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02_Nov 2011

Dear MCSA member

In this News Bulletin:

1) MCSA Supertramp Award 2012

2) International Youth Ice-climbing Camp, 17-22 December

3) Bolting on Table Mountain

4) Richard Watmough Conservation Fund Award

5) Club/SA snippets

6) Mountains for the world - Call for action on the world's mountains



The MCSA (Magaliesberg Section) is happy to announce that the MCSA Supertramp Award will again be available for 2012 - thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor. The award will be made to a young individual who wants to undertake an expedition to any country - including South Africa - for any length of time. Preference will be given to originality as well as to first ascents and/or unusual/remote destinations.

The main criteria are that an applicant has to be a SA citizen and be younger than 25-years-old at 31 December 2011 (and the same is valid for all members of the groups if it is not a solo trip). MCSA membership is not a requirement.

                  Applications for the award of up to R15 000 close on 5 January 2012. More information and an application form can be found at: http://cen.mcsa.org.za/home/youth. Contact Petro Grobler (petrogrobler@telkomsa.net) for more details.



A UIAA International Global Youth Summit Meet will be hosted by the French Alpine Club at Guillestre near Briançon in the southern French Alps (region Rhones Alpes, departement 05, Hautes Alpes) from  17-22 December 2011. It will be an ice-climbing camp with as main goal to learn and practice many forms of ice climbing (single- and multi-pitch). All the ice climbing sites are described on http://www.ice-fall.com/ Guides, accommodation and food (4-person rooms in the youth gite, Auberge des 4 vents ( http://www.lesquatrevents.eu/) , breakfast and dinner) are included in price of 200 euro. Requirements for applicants are that they must be between 16- and 22-years-old, should lead climb at a minimum of 5b French grade, and that they should be competent belayers. Four participants will be allowed per federation. If you are interested, contact the MCSA secretary, Jenny Paterson (jpaterson@iburst.com), ASAP for assistance, an application form and detail about required equipment, insurance, etc. The D-date for application to Club Alpin Francais is 3 December 2011.



From Julia Wakeling (Chairman - CT Section Rock Subcom; juliawakeling@gmail.com ) on CapeRockNews:  New anchors had been installed on the 2nd last stance of Arrow Final on Table Mountain and it is in breach of the agreement with SanParks and the currently accepted ethics within the climbing community. During the early 1990's bolting debate and subsequent development of a sport climbing management plan for the peninsula, it was agreed with the SanParks and the climbing community that Table Mountain is a bolt-free zone. It was also agreed for safety reasons that a limited number of abseil anchors were to be installed on Table Mountain. 

"The MCSA does not condone this kind of action.  As the only active representative body of climbers, the MCSA has facilitated removal of these bolts. 

The MCSA recognises that preservation of Table Mountain and safety are both of high priority.  We are currently processing a bolting policy for Table Mountain which will provide clarity on this subject. If you would particularly like to be involved with drafting it, please get hold of me directly.  We will make this proposed policy available shortly. 

The MCSA would like to caution individuals against activities that could contradict landowner agreements.  The actions of one or two people can result in loss of access for everyone as has happened in other areas."  



Richard Watmough was an entomologist and a long-standing member of the Magaliesberg Section. After his death in 2005, his estate was bequeathed to the Magaliesberg Section. The Richard Watmough Conservation Fund was established by the Section to honour Richard as a conservationist who truly cared about the Magaliesberg. An annual award is made from this fund to a conservation project that will benefit the Magaliesberg. Applications for the 2012 award (currently R18 000 – subject to change) close on 15 January 2012 and the successful candidate will be announced in February 2012. For more detail on the award such as project criteria and project proposal format, contact Christa van Schalkwyk (christavs@postnet.co.za).



5.1) JOINT MEET OF THE WESTERN CAPE SECTIONS, 12-13 November: Tygerberg Section is hosting the 2011 Joint Meet of the Western Cape Sections from 12-13 November in Bains Kloof.  Contact:  Hannes Truter (hannes.truter@gmail.com; 082 441 5413).

5.2) CAPE ACCESS: Updated information on accessing CapeNature areas was published in the October edition of Cape Town Section's Mountain Ears. All MCSA members who access these mountains (including the December holiday crowd from elsewhere!) must please ensure that they know what the rules entails, so that they do not endanger access for all.

Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) is also now required by SanParks to have its own branded card for activity permits ('My Activity Permit'), which carry different rates for different recreational activities such as dog walking, para-gliding, mountain biking , horse riding. The rates are determined according to TMNP's assessment of potential environmental impact.

For more info, contact CapeNature, TMNP or Cape Town Section's access subcommittee (mcsacapetown@iafrica.com).

