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National News, September 2017

MCSA National News 1 September 2017 National News, September 2017


When I took on this job, it was without great expectations of being able to achieve too much of any significance in the time limit that I gave myself. When I delved deeper into the pool of possibilities, it became clear that there were opportunities out there waiting to be grasped. Some of them are like the proverbial nettle – unless you grasp them firmly, they will come back to bite you – but others have proven to be real opportunities for the advancement of the Club and its members, climbing on the African continent in general, and also to have a real voice in world mountaineering.

A lot of this was initiated by my various predecessors in this post – many of them contributed in a big way allowing the MCSA to occupy the position it does in the world mountaineering in general and the UIAA in particular. I count myself fortunate to know several of the ex-Presidents quite well and their contribution over the years has been fantastic. I am not only talking about the administrative stuff but the real, nitty-gritty – sharp end stuff. Often the sharp end in the real climbing sense of the word! One day, I would like to go back into history and count up the number of new routes, expeditions, etc. that MCSA presidents have been involved in. I think it would be quite instructive! Food for thought when we come to consider who else might be put into this chair. Not that I am thinking of quitting any time too soon – I am having far too much fun!

Now, talking of fun, it is time for a couple of updates:

The Africa Initiative – one of the things that has been most satisfying is the contact that the MCSA has initiated with the other active clubs on this continent. I am in the privileged position of knowing large parts of Africa quite well, visiting 25 African countries in the last five or six years, and having climbed to a greater or lesser extent in several of them. I also have a strong interest in mountaineering history so I am aware of the long mountaineering tradition that exists in several countries. It has been my privilege and pleasure to be able to start the process of bringing together the more active countries and to have the foundation of what is currently being termed the Confederation of African Mountaineering Associations. Bit clumsy, but the best we have at the moment!

The component parts of this initiative include such elements as reciprocal rights between the member countries which will allow people to plan trips to whichever country, e.g. Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, etc. and to have immediate contact points and often to be able to utilise the various facilities, huts, etc. at “local” rates. This sort of contact can be invaluable and I urge all MCSA members to make themselves aware of the possibilities before planning trips within Africa.

The other exciting (I think!) development is the first Pan African Meet to be held in January/February 2018 in Uganda. As I mentioned in a previous note, our Ugandan friends have put together a programme that looks to be very exciting including some of the iconic African mountain areas as well as some lesser known gems. Elsewhere in this National Newsletter, you will find the flyer for the Uganda Meet and I hope that there will be a strong MCSA representation in Uganda next year.

As a corollary, The Mountain Club of Kenya are also planning a get-together next year. Details will be supplied shortly – so watch this space!

Anniversaries – this year and next year see some significant anniversaries within the MCSA. The Magaliesberg Section is reaching 50 years as a separate section of the MCSA. The Annual Dinner of the MCSA is in Pretoria this year and no doubt the forthcoming anniversary will be noted in appropriate fashion! I will be attending that dinner and renewing some old friendships and making some new ones both at the dinner and in the mountains on the following day

I will also note a very significant anniversary next year. The Annual Dinner is to be hosted by the Worcester Section who are celebrating their 125th birthday in 2018. They are – in case you didn’t know – the second oldest Section of the MCSA and this anniversary will no doubt be celebrated in true Worcester style! [I have some experience of this style as, some years ago, a few of us went out one Saturday intending to sleep at the Du Toits Kloof Hut and then climb something new on the Chess Pieces the following day. We arrived at the Hut to find the Worcester Section annual braai in full swing! Did you know that a significant number of their members are wine farmers..!]

My own membership of the MCSA coincides pretty well with that of the Magaliesberg Section so my trip to Pretoria will be a double celebration for me in some respects. To be followed shortly thereafter by attendance at the UIAA general Assembly which this year is being held in Shiraz in Iran. Yes, the same Shiraz that gave its name to the grape and the cultivar – sadly, no wine of that name is likely to be available at the event! But it should prove a valuable experience. Having worked in Iran, I know how hospitable the Iranians are and I am very much looking forward to this event.

Greg Moseley
MCSA President



Magaliesberg Section will be hosting the Dinner. Save the date please: Please RSVP either via the website or via email to


3) MCSA NATIONAL MEET: CHIMANIMANI, ZIMBABWE 25 September – 3 October 2017

Presented by the Magaliesberg Section MCSA, in conjunction with the Mountain Club of Zimbabwe.

Chimanimani is a mountainous area situated in the eastern highlands of Zimbabwe. The region is distinguished by large quartzite peaks, carved from a rifted quartzite block, the highest reaching to 2,440 metres and stretching for some 50 kilometres, forming the border with Mozambique. It is one of Zimbabwe’s wildest and finest mountain wilderness areas and a very popular hiking destination. The nature is unspoiled and at its best, with breath-taking and picturesque landscapes as you explore the area. There are mountains to climb, valleys and gorges to hike, rock paintings and waterfalls to feast your eyes on, and natural pools to swim in. Add to it forests, some unique plant species and wild animals, and it becomes a nature lover’s paradise.

