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In this news bulletin:


1)            Johannesburg Section debate about the MCSA

2)            UIAA Youth Training Seminar

3)            National Meet - 3 -12 October

4)            Morocco Women’s 1993 Centenary Expedition reunion

5)            2014 MCSA Supertramp did it! Iceland 2014

6)            Rocklands Bouldering permits

7)            Journal 2013 by end of August

8)            International Mountain Day 11 December

9)            Expedition to Peru - Feedback

10)          Section News

11)          Facebook and web pages

12)          Snippets

13)          Newsworthy items






Johannesburg Section held an open debate about the MCSA on 23 July. A report on this by Neil Margetts can be found on:

Other Sections are encouraged to use this as a base to also review their status quo.

First steps have been taken to do a general membership review.


Members are also welcome to raise points of concern directly with MCSA President, Petro Grobler (






The course is fully subscribed and will commence on Friday afternoon, 15 August. We will meet two participants from the Malawi Mountain Club and three from MCSA Namibia Section at O R Tambo International Airport, drive through to Lanseria where we will collect four more: two from Cape Town Section and two from Paarl/Wellington Section plus two from Johannesburg Section, and drive through to Maretlwane in the Magaliesberg.  Three participants from Zimbabwe Mountain Club will drive down to South Africa and we will meet them, plus one participant from Magaliesberg Section.  Everyone will be formally welcomed by MCSA President, Petro Grobler, soon after arrival and the programme will start immediately! The trainer will be Brett Nicolson.  (News item by the MCSA’s corresponding member on the UIAA Youth Commission and organiser of this event: Jenny Paterson).




3) NATIONAL MEET - October 2014:

The Paarl-Wellington Section will host the 2014 National Meet during the October school holidays from 5-11 October. Hikes will take place in the Paarl/Wellington area and at PW’s wonderful Krom River Hut. Preparations are going nicely.  We have started with our new little building – a kitchen and braai area plus ablutions.

    There will ONLY be 100 places available at the base camp on Olive Glen Mountain Farm at the foot of the old DuToits Kloof tunnel, Klein Drakenstein, Paarl. So far there are 22 confirmed applications. so jump for the opportunity to get one of them! It will cost R420.00 per adult for the six nights to stay there, 5 -11 October.  There will be a braai on 10 October.  Bookings have to be made through Avril Powrie:;  021 873 0960/ 082 921 4325.    Application form, map and proposed hikes at: 






A date and venue has now been set for the reunion. It will take place at the MCSA Clubhouse in Cape Town on Saturday 29th November between 6pm and 9pm.  Jean Mason will be coming from Switzerland! Contact: Annette Mason. 





MCSA Supertramp, Bernie Theron (Magaliesberg Section), has completed his trek through Iceland in 27 days.  He walked around 550km unsupported without the safety net of a satellite phone or GPS in a landscape dotted by volcanoes. He will be hitch hiking around Iceland until end August before returning to South Africa. Congratulations!






From 1 June 2014 no access is allowed anywhere in Rocklands without a bouldering permit, available from de Pakhuys office and campsite, Cape Natures’ Kliphuis Campsite, Clanwilliam Tourism Office and the shop at Travellers Rest.

       You can purchase permits with or without a credit card. The permit guarantees entry to all bouldering areas in Rocklands including CapeNature, de Pakhuys and Travellers Rest areas.  Climbers must carry the permit with them at all times.

Booking Terms and Conditions:



7) JOURNAL 2013


Good news is that it is expected that the 2013 Journal will be available from Sections by the end of August.






The theme this year is Mountain Farming and links to the International Year of Family Farming 2014 proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations, as well as the forthcoming International Programme on Research and Training on Sustainable Management of Mountain Areas (IPROMO) course on mountain family farming, and the FAO/MP publication ‘Mountain Farming is Family Farming’.





Ten MCSA members trekked the Huayhuash Circuit in 13 days. The main highlights were the Punta Rondoy, with fantastic views of Yanapacha, Jirisjanca & Rondoy, Punta Sisula, with views of the three lakes, Yarapaju and Sisula Grande, as well as the San Antonio pass. We all enjoyed this greatly.

In the Cordillera Blanca, some left and we were joined by another three people, we then climbed Pisco, Yannapacha, Ishinca, Urus Este, Vallaraju, as well as making a good attempt on the French Route on Alpamayo, but unfortunately had to turn around due to deep snow conditions after two pitches.   Two members also went trekking in the Paron Valley for five days, and one visited Hatun Macay, which is a sport climbing area at 4200m outside Huaraz. (Report by Mike Schaff).




10.1) CAMBALALA HOUSE and MARTIN WINTER: KZN Section runs Cambalala, a self-catering cottage situated close to the top of Mike’s Pass in the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Cathedral Peak Reserve of the KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg. It is accessible by 4x4 vehicle, and offers a fantastic resource for family holidays, hiking, mountain-biking and bird watching.

            It is with a great debt of thanks that KZN Section will see Martin Winter retiring from his custodianship of the Cambalala Hut keys and gas cylinders as of the end of May.



The Anchor Replacement Fund (ARF) meet at Kalk Bay Crag  almost never happened due to two factors:

1)  The Murder that took place on the path on the way to the crag this past week.

