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2015-07

In this bulletin:

1) Nepal Earthquake Fundraiser

2)   Magaliesberg proclaimed biosphere by UNESCO – 9 June 2015

3)  MCSA National – help needed

4)  National Meet: Baviaanskloof 5-12 September 2015

5)  Alpine Journals missing

6) Expedition to Indian Himalaya – 20 August – 30 September2015

7) UIAA News

                7.1 UIAA Rock climbers’ award given to two S A climbers at inaugural event

7.2 Dates confirmed for Continental Championships in Europe, Asia and N. America

8)  Mountain protection Award –Deadline

9) American Alpine Club seeks climbers

10) Facebook and web pages

11)  Section News

12)  Snippets

13) Any newsworthy items

 

 

1) NEPAL EARTHQUAKE FUNDRAISER

This is a final appeal for contributions to the MCSA’s initiative to raise funds for the victims of the devastating earthquakes in Nepal. Several NGO’s were evaluated and ExCo has agreed that the beneficiary will be the Khumbila Samrakshhan Pratisthan Khumbil Foundation. 

The people who run the Foundation have been hands-on since the day the first earthquake struck and have been distributing aid since then, and continuously, as they have received donations.  More details about Khumbila and their work will be placed on the national website in the next few days.

To those of you who have donated generously already, a sincere Thank You!

Donations can be paid into the following current bank account:

MOUNTAIN CLUB OF SOUTH AFRICA, JHB SECTION

Bank:  Nedbank Killarney

Acc #: 1916 044 239

Branch #: 191605

REFERENCE:  (your) SURNAME (+) NEPAL   (this is very important please)

 

For audit and balancing purposes it is important to send proof of payment to jennyapaterson@gmail.com  .

All donations will be acknowledged.

 

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2) MAGALIESBERG PROCLAIMED BIOSPHERE BY UNESCO – 9 JUNE 2015

Release by the Magaliesberg Biosphere Initiative Group

Map of Biosphere final 2014-08-28 UNESCO.jpg

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4IsP4II9NVJR3Y3TmNmYkYtVUR6WWk0Q09WT0RLVEZhNUVJ/view

 

After nearly a decade of lobbying and sustained efforts by a small committee of dedicated environmentalists, the Magaliesberg has been declared a World Biosphere Reserve.

 

The announcement was made on the June 9th in Paris by the International Coordinating Council of the Programme on Man and the Biosphere (MAB).  This is a Unesco programme that aims to build a supportive and sustainable relationship between people and their environments.  In effect, this means a specific focus on safeguarding natural ecosystems through innovative approaches to economic development.

 

The World Network of Biosphere Reserves, which Magaliesberg now joins, counts 631 biosphere reserves in 119 countries.

 

“We are delighted with this final acknowledgement of the unique nature of the Magaliesberg and the powerful contribution it is making to our country, to the ecosystem services in Gauteng and the North West and the communities it nurtures over an extensive area,” said Paul Fatti, chair of the Magaliesberg Biosphere Initiative Group (MBIG) that has been lobbying authorities since 2007 to support the establishment of the Biosphere.

 

Vincent Carruthers, past chair of MBIG and renowned author of “The Magaliesberg”, the most authoritative study of the mountain range, said that this announcement was the culmination of a campaign that began in 2006.

 

“I’m most grateful there is now international recognition of this great mountain range that has witnessed the whole span of life, from its very origins,” he said.  “The Magaliesberg is almost 100 times older than Mount Everest and half the age of the earth, a unique treasure for us in this part of Africa.”

 

Officials from South African environmental authorities were also at the MAB meeting in Paris when the announcement was made.

 

“The Magaliesberg Biosphere will be formally registered by Unesco and the Department of Environmental Affairs in October,” added Carruthers, who is chair of the Magaliesberg Biosphere Not-for-Profit Company.  “But before that happens we need to appoint a Board of Management for the Biosphere.”

 

The Board will be made up of representatives of 16 interest groups who are involved one way or another in the Magaliesberg.  These include bodies involved in conservation, education, tourism, culture/historical activities, business and religion.

