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09_Apr 2011

Dear MCSA member

In this News Bulletin:

1) President's message: April AGM/Cencom feedback See President's Corner

2) UIAA Global Youth Summit Meet, South Africa- 9-16 July

3) Club/SA Snippets

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1) PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE in President's Corner on this site

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2) GLOBAL YOUTH SUMMIT MEET, SOUTH AFRICA, 9-16 July 2011

 The MCSA, under the auspices of the UIAA Youth Commission, will host a Global Youth Summit (GYS) event, Trekking in South Africa's 'Dragon Mountains' from 9-16 July 2011:  a high Berg traverse from Sentinel to Cathedral Peak. Applications from participants aged 16 - 25 will be considered. Participants need to be members of Federations affiliated to the UIAA. The number of 16-year-old participants will be limited to a maximum of 6 in total. Participants under the age of 18 years have to be accompanied by a Youth Leader older than 25 (The ratio should be 1 Youth Leader to accompany no more than three 16-year-old participants). Minimum no of participants: 15; maximum 22. Cost: R2 175 per person. Further information: Jenny Paterson (jpaterson@iburst.co.za). See http://www.theuiaa.org/gys_2011.html  or http://cen.mcsa.org.za/ .

Deadline for applications is 13 May 2011. Note that generous sponsorship from Tourism KwaZulu-Natal had been received which meant that the cost per participant as previously advertised could be reduced.

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3) CLUB/SA SNIPPETS

3.1) ANCHOR REPLACEMENT FUND (ARF): Andy Davies writes on CapeRockNews that ARF has replaced about 800 anchors so far, including the recent replacement of rap anchors on Table Mountain. After many years of good service, two drill batteries need to be replaced and the drill has to receive a good service. "So we are asking all of you lot out there you love climbing on those schweet shiny eye bolts to please help with these costs, as they are substantial (approx R2300). If 23 people make a R100 donation we will break even. If you are keen you can make an EFT to: ARF MCSA Cape Town; Standard Bank; Branch: Cape Town, 020009; Account: 071556060

3.2) MONTAGU ROCK RALLY:  The Montagu Rock Rally will take place on 16 April at De Bos Guest Farm. The prize categories will be as follows (with some flexibility based on what happens on the day): Highest points (only 10 routes), send of the day, most improved, codger of the day, young gun, fancy dress. To enter online: https://spreadsheets0.google.

com/viewform?formkey=dGM2NXJqbThyTkNyNXE0OHhGczNLbmc6MQ

Costs will be as follows: Entry R60 (incl t-shirt & Badkloof entry); spitbraai R80). Make an EFT to the MCSA at: Standard Bank; Branch: Cape Town, 020009; Account: 071556060 using "Montagu2011 <your surname>" as the deposit description and email your Proof of Payment to Montagu2011@gmail.com with "POP <your surname name>" in the subject title. If you are only coming for the spitbraai you don't need to fill out the form - just make the EFT and email Montagu2011@gmail.com with the POP with "Spitbraai <your surname>" in the subject title. From: Andy Davies - for Montagu Rock Rally Committee.

3.3) STEENBRAS RIVER GORGE: The City of Cape Town has issued notification that the Steenbras River Gorge and Crystal Pools will be closed for at least a year from 1 May 2011 for rehabilitation and maintenance. The possibility of providing guided hiking and kloofing trips during this period is being investigated, and it might become the only way to enter the Gorge in the future. Rehabilitation or maintenance of any kind is not possible with the current high visitor numbers.

