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The Johannesburg Section of the Mountain Club of South Africa actively fosters and facilitates mountaineering. This incorporates climbing, trekking, mountain walking and related activities, and promoting fellowship between people with these interests who are committed to the conservation of mountain areas.

HomeNewsletter ArchiveNewsletter 2004 - 4 November

November 2004



As the debate surrounding climbing ethics continue to ravage on, I keep getting this inkling of suspicion that I have seen this pattern before. As the holier than thou climbing zealots declare that routes should be repeated, in exactly the manner in which they were opened, that bolting is an abomination, that chalk is unclean, that rubber climbing shoes are, at best tacky, and last, but not least, that only the coldest of castle lagers should pass between thy lips after the climb is done.

And behold, the reformers do protest and declare, that all gear is good, any sound placement, including bolts, are an act of grace to those who have shaky knees, and frayed nerves, and how else are people to enter the kingdom of climbing, if it were not for those rows of shiny anchors dotted up the rock face to guide them to vertical heaven.

And so, before I take a stance, and lend myself towards hypocrisy, let me declare, that at the end of the day, it all boils down to this. The greatest climber, is he/she who has the most fun and enjoyment on the day. This edition features: some sponsored advertising…things to spend your X-mass bonus on, plus, a search and rescue report on a Magaliesberg hiker, the joys of being treasurer, the end of our “burn bokkie burn” veld management policy, and my usual pun infested utterances. So, from me, have a wonderful festive season, happy hiking, climbing and clipping, and a safe journey home.

-Peter Adrian-




Terry White, Gerhard Venter, Bob Scholes, Greg Devine and Andries Lategan sacrificed any intended climbing to meet early on Saturday morning, 9 October 2004, to develop the proposed fire management policy and strategy outlined below. Any comments from members would be welcomed, and may be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or faxed to 011 624 3587.

Scope and Purpose

·give practical content to the MCSA objective regarding the protection and preservation of “… the natural beauty of the mountains and the natural water supplies in South Africa …”, in the spirit of responsible ownership and good neighbourliness

·manage vegetation on the MCSA properties owned by the Gauteng MCSA Sections in a way consistent with biodiversity, conservation and recreational use

·comply with South African legislation prescribing obligations and liabilities related to fires originating from or moving across MCSA properties (currently this is embodied in the National Veld and Forest Fire Act, 1998 (Act 101 of 1998) and its regulations).

This policy is to apply to all the properties purchased with funds from the Johannesburg Section and/or the Magaliesberg Section of the MCSA, and registered in the name of either Sections or in the name of the MCSA on behalf of the two Sections.


1.The Land & Access Convenor of each MCSA Section in Gauteng shall be responsible to ensure that the Section joins and participates in the activities of any fire protection association (FPA) existing or established in areas in which the section is responsible for the management of MCSA property, including the development of a fire management strategy for the relevant area.

2.Where a fire protection association does not exist, the relevant Section/s shall take the initiative to mobilise owners of the neighbouring properties to establish a fire protection association.

3.The MCSA Sections shall make reasonable contributions to the financial resources required for the fire management strategy agreed to by the fire protection associations to which it belongs according to recommendations made by the relevant Land & Access Convenor.

4.The Treasurer of each MCSA Sections shall ensure that the Sections investigate the need for appropriate insurance against liabilities for:

·fire damage on neighbouring properties in terms of the National Veld and Forest Fire Act, 1998 (the Act)

·harm (not covered by the Act) to visitors to MCSA properties and to people enacting this fire policy caused by fires originating from or moving across MCSA properties

5.The Land & Access Convenor of each MCSA Section in Gauteng shall, in consultation with the Treasurer present an annual plan and budget to implement this policy.

Outputs and activities

The table below list proposed outputs and associated activities to achieve the purposes as described above.



