will have the pleasure of running. The trail stays high and undulating for the next few km before dropping down steeply to the 2nd Water Table where it joins up with the Challenge route. From there it’s about 8km of flowing single-track across a high plateau with spectacular birds-eye views before dropping down fast running mountainside switchbacks into the Race Village and home!!

extreme day 2

The route follows the Quad Trail out of All Out Adventures, gifting runners with some gloriously meandering downhill track to the day’s first river crossing. After some boulder hopping (and probably some wet feet) the trail follows the river for some fast scenic running before climbing out of the valley and a long cliff-top section with fantastic views of the river below. The fairly flat trail takes in more cliff-top views, waterfalls and runnable single-track before the gentle climb up to the first Water Table at the inviting Montusi Dam (swimming recommended!).

At the Checkpoint Extreme runners take the left split along the water’s edge towards the beginning of the day’s Big Climb. The trail climbs sharply above the dam and through the aptly named Baboon Forest (watch out for big baboons here), after which it flattens out and follows a fabulously runnable and spectacularly scenic contour path high above the Alpine Heath Valley with the Amphitheatre looming in the near distance.

Approaching the prominent Montusi Peak, runners will negotiate a challenging rock band before popping out near the peak, loop around the flat-topped summit and then begin the exhilarating descent down several steep ledges until joining up with the Nook Road for a gloriously fast run down to the Runway. The trail then heads towards the Wanhoop Valley (literally the Valley of Lost Hope, or Despair, which it can really be on a hot day), meandering along the river before climbing to the aptly named Lone Tree Water Station and Checkpoint with about 7km to go. After the Checkpoint there’s a nice section of flowing trail before a thrilling descent angling down the face of the gorge to the river before the final river crossing, the fun climb up the rocky and often wet face of Owl’s Pass, and the last (uphill) stretch home, with just one final forest loop around the Race Village before emerging out of the trees to the welcome sight of the Finish Line!

challenge day 1

The trail starts with a friendly downhill from the lawns at The Cavern, giving runners a chance to warm up nicely before turning uphill on the jeep track towards Sungubala. The field is nicely spread and legs are moving when it turns onto a fantastic stretch of runnable single track towards and through the ancient magical Fern Forest. Exiting the forest Challenge runners continue straight along a wonderfully runnable contour path after Extreme runners split off and begin their brutal climb up Hlolela. The track is at its most technical here as it undulates into and out of the crook of the valley below the towering sandstone cliffs of The Little Berg, climbing the bridle path up to Top Dams above The Cavern, the first Checkpoint at Pascoe’s Pools, and the high point of the day’s route.

From there the drop is fairly steep but runnable for the adventurous (or brave), descending to join up with the Grotto Hiking Trail along the incredibly scenic Surprise Ridge. The trail stays high on undulating flowing single-track with spectacular view above and below before re-joining the Extreme at the day’s only Aid Station. From there it’s about 8km of flowing single-track across a high plateau with spectacular birds-eye views before dropping down fast running mountainside switchbacks into the Race Village and home!

challenge day 2

The route follows the Quad Trail out of All Out Adventures, gifting runners with some gloriously meandering downhill track to the day’s first river crossing. After some boulder hopping (and probably some wet feet) the trail follows the river for some fast scenic running before climbing out of the valley and a long cliff-top section with fantastic views of the river below. The fairly flat trail takes in more cliff-top views, waterfalls and runnable single-track before the gentle climb up to the first Water Table at the inviting Montusi Dam (swimming recommended!).

Challenge runners will turn right at the Water Table towards the Montusi Resort, heading gently uphill for a while before the trail turns down and heads towards the Wanhoop Valley (literally the Valley of Lost Hope, or Despair, which it can really be on a hot day), meandering along the river before climbing to the aptly named Lone Tree Water Station and Checkpoint with about 7km to go. After the Checkpoint there’s a nice section of flowing trail before a thrilling descent angling down the face of the gorge to the river before the final river crossing, the fun climb up the rocky and often wet face of Owl’s Pass, and the last (uphill) stretch home, with just one final forest loop around the Race Village before emerging out of the trees to the welcome sight of the Finish Line!

lite day 1

The trail starts with a friendly downhill from the lawns at The Cavern, giving runners a chance to warm up nicely before being taken onto the single-track for about half a kilometre where a fun scramble uphill pops out at a Water Table and the trail joins the Extreme and Challenge routes. From there it’s about 8km of flowing single-track across a high plateau with spectacular birds-eye views before dropping down fast running mountainside switchbacks into the Race Village and home!

lite day 2

The route follows the Quad Trail out of All Out Adventures, gifting runners with some gloriously meandering downhill track to the river. From there it follows the course of a spectacular bend in the river below the steepest section of the gorge before re-joining the Extreme and Challenge routes for the last (uphill) stretch home. One final forest loop around the Race Village awaits before emerging out of the trees to the welcome sight of the Finish Line!