It seems like I have been attending the Banff Mountain Film Festival for as long as I can remember. And it never disappoints. Sure, some years, the collection of international mountain movies is better than others, but it always provides a healthy dose of inspiration and creativity wrapped up in adventure.

This year was no different, in fact, I think this was one of the better collections I’ve seen.Here’s some of my favourites.

The Accord

Surfing is not synonymous with Iceland, but for the hardy surfer it is certainly an option. For those that live in this part of the world, there is only one problem, the wind. This movie has a quirky bearded Icelander playing the part of the wind and a group of intrepid outdoors-men waiting for the wind to play ball so they can go play in the icy surf. A quirky movie with some very cool (cold) surfing.

Danny MacAskill’s Wee Day Out

Danny MacAskill is a world-renowned MTBer who can pretty much ride his bike anywhere. Check what he gets up to on his day off.


Everything about this movie seems miserable, especially when it rains every day. In this movie, bouldering champion, Angie Payne, tries to climb the elusive, and very difficult, Poumaka Tower in the the French Polynesian jungle.

Young Guns

Nothing quite like a bad ass climbing girl, especially when only 14 years old. This movie takes a look at one such climber, 14-year-old Ashima Shiraishi, as she climbs out of her comfort zone, reaching greater and greater heights as she does.

Add to this some extreme free skiing, wind-suit flying, a cute dog movie and some fly fishing, and you have a collection of outdoor movies to entertain the extreme adventurer and couch potato alike.

The festival, presented by Cape Union Mart,  takes place between 3 and 12 November 2017. Tickets will be on sale from 1 October from the Ster-Kinekor website.

Banff SA 2017


Well done all Three Peaks runners and thanks to all helpers and supporters. It was a fantastic day out with great weather and  many milestones achieved.

Winning male: Andy Hagen 4.55 (5 Minutes off the record – this was his 4th victory)

Winning Female: Jane Wyngaard (16th overall) 6:40

20th Challenge: Gavin Snell (who also organises the event every year)

15th Challenge: Barry Washkansky (me)

10th Challenge:  Arno Lawrenz and  Andre Filander

5th challenge: Mike Els ; Paolo Denti ; Zuben Jessa ; Nazeem Dollie ; Garth Lary; Rodney Stein; Peter Johnstone

Three Peaks Challenge 2016: Results

Images: (All images by Petro Mostert)


Andy Hagen on his way to Victory: Pic: Petro Mostert



Gavin congratulates Woman's winner Jane Wyngaard

Gavin Snell celebrates number 20









Barry at the top of Platteklip Gorge on his way to no. 15




When thinking about competitive sports, mud is normally seen as an unwanted addition, there to  hinder or even cancel play. But not in Obstacle Course Racing, the hottest growing sport on Planet Earth? The Grind is a dedicated team of
Obstacle Course Race builders and race hosts, and their challenging courses feature a great deal of mud as an accessory to the numerous obstacles that will test competitors to their limits. Whether it is climbing ropes, carrying weights or just trying to cross an obstacle, the addition of mud makes life just that much more interesting!

The Grind is hosting the year’s largest Obstacle Course Challenge at Zone 7 on the West Coast of Cape Town on the 3 December and it promises to be a spectacular day for competitors and spectators alike. Obstacle Course Racing is a sport that combines fitness, stamina, strength, mental fortitude and a strong sense of humour: it is difficult to take yourself seriously when you are covered head to toe in glutinous mud, and are now attempting to haul yourself up a rope. But competitive it is: Obstacle Course Racing has been taken on by multiple sporting disciplines. From individuals looking to take their fitness to the highest possible levels to sporting teams looking to build camaraderie; martial arts exponents see OCR as a perfect way of combining mental and physical strength whilst endurance athletes value it for its explosive test of stamina and overall conditioning.

