What is the Ben 10 Challenge? And more importantly, why should you join us to complete it?
The Ben10 Eco challenge was the conceptualised in 2011, as an ongoing event to draw adventure travelers to this remote part of the Eastern Cape, and support ecotourism industry in the Rhodes/Wartrail area, by Mountain Passes of South Africa founder – Tygrave Roberts.
It took a couple of years for them to documents the routes and set up the challenge “officially”, but in 2017, the first person, other than the MPSA crew members to complete the challenge was a gentleman by the name of Rudi Pieters from Gauteng, on a BMW GSA 1200.
Since then, over 170 people have officially completed the challenge, mostly in 4x4s or Adventure/Offroad motorcycles. Only a brave few have managed to tackle and complete the challenge under human power (7, to be exact)….and we want to change that.
So, we hear you asking, what is the actual aim of the challenge? Pretty simple actually. MPSA have identified 10 high altitude passes in the Rhodes/Wartrail area, and the challenge is to successfully complete each of the 10 passes, within a maximum 7-day window. Because Adventure Solutions fully support the “slow” movement, we would love to make use of the full 7 days, but we also understand that people are limited with the amount of leave that they have available, and we need to remain cognisant of this, so we are giving you 5 days to complete the challenge.
So, what are the 10 passes then, we hear you ask, and here is the list:
01. Ben MacDhui Pass (3001m)
02. Carlisleshoekspruit Pass (2563m)
03. Volunteershoek Pass (2581m]
04. Naudes Nek Pass (2590m]
05. Lundin’s Nek Pass (2170m)
06. Joubert’s Pass (2234m)
07. Bastervoetpad Pass (2240m]
08. TTT [Tiffindell-Tenahead Traverse] (2720m)
09. Otto du Plessis Pass (2115m)
10. Barkly Pass (2018m)
Some of these names may sound familiar, and some less so. What we can assure you is that all of these 10 passes will deliver, in equal proportions, Burning Lungs, breathtaking views, and huge smiles (on the descents).
How does it work, we hear you ask. Well, we will provide a shuttle from JHB, as well as from Cape town, to the beautiful town of Rhodes in the Eastern Cape. If you are travelling from somewhere else, or you just prefer it, you are also welcome to drive yourself there. In Rhodes we will settle into quaint and comfortable accommodation, where we will base ourselves for the next 4 nights.
The following morning, the challenge begins, and we take a drive South to start the challenge off with the Bastervoetpad, then Barkly and finally the Otto du plessis Passes, before loading up the bikes and driving back to Rhodes for the night.
The next day is the big one, as we go up towards Tiffindell Ski Resort, to tackle the crown in the Ben 10 cap, the Tiffindell-Tenahead Traverse, and then up to the top of Ben Mac.
On the third day, we take it “easy”, and only take on two passes for the day, Naudes Nek, and Carlisle Hoek passes, and then return to the hotel for some well deserved R&R.
On the Final day of Riding, we say goodbye to Rhodes, and make our way to tackle the final pass, Jouberts, before making our way slowly back to JHB, overnighting in Bloemfontein (or Graaff Reinet, for the cape town crew), before sadly making our way home.
And finally, for those still wondering, no, you do not need to ride the transitions between the passes. You will be shuttle to the foot of each pass, but you do need to get yourself up, and down the other side, of each pass, to qualify for the finishers certificate.
We really do hope this clears up any questions you may have about how the challenge works. If you still have questions, please feel free to contact us.
If you want to book your spot (8 riders per departure, max), then click here.