All-women mountaineering duo set 9 Peak Challenge record

Posted by Gabrielle Jacobs on 2 September 2019

South African mountaineers Alda Waddell and Tumi Mphahlele set a new record completing the South African 9 Peaks Challenge on Friday 30 August 2019, right in time for the closing of Women’s Month.

The South African 9 Peaks Challenge involves 141km of hiking, 7,888m of vertical ascents and 5,298km of driving. Challengers must ascend the highest point of each province in South Africa, and the clock starts at the foot of the first peak and ends on the summit of the last.

Tumi Mphahlele and Alda Waddell atop each peak. Image supplied.

Joburgers Waddell and Mphahlele, who set out on 22 August, set the Challenge’s fastest known time for an all-female duo in a record 8 days, 19 hours and 12 minutes!

The fastest known time by a mixed pair was set in October 2018 by Jurgens and Christel Hanekom (4 days, 18 hours, and 45 minutes).

The pioneering duo form part of a bigger, all-female mountaineering team campaigning under Everest 2020, who’ve set their sights on climbing Mount Everest in Nepal next May. Their success with the 9 Peaks Challenge will stand them in good stead for the upcoming challenges on the world’s tallest mountain.

These are the peaks this dynamic duo conquered:

  • Iron Crown (2,126m) near Haenertsburg in Limpopo
  • De Berg (2,331m) near Lydenburg in Mpumalanga
  • Seweweekspoort Peak (2,325m) in Groot Swartberg Nature Reserve, Western Cape
  • Nooigedacht (1,816m), the highest point of the Magaliesberg in North West Province
  • Mafadi (3,451m) the highest peak in South Africa in the Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Toringkop (1,913m) in Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve, Gauteng
  • Kwaduma (3,019m) in the Drakensberg, Eastern Cape
  • Namahadi (3,291m) in the Drakensberg, Free State
  • Murch Point (2,156m) in the Karoo, Northern Cape

Also read:

Ramaphosa congratulates Madonsela and team on Kili summit

Nepal bans single-use plastic on Mount Everest

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