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05_Aug 2011

Dear MCSA member

 In this News Bulletin:

1) American Alpine Club Yosemite Meet, 26 Sept - 1 Oct

2) UIAA Youth Everest Base Camp Trek, 14-30 September

3) Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, 10-24 October

4) Drakensberg UIAA Global Youth Summit Meet Feedback

5) The MCSA President on Youth

6) Club/SA Snippets

7) Other snippets



The American Alpine Club (AAC) is inviting climbers from around the world to sign up for its International Climbers' Meet taking place in Yosemite Valley from September 26 26 - 1 October. Participants must have some climbing experience but all abilities are welcome to apply. The goal is to host a diverse group of climbing abilities from a multitude of countries. New to this year’s event is participation of American Alpine Club members.

Participants provide their own transportation to Fresno, California airport.

The fee is USD435 per person and includes  pick up at Fresno airport on 25 September by 5:00 PM local time and drop off at Fresno airport on 2 October 2 by 9:00 AM local time, transportation in Yosemite Valley, six nights and days camping at secluded Yellow Pines camp ground, three catered meals per day, experienced host climbers to partner with for climbing, five and one half days of climbing in spectacular Yosemite Valley, one half day of a stewardship project for Yosemite Valley National Park and a nightly campfire for storytelling, socializing, and general carousing. Last year’s meet was a rousing success. Participants enjoyed climbing everything from all day long routes to challenging short climbs. We hosted climbers of all levels from more than eight different countries. Accounts of the day’s adventures were shared every evening over dinner, beers, and the glowing campfire.

The invitation was received late by the MCSA so although the D-date provided by the AAC was 15 July,  anyone interested in participating should contact the MCSA Secretary, Jenny Paterson (secretary@mcsa.org.za), ASAP - she will then attempt to get an extension on the deadline.


2) UIAA YOUTH EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK, 14- 30 September 2011

The Nepal Mountaineering Association will host a UIAA Global Youth Summit meet from 14 to 30 September 2011 in Nepal. It will involve a trek for peace for youth between the ages of 16-25 to Everest Base Camp Trek (5 364m) with an option to climb Phokalde Peak as an add-on.  Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult guide and only 4 participants per mountaineering federation are allowed. The cost of the Everest Base Camp Trek will be:  $995 per person (does not include international airfare).

At this stage the final documentation is not yet available. Anyone interested should email the MCSA's UIAA Youth Commission Corresponding Member, Jenny Paterson (jpaterson@iburst.co.za) to start the ball rolling.

Some financial assistance could be made available from the Centenary Journal Youth Fund. This is a unique opportunity for Youth Members to participate in one of the most spectacular treks in the world!!



An MCSA trek to the scenic Annapurna Sanctuary in the Nepal Himalaya has been arranged. The trek is not difficult, reaching a maximum altitude of only around 4000m, but all members of the party will have to be hiking fit.

Seven MCSA members have confirmed that they will be joining the trek.  There is still limited room for other members to join if they act fast.  As a guide to determining costs, a return airfare from Cape Town to Kathmandu was obtained for R 9 464.  The cost of the trek, all inclusive but not counting accommodation in Kathmandu either before or after the trek, will be around $1 080.  Contact Dave Jones (daveandfay@gmail.com) for more information.



The second UIAA Global Youth Summit Meet hosted by the MCSA in the Drakensberg was a great success. Feedback by one of the participants can be read on the MCSA web page:  http://cen.mcsa.org.za/home/youth/gys-2011.

Also, another participant from the Waterford International School in Swaziland, has updated his blog:  see it on http://elimedvescek.blogspot.com/



Dave Jones (daveandfay@gmail.com), MCSA President, gives his take on youth in the mountains: See http://cen.mcsa.org.za/president-s-corner



6.1) 2011 UNITED NATIONS MOUNTAIN DAY. This year's Mountain Day will be celebrated in Durban in South Africa. On 4 December 2011, ICIMOD, together with GIZ, the Mountain Partnership Secretariat/FAO, and other partners, will organise a Mountain Day, ‘Highlighting the Critical Role of Mountain Ecosystems for Climate Adaptation and Sustainable Development’. A high-level panel will highlight the value of mountains and their role in climate change adaptation and sustainable development. Read more at www.icimod.org/mountainday.

6.2) SOUTH AFRICAN ON BROAD PEAK: Andre Bredenkamp summited Broad Peak on 25 July. http://www.springerk2.com/k2-blog/

5 members of our expedition set out for the summit of Broad Pk from Camp 3 at 10pm on July 24th. One of the members, Jeff Wai Hung Chung-from China, died during his descent after falling 500+ft down a steep snow slope, ending up in a large crevice. Attempts to reach him were unsuccessful.

6.3) MOUNTAIN BOOKS: There is a new edition of 'Table Mountain Classics - A Guide to Walks, Scrambles and Moderate Rock Climbs' by Tony Lourens. It is available at most outdoor shops and book shops in the Western Cape. The book describes some of the best walks, scrambles and moderate rock climbs that Table Mountain has to offer and describes some of the most remarkable and memorable places. Scattered throughout the book are also mythical tales and many historical stories on the building of the reservoirs, early visitors, climbing history, fauna and flora, Van Hunks and the Devil and much more. It is published by Blue Mountain Publishers: 320 pages, full colour, 148mm x 210mm (A5).

