Trail Daze | Encountering the Puff Adder

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Our third and final outing in our search for the North West province's finest trails took us to the lesser known Pofadder trail at Van Gaalen's. With no markings or signage in sight, it's a great idea to have a local show you around this rough and rocky part of town - and to experience all the off-piste goodness it has to offer - it's an even better idea to bring a proper long-travel trail bike along for the ride.

With the promise of some spectacular cloud formations and an epic sunset thanks to the daily thunderstorms rolling through this part of the country, we headed for the hills in search of some elevation. Contrasting the smooth and ultra fast trails down by the river, Pofadder provides you the opportunity to ride some rocks - big ones, small ones, jagged ones and then everything else in-between. And a quick diversion off the relatively overgrown and rocky path, revealed some off-piste magic in the form of a dried-up, riverbed, cascading down into the valley below.

 

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Daily thunderstorms decorating boring skies with epic cloud formations, and keeping warm summer's days mild and bearable.

 

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Not having local knowledge on our side, we probably would not have found this, the Pofadder trail head. A random clearing next to a random dirt road seems to be it, apparently.

 

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Hard packed single track through tall grass fields gets things going, but trail conditions quickly turn rocky and technical as you ascend the Puff Adder.

 

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Loads of skinny gaps along some properly tight and technical sections of trail, keeps you on your toes.

 

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Preparing to get soaked as the bursts of rain moved ever closer to our position.

 

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Off-piste exploration courtesy of Hayden Brown, sending us down a seemingly ancient and overgrown, dried up ravine.

 

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Some hectic climbing leading to some well deserved and awesome down runs, with rocks that took the Trail Daze crew's breath away. Hayden took us down a dry river bed with big sheets of exposed rock creating some crazy fast sections with awesome drops and tech features along the way. Pofadder, a trail not to be taken lightly, probably the longest descending trail around JHB, it just keeps on going giving you no time to rest or relax. Some rocky trails definitely worth checking out. Chris Pearton

 

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Trails this unique and fun deserves a few reruns... One more push up to the top as the light fades behind ominous storm clouds, and we prepare to take cover from the approaching squall.

 

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Wild & untamed trails. This setting reminds me of a scene from Jurassic Park - all that lacks are a few Ptero and Brachiosaurus in the background.

 

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Luckily, the rain moved on past us and we were spared getting wet. And as quickly as it had formed, the storm disappeared again, allowing the sun to peak through once more for a spectacular sunset.

 

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Having just recently moved to the area, I had limited knowledge of the trail we had set off on, but I knew that "Pofadder" was the longest and more tech of the lot... The weather wasn't all that glamorous when we set off but as we got closer and closer to the top of the mountain, we were treated to the most spectacular sunset! Hayden Brown

 

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Red dirt, blue-green grass, acacia trees, thunderstorms and racing home in the dark - a happy reminder from my days riding in Howick! The Pofadder trail offers sweeping savannah vistas with ribbons of singletrack enticing you onwards and upwards. The trail down is long, rocky and gnarly, and Hayden's local knowledge ensured that we rode a little known gem of a trail. This kind of trail is why I love South Africa! Daniel Dobinson | iRideAfrica

 

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Thanks NWP. You've treated us well during our visit. Nothing to do now but head back home and have a braai. Until we meet again next time...

 

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This project is made possible by:

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GPS: 25°48'09.4"S 27°47'53.6"E

Permit: R50 (part of greater Van Gaalens trail network)

 

All images by Ewald Sadie

www.esphotography.co.za

instagram: @ewaldsadie

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Riders : Daniel Dobinson | Hayden Brown | Chris Pearton

 

Stay tuned to Bike Hub for more Trail Daze coming soon...

 

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13 Comments

Comments

King_Crispy, Jun 27 2016 07:20

Looks like a blast. I must go and check out fungaalens again. Haven't been there in ages

Squier, Jun 27 2016 07:38

Wow, really awesome photos!

A piece of trail that deserves respect. Great review!

Sent from my LG-H815 using Tapatalk

L.T.G, Jun 27 2016 08:19

yet another reason why VG has the best riding "in Gauteng" 

so much of everything for every type of rider.

Paulst12, Jun 27 2016 01:37

Looks like fun until they send you there during a Trailseeker race... then you bleed!!!

Beer4Recovery, Jun 27 2016 08:45

Blêksêm! Ewald Sadie, your photography makes me want to ride and take photos. So much inspiration and so much talent! Well done once again sir!! Keep up the great work!

popcorn_skollie, Jun 28 2016 12:46

I use to think that the 3 guys with the best jobs in the world were named May, Hammond and Clarkson.

But I've changed my mind to 3 guys named Dobinson, Brown and Pearton.

Peach., Jun 28 2016 11:10

Awesome shots Ewald, they really capture the beauty of the ride.

The pictures don't show how steep some of those sections are.

I'm keen to head back there to hit that rock valley again.

iRide, Jun 29 2016 05:39

I use to think that the 3 guys with the best jobs in the world were named May, Hammond and Clarkson.

But I've changed my mind to 3 guys named Dobinson, Brown and Pearton.

haha! Classic comment

L.T.G, Jun 30 2016 07:20

Awesome shots Ewald, they really capture the beauty of the ride.

The pictures don't show how steep some of those sections are.

I'm keen to head back there to hit that rock valley again.

it's the perfect time to ride it, before the rainy season starts.. that descent especially  gets reallly tricky once lubricated 

typhoon, Jul 14 2016 09:13

Can vouch for the views from the top of Pofadder, totally awesome but ja... it does get quite tricky getting down from the top, would probably be more fun on something with more than 100mm travel :D

rouxtjie, Jul 14 2016 09:22

Can vouch for the views from the top of Pofadder, totally awesome but ja... it does get quite tricky getting down from the top, would probably be more fun on something with more than 100mm travel :D

haka is where it is at....praaap

typhoon, Jul 14 2016 09:29

haka is where it is at....praaap

 

Must definitely head back there sometime.

Only ever been there for TrailSeeker in 2012 and DualX 2015  :blush:

VicanZA, Jul 14 2016 09:33

way past my pay grade.