Approval of proposed fire management policy by the General Committees of the Gauteng Sections of the MCSA

Submit fire management policy to committees

Establishment of suitable fire management strategies for the areas in which the Gauteng Sections own property through the relevant FPA

Participate as member of relevant FPA

Mobilisation and organisation of resources required to implement approved fire management strategies

Mobilise and organise resources required to implement approved fire management strategies

Proposals on need for fire insurance policies

Investigate appropriate fire insurance policies

Communication strategy to consult with and inform stakeholders about MCSA fire management policy

Design and implement stakeholder communication strategy

Communication strategy to inform MCSA/Johannesburg Hiking Club members and permit holders about responsibilities in respect of fires

Design and implement member and permit holder communication strategy

Approved annual budget for implementation of fire management policy

Prepare and submit annual budget to implement fire management policy



Guidelines for participation in FPAs

Participation in FPA activities has, firstly, to be guided by the following principles underpinning the National Veld and Forest Fire Act, 1998, and the Fire Protection Association Regulations, 2003:

·Veldfires are not necessarily damaging because most land should burn from time to time within certain parameters

·Members of a fire protection association are presumed not to have been negligent in relation to a veldfire for which persons bring civil proceedings that they suffered loss from such a veldfire, until the contrary is proved

·Belonging to a fire protection association has the advantage of economies of scale through the sharing of resources in preventing and fighting damaging veldfires

·Where FPAs do not yet exist, local government fire stations are deemed to be the relevant FPA (Brits, Rustenburg, etc.).

The following guidelines are proposed for participation in FPA activites:

1.Explore the concept of identifying and appointing a MCSA member as a “Kloof/Property Warden” for each of the MCSA properties.

2.Utilise the Department of Water and Forestry’s FPA registry to identify existing FPAs in areas where the MCSA owns properties.

3.Establish a MCSA fire management resource group consisting of legal, environmental, fire management and insurance experts)

Responsibilities of “Kloof/Property Wardens”

It is proposed that members representing the MCSA on FPAs should have the following responsibilities:

1.Consult with the MCSA fire management resource group

2.Represent the MCSA at FPA meetings and activities

3.Play a proactive/leadership role in FPA activities

4.Initiate and/or participate in establishment of FPA fire management strategy

Identify, mobilise and organise resource needs to implement the FPA fire management strategy.


Castle Gorge parking: Please use the parking area about 1 km before the old parking area. This is situated on the right hand side of the road. If you reach the electric gate you have gone too far. Code for gate from Uschi.


Patrolling over the holidays: If members are available to help patrol, please contact Uschi or please just do a patrol at Cedarberg/Tonquani. Thanks.



Every year, there are requests/complaints from new or aspiring club members, about the availability of lead climbers to take them up beginners routes. The committee is aware that this problem needs to be addressed, as a shortage of lead climbers is often a stumbling block to beginners developing climbing skills. This instruction and introduction to climbing, is after all, a main reason why people join the MCSA in the first place. On an organisation level, the committee has organised beginners meets at Strubens valley (thanks, Julia Davies), and will try to add two beginners meets in the kloofs per year. We are also looking for feedback as to whether the purchase of a lead rack and ropes will be of benefit to improve the situation. Unfortunately, the main limitation, is the fact that everything done in the club, is done so, on a volunteer basis, and everybody has a free will to climb where and with who they want.

There is also a certain amount of risk and responsibility that comes with taking beginners, and a cost, which some people feel is not worth the effort. Losing out on not climbing the tough route you wanted to climb on that day, or the cost of having gear dropped, and not replaced. This seldom happens, and as a lead climber, there is certainly a lot more to be gained by participating in the scheduled climbing meets. For one, I have met most of my current climbing partners and friends on meets, and I have sure met some interesting characters and had some amusing experiences. Watching beginners demonstrating what appears to be the Karma Sutra whilst trying to squeeze through Hawks eye, or yelling triumphantly at the top of Cederberg corner (do they know its only grade 10). By and large, it is still a worthwhile experience and not only expands your vocabulary of curse words (yes, women do swear on climbs), but adds to the rich experience of imparting knowledge to others, and sharing a passion for the pursuits we love to indulge in.