 

The Magaliesberg is under intense pressure from urbanisation and has lacked the support of a strong regulatory framework to back its status as a Protected Area. 

 

 

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“Our hope is that this recognition by a world body and the renewed local focus it will put on the Magaliesberg, will energise initiatives towards greater protection and balanced and sustainable use,” said Fatti who was at Unesco in Paris for the announcement. “This is the  responsibility the Board of Management will be taking on.”

                                                                                                                                                               

The Magaliesberg Biosphere Reserve covers almost 358 000 ha  -  58 000 making up the core area, 110 000 ha the buffer area and 190 000 ha the transition area. 

 

Besides the range’s unique biomes  -  the Central Grassland Plateaux and the sub-Saharan savannah  -  it has a very rich biodiversity.  The Aloe Peglerae and Frithia pulchra are unique to the area which has 443 bird species, almost half the total bird species of Southern Africa.

 

In its report recommending that the Magaliesberg join the exclusive club of World Biosphere Reserves, the International Advisory Committee for Biosphere Reserves, noted:  “The area is endowed with scenic beauty, unique natural features, rich cultural heritage value and archaeological interest with the Cradle of Humankind, which is part of the World Heritage Site with four million years of history.”

 

South Africa now has eight Biosphere Reserves.  Besides the Magaliesburg, the Gouritz Cluster was also declared a Biosphere Reserve by Unesco today (Tues).

For further details:  Vincent Carruthers  -    082-411-8033 :  vcms@mweb.co.za

http://www.iol.co.za/scitech/science/environment/sa-sites-approved-as-unesco-reserves-1.1869747#.VYEsNvmqqkp

 

 

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3)  MCSA NATIONAL – HELP NEEDED

 

There is an urgent need for members to help with Public Relations, Administration, Sponsorships and the MCSA’s 125th birthday in 2016. If you can help please contact daniel.reinecke@gmail.com  

 

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4) NATIONAL MEET: BAVIAANSKLOOF 5-12 SEPTEMBER 2015

 

 This year the Eastern Province Section is hosting the annual MCSA National Camp in the remote and magnificent Baviaanskloof. This famous valley kloof and its majestic mountains are well known throughout South Africa for their rugged, unique character, but while they are well known not many people have had the chance to camp there and to explore the surrounding mountains. The kloof is bordered to the south by the majestic Kouga Mountain wilderness with many high peaks and magnificent kloofs, and to the north by the equally magnificent Baviaanskloof range. High peaks include Kougakop, Smutsberg and Sipoonskop to the south and Scholtzberg and Mac to the north. With gorges, krantzes and peaks, the area is a paradise for the mountaineer.

 

The base-camp will be held on the farm “Doornkloof” in a well set up campsite which is about 90 minutes’ scenic drive from Willowmore. Ordinary two wheel drive vehicles can access “Doornkloof” campsite from Willowmore without any difficulty. One can also enter the kloof from Patensie, but then a 4x4 is needed. The chosen campsite is well prepared with good facilities and is on the banks of the Baviaanskloof River. Swimming in the dam at the camp and in pools in the gorges is possible for those not bothered by cold. There will be space for a large number, with numerous camping sites and braaing/cooking areas. A number of toilets and showers are provided.

 

Parties will go out on day trips and longer trips to climb and explore the various high points in the range. The day trips will range from easy to moderately strenuous, while the longer trips will be more demanding. Sub-camps may be held at Scholtzberg and in the Kouga Mountains, providing access to these areas. Mountain biking and a four or five day cycling circuit of the Kougas may be arranged.

The National Camp will be held from Saturday 5th to Saturday 12th September 2015. There will be a welcome braai, with traditional braai food provided, on the evening of the 5th and a farewell get together on the evening of the 12th. Members must provide all their own food (except for the welcome braai and farewell function) and equipment, including tents. The application form: http://baviaans2015.epmcsa.org.za/     Baviaanskloof National Camp email: baviaans2015@epmcsa.org.za

 

 

 

5) ALPINE JOURNALS MISSING!