5.3) INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN DAY, 4 December 2011 - KwaZulu-Natal Section initiative: The KZN Section is organising a weekend at Cobham from 3-4 December to celebrate International Mountain day. They will be camping at their cars and are planning various activities from full day and half day hikes, mountain biking and climbing to a mega braai on the Saturday evening. Any members are welcome to lead hikes (or activities) and members and non-members are welcome to come and join in the fun. This weekend is specifically aimed at showing novices and families that they can have fun in the mountains and for getting the younger generation involved. So please diarise this, and keep an eye on the website: http://kzn.mcsa.org.za/home or contact Bruce Tomalin for more information: Bruce.Tomalin@mondigroup.co.za

International  Mountain Day was instituted for the first time in 2002 after the United National had declared 2002 the Year of the Mountains (Previously the day was championed by the UIAA as Clean Mountain Day - a project that had been supported by the MCSA for quite a few years). The 2011 International Mountain Day will be held in Durban on 4 December 2011 and organisers include ICIMOD, GIZ, the Mountain Partnership, FAO, UNEP and the World Bank. It will be held on the side-line of UNFCCC COP-17 entitled 'Highlighting the Critical Role of Mountain Ecosystems for Climate Adaptation and Sustainable Development'. The programme will include a high-level panel of ministers and policy makers from different mountain systems of the world who will share the challenges and opportunities for mountains in the context of impacts of climate change. Dr RK Pachauri, IPCC Chair, will deliver the keynote speech. For more detail, visit www.icimod.org/?q=3895

5.4) DENALI (May/June 2012): Dobek Pater (Johannesburg Section) wants to ascertain if there is interest in an expedition to climb Denali via the standard route in May/June 2012. Participants would be free to stay in Alaska after climbing Denali to climb other peaks in the area, hike, fish, wrestle brown bears, drink local moonshine or whatever, if they so wish. Please contact Dobek if you are interested: dobek@africaanalysis.co.za;  083-306-2306.    

5.5) THREE PASSES HIMALAYA TREK (April 2012): Corlius Jooste of Magaliesberg Section (076 680 5312; corliusj@gmail.com) is planning a 20-day teahouse trek in the Solu Khumbu region of the Nepalese Himalaya. On the trek to Everest base camp and Gokyo Lake, there are views of Everest, Makalu and Cho Oyu. The trek is not technical but a lot of time will be spent above 5000m.

5.6) ROCK MASTER (10 December 2011):  Rock Master Cape Town 2011 is a climbing competition that aims to bring climbers together from around South Africa (and ultimately from around the globe). A 'Rock Master Champion' will be crowned. There will be expert route setting, spectator spot prizes and contests and... an after-party. It will take place at City Rock in Cape Town on Saturday 10 December from 12:00 until late. For more info, see: samountainsport.co.za or www.mountainextreme.co.za.

5.7) DRAKENSBERG MATTERS (Feedback from a meeting between Ezemvelo-KZN Wildlife and the KZN Section's Iona Stewart (Conservation and Hiking committee member) and Hannelie Morris (Chairman)):

No cycling is allowed in the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park except for designated mountain bike tracks and roads. Please respect the rules of the park. If you do see people cycling, you can report them to the office, or just make them aware of the rules, since they probably just don’t know any better.

Ezemvelo would like to receive report backs on any aircraft seen in the Drakensberg. Please note the time and aircraft and report it on the rescue register, so that they can follow up on it.

When answering the call of nature, please dig a DEEP hole (at least 15 cm) and include the paper (do not burn it) and put a rock on top as well to keep the baboons away. Please take a Zip-Lock bag to carry out sanitary products. Only eat brambles on your way out...

Please remind non-member hikers and climbers to do the same.

5.8) SOUTH POLE JUBILEE EXPEDITION ADVENTURE BY STELLENBOSCH SECTION MEMBER: Correne Erasmus-Coetzer is on her way to Antarctica to ski a complete route from the coast to the South Pole again; this time to commemorate the discovery of the Geographic South Pole (90°S) on 14 December hundred years ago.  They are 12 skiers in the team (2 are guides, with the main guide, Norwegian Christian Eide, the current South Pole solo speed ski record holder): 8 Norwegian, 2 Russians, one Brit and one South African.

Weather permitting they fly from Punta Arenas, Chile, to Antarctica on 8 November. From the base camp, Union Glacier, they get another flight to the New Zealand side of the continent. The start point is on the Ross Ice Shelf near the bottom of the Axel Heiberg Glacier where Roald Amundsen and his team set foot on the Antarctic continent 100 years ago (they started at the Bay of Whales). The South Pole Jubilee team will be following Amundsen’s route from Axel Heiberg to the South Pole.

This route is the steepest and highest access route to the South Pole. First the steep Axel Heiberg Glacier with its deep snow and crevasse filled path will be a challenge. The next crevasse field, named by Amundsen, is The Devil’s Dance Floor. Then they climb to 3200m to the highest ski terrain on Antarctica, Titan Dome. From there it is heads-down to the South Pole at about 3000m. The route, in a straight line, is 550km.  The team will be pulling 80 kg sleds with food for 35 days and will be unassisted (no resupply airdrops) and unsupported (no kites, and no cars and skidoos driving along). Because of the steepness on the glacier, equipment will be relayed. Temperatures are expected to be cold; minus 30-40 degrees Celsius with a headwind.

