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2015-05

In this news bulletin:

 

1) Nepal Earthquake Fundraiser by the MCSA

2) MCSA expresses sympathy to Nepalese government

3) Press statement released by Minister of culture tourism and civil aviation – Nepal 3 May 2015-05-04

4) UIAA News

4.1) Tragedy in Nepal: UIAA Federation members to raise funds.

4.2)  Mountaineering Commission meeting highlights

5)  Canyon of Dreams – White Umfolozi River – new owner

6) Klein Swartberg – access

7) Annual Dinner – Wilderness 23 May 2015

8) Origin Mountain Festival – Umgeni Valley KZN – 13-16 June 2015

9) July Camp – 27 June-11 July 2015

10) National Meet: Baviaanskloof 5-12 September 2015

11)  Alpine Journals missing!

12)  Montagu Mayhem - feedback

13)  Expedition to Indian Himalaya – 20 August-30 September2015

14)  Mountain Protection Award – Deadline 31 July

15)  Facebook and web pages

16)  Snippets

17)  Stirring the billy

18)  Message from Petro

19) Any newsworthy items

 

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1) NEPAL EARTHQUAKE FUNDRAISER

 

The Mountain Club has received many enquiries about financial assistance to the people of Nepal and has initiated a fund-raising drive for the Nepalese who have suffered enormous losses in the wake of the massive earthquake that occurred on Saturday, 25th April. Jenny Paterson was asked – and agreed – to co-ordinate the initiative.

 

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) PRESS STATEMENT: MCSA EXPRESSES ITS SYMPATHY TO THE NEPALESE GOVERNMENT

 

The Mountain Club of South Africa would like to express its deepest sympathy to the Nepalese government and the people of Nepal in the wake of the disastrous earthquake, which took place on 25 April 2015. Our thoughts remain with the families of those who tragically lost their loved ones in this event, as well as those who continue to suffer in the aftermath of the natural disaster compounded by the earthquake’s aftershocks. We pray for them and hope that the survivors and indeed the country as a whole will be able to quickly recover from the shock and the destruction. We also pray for the many rescuers carrying help and relief to those affected by the earthquake, including a contingent of rescuers from South Africa.     

                Nepal is a country visited by many South African trekkers, climbers and tourists seeking more of a cultural experience. As members of the Mountain Club, Nepal is dear to us, while the people of Nepal have become our friends. This makes the loss of lives and the destruction of cultural heritage sites through this natural disaster so much more difficult for us to bear. 

Petro Grobler, MCSA President

  https://sites.google.com/a/mcsa.org.za/mcsa/home/MCSA%20Press%20Release%20%20-%20Nepal%20Earthquake.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1

 

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3) PRESS STATEMENT RELEASED BY MINISTRY OF CULTURE TOURISM AND CIVIL AVIATION – NEPAL 3 May 2015 http://www.nepalmountaineering.org/newspage-236-Press%20Statement%20Released%20By%20Ministry%20Of%20Culture%20Tourism%20and%20Civil%20Aviation

 

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4) UIAA NEWS

 

4.1) TRAGEDY IN NEPAL: UIAA FEDERATION MEMBERS TO RAISE FUNDS

"What happened in Nepal, and on Everest and so many other mountains across the Himalaya breaks our hearts,” said UIAA president Frits Vrijilandt. Fundraising efforts have begun to ensure that funds are available for to those in immediate need and for the long-term reconstruction of the country.  http://www.theuiaa.org/

 

4.2) MOUNTAINEERING COMMISSION MEETING HIGHLIGHTS

An agreement has been signed between the UIAA Mountaineering Commission, the Japan Mountaineering Association (JMA) and rescue groups to share accident and rescue data as part of a project to develop a worldwide accidents database run by the UIAA. http://www.theuiaa.org/

 

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5) “CANYON OF DREAMS” –WHITE UMFOLOZI RIVER – NEW OWNER

 

(1) The "Canyon of Dreams" - the cliffs at the White Umfolozi River, are currently being transferred to a new owner.  From two days ago all bookings and payments should be made to the new owner - see details below. (Pt 6)

(2) Any current bookings with Mr Gerhard Greef are subject to confirmation with the new owner.

 

(3)  Future access conditions are VERY delicate.  The new owner has BIG plans.  AT ALL COSTS, PLEEEEEEASE do and say nothing to offend him.  PLEASE go out of your way to oblige or to do anything else that is desirable to ensure continued climber access.

