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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 2007 - 1 February

February 2007


It’s that time of the year, when several similar incidents happen within a short space of time, that make you re-think about how you go about doing things. One of them is the famous helmet story. Most of us own one, and some of us actually use them, but far too casually. A bit like wearing a seat belt on a farm road. People not using them, live under the strange illusion, that since there are no other cars to crash into, it is safe, and yet with patches of sand, mud, loose rocks, and stray animals, it is amazing how many cars roll in the middle of nowhere, and the occupants sustain serious injuries. Many of these may have easily been prevented, had the occupants been wearing a seatbelt.

A recent trip to Krantzberg reminded me again, of why I am proud to be the only dork hiking with a helmet on. After the second day of hard climbing, we were trashed, and made our final decent down the boulder strewn slopes, with heavy packs. On one of the last obstacles before the trail flattened out, a large smooth slightly downward sloping boulder. I watched my climbing partner’s foot land on a few strands of dry grass. Shocked, his feet shot out from under him, and he toppled first onto his back, bounced up, tried to catch his balance, but only proceeded to flip forward head first, over the edge. His outstretched arms were the only thing that prevented him from making direct head contact with a loose rock, 1.5m below. He wasn’t wearing a helmet, and was lucky to get away with some minor scratches, and a large bump on his head. Two things left an imprint, one, was the thought of what would I have done, had his injuries been more serious, considering I was the only other person around, and darkness was only half and hour away, and the other, was that small green leaf that virtually embedded itself in his forehead!!

Suffice to say, I am amazed how many accidents happen when scrambling up and down kloofs, and descending from climbs. In this last quarter, there were two similar, serious accidents, one in Mhlabatini, where a new member fell whilst descending down the kloof, and sustained concussion, fractured vertebrae and a broken arm, and had to be airlifted out the gorge, and the second was in Boulder kloof, were a school outing went awry, and a scholar fell whilst descending the kloof and sustained injuries. Suffice to say, these are probably the most likely situations, where your helmet will ever be of use, so do yourself a favour, and wear it. That includes hikers, who tend to be rescued more often than climbers! And remember, if you think you look like a dork wearing a helmet on a hike, you will look like an even bigger dork in a hospital bed if you don’t!

That’s enough nurse maid warnings from me, as we head off into a new year of fun filled adventure. This edition, has some search and rescue news, some climbing news, thanks to Megan, for a great report on “The Rory”, a fascinating article on a fungus, hell bent on wiping out our invasive pompom weed, and some more rantings from the editor, who is desperate to find people willing to put their rock-worn fingers to the keyboard, and submit some interesting material.

Peter Adrian



The club is still on the look out for areas of high quality rock that can be developed as sport climbing areas close to Gauteng. Along the lines of Chosspile, Bronkies, and Lower Fernkloof. The crags need to meet quite a few criteria, such as: sound access arrangements, the rock must be steep, of good quality, safe to bolt, the area must not be easily prone to erosion and degradation, and must be generally regarded as too hard, unsafe to protect with natural gear, or too short, to be regarded as a traditional climbing area. That’s quite a shopping list, but in the past we have had our fingers burned and need to be selective, with areas like radioactive crag, where after considerable investment of time and hardware to develop the area, we have had access pulled from under our feet.