Do not overstate your abilities. If a route requires you to traverse a section of a certain grade, you must be 100% sure of your ability to climb that grade without falling. On a traverse, the protection, can sometimes be inadequate, or absent for the person seconding! Most natural gear routes follow natural lines, and include features such as chimneys, off widths, and corner cracks. Since these features do not normally occur in climbing gyms and on sport crags, you may find them desperate for their grade.

Be sure of your belaying. The lead climber may not know you from a bar of soap, and suddenly has to trust you with his life on a climb, you had better know what you are doing.

Know how to abseil. If the weather changes, or the leader goes off-route, you may have to back off a route. In the failing light, in the middle of an electric storm, is no time to learn to abseil.

Removing gear. Check with the lead climber that you know how to remove each type of gear on his rack. First take the gear out the rock, then if you are in a comfortable position, unclip it from the rope and onto your harness. If you do drop gear, or cannot get gear out, you are responsible for replacing it.

Carry prussic loops, and know how to use them. (two 1.2m lengths of 5-7mm nylon cord, tied in a loop with a double fisherman’s knot.) Prussic loops have saved seconding climbers lives. If a climber takes a fall, and finds him/herself dangling in space under an overhang, or is stuck on a steep section of rock, only in Hollywood is the lead climber strong enough to pull you up! The loops allow you to climb up the rope to easier ground.

Gear to take with. Harness, climbing shoes, helmet, belay/abseil device with locking carabineer, one or two slings and locking carabineers to tie yourself in at belay points, a nut scratcher (for the gear), chalk, sense of humour and a rope if possible. Cold beer for the lead climber.



-Kerry Feldman and Rob Thomas-

A lot has been happening of late:

·Joint section Ropes course down in KZN with the KZN Rescue team (repeated in Cape Town).

·Search Management course held in the Berg with Tony Jones.

·Canyon Rescue course at Mountain Sanctuary Park with some of the French Alpine Rescue team, SAAF, Beeld, Netcare (KZN), ER24, Lonmin Platinum Mine, Mountain Sanctuary and local police. Keep an eye out for the article in the Beeld in the next few weeks.

·The lost hiker at Magaliespark (10 November) late on a Thursday night … our apologies to anyone who came to Search and Rescue that night as we cancelled the French videos of high alpine rescue in Chamonix to head out to the Magaliesberg.


To fill you in with the alternative entertainment provided on Thursday night Kerry has been helpful in providing Rob Thomas’ Rescue Organiser report, written after 30 hours of no sleep (surprisingly coherent). For effect, add extra mud, and torrential rain after each sentence!


About 30 minutes into watching the first DVD my phone started to resemble a demented joy-buzzer and I had to wander outside to see what it wanted. It told me that Brits Fire and EMS required our help to search for a hiker who was, at that stage, 3 hours overdue from a 2 hour hike. Speaking to the landowner confirmed this and added a few more details:

- The area is Vergenoeg, right next to Leopard Lodge. Ring a bell?

- Subject had started late in the day and was hiking alone.

- Subject had been to the area before.

- Farmer had instructed hiker to return no later than 17h00.

- Farmer's dog had done out with the hiker but dog had returned alone at 18h00.

- Farmer contacted SAPS, who contacted Fire & EMS, who contacted us.

Relative urgency assessment red flags:

- Solo hiker.

- Existing and prior hazardous weather.

- Equipment believed inadequate for conditions.

Time to go!

I warned Fire, EMS, and the farmer, that it would take us 2 hours to reach the scene then interrupted the DVD session to tell people that were going for a walk. The weather was a bit wet at the time, so facial expressions were a treat to watch.

