Rules - 9 Peaks

The 9 Peaks Challenge is a bit more complex than many other mountain adventures in that it crosses different sections of private land, and indeed most of South Africa. The challenge is also divided in numerous categories, often with complex logistics. For these reasons a detailed set of rules are required to keep the challenge fair and transparent. 

Categories

  • SOLO - ​One person completes the challenge. The individual is solely responsible for all planning, logistics, driving and completion of each peak on foot.

  • PAIR - Two challengers of the same gender complete the trip together. The pair are responsible for all planning, logistics, driving and completion of each peak on foot. Both challengers must ascend all nine peaks together. A pair will automatically challenge the applicable team category as well.

  • MIXED PAIR - Two people (1 male & 1 female) complete the challenge together. The pair are responsible for all planning, logistics, driving and completion of each peak on foot. Both challengers must ascend all nine peaks together. A mixed pair automatically challenges the mixed team category as well.

  • MALE TEAM - Two or more male challengers complete the trip together. The challengers are responsible for all planning, logistics, driving and completion of each peak on foot. All challengers must ascend all nine peaks together. If the team consists of only two men they will automatically challenge the pairs record.

  • FEMALE TEAM - Two or more female challengers complete the trip together. The challengers are responsible for all planning, logistics, driving and completion of each peak on foot. All challengers must ascend all nine peaks together. If the team consists of only two women they will automatically challenge the pairs record.

  • MIXED TEAM - Two or more people complete the challenge together. At least one challenger must be of the opposite gender. The challengers are responsible for all planning, logistics, driving and completion of each peak on foot. All challengers must ascend all nine peaks together.

  • CYCLE - Any number of people may complete the challenge together. The individual or team challengers are responsible for all planning, logistics and completion of each peak on foot. All challengers must ascend all nine peaks and complete the full road journey on the bike together.​ A safety vehicle is allowed.

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General Rules (applicable to all participants)

  1. Don't be an idiot. Respect the people that have gone before you and respect the challenge. Most importantly, please respect all landowners and those that hope to follow in your footsteps.

  2. The correct coordinates for all summits must be recorded to within 200 meters.

  3. Only legal road travel e.g. licensed vehicle, motorbike etc. is allowed.

  4. No designated drivers are allowed for any of the categories. A safety vehicle is allowed with the cycle challenge.

  5. Challengers must adhere to the rules of the road at all times, including speed limits on public roads.

  6. The challenge is self-contained and all aspects of planning, logistics and travel should be completed by the official challenger/s only.

  7. Prior to a record attempt the current record holder/s for the applicable category as well as the challenge administrator must be informed of the challenge.

  8. 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. Check beforehand with the current record holder whether they will accept the proof you will provide.

  9. The clock starts at the foot of the first peak and stops on the summit of the last peak.

  10. 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.

  11. 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 to avoid breaking the rules.

  12. Challengers must obtain the necessary access permissions at least ten days in advance where private landowners are involved. Don't mess it up for future challengers. Please thank all land owners after accessing their property.

  13. 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 10 calendar days. Upon receipt of all relevant information the verification process may take no longer than 14 calendar days.

  14. Upon completion and verification the details of the new record must be submitted to the challenge administrator for final verification and site updates.

  15. We urge all challengers to always act responsibly and safely, with integrity and honesty. Please respect those that have gone before you and those that still wish to follow. Do not break the rules, disrespect access arrangements or act dishonestly.

Cycle Specific Rules

  1. All general and peak specific rules apply, except where otherwise stated. To avoid any uncertainty please check with the challenge administrator.

  2. ​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.

  3. Portages are permitted to and from the peak for practical 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).

  4. A safety vehicle is allowed to travel with the team for the duration 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. Please do not disrespect the challenge.

Peak Specific Rules

  • Iron Crown – The vehicle may not be driven to the top of the peak and must be left near the following coordinates.   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 the following coordinates.   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 ten days in advance and sign the required indemnity form. For planning purposes it is important to note that access may only be granted from 7am to 5pm as per the owners instruction. He is often flexible though so feel free to suggest your plans. Ask the challenge administrator for the landowners details to arrange the necessary permissions. Once you are off the property safely please send a thank you text message to the landowner 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. Entrance to the reserve is only allowed until 4pm.

  • Nooitgedacht-west – The vehicle may not be driven or parked closer than 600m from the designated highest point. Please arrange access permissions at least ten days in advance. Contact the challenge administrator for the landowners details. Please remember to thank the landowner afterwards with a phone call or text message.

  • Kwaduma – We advise that the vehicle is parked at Tabase police station for safety reasons. You may however drive up to the following coordinates.   30°30’41.5" S   28°16’25.0″ E   A drop-off may be arranged at the police station if this forms part of your planning. 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 ten days 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 specific pages for more info and Jan's details.

  • 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 challenge administrator as well as the landowner. A map will be provided to assist with your planning here. Please arrange access at least ten days in advance with the landowner. You can get her details from the challenge administrator who will also ask you to sign an indemnity form. Please always remember to be courteous and thank the landowner 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 -  ​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 and be sure to pay your permit fees.

  • 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. Always pay the required permit fees.

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General Rules (applicable to all participants)

Always respect the landowners