Rocky Mountain Festival 2015: 27-29 November 2015

Afriski Mountain Resort in the northern Lesotho highlands will be holding their second Rocky Mountain Festival late in November.

This popular festival was held for the first time last year and proved a resounding success. This year it will run from November 27-29 and will incorporate the first of the Afriski Altitude weekends, a series of MTB events to be held once a month. Riders will earn points at every event with the overall winner crowned in April.

The abiding memory of the 2014 RockyFest was that the ingredients were just right with a famous mountain bike brand (Rocky Mountain Bicyles) combining with a spectacular new venue at Afriski in Afriski to produce a memorable weekend.

The stunning, freshly-cut single and downhill tracks provide the backdrop to the event and, with participants having to make use of a ski lift to negotiate the mountain, it is guaranteed to be an experience to remember.

Participants in the 2014 event later spoke of the superb and warm hospitality shown by the staff at AfriSki and the challenges of competing at high altitude and surrounded by towering mountain peaks.

The trails at Afriski are well-marked and creative. Starting off with Bambi’s Revenge, this newly-added section takes riders to 3 330m above sea level, over exciting obstacles, tight twists and turns, and inviting berms on soil that encouraged letting go of all brakes and ripping the corners with gravel spraying in all directions. The exhilarating, freshly-cut section runs next to the ridge of the mountains close to the AfriSki resort. With the river far below and the vast range of mountains in the background, this is mountain biking at its most beautiful.

Riders are then treated to lunch at the Sky Restaurant while they contemplate the prospect of an exciting night ride in the crisp fresh air of the Maluti mountains.

This ride takes paricipants to a plateau halfway up the mountain where they will be warmed by a massive bonfire, a glass of gluhwein as well as the spectular Lesotho stars.

 Following a buffet breakfast at the Sky Restaurant on the Saturday morning, riders can either take to the escarpment for a marathon ride or, enjoy the new single tracks on their enduro bikes. To add to this experience a ski lift provides the ‘luxury’ while being pulled to the top for each run.

 Guided on a 16km trail to the escarpment means a 32km round-trip with 960m vertical ascent – and all this at over 3 000m above sea level. The challenge is to maintain a good pace but the route is as much a test of the riders’ technical skills as it is of their fitness with a high altitude ride of between three and four hours covering a terrain packed with climbs and dips.

 From the Sky Restaurant, the ski slopes and the newly-created down hill tracks are clearly visible. Adrenalin junkies can take the ski lifts to the start of the downhill tracks and entertain those watching at the Sky Restaurant with their antics.

A spectacular day of mountain biking and the evening will no doubt end with riders swapping war stories (some of them true) around a spit braai at the Sky Restaurant. What is certain is that the 2015 edition of the Afriski’s RockyFest will provide thrills and spills…and plenty to talk about.

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Details:

  • ·         This festival offers a wide variety of activities including MTB challenges, night trails, a spit braai and the sampling (again and again) of craft beer.
  • ·         The all-inclusive Rocky Fest packages start from:
    • Riders Packages from: R 1460 – R 1860
    • Spectators Packages from: R 1140 – R 1540 
    • Includes accommodation, trail fees, and 2 x Meals daily, and 1 Lunch. Accommodation  rates are per person – sharing. Speak to a booking consultant to enquire about single rates. Packages run from Friday – Sunday.
    • Access to the T-bar lift and all the dedicated events for the entire weekend; including the DH, XCO, Marathon and Enduro.
    • ·         Contact bookings@afriski.net to reserve your spot.
    • ·         Website: www.afriski.net
    • ·         Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/resort.afriski

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