Abandon your fears. Embrace the mountains.
What We Offer
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 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!
Bachelor of Veterinary Science (2019)
UESCA certified Running Coach
UESCA certified Nutritionist
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
Otter African Trail Run (7 x finisher)
Whale of Trail 50km
Sky Run 38km & 100km
Lesotho Ultra Trail 50km
Ultra Trail Drakensberg 100km
Heaven & Hell 88km
Hout Bay Trail Run
Mnweni Mountain Marathon
Soutpansberg Mountain Marathon
Magalies Challenge 50km
Three Cranes Challenge
Dodo Trail 50km (Mauritius)
African X, Dryland Traverse, RunTheBerg, Klipspringer
Maxi Race Annecy 85km & Templiers 75km (France)
Mountain Running Championship 40km (Slovenia - 5th)
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!
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
Ultra Trail Drakensberg 100km (1st - 12:21)
Otter African Trail Race 42km (8th - 04:48)
Skyrun 100km (top 10 - 15:48)
Ultra Trail Drakensberg 160km (2nd)
Hobbit 90km (2nd)
Dodo Trail 50km (top 10)
The Beast 50km (3rd)
Mnweni Mountain Marathon (2nd)
Klipspringer Challenge 65km (1st)
Soutpansberg Mountain Marathon (3rd)
Magoeba Trek MTB - 2nd Team
Amohela MTB - 1st Team
"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."
"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."