(4) It MUST be said that the new owner SEEMS to be very climber friendly, but we dare do NOTHING to jeopardise this potentially good relationship.

(5)  There are going to be a lot of changes; new chalets, toilets, showers, generators, electric lights, gas, TV, etc, etc.  PLEASE do NOT make any negative comments - just bite your tongue and make any positive suggestions that come to mind.

(6) The new owner is Mr Hein Hamman, 076 7047999.  ALL future bookings and payments must be made via him.

(7) As mentioned above, in order to secure future climber access, PLEASE go out of your way to adapt to the new management style WITHOUT complaining about the way things were in the past.

(8)  Our future access as climbers is largely due to the way that YOU engage with the new owner - please do your best.

(9)  We have had over a dozen years of the most climber-friendly access that we could possibly wish for.  Phone calls, or SMS’s of appreciation to Mr Gerhard Greef at 082 495 4943 are the very least that we, as climbers, can do.   PLEASE call him or send him am SMS of appreciation for the many years that he has given us such easy access to this VERY SPECIAL place.

 

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6) KLEIN SWARTBERG - ACCESS

 

Colas Coetzee from Ladysmith has asked that we pass the following message to members wishing to visit the MCSA’s Swartberg properties and Toverkop.

 

Access conditions and the parking area are unchanged and remain as before – park under the gum trees near the dam.

Currently the access gate is NOT locked, and the Volschenks will be on the farm over the week end.

However, members are asked to phone the Volschenk family – owners of the farm where members park their car/s - to let them know that they intend leaving their car/s on the farm, before hiking onto the MCSA property, and on up to Toverkop.

Their phone no.s are:  Mr le Grange Volschenk (snr) 083 378 1040   or  his son, Mr Jan Volschenk   083 500 6851.  Either number will do.

 

Should there be no answer, please leave a voice message with your details and intentions.

 

Colas has requested that members also let him know of their intention to access the properties, as a back up to calls to the Volschenks.

Colas’s ph. no.s are  028 551 1856 or 028 551 1021 – both land lines.

 

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7) ANNUAL DINNER 2015 – Wilderness 23 May, 2015

 

23 May is the date for the 2015 Annual Dinner to be hosted by our youngest Section, South Cape Section, who will be turning 10-years-old.

 23 May at 18:00   at Salina's Beach Restaurant in Wilderness 

This is going to be a great event to celebrate the Section turning10 years. Hey - "they have come a long way" - So find your Buffs, Bowties or Butterflies and prepare yourself for an evening of FUN. Contact: eviebowen@telkomsa.net  devinemachines@gmail.com

SOLD OUT!! (but try your luck). RSVP WITH PAYMENT DETAILS BEFORE 23 APRIL: AVRIL: yamagoo@mweb.co.za

 Invitation: https://sites.google.com/a/mcsa.org.za/mcsa/home/MCSA%20annual%20%20dinner%202015%20invite.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1

Menu: https://sites.google.com/a/mcsa.org.za/mcsa/home/MCSA%20annual%20%20dinner%202015%20menu.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1

 

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8) ORIGIN MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL – UMGENI VALLEY KZN – 13-16 June 2015

 

The format of the event will be based on the popular mountain festivals overseas where the emphasis is on the celebration of climbing. There will be workshops for beginners, slideshows, slack-lining, night trail runs and other fun events taking place all long weekend. Or you can simply join a crew and go climbing.  And, of course, time will be available to visit some of the other stellar crags in KZN. The event will take place at Umgeni Valley which boasts not only some of the best sport routes in KZN but also accommodates Trad climbers and boulderers. Details to follow:   http://www.climbing.co.za/2014/10/origin-mountain-festival/

 

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9) JULY CAMP – 27 JUNE – 11 JULY 2015

 

The 2015 JULY CAMP will be held at HIGHMOOR, a very beautiful part of the Berg.   Families are most welcome (we've had an under three year-old and several over eighties, two of whom went to the top!), so age is no barrier. Nor do you have to be a member of MCSA or a recognised hiking or climbing club.  Visitors are most welcome. Day walkers are every bit as important, and as welcome as the fittest 5 day trippers! The Camp is earlier than usual to accommodate school holidays.  The Committee really looks forward to seeing you at the 2015 July Camp in the build up to our Centenary Camp!   Book early! 

N.B.There are some mistakes in the brochure!