NB:  Journals are for reference only they may not be taken out of the library.

 

Alpine Journals for 2007 – 2009/10 and the American Alpine Journals 2009 and 2012 have gone missing.  They could have been borrowed !  Has anyone – maybe a Chairman, a Journal Editor - got them and forgotten? The MCSA receives reciprocal copies of Journals from such places as Scotland and New Zealand. Members can access interesting and valuable information about mountaineering and the climbing world and its personalities.

 

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6) EXPEDITION TO INDIAN HIMALAYA UPDATE– 20 AUGUST –25 SEPTEMBER 2015

I have achieved much more reasonable prices writes Marianne Schwankhart  (marianne@dragontree.co.za): Miya valley is in the Himalaya, India, just east off the Rotang pass.  There are many unclimbed peaks.  We’ have bought the tickets and the trip is going ahead from 20 August to 25 September. We are hoping to do some long new rock routes and maybe some existing. We will fly to Delhi; take an overnight bus to Manali and shop. Take a jeep ride to Udaipur, and a 2/3 day walk to BC.  We’re taking one local guy with us who is doubling up as cook and logistics.  His fee is about R11 000. The donkeys both ways are about R5 000.  Transport will be way cheaper with local buses and the guide will help us with this.  We’re aiming at about R25 000 – R30 000 for the whole trip (including plane tickets)  

If this appeals to anyone, they can contact me and I’ll tell them more.

Marianne Schwankhart:  082 296 9657  W : www.dragontree.co.za

 

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7) UIAA NEWS

 

7.1) UIAA ROCK CLIMBERS’ AWARD GIVEN TO TWO S.A CLIMBERS AT INAUGURAL EVENT

 

Paul Brouard and Gosia Lipinska are the winners of the first UIAA Rock Climbers’ Award at a rock climbing festival held in the scenic Umgeni Valley in KwaZulu natal. 

UIAA Management Committee member Anne Arran who was present for the event attended by 100 climbers said the two climbers were fine examples of the commitment of climbers to rock climbing in South Africa.  The South African awards at the event held 13 - 14 June 2015 are the first of awards given out by the UIAA for the best male and female rock climbers from among athletes participating in different events around the world. www.theuiaa.org/news

 

 

7.2) DATES CONFIRMED FOR CONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIPS IN EUROPE, ASIA AND NORTH AMERICA

Dates for the 2015-2016 UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup Tour that include continental championships in Europe, North America and Asia have been confirmed by the UIAA Ice Climbing Commission. www.theuiaa.org/news

 

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8) MOUNTAIN PROTECTION AWARD

 

The deadline for nomination for the US $ 5,000 Mountain Protection Award for Stewardship sponsored by Western University and Golden Rock Travel of Azerbaijan is 31 July 2015 http://www.theuiaa.org/news-222-Nomination-period-opens-for-UIAA-Mountain-Protection-Award.html

 

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9) AMERICAN ALPINE CLUB SEEKS CLIMBERS – 2015 INTERNATIONAL CLIMBERS MEET Sept 27th - October 3rd,

  http://www.theuiaa.org/events-168-International-Climbers-Meet-at-Joshua-Tree.html

 

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10) FACEBOOK AND WEB PAGES

 

National: https:\\www.facebook.com\pages\Mountain-Club-of-South-Africa\181163071916739

MCSA Search and Rescue Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/MCSASAR

Cape Town: https://www.facebook.com/MountainClubOfSouthAfricaCT

EP: www.facebook.com/MCSAEPSection

Free State https://www.facebook.com/MCSAFS

Hottentotsholland: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mountain-Club-of-South-Africa-Hottentots-Holland-Section/385143928232942

Johannesburg: https://www.facebook.com/groups/141752442885/

KZN: https://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_185119868204602

Magaliesberg:  https://sites.google.com/site/mcsamagaliesberg

Magaliesberg Section’s new web page: www.mcsamagalies.co.za

‎Namibia:  http://www.mcnam.org/ - new domain!!                                               

Paarl/Wellington: https://www.facebook.com/PaarlWellingtonMCSA

Stellenbosch: https://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_132651793466552

Tygerberg: https://www.facebook.com/bksa.tygerberg and

 http://sites.google.com/site/bksatygerberg

Worcester: http://www.mcsawor.co.za

 https://www.facebook.com/mcsawor

 Links for all section's web pages are all on the national webpage.

