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2015-08

In this bulletin:

1) Foreign hiker rescued in helicopter hoist

2) Gouritz Cluster declared a World Biosphere

3) 2015 BANFF Mountain film festival world tour films

4) Table Mountain should be opened to initiations

5) National Meet: Baviaanskloof 5-12 September 2015

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

7) International Mountain Day - December 11 2015

8) July Camp – Feedback

9) UIAA News

     9.1) American Alpine Club seeks climbers, international climbers meet – Sept 23 – Oct 03 2015

   9.2) Dates for 2015 -2016   Ice climbing World Cup tour

10) Summer climbs – 2015 avalanche hits Broad Peak

11) Facebook and web pages

12) Section News

13) Snippets

14) Any newsworthy items

 

 

 

1) FOREIGN HIKER RESCUED IN HELICOPTER HOIST

 

Durban – A French Hiker who was stranded on a rocky ledge for more than 24 hours was hoisted to safety in a bold helicopter rescue in the northern Drakensburg on Wednesday 15 July.

 

The Parisian is understood to have flown into Johannesburg and hired a car for his hiking expedition, entering the mountain range from Qwaqwa in the Free State.

Mountain Club of South Africa rescue organiser Steve Cooke said that Ferga had hiked along the escarpment for three days without incident.

“It was at that point that he made a bad call and went down what he thought was the right path. He descended almost 1 000 metres and then became trapped on a ledge above a waterfall,” he said.

 

Cooke said two helicopters from Bloemfontein had joined a SAAF Oryx at a holding area at Dragon Peaks when the wind had picked up.

“They made the decision to fly again and did some incredible flying in a really tight area of operation and they managed to get him off the mountain.

“It was such a difficult extraction that they abandoned all his equipment... but he is safe and uninjured. They will be transporting him to Durban.

"He was examined by the paramedic and he is very lucky to have emerged unscathed,” Cooke added.  

 

French Authorities in South Africa are very grateful to South African Authorities, more especially the organization Mountain Rescue Team and the South African Air force, for carrying out, risking their own lives, the rescue of one if its citizens stranded in the Drakensberg. http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Foreign-hiker-rescued-in-bold-helicopter-hoist-20150715

 

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2)  GOURITZ CLUSTER DECLARED A WORLD BIOSPHERE

 

The Gouritz Cluster in the southern Cape has been declared a world biosphere reserve in June 2015. MCSA members from the South Cape Section were involved in the process. South Africa now has eight recognised biosphere reserves: Gouritz (2015), Magaliesberg (2015), Kogelberg (1998), Cape West Coast Extension (2003), Waterberg (2001), Kruger to Canyons (2001), Cape Winelands (2007), Vhembe (2009). It is hoped that the Garden Route Biosphere Reserve will be declared in the near future, too.

The Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve 
covers an area of more than three million hectares and straddles the Eastern and Western Cape Provinces. The area is globally unique as it is the only area in the world where three recognised biodiversity hotspots — the Fynbos, Succulent Karoo and Maputoland-Tongoland-Albany hotspots — converge.

The entire biosphere domain falls within the Cape floral Kingdom which is the smallest, but one of the richest of the six floral kingdoms in the world, and the only one found entirely within the boundaries of one country.
https://sites.google.com/a/mcsa.org.za/mcsa/conservation/gg  

 

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3) 2015 BANFF MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL WORLD TOUR FILMS

 

Banff is back in October with films of adventures.  This October the annual Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour comes to South Africa, bringing with it films of adventures by ski, bike, rock, ropes and on water. For the tenth year, Cape Union Mart proudly hosts the screening of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour films at Ster-Kinekor cinemas in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria.

 

The 2015 Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour is screened at these Ster-Kinekor cinemas:

·         Cape Town: Cavendish Square, Friday, 23 October to Monday, 2 November 2015

·        Cape Town: Tygervalley Centre, Friday, 23 October to Monday, 2 November 2015

·         Johannesburg: Sandton City, Friday, 23 October to Monday, 2 November 2015

·         Pretoria: Brooklyn Mall, Friday, 23 October to Monday, 2 November 2015

·         Durban: Gateway, 30 & 31 October 2015 (two nights only)

·         Port Elizabeth: The Bridge, 31 October 2015 (one night only)

Shows start at 20h00 and all 11 films are shown at each screening. 

