• Jeannette McGill

Mountaineering Moments #7 . . . Nicky Booyens


Nicky says she isn’t a “big ass mountaineer” but for those in the know; Nix/Turbo-Mamba is one enthusiastic & successful adventurer! She will end up running skyward on any mountain that is placed in front of her! 😎


Nix and I first crossed paths while Adventure Racing a lifetime ago, then we teamed up in 2004 (Linden Squeeza’s) for the inaugural 800km Cape Epic mountain bike race. I began those efforts with a broken ankle and Nicky ended with a broken elbow – but that’s a story for a different day. The last time Nicky and I undertook a mountain trip together was at speed: I ended up being towed by Ryno Griesel and trying to keep up with Ryan Sandes’ dust. Nicky usually mountaineers as part of exciting and long global adventure races: Patagonia and Ladakh, India come to mind. More than anything it’s her indomitable spirit that I admire. Nicky mostly trains by racing and is a familiar face at many South African trail-running and adventure events.



Favourite Mountain Expedition to Date: (Waterfall) Ice Climbing at Giants Castle, Drakensburg, South Africa. Just a totally unique and awesome experience.

Top 2 gear must haves: Good shoes and a proper down jacket (I’ll do Nix’s work for her here: she is an Ambassador for ON Running)

Hardest Lesson: Never carry loads of raw mince for dinner and coke bottles up the flippen mountain🤣 ... unnecessary extra weight in your pack. Lesson learnt from our first Giants Castle mission. I lost my sense of humour so bad I almost dumped it on the way up!!!

Sunrise and Sunset: Honestly, I don’t know!

Music or Audiobooks: Music

Shewee or Squat: Squat

First post-Covid project: To go run far and for a long time with my running buddies in the mountains . . .


(McGill: during Covid lockdown she has (among many other challenges) completed a Backyard 100-Miler of 127 laps around her house taking 23 hrs 01 minute and 55 sec) 😲

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