The Grind Race is not just for hardened athletes: with a range of courses on offer, everyone from 5 years old to (at a pinch) 104 is welcome to enter. The purpose designed courses include a 6 km Rapid Grind of 30 obstacles for initiates and the not-so-fit; a 12km Deep Grind of 40 obstacles for hardened OCR entrants and sportsmen and women; and a 12 km Elite Grind category for the seriously competitive athletes. Add to this the 6km Young G 30 obstacle course for 11 to 17 year old children, and the 1km Little G 10 obstacle course for children from 5 to 11 years of age, and you have a challenge for every member of the family.

It’s not all play: with R50 000 in prizes up for grabs, the Elite entrants will be giving their all, providing exceptional spectator value for those who complete the less demanding courses, as well as those souls who are there to watch the mud splatter and not necessarily get splattered themselves. The prizes are not only for the Elite, either: there are a variety of categories that will see people competing for everything from cash prizes to great Grind hampers.
Zone 7, Africa’s biggest and best Motocross and Enduro Track, will be a hive of activity on the day; it has been chosen by The Grind as the perfect venue for an Obstacle Race extravaganza. Close to the City, the course is spectator friendly giving a great view of the action, and it also lends itself to an after-Grind bash that will rock the dried mud off everybody.

Kicking off at 8am, the racing will continue until around 10pm. With music and live commentary during the day, and a live band for the party there will be no shortage of audio entertainment; and the sideline events are spectacular! A freestyle Motocross show with some of SA’s best riders; an  Extreme Air Bag Jump which exactly like what it is; Bubble Soccer – the players are the bubbles, not the ball; and Bossaball – a cross between trampoline, volleyball and flying. For the thirsty and hungry there will be stalls offering everything that mud-parched throats desire.

The Grind at the Track: an event to kick off the holidays in style; a day that will go down in OCR legend. Be there!

Full details of the event and how to become part of the action can be found at:—entertainment.html


This October the annual Banff International Mountain Film Festival comes to South Africa, bringing with it films of adventures by ski, bike, rock, ropes and on water. For the eleventh year, Cape Union Mart proudly hosts the screening of the 2016 World Tour films at Ster-Kinekor cinemas in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria.

Cape Union Mart delivers the spirit of outdoor adventure and mountain culture to South Africa. This year’s World Tour features the best mountain films, showcasing amazing filmmaking talent from the world over to an audience that spans the globe. Cape Union Mart will be offering South Africans this opportunity, “allowing everyone to experience these inspiring stories that drive us to keep exploring the great outdoors.”

11 award-winning and audience-nominated World Tour films, selected from hundreds of Festival submissions, will be shown at each World Tour screening in South Africa. They include a mix of topics and styles that are entertaining, inspiring and thought-provoking. These films range in
duration from the intense-action packed, three-minute surfing video;Living Rivers – Surf; to the 40-minute documentary film, A line across the sky’, winner of the Best Climbing Film category.

South African audiences are also treated to the screening of an additional five-minute film: the winning submission from the Cape Union Mart Adventure Film Challenge. This annual film competition encourages South African filmmakers and athletes to capture and celebrate local outdoor and adventure culture.

The 2016 Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour is screened at these Ster-Kinekor cinemas:

  • Cape Town: Cavendish Square – Friday, 21 October to Saturday, 29 October 2016
  • Cape Town: Tygervalley Centre – Friday, 21 October to Saturday, 29 October 2016
  • Johannesburg: Sandton City – Friday, 21 October to Saturday, 29 October 2016
  • Pretoria: Brooklyn Mall – Friday, 21 October to Saturday, 29 October 2016
  • Durban: Gateway – Friday, 28 October and Saturday, 29 October 2016 (two nights only)
  • Port Elizabeth: Baywest – Saturday, 29 October 2016 (one night only)

Shows start at 20h00 and all 11 films are shown at each screening.

Tickets are available for purchase from Friday, 2 September 2016 and can be bought directly through Ster-Kinekor. Book online at or call Ster-Kinekor Ticketline on 082 16789. Ticket prices are the same as a standard Ster-Kinekor ticket.

The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour is hosted by Cape Union Mart, in proud partnership with leading outdoor brands K-Way, LED Lenser, Deuter and GoPro.