Despite this setback, we are out there, and have already investigated a few new potential areas. One of the areas, was a crag that runs along the road that goes past Olifantsnek Dam, on route to Rustenberg. It seemed very hopeful, if it were not for a pair of Cape Eagle Owls that nest on top of the crag, and would be most upset by our presence. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the species, the Cape Eagle Owl is in fact quite a rare sighting, and is larger than its more common spotted eagle owl cousin, and can be identified by its orange eyes instead of yellow, and has blotched bars, rather than spots on its chest. So who says sport climbers are ignorant and environmentally unfriendly!!! Alas, we will keep searching, and Neil Margetts is currently negotiating with the owners of the Wigwam, a Hotel in the Rustenberg area as to access to another possible crag. If any of you out there have any other ideas and options, let us know, or contact Neil Margetts at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Every now and then, it is time to have a gripe about something, and probably the most common moans among climbers has to be the quality of route descriptions for some of our traditional crags. My funniest, has to be Ed February’s description of his magnificent line that goes up Pontok Spitze, in Namibia, called Abrasion. The route boasts one of the finest pitches of F2(15) climbing in the Spitzkop area, and consists of an almost full 50m of open book crack climbing with good pro, and excellent layback moves. My only gripe, comes from the description of the start, where it says “wander up the gully”. Definitely, a spelling error, as it should say “Wonder up the gully” a massive block that fills the gully produces one of two options: to do a series of unprotected moves at grade G1(18)!, or to grovel behind the block, in a space so narrow, that not even a climbing helmet will fit, and gear has to be tossed up around the block to get it round the object. As you grovel through, it gets decidedly tight, and dark, and then you really understand the concept of “wondering” why you are caving a few hundred meters up, in the desert? And by the way, the final pitch “abrasion” is an understatement of note!

By far my all time worst description, has to be of the classic 40m F2 pitch on Chukamisa, a classic at Krantzberg. It reads “Ascend diagonally left, traverse right, ascend vertically, step across left & traverse into left recess. Ascend overhangs to large stance.” which gives no reference to how high up you need to make all these traverses, and which of the many overhangs they are talking about, and leads you up the wrong “left” recess to a slippery water drip, aloe covered overhang. After trying desperately to get up there, we eventually tried the right recess, and experienced some of the finest (and rather sandbagged) F2 climbing, that terminates into an awesome, radically exposed, and totally out there hand traverse out the recess. It must have been opened with steel nuts, and I’m not just talking of the gear placements, my hat off to Ken Bennets and the rest of the opening party of 1961. Just for the record, a more accurate description should read. “Move up the left hand recess to 4m below the roof, step across to the right hand recess, before the small overhang, and ascend the small overhang and continue up the right hand recess. 6m below the big roof, avoid the final overhang by hand traversing out left, between the two recesses, and continue diagonally left through the second overhang of the left hand recess to a belay stance.” In the process of route finding, we climbed several versions of the classic variation to most traditional lines, commonly known as, “What was I thinking?”, but being the “only” (easiest) way out, I think the description is right.

Peter Adrian



Two noteworthy call outs occurred in the last quarter, as follows: We were called out for a hiker who had fallen in Mhlabatini suffering head injury and various spinal injuries but no neurological damage. We flew out in an Oryx, accessed her on foot, packaged her using KED, Vacuum Mattress and the golf bag and then did a drop line extraction. She was flown to Unitas where she spent a few days in High Care and is now in an ordinary ward. Probably will take some weeks for her to recover.

Graham Terrell was running to get to her ASAP but tore his ankle ligaments while still at the top of the kloof, he nevertheless continued until he got to her. When I got there, I found two patients. X-rays showed possible small flake fracture. He is on crutches and moon boot and having physiotherapy. He may have to see an orthopod.

We have just come back from an all night rescue in Boulder kloof. We were called by Alan Grant. A 14 year old boy fell in mid Boulder - possible pelvic or femur fracture. We met at MSP, walked in, after dark, wading up lower Tonquani. Dave, Sean, Andrew and Geoff went on ahead as Rapid Response. Lonmin and ORRU helped. When we accessed we found that he probably did not have fractures but we treated as if he did. We then carried him up Boulder to the place where we had done the last drop line practice. Here an Oryx from Sq 19 - which had flown up from Hoedspruit - winched three of us plus the patient and flew him to Milpark. The trauma surgeon had seen him but X-rays had not been done yet when the Oryx crew very kindly flew us back to MSP. Just got home.

Teresa Morgan.


Editors note: Salome, who fell in Mhlabatini has recovered well, and wishes to thank the MSCA search and rescue teams for all their effort and dedication, and also, to thank the members for their ongoing concern and support throughout her recovery. Graham is also on the mend, and is back in the kloofs and climbing again.





