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In this news bulletin:

1)            3rd Black Diamond Tradathon – June 2014

2)            July Camp – 5-19 July 2014

3)            Peru Expedition – June/July 2014

4)            National Meet – October 2014

5)            Chamonix Mountain Festival - 29 June - 6 July 2014

6)            UIAA News

               6.1) UIAA Peak among 104 new peaks allowed for climbing in Nepal

                6.2) Safety Commission

                6.3) UIAA Awards

                6.4) Tree planting volunteers wanted – Bavarian Alps

                6.5) Second sponsor for Mountain Protection award

                6.6) XIII international youth rock climbing and mountaineering festival -2014

7) Section News

8) Facebook and Web Page

9) Snippets

10) Conservation study opportunities

11) Newsworthy items



1) 3rd BLACK DIAMOND TRADATHON – June 14 2014, KZN


Experienced trad climbers, competent sports climbers and beginners are all welcome. Entry is free. A Spit Braai, cash bar and slide show by Mike Roberts and Roger Natrass – in the evening.   Please indicate whether you will be attending as we have limited camping space on the MCSA’s property which will be provided at no cost.   Time: June 14, 2014 from 8am to 6pm.  Location: Monteseel (KZN).

Event Type: trad, climbing.  Enter on line:



2) JULY CAMP: 5 - 19 July 2014


The closing date for applications has been extended to 10 June so that YOU can get your application in to enjoy this wonderful new (to all of us) area of unspoilt Berg grassland that gives access to the Escarpment and several caves via unknown passes (including one rock pass!)

                We are privileged to have the new Base Camp Site this year on a promontory at the junction of the Mkhomazi and the Mlahlangubo Rivers.  The reserve itself is very seldom visited partly because the Campsite has not yet been rebuilt after being gutted a few years ago. As a result, only the very occasional hiking party wanting to sub-camp at Rooibessiebos or visit Kaula or Bird’s Nest Caves tend to go there. So despite the fact that we are camping at a magnificent grassland site, albeit fairly close to the entry road, we still have the solitude we all so dearly love. Not only is there water a plenty, there are excellent swimming pools on the Mkhomazi both above and below the Camp for all those wanting to indulge in the Berg waters in July!

          For further information, queries and forms: The Convenor, July Camp Sub-Committee, Rikki Abbott Wedderburn, Telephone: (Home) 033  2392 374 (Cell) 082  538 538 9  e-mail:  Application forms and brochure:

Proof of payment by 10 June to Mike Coke:





Michael Schaff is leading an expedition to Peru in June/July 2014. They are first going to hike the Huayhuash Circuit, and then spend five weeks climbing in the Cordillera Blanca. They intend to start with Pisco, Yanapaccha, and Chopicalqui, before moving to other areas in the Blanca. Alpamayo & Quitaraju are also part of the plan. For the Huayhuash, they are now full, but can still accommodate more climbers in the Blanca. If interested, please contact Michael:



4) NATIONAL MEET - October 2014:


The Paarl-Wellington Section will host the 2014 National Meet during the October school holidays from 3-12 October. Hikes will take place in the Paarl/Wellington area and at PW’s wonderful Krom River Hut. There will be a braai on 10 October.

                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 jump for the opportunity to get one of them! It will cost R70 per adult per day to stay there.  Bookings have to be made through Avril Powrie:;  021 873 0960/ 082 921 4325

Application form, map and proposed hikes at:  



5) CHAMONIX MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL 2014: 29 June – 6 July


Chamonix Mountain Festival is the climbing meet for like-minded autonomous climbers:  29 June – 6 July.   The 2014 programme is even more packed than last year. In addition to climbing every day, there will be films, lectures, discussions and social events most evenings too





6.1) UIAA PEAK AMONG 104 NEW PEAKS ALLOWED FOR CLIMBING IN NEPAL: UIAA Peak (6063m) in the Solu Khumbu region of Nepal is one of the new 104 peaks opened for mountaineering.


6.2) SAFETY COMMISSION: The MCSA’s Alan Jarvis ( – a materials engineer - is an active member on the UIAA Safety Commission. He is following up for the MCSA on a) a Via Ferrata Construction standard (the European Standards people (CEN) are drafting one, with the input from the UIAA), b) updating climbing anchor standards, and c) indoor climbing wall/gym standards (Not CEN nor UIAA has but there are some at national level eg France, and there are USA recommendations). Alan is attending a Safety Commission meeting in Bristol this week. He welcomes questions from MCSA members.

