1. PRESIDENT’S RAMBLES
2. KILIMANJARO CABLE-WAY PROJECT
3. ALPINE SKILLS TRAINING
4. COVID-19 UPDATE
5. UIAA NEWS
6. FACEBOOK AND WEB PAGES
7. NEWSWORTHY ITEMS
1. PRESIDENT’S RAMBLES
An important event in the life of the Club is the AGM, this year it seemed even more important as we were able to meet in person. It was great to make new friends and to become reacquainted with old. The social on Friday evening lasted late into the night and meant that a number of members were quite subdued the next morning. I would like to thank all of those who attended in person and online, the commitment of your time and dedication to the Club is not always acknowledged but is greatly appreciated. We would also extend our grateful thanks to the Cape Town Section for their hospitality and especially to Anita for looking after us and making sure we were fed and watered. The Club also owes a debt of gratitude to Lester Coelen, his role of treasurer is essential, and his commitment and rigour are aweinspiring.
Of course, very little would happen without our national secretary, Jenny Paterson, all her work behind the scenes ensures that both the AGM and the National Committee meeting (which follows) proceed without a hitch, we are grateful.
Apart from myself as president, the office bearers for the coming year are as follows: deputy president: Carl Dreyer (KZN), treasurer: Lester (CT), secretary: Jenny (JHB), additional members: Brent Jennings (CT) and Kuba Miszewski (PW), we welcome them and look forward to their contributions for the next year. “New blood” is essential for the Club to remain relevant, and I urge all members to put up their hands to serve on their Sections committee or sub-committees.
The National Committee meeting was enjoyable but also efficient and effective. The MCSA Strategic Plan, which is required by the Department of Sport, will be ready for review by the sections by the end of May and must be submitted to the Department by the end of June. An excellent draft has been prepared by Riaan Doorduin and Jenny and we ask all sections to commit to these deadlines. The digitising of the journal is also reaching its final stages, and the committee agreed that a protected PDF version of the 2020 Journal will be distributed to those sections who request same. The same process can be adopted with the 2021 Journal; however, Eddie Harvey (Magaliesberg) is finalising a smart/searchable version of the journal which can be made available to members of those sections who wish to have access to such a resource. The MCSA App is virtually ready for “testing” the initial version of the app will deal with property management, including permits, bookings, huts, access, parking, directions and the like. There will be further stages and additions to the App in which it is envisaged that membership applications, renewals, payments will be included. This is an exciting longawaited initiative which will make all our lives easier. At the moment the initiative has been driven by Bennie de Wet (JHB) and Eddie (Magaliesberg) and Riaan (PW) but again the App will be available to all sections who choose to adopt it. We thank Bennie for the excellent presentation on the App.
The July Camp is only a month or so away and although times have changed, we appreciate this constant in the life of the Club and we are grateful to Rikki Abbott Wedderburn, Merv Gavin, Lesley McGwynne, Graham Smith and their team who make this event possible. This will be the 101st July Camp and I’m looking forward to meeting campers in a no doubt chilly Berg. The link for the application forms is: https://forms.gle/fBkLAsu5KS4XqjE29.
Another exciting event later in the year is the National Camp, this year being hosted by the South Cape Section, from 14-22 October 2022, and it promises to be an event which ought not to be missed. All the details and application forms are available on https://southcape.mcsa.org.za/mcsa-national-camp-2022/. The programme includes rock climbing on the Sea Cliffs at Mossel Bay and at Wolwerivier Crags outside Sedgefield. Further inspiring news is that a new section of the MCSA is forming in Limpopo. They are presently named the Northern Mountain Club, have over 70 members and are developing crags in Mohlapitse Valley, Thabaphaswa and near Musina. Their Chair is Vincent Egan and they have recently been given permission to make use of facilities at the Warriors Academy, Magoebaskloof as their Clubhouse. The National Committee has confirmed we are ready to accept their application and have committed to support their establishment.