2006 saw another year of losses and near misses on the rock in the South African climbing community.Some mountaineers and climbers lived this last year to the ripe old age of 99, while others are still counting their lucky stars.Some lived to the very last second of their far shorter score, never to receive the fortunate blessing of wrinkles.

It is for such a climber that lost a multitude of ages, origins and intentions, and which,for the 3rd year running that we gathered for the weekend, to honour. Some were there to remember and miss, and some to simply climb in the fresh air amongst their peers in an attempt to prove what they are made of, and celebrate the spirit of life.

The Lowthers seem to have hit a winning combination of fun and earnestness that will have both those who knew Rory and those who didn’t climbing at Swinburne on this particular juncture for years to come. The weekend offers the social adrenalin junkie in all of us the opportunity to shoot the breeze in a language only we know, literally hang out, and focus our attention on an achievable goal.That goal has the general direction of being the one to walk away with some nice stash – some great prizes were up for grabs.But there is also the opportunity to “best” yourself and check out the benchmark in a rich context of greater and lesser climbers.

And of course, as the KZN (KZN, KZN!!) crowd proved, such a comp provides a chance to dress up silly, act like a loon, generally misbehave and win a prize for it! My vote for “best party” has to be sitting on the boulder (courtesy of KZN) in the full moonshine, with a haul of beers and some sweet guitar playing: yep, that loud guy, Angus McFarlane,who won the personality prize can croon quite nicely when he chooses!

Even us highly-strung Jo’burg types chilled out a bit and expended some energy in otherwise unproductive table-bouldering (the table was mauled again this year, getting its own back with some colourful bruises). The fine-tuning of the event continues, with improvements such as a guest speaker on the Saturday evening (Alex Harris who inspired many – I thought a nice alternative to the fireworks of last year).

Some of the winning elements such as the central presence of Mountain Search and Rescue and their coordination of the self-rescue comp continue to be a highlight for me.My admiration and appreciation of this group of people goes on unbounded.Very useful to see how to pass a knot while abseiling, and always entertaining to see Alard Hüfner and Douard le Roux performing the task in fast-forward and repeat (I counted about 4 times in the space of other teams descents down the rope). This pair guised as team name “2 Hard” sped around, scaling anything with a hold, just passing last years winners to claim first place in the male ranks.It was nice to hear a “JOBURG” called out after the healthy competitive spirit between the regions (solid Jozi girl that I am).

The KZN girls, Erica Miller and Candice Bagley (2 Blind Mice), evened the score walking off with the top female achievement, with the calmly indomitable couple, Kaya Kopkow and Ralf Miller (team “Ralf & Kaya”) taking the top mixed prize.

All counted, the weekend was worth the drive through the pelting rain and splitting thunderstorm on Friday afternoon.It was worth sticking to the rock in the berg winds during the comp.It was even worth swallowing the mopani worms during the burnathon, through a face full of flour. It brought friends together, it pumped out some muscles, and it re-distributed some gear in prizes a-plenty.For those who knew Rory, it saw a personal group gather in the sunset to renew their memories.

There are elements throughout the competition that are poignant to the Lowther family – I hope they won’t take it personally, when, as the years go by, some will not understand the significance.One must admire their ability to grow the sport we all know and love, when it must be a trying reminder of all they have had to get through.

Once again, I am fully impressed and in favour of their drive to support MSR, get us wearing helmets, and encourage us all to become competent in safety techniques that can mean climbing another day.

This crazy sport! While in an interview alongside two good friends on climbing and the RLMC challenge (that may or may not be screened), I realised how vastly differently we all approach the rock, and our future intentions on it.The underlying purpose is perhaps to make something a portion of our lives – something intense and alive with clear-cut realities.

Newly dubbed “the Rory”, the comp gave us many things, but above all, it gave us time to climb.


Big thanks for that.


Megan Watkins

17 February 2007


For pictures, more results and reviews, go to www.rorylowther.co.za.


