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National News, March 2020

MCSA National News 9 March 2020 National News, March 2020


I am feeling somewhat embarrassed at the moment. After all my protestations that I would definitely be standing down after this year is completed – basically at the National AGM in May – I find myself up for one more year. While I apologise profusely to all those who are wishing to see the back of me, I do have what I think are some valid reasons to stay on!

Firstly, I really wish to see the nascent CAMC (Confederation of African Mountain Clubs for those of you who can’t keep up!) develop so that it can stand up properly abnd act as we think it should be acting. That is as the voice of African mountaineering/climbing that needs to be heard on the world stage. While the “local” clubs are as yet still somewhat small, we must realise that the African mountains are very definitely at the forefront of some of the major issues that confront all mountains around the world at this stage of history.

The shrinkage of the tropical ice-sheets of the world – not only in Africa but in Indonesia and south America – is exacerbated by the global climate change that is taking place. The adverse, anthropogenic effects are very noticeable even when considered as part of the larger, long-term climate change that is occurring. The tropical mountains bear the brunt of this as the glaciers and ice-fields are especially vulnerable, being small and isolated as they are.

The ice that sit atop the major African mountain masses are, again, particularly noticeable as the masses of people – 80 000 last year! – that attempt to get to the top of e.g. Kilimanjaro, bring the ice shrinkage to the view of the world.

The initiative, started by the MCSA, to draw attention to these masses of “adventure tourists” – I refuse to call them mountaineers! – on peaks such as Kili and Everest is the other reason that I have chosen to make myself available for one more year. It would be unfair of me to drop this initiative into the lap of a successor when it is still in its infancy.

I am endeavouring to leave both the CAMC and the High Mountain Initiative on a sound footing before I step down as President and as the Continental Representative for Africa on the UIAA Management Committee. My term on the MC expires in October this year and the General Assembly in that month will be my last as the MCSA representative. My successor must take up the reins and develop his own ideas and initiatives.

One other “local” matter is still on my “to do” list. We have had a couple of more or less worthy attempts to develop a strategic plan to guide the Club through the next five years. We have a broad outline but we need to get this tidied up and put into a “user-friendly” format so that future Presidents, Executives and National Committees can have a path to follow…

I have been fortunate in my term of office to have been present at celebrations of several significant events in the life of the MCSA. These include the 125th anniversary of the MCSA and specifically the Cape Town Section and a whole raft of other milestones – Worcester, Magaliesberg, KZN… Fortunate indeed!

So, you will continue to receive the somewhat disconnected streams of thoughts and ideas throughout the next year. After that you will have to get used to a new incumbent!



The purpose of the Festival is celebrating the recognition of alpinism as “Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Humanity” (resolution of the General Assembly of UNESCO IN 2019).

The objectives of the Festival is to invite all interested parties over the world to visit the foot of the highest peak of Kazakhstan – Mt. Khan Tengri; ascend to “5000m+” peaks by simple snowy routes and ascent by new routes on “6000+” peaks of Meridian range and Khan Tengri peak, 7010m.

Program of the Festival

  1. All interested parties visit the Northern Inylchek glacier. July 24-25, July 01-02 and July 24 -26, July 30 – August 02.
  2. Ski–mountaineering: Karly Tau, 5450 m and Marble Wall 6400 m. July 23 – August 06.
  3. Alpiniada on Karly Tau peak, 5450 m. July 23-31.
  4. Ascent to the North Chapayev peak, 6150 m. July 23 – August 06.
  5. Ascent to Marble Wall peak, 6400m. July 23 – August 06.
  6. Ascent to Bayankol peak, 5791 m. July 24 – August 02.
  7. Ascent to Meridian range peaks by new ice and rock routes: in memory of eight women climbers 6400m, Grudzynsky M. 6380 m, RGO 6350 m, Prezhvalsky 6350 m. July 24 – August 11.
  8. Ascent to Khan Tengri peak, 7010 m. from the North July 24 – August 11.

More information available from your Section Chairs.



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 was intended to have a return meet in the UK sometime during the northern summer months of 2020 to be mainly centred in the Lake District.

Due to lack of interest(!), this return match has now been cancelled! If you would be interested in attending privately, please email Brian Lambourne at




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. 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.


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:

Following on from the item that was included in the last National Newsletter (above),the MCSA National Environmental Convenor (who is also on the UIAA Commission), sent the following message:

“As a reminder, the 2020 Respect the Mountains movement has been launched and it would be much appreciated if you could spread the word.

The Respect the Mountains flyer and the Registration Guidelines are attached. There is an online registration form that needs to be completed.

I suggest Sections list potential projects for inclusion and send a brief description with photos to me.  Let’s aim to get 5 MCSA projects on the website for 2020. I can complete the online registration when we have the projects ready for submission”

The links are:


Interested Sections must please nominate a person that can coordinate with Maretha for the RTM campaign.


The UIAA is delighted to confirm that the MoU between the UIAA and the UN Environment Program (UNEP) has now been signed. The United Nations Environment Program is the leading organisation within the United Nations in the field of environment, having a major area of focus on conservation, protection, enhancement and the support of nature and natural resources worldwide.

The MoU represents a huge step forward for the UIAA in its efforts to extend and expand its reach across the globe on the issue of mountain protection, enabling it to be at the forefront of tackling important issues such as waste management, environmental education and addressing concerns on climate change.  President of the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission, Dr Carolina Adler was looking forward to addressing these issues by working alongside UNEP.  “We, the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission, are committed to continue supporting the UIAA on matters pertaining to sustainability and we see our partnership with UN Environment as a great opportunity for growth and outreach.”

One of the first opportunities for collaboration will present itself at the annual UIAA Mountain Protection Commission meeting in May. UNEP members have been invited to a workshop on ways to further develop projects such as Respect the Mountains and the UIAA’s existing sustainability guidelines. Findings will then be presented at October’s General Assembly.

In 2019, the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission celebrated its golden anniversary.  A dedicated article looks back at fifty years of pioneering achievements. The link for this article may be accessed from the UIAA web site.


The MedComm. has put out an interesting paper entitled “Training and Medical Support for Rock Climbers”. This is a dedicated guide and programme for rock climbers – Adjunct Compensatory Training – that has been created, spearheaded by UIAA Medical Commission corresponding member Volker Schoeffl as well as the worldwide trainer expertise of Dicki (Ludwig) Korb and Patrick Matros (Kraftfactory). The programme is sponsored by Adidas Terrex, and is available free to all climbers at https://www.sozialstiftung




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:



A new issue of the Mountain Research and Development Journal is now available on the MRI website. Edited by Carolina Adler, who is also Chair of the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission, is full of interesting stuff for anyone who has a passing interest in mountains – there should be about 5 000 of you out there! Visit



“It is a round trip. Getting to the summit is optional, getting down is mandatory”  – Ed. Viesturs.


“explore – discover – connect – protect”

“verken – ontdek – ontmoet – bewaar”

“phonononga – fumanisa – qhagamshela – khusela”


MCSA-CT Office Admin

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