We mustered at Magaliespark and then ambled off to Vergenoeg in a torrential downpour, making one or two false turns along the way before arriving, to find the farm in darkness. Power failure! Dawie had already arrived at the farm and had started interviewing, gleaning the basic facts along the way. I took over and started a formal Missing Person Questionnaire. More facts:

- Subject said he was an experienced hiker

- Had limited food

- Had water

- Wore jeans and T-shirt. Footwear unknown.

- Started hiking about 15h00.

- Subject's car was at the farm. Farmer had keys.

- Address, etc gathered from permit book.

Looking into the car we saw swimming clothes and potential scent articles for today, had the search continued. We decided not to open the car until we needed them.

By that time I had about 10 searchers, 2 dogs with handlers and flankers on scene and 2 x ORRU on the way. We decided to search the trails first. There's a trail heading up onto the top of the cliffs and another loop trail along the base of the cliffs. Three teams were constructed. One to search top of cliffs, two to search the loop trail at the base of the cliff in opposing directions. Dogs would be of not use as the exceedingly heavy rain would probably have suppressed or dissipated all scent. We decided to keep the dogs in reserve for first light, hoping that the weather would clear.

I told teams to drop all non-essential gear, including personal technical gear and go fast and light. I'd solve the rescue problem once we found him. Off they want, including our two French guests, who ended up accompanying Steve J. Searchers were briefed that our subject would be responsive and that they were to shout, blow whistles and listen in addition to looking for him.

Clues were located along the way - energade bottle, Red Bull bottle, sounds of falling stones. Nothing startlingly significant, just lots of startling lightning receding slowly into the distance with the occasional closer reminder of its presence. During discussions with the farmer he mentioned that he'd seen what looked like a small camp-fire high on the mountain just below the high path. Standing on his lawn we could see Steve's team's lights on the summit and directed them to move toward where the fire had been seen before the rain had extinguished it.

During this time I tasked ORRU with checking out the tar road on the south and north sides of the hill in case our subject had walked out elsewhere. At the same time, Jacques' and Tony's teams had completed their assignments, meeting up at the midpoint of the loop trail. They were instructed to commence a sweep of the base of the cliffs. At around 01h50 I was directing Steve's team toward where the fire had been when it occurred to me that I hadn't heard sound sweep for a while and directed them to execute one, both whistling and shouting.

Chaos reigned!

"Is that you whistling?".

"No, is it you?".

"No. Team 3?".


Gradually, it dawned on the teams that they were getting a response to their whistles. A minute or two later this was confirmed and a couple more elapsed before voice communications were established at 02h02. Subject was immobile on a small ledge a couple of metres down from the path along the top of the cliff and was in a precarious position with his feet sticking out over the drop. Netcare were called out as it initially appeared that the subject may have spinal injuries. One response car and one ambulance were placed on scene.

Since the teams had no technical gear they had to improvise a mechanism to get the patient out. He had not sustained any injuries but had been immobile for a long time (±6-7 hours) and was probably mildly hypothermic. He had every right to be chilly, having endured the storm on top of the hill in jeans and T-shirt. Sending a rope up was going to take too long. Once the patient was out of his precarious position he was examined and Xavier determined that he could self-evacuate slowly. During this process ropes were sent up but didn't reach critical locations on time. The three teams already in the field were merged to assist with the evacuation, and other individuals were sent up in pairs with various bits and pieces. Some confusion was caused here as the route chosen for descent was not the one that the new resources chose for ascent and the two passed one another in the dark.

At about 04h20 Steve called to say that the subject was tiring and a stretcher party would be needed to complete the final 400m of the route. Make it so! Plenty of willing bodies. Shortly after 05h00 the patient was handed over to the EMS for transport to hospital. Debrief was held there and then.

During this op we parallel ran the paper-trail and the new software, as well as implementing a sound-to-pc radio logging system. Dot and Robyn can comment on both of those in terms of usefulness, usability and learning curve.