 

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11) SECTION NEWS

 

CAPE TOWN SECTION

 

YOUTH PROGRAMME – SOMETHING FOR THE LITTLE ONES

 

Cape Town Section members with children may be interested to know that we now have a Youth Programme which caters for the younger generation, exposing them to the joys and rewards of mountain-related activities at early ages. Members' children aged six and upwards who have been registered as Family Members are eligible to participate in the activities offered. For 2015 dates and more information: www.mcsacapetown.co.za/youth-programme.

 

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12)  SNIPPETS

 

12.1) THIS IS THE YEAR TO VISIT NEPAL 

 

By Anton Louw an MCSA member currently living in Kathmandu

 

Nepal’s earthquakes have slipped from the news cycle. This year is a good year to visit Nepal.  Short of volunteering, but above donating, the best thing that you can do to help Nepal is to visit it as a normal tourist. Meet the people, support their enterprises and so build the economy and confidence of the country. Nepal provides that at very good value for money. And the impact of your holiday spend will be valued immensely.

 

While I acknowledge that it’s a personal choice to avoid places of suffering, I urge you to overcome this with the knowledge that the risk devastating quake striking again soon is minimal.

 

Right now, the monsoon is beginning. It may seem contradictory to advise you to delay being here. But rather take the time to plan and save, and enjoy the country when it has the most to offer, when the famous views aren’t hidden in clouds.

 

Presently, almost all areas are open and should be fine once the monsoon has past. The Langtang Valley, the worst hit region in the quakes, is currently closed, but barring further catastrophe, it should be opened in the coming months. The spectacular Gosaikunda lakes in the region are still open. The Manasulu area was also hit hard, and is gaining popularity - so beat the crowds and get there while helping those communities. Further from the epicentre, Mustang, the Dolpo and Kanchenjunga region all beckon.

 

I’m someone who prefers to navigate by a map and is too proud to let someone else carry my own pack. If you’re like me in this regard, perhaps this is time to reconsider. Daily wages for guides and porters are minimal by Western standards, and it gives you another opportunity to create work for locals.

 

 Another good, but selfish, reason for you come here is that it will be less crowded. If you’ve always wanted to do the more popular routes, such as the Annapurna Circuit or Everest Base Camp Trek, but have been put off by the volume of trekkers then this is your opportunity.

 

 The country is not a stricken disaster zone, so a visitor will be able to enjoy it as they normally would with all the services being available. Yes, there will be evidence of destruction, but apart from a few areas, it’s not to the degree where it’s unavoidable and the suffering and guilt ruin your experience. Rather, take comfort in knowing that you are assisting in reconstruction through sustaining the economy

The complete article can be found on the MCSA Cape Town Website. http://mcsacapetown.co.za/

 

 

12.2) THE CAPE LEOPARD TRUST EDUCATION PROGRAMME – INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITY – SEPT-DEC 2015

 

The Cape Leopard Trust (CLT) is a research and conservation NGO, based in the Western Cape. It uses research as a tool for conservation, finding solutions to human-wildlife conflict and inspiring interest in the environment through an interactive and dynamic environmental education programme. The Education Project is looking for interns to help with its environmental camps in the Cederberg during its second camp season in 2015. For more information and application form: contact Catherine Kühn:  capetown@capeleopard.org.za

 

 

12.3) FRANCOIS PAUW (1951 – 2014) MEMOIRS

 

The memoirs of Francois Pauw (1951-2014), past member of Stellenbosch Section, cover an era of mountaineering in SA that many lived but not recorded. "Dis 'n maklike paadjie, bring jou meisie saam” is an essential piece of South African mountaineering memory” http://www.blurb.com/books/6146416-dis-n-maklike-paadjie-bring-jou-meisie-saam-bergkl

 

 

12.4) EDEN TO ADDO GREAT CORRIDOR HIKE -SEPTEMBER

 This takes place every September and there are still places available.  