Ocean 2 Ocean: 50km Guided Mountain Trail Tun

Next Run: Saturday 23  April 2016– Muizenberg – Camps Bay: O2O Entry Form_April_2016

Ocean2Ocean is a guided mountain trail run from Muizenberg Beach to Camps Bay via the False Bay Mountains, Silvermine Nature Reserve and Table Mountain. This route is also run in reverse at times.

This is a pack run with limited place. (30 max) and follows a spectacular rollercoaster route through the Cape Peninsula’s mountain chain. This is not a race but runners need to be fit and capable of running on technical terrain for 12 hours or more. There are frequent breaks for views and snacks and two aid stations en-route, at Constantia Nek and Silvermine.

Some consider this the trail runner’s version of the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, Cape Town’s popular and scenic 56km road run, we call it 50km of Cape Town’s finest.

** Puffer Qualifier
The organising Committee of the PuFfer (Peninsula Ultra Fun Run 75km) will accept the O2O day run as a qualifying ultra for those participants who complete the full ultra distance.

RUN INFO: Next run: Saturday 23 April, 016

O2O_Entry Form_April_2016


Cool temperatures and solid performances throughout the field marked the 19th running of the  Three Peaks Challenge in Association with K-Way. Cape Town runner Martin Kleynhans won convincingly – for

The winner on Lion's Head

the second consecutive year. It took him five-hours and 20 minutes to complete the 50-kilometre route between three of Table Mountain’s peaks – Devil’s Peak, Maclear’s Beacon and Lion’s Head.

“I think I still haven’t quite come to terms with it! I managed to somehow win the Three Peaks. Again! How did that happen? I certainly did not expect to win again and the competition was formidable.”

Like the Swiss runner Marc Lauenstein, who set a record-smashing run at The OTTER last month, Kleynhans is an experienced orienteer. He credits his win to the “sneaky skills” learned through the off-road sport of orienteering where participants have to deal with an unmarked route and numerous route choices while balancing course distance, elevation gain and runnability of terrain into their race strategy.

He also notes a number of on-the-day elements that contributed to his win.

“Andrew Hagen, the man who basically owns this race, got sick and had to pull out before the race and, well, you could say I was in luck in that respect. Rupert Becker probably went out too hard. Lucas Adams maybe went too hard as well; both Rupert and Lucas seemed to flag from Platteklip onwards. Simon Raubenheimer was strong throughout but made the error of choosing the front-face path to Maclear’s. Pieter Calitz, who should have won based purely on running prowess, made a few fatal route-choice errors on the last leg up and down Lion’s Head. And that is how I won!”

Kleynhans says his race had a good combination of optimal route choice with reasonable, not top, speed.

“In the end I managed to better last year’s time by over four minutes and I am very happy about that too,” he adds.

Race organiser Gavin Snell completed his 19th Challenge. “It was really tough for me personally, with lots of slipping and falling on my old smooth-soled, road-running shoes.”

Snell says that despite rain at the start and pea-soup mist on the mountain, the weather was near-perfect.

“This accounted for some good, solid performances down the field, although it did mean that runners had to be mindful of the slippery conditions coming down Devil’s Peak and Platteklip Gorge. It was misty with rain in the morning and the sun came out for the Lion’s Head leg. Thankfully, the temperature stuck between the mid-teens and early 20s for much of the day.”

Returning to Greenmarket Square after ascending and descending the first peak (Devil’s Peak), Kleynhans had a 68-second lead over Pieter Calitz and Lucas Adams. On completion of the second peak – Maclear’s Beacon on Table Mountain – Calitz was in the lead and held two-minutes over Kleynhans. But Kleynhans’ better route saw him catch Calitz on Lion’s Head, as he had in his victory over Lucky Miya in 2014, to win a convincing seven-minutes ahead at the finish. Simon Raubenheimer finished third, a further eight-minutes behind.