The rescue was joined (by chance) by Xavier Ledoux and Pierre Durant (members of the PGHM Peton de Gendarmerie de Haut Montagne). Xavier and Pierre (Dudu) came out for the Canyon Rescue course held in the Magaliesberg at the beginning of November. Xavier is a high altitude doctor, and Pierre is a rescue technician and UIAGM guide. These guys operate in an area where they do LOTS of rescues i.e. about 1000 a year, high season between 15 and 20 rescues a day. The technical rescuers are full-time rescuers and it takes up to 10 years to qualify. Each technical rescuer is also a qualified UIAGM Mountain Guide. They run rescues using Alouette II and III helicopters up to altitudes of about 4800m. Typical rescues include glaciers, the Alp peaks, picking up people from huts with minor injuries, water, caving and avalanche rescue. They had the following kind words to say (add French accent for effect).


Hi Arthur, Rob and all,

Thanks again for your so kind welcome, this was actually a GREAT time for both of us. we highly appreciate the competence and the cohesion of your rescue group, obviously all your folks know what solidarity and mountaineer spirit mean! We are aware that our participation in the drop-line exercise very probably deprived some valued team members of this training, we would like to thank every of you for having given us this great opportunity.

It was a great luck and a honour too, to take part in this rescue operation last Thursday, we are proud to have been accepted as part of your rescue group, at least

for one night ! I promise that next time we come, Dudu will be able to solve any boot lace problem, any hanging on a rope (I swear we'll train !), and that there will be enough "green medication" for a full video evening... !Thanks again to everybody, especially to Teresa and Arthur, naturally we shall keep in tight touch.

With warmest regards,

Pierre "Dudu" and Xavier


Note: Many thanks to Arthur and Teresa Morgan for organising this event, to Mountain Sanctuary Park for hosting it, Lonmin Proto teams for breakfasts and beers, Roche Pharmaceuticals for sponsorship, the SAAF, KZN Netcare, SAPS and K9 Rescue for their participation.


So if you’re interested, we’re at Wits Tech 7-10pm most Thursday nights to train. The skills we learn are valuable whether you’re an entry level hiker or an experienced climber. You’re welcome!

(If you’d like more information about the Gauteng-based MCSA Search and Rescue team, call Kerry Feldman on 082 337 8508).


5. MCSA Committee Portfolio Profile - THE Treasurer

(or “Keep your grubby hands off our cash”)

There is a notion in the club that a “Chairman’s Luxury Car Fund” and a “Treasurer’s Holiday Home Fund” exist in the books of the MCSA. Alas for all aspirant chairpersons and treasurers this is and will never be the case. What follows below is what the position of treasurer really entails….

The job of treasurer used to be bundled with the role of administrator. Thankfully before I joined the committee, the club voted to appoint a full time administrator to look after the membership and bookkeeping functions of the club. This role is capably handled by Uschi Magg, and because of her sterling work on a day to day basis, the role of the treasurer on the administration front has been reduced to very little.

As the title suggests, the role of the treasurer is to handle the monetary side of the club, to make sure the books balance at the end of the day, and that the financial governance of the club is beyond reproach. The club is managed on behalf of the members by the committee and one of the benefits of membership of the club is to apply its resources for the furtherance of the aims of the Club. The treasurer, in conjunction with each of the committee members in charge of each of the portfolios, allocates the surplus cash (income minus expenses) generated each year to the portfolio for them to spend these funds to the benefit of the members during the year. Usually we have more money than needed by all the portfolios for the year, and the residual surplus is held by the land and access fund to pay for future purchases of land for the benefit of the members.

The treasurer’s work happens in earnest at the beginning of the year, when the financial statements of the club are prepared and audited so that our members know the financial state of affairs at the Annual General Meeting. We are in the process of automating the accounting system of the club, and this should make the year-end more efficient.

