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National News, April 2017

MCSA National News 2 April 2017 National News, April 2017


The Montagu Rock Rally is on again this year. It is hosted by the MCSA and will be held at De Bos on the 8th April. It’s going to be a great event with great vibes, crazy prizes and all night party:



Then join THE 2017 National Meet, the July Winter Camp in the Drakensberg which is hosted and organised by the KwaZulu-Natal Section of the MCSA. This is the Camp that provides everything, and that does mean ‘everything’. You just bring your personal hiking kit and tent and snacks and favourite tipple; we supply the rest, and more!  This year July Camp will set up just off Mike’s Pass in the Cathedral Peak area of the Drakensberg, an area we have not visited since 2006, so a return is long overdue.  The dates are Saturday 8 July to Saturday 22 July, or any part thereof.

Although it will be a July Camp with a difference, we are back to the old pattern of a July Camp with a proper ‘stretch your legs’ walk in. For the longish walk in you are advised to carry your basic hiking hit, especially warm clothes and a torch. The remainder of your kit will be transported for you to the Camp site up the Mike’s Pass which is officially ‘closed’. Notwithstanding, the campers’ kit will be transported to the camp site.  The Officer-in-Charge, of the Cathedral Peak Park and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife is being very supportive allowing us into the area, even though Mike’s Pass is closed.

Do come and join us in one of the iconic parts of the Berg with fabulous hiking, memorable climbs and pleasurable scrambles; mountain biking trails and incredible views, with enticing pools, dramatic waterfalls, Bushman paintings, caves; come and see.

There are some few details still to be sorted out and the full brochure, hopefully, will be released by Easter. In the meantime, for further information, contact Rikki Abbott Wedderburn on 082 538 5389 or e-mail



Magnus and Viera Wagener write: “The lead-up to the MCSA event took many turns, with the enormous initial interest producing only two participants, as you know. My explanation for the poor outcome is the fact that two very different objectives were being touted. The O’Higgins plan justified the vetting of applicants down to 12, but the second plan to El Chalten did not. There were several valid arguments for opting for El Chalten over of O’Higgins, but this decision should have been made before deciding on the appropriate criteria for participation. Instead, we were left with a small group that was divided on the merits of the two proposed objectives.

The highlights for Viera and myself were the climbs up three moderate peaks near El Chalten, with the discovery of Alfajores a close second. The first was Mojo Rojo, one of the southern peaks of the Fitzroy massif. We got as far as the base of the rocky summit before descending in heavy wind and sleet. The second was an attempt on Cerro Solo, a free-standing peak above the Adela glacier. Following a long day of treacherous moraine and tricky route finding, we were again defeated by strong wind near the summit. The third peak, Cerro Electrico (northern most peak of the Fitzroy massif) was attempted during a much more promising weather window. We made it to the top this time, with truly amazing views of Fitzroy. In-between, we climbed at many of the recently developed sport and trad climbing areas, as well as a 5-day circuit around the Humuel massif.  The latter involved following along the shore of the Viedma glacier, which is part of the enormous Southern Patagonian ice-field.

In any case, we learnt a lot from the trip and returned with a much better understanding of the conditions and challenges of the region.”



The American Alpine Club is hosting its 10th Annual International Climbers’ Meet (ICM), to be held the week of 8 to 14 October 2017 in Yosemite Valley. Applicants should have intermediate or advanced level experience with:

  • Placement and removal of protection.
  • Multi-pitch rope management.
  • At least two years of technical rock climbing.
  • The ability to follow sustained 5.8 granite.

The Early Bird fee until 31 July 31 is $475 USD per person. Beginning 1 August, the fee will be $525. Your fee includes:

  • Seven nights and six days of camping at secluded Yellow Pines camp ground
  • Three gourmet catered meals per day from Sierra Gourmet catering
  • Six days of climbing in spectacular Yosemite Valley
  • Three optional instructional days hosted by AMGA certified guides and instructors
  • Pre-dinner mini-clinics on a range of technical topics
  • Nightly campfire for storytelling, socializing, and general carousing
  • Partner with other participants or experienced host climbers

Participants provide their own transportation to Yosemite Valley, California.

Cancellation Policy: One half of fee will be returned until 4 September, (no fee refund after 4 September).

International applicants: You will receive notification of the status of your acceptance by 31 May.

To obtain an application go to and submit the attached application electronically via e-mail to For more information go to or contact



The Mountaineering and Sport Climbing Federation of Iran will organize the 3rd international event which is being held between 7 and 19 July 2017, to experience mountain climbing in Iran; an opportunity for the climbers from all over the world. The preferred mountains for this program are Mount Damāvand (5671m), a potentially active volcano, and the highest peak in Iran and Middle East , as well as the highest volcano in Asia, and Mt. Alam Kouh, the second highest peak of Iran.

We have the honour to personally invite you to attend in this event; we will appreciate hosting you as a young and talented climber, to share climbing experiences as well as cultural exchanges; and making friendship bonds between our nations in a healthy, sportive atmosphere.  We believe that this event is a unique occasion for young climbers to get to know other well-trained climbers in their own age. Moreover, they have the opportunity of learning and applying new climbing and mountaineering techniques under the supervision of our professional climbing and mountaineering instructors.