                The Safety Commission has launched a Q&A about safety and risk management issues.  The commission is ready to answer any questions about safety standards and climbing and mountaineering equipment.  An update of the harness standard was unanimously approved at the last meeting


6.3) UIAA AWARDS: The UIAA honoured John Ellison, founder of Climbers against Cancer, as well as Joseph Klenner of the German Alpine Federation at the UIAA’s past Management Committee meeting held in Munich.


6.4) TREE PLANTING-VOLUNTEERS WANTED: The German Alpine Club is looking for volunteers to participate in a campaign to save the mountain forests of the Bavarian Alps.


6.5) SECOND SPONSOR FOR UIAA MOUNTAIN PROTECTION AWARD:  Golden Rock Travel is the second sponsor for the award.  Deadline for nominations: 31 August 2014


6.6) XIII INTERNATIONAL YOUTH ROCK CLIMBING AND MOUNTAINEERING FESTIVAL - 2014: Location: Ekaterinburg– Russia and Ararat and Antalya regions –  Turkey. Date 13 July - 3 August 2014   Deadline for registration: 8 June 2014.





7.1) The KZN Section newsletter for the second quarter of 2014 has been placed on the web-site:


7.2)  CLIMBER CONSERVATION DAY - CAPE TOWN: The MCSA Rock Sub-Committee and CapeNature will be holding a Climber Conservation Day on June 7 and 8 at the Kliphuis Campsite.  For more information:


7.3) MOROCCO WOMEN’S CENTENARY EXPEDITION 1994 - REUNION: A reunion will take place sometime between 24 November and 7 December. Jean Mason will be coming all the way from Switzerland! Contact Annette Mason (


7.4) EASTERN PROVINCE - LADY’S SLIPPER: Visiting Port Elizabeth? Every Wednesday afternoon a group meets at 4pm at the Westway Centre to go out and climb their property, Lady’s Slipper. The actual 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 because of the short daylight hours. 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.


7.5) ICE CLIMBING: The annual Giant's Castle/ Makhaza pilgrimage will take place from 2nd to the 6th of July. For Bokong, diarise the 17th to the 20th of July. Thomas Mann (078 275 04060).


7.6) DISADVANTAGED KIDS CLIMBING DAY – FEEDBACK: On a sunny and mild Sunday at Higgovale Quarry, members from Western Cape Climbing (WCC), City Rock Climbing Gym and the Mountain Club of South Africa Cape Town Section (MCSA-CT) held a climbing day for disadvantaged kids from the Mfoleni and Khayelitsha Townships. 

       The day started out with roped climbing on the walls of the quarry and all showed immense enthusiasm.  City Rock’s personnel, MCSA Outreach people and other MCSA members assisted. Western Cape Climbing will be working closely with the MCSA and City Rock to ensure these kids get to enjoy climbing and the great outdoors indefinitely.


7.7) YOUNG CLIMBER WANTS VOLUNTEER WORK: Lukas Zeisberger ( - 18-years old and a youth leader of the German Alpine Club -will finish school in June. He is looking for work which would allow him to combine working in a foreign part of the world and his passion for rock climbing.






(Not here? Eight Sections to go! Please let us know your address)

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

Cape Town:




‎Paarl Wellington:




We welcome Werner Illenberger ( who has agreed to become the new webmaster and Facebook editor.

      Many thanks to Michael van Breda for the enormous amount of work he has done these past years - whilst being the IT subcommittee convenor - in keeping the Web Page going and always up to date.





9.1) MIKE HORN SUMMITS MAKALU: South African Explorer Mike Horn and Swiss mountain guide/ alpinist Fred Roux reached the summit of Makalu without the use of oxygen or high level porters on May 17 2014.  They are the first men to successfully climb a Himalayan summit over 8 000 metres in the Nepal 2014 climbing season.


9.2) DRAKENSBERG TRAVERSE AMONG THE 20 MOST DANGEROUS HIKES IN THE WORLD: According to Outside Magazine, the Drakensberg Traverse is among the 20 most dangerous hikes in the world together with the Huayna Picchu route in Peru, the Maze in Utah and Mount Hua Shan in China.