6. Pompom weed AT Castle Gorge

– a new strategy

An interesting, historical and exciting stage in the fight against this weed was reached on Sunday 22 January, when a group of us released a rust fungus on the pompom plants in the wetlands at Castle Gorge. We (JHB & MAG Sections) have been digging up the plants and picking the flowers for the past 3-4 summers, very hard work but with very good results: this year there remained only about 10% of the original infestation. This really is a tribute to the members and prospective members who helped every time. Thanks!

During last summer the botanists working with the weed noticed a rust fungus on the pompom plants in Pretoria. The identity of this fungus is currently being investigated by Dr. Alan Wood and Estianne Retief of the ARC PPRI in Stellenbosch, but it belongs to a group that is very host-specific. The scientists assured us that this fungus will not attack any indigenous plant. It must somehow have arrived from South America, where the weed originally came from.

The fungus has really spread spectacularly this summer, causing yellowing and die-back of the leaves (initially only the lower ones) and covering them with black spots that carry the thousands of minute brown spores. We decided to try a new strategy at Castle Gorge, the only of our kloofs so far affected by the weed. We placed many fungus-infected twigs alongside the plants, snipped off the long stems but leaving the base with leaves, and picked and carried out the flowers. We expect that the fungus will infect the plants, drain its resources, especially of the roots, so that after maybe a year or two, the plants will not grow as vigorously and the native plants will have a chance to out-compete the weed. The plants / seedlings may even eventually be killed by the fungus.

Next summer we will have to go back a few times to pick the flowers to prevent further seeding, and to spread the fungus if necessary. We will keep a close look! We encourage all members who go to Castle Gorge from now till the end of the flowering season in about 2 months’ time, to go and check the area and if you see any flowers to please pick them, carry them out in a plastic bag and destroy them by putting them in a closed black plastic bag in the sun for a few weeks so that they can rot.

For further information on and photos of the weed: www.agis.agric.za/wip; » factsheet per plant » popular name » pom pom weed » view » view photographs, etc! There will soon be an article on the fungus in the next issue of Plant Protection News, which is distributed on the website of the ARC www.arc.agric.za .

Hanna du Toit


7. The Harry Barker Song Book

Harry Barker, who died on August 17 aged 99 years, was the composer of The Mug Song, Drakensberg Epitaph and the Song of the Magaliesberg, as well as hundreds of other songs and verse. He wrote hundreds of pieces throughout his long life. His son William has assembled just 35 of his best works, as well as music, photographs and (very) short biographical details, to be published by what would have been his 100th birthday in June 2007.

Any profits from the sale of the book will go to the Andries Olivier Ysterkoppe Vonds, an educational fund, administered by Landman Attorneys in Victoria West. The price will be in the region of R100. Quality will be the highest digital quality possible, and this will be a fascinating insight into a complex, sensitive mind, who profoundly affected many people, in the law, in mountaineering circles, and other spheres. Some of the poems are moving, some are sad, some are funny. Poems of love, climbing and life. The working title is "Here on the Rock".

We would like to gauge interest for the first run of the book, to be digitally printed. If you would like to be on a mailing list, please e-mail William on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and you will be kept informed as the work proceeds.



Helmut Liebsch, a member since 1960, aged 85, gave a speech at the veterans evening in November 2006. These fine words touched many senior members that evening:

Dear Bergvagabonds!

Francois Mare, a Comrades Marathon Runner at the peak time of Wally Hayward, and mountaineer, Bergvagabond, presented me with a “Diamond” of a picture taken in the Drakensberg from the North Peak of the Saddle glowing in the evening sun. In the distance in darkness, Eastern Buttress, Devil’s Tooth, and the Inner Tower and with a caption ofKent Nerburn:

“And when I’m old and my body has begun to fail me, my memories will be waiting for me.They will lift me and carry me over mountains and oceans. I will hold them and turn them and watch them catch the sunlight as they become alive once more in my imagination.I will be rich and I will be at peace….”

