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National News, November 2020

MCSA National News 9 November 2020 National News, November 2020


Yes, we have finally got there! We have arrived in the 21st century and up-dated the MCSA logo suite. Not without a good deal of angst but we reached unanimity and thanks to the hard work of a few individuals and some talented graphic designers who went way above and beyond, we have our new identity!


Our old logo/badge served us incredibly well and we know that it will be missed by many of our members. But the new version has many advantages in this day and age and the marketing people tell me that our old one just didn’t serve the purpose any more. So – RIP old logo. Forward with the new one!!!



This month, there is rather more substantive news to offer MCSA members – at least in international terms. The annual UIAA General Assembly took place a couple of weeks ago – virtually, of course, and all the delegates “attending”, agreed that it was extremely well-organised and even Donald Trump could not have complained about the voting procedure and the secrecy thereof! Because voting there was and a new President of the UIAA was elected – Peter Muir from Canada. Overall, I think all the election results (President, Executive Board, Management Committee) were a true reflection of the feelings of the member associations and I believe that we can look forward to a productive period for the UIAA.

The MCSA representative (yours truly) was duly elected as the Africa Continental Representative on the Management Committee – not that difficult as we are the only member association from Africa! In theory, I was elected for a further 4-year term but I will stand down once we have a new President after the National AGM next year.

In addition, the MCSA has several representatives on various of the Commissions – notably, the Mountain Protection, Medical, Youth and Access Commissions. These Commissions, the equivalent of the sub-committees in our own organisation, are the engines of the UIAA where all the work gets done.

Your President heads up what has become known as the High Mountain Working Group which was formed as a result of action being needed on various issues, e.g. the 2019 Everest debacle, the proposal for a cable car on Kilimanjaro and similar issues world-wide. This has been a most rewarding experience and has allowed me the privilege of interacting with some very influential mountaineers around the world. I would like to think that it has raised the profile of the MCSA and allowed us a voice in some serious issues.



This is another call for members to submit articles for inclusion in the 2020 Journal. You may have something of historic value suitable for publication and if you do, please submit that for consideration.

Deadline for submissions is 31 January 2021.  The Guidelines, StyleSheet and a photo template can be found on the national website or ask the editor for these to be sent to you. Submissions – as WORD documents – to be sent to



Well, I said last month that we are now in a state of near-normality – or are we..??!! Let’s SERIOUSLY hope that South Africa does not experience the “second wave” that much of the northern hemisphere seems to be suffering.

But we can, in the interim, get out there 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 video-conferencing 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!!!



The UIAA continues most of its normal activities with numbers of initiatives on the go. Members are urged to go to the UIAA web site – for more information plus a load of other useful data.


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. As reported above, the 2020 UIAA General Assembly took place online.

A full review of the 2020 General Assembly is available at

Anyone wishing more information is invited to contact Greg Moseley and/or consult the UIAA website.


It is with pleasure that I can record that Doug Scott was awarded Honorary Membership of the UIAA.

A champion for the traditional values of mountaineering, Doug Scott’s achievements are significant. The first Briton, alongside his friend Dougal Haston, to conquer Everest and on a previously unclimbed route up the South West Face, his list of climbing feats is remarkable and will be explored in greater detail in an upcoming profile.

Doug has committed himself to a number of projects including writing several memoirs and through his stewardship of Community Action Nepal (CAN), a charity dedicated to causes in the country where Doug achieved many of his feats. CAN won the UIAA Mountain Protection Award in 2018. He also spearheaded the UIAA paper ‘Preservation of Natural Rock for Adventure Climbing’, a cause he passionately campaigns. Doug Scott is also an honorary member of The Alpine Club and the American Alpine Club and Patron of the British Mountaineering Council.

Doug Scott was delighted with the recognition from the UIAA family: “This has been an unexpected honour which I am very proud to receive. I join a long list of names over the years for whom I have the greatest respect.”

Doug is of course, well known here in South Africa as he visited and climbed here in the early years of this century.


The UIAA Covid-19 Crisis Consultation (CCC) continues to operate and 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.

The UIAA has 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.

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.


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.

The two projects are our national outreach programme with a number of sections involved and the alien vegetation-clearing initiative – largely in the fynbos regions but also elsewhere in South Africa.



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 . At the very least, they provide a couple of hours of fascinating reading – and the photographs!!



Another interesting site is the Mountain Research Initiative



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

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



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



My pack is full of things that weigh nothing!” – Anon. Heard variously on expeditions and weekends in the Hex.

“explore – discover – connect – protect”

“verken – ontdek – ontmoet – bewaar”

“phonononga – fumanisa – qhagamshela – khusela”


MCSA-CT Office Admin

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