Tickets are available from 9 September 2015 and they can be purchased directly through Ster-Kinekor. Book online at www.sterkinekor.com  or call Ster-Kinekor Ticketline on 082 16789. Ticket prices are the same as a standard Ster-Kinekor ticket.

Details and information at: www.banff.co.za.

 Preview clips of movies on the Banff Mountain Film Festival website;   http://www.banffcentre.ca/mountainfestival/worldtour/films/

 

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4) TABLE MOUNTAIN SHOULD BE OPENED TO INITIATIONS

 

“As we embark upon the month of July, ANCYL Western Cape would like to remind the nation and specifically the people of the Western Cape that the winter season signals the beginning of the initiation schools season for many African communities. Traditionally the practice has to take place in areas far from communities and areas where there are not many people, especially women passing by. This practice is necessitated by a need for purity for the passage of initiates from one stage of their lives to the next. In the Western Cape this important part of the tradition is not properly honoured because of a space shortage.”

 

“It is our view that a portion of Table Mountain must be made available for this pressing need. Table Mountain as a national heritage site is actually suitable as a delivery site to host initiates, thereby allowing them the necessary privacy as the inherent requirement for the initiates. Table Mountain is far from communities and is a mountainous area with enough space to accommodate initiates from all over the province.”

Part of a Statement issued by African National Congress Youth League Western Cape, July 2 2015 http://www.politicsweb.co.za/news-and-analysis/table-mountain-should-be-opened-to-initiations--an

 

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5) 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

 

 

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) INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN DAY – 11 DECEMBER 2015

The theme this year is ‘Promoting Mountain Products’

International Mountain Day 2015 provides an occasion to highlight how mountain communities are protecting biodiversity by producing a large variety of typical products and providing crucial goods and services to all of us.

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8) JULY CAMP - FEEDBACK 

 

July Camp 2015 was held at the aptly named Highmoor, which is just that. It is probably the highest large wetland in the Drakensberg, if not in the country and offered us stunning panoramic views of the Berg, dramatic sunsets and sunrises that were well worth the effort of getting up earlier than was necessary for breakfast. (Many people seem not to be aware that all meals are provided during July Camp). Yet another delight was the amount of game we saw. Many hiking parties saw eland, vaal rhebuck, oribi, duiker and mountain reedbuck. Lammergeyer, or Bearded Vultures - as we are now meant to call them - were a regular sighting, even over the Camp.

 

The weather was not usual for July Camp which traditionally enjoys warm to hot sunny days, with brilliantly blue skies, followed by cold to very cold nights.  This year we certainly had the cold to very cold nights alright, but also an unusual number of misty, damp or wet days and a few nights with light rain showers. Such weather certainly gave a very Scottish feel to the Moor, with the swirling mists and subtle rain-dampened colours cleared of their coating of winter dust. If you paused as you crossed on the myriad watercourses zigzagging across the wetlands you could gaze into the crystal clear water to the multi-coloured pebbles on the bottom. 

 

The opening night was probably the wettest night of all, but the inventive two-man Solar Team of the Advance Party that set up the Base Camp had excelled themselves and, in addition to setting up an even better solar system than we enjoyed last year, had introduced heavy duty gazebos which as well as supporting the solar lights also provided a shelter over the dining area, so we could eat and chat in well-lit comfort. That is, until the time came to go out into the reality of the rain and wash your dishes prior to getting the next course of the traditional three course dinner. (All the meals are prepared by Vusi Ndlovu and his team who excel at coming up trumps every time and seem to pride themselves on not being 'dampened' by uncomfortable weather conditions, and the opening night certainly was no exception.)  In typical July Camp tradition, old friends were greeted, new contacts established and news of absent friends exchanged. But the main topic was what the area offered and what people wanted to do while they were at July Camp, what features dominated the area and what were the recommended routes.