2)  The rain in the preceding days that would lead to excessive seepage.  We decided to stay together and tackle the seepage. Turnout was not great, however this was the most successful ARF meet to date. We completed all the routes we set out to do. We are learning to be more efficient and we have managed to purchase quite a bit of new equipment to help optimise our time. Granted we only bolted 3 routes, but they were tough to do, due to the steep nature of the rock.  We also got to chop routes left over from the last meet.

   Next ARF meet set for 30 August, Kleinmond.




Visiting Port Elizabeth? Every Wednesday afternoon a group meets at 4pm at the Westway Centre to climb on EP Section’s property, Lady’s Slipper. The climb uses the existing footpath and usually starts at 4:45pm and is over by 6:15pm.  From around mid-June to mid-July the group meets at 3:30pm. The climb is often followed-up with an inexpensive meal at a country restaurant. Leaders: Tertius Coetzee 082 927 0440 and Gavin McLachlan 083 272 6300.




National: https:\\\pages\Mountain-Club-of-South-Africa\181163071916739

Cape Town:

Free State




‎Paarl Wellington:


EP section:

KZN section:


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






12.1) What’s Ed Feb up to? Cape Town Section member, Ed February, Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at UCT, has turned his attentions to the endangered Cedar tree, the only tree species growing among fynbos and endemic to the Cederberg mountains.


12.2) The Berg at 84-years-old: What do you do when you're 84-years old and you love the Drakensberg? Well, you go hiking, of course. And that's what Johannesburg Section member, Sarel van Rensburg did. Up Rockeries and down Mnweni to be specific (From FEAT newsletter).


12.3)  Opportunities: PostDoc in Meteorology & Climatology:   Based : Gobabeb Research Centre, Namibia.   Closing date:31st August 2014  Contact: Dr Mary Seely:

First call for the African Mountains Research Forum to be held between 22nd – 24th October, in Arush, Tanzania.

12.4) Single-pitch supervisor award course (SPSA). SPSA is a qualification offered by The Mountain Development Trust (MDT.) Peak High is an approved provider of all MDT courses and assessments.  Type: course - rock climbing. From 25-27 August in KZN.


12.5) National Geographic Grant program: Adventurers can apply for a USD50 000 grant for a dream project. The process is simple: Record a two-minute video that explains how you would use the $50k grant, and why you deserve to be the recipient. Then, upload it to the Expedition Granted website, and share it on social media. The deadline for submissions is August 31.


12.6) Speed descent record on Mont Blanc:  Climbers, Nicolas Blanchard and David Bozon, set a new speed record of 15 minutes for the fastest descent of Mont Blanc back to the church square in Chamonix, by speed flying and mountain biking. After reaching the summit, they set off at a breakneck pace to return to the base of the mountain, beating the 32 minute record that was in place.


12.7) K2 at almost 60:  Alan Arnette reached the summit of K2 on 27 July and became the oldest person to ever achieve that. Alan is 58 years old, and while he took up mountaineering later in life, he has certainly made the most of his time in the mountains.


12.8) Ama Dablam solo at 22: Jost Kobusch, a 22-year old German mountaineer, recently made a solo summit of Ama Dablam, and in the process set a record for the youngest person to pull off that feat. The 6170 meter (20,243 ft) peak located in the Khumbu Valley of Nepal, provides a good technical challenge for any climber, and is one of the most striking images of a mountain anywhere.


12.9) Everest 2014 (From Adventure Blog): As if the 2014 climbing season on Everest couldn't get any stranger, it took another odd turn when Chinese mountaineer Jing Wang was given a special award by the Nepali government  for “her successful ascent in a time of crisis and uncertainty." Wang defied the shutdown of the South side of Everest following the death of 16 Sherpas in an avalanche this past April. She even went so far as to use a helicopter to shuttle herself, her hired guides, and their gear up to Camp 2 – without permission!, avoiding the dangerous Khumbu Icefall, and a significant portion of the climb, in the process. Those moves have been viewed as highly controversial in the mountaineering community, particularly since they were done solely for the purpose of keeping Wang's hopes alive of completing the Explorer's Grand Slam (7 summits, both poles) in the shortest time possible. The award was presented to Wang by Bhim Acharya, the Minister of Tourism and Aviation. 


12.10) Kilimanjaro barefoot: In 2012, a group of adventurous friends set out to climb Kilimanjaro completely barefoot. Now, more than two years after their expedition, the team has released a 37+ minute  documentary about their climb.


12.11) Travel at high-altitude booklet: This free booklet by Medex is said to be a must read for adventurers  and is endorsed by the UIAA:

In simple and easy understandable terms, the booklet guides readers through the basics of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and demystifies you on how to deal with diverse challenges including children at high altitude and sleep issues. It deals with everything from such basic questions as "What is high altitude” to a primer on how to use oxygen, pills and potions, acclimatization and what to do in an emergency has been published. There are also chapters on different parts of the body and how altitude travel can affect the brain, the lungs and the heart among other things organs of the body, as well as an overview of medical issues related to travel different regions of the world.

                Also see the UIAA Medical Commission’s own Advice and Recommendation papers on medical issues such as acute mountain sickness, nutrition and water disinfection.

Medex was formed in 1992 to support the work of Medical Expeditions which is a UK based charity founded to support mountain medicine education and research.


12.12) Survey on climbers by Columbia University: Eric Anicich (, a doctoral student at Columbia University is conducting a survey:  Participate if you feel like it.



13) Any newsworthy items for inclusion in MCSA National News can be sent to the Editor, Bridget Carrick:



Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame!

William Butler Yeats