Chimanimani is known as Zimbabwe’s best kept secret, but it needn’t be this way! Come join us on this meet for the truly adventurous by exploring its challenging overnight hiking trails and spectacular climbs, by doing caving, potholing or kayaking, or just enjoy its peace and tranquillity in a relaxed manner by taking leisurely day hikes. This meet has got some activities for all tastes!

General Provisional Programme:

Day 1               Arrival at Base Camp, Chimanimani Area.
Day 2               Briefing and Welcoming Braai (Late Afternoon).
Day 3, 4, 5     1, 2 & 3-Day Hiking, Climbing and Bouldering.
Day 6               Rest and Recreation; Caving / Potholing, Kayaking, and Dinner.
Day 7, 8, 9      1, 2 & 3-Day Hiking, Climbing and Bouldering.
Day 10             Visit to Chirinda Forest and Farewell Function at Base Camp.
Day 11             Departure and Own Itinerary.

Bonus Event: MCSA Annual Dinner 2017 presented by the Magaliesberg Section! On your way up to Zimbabwe, join the MCSA Annual Dinner on 23 September 2017 in Pretoria during which the Magaliesberg Section will celebrate its 50th Birthday.

Booking and more details for the Chimanimani meet and annual dinner will be made known at a later stage.

General Enquiries: Etienne Step. Telephone +27 72 242 0864  Email:

Interested parties are requested to send an email to Etienne, giving provisional personal contact details, type of activity interested in, accommodation preferences (i.e. dormitory accommodation, lodges / chalets or camping), mode of transport (i.e. by road or fly-in to Harare), etc., so that provisional planning can be made based on the provided information.

Download the info: 2017-national-meet-document-1.pdf and 2017-national-meet-document-2.pdf



Several African clubs have already established reciprocal membership and I am sure many of you have benefitted from the warm welcome of other clubs. The MCU, in cooperation with MCSA, would like to invite all clubs to attend a meet in Uganda in January of 2018. Uganda has quite possibly the finest mountains in all of Africa, the famous Rwenzori in the west, the dramatic Virungas of gorilla fame in the southwest, the much-heralded Mt Elgon in the east and the little known, wild, and unspoiled peaks of Karamoja in the northeast. Uganda’s got something for every type of mountaineer, glaciated uplands, technical pitches, gorgeous hikes and peace in some of the most beautiful and remote parts of East Africa.

Full article and flyer: 2018-Pan-Africa-Meet-Uganda-1




National: abbreviated link for the national MCSA facebook page

New web page: Free State Section:

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



There is no section news



7.1) The Hiking South Africa Forum

The place where South Africa’s hiking community come together. This forum is here for everything hiking related: General Chatter, Route Info, Gear Reviews, Tips and Tricks, Classifieds and anything else you might want to discuss.

7.2) Deadly Weekend in The Alps Leaves 8 Dead In Climbing Accidents

The climbing community got a sharp reminder this weekend that you don’t have to be climbing on the big peaks in the Himalaya and Karakoram to face danger. Eight climbers perished in three separate accidents in the Alps over the past few days, making it one of the deadliest periods in recent memory.

7.3) Special Feature on Archetype Analysis in Sustainability Research: In Ecology and Society

Timeline: 15 September 2017: Interested contributors send expressions of interest (title, abstract, authors) to the special feature editors Christoph Oberlack, Diana Sietz and Klaus Eisenack (for contacts see above link).  1 April – 31 May 2018: Submission of full papers through

7.4) International Mountain Day December 11 2017: Call For Case Studies On Climate Change And Hunger In Mountains

The Mountain Partnership Secretariat seeks case studies on climate change and hunger in mountains for the fact sheets currently being created for International Mountain Day 2017. Case studies should be between 200-400 words in length and be accompanied by photos depicting the content. Please email case studies and photos to Sara Manuelli at

7.5) Bernd Zangerl Returns to The Rock

Late in 2015, climber Bernd Zangerl fell while attempting a bouldering problem. He suffered injuries as a result of that fall, losing strength and feeling in one of his arms. This kept him from continuing to climb, a sport he had grown to love over the previous 20 years. But now, 489 days after that accident, he returns to the rock at long last. This video tells his story and takes us on that climb with him.



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

Quote: Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books. – John Lubbock

“explore – discover – connect – protect”

“verken – ontdek – ontmoet – bewaar”

“phonononga – fumanisa – qhagamshela – khusela”


MCSA-CT Office Admin

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