EXTREME open-water swimmers are signing up to take part in the Eastern Cape's first high-altitude swim.
The Rhodes Mile High Dam Dash will be held at the remote Loch Ness dam, 2554m above sea level in the Cape Southern Drakensberg on March 2.
Proceeds would go to a children's play park at Zakhele in Rhodes village, organiser Roger Browne said.
Ten swimmers have already entered the event, which will take place in pristine mountain water sporting temperatures of between 10°C and 15°C. It is the Eastern Cape's first extreme high-altitude race, but follows the same idea as Rhodes professor George Euvrard's famous winter solstice Polar Plunge at Grey Dam in Grahamstown.
The plunge happens precisely in the middle of winter, and sees scores of followers leaping into freezing cold waters while shouting "into the light!"
Browne said he dreamt up his little event to support tourism for the Rhodes village, but was surprised at how word spread. There will also be a half-mile swim, fun relays and a tube race.
Browne said: "This unique experience will be held at extreme altitude – where the air is clean and oxygen thin. The scenery is rugged, with a beauty of its own. The dam is overlooked by Ben MacDhui, the highest point in the Eastern Cape at 3000m."
Wetsuits can be worn. Accommodation is available at the village.
To enter call Browne on 082-358-8712; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.rhodesretreats.co.za and select "Rhodes Mile High Swim" from "Upcoming Events".