In my term as treasurer I have also been involved in strategic discussions on the club’s direction and looked at certain legal and insurance issues facing the club. As with any committee, where you stick your head up, expect to be used and abused. But that’s half the fun!

-Andrew Warren-




Hikers paradise offer a 5% discount to MCSA members, including a 10% discount on all purchases before the 24th of December 2004.





After the passing away of Robyn Forsyth, Mrs Forsyth gave us some meet leaders reports dating back to 1943. Besides sneezing my head off from the dust, I had a delightful time reading through entries written by legends of the club such as, H. Barker, R. Charlton, H. Wong, and M. Prior (still climbing!). Whilst some things such as land and access issues haven’t changed, some things, certainly have.

In a meet leaders report on the 28th of January 1951, to Cedarberg, R.F. Davies wrote, “An accident occurred on Sun 28th. T. Scholes while leading ‘Red Column Frontal’ fell off on the final pitch. He fell about 30ft, sustaining only minor abrasions. The fall was clean, and the belaying system (belayer T. Fowler) worked smoothly. A running belay shortened the fall considerably, and the buttock belay was used. The belayer suffered no injury. The first aid kit was of use in providing some bandages.”

A report on 16 March 1952, to Tonquani, by T.J. Louw stated, “A very large eel bit one of the guests while she was bathing in Junction pool. She showed no apparent ill-effects as a result of this unprecedented attack. Dick Charlton duly caught the eel.”

Interesting, the eel in question was most likely the far ranging, longfin eel Anguilla mossambica. These eels are normally nocturnal and secretive, but are occasionally spotted in the perennial streams of the Magaliesberg. South African eels have an incredibly complex life cycle, and live most of their adult lives in African rivers which flow east into the Indian Ocean. After a few years, they get the urge to swim downstream to the sea, where they find a mate, and spawn off the coast of Madagascar. The young elvers hatch out, float around in the currents and finally make their way back to the coast to fresh water and up the rivers again. Like salmon, but the opposite! Once they find a good home, they can stay there for up to 20 years, where they fatten up on fish, frogs, crabs, and almost anything else they can find, before heading back to sea. To complete its lifestyle, the poor creature must sometimes swim over 3000km!! Perhaps a little more respect is needed. How they make it over the Buffelspoort dam wall, or up some of the falls and rapids, is a slippery question? Other fish commonly found in the perennial streams of the Magaliesberg kloofs are the stargazer catfish (cute little guy that eats bread crumbs at the meet site in Grootkloof) and the tiny chubby head barb (common in the pools of lower Tonquani).

In a meet leaders report on 31st May 1958, to Cedarberg, H. Wong wrote, “Shorty Penny lead Cedarberg traverse with a party of six. There was a large crowd of spectators at Frog gully, as heavy betting was recorded as Issy (successfully) rounded the crucial corner (He was later seen, never to touch his belaying rope). I propose the practice of betting on climbers falling off should be curbed!.”

A burning question? What still puzzles me, and perhaps some of the extant legends of the club may be able to answer this, is whatever happened to the hawk from Hawks-eye? and when was the last time the stork nest above the first pitch of Cedarberg traverse was occupied? I’ll buy you a beer if you know the answers.

-Peter Adrian-

7. International Climbing Meet

At Magaliesberg, Cederberg Kloof

The Mountain Club of South Africa has invited climbers from all over the world to take part in an international climbing meet in South Africa. The meet will run from 23rd April to the 1st of May 2005. We will have as a base the Mountain Club property at Cederberg Kloof, Magaliesberg. The climbing areas of Cederberg Kloof, Tonquani and Boulder Kloof are within walking distance. Many other Kloofs in the Magaliesberg will be visited, all within 30 minutes driving distance. From there we will have two to four day trips to other climbing venues, such as Blouberg, Krantzberg, Hanglip, Waterval Boven and the Drakensberg, each of them a prime climbing area. We will also offer day-hikes in the Magaliesberg or two to three day hikes in the Drakensberg to above 3000m.