9.3) NIGHTJAR ADVENTURER – 2014: Voting for Nightjar Adventurer 2014 has been opened!  Many South African adventurers are doing amazing things but are completely under the radar. We’d like to acknowledge and celebrate their achievements. Please go onto the site below and nominate your adventurer/s of the year as well as cast your vote for those already nominated.  We should support the brave and the seekers amongst us.


9.4) SEAN DISNEY AND VAUGHAN DE LA HARPE BOOK LAUNCH: Sean Disney and Vaughan de la Harpe, two of South Africa's greatest mountaineers, will be at Leopard's Leap and Open Book Festival on 12 June discussing their new book, which documents their summits of the 7 highest peaks and their journey to the North and South Poles. Date: 12 June 2014   Venue: Leopard's Leap Family Vineyards, near Franschhoek .Time: 19:00 – 20:00. Cost: R200 pp.  Copies of Poles Apart will be available for purchase at R230, 00, signed by both authors. The event will include a dinner.


9.5) SANI PASS ROAD SURFACE: The government has announced an about-turn on the SanI-Pass road upgrade controversy, ruling that the mountain pass into Lesotho be resurfaced with tarmac or concrete – not gravel.


9.6) UNMANNED AERIEAL VEHICLES TO MONITOR THE STATUS OF DEBRIS COVERED GLACIERS IN THE LANGTANG VALLEY IN NEPAL: The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)  and Utrecht University (the Netherlands) have for the first time in the Himalaya used Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to monitor the status of debris covered glaciers in the Langtang valley in Nepal.  The research findings, which have been published in the journal Remote Sensing of Environment, indicate that the glacier is in poor condition; it is hardly moving anymore and thinning slowly but gradually. The findings also reveal, in unprecedented detail, that supra-glacial lakes and ice cliffs play a prominent role in accelerating the melt rate of debris-covered glaciers. It is concluded that such innovative technology could bring tremendous possibilities in the study of inaccessible glaciers. The full article High-resolution monitoring of Himalayan glacier dynamics using unmanned aerial vehicles is at:


9.7)  MONITORING HIMALAYAN GLACIERS: This documentary presents the findings of research conducted in the Nepal Himalaya. A team of international experts tries to understand the Himalayan water cycle using high-altitude measurements of snow and rain and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) over debris-covered glaciers. The study was conducted by Utrecht University, ICIMOD and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ), and was partially supported by ICIMOD Innovation Fund.


9.8) National Geographic  has announced its 2014 class of Emerging Explorers, a distinction awarded to researchers, scientists, adventurers, and conservationists who have contributed significant advances to their particular field of study, while in the early stages of their careers.  There are 14 people on this year's list, each working in a unique and important field.





10.1) POST-GRADUATE STUDENT BURSARIES AND RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES IN MOUNTAIN BIOVERSITY AT RHODES UNIVERSITY: South African NRF funding (including bursaries) is available at Rhodes University for A. 3-year research program on crabs, especially montane crabs.  Motivated MSc and PhD students, preferably South African, but other nationalities will be considered. B.   Projects on high altitude invasive plant species - especially Salix fragilis and Rosa rubiginosa. CV and letter of interest to:  Prof Nigel P. Barker Rhodes University Grahamstown South Africa, 6140   Tel.: +27 46 603 8715   Fax: +27 46 603 7355


10.2) 16th ANNUAL BIOECON CONFERENCE – SEPTEMBER: The theme of the conference is Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Sustainability. It will be held on the premises of Kings College Cambridge, England on 22 – 23rd September 2014. Registration opened on 2nd June 2014. Registrations for conference presenters are due by 20th June 2014. Registration for all other participants closes on the 20th August 2014.  Keynote speakers are: Professor Christian Gollier, Toulouse School of Economics.  Professor James Salzman, Duke University . enquiries:


10.3) MSc PROGRAMME - MANAGEMENT OF PROTECTED AREAS: A postgraduate programme is offered in the field of nature conservation and protected areas - MSc programme "Management of Protected Areas", within the University of Klagenfurt, Austria.  The application is opened for the fifth round of the course which will start on 23 September 2014. Applications can be submitted until 30 June 2014.

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





He loved mountains, or he had loved the thought of them marching on the edge of stories brought from far away; but now he was borne down by the insupportable weight of Middle-earth. He longed to shut out the immensity in a quiet room by a fire.”


J.R.R. Tolkien. The Lord of the Rings