 ROUTE: Starting in the Garden Route National Park, across the Tsitsikamma and Kouga mountains to the wilderness of the Baviaanskloof World Heritage Site, over the to T’Numqua peak into the Springbokvlakte and ending in the Addo Elephant National Park.

 

IT’S UNIQUE: Traversing FIVE distinct biomes: coastal forest, fynbos, succulent karoo, nama karoo, subtropical-thicket, it is the most biodiverse corridor on earth. You will walk through areas where the last truly free elephants, black rhino and buffalo still roam without fences to hamper their movement. You will follow the spoor of leopard, bush buck and red hartebeest.

 

BENEFITS: The Eden to Addo Corridor Initiative is a non-profit Public Benefit Organization. All money raised contributes to building essential conservation corridors on private land linking nature reserves from Robberg to Addo and thereby allowing for free movement of all species.

 

LOGISTICS:  Safari-style mobile camps that is fully catered with delicious meals.  Limited to 20 participants.  Advanced registration essential.  http://www.edentoaddo.co.za/hike-the-e2a-corridor Or call +27 44 5331627 

 

 

12.5) LOST MOUNTAIN PROJECT –MOUNT NAMULI -MOZAMBIQUE

 

 A 14 million USD conservation fund, years in the making, becomes a reality in Mozambique, and we're helping throw the inauguration party. An international consortium is working with key players in Mozambique to provide the capital; The #‎LostMountain Project is bringing Mount Namuli to the main stage of conservation in Mozambique; and I'm supplying a climbing wall. https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/lostmountain?source=feed_text&story_id=10152880968836596

 

 

12.6) REGISTRATION FOR THE X1V WORLD FORESTRY CONGRESS 7 11 September 2015 DURBAN

 

The Congress will be the most significant opportunity in 2015 for the world’s foresters and forest supporters to share expertise and experience, forge new partnerships and define a coherent, global vision of the roles of forests and forestry in sustainable development.
To register and book accommodation, please visit the conference website

 

 

12.7) MOUNTAIN RESEARCH INITIATIVE CONFERENCE 4-8 OCTOBER PERTH SCOTLAND

The Centre for Mountain Studies together with the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) and the Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment (GMBA), all members of the Mountain Partnership, are organising a third conference in Perth, Scotland. This is a contribution to the global Future Earth programme, a 10-year international research initiative that will develop the knowledge for responding effectively to the risks and opportunities of global environmental change and supporting transformation towards global sustainability in the coming decades. http://perth.uhi.ac.uk/specialistcentres/cms/Conferences/Perth2015/Pages/default.aspx

 

 

12.8) MOUNTAIN RESEARCH INTIATIVE

MRI is looking for striking digital images that capture the essence of global change in mountains.  http://mri.scnatweb.ch/fr/events/photo-competition  #protectmountains

 

 

12.9) STEPHEN VENABLES - NEWSLETTER

 

Stephen Venables Newsletter includes:  A charity event in Oslo; Nepal Fundraising as well as plans for another South Georgia expedition – September /October 2016 the centenary of Shackleton’s landing on South Georgia, after his legendary open boat voyage from Elephant Island. There is space for 8 paying team members. To receive the newsletter: www.stephenvenables.com

 

 

12.10) SOLO RUN ACROSS THE TOP OF THE DRAKENSBERG

 

Andrew Porter has just covered 210 km on foot across the top of the Drakensberg alone, in around 45 hours 15 minutes. This is the second fastest time for the DGT ever and only 3 hours slower that Ryne Griesel and Ryan Sandes’ record run.

 

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 Quote

It is not easy to walk alone in the country without musing on something – Charles Dickens

 

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13) Any newsworthy items for inclusion in MCSA National News can be sent to the Editor, Bridget Carrick:  bridget.carrick7@gmail.com

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