Generally the climbs are all on trad gear (traditional), but we will be visiting sport-climbing venues as well, especially Waterval Boven. Most crags are within protected areas and our visitors will most likely see monkeys, baboons, the odd buck, eagles and vultures.

All participants will have to bring their own tent, sleeping bags and standard overnight camping equipment. This is a self-catering camp. We will arrange regular trips to local supermarkets and shops stocking a large variety of food items. Safe water is available from local streams. Expected temperatures are +25C to +30C during the day and +10C at night. However temperatures in the Drakensberg will be lower and can go down to close to freezing point.


We hope to introduce visiting climbers to some of South Africa's premier and most accessible climbing destinations and to give our MCSA members the opportunity to make contact and friends with overseas climbers from which they might benefit in the future. Anyone interested in joining the meet and acting as climbing partner cum guide for our guests or willing to help in any other way, especially with transport between the climbing areas, must please contact Ulrike Kiefer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. More details will be available on the MCSA website http://www.mcsa.org.za/. Logistics demand that we limit the total number of people, so an early booking is advised.


Club evenings : Last club evening, on the 15th December. Club re-opens on 12 January 2005.

NOTICE OF AGM: Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Mountain Club of South Africa, Johannesburg Section will be held on Wednesday 16 March, 2005 at the Waverley Girl Guide Hall, cnr Scott & Stirling Streets, at 20h15.

If any member/s are available/ would like to serve on the general committee or on one of the sub committees or a member would like to nominate a member for the committee, please speak to Barbara or Uschi.


“Be creative this Christmas”

The seasons have cycled and it’s that time of year again: not just to start thinking about, but to start writing your articles and stories for the MCSA 2004 Journal.

The editorship has passed to the Johannesburg Section this year, with Dr Cally Henderson having taken on the mantle of Editor for 2004. Cally Henderson, probably better known for her partying prowess than her climbing competence, promises to deliver a lively and attractive Journal.

The deadline for contributions for the 2004 Journal is 31 January 2005. If your contribution will not be ready by 31 January 2005, please contact the Editor in advance to arrange an extension of time. Yeah right. Contributions should be submitted in electronic form in MS Word-compatible format. Contributors are encouraged to provide photographic material for their articles. For quality of reproduction in the Journal, original slides are preferred (and these will be professionally scanned). If you wish to submit electronic images, please send them in on a CD. Images need to be 300dpi for reproduction. Low resolution versions not exceeding 50kb in size may be emailed to the Journal Editor just for evaluation. Please provide captions for all photographs, and please see to it that photographs are packaged well to avoid damage in the post. Slides or prints should be clearly marked with the photographer’s name. The use of registered post is advisable.

All hard copies and other material (photographs, maps, sketches, CDs) should be handed in at the MCSA office in Johannesburg or sent to the following postal address:

The Journal Editor

P O Box 1641



If anyone is willing to assist in editing – checking correctness of climbing grades/ route names, technical editing, if you wish – please contact Cally directly, or the jbh section adminstrator, uschi magg.

For further information or to book your slot, communicate directly with Cally at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone on +27 (11) 787 8424.

2003 Journals have arrived: please collect yours from the clubroom or contact Uschi.

E-mail problems: We have been/are experiencing some problems with our server and our 'reminders' are not reaching all by e-mail. We are working on this problem and hope to sort it out asap.

Important 112 info! Legislation has been passed by ICASA and the cellular networks. Please note 112 calls will be passed through YOUR service provider ONLY. How does this affect you?

·If you are a Vodacom subscriber and you dial 112 in an area that does not have coverage, the other networks will not pick up your call (as previously)

·If you have an accident and your buddy tries to use your phone, he has to have your PIN number to access your phone (he cannot take the SIM card out and dial 112)

·There are no more free 112 emergency calls from phones that do not have SIM cards (as previously)

From Santa - please let your buddies know your phone PIN number or write it down where they can find it in case of emergency. The sleigh can't get you if it don't hear from you! Have a great Christmas!