We also celebrate the phenomenal achievements of two of our members: Remy Kloos is the first South African to do the back-to-back double summit of both Mt Everest and Mt Lhotse which she achieved in 24 hours! She is also the first South African female to summit Mt Lhotse, the fourth highest peak in the world! Then Pierre Carter became the fourth person ever to paraglide off Mt Everest, after a tough decision to summit or fly, Pierre opted to fly from the South Col, at 8000m, in a small cloud window, his descent to the village of Gorak Step was 20 minutes, and during the flight his top ground speed was 90km/h!
I end these Rambles with sad news. We mourn the death of Ineke, the wife of our past president Greg Moseley, after a long battle with cancer. We offer our sympathy and prayers to him and his daughters. His commitment and dedication are legendary, but as all volunteers appreciate, none of this can be achieved without the support and patience of our families. We are thus also grateful and thankful to Ineke, for the support she has offered him over the years.
Look to the Hills!
2. KILIMANJARO CABLE-WAY PROJECT
As previously reported in the National Newsletter, the Tanzanian authorities released a statement at the end of last year stating that construction would be starting in 2022. The UIAA remains concerned about the possible ramifications of such a project with the health and safety, local community and mountain protection issues being amongst them. As readers will know, Kili is a hugely popular peak with “adventure tourists” and is already highly commercialized. The UIAA is concerned that the proposed cableway will add to the load on that iconic mountain.
A letter from the UIAA, with the Africa Representative on the Management Committee as a co-signature, is to be sent to the Tanzanian Minister. It expressed the concerns of the mountaineering community and offeres support in any way possible. This support would centre largely on environmental and the medical concerns related to high altitude. The UIAA has exceptional expertise in both these areas.
3. ALPINE SKILLS TRAINING AND ICE CLIMBING
Being far away from the snowy and icy environments, we South Africans do not have much opportunity to learn alpine climbing techniques. There is much bad and superseded practice that takes place in the mountains. The aim of these workshops is to provide some guidance on modern safety techniques used to move in the alpine environment.
This is an advance notice for the workshops will take place in the first week in December and will cover:
- Introduction to evaluation of terrain.
- Introduction to footwork on snow and ice.
- Moving together, belaying or soloing?
- Arranging protection in snow and ice.
- Glacier travel – Dry, wet, flat and steep glaciers.
- Short roping.
- Safety on ridges – Snow ridges & rock ridges.
- Ice and Mixed Climbing
- Effective changeover of techniques.
- Strategy – Timing, crowds, bivy or no bivy.
1st Workshop – 4 Hours (MCSA Club House).
2nd Workshop – Full day (On the hill, location to be advised).
The workshops will be run by Rob Powell who is an SA-qualified Alpine Mountaineering and Rock Climbing Guide. An accomplished international climber, some of his climbing highlights include ascents of Trango Tower in the Himalayan Karakorum, North Face of the Eiger, two routes on the North Face of the Grandes Jorasses, the North Face of the Dru and multiple first ascents around the globe.
Rob will also host an Ice Climbing Meet at Giants Castle in the Drakensberg from the 14th to the 18th July 2022. While this is not a guided or instruction course, Rob has offered to provide guidance/coaching on ice climbing including gear, protection, safety and climbing technique. Attendees should as a minimum have all the necessary ropework skills to be selfsufficient in top roping and belaying as a minimum.
The Giants Castle Ice Climbing area has various ice climbing routes. There are multipitch routes that require abseiling into and climbing out, these can be of a serious and committing nature. The Makaza area is a large amphitheatre that has many possibilities for single pitch routes and if the conditions allow, there are lower sections that can be climbed to make a longer outing. Attendees with the requisite experience, equipment and skills may wish to undertake the multipitch routes. Less experienced attendees may wish to climb the single pitch routes at Makaza where routes can be top roped or lead.