Registration Deadline June 10 2017. Go to FFCAM – Iranian Summer.








All enquiries should be directed to MCSA/UIAA Youth Commission Convenor, Jenny Paterson at or through Applications should not be submitted without being signed off by either her or the MCSA President.

Venue:  Gite Les Oustalous, Les Cabannes, Ariège, South of France (distance of 120 kms from Toulouse / one hour and 20 mins)

Accommodation: Rooms for 2 people sharing, all meals and lunch packs are provided by the event organiser and will be prepared by the youth.

Participants: Young people from 16 to 25 years old. Participants should lead climb at a minimum of 5b French grade. We will be offering places to maximum of 3 participants per country Federation. Participants younger than 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult guardian/climber/coach, who is able to look after them during this meet.  NB: Consumption of alcohol by the young people is forbidden during the camp.

Equipment: Climbing harness, climbing shoes, chalk bag, climbing helmet, belay device and 10 quick draws (UIAA standard/CEN). Sunglasses, sunscreen, waterproofs, sleeping bag, head torch, climbing clothing and personal toiletry kit, water bottle, any personal medication.

Insurance: Participants should get themselves insurance for accident, rescue, third party liability and travel which is valid for participating in the programme of climbing and trekking. This cover note of insurance should be presented to the organisers on arrival.

Entry visas: a visa will be required so early booking is recommended as the visa process takes time. A letter of support from the organisers and the MCSA will be provided.

Price: 30 EUR per participant / per night, payable on arrival to the organiser.

Accommodation: Full board, leading and organisational costs included, 40 EUR per accompanying guardian/climber/coach per night.

Registration deadline: 1 July 2017 (for European participants; earlier for any South African participants due to time required to process flights and visas). A maximum of 12 participants is planned, so priority will be given to early applicants.

Meeting point: Toulouse, on Saturday morning, the 8 July 2017; if flying, flights booked to Toulouse Airport to arrive on Friday, 7 July.

More details and assistance with registration can be obtained from Jenny.



National Facebook page:
Links for all the sections’ web pages are on the national web page.



Cape Town Section: Outreach Mega Hike Silvermine 22 April 2017

We have gotten so used to hearing negativity about our schools, but in Mfuleni in Cape Town there is a school with a principal and teachers with a passion like few others, and who understand that learning should not be confined to the classroom.

Every year, Mfuleni Secondary gives its matric class a gift: A hike with MCSA Cape Town section, Outreach. For many of these youngsters this is more than a welcome break from the books: it is an introduction to the mountains that they can see so clearly from their homes but never had access to. It is an opportunity to relax and recreate, but for many it opens a door they never even knew existed. They eagerly start finding out if their prospective institute of higher learning offers hiking and in the community of Mfuleni. It has become something to look forward to for future matriculants.  This school continues to improve its matric results every year, and we think we know why!

If you would like to join this hike on April 22 in Silvermine, send an email to



8.1) Latest UCT MSC Journal Online

The UCT Mountain & Ski Club Journal is an annual publication, showcasing events of the club in the calendar year as well as providing portfolio feedback reports. See

8.2) Researching a Past Member

We have been contacted by a military medal collector who has added a set of medals which contained a pin of The Mountain Club of South Africa along with the medals. The medals are named to Miss Decima Moina Davidge-Pitts. She resided in Johannesburg primarily, but also had Durban as an address in her military records. If it helps any she was a nurse during WWII in the South African Military Nursing Service and served in North Africa and Italy. The MCSA pin is numbered 985. The mint mark is dated for 1936. If anyone has any recollection of Miss Davidge-Pitts or knows someone who may, please contact Jenny,

8.3) Nepal to use tracking to verify summit claims 

Kathmandu, Nepal: Some climbers attempting to scale Mount Everest during the upcoming spring climbing season will be strapped with a GPS device to locate them in case they are in trouble and to prevent false claims of reaching the summit, officials said Monday.  The chief of Nepal’s tourism department, Durga Dutta Dhakal, said the devices, costing about $300 apiece, would help locate climbers who are in trouble on the mountain.  The devices will also track the movement of the climbers while they are on Everest. The data will be checked after they get back from the mountain to determine whether they reached the summit and should be issued a climber’s certificate.

8.4) Video: An expedition to one of the deepest caves on earth

8.5) The African Great Lakes Conference (AGLC) 2 to 5 May 2017 

The African Great Lakes region is one of the most extraordinary places on Earth. It holds almost one-third of the world’s fresh surface water, covering over 850,000 square kilometres across 11 countries. The seven major lake basins in the region are Lake Albert, Lake Edward, Lake Kivu, Lake Malawi/Nyasa/Niassa, Lake Tanganyika, Lake Turkana, and Lake Victoria.

8.6) Video: David Lama: Completing the Compressor Route on Cerro Torre – Patagonia

Video: A Life of Climbing with David Lama



Newsworthy items for inclusion in MCSA National News can be sent to the Editor, Bridget Carrick at

Quote: “Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.”

W.B. Yeats, The Land of Heart’s Desire


“explore – discover – connect – protect”

“verken – ontdek – ontmoet – bewaar”

“phonononga – fumanisa – qhagamshela – khusela”


MCSA-CT Office Admin

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