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NATIONAL NEWS, OCTOBER 2020

National News 8 Oct 2020 NATIONAL NEWS, OCTOBER 2020

1. PRESIDENT’S RAMBLINGS

You won’t have to plough through many more of these President’s Rumblings – sorry, Ramblings – as it is now definite. May 2021 will see a new president of the MCSA in place.

I have been in the hot seat for going on five years and it is time someone younger – not an impossible ask! – took over and supplied some new energy. I have put out a general call to all the Section chairs but note that any member of the MCSA can put up their hand.


 

2. JOURNAL FOR 2020 – CONTRIBUTIONS

It is that time of the year again and our indefatigable editor – who also doubles as the MCSA Secretary! – is putting out a call for contributions to the Journal for 2020. While we realise that most people have been less active than usual, I am sure that we can come up with some high-quality pieces to put into the Journal.

Contributions can be submitted by members and non-members.

Please take note of the deadline for articles is 31 January 2021. The Guidelines, Style Sheet and photo template can be found on the MCSA website mcsa.org.za – please do read these. Contributions to be emailed to  jennyapaterson@gmail.com.


 

3. COVID-19 UPDATE

Well, we are now in a state of near-normality – or are we??!!  We can at least get out and enjoy the mountains. Let’s hope that South Africa does not experience the “second wave” that much of the northern hemisphere seems to be suffering.

So, in the interim, let’s get out making plans and climbing mountains and enjoying all the activities that this Club of ours offers in all parts of the country. I think that we have all learned a great deal about a number of things over the last few months – and not all of it negative, I might add! We have, for instance learned that we can still operate via videoconferencing and even improve the communications on which we rely. But none of that is a substitute for the real thing!

We are out there again! But…PLEASE STAY SAFE!!!


 

4. UIAA UPDATE

The UIAA continues most of its normal activities with numbers of initiatives on the go. Members are urged to go to the UIAA website https://www.theuiaa.org/ for more information plus a load of other useful data.

4.1  COVID-19 – INTERNATIONAL UPDATE

The UIAA Covid-19 Crisis Consultation (CCC) Taskforce held its fifth online meeting on 23 September. This Taskforce, created in April, offers guidance and leadership on subjects related to climbing and Covid-19. All communications related to the UIAA and Covid-19 can be found on the dedicated portal.

In addition to the meeting summary below, the UIAA also published the following statement regarding climbing and Covid-19. The message encourages climbers to follow advice from competent authorities in their respective countries and regions and when and where possible to continue climbing, and climb local.

  • General
    The pandemic shows no signs of abating. The worst hit countries currently include Brazil, India, Peru, Russia and the United States. The diversity in the reporting of numbers has led though to a difference in the quality of statistics. An issue which makes it hard for the UIAA, as a worldwide organisation, to offer general recommendations.
  • Visiting mountain regions

Members of the UIAA Medical Commission reinforced the message that climbing and visiting mountain areas should not lead to a strain on health resources providing restrictions and measures be fully respected. However, there have been some worrying trends where measures have not been followed. UIAA Access Working Group members recently provided details of post lockdown in their respective countries with some noting that there had been a rise in accidents, particularly amongst novice climbers and those unfamiliar to the mountain environment. On this same subject the German Alpine Club (DAV) recently published its accident report for last year. Its general takeaway was that accidents have decreased but fatalities increased. A number of incidents reported were caused by people using inappropriate equipment. Like many federations, the DAV is bolstering communication about the importance of following training programmes and general equipment advice.

4.2  UIAA GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2020

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 2020 UIAA General Assembly  will now take place online.

This GA is a particularly important one as a new President will be elected – Frits Vrijland, President for the last eight years (two terms), has to stand down. There are three candidates – Peter Farkas from Hungary, Peter Muir from Canada and Amit Chowdhury from India.

Anyone wishing more information on the UIAA General Assembly is invited to contact Greg Moseley and/or consult the UIAA Digital Magazine on the event .

4.3  2019 UIAA MOUNTAIN PROTECTION AWARD

Following on from the last news-letter, there have been further developments on this front. There will be two proposals for an MCSA entry into the prestigious Mountain Protection Award and both would appear to be worthy contenders. These are being worked up to be in shape ASAP.

4.3.1  BALLY, UIAA MOUNTAIN PROTECTION AWARD SPONSOR

Bally, sponsor of the UIAA Mountain Protection Award, recently announced the partnership between its Peak Outlook Foundation with National Geographic on a dedicated campaign to raise greater awareness on the issues plaguing the world’s mountain environments, including Mount Everest, which prominently features in the magazine’s July issue. Find out more at www.nationalgeographic.com/science.


 

5. ALPINE CLUB OF CANADA

At intervals, the ACC puts out a “State of the Mountains” report.

It makes for interesting reading even if not strictly applicable to our environment. However, might it not be possible to put out something in the same vein for our mountains? I leave that thought hanging…


 

6. ASIAN ALPINE E-NEWS

I cannot but repeat what I say every time- the Club continues to receive this fascinating newsletter and I urge Club members to investigate the latest editions – and the previous issues – at asian-alpine-e-news.com. At the very least, they provide a couple of hours of fascinating reading – and the photographs!!


 

7. MOUNTAIN RESEARCH INITIATIVE

Another interesting site is the Mountain Research Initiative mountainresearchinitiative.org.

A recent point to note is the call for book chapters/proposals – Remote Sensing of African Mountains – Geospatial Tools Toward Sustainability.


 

8. FACEBOOK AND WEB PAGES

8.1  National: abbreviated link for the national MCSA Facebook page: www.facebook.com/MCSA125/

8.2  Links for all the sections’ web pages are on the MCSA National website.


 

9. NEWSWORTHY ITEMS

Please send any newsworthy items for inclusion in MCSA National News Letter with Greg Moseley at moseleyg@zsd.co.za


 

QUOTABLE QUOTES:

Ex Africa semper aliquid novi” – Time for some new routes!

 

“explore – discover – connect – protect”

“verken – ontdek – ontmoet – bewaar”

“phonononga – fumanisa – qhagamshela – khusela”


 

MCSA-CT

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