Weather permitting they plan to be at the South Pole on 14 December (New Zealand time). The Norwegian Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, and the world press will be meeting the team and all the other Norwegian teams coming in from other access routes and ski approximately the last 14 km together to the Pole. Norway’s best known living explorer, Borge Ousland, will be leading.

(On 17 January 2007 (95 years after Robert Falcon Scott and his team’s arrived at the South Pole) Correne Erasmus-Coetzer became the first (and up to now, only) woman from Africa to ski a complete route from the coast of Antarctica to the Geographic South Pole. She and 2 other women skied the 1130km in 54 days. Before that she skied solo across the frozen Great Slave Lake in Canada, the ninth largest lake in the world, did a return journey on the east coast of Greenland and skied the last degrees of latitude to the Geographic North Pole (90°N) and South Pole. In between she ventured above snow lines on mountains in the Himalayas and the Andes.) Sites to read diary updates about the south Pole Jubilee Expedition: Christian Eide: www.latitude.no; Ousland and Ebbesen: www.ousland.no; Correne Erasmus-Coetzer:  http://www.humanedgetech.com/expedition/sp/ Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/CorreneCoetzer

Other sites: AdventureStats Polar Rules and definitions: http://www.adventurestats.com/rules.shtml#polar; Polar Statistics: http://www.adventurestats.com/statistics.shtml#polar; Christian Eide’s world record: http://www.explorersweb.com/stats/news.php?id=19887; Polar news: http://www.explorersweb.com/ Correne Erasmus-Coetzer South Pole 2006-07  www.SkiSouthPole.co.za

5.9) NEPAL EXPEDITION (BARUNTSE PEAK): Follow Magaliesberg Section member, Jaco du Preez, on http://www.summitclimb.com/new/default.asp?vid=17&linktype=r&mtype=smenu (Click on Baruntse Mera Peak Autumn 2011). Short description of expedition: Climbing a 'warm up peak', Mera Peak (6500m) and then afterwards Mount Baruntse (7200m). Located in the Himalayas, Khumbu region of Nepal in the Everest National Park (14km away from Mount Everest). Highlights of the trip include landing at Lukla airport, doing a grand circuit trek of the Everest region and crossing Amphu Labtsa pass (5700m). Trip duration 36 days. Leaving 9 October, back 17 November.



Twenty years on from the Rio 1992 meeting (the first 'Earth Summit'), participants coming from all walks of life met in Lucerne on 11 and 12 October 2011 to make a compelling case for mountains in international development discussions. Participants have produced a Call for Action to bring a conjunct strong message to Rio+20 in June 2012. Numerous, diverse and complex,  vulnerable due to high poverty rates, mountains must stand tall on the development agenda. A source of fresh water for half of the earth’s population, mountains open the way for concrete ways of reducing poverty, overcoming food insecurity and enhancing international (often transboundary) cooperation with benefits for all – mountain communities above and downstream cities below.

Mountains for the World: Call for Action Mountains are vital for sustainable development and human wellbeing. More than half of the earth’s population depends on fresh water coming from mountains. Mountains also provide a number of important global goods and key services which are under increasing pressure from globalization and climate change.

Following the invitation of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Mountain Partnership Secretariat (FAO), international experts and policy makers met in Lucerne on 11 and 12 October 2011 to convey the importance of mountains to the Rio +20 summit.

Protecting future water supplies, reducing poverty in mountain populations and unlocking the economic potential of mountains calls for the following actions:

1) Adapt and develop mountain governance that takes into account the unique characteristics of mountains in order to overcome poverty, food insecurity, and social exclusion.

2) Facilitate mountain communities to gain fair access to resources and share benefits of their use equitably.

3) Involve mountain people in decision making processes that concern their livelihood, economy, environment, and culture.

4) Strengthen and develop national, regional and global institutions that address highland-lowland interactions and transboundary cooperation, support capacity building, generation and dissemination of knowledge, technical expertise and innovation for sustainable mountain development.

5) Provide enabling conditions and incentives for investment by the private sector in sustainable development in mountain areas and include appropriate funding in national budgets in order to enhance wellbeing and reduce disparities.

6) Recognize the vulnerability of mountain ecosystems within the three Rio conventions and adopt action plans for each related to sustainable development.

7) Make best use of all new and existing funding mechanisms such as the Global Environment Facility.

Lucerne, 11 October 2011


Best regards

Petro Grobler



“If the Earth was one country, would we accept such pollution? If the Earth was one country, would we accept such inequalities? If the Earth was our country: that is the Rio spirit.”

“Since mountains are transboundary and interdisciplinary, the key entry in Rio+20 could be about cooperation in mountain regions at all scales”.

- Brice Lalonde, former Minister for Environment in France and Executive Coordinator for Rio+20, World Mountain Conference, Lucerne (Switzerland), 13 October 2011