A new coffee table book on the Berg, 'Drakensberg - Magnificent Mountain', was published by Oshana Publishers (www.oshana.co.za). The text is by club member, Ed Salomons, and the photos by Erwin and Nicoleen Niemand who spent 3 years photographing the Berg.  The photos are unusual and the text philosophical. The book is available from Ed Salomons (036-468 1202,

http://www.inkosana.co.za) at R360 plus postage.

6.4) YOUTH CLIMBING: Youth climbing is going from strength to strength under the banner of the South African National Climbing Federation (SANCF). The Climbing Barn (http://www.climbingbarn.com/is) from 1-3 July hosted the indoor training leg of the winter training camp for the SANCF National Youth team.  The team has been selected in a selection competition held previously at The Barn where kids from around the country competed to be chosen for the team.  The team is going to Austria in August to compete in the International Federation of Sport Climbing's Youth World Cup - a first for South Africa.  In in order to be more prepared, the kids took part in this winter training camp. The head coach of the team, Paul Bruyere, worked alongside international climbing star, Joey Kinder, to prepare the kids for the challenges that lie ahead.

6.5) RIM OF AFRICA TRAIL: The Rim of Africa is Africa's longest continuous mountain trail initiative. Set in the Cape mountains the trail follows over 44 days and in excess of 600km the entire Cape fold range from the northern Cederberg to the Outeniqua  Mountains. The trail is walked in up to 8 different sections; each year a new section of the trail is opened for access as the initiative progresses in confirming and negotiating access with private land owners. CapeNature and the MCSA have endorsed of the trail.

A  slackpack version (facilitated trail experience: not carrying a pack and with organised permits, catering, transport etc) of the Cederberg and Kouebokkeveld sections of the Rim of Africa is now offered for the first time. It will take place in October as the weather is not yet too hot, the main rains have passed, there will be an exceptional array of spring flowers and streams are full and fresh.  The traverse of the entire Cederberg Wilderness takes 7 days and combined with the Kouebokkeveld it will take 12 days. See: www.rimofafrica.co.za  or phone 082 888 8181 (The Rim of Africa is a Non-Profit NGO and all money raised from the Slackpack trails goes directly back into the trail to secure further access and to conserve the trail experience).

6.6) Section news: The latest newsletter of KwaZulu-Natal Section (July-September 2011) is available online at:




7.1) EVEREST HEIGHT: The government in Nepal has requested that the height of Mt Everest be re-measured to gain a more accurate reading of its true height and to end a brewing dispute with China. For years, the official height of the mountain, as recognised by Nepali officials, has been 8 848 meters (29,029 ft), but that measurement includes 4 meters of snow on top of the peak. China insists that the mountain should be measured sans snow, and they list the height as 8844 meters (29,015 ft). Everest falls along the border between Nepal and Chinese controlled Tibet. Apparently, last year the two countries agreed to use the 8848 meter height while discussing border disputes between the nations, but the Chinese continued to use the lower height. In order to settle the dispute once and for all, Nepal has begun the task of re-measuring the mountain using sophisticated GPS devices.

Measurements of the height will be taken at three different locations, and the entire process could take up to two years to complete.

In 1999 an American team measured the height of Everest, using GPS equipment, at 8850 meters (29,035 feet). That is the same number that National Geographic uses in its publications and representations of the mountain. The new survey will be the first official measurement since that time, and since technology has increased in sensitivity and accuracy, it is likely that this will be the most accurate measure of the height of the mountain to date.

7.2) GREAT HIMALAYA TRAIL (GHT):  Two trekkers, Australian Greg Babbage and Brit Toni Wilson, have walked their way into the record books by becoming the first people to hike the length of the Great Himalaya Trail in Nepal end-to-end in a single season. They began their walk back in February in eastern Nepal near Kanchenjunga and during the 157 days to Humla in the Yari Valley on the Nepal-China border covered more than 1 700km (1056 miles) in the process. Along the way, they passed over 25 high mountain passes, reaching a maximum altitude of 6200 meters (20,341 ft) in the process.

The proposed final route of the GHT will pass through Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet, with the splendour of the tallest mountains on the planet as a dramatic backdrop. When it is completed, it will be the longest and highest trekking route in the world, stretching for more than 4 500km  (2796 miles) from Nanga Parbat in Pakistan to Namche Barwa in Tibet.

For now, the route across Nepal is the only section that is completely open for trekkers to hike (TrekTheGreatHimalayaTrail.com).


http://www.panoramas.dk/fullscreen2/full22.html (NB : When you see the panorama, click the icon on the top right corner to make the image full-screen!). On 24 May 1989 the Australian photographer and mountaineer Roderick Mackenzie reached the summit of Everest. He was no 271 since 1953 and his full screen panorama was published to celebrate the 50-year commemoration of the first ascent of Everest on 29 May 2003 by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.


Best regards

Petro Grobler



welllllll the bouldering in south africa is not letting me down!  it is insane down here

i cant believe how incredible and overlooked the climbing here in the western cape actually is!

Southern Africa really is the next great frontier for bouldering.

 - Paul Robinson (http://p-d-robinson.tumblr.com/): Paul Robinson visited SA in July.  He started climbing at the age of 11. In the last decade, he has bouldered and established climbs up to 8C/+ and has sent literally hundreds of problems in 8A to 8C range. Not surprisingly, he has won or placed in nearly all of the international bouldering competitions he has entered.