The Mountain Club of South Africa
Latest News

National News, April 2020

MCSA National News 15 April 2020 National News, April 2020


May you live in interesting times – well, we are certainly doing that! Albeit not in a way that we would choose! Obviously, the Covid-19 pandemic is having a serious impact on our chosen way of life in the mountains. But the mountains endure and we will be back on them before too much time passes!

In the interim, I have been researching ways that we – as climbers – can keep ourselves amused/occupied/entertained during the lockdown. And there are a number of ways that we can “virtually” enjoy the mountains and climbing and all the great things that go with a life in the mountains. I am sharing some of the links that I have come across below. I am sure that you have found some more – please let us all have the links where this is appropriate.

First on the list is the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival or ShAFF. This is an annual event that has had to be cancelled/postponed this year but they are putting out Weekly Watch Lists – a free selection of films from this and past years’ festivals. You can access these movies at

Number 2 is the COVID-19 OUTDOOR INDUSTRIES HELP HUB. This is an initiative by the Outdoor Industries Association in the UK in conjunction with a number of organisations (including the British Mountaineering Council and other climbing organisations). They have a web site called Get Outside, Inside which gives ideas on activities and talks on subjects of interest to climbers covering a wide variety of subjects such as how to survive Covid-19 lockdown without going crazy! Some of the features are:

  • Mental Health Interviews – Mind Over Mountains
  • 10 Great Travel & Adventure Books
  • Extreme Scrambled Eggs (!)
  • Keeping active at home

…and lots more. Find this at

I hope that provides some interest for some of you – you can please all of the people some of the time and you can please some of the people all of the time but you sure as hell can’t please all of the people all of the time!



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.




For a large number of our member federations, the COVID-19 situation continues to be the dominating challenge in both private and public life.

The UIAA is fully aware of the hardships, and in some cases the intense suffering, brought about by the pandemic.


The UIAA is conscious that many federations have already taken courageous and far-reaching action. We wish to express our gratitude and admiration to those who have shown leadership, solidarity and compassion. In the coming days, the UIAA will create a dedicated COVID-19 page on its website to showcase member initiatives and stories. In this time of need, we can inspire each other.

The UIAA wishes to repeat its statement published on 13 March: we encourage strict compliance with the measures implemented by your national, regional and local authorities in order to contain the spread of the virus. Social distancing and confinement directives apply to all climbers, hikers, walkers, mountaineers and practitioners of mountain sports. Respect for these measures also ensure that medical and rescue services are dedicated to those most in need.


This is one of the unfortunate casualties of the Covid-19 pandemic and has been cancelled for this year.

We will need to take the opportunity to enter our Club’s outreach programmes as a contender for the award. Your President will be leaning on the leaders of our outreach programmes to put together an entry for 2021. 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, Maretha Alant (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  and

Maretha and the MCSA President have been talking around this subject and hope to be able to post something on the UIAA website at the earliest opportunity.


Owing to the global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic all onsite courses scheduled by the UIAA Training Panel have been postponed until further notice.

In response to the lockdown currently impacting most areas of the world, the UIAA is having to adapt to the new normal and is using the opportunity to make progress on projects which can be managed remotely and from home.

To cite an example, the UIAA Training Panel President Steve Long and his team of national Heads of Training are enhancing their teaching material and course handbooks. A current focus is the syllabus content for the Personal Skills Training programmes. Work is also ongoing with the Petzl Foundation to finalise the Winter Skills handbook, a companion to the existing Summer Skills publication.



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

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



Please send any newsworthy items for inclusion in MCSA National News Letter with Greg Moseley at



There are only three sports – bull-fighting, motor racing and mountaineering – all the rest are merely games” –

Ernest Hemingway


“explore – discover – connect – protect”

“verken – ontdek – ontmoet – bewaar”

“phonononga – fumanisa – qhagamshela – khusela”



MCSA-CT Office Admin

Related Posts