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National News, August 2019

MCSA National News 5 August 2019 National News, August 2019


After last year’s successful inaugural event in Uganda, the Mountain Club of Malawi is hosting this year’s version of the Pan-African Meet on Mulanje in August/September.  This meet, as last year’s, is in conjunction with the Confederation of African Mountain Clubs, which was formed as a result of an MCSA initiative.

Mulanje Mountain
This splendid mountain is where the meet will primarily take place. Hiking access is at about 8-900m and the ‘plateau’ level where the huts are is at about 2000m. The highest peak is Sapitwa at 3002m. The peaks are granite and in August/September – when it is dry – traction is very good. There are various vegetative zones determined by altitude. Temperatures in late August/early September will be warm during the day (20-25C) and a little cooler at night, though not dropping below 10C. For more information on Mulanje Mountain – the paths, peaks, huts etc. – check out the MCM website on

Hiking will take place between Saturday, 31st August and Saturday, 7th September. Seven of the 8 hiking days will be on Mulanje Mountain. One day will be on the Zomba Plateau.

Arrival in Blantyre
Participants should arrive in Blantyre by Friday, 30th August at the latest. Travellers from other African countries don’t usually need visas to enter Malawi but please check this out when you are booking your flights. Visas cost $75. Malawi does sometimes request yellow fever certificates – so best to bring it along if you have one.

More details are available on the MCSA National website or from the MCSA President, Greg Moseley.




This year the MCSA Annual Dinner is being combined with the KZN Section’s Centenary Dinner. Details are on the invitation (below).




The American Alpine Club is hosting its 12th annual International Climbers’ Meet (ICM), to be held the week of 13-19 October, 2019 in Yosemite Valley.  The event will include three days of education programming, host climbers available for guidance, and, per usual, an international cast of characters that will be crushing Yosemite.

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

Discounted fee for International participants:

The fee will be $545 ** Your fee includes:

  • Seven nights and six days of camping at secluded Yellow Pines campground.
  • 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 instructor.
  • Pre-dinner mini-clinics on a range of technical topics.
  • One day of stewardship for Yosemite National Park.
  • Nightly campfire for storytelling, socializing, and general carousing.
  • Partner with other participants or experienced host climbers.




The UIAA continues to develop its services for members and will be improving its web page to offer federations the opportunity to exchange more details about climbing and mountaineering in their own countries. A Donate page will also be available to members who wish to showcase initiatives and causes they are supporting. Both projects will be rolled out during the first quarter of 2019. Members are therefore reminded of many existing resources, and some new ones, provided by the UIAA.

Members are encouraged to go to the UIAA web site to find out more about the UIAA‘s important activities.

Members are urged to go to the UIAA website and read Doug Scott’s keynote speech to the Himalayan Travel Mart Conference. Lessons there for us all. The link is uiaa/the-lure-of-everest/. Doug’s presentation and pictures are an education in themselves.

A recent publication by the Indian Mountaineering Federation also serves to whet the appetite considerably! This publication “features all the latest developments from the IMF and the Himalayan region within India, including some highly innovative projects undertaken by the IMF this year and news relating to infrastructure and accessibility to remote Himalayan areas. We have also covered some really interesting climbs and explorations.

Notably, of potential interest to MCSA members is the section on “Planning and Expedition in the Indian Himalaya which is a very useful indeed. This issue of “Apex” (Volume 9) can be accessed at

In a similar vein, we also recently received the latest issue (No. 52) of the Asian Alpine E-News which has some interesting stuff on Taiwan – a destination that I for one, have never considered. You can see this issue at

The annual UIAA General Assembly is the largest, and most important, gathering of UIAA member federations, commissions, representatives and partners. At the General Assembly, key decisions are made concerning UIAA’s role, its activities and budget and elections are held. The 2019 UIAA General Assembly will be hosted by the Cyprus Mountaineering Climbing & Orienteering Federation (C.M.C.O.F) and held on 2 November.

The MCSA, via the President will be in attendance.

Earlier this year, the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission put in motion a new direction for the Respect the Mountains series with a departure from the model of UIAA-organised events – primarily located in popular European mountain resorts – to the creation of an international platform for events organized by UIAA members and partners and recognised by the UIAA.

The response to this initiative has been impressive with over 50 events already published on the UIAA’s online international calendar, a platform designed to provide mountain visitors with details about events they can join and contribute to. The events typically combine a mountain clean-up activity with an educational programme and outdoor elements.

See more about this on the UIAA website.




Please send any newsworthy items for inclusion in the MCSA National News to the Editor, Ineke Moseley, at




6.1 Environmental impact of rock climbers on crags
There are descriptions in our journals of trad climbs where extensive ‘gardening’ was required. This wouldn’t be acceptable today. See The Trace We Leave by Marion Renault.

6.2 Sightless Onsight: Jesse Dufton Completes First Blind Lead of Old Man of Hoy Sea Stack
Despite being born with a degenerative condition that has caused him to lose almost all of his eyesight, Jesse Dufton is a dedicated climber. See Sightless Onsight by Hannah Gartner.

6.3 Rescues don’t only take place on Everest
In the Karakoram, Denis Urubko took part in his third rescue in a week and his second in two days, making the weekend a very interesting and busy one for him. See




“If you’re going to climb with young people, you get very, very used to seeing your climbing partner as a tiny little dot.” – Sir Chris Bonington, in his fifties.


“explore – discover – connect – protect”

“verken – ontdek – ontmoet – bewaar”

“phonononga – fumanisa – qhagamshela – khusela”



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