Students Take on the Rhino Peak Challenge! One of The Hardest Hikes in SA!
Photo Cred: Treverton College | Supplied

Since its inception in 2016, the Rhino Peak Challenge has raised almost R3.7m for conservation, but the hike is regarded as one of the hardest in South Africa…


Drakensburg, South Africa (28 July 2022) – Grade 11 Treverton College students have been invited as ambassadors for the conservation fundraising initiative – the Rhino Peak Challenge!

The Rhino Peak Challenge (RPC) is a conservation fundraiser that takes place in the Maloti Drakensberg World Heritage Site each year. A limited number of RPC Ambassadors set themselves the challenge of ascending the famous Rhino Peak (3056m) and raising funds for the RPC Beneficiaries while doing so.

Since its inception in 2016, the RPC has raised almost R3.7m for Wildlife ACT, The Endangered Wildlife Trust and EKZNW. These funds are spent specifically on projects involving Vultures, Rhinos and Cranes.

UKhahlamba, the barrier of spears. Drakensberg, Dragon Mountain. Such are the names that describe the escarpment that forms a physical border and barrier between Lesotho and South Africa. This barrier is frequently visible from the Treverton campus and exerts a magnetic pull on both the students and staff of our school. While school-organized hikes into the Drakensberg occur throughout the year, a traverse along the summit of the UKhahlamba had yet to be completed by students from our school.

This provided the perfect motivation for such a trip.

As it is known, the ‘Grand’ Traverse entails a rigorous hike of approximately 246km from the Sentinel car park in the north to Bushmen’s Nek in the south. It is regarded as the hardest hike in South Africa because of the mountainous terrain, altitude (on average 3000m), distance, remoteness, variable weather and lack of a predefined route and path.

Students Take on the Rhino Peak Challenge! One of The Hardest Hikes in SA!
Photo Cred: Treverton College | Supplied

The students who completed it were chosen rather than invited, as the nature of the trip required a certain level of fitness and prior Drakensberg experience. The group was also kept small (two students and two staff members) so as to limit equipment and injury-related issues that naturally occur in adventure-based activities.

“The traverse wasn’t all plain sailing, and the disorientating mist made navigating challenging and cost us time and energy. Ascending and descending approximately 1100m and fitting in 25 – 30 kilometres a day proved a serious physical challenge. Added to that were the high winds, cold drizzly rain, long days of walking, frustrating mountain bogs and innumerable tufts of grass.”

Jarred van Alphan and Kai Broom, both Grade 11 students at Treverton College, were accompanied by Mr Shaun Robertson and Mr Derrick Brown, both science teachers at Treverton College. The boys’ peak physical condition and aptitude for endurance set them apart as the natural choice to complete the Grand Traverse as part of Treverton College. Their experience with orienteering, trail running, rock climbing and being avid outdoor adventure enthusiasts were instrumental in preparing them for the mental and physical fatigue that they faced during the traverse.

Jarred and Kai will be facing another adventure in the Rhino Peak Challenge on the 17th of September 2022. Invited as ambassadors and accompanied by Mr Travers Pellew, Treverton College’s Sports Co-ordinator, the trio will ascend and descend the Rhino Peak in the Drakensberg as a fundraiser for conservation efforts.

“The strides that they are making in adventure sports is remarkable for their age. Treverton has a proud history of producing top-quality Adventure Sportsmen and Sportswomen. We look forward to celebrating Jarred and Kai’s future exploits within Treverton and into adulthood.”

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Sources: Various | Good Things Guy | 22 good things
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