Women's winner Melanie Porter

Women’s course record holder Katya Soggott has dominated this event for the past three years. She withdrew her entry days before the race as a serious ankle injury left her in a moon boot and on crutches. This opened the top slot on the podium up to other runners. Melany Porter took control, leading from start to clock a 7:11:28 finish. Jana Trojan was second, 20-minutes behind Porter. Brenna Coupland completed the women’s podium.

This year, 135 people completed the challenge. Shaun Schneeberger, great-great-grandson of CW Schneeberger – founder of Three Peaks Challenge, put in a good performance on his debut at this event. He began with a very slow and careful approach of the first peak to finish strong at the end.

“K-Way, a brand that boasts a strong heritage, is extremely proud to be associated with an event that holds such great history. The Three Peaks is an incredible challenge of both mental and physical endurance and we hope to be title sponsors of this challenge for many years to come. K-Way provides Three Peaks Challenge-branded technical moisture managers to every finisher, for them to wear with pride when they next hit the trails,” says Penny Parker, K-Way Marketing.

The full provisional results for 2015 Three Peaks Challenge in Association with K-Way are on the event website

RESULTS: 2015 Three Peaks Challenge in Association with K-Way

Men’s results

1.       Martin Kleynhans, 5:20:29

2.       Pieter Calitz, 5:27:55

3.       Simon Raubenheimer, 5:35:02

Women’s Results

1.       Melany Porter, 7:11:28

2.       Jana Trojan, 07:31:05

3.       Brenna Coupland, 07:46:32

(All images by Jeff Ayliffe)


Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour


23 October – 2 November 2015
There will be one screening per day at 8pm.
Each screening contains all 9 films, and the total length is approximately 2 hours 10 minutes 

We are screening at six Ster-Kinekor cinemas across the country: 

Cape Town
Cavendish Square 23 Oct – 2 Nov | Tygervalley 23 Oct – 2 Nov

Sandton 23 Oct – 2 Nov 

Brooklyn 23 Oct – 2 Nov

Gateway 30 – 31 October 

Port Elizabeth
Baywest Mall 31 October


The XPH LED Headlamp

Soon after that I bought my first headlamp and over the years have collected quite a few. Most of them are entry level and I more often than not land up with a dodgy light, with poor batteries and barely enough light to follow the path, I kind of liked it that way, believing excess light to be intrusive on other night runners or hikers. But seeing as I do enjoy my night time outings, and there isn’t always a full moon to provide additional light, this is not ideal. There were also multiple problems with many of the lights, limited battery life, uncomfortable, difficult to adjust straps, wobbly lights, and a switch that regularly switched on while still in my back pack, leaving me with minimal battery life when needed. Rain was also an issue, often causing havoc with my non waterproof light.

When given the opportunity to test drive Extreme Light’s new headlamp, I jumped at it. Finally a head lamp worthy of my limited, albeit enthusiastic, night running and hiking ability. The light sounded great on paper but the best way to test a pudding is to eat it.

The first opportunity to test the headlamp came in the Hex River Mountains. We were hiking the iconic Hex River traverse, and we were pretty sure we would still be out at nightfall. Having started at 7am, it was a spectacular but tiring day on these amazing mountains, and finally after watching the magical sunset still high up on the mountain I could break out my head lamp.

Now it was time for the proverbial light/pissing contest – who had the brightest light?  With darkness having descended, we started our descent to Thomas Hut, focussing on a dim light far below us in the valley. I tried my light on its strongest beam and it nearly blinded a few of my hiking buddies. Having said that, one of the group’s own extreme light was technically brighter than mine on its fullest beam but mine lit a bigger surface area – i.e. his was more concentrated and mine offered a wider circumference of light. I had no need for the brightest light – and don’t think I ever will – the second setting was more than ample for my needs and I comfortably walked down to the hut. I tested the lowest setting and it was not bad either, reminding me of my previous lights with poor batteries, only better.

A few weeks later and  a couple of buddies and I headed up India Venster on a beautiful warm, wind and moon free spring evening, Again I was super impressed with the light and it did its job more than adequately. I have done numerous testing on it in the past month or so and here are my findings.

