Mountain runner, running in front of a tarn with reflection with mountains behind. Pierre Jordaan Nicolette Griffioen

Mountain Abandon

Abandon your fears. Embrace the mountains.

What We Offer

Ocean sun swimming
Tent camp fire pine trees
Sun mountains pin trees outdoors

This Is Our Story

Mountain Abandon was born from two beings’ love for all things mountain & movement. Whenever possible they would escape their rat-raced lives to spend weekends traversing ridge lines and valleys on foot. Whether running or hiking, following a trail, or navigating by compass and map, they were in their element in the mountain wilderness. They delighted in the fascinating array of life at altitude, especially wild flowers, and after each excursion they longed for more.

 

Eventually they could suppress their yearnings for freedom no longer, so they deserted the city for good, abandoning themselves to a life amongst mountains. The daily drone of traffic was replaced by melodious birds, and the unbearable urban smog by pure mountain air. Within days their minds were clear, spirits soaring and bodies healthier than ever before. And from these revelations came a strong desire to share with others the wealth of a life of "mountain abandon!"

Nicolette Griffioen

Nicolette is perhaps most well known for her achievements as a top long-distance and ultra trail runner in South Africa. Before focusing her attention primarily on running though, she was a podium age group triathlete and mountain biker. Nicolette has been competing for almost 10 years and still races competitively. She is currently taking a hiatus from her profession as a veterinarian to share her love of running and years of self-coaching experience with others.

 

Apart from sport and animals, Nicolette has a passion for life and the natural world, particularly birds and flowers. Her childhood was spent outdoors, camping and hiking on trips around southern Africa. With this background, and her inability to remain idle, Nicolette makes for an enthusiastic and knowledgeable mountain companion on guided running, hiking and fastpacking excursions. Her determined but positive attitude is an invaluable asset to the Mountain Abandon team!

Qualifications

Bachelor of Veterinary Science (2019)

UESCA certified running coach

AQN Certified Guide (NQF Level 4)

Certified indoor cycling instructor

First Aid Level 2

South African National Trail Champion

Former XTERRA winner & age-group triathlete

Race Experience

Otter African Trail Run (7 finishes, 5 podiums)

Whale of Trail 50km

Sky Run 38km & 100km (female course record)

Lesotho Ultra Trail 50km
UTD 100km (old route female CR)
UTCT 100km

Addo 76km (female CR)

Heaven & Hell 88km (female CR)

Hout Bay Trail Run

Mnweni Mountain Marathon

Beast 50km

Magalies Challenge 50km

Three Cranes Challenge

Dodo Trail 50km (Mauritius)

African X, Dryland Traverse, Run The Berg, Klipspringer

Maxi Race Annecy 85km & Templiers 75km (France)

Mountain Running Championship 40km (Slovenia -  5th)

Soutpansberg Mountain Marathon - 1st

Female runner flowers winter
 

Pierre Jordaan

Pierre is an avid ultra-runner, a complete Drakensberg fanatic and a knowledgeable adventure guide. A mountain-lover at heart, there's nothing Pierre enjoys more than moving at altitude for extended periods of time. The longer and tougher a mountain mission becomes, the more in his element he is!

 

As an experienced pilot and flight instructor, Pierre naturally has an understanding of navigation and is passionate about sharing his map skills, mountain survival mentality and love of nature with others. Unexpectedly retrenched during the COVID-19 pandemic, Pierre chose to grasp it as the opportunity of a lifetime by relocating to the Drakensberg and creating the mountain life of which he has always dreamed. He has also used this time to up-skill in order that he may better help others in improving the quality of their lives.

 

Pierre brings most of the personality and all of the entrepreneurship skills to Mountain Abandon! His easy way with people and enthusiasm for instructing make him a natural teacher with a flair for captivating the attention of his audience. His do-or-die attitude sets him apart in the world of adventure racing, and we're super excited to have that approach in the Mountain Abandon team as well!

Qualifications

 

UESCA certified triathlon coach

Qualified Mountain Development Trust (MDT) Guide

AQN Certified Guide (NQF Level 4)

First Aid Level 2

Adventure racer & ultra trail athlete

SACAA Airline Transport Licensed Pilot

Grade II Flight Instructor

Race Experience

Hobbit 90km (2nd)

Dodo Trail 50km (top 10)

The Beast 50km (3rd)

Mnweni Mountain Marathon (2nd)

Ultra Trail Drakensberg 160km (2nd)

Skyrun 100km (top 10 - 17:15)

Magalies Challenge 50km (4th)

Otter African Trail Race 42km (8th - 04:48)

The Bushmans Trail Race 50km (1st)

Klipspringer Challenge 65km (1st)

Soutpansberg Mountain Marathon (3rd)

 

Testimonials

"With Nicolette and Pierre's wealth of knowledge and experience I was able to complete my first ultra trail run. They not only guided my training and nutrition, but also enabled me to have the correct mindset to complete my race comfortably.

 

Our Drakensberg fastpacking trips helped with my conditioning, while sleeping out in the mountains was simply an experience of a lifetime. They have a deep understanding of these mountains to share and the infinite passion to do just that."

Lee Olivier

Female mountain hiking running
Happy free female runner and climber.

"I’ve been lucky to know these two unique humans for some time. To mission with them is an amazing experience of learning how to live life and engage with our environment through their eyes. Nicolette is a gentle Teacher, and Pierre’s psyche and enthusiasm for the outdoors, nature, running, healthy eating and life is contagious.

It is always a privilege to move with them and I continue to learn from their experience. I feel the mountains are accessible yet still real and raw when I’m missioning with them. I’m excited to see how they will continue to learn from nature, their clients and life."

Karine Bezuidenhoudt

Runner running towards camera infront of mountains

Adventure is closer than you think!

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