 

Although two parties sub camped, most people chose to indulge in the variety of day walks on offer  - these ranged from relatively easy to very strenuous walks crossing one or more Little Berg ridges to get to the objective of the day. Ridge walks also proved popular. The area abounds in both waterfalls and Bushman paintings, so not surprisingly; many walks were to one or more of the waterfalls or to one or more of the Bushman painting galleries, with Fulton's Rock probably being the best known. A few brave hikers swam in the abundant 'marble baths'. One brave soul decided the best time to bath (Yes, we do have baths in July Camp with hot water on tap, although it has to be carried a few metres to the large zinc baths in the bathrooms) was after everyone else had left the Campfire and was making their way to bed! He declared that then the stars were at their brilliant best and there was no need to hurry because there was no queue, and that it was not that cold either.

 

A special delight at this Camp was the number of youngsters and children that joined us. They thoroughly enjoyed their hikes and were seemingly unfazed by the wet weather. One little girl appears to be a budding geologist and was enthralled by the variety of 'rocks' on offer and, in her own way, opened the eyes of many adults to look where they were walking in quite a different way. Having the next generation has become an integral feature of the Camp and adds a very special dimension to July Camp and is one way of ensuring the future of July Camp. 

 

 Now that we have a healthy number of parents who wish to share their July Camp experiences with their families, our focus will be moving to trying to attract more 20 to 35 year-old hikers and climbers to the Camp.

 

July Camp is approaching its Centenary year and the KZN Section encourages members of all Sections of the Club ( and their friends - attendance is not restricted to MCSA members) to experience this unique way of enjoying the Drakensberg and then knowing that they want to return to be part of the Centenary July Camp celebrations.

 Hope to see you at July Camp 2016! 

 

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9) UIAA

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

The American Alpine Club would like to extend an invitation to participate in the annual International Climbers' Meet (ICM). At least two years' experience of technical rock climbing, experience with placement and removal of protection, and the ability to follow sustained 5.8 granite is mandatory.

The ICM is held the week of Sept 27th - October 3rd, 2015 in Joshua Tree National Park, California. The goal is to host a diverse group of climbing abilities from a multitude of countries, and American Alpine Club members from all parts of the U.S.A.

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

 

9.2) DATES FOR 2015-2016 ICE CLIMBING WORLD CUP TOUR

 

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.  UIAA – style ice climbing has a growing following. The competition starts in Bozeman, Montana in December and ends in Kirov, Russia, http://www.theuiaa.org/

 

 

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10) SUMMER CLIMBS – 2015 AVALANCHE HITS BROAD PEAK

An avalanche struck Broad Peak on July 20 in the Karakorum Range of northeastern Pakistan.  The avalanche hit Camp 1,  Qamber Jangjupa, the Pakinstani high-altitude porter, was confirmed as dead. Japanese climber Sumiyo Tsuzuki was injured and helicoptered off the mountain, according to alanarnette.com. Three teams, including Al Hancock's, Iván Vallejo's, and Ferran Latorre's, plan to push for the summit soon.

 

11)   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 Townhttps://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/                                               

Paarl/Wellingtonhttps://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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12)  SECTION NEWS

 

KWAZULU-NATAL SECTION

 

Gavin Raubenheimer Acting President of the Mountain Club KZN Section and Chairman of the Mountain Development Trust (MDT) was interviewed on classic FM on climbing the bigger mountains in Africa:

http://www.classicfm.co.za/classic-lifestyle/podcasts/2015/july/02-july/mountain-climbing-in-africa/view

 

Barrie Ridgeway did a 5 day pack walk in wilderness not far from Canberra.   It is now posted on his blog.  https://barrieridgway.wordpress.com/

 

 

JOHANNESBURG SECTION

 

It is official, it’s in the genes.  Granddaughter of Mervyn and Jean Prior (members for over 60 years!), daughter of George and Kathleen Langmore (also members of over 40yrs) - Claire Langmore recently won the Australian Lead Championship. She is now both the Bouldering Champion and Lead Champion of Australia.

 

Record has it that she attended her first (work!) meet of the section at Wolkberg at the age of 6 weeks.   Claire is a member of the Joburg MCSA, although has been living in Australia for most of her adult life.  Congratulations Claire and I believe you are headed for our shores shortly.

 

CAPE TOWN SECTION -OUTREACH

We were a week late due to the weather, but MCSA CT Outreach celebrated Mandela Day properly with 3 hikes on Saturday the 25th July. 

