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National News, November 2019

MCSA National News 7 November 2019 National News, November 2019


This is a call for contributions for the 2019 Journal. Please see the JOURNAL GUIDELINES on the national website, or ask the editor to send you a copy. Email Jenny Paterson at Deadline for contributions is 31 January 2020.



This year the MCSA Annual Dinner in October, was combined with the KZN Section Centenary celebration. The occasion was attended by upwards of 120 people and was a great success. It was a demonstration of the vitality of our KZN Section with a good mix of older members and a much younger set as well.

Ex-President and Gold Badge holder Paul Fatti was the main speaker and entertained us all with an exposition on risk and reward in climbing.



The 2019 version of the (hopefully) now annual Pan-African Meet was hosted by the Mountain Club of Malawi and Mount Mulanje being the venue. By all accounts, it was a great success and certainly our members who attended had a very good time.

Norman Owen-Smith sent us a couple of paragraphs:

The 2nd Pan-African Mountain Clubs meet took place on Mount Mulanje during the first week of September 2019, hosted by Maggie O’Toole on behalf of the Mountain Club of Malawi. It was attended by 8 representatives from Zimbabwe and 4 from MCSA, plus various people coming and going from Malawi. Everything was organised – transport from Blantyre, permits, fees, guides, porters, cook and food. A “Grand Traverse” hiking around the mountain massif covered about 80 km over 7 days. The group stayed in a hut each night and had the option of ascending a peak each morning, before hiking on to the next hut. The highest of these peaks was Sapitwa, at 3003 metres, the highest eminence between the Drakensberg and Kilimanjaro. One night was spent camped in the open on a sandy beach below a huge pool. The meet was extremely well organised and very rewarding with its combination of hiking, dipping into pools and climbing up to great views presenting numerous enticing peaks. The guides and porters were knowledgeable and professional. Special thanks go to Maggie O’Toole for all of the work she put into organising it so successfully.













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.



Work continues within the structures of the UIAA on the issues surrounding recent events on Mount Everest and elsewhere. Two statements were released earlier this year on the 2019 Everest climbing season and the proposals to construct a cableway up Kilimanjaro. These are being followed up with more affirmative action and with the active co-operation with some major, national climbing organisations. The key message in both statements was the UIAA’s willingness to work with stakeholders and help find solutions.

The MCSA continues to take a leading role in these initiatives.



The UIAA has published profiles of all 12 projects in contention for the 2019 UIAA Mountain Protection Award. There will be four prizes offered this year. The Award winner, granted 5000 USD, will be announced together with the runner-up and best new initiative at the UIAA General Assembly in Cyprus on 2 November. A fourth prize is the new Community Award, which will be run through the UIAA Facebook channel, and recognise the project which creates the highest engagement. All projects will be showcased on the UIAA website and social media channels. Visit the Project page:

It is hoped that an MCSA project might be included next year!


One of the innovations to feature as part of the 2019 UIAA Mountain Protection Award is the Community Award. This initiative provides the opportunity for the general public to recognise the projects they feel most deserving of support. Check out the UIAA web page on this one: Perhaps the MCSA Outreach Programmes could compete? 


The UIAA has updated its online members associations directory. The resource provides a rich array of information about each member association including links to dedicated articles and features, contact information, member social media channels and information about climbing in different member countries.



The Indian Mountaineering Foundation, a UIAA member association, has shared the recent news that the Indian government has agreed to opening 137 Himalayan peaks to foreign climbers.

Until these new measures were announced, foreign climbers had to seek permission from the Ministries of Defence and Home to climb these peaks. Foreigners can now directly apply to the IMF for permits. A dedicated guide can be downloaded from:



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.



In April 2019, the UIAA and the DAV (German Alpine Club) collaborated on a series of videos dedicated to belaying. Ten videos produced by the DAV were translated into English with the support of the UIAA Safety Commission. These videos are available to view on the UIAA Skills page. An additional video, how to belay with the ATC, was not posted. It is now available following the publication of an advisory courtesy of the UIAA Training Panel.






The French Alpine Club, Toulouse, is facilitating another of their highly successful International Youth Ice Climbing Camp, which is held in Guillestre, Hautes Alpes (05), in France.

DATES: 9 – 15 February 2020

  • Participants: Youth members aged 16 to 26 years. Participants should lead rock climb at a minimum of 5b French grade, and should be autonomous for managing belay. We will be offering places to maximum of 4 participants per country Federation. Participants younger than 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult Climber/coach/guardian, who is able to look after them during this meet.
  • Equipment: climbing harness, winter alpinism shoes with ice crampons, climbing helmet, belay device and 05 quick draws (UIAA standard/CEN), 2 ice axes (could be rented by staff), one avalanche detector device (could be rented from staff), 05 ice screws, sun glasses & cream, sleeping bag, head torch, winter climbing clothing and toiletry kit, water bottle.
  • Insurance: Participants should be insured for accident, rescue, third party liability and travel which is valid for participating in the programme of climbing and trekking. A copy of each insurance should be presented to the organisers on arrival.
  • Entry visas: South Africans need a visa for France and we can assist with obtaining support documentation from the organisers.
  • Price: 250 EUR per participant, payable on arrival to the organiser. Accommodation, full board, leading and organisational costs included (except picnic of midday on one of the days).

Registration deadline:  6 January 2020 for South Africans. This is to allow time to get visa support documentation, applying for visa etc.

These are the details of the Camp. MCSA has had several members attend one of these camps before and the feedback is that they are superb. We can assist with travel and visa arrangements.

  • FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE: Youth members wishing to attend can apply for financial assistance from the Centenary Journal Youth Fund – details and qualifying criteria can be obtained from the MCSA Secretary: please email for information.



6.1  National: abbreviated link for the national MCSA Facebook page:

6.2  Links for all the sections’ web pages are on the MCSA national webpage.



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



There are many items of interest in October 2019 newsletter of the Mountain Research Initiative. The reports are mainly connected with countries that have snow covered mountains. Please read some of the reports. A few have been highlighted to pique your interest:

8.1 Vanishing Peruvian Glaciers

Glaciers are melting in most areas across the globe. However, the speed at which tropical glaciers in the Peruvian Andes are retreating is particularly alarming. This is according to a new paper published in the journal The Cryosphere, which sets out research conducted by a team from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg. The researchers examined all Peruvian mountain ranges, and found a drastic reduction of almost 30 percent in the area covered by glaciers between 2000 and 2016.

8.2 Global warming threatens conservation status of alpine EU habitat types in the European Eastern Alps

Schwager, P. and Berg, C. in Regional Environmental Change

8.3 The Alpine Club of Canada State of the Mountains Report

This report provides accessible, current, and accurate information about the forces that affect Canadian mountain places, ecosystems, and communities. It is developed in collaboration with mountain researchers, community members, and partner organizations and its contributors have, in one way or another, dedicated their lives to mountains. The 2019 edition includes essays on People and the Mountains (mountain rescue, tourism, sustainability), Life in the Mountains (caribou, mammals, salmon, pine beetles, algae) and Physical Mountains (geology).



“I’m glad we left no footmark on the top”  – George Bond, on the first ascent of Kanchenjunga’s sacred summit

“explore – discover – connect – protect”

“verken – ontdek – ontmoet – bewaar”

“phonononga – fumanisa – qhagamshela – khusela”


MCSA-CT Office Admin

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