With it some moving words, written to me: “Dear Helmut. When I read the caption shown at the bottom of the picture, I realized how true and applicable it is to our lives now. I found this photograph of the North Peak taken on one of my Drakensberg crossings. I had this print made because I thought it would generate some happy memories of our younger days, that it may give you warm feelings around the heart and put an appreciating smile on your face.” With my very best wishesFrancois.

Howtrue? – I remember all those who have left us:

John Clayton, our Choirmaster of: The Bachelor, Clementine, The Mountain of Mouraine, Waltzing Mathilda, On IlklaMor Baht- At, Liza. And his winged words: ’do the decent thing’, keeping us always at work at the Wolkberg Hut, not missing a weekend Club meet in the Magaliesberg or Drakensberg, Ndumeni Hut, Eastern Buttress, Amphitheatre Wall.

Henrik Förs, architect and ‘Buchbinder Wanniger’, serving whisky, and being very active at the Wolkberg Hut. He tried to make true his big dream: Skiing the South African Slopes, starting in Qwa-Qwa high up 2900m at the Kgotjwane pass, building the nice-looking mountain hut with solar heating, named after Chief Mopeli, with materials brought up with pack mules in about 1974. Structures burnt down 1981.Ben Mac 3100m near the picturesque hamlet of Rhodes, Southern Drakensberg.The first phase of the development should have been completed for the 1987 winter season. But money wise, it did not work out as planned.

Dick Charlton: with his computer brain. You press the button and he could memorise every climb, telling you all the difficult moves.

Herbert Seuring: 60th birthday, a bunch of Bergvagabonds celebrating at the ‘Hell’. All singing ‘Wenn wir erklimmen schwindelnde Höhen, steigen dem Gipflekreuz zu, in unsern Herzen brennt eine Sehnsucht, die lässtuns nimmermehrRuh.Herrlich Berge, sonnige Höhen, Bergvagabunden sind wir.’

Pottie Thompson: rough, tough safaris to Kunene River, Ruakano Falls, Epopa Falls, Okavango Swamps to Tsodilo Hills, talking fluently to the Bushmen, and Blouberg with his tremendous knowledge of Flora and Fauna, and a climb with their goat ’Emma’, a first for a goat leading a mountaineers party up the Iron Crown, highest peak in the Wolkberg are near Haenertsburg. And Eva his wife, doing all the man’s work, had always at Christmas, a Christmas Tree in their Knights Hall and an open fire.

I still hear Harry Barker’s voice, singing, songs in the Magaliesberg: Evening Bells of the Balalaike Favourites, Osipov State Russian Folk Orchestra.

Thank you for listening to me.

Berg Heil

Helmut Liebsch



Mountain Wagtail: was seen in lower Tonquani on Sunday, 11 February 2007. This bird, also know as the long tailed wagtail, is an unusual sighting, since it was seen about 500km out of its normal range, (fast flowing rivers of the eastern escarpment). While it is far out of range, the habitat is very typical for the species. It will be interesting to see how long it stays in the area and if it is able to find a mate. The sighting has been reported to the Avian Demographic Unit. Let me know if you see it again. It is identified by a longer tail than the common cape wagtail, and more rapid flight and movements. It is always found close to water. Perhaps with global warming, it is there to stay.



Going Nuclear: There has been a lot of hype surrounding the Proposed” testing and building of reactors, a nuclear fuel plant, a nuclear smelter plant, and nuclear waste dumping sites, to go up in the Hartbeespoortdam area, at the Pelindaba site, and a "proposed" Uranium Mine in the historical Magaliesburg. Fora bit of clarification from Tom Gerrard: there are no nuclear reactors at, or proposed for Pelindaba. There will be work on nuclear fuel, but it is manufactured elsewhere, and will be used on the Koeberg site near Cape Town. Most of the work relates to design and the making of safety cases for the Koeberg plant. Nuclear fuel is harmless to health until it is irradiated, and if there is to be any fuel at Pelandaba it would be in very small quantities and unirradiated. There is no proposal to store radioactive waste at Pelandaba, and none will be created there, or transported there. There is believed to be some waste remaining from the bomb project of many years ago.