The registration forms are available at: https://tally.so/r/nrxPN3 and the contact person for these events is Brigitte Pegado email@example.com use the subject line MCSA Ice Climbing meet for any queries.
4. COVID-19 UPDATE
We have now been Presidentially released from the state of disaster – at least the Covid kind!
We can now resume normal activities. However, personally, the Editor will continue with some precautions at least, as it seems to make sense to avoid unnecessary risks of further infection. The hills are possibly the best bet for outdoor activity as the wind, at least in Cape Town will blow away any nasties lurking out there.
But please stay safe everybody!!
5. UIAA NEWS
The UIAA continues all of its normal activities with numbers of initiatives on the go. Members are urged to go to the UIAA web site – https://www.theuiaa.org/ – for more information plus a load of other useful data.
5.1 UIAA COMMISSIONS SET SCENE FOR 2022
The UIAA Management Committee (MC) and Commission Presidents met for the first time in 2022 on Saturday 12 February with the primary focus of discussions being the delivery of projects for the coming twelve months.
The various Commission projects for 2022 can be found at:
5.2 2022 UIAA MOUNTAIN PROTECTION AWARD LAUNCHED
The application process for the ninth edition of the UIAA Mountain Protection Award (MPA) is now open.
The UIAA – International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation – is particularly excited about this year’s Award which coincides with the United Nations designating 2022 as the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development. Throughout the year, governments, international organisations and stakeholders are invited to raise awareness of the importance of conservation and sustainable use of mountain ecosystems.
Zéro Déchet Mont Blanc (France), Best New Initiative, 2020-21 UIAA Mountain Protection Award The Mountain Protection Award, partnered by Bally Peak Outlook Foundation, was created with the ambition not only to highlight the importance of mountain ecosystems but to engage climbers and mountaineers in a direct and positive way. The Award also seeks to promote the work of projects who through sustainable mountain tourism initiatives directly support and benefit the lives of mountain communities.
How about it MCSA Sections!!
5.3 REGISTRATION OPEN FOR 2022 YOUTH CLIMBING CAMP IN ARIEGE
Registration is open for this year’s UIAA Global Youth event in Ariege, France. The annual camp will take place from 7-12 July and is open to people from 16-25 years old. The event is organised by the UIAA Youth Commission and the Toulouse branch of FFCAM. The event forms part of the UIAA’s Global Youth Summit events.
The main goal of the camp is for youngsters to practice and develop many forms of climbing, cliffs with one pitch, or routes with many pitches, on different types of rock, granite or limestone. A climbing certificate may also be offered at the end of the course.
Full programme, logistical and registration details can be found at:
5.4 UIAA SAFECOM ENDORSES CLIMBER SAFETY VIDEOS
Through its regular Q&A series answering climber questions, its certified equipment and recall databases and array of climber safety articles, the UIAA Safety Commission is committed to providing climbers with accurate and timely content to help make informed decisions. One of the priorities for SafeCom is to make more video content available. In the past, SafeCom has endorsed safety videos produced by the German Alpine Club (DAV) and British Mountaineering Council (BMC).
Over recent years, the Austrian Alpine Club (ÖAV) has produced its own safety videos. In partnership with SafeCom, a project is underway to provide English-language subtitles to these videos. A first video dedicated to via Ferrata lanyards is now available and has been endorsed by both SafeCom and the UIAA Training Panel.
ÖAV has made a number of other safety videos available on its YouTube channel focusing primarily on belaying techniques and via Ferrata.
6. FACEBOOK AND WEB PAGES
6.1 National: abbreviated link for the national MCSA Facebook page: www.facebook.com/MCSA125/
6.2 Links for all the sections’ web pages are on the MCSA national webpage.
7. ITEMS OF INTEREST
Please send any noteworthy items for inclusion in MCSA National News Letter to Greg
Moseley at: firstname.lastname@example.org who will forward them on to the relevant person.
“The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into
the impossible.” – Arthur C. Clarke