The objective of the 9 Peaks Challenge is to successfully ascend the highest point of each province of the Republic of South Africa, and in the fastest possible time. The 9 Peaks Challenge is a test of endurance and includes travel on foot and on the national roads network.
- The correct grid references for summits and specified vehicle parking (where applicable) must be reached and recorded to within 150m.
- The challenger/s may only make use of legal road travel to move between peaks.
- No designated drivers are allowed for any of the categories. A safety vehicle is allowed with the cycle challenge.
- Challengers must adhere to the rules of the road at all times, including speed limits on public roads. As far as possible proof must be provided as part of the verification process. For this rule an element of trust and respect for the challenge is involved.
- The challenge is self-contained and all aspects of planning, logistics and travel should be completed by the official challengers/s only.
- There are no minimum equipment requirements but challengers are urged to act responsibly and safely at all times.
- Prior to a record attempt the current record holder/s for the applicable category must be informed of the challenge.
- An accepted tracking or recording device must be used throughout to provide sufficient evidence of routes, summit points, travel time and all other aspects of the challenge.
- The clock starts at the foot of the first peak and stops on the summit of the last peak.
- The challenge can be done in any sequence but may only be started at one of the following two peaks. From the north at Iron Crown or from the south at Seweweekspoort Peak. Please refer to the peak specific rules for further guidance.
- Some of the peaks have easy access and in some cases may even allow for vehicle travel to the top. Please refer to the peak specific rules for further guidance.
- Challengers must obtain the necessary access permissions at least two weeks in advance where private landowners are involved. Don't mess it up for future challengers. Please thank all land owners after accessing their property.
- All record attempts must be verified by the existing record holder/s. To claim a record all relevant tracking details, photographic proof and other requirements as stipulated in the rules must be submitted to the current record holder/s within 14 calendar days. Upon receipt of all relevant information the verification process may take no longer than 14 calendar days.
- Upon completion and final verification the details of the new record must be submitted to www.ninepeaks.co.za for updating.
- We urge all challengers to always act responsibly, safely, with integrity and honesty. Please respect those that have gone before you and more importantly, those that still wish to follow. Do not break the rules, disrespect access arrangements or act dishonestly.
Cycle Specific Rules
- All general rules and peak specific rules apply, except where it is evident that a rule, or part of a rule, is not applicable. To avoid any uncertainty please connect with the current FKT holder/s or CONTACT the site administrator.
- The entire distance must be covered on foot or by bicycle. Challengers can decide when to switch from the bicycle onto foot for the ascents. It is the challenger/s responsibility to ensure that this does not transgress any area, landowner or environmental rules. Please apply some common sense in this regard.
- Portages are permitted to and from the peak for practicality and safety reasons. To account for this the distance portaged must be cycled the day before the climb (e.g. from accommodation to base of Kwaduma and back).
- A safety vehicle is allowed to travel with the team for the duration and full distance of the challenge. It is imperative that this vehicle adhere to the peak specific rules where vehicle parking locations are concerned. The safety or backup vehicle can carry supplies, safety equipment and anything else that is required. Challengers are not allowed to travel in the safety vehicle, except where a portage is required as referred to in Cycle Specific Rule 3. A high level of trust, integrity and honesty is required with this rule.
Peak Specific Rules
- Iron Crown – The vehicle may not be driven to the top of the peak and must be left near 24°00’44.0″ S 29°56’47.0″ E . If this is the challenge starting point the clock starts as you leave the vehicle.
- De Berg – The vehicle may not be driven to the top of the peak and must be left at the gate near 25°14’17.5″ S 30°08’15.0″ E . Do not park in front of the gate as this will block access for other vehicles. Please arrange access permission at least two weeks in advance. For planning purposes it is important to note that access will only be granted from 7am to 5pm as per the owners instruction. Ask the site administrator for the owner, Hendrik's details to arrange permission. You will also need to sign an indemnity form. Once you are off the property safely please send a thank you text message to Hendrik or give him a call.
- Toringkop – The vehicle may not be driven or parked closer than 400m from the designated highest point. Please take note of gate closing times and pay the required entrance fee to the reserve. At last contact the reserve confirmed gate times from 7am to 6pm. Entrance to the reserve is only allowed until 4pm.
- Nooitgedacht – The vehicle may not be driven or parked closer than 400m from the designated highest point. Please arrange access permission at least two weeks in advance. You may need to sign an indemnity and an access fee normally applies at the owners discretion. Please remember to thank the land owner afterwards with a phone call or text message. Please read through the peak pages for more info.
- Kwaduma – We advise that the vehicle is parked at Tabase police station for safety. You may however drive up to or near grid reference 30°30’41.5" S 28°16’25.0″ E , either in your own vehicle or with a lift. Parking at the village school may also be used if this can be arranged. Please remember to always be courteous to the people in the area and thank the police and others for any assistance. Please avoid private property in the village. It is advisable to call ahead to the police station.
- Seweweekspoort Peak - May be approached from the north or south. If this is the challenge starting point the clock starts as you leave the old gate on the public road near 33°21’59.0″ S 21°21’54.0" E , when coming from the north. If starting from the south the clock starts from the parking near 33°27’24.5″ S 21°23’07.0″ E . Contact must be established at least two weeks in advance with Jan Viljoen to give him an indication of your proposed dates and plans. Once off the mountain please confirm with Jan that you are safe by means of a phone call or text message. Please read through the peak pages for more info.
- Murch Point - This peak must only be approached on foot from the direction and across the property that we have permission for. You can discuss this in more detail with the site administrator as well as the land owners. Please arrange access at least two weeks in advance with Lynette. You can get her details from the site administrator. You may need to sign an indemnity and an access fee may apply at the owners discretion. Please always remember to be courteous and thank Lynette and her team afterwards. They have always been of great assistance. Please close all gates and read through the peak pages for more info.
- Namahadi - Namahadi may be approached from any direction. If accessing from the Sentinel Car Park always sign the mountain rescue register prior to leaving from the parking lot.
- Mafadi - The mountain rescue register must be completed and signed at the relevant KZN Wildlife office prior to starting out on foot. Please take a clear photo of this to include with your supporting documents and details. These registers are usually available even if the office is closed. Any mountain pass may be used for the ascent and descent. For planning purposes please ensure you are familiar with the gate entry times, which differ depending on the season. It is advisable to phone ahead to announce your intentions.