The most important one is that on the application form, Mike Coke's e-mail has not been changed to  cokemd@thecokes.co.za

The second one is that the distance from the Car Park to the Base Camp site was omitted.  (1.6 kilometres.)  The information brochure and application form are at:

https://sites.google.com/a/mcsa.org.za/mcsa/home/July%20Camp%202015%20announcement%20%26%20Application%20form.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1

 

 

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10) 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

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11) ALPINE JOURNALS MISSING!

 

Alpine Journals for 2007 – 2009/10 and the American Alpine Journals 2009 and 2012 have gone missing!  They could have been borrowed and not written down. It may have been before the electronic database was in operation.  Has anyone – maybe a Chairman, a Journal Editor - got them and forgotten?  EASY TO DO! The MCSA receives reciprocal copies of Journals from such places as Scotland and New Zealand. Members can access valuable information about mountaineering and the climbing world and its personalities.

 

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12) MONTAGUE MAYHEM –APRIL 2015 - FEEDBACK

 

It was a cool and cloudy day when the Montague Mayhem Rock Rally took place.  Over 40 climbers took part and we even had some visitors from Canada.  In the overcast coolness of the day and the patches of warm sun, climbers pushed themselves to get their ten best routes of the day.  Their energy and enthusiasm may very well have been contributed to by Jetboil’s free coffee and tea early on Saturday morning. It was one of the best weekends and we have many people and companies to thank for their contributions: http://www.climbing.co.za/2015/04/montagu-mayhem-rock-rally-2015-report

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13) EXPEDITION TO INDIAN HIMALAYA – 20 AUGUST-30 SEPTEMBER 2015

 

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’re hoping to do some long new rock routes and maybe some existing.  We were planning on a 5 week trip, at the end of July that will give use close to 4 weeks in the mountains, but have been advised to go a bit later for better weather so thinking of 20 August to 30 September. We would 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.  I’m in contact with a couple of outfits in India to try and get the best quote but a lot of them aren’t reliable with emails so it makes me doubt their logistics reliability.  One guy is very good and knows a lot (from research he’s also assisted loads of other expeditions) but his prices are rather high for just two of us.  The more people who join the expedition the more the expenses are shared.

 

1 - Vehicle - 52,000 - R10 000 (for one day’s driving there and back – Manali up Rotang pass)

2 - Horses - 100,800 - R20 000 (7 horses to drop us and fetch us – charged for 12 days there and back)

3 - Guide - 101,500 - R20 000 (for 3 weeks – mostly parking off in BC)

4 - Helper - 58,000 - R11 000 (mostly so guide has company - won’t be in BC alone)

5 - Tents, utensils, gas bottles etc rentals - 29,000 -  R5 500

 

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

Marianne Schwankhart:  082 296 9657  Wwww.dragontree.co.za

 

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14) MOUNTAIN PROTECTION AWARD

 

The deadline for nomination for the R60240.17 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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15)  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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16) SNIPPETS

 

16.1) 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 petrogrobler@telkomsa.net

 

16.2) EXPLO EVEREST CHALLENGE – 16 MAY 2015

Explo Everest Challenge 16 May 2015

It is time for the annual Exploration Everest Challenge.

The Challenge: Climb the height of Mt Everest in 24 hours.

Where: LC de Villiers Climbing Wall, Tuks.

Contact Andrew Louw to enter into the MCSA team andrew1louw@gmail.com.

 

16.3) BERNIE THERON – CONTENDER FOR THE NIGHTJAR ADVENTURER 2015

Bernie Theron, a member of the Magaliesberg section, is a contender for” The Nightjar Adventurer 2015.” The overall Adventurer of the Year is a combo of votes from a panel of 5 (adventurous) judges and reader votes. Bernie Theron won the MCSA Supertramp Award last year for his adventure - trekking solo from the most northerly to the most southerly part of Iceland. Voting closed on May 3 and the Awards Ceremony will be held at Cape Union Mart Canal Walk Adventure Centre on 28 May 2015. http://www.nightjartravel.com/magazine/bernie-theron

16.4) LATEST UPDATES ON ROCK CLIMBING AT THE WHITE UMFOLOZI RIVER

The latest updates for the recently published, full colour, route guide: "Rock Climbing at the White Umfolozi River"

This guide is available from Gavin Peckham at a cost of R145 plus R35 P&P.   It comes with a free, full colour companion route guide:  "Rock Climbing in the Ongoye Forest Reserve"   Contact Gavin at: gavin.peckham@gmail.com  Tel : 035 792 4543 (H)

 

16.5) 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.  