In recent years the Gorge has experienced a significant growth in popularity amongst the public. Easy access after-hours via unofficial entry points, a low entrance tariff and not adjusting visitor numbers to the area's carrying capacity, has increased visitor numbers to a point where the Gorge's ecosystem is suffering massive degradation. The entrance tariff of R15.00 has remained fixed for the past three years, but with the addition of guides it is likely to increase. A new tariff still needs to be decided on and the current tariff will remain until 01 May 2011. Visitor numbers have already been regulated to a maximum of 100 people per day in preparation for the closure and rehabilitation of the area. Other natural areas that have implemented similar booking systems have experienced a positive impact on visitor safety and enjoyment and it has benefitted the local biodiversity and ecosystems

The Steenbras River Gorge is part of the Steenbras Nature Reserve (formally known as the Kogelberg Nature Reserve), which is one of more than 30 nature reserves and natural areas managed by the City of Cape Town. The Gorge features a number of swimmable rock pools as well as magnificent waterfalls and rock formations located about 3 km from the parking lot at the river mouth. A hiking trail takes visitors to a terraced series of five pools, referred to as the Crystal Pools. The Gorge is therefore a major attraction to hikers in search of scenic vistas, and it is also used for kloofing activities, such as rock jumping and abseiling.

The constant trampling of the vegetation is restricting the regrowth to such an extent that young plants at ground level never reach maturity. If nothing is done, 100-year-old trees will be lost that can never be replaced and the unique and rich biodiversity of the reserve will deteriorate. After a fire in 2008 the majority of the paths became indistinguishable from the rest of the area. Despite the introduction of route markers demarcating the original path, visitors are diverting from the route and making their own paths. As a result, and in conjunction with the lack of vegetation to bind the soil, soil erosion is now a major problem. Large quantities of litter are being generated in the area, especially around the pools and along the paths. This is not only unsightly, but also poses a threat to the local biodiversity, especially animals.

Direct any enquiries by e-mail to kogelberg.naturereserve@capetown.gov.za

3.4) SECTIONS: KZN Section's April-June newsletter is on:

http://kzn.mcsa.org.za/about-us/newsletters 

3.5) RIM OF AFRICA TRAIL: Rim of Africa Trail is a non-profit organisation with the vision to develop a contiguous walkable route traversing the length of the Cape Fold Mountains from the Cederberg to the Outeniqua. They offer the following trails as fundraising events to help further develop the Trail. Stage 1 (2-13 October) consists of 12 days of mountain experience in traditional hiking style through the Cederberg and Groot Winterhoek Mountains. Stage 2 (30 October - 4 November) is a slackpack experience of 6 days through the Agterwitzenberg and Grootwinterhoek Mountains. Stage 3 (16-23 October) goes all the way to Keeromsberg in the Koo Valley. The trail is fully facilitated, catered and supported logistically (includes all camping equipment, tents, transfers and trail gifts). See www.rimofafrica.co.za for more information and online registration.

3.6) WIND TURBINE IDEA FOR TABLE MOUNTAIN: Why not build wind turbines on Table Mountain, an ANC politician asked senior Eskom officials on Tuesday 15 March. The enquiry, from ruling party MP Chris Gololo, came after a briefing by the electricity utility - to a joint meeting of Parliament's energy and public enterprises portfolio committees - on its future spending plans.

Gololo said his question had to do with wind power.

"My question is based on the wind power, in that why can't we, for instance, establish a wind farm near the Table Mountain?[sic] "Because the reason is if you drive along that area, if you look at those trees, actually they are all standing like this [bent over].

"To me, it tells me that there's a lot of wind there, which [sic] we can put a lot of these wind turbines. Even if you are travelling in a car, you will see that the car is shaking, like it's going to be blown off.

"Why can't we put those wind turbines along the mountain in order for us to generate more megawatts? Your comment please, thank you."

Responding, Eskom operations and planning division MD Kannan Lakmeeharam said the choice of site was not Eskom's to make.

"The choice of where you build is informed by regulatory requirements and environmental impact assessments... if the City of Cape Town is happy... to build on Table Mountain, that is their choice," he told Gololo.

- SAPA: http://www.news24.com/SciTech/News/Wind-turbine-idea-for-Table-Mountain-20110315

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Any volunteer to redesign eNews (in particular providing a masthead), please contact the eNews editor.

Best regards

Petro Grobler

MCSA eNEWS Temp Editor

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The influence of fine scenery, the presence of mountains, appeases our irritations and elevates our friendships. 

- RALPH WALDO EMERSON, Culture, The Conduct of Life, 1860

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