Two of the groups were from an organisation that's been with Outreach from the very start, Kingdom Kids, and the third group was our first ever hikers from the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre. Despite the cold, we tackled the mountain from the Constantia Nek side with kids, youths and volunteers in tow. 

While the Tutu group hit the road to Kirstenbosch, both the Kingdoms Kids' groups headed to Cecilia Waterfall, where the youngsters (aged 6-15) filled their bottles with ice-cold mountain water before enjoying sarmies and heading back in the very welcome sunshine.

It's always a good sign when the kids want to know when the next hike is going to be!

If you would like to join an Outreach hike, please have a look at the MCSA CT calendar or send a mail to camillaadelle@gmail.com.

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13) SNIPPETS

13.1) 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

 

13.2) 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.  

 

 

13.3) 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 at http://www.fao.org/about/meetings/world-forestry-congress/en/

 

 

13.4) TROPILAKES 2015 – 23-29 SEPTEMBER

 

The TropiLakes 2015 team would like to remind you to register and submit abstracts for the TropiLakes2015 conference in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, 23-29 September 2015. Deadline for registration is 20 August 2015. Four days of excursions will be organized on and around Lake Tana – which recently has been registered in UNESCO’S man and biosphere reserve network. For a preliminary list of sessions and presented papers: http://geoweb.ugent.be/tropilakes2015/

 

 

13.5) 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

 

 

13.6) AFROMONT - PECS CONFERENCE 3-5 NOVEMBER, 2015 STELLENBOSCH

Scientists from various disciplines, from within and beyond the PECS network, to share cutting-edge research insights on social-ecological dynamics in the Anthropocene. The conference will engage and involve multiple stakeholders concerned with sustainable development and who are interested in developing new solutions and strategies.  http://mri.scnatweb.ch/en/networks/mri-africa

 

13.7) ICAR MEMBER ORGANIZATION:  KWRO/OCVS (AIR GLACIERS) SWITZERLAND

One of our helicopters slinging a load has crashed on a glacier. The pilot did not survive the accident. Most probably the sling went into the tail rotor.


13.8) ICAR MEMBER ORGANIZATION: ATE - SLOVAKIA

Friends of ATE have lost their crew during a rescue. This dramatic accident is again like a quake to us. We are all deeply affected and on behalf of ICAR I have sent our deepest condolences to ATE and our friends Milan and Viliam. Press report: http://praguepost.com/eu-news/48890-rescue-helicopter-crash-kills-four-in-slovakia


13.9) 10 000 THREATENED TREES PLANTED NEAR MOUNT CAMEROON

Conservationists joined forces with local communities to plant 10 000 trees from threatened species into community forests near Mt. Cameroon; in a bid to enhance the conservation of several threatened tree species present in the Mt. Cameroon area.  http://globaltrees.org/news-blog/10000-threatened-trees-planted-near-mount-cameroon

 

13.10) NEW PUBLICATION ON NEW SPECIES OF INDIGOFERA LEGUMINOSAE

 

Clark VR, Schrire BD and Barker NP (2015).   Two new species of Indigofera L. (Leguminosae) from the Sneeuberg Centre of Floristic Endemism, Great Escarpment (Eastern and Western Cape. http://phytokeys.pensoft.net/articles.php?id=4798

 

13.11) A BEAUTIFUL TIME LAPSE FROM THE ALPS Http://theadventureblog.blogspot.com/2015/07/video-beautiful-timelapse-from-alps.html

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13.12)  VIDEO: KILIMANJARO MONTAGE  http://theadventureblog.blogspot.com

 

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 Quote  

‘The day before yesterday I went up Table Mountain from whence I saw Omnia regna mundi. This expedition is a silly idea because it is necessary to climb from rock to rock through bushes and by the steepest road in the world.  You need to be a goat to get up this dreadful mountain properly.  The climb takes four or five hours.  On the north side it is all flat rock; there is on the rock a kind of marsh but it consists solely of rushes and water.’

 

From: Quarterly Bulletin of the S A Library, volume 4 (Description of a trip up the mountain in June 1684 by two Jesuit priests from the Gaillard.)

 

MCSA Journal1969.

 

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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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