As entries for the 2014 Lesotho Ultra Trail continue to pour in from around the world, including Spain, Belgium, Austria, England, North America and Australia, as well as continued local interest from aspirant skyrunners in Southern Africa, the International Skyrunning Federation (ISF) has announced that Africa’s first Ultra SkyMarathon® will be recognised as one of their official World Ranking ultra races for 2014. Being one of only thirty six top global events in this category, as well as one of only two events selected from the African continent, the Lesotho Ultra Trail heads into only its second year with already some big shoes to fill.
The Maloti-Drakensberg mountain range is home to the only remaining population of southern African Bearded Vultures. Due to ongoing threats causing high death tolls, the population has been depleted to a critical level of just 350 birds.
Bearded Vulture in flight Read more
The controversial wind farm proposed for Lesotho’s Maluti-Drakensberg has received the go-ahead from the Lesotho Government. Conservationists are concerned that this decision does not bode well for the future of vultures in the region or for the reputation of the fledging wind energy industry in southern Africa.
“Approval of the Letseng project is a source of great concern to BirdLife”, said Ken Mwathe, BirdLife International’s Africa Policy Programme Coordinator. “African governments must tread carefully on renewable energy projects by ensuring they do not threaten birds and biodiversity”.
Durban – Plans for a controversial 7km cable car route to the top of the Drakensberg have changed with a new proposal to extend it by another 5km to link it to the Afriski ski resort in Lesotho and indirectly to a failed golf estate near Bergville.
This follows a meeting last week between Mike Mabuyakhulu, the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development and Tourism, and his counterparts from Lesotho and the Free State, where it was agreed that a new technical committee would be set up to discuss potential cable car partnership opportunities. Read more
- 8 Large Sheets of Filo Pastry (Thawed)
- 60g Clarified Butter
- 170g Good-quality Dark Chocolate minimum 60 per cent cocoa solids, rough chopped
- 7 Free Range Eggs
- ¼ tsp Fresh Quizzed Lemon Juice
- 40g Castor Sugar
- 2 Cups heavy cream
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
- 50g Blue Berry Compote
- 1. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (do not allow the base of the bowl to touch the water).
- 2. Whisk the egg whites and lemon juice in a large, clean bowl until they form soft peaks. The lemon juice will stabilize the egg whites, make them easier to work with and help to prevent over-whisking.
- 3. Add the sugar and continue to whisk until firm peaks form when the whisk is removed. Do not whisk beyond this stage
- 4. When the chocolate has melted, remove the bowl from the heat. Whisk one-third of the egg whites into the hot chocolate quickly, until thick and well combined
- 5. Fold the remaining egg whites into the chocolate mixture, using a spatula, until all of the egg white has been completely incorporated into the chocolate.
- 6. Spoon the mousse mixture into Stainless Bowl. Chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours, or until set.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract together on high speed until soft peaks form in the mixture, fold in the Blue Berry Compote and let it set in the fridge
- Preheat oven to 180°. Butter every other cup in 6 or 12-cup muffin pan. Place 1 Filo rectangle on work surface; cover remaining Filo with plastic wrap and damp cloth to prevent drying. Brush rectangle with clarified Butter, Place second Filo rectangle on top of the first one, brush with Butter and sprinkle with 1/2 tablespoon Sugar. Repeat 2 more times, top with 1 more rectangle and brush with butter, making stack of 5 rectangles. Press each stack into 1 buttered muffin cup. Repeat procedure 2 more times, making 4 more Filo cups (6 totals).
- Bake Filo cups until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes. Immediately lift Filo cups from pan, twisting carefully to loosen; place on rack. Cool completely.
- Fill Filo cups with Chocolate Mousse top with Blue Berry Chantilly Cream, Raspberries and put on Plate and serve.
- Bon appétit
At the end of the day a race director knows more about how their event rolls out than anybody else, that is the way it should be. So much happened at the Lesotho Ultra Trail 2013 that no one person there will know everything, not even the Race Director Andrew Booth who has penned his thoughts here.
A count down from 10 and 92 runners set-off on a 50km course layed out in Northern Lesotho’s Tsehlanyane National Park. With 2500m of climbing and sanctioning by the International Skyrunning Federation and South African Skyrunning Association, it was Africa’s first Ultra Skymarathon. Months of work was being put to the test, the next 12 hours would determine success, failure or mediocrity. Read more
Runners from all over South Africa, as well as an international contingent from Belgium, Australia, Spain, North America, Britain and Canada, descended upon Maliba Mountain Lodge in the heart of the Maluti Mountains on Friday 29th November to participate in the Lesotho Ultra Trail – Africa’s first Ultra SkyMarathon®
Stormy weather in the days preceding the race kept organisers KZN Trail Running and Maliba Mountain Lodge staff on their toes as final preparations were made.
“The mountains are unpredictable as was the build up to race day,” commented race director Andrew Booth of KZN Trail Running. “We had to work around the afternoon thunderstorms when marking and do as much as we could in advance to ensure we were ready for crunch time. Having some of the elite athletes at Maliba days before the race added immensely to the vibe. We knew what we where working for, the event had huge potential and we had to pull it off.” Read more
A pregnant charity worker from London has experienced first-hand what the challenges are in pregnancy and birth for mums to be in Lesotho, Africa.
While six months pregnant with her third child, Katharine Hamilton, 43, visited St James’ Hospital, in Mantsonyane, Lesotho, to see its work with new mothers and their babies. The hospital is located high in the mountains of Lesotho where the temperature in winter is very cold, and the terrain is rough and barren. Read more