Masjiennek (R37)

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Scenery near the pass Scenery near the pass - Photo: Wikimedia

Masjiennek (which translates from Afrikaans into Machine Neck) is to all intents and purposes the western connecting pass between Lydenburg and the Long Tom Pass. It starts 4 km west of the Long Tom Pass summit point and descends through 609 meters of altitude to end just outside Lydenburg over an 11,9 km traverse. This produces a comfortable average gradient of 1:20, but some sections are fairly steep at 1:10.

The road is in good condition and has been well engineered. It includes 27 bends, corners and curves, most of which have an easy radius, but there a few bends requiring a reduction in speed down to 50 kph. It is subject to heavy mountain mists with the accompanying low visibility risks and carries heavy traffic, which includes articulated mining and logging trucks. Together with the Koffiehoogte on the eastern side of the Long Tom Pass, the trio of passes form one long continious pass between Lydenburg and Sabie.

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