Battery life
First up the battery is a common form rechargeable li-ion battery, allowing you to recharge without removing the battery, even better it also takes triple AAA batteries as backup, the best of both worlds. This battery is common form and easy to find, and should last anywhere from 2-4 years, depending on usage.

While rechargeable batteries can be heavy and cumbersome, this one is just light enough to be comfortable, it sits firmly on my head without a wobble when I run and is easily adjustable. My colleague with long hair tried it on and she did complain that with her pony tail it was difficult to make the strap comfortable. I have no such issues. The battery is not too large, meaning it doesn’t look like I have a car battery attached to the back of my head.

This is the first head light in South Africa that uses the new Cree XP-L led. This is cutting edge technology, which can produce more light from less power than any other LED in the world. 

The lamp has four settings.

  • High
    Way too bright for my needs, don’t know when I would use it, I only used it when trying to spot a couple of porcupines on my way down Table Mountain

  • Mid
    More than adequate light for my needs. When testing, it lasted in excess of 3 ½ hours, I believe this could be less bright and last longer, which would be perfect.
  • Low
    A decent enough light for a low setting.  When I tested it, I let it run consecutively and it lasted for more than 50 hours on the trot. Truly impressive. I believe if this was slightly brighter and could last a minimum of 24 hours, it would be the ideal setting for me and most night runners and hikers.

There is also a flashing light for emergencies.

The lamp is fully waterproof, a huge bonus for any adventure race or night runner who likes to spend time on Table Mountain in the middle of an infamous Cape storm. I submerged the headlamp completely for a good few minutes and it

Waterproof vibes

worked perfectly. Apparently you cannot operate it under water, i.e. change any settings or switch it on or off while submerged, but when I dunked it, it had no issues with the wet stuff. In theory this light can be submerged to 1m for 30min without affecting the working of the light. It is rated IP67.

Load shedding friendly
When the lights go out, and they do quite frequently these days, this headlamp can quite comfortably light up a medium sized room. It also makes a good reading light when on its lowest level.

Overall I think I may have found my prefect headlamp, or let’s say with a few tweaks it could be perfect. I have used it numerous times, in various conditions and in terms of comfort, lighting and durability it has passed all tests.

Two K-Way athletes are in France for the 5th IAU Trail World Championships, which take place on Saturday. AJ Calitz and Nicolette Griffioen, together with their South African teammates and runners from 38 other countries, make up the 287 participant count for this gruelling 85 kilometre run.

The IAU Trail World Championship is held annually and this year the event is hosted by France. The 85 kilometre race starts in the town of Annecy, which lies at the northern end of Lake Annecy. The route climbs into the mountains only a few kilometres from the start and circles the lake, taking in the surrounding summits for an accumulated 5,200 metres of vertical ascent over the course distance.

Although Calitz has competed abroad before, this is 22-year old Griffioen’s first time in Europe and first international race. She is the newest member of K-Way’s athlete family.

AJ Calitz

She has had a strong year already with wins at the Buffelspoort XTERRA and the Ultra Tail Mount Moodie 80km in January and a strong second place at the recent 32km Molweni Trail Run. Griffioen crossed the line only 20 seconds off the race winner.

“Annecy is really beautiful – both the mountains and the town,” she says.

Griffioen is expecting the course to be technical and tough with unrelenting climbs and descents and with very few flat sections.

“Our team manager, Altus Schreuder, went to see sections of the course on Wednesday. He returned saying that ‘a proper world champs’ awaits us and that the course is ‘definitely not boring’,” she adds.

“My goal is to finish the race only,” Griffioen says. “Being my first international race, I don’t know any of my competition except my South African teammates; I have no idea how I’ll place. I’m testing the waters to gain experience.”

With a 03h30 start, it is a given that the temperature in the very early morning will be chilly. The weather on Saturday is predicted to be sunny during the day. The runners can see snow on the peaks of the mountains surrounding the lake from their hotel; they’re expecting unpredictable conditions on the summits and know that cold and wind up high is almost guaranteed.