Grants from Expedition Fund: The following grants were made during 2004. Ulrike Kiefer (Chogolisa exp), R3200 and R2000 for medical. Peru expedition, R570.00 for medical. Roland Magg (Satopanth expedition), R5000. Ice climbing gear (R10 000.00) was purchased for loan and use to members for local ice climbing courses and overseas expeditions.

Invitation: CapeStorm have opened a new retail store in Bryanston. All MCSA members are invited to a preferential evening on Tuesday 30 November 2004 at 18h30. A 15% discount will be offered on all CapeStorm items. Light snacks and drinks will be on offer. Address: cnr Grosvenor and William Nichol Str. Bryanston.

Library: new books – Classic Climbs of the Cordillera Blanca by Brad Johnson; Off Peak by Patricia Glynn.



Increase in subscriptions for 2005. The General Committee advises that subscriptions for 2005 will be increased by between 2.27% and 5.36%. This was decided at the committee meeting held on 25 October 2004.

Single(ordinary): R295.00 (incr. 5.36%)

Married: R442.50 (incr. 5.36%)

Single (country) R225.00 (incr. 2.27%)

Married (country): R280.00 (incr. 3.70%)

Sudents(full time) R147.50 (incr 5.36% )

Seniors: R145.00 (incr. 3.57%)

Snr (married R217.50 (incr. 3.57%)

Juniors R 75.00 (incr. 5.36%)

Family R 15.00 (incr. Nil)

Entrance Fees: R230.00 pp

Permits contributions remain unchanged.

New members: Welcome to Florian and Irina Wozniak, Janet(Libby) Hamman, Graham Terrell, Marko Divac, Joshua Moll, Vincent and Bronwyn Egan (trf from EP section), Rodney Hamilton, Johan Olivier, Therese van Wyk, Claire Othenin-Girard, Garth Turner, Marc Echstein, Bronwyn Jones and Michael Kemp.

Passed away: we were notified that Malcolm Witt (who joined our section in 1947) passed away some time ago.

Married: All good wishes to Andrew Porter and Tammy Viljoen.

Congratulations to: Andrew & Liz Warren, Sean & Leslie Byrne, Günther & Caitlin Bargon on the birth of daughters.

"This is the 4th generation member. Sarah Warren at six weeks is taken on her first 'Berg hike’ in the Lotheni area. Her great grandfather was Paul Houmoller, who was one of the early members and opened many climbs in the Magaliesberg in the early 1930's. He married a member of the Cape Town section, and two of their children became staunch climbers/mountaineers. One of Paul's daughters, a keen mountaineer, is the grandmother of Sarah. Both Sarah's parents are keen climbers and active club members. As a proud Grandmother and mountaineer, I rejoice in this wonderful continuity of mountain lore."

-Margaret Hammond-Tooke-




MCSA calendars: Single page calendars are available for R25.00 at Club evenings, or phone Uschi 011 807 1310.

MCSA shirts for sale: 100% cotton bush shirts with an embroidered MCSA logo on for R120 each. Sizes (quite a large cut: measurements underarm to underarm on shirt laid out flat provided):

-Small (58cm). Colour: sand with brown/blue on pockets and shoulders

-Medium (60cm). Colour: sand and forest green on pockets and shoulders

Available at Club evenings (Wednesdays) or phone Uschi 011 807-1310 on weekday mornings.

MCSA expedition kit bags: A few are still available at R390 (R35 extra for postage). They can be viewed at the club evening. Contact: Ulrike, 011 907-7438 or Uschi, 011 807-1310.

Boots for sale: Scarpa Snow/ice boots Size 8. new R1800.00. Dachstein size 44, good condition R400. Contact Uschi -011 807 1310.



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