 

16.6) A PLANNED LINE LINKING CHINA TO TIBET MAY PASS THROUGH MOUNT EVEREST

A Chinese railroad expert said a planned line linking China and Tibet may have to pass through Mount Everest. China is considering a plan to extend a railway line to Nepal that may run through Mount Everest, state media reported on Thursday. China has begun preparatory work for the project “at Nepal’s request,” China Daily reported. But the plan, which officials say could be finished by 2020, may have to run through Mount Everest along the border between the two countries, according to Wang Mengshu, a rail expert at the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

“The line will probably have to go through Qomolangma so that workers may have to dig some very long tunnels,” Wang said, using the Tibetan name for Mount Everest. http://time.com/3815463/china-mt-everest-railroad/

 

16.7) RELATIVES, GUIDES AND MOUNTAINEERS MARK THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF AN AVALANCHE THAT KILLED 16 SHERPAS ON MOUNT EVEREST.

The guides died in an area just above Base Camp at 5,800m (19,000ft).The avalanche was the worst accident in modern history on the world's highest peak.  As a mark of respect, climbing was suspended for the day on Saturday. Services were also held at Base Camp and in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu. Monks held prayers with relatives of those who died. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-32364166 - 

 

16.8) MOUNTAINS OF OUR FUTURE EARTH – PERTH, SCOTLAND – 4-8 OCTOBER 2015
The Mountain Research Initiative is co-organizing the Mountains of Our Future Earth conference. This conference occurs only once every five years.  If you work in mountain research, don't miss it!

     This year, the Initiative is sponsoring a Photography Competition and Exhibition in conjunction with the conference. Both amateur and professional photographers are encouraged to take part. The competition will focus on various themes within the concept of "global change in mountains".
http://www.up.ac.za/centre-environmental-studies/more.ph

 

16.9) MRI – NEW PUBLICATION

The Mountain Research Initiative is happy to announce the new publication on "Elevation-dependent warming in mountain regions of the world" in Nature Climate Change! This paper is the product of an MRI Concerted Effort on Elevation-dependent warming (EDW) and involved 21 scientists from 9 countries. http://mri.scnatweb.ch/en/projects/global-campaign-to-understanding-elevation-dependent-warming

 

16.10) VEGETATION ECCOLOGIST.TERRESTIAL ECOSYSTEM RESEARCHER POSITION

AfricanBioServices and NTNU is announcing a four year post doc position for a vegetation ecologist/terrestrial ecosystem researcher interested in working with herbivory effects on productivity and ecosystem function in the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem.   http://www.ntnu.edu/biology/african-bio-services

 

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17) STIRRING THE BILLY BY SCOPS OWL

 

If a day meet like the Canopy Tour costs R595 and climbing gym monthly membership runs at R385 per month, who can complain about Club membership fees of between R300 and R700 per annum?

 

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18) MESSAGE FROM PETRO

 

Dear MCSA members

 

As I will be standing down as MCSA President on Saturday 9 May, I referred back to what issues - at the onset of my term in 2013 - I had said should receive attention as part of advancing our main objective of promoting climbing and mountaineering: communication with members; co-operation between Sections; good activity programmes, initiating events such as expeditions, increasing the focus on youth, access and protecting environments; revisit the MCSA organisational structures; continue close international cooperation with the world’s alpine and mountaineering clubs, in particular through UIAA membership – quite a mouthful!          

                With the help of Club members, all aspects are receiving attention - some with more success than others - plus there is also a stronger focus on Outreach. Forwards and upwards is the way to go!

                The Mountain Club has proved to be remarkably resilient through the past 124 years but no doubt we must modernise - sooner rather than later  -  to fulfil our objectives and the following vision and mission (currently under discussion):

                MCSA VISION:  To be a vibrant, active, happy, growing Club with members of all ages who love mountain hiking, climbing, mountaineering and mountains, and which enjoys stature (has relevance) in the South African and world community

                MCSA MISSION: To be the hub/home for mountain hiking, climbing and mountaineering in South Africa

I think we must inter alia decide which functions resort at Section and which at National level and should urgently implement an increase in capacity on a national level in order to actively promote and grow the Club.

                My grateful thanks to every single Club member who has assisted in whichever way and who is actively participating or passively supporting our dear Club. May we meet in the mountains!

                Montani semper liberi.

Petro

 

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Quote

 

“No matter how sophisticated you may be, a large granite mountain cannot be denied – it speaks in silence to the very core of your being”

Ansel Adams

 

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19) 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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