“I am going to go out relaxed, enjoy the views and see if I feel good enough after halfway to pull back some ladies,” she says.

Calitz and Griffioen’s Team South Africa teammates include Eric Ngubane, Graeme McCallum, Iain Don-Wauchope, Jock Green, Chantel Nienaber and Su Don-Wauchope. There is a team competition element where accumulated results count towards selecting a winning country.



  • ·         Event: 5th IAU Trail World Championships (run on the Tecnica MaXi-Race® course)
  • ·         Date: Saturday, 30 May 2015
  • ·         Venue: Annecy, France
  • ·         Start time: 03h30 (France is currently GMT +2, same as South Africa)
  • ·         Distance: 85 kilometres
  • ·         Vertical gain: 5,300 metres
  • ·         Number of participants: 178 men and 109 women (287 total)
  • ·         Number of countries represented: 39 for the World Champs
  • ·         Course Records: Men: Sebastien Spehler (FRA), 8:45; Women: Caroline Chaverot (FRA), 10:15
  • ·
  • ·         Start list: on IAU website (
  • ·         Follow online during the race – live (this looks like the page where splits will appear – use the ‘Following’ tab –
  • ·         Facebook: Trail Run SA –

§  Maxi-Race:

Trail running has exploded in South Africa over the last seven years or so, and with more and more runners hitting the trails there is a demand for knowledge and advice. Roving Trail Camps,

Local legend: Linda Doke

run by Ghaleed Nortje has combined one of the Western Cape’s finest wine farms, two of Cape Town’s best trail runners and some amazing trails in the Cape Winelands for an amazing trail running experience, the first trail running training camp to be held in Western Cape.

Roving Trail Camps is a professionally run trail running camp for novice and seasoned runners alike. The first of its kind in the Western Cape, the camp will be held the weekend of 29 – 31 May at Boschendal Wine Estate in the beautiful Franschhoek Valley.

Says Nortje, “We wanted to offer a weekend getaway that would include excellent food, warm hospitality, interesting talks by Cape Town trail running personalities, Linda Doke and Martin Kleynhans, in addition to other experts in their fields, and some fantastic trail runs on an exclusive part of the estate.”

Participants get to enjoy the wine and accommodation at Boschendal, and will enjoy delicious meals and a screening of the Trails in Motion film festival movies, which have already been shown in multiple countries around the world.

Topics covered by the speakers include technical running, nutrition, strength and conditioning and recovering after your runs, as well as demonstrations.

Boschendal Wine Estate

“Both beginners and professionals will benefit, this will be a social weekend allowing runners to learn from the specialists and from each other. The runs will have a slower and faster group in order to accommodate everyone. The emphasis is on learning and enjoying this beautiful area that we will be running in, as well as a great weekend getaway in a magnificent part of the Western Cape.“ Says Nortje.


Weekend itinerary:

Friday 29 May

  • Come ready for a gentle 5 – 10km run to introduce yourselves!
  • Official Welcome at Boschendal Estate


Saturday 30 May

  • Breakfast
  • Group run warm up, 5km
  • Pilates talk including 20 minute session
  • Run instruction to improve technical skill and exploring the estate trails
  • Biokineticists talk including 20 minute cool down session
  • Lunch – food talk and demonstration
  • Join the public Trail film screening;
  • Followed by Dinner


  • Nutrition
  • Bio Recovery – rehabilitation, rolling, strapping etc.
  • Gear – General emphasis on required kit for the main run.
  • Own time
  • Sport Massage (1st)
  • Wine Tasting
  • Trails film screening
  • Dinner: Farm to Table dining at Boschendal

Sunday 31 May


  • Transport to start of the run.
  • Group run with instruction and application of skills learned. Emphasis on trail safety and required kit for the run.
  • Sport Massage (2nd)
  • Lunch at Boschendal Wine Estate


More information at

Contact Ghaleed Nortje on 082 887 3011 or email


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