Trail and Route Guide for the 2019 CrankChaos Mountain Bike Festival

Emulating events like Crankworx and the Colorado Freeride Festival, CrankChaos brings you the very best that mountain biking has to offer.

Riders participating in the 2018 CrankChaos mountain bike festival held at the Afriski resort in Lesotho.
The mountains surrounding Afriski are riddled with extensive mountain bike trails, dams and spectacular views.

The event is hosted by Afriski Mountain Resort in the beautiful Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. At 3 222m above sea level, it the highest festival of its kind on the African continent. An easy 4.5-hour drive from Johannesburg, 6-hour drive from Durban or 3.5-hour drive from Bloemfontein. The Afriski resort has over 450 beds, ranging from backpacker facilities to luxury chalets. There is plenty of entertainment for the whole family and delicious meals available at the highest restaurant in Africa, Sky Restaurant. The Gondola Café is a unique, high-altitude après-ski bar that serves light meals and warm drinks.

This year the festival runs from the 31st of October to the 3rd of November. The mountains surrounding Afriski are riddled with extensive mountain bike trails, dams and spectacular views, all just a 7-minute uplift away. Whether you tread among the gravity-fed or just want to take a long, winding adventure through the Maluti mountains, there are multiple cross-country, enduro and downhill trails for the whole weekend. Add to that, the opportunity to test ride the latest mountain bikes and industry technology, awesome live evening entertainment, and the traditional world-class Afriski hospitality – you can be sure this is a weekend not to be missed.


One of the attractions of the event is the opportunity for everyone to socialize, connect and ride with some of the biggest names in the sport, including the greatest downhill rider of all time, Greg Minnaar. Greg is a founding partner of the event and will be on the trails competing, in the restaurants socializing and inspiring the next generation of Saffa’s.


It has recently been described as a top destination in Southern Africa for track variety, with over 30 runs possible in one day. That’s 110km of single track outrides, 30km of single track resort trails, 5 enduro tracks and 4 downhill tracks all to enjoy at CrankChaos 2019. The event also brings together the biggest brand names in mountain biking allowing you to test and rate the equipment on the network of trails surrounding the Afriski Mountain Resort. Here is the route guide:

Enduro: Created in five stages totaling 9.0km. Starting with Makhobalo’s Grin and winding into Thabiso’s Twist. This trail was built in 2014 and commemorates the life of one of Afriski’s longest-serving staff members. Its views of the mountain valley and the Motete River are awe-inspiring. Makhobalo’s Grin trail joins the Motete Run, which skirts the cliff face before dropping down to the riverside. It’s one of the most unique rides you can find.

Downhill: There are four downhill tracks to choose from: Don King’s Hill, Red Hot Poker, Gooi Mielies and Brake Back Mountain. Each has open fast bike-park corners and jumps interspersed with natural rock gardens and nice technical mid-sections.

The Dirt Breath Express: a  35km – 50km trail, this trail boasts both single and jeep tracks, tight corners, rocky climbs and unforgettable river sections. This is quintessential rural Lesotho at its best: cattle tracks, villages, rivers and streams and flocks of sheep make up the first half of the ride. Expect a 25% technical single track and tough climbing, followed by a beautiful meandering single track down the Khukune River, some district road and Jeep track, and massive sandstone formations.

The Kapoko Snow and Bike Park: which during the winter months is transformed into a snowboarder’s dream. However, with a few additional summer variations, the Bike Park becomes the ideal playground for any dirt-jump enthusiast and will truly test a rider’s skills.

Goldilocks: 10.3km’s of mountain biking bliss. Following the contours of the mountains between the Mashlasela Pass and the Malebomatsi River, Goldilocks has it all. Her long, steep turns, rocky sections, drops, river crossings and sharp, tight corners are the ultimate challenge.  This challenging single track takes you down the Fanana River valley with a few stream crossings and a beautiful mountain feel. It’s an avalanche trail similar to European experiences. Awesome enduro sections make up 25% of the ride, with minimal climbing and the remainder is mostly technical single track. Intermediates will ride it, but advanced riders will own it! There will be a bike shuttle to bring you back to the top or you might want to see if you could claim the KOM on the climb back up to the resort.

Bambi’s Revenge: Kicking off at 3 330m above sea level. This extraordinary single track takes riders over exciting obstacles, tight twists and turns, inviting berms on soil that encouraged letting go of all brakes and ripping the corners with gravel spraying in all directions.

Black Mountain Pass:  18km, this beautiful single track takes you along rivers and cliff edges; offering breathtaking views and a remote, isolated, true mountain biking experience. Made from mostly long, flowing single track, as well as 2 awesome 1 km enduro sections with minimal climbing. There is also a shuttle to take you back to the resort but you can also pedal the full 30km loop.

Enter & book HERE


Afriski Mountain Resort is an ‘all year, all-mountain’ destination in the heart of the Drakensberg- Maluti Mountains, in Lesotho. It is one of 2 ski resorts in Southern Africa and caters to every taste. It offers the perfect escape for sport and outdoor enthusiasts, corporate parties and families in summer and winter. With a selection of accommodation options, as well as a range of on-site facilities and restaurants, Afriski has all you need for the perfect mountain getaway. Learn more.

| IMAGES: Supplied by CrankChaos, Eric Plamer, Dom Barnardt, Jean Pierre Nortje |

No comment yet, add your voice below!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *
Name *
Email *