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National News, February 2020

MCSA National News 17 February 2020 National News, February 2020


While appreciating that this is not necessarily the “right” place for a personal note, I do feel that in this instance, it might be allowed.

As probably most of you will be aware, there was a rock-climbing accident at Muizenberg Crag last month, a large rock was dislodged and unfortunately it caused the death of Carl Fatti. Carl was a very well-known figure in the mountaineering world both in South Africa and internationally. He was larger than life in the true sense of that over-worked phrase and had been a member of various Sections of the Club for many years.

He was a great friend to have on the other end of your rope and in the larger context of life. I, for one, will miss him. Our sincerest condolences go to Anna and Isabella, his wife and daughter and to his brothers Paul (our ex-President) and Jan and sister Elisa.

Paul has put together a tribute to Carl that has been made available to all Sections of the Club.



The Annual Memorial Service will be held at Maclear’s Beacon at 12:00pm on Sunday 23 February 2020. We remember MCSA members nationwide who have died during the past year. Organise a group of friends, bring your lunch, and get there via your favourite route.



In November 2018 a very successful joint meet was held in Cape Town with ten members of the Fell & Rock-Climbing Club. This consisted of climbing the easier grades (up to 19) and various hikes. (See 2018 MCSA Journal Page 103).

It is intended to have a return meet in the UK sometime during the northern summer months of 2020. Whilst the areas to be visited are still to be decided upon it is likely to be mainly centred in the Lakes District.

If you would be interested in attending such a meet, please email Brian Lambourne at stating whether you interest is hiking or climbing and if the latter the grades you are comfortable with.




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.


The UIAA would like to extend its sympathy to all those affected by the devastating and unprecedented fires that have enveloped many areas of Australia. Australia is recognised by the global mountaineering community for the scale and high quality of climbing offered and for decades Australians have featured amongst the world’s top rock climbers and mountaineers.

The New Zealand Alpine Club, a long-standing UIAA member, has a vibrant and large Australian Section. There are also many long-established climbing clubs active around the vast continent that is Australia.

The UIAA sends its thoughts to all those impacted by these fires and particularly to those in the Australian climbing and outdoor community.


Following recent headlines about the climbing and trekking industry in Nepal, the Alpine Club has issued this statement, written in collaboration with the BMC, the UIAA and the mountain guides body, the IFMGA, highlighting some of the issues facing the Nepali government and how we might help in its efforts to drive out bad practice and secure the future of mountain tourism in Nepal.

All these organisations wish to encourage best practice not just on Everest, but across the Nepal Himalaya as well. We also support the principles of mountain conservation outlined in the Kathmandu Declaration of 1982. We support any government or local authority effort that properly addresses problems caused by mountaineering, commercial or amateur.

We welcome the Nepali government’s decision to review how Everest is managed and the recent decision to ban single-use plastic from Khumbu, the Sherpa homeland south of Everest, which Sherpas and Tibetans hold sacred. With new roads getting closer to the Everest region, we share local concern about the impact on the Everest environment of even greater numbers of tourists. We believe the people of Nepal want to protect their environment. However, because of the way Everest is being managed, the current number of clients attempting the peak is just not sustainable.

The full text of the Alpine Club statement (in which the MCSA had some significant input) may be viewed at


While it is appreciated that in general, South African climbers are fully ofay with “best bolting practice”, the following note is shared for general interest. The UIAA is sharing a guide produced by one of its member associations, the British Mountaineering Council.

The BMC’s bolt advice come in two parts. Part one is aimed at the user, in particular those who have learnt to climb indoors and are making the transition outside. Part two is an essential guide to good practice for people placing bolts, covering all of the important issues which must be addressed in order to do this competently and with the correct equipment.

The full text of this (including some useful videos) may be accessed at


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.

The MCSA Outreach Programmes should be entering this category! Your President will be leaning on the leaders of our outreach programmes to put together an entry for 2020. Check out the UIAA web page on this one



From time-to-time, the UIAA MedComm puts out useful and informative papers on medical issues that are likely to affect climbers.

While most of these papers are concerned with high-altitude issues, many are of more general interest. The issues that have been covered include:

1. Nutritional considerations in mountaineering
2. Children at Altitude
3. Mountain activities for people with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions
4. Avoiding the perils of Kilimanjaro
5. What you need to know about water disinfection in the mountains
6. Advice for Gap Year Explorers. How to Check the Quality of a Commercially Organised Trek or Expedition
7. Dealing with Eye Problems in Expeditions
8. A Guide on When and How to Use Portable Hyperbaric Chambers
9. Golden Rules for Novice Climbers
10. Advice for Women going to Altitude
11. Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Walking Sticks in the Mountains
12. Emergency Field Management of ACS, HAPE and HACE
13. Diabetes
14. People with Pre-Existing Conditions going to the Mountains
15. Traveller’s diarrhoea – Prevention and Treatment in the Mountains
16. The Effects of Extremes of Temperature on Drugs
17. Contraception and Period Control at Altitude

These may be accessed on the UIAA web page.



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

5.2  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 August 2019 newsletter of the Mountain Research Initiative:

Mountain Resilience Working Group: Developing Adaptive and Innovative Capacities

This new working group, led by Tobias Luthe (ETHZ/Monviso Institute, Switzerland), will collect existing knowledge and build new capacity in mountain resilience, working toward a dynamic assessment of the evolving state of mountain social-ecological system resilience to interconnected environmental changes. Visit



I don’t worry about ratings too much. I figure there’s only three basic categories for climbing: 5 easy, 5 fun and five hard. The rest is just numbers”  Brian Cox.


“explore – discover – connect – protect”

“verken – ontdek – ontmoet – bewaar”

“phonononga – fumanisa – qhagamshela – khusela”


MCSA-CT Office Admin

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