The 14 billion Rand spent on a nuclear ‘experiment’ is money spent on the design and construction of the PBMR at Koeberg. It is certainly an adventurous decision to go ahead with the PBMR, which has many novel features. But these relate to the non-nuclear aspects of the engineering e.g. the gas turbine, which will be the first of its kind. The fuel itself is old in concept, and has been well proven over some 4 decades in Germany, the UK, and America. The particular feature of the fuel and reactor design is its very high integrity – a melting point higher than it is possible to reach even if all active cooling systems fail. If successful, and it will be if commitment is maintained, the PBMR will represent a big step forward in the safe generation of power. These days all such projects are performed in conformity to the International Atomic Energy Agency Guidelines, which are comprehensive and set standards of safety orders of magnitude greater than those of conventional industry. The IAEA has already been invited to perform safety related inspections.

Paul Fatti seems to think that the uranium mine probably refers to an application for prospecting rights for gold and uranium on portions of the farms Koesterfontein 45IQ and Kaalfontein 44IQ somewhere near Magaliesburg, south of the Witwatersberg (which is the range to the south of the Magaliesberg). It is generally hard to imagine there being large commercially viable deposits of uranium, there, but there are a number of other rare metals that are “co-processed” with platinum. While most club members these days tend to be in favour of nuclear power, in place of green house gas emitting coal burning power plants, we are weary of the mining in the area, and have registered as an interested and affected party in the EIA process. The cynic in me might welcome a few nuclear developments, as it may be the only way to ensure a curb on the massive urban development in the area, and whether intentionally, or unintentionally, preserve large green belts of indigenous fauna and flora. Better a three eyed klipspringer, than no klipspringer at all!!J Ed.

Bertrams farm, south of Tonquani: There appears to be a new arrangement, regarding the parking on the now unused property. Originally, the new owners agreed that parking fees (R20) will be paid by members, to Uschi, and we would pay the new owner a lump sum, annually. There now appears to be someone on the farm, collecting money on weekends. We are not sure if he is a self appointed car-guard, or if he is collecting for the new owners. Uschi will confirm, as soon as the new owners can be contacted.

Grootkloof theft: A theft was reported at the Grootkloof camping area. A backpack, food and clothing were stolen from tents, whilst the occupants were at the stream. Please be vigilant.

Membership cards: PLEASE members take your cards when you go out to the properties we have access to. Patrollers find it difficult to monitor members/guests/trespassers if members can’t produce their card.

Also if you have a permit for the permits areas, take the permit with you to the venue.




We welcome the following new members: Brigid Schutz, Warren Parker, Robyn Kruger, Salome Nicholas, Catherine Beneke, Graham Beneke, Linda Watson, Gerhard Jordaan, Graham Lowe, Catherine Knights, Helen Clements, Sharlene Houghton, Linda Proctor, and family members Jethro Sporen and Daniel Lowe.

Applications received from: Anname de Villiers, Julia Kupka, Andrew Henwood, James Longshaw,

Jason Frenkel, Clare Kelso, Chris Smith, Dries, Andries and Susan Wiid, Michael Franze.

Resigned: Janet Matcher, Paul Greenfield; Catherine Pantazopoulos(returned to Canada)

Transferred to other Sections: Martin Kleynhans, Margaret Archibald, Sandra Whitelock, Carol Metcalfe, the Koch family - all to Cape Town.

Thank you: to members who have paid their 2007 subs.Those who have not paid, your remittance would be appreciated.

Donations: a big thank you to members whohave made donations to our various funds.



Annual General Meeting: will take place on Wednesday 14 March 2007 at 20h15 at the Waverley Girl Guide Hall, Scott & Stirling Street Waverley. If you wish to serve on the committee or any of the sub committees, please speak to Barbara (Secretary) or Uschi.

The first MCSA Mountain Awards will be presented to two Johannesburg Section members at the AGM. This is a very special occasion. Please join us. Wine and snacks will be served.

75th Anniversary T Shirts are still available. Blue or white, short sleeves R85. and some longsleeves R95.

