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Mnweni Marathon

Intermediate/Difficult
 5.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Loop consisting of Mnweni Pass and Rockeries Pass.


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Map Key

23.4

Miles

37.7

KM

82%

Runnable

9,501' 2,896 m

High

4,189' 1,277 m

Low

5,917' 1,804 m

Up

5,917' 1,803 m

Down

10%

Avg Grade (5°)

110%

Max Grade (48°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Birding · Cave · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

Start and end at Mnweni Cultural Centre. Fairly easy going with a serious climb up onto the desert plain before an equally serious drop back down for a loop you'll not soon forget.

Need to Know

Typically hiked counterclockwise

Runner Notes

Although local guides and outfitters claim this will take between four and five days to hike, there are plenty of trail runners that do it for fun in a few hours.

Description

Come enjoy the spectacular Mnweni area of the Drakensberg. Before the run, consider enjoying some authentic Zulu culture and hospitality at the Mnweni Cultural Centre.

Mnweni is widely regarded as one of the region's best running destinations. As you make your way up the Mnweni Cutback you'll enjoy a sense of isolated ambience and a feeling of having all of nature to yourselves.

Expect to sweat hard as you encounter the first of two steep mountain passes, the Mnweni Pass. Once on top it is an easy trek to the opposite rim and Rockeries Pass. Your camera's memory cards will be nearing capacity when you see spectacular peaks the likes of The Pinnacles or the Inner and Outer Mnweni Needles. For sure make point of getting a panoramic view of the loose-standing Mponjwane and Rockeries Tower. These peaks are legendary in the Drakensberg.

Consider taking it up a notch and try camping overnight in one of the two caves near the top of Mnweni Pass. The Ledgers and Mponjwane Caves nearby offer comfortable camping on the edge of the escarpment.

Descend the Rockeries Pass and into the valley below. Be sure to take it easy down the very steep slopes of Rockeries Pass. Once you reach the valley floor, it levels out and running is easy the rest of the way back to the Mnweni Cultural Centre.

Contacts

Shared By:

Joseph States

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#1700

Overall
  5.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#13

in South Africa

#1,700

Overall
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158 Since Jan 18, 2021
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Mnweni Pass
Jan 18, 2021 near Bergville, ZA

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