Diamond Years publication: Johannesburg section 75 years. Copies still available R75.00 members, R100.00 non members.


JOURNAL 2005 , These arrived towards the end of 2006.Please collect yours at a club evening


HAMERKOP WEEK The section’s week at Hamerkop is week 22 starting on 29 May 2007

If you wish to make use of the house from 29 May to 1 June. Please contact Uschi .

The weekendfrom 1 June to 3 June is reserved for a club meet .


RLMC: Congratulations to Debbie and Eric Lowther and helpers on the very successful RLMC held on 3/4 February at Swinburne.



National Meet:The 2007 National Meet will be hosted by Tygerberg Section in the Cederberg. It will be based at the guest farm Driehoek which lies at the foot of Tafelberg Cederberg with views of Sneeuberg (2028m). It will take place from 22-29 September 2007 and various excursions from a 6-day hike to day-hikes will be on offer.

All who want to attend the Mini-camp must complete and submit the application and indemnity forms - obtainable from Irene Vermeulen (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) - and must submit payment by the due date (31 July 2007). Any queries can also be addressed to Irene.

Useful links: Driehoek: http://www.cederberg.co.za/accommodation.html

Cederberg: http://www.capenature.co.za/index.php?fSectionId=38

2007 Annual Memorial Service: will be held on Sunday 25 February at 12:00 at Maclears Beacon, Table Mountain. Most Western Cape Sections have meets planned for this occasion - refer to their programs on their web sites.

MCSA Calender 2007: are available from Cape Town Section at R50 each and Johannesburg Section for R55 (extra for postage).


- In Italy hosted by Club Alpino Italiano at Val Massino (the 'Sentiero Roma'): trekking for 14 to 17-years-old from 22-28 July; 250 euro.

- In Romania hosted by the Romania Mountaineering Federation in the western Carpathian Mountains: hiking, climbing, mountain-biking and speleological explorations for 14 to 17-year-olds from 21-28 July; 200 euro

- In South Tyrol hosted by Alpenverein Sud Tirol at Landro in the

Dolomites: climbing for 16 to 18-years-old from 12-19 August In Germany hosted by the Deutches Alpenverein at Hut Bielata in the Elbsandsteingebirge: climbing camp for 16 to 22-year-olds from 22-28 July; 220 euro; UIAA grade V

- In Germany hosted by the Deutsches Alpenverein at Haus Alpenhof, Bad Hindelang: climbing & hot rock wild water youth camp for 16 to 22-year-olds from 29 July to 4 August; 220 euro

- In Ukraine hosted by the Ukrainian Mountaineering Federation:

ascent of Elbrus (5 642m) for 17-25 year-olds in July/August):

250 euro plus extras such as transfers.

- In Austria hosted by the Austrian Alpine Club: a family camp or environmental work camp. Details outstanding.

- In Romania hosted by the Romania Mountaineering Federation in the Carpathian Mountains: climbing and hiking in the Bicaz Gorges National park for 17 to 25-year-olds; 200 euro.

- In Russia hosted by the Climbing Federation of Russia in the

Urals:a youth rock climbing festival "Europe - Asia 2007: Youth climbing without borders" for 18-25 year-olds from 12-31 July; 300 euro

Applications to the MCSA have to be in by 15 April 2007.

Contact: Petro Grobler This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(012-8098 1022) for more information.

Super Tramp Award:2007: The MCSA Supertramp Award for 2007 for the amount of R12 000 has been made to Donovan van Graan for an expedition together with Billy van Graan to Armenia, Turkey and Georgia from June - July 2007.

2008: If you are young (under-25) and adventurous, get your plans together and apply for 2008's award which is awarded under the auspices of the Magaliesberg Section. For details and application forms, see the MCSA Web Site under Youth, or contact Petro Grobler


NEWS FLASH: we are hoping to hold/host a rock climbing film festival in the near future.


Films like,Tea for Three (new film from SA’s own Fresh Air Crew) , Dosage 4,Rocklands,First Ascent, and Specimenwill possibly be shown.

We will keep you informed.

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