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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 - 3 August




I recently attendeda wine tasting were the guest speaker was Johann Krige, owner of the Kanonkop wine estate. He relayed a story, of how when he turned 50, he hit a mid life crisis and bought a Harley Davidson. The first thing that struck him, as he rode through the wine lands of Stellenbosch in the early morning to fetch his Sunday paper, were the changes in microclimate. Microclimate had always been a theoretical concept, until the day he left the car behind, and felt the cold air on his face as he left his farm, and rode past South Africa’s premier estates, and how like a curtain, he would punch through a layer of warmer air, and notice that the vineyards around him were those that never quite made it, and struggled to produce decent wine. For the first time ever he appreciated his good fortune to inherit an estate in a spot with cool nights and valley winds that nurture the grapes to perfect ripening.

You may ask what that all has to do with mountaineering? The answer, though cryptic, has everything to do with changes in perspective. The view from the top of the mountain is always different from the view from the bottom. The one is filled with joy, elation, splendour, and amazement. The other, with daunting and trepidation. And that is how mountaineering changes us. There is virtually nothing that we do in our normal day to day life that comes close to the intensity of feeling. How you can throw every last bit of energy and resolve, and still not reach the summit, that bitter disappointment to know that you have given it your all, and come out second best, and if you summit, that floating buoyancy that can lift your soul for days, weeks or months, and you know that those hours of training and preparation have all been worth it.You get back to your life in the horizontal world, and you are master of your limitations. Your day to day feelings have somehow been tamed and banished to their rightful place, and you know where to draw the line. There are few things left that can touch or shake you. Perhaps it can be better said by Walter Bonatti, who put it this way:


“Real mountaineering is.....above all a reason for struggle and for self-conquest, for spiritual tempering and enjoyment in the ideal and magnificent surroundings of the mountains. The trials, the hardships, the privations with which an ascent of the peaks is always studded, become, for that very reason, valid tests which the mountaineer accepts to temper his powers and his character. In the atmosphere of struggle, of close relationship with the unforeseen difficulties and the thousand perils of the mountains, the alpinist is shown in his true colours, ruthlessly laid bare, both in his qualities and in his defects, to himself and others. That alone in my opinion, should be sufficient to convince anyone that the mountains can be for the climber the source of the most beautiful and exalted sentiments and the supreme test which contributes to the perfecting of certain qualities which are at the root of progress.”


This quarter Ulrike has done it again, and led an MCSA expedition to the former Soviet Republic region of Kyrgyzstan, to climb previously unclimbed peaks. And those who were left at home, were not disappointed, as Neil Margetts has been doing a stunning job on the organisation side of things, putting together one of our most successful Wednesday club evenings ever, the MCSA cook-a-thon. This was closely followed by slide shows on “women on rock” and “babies in the bush”. But his coups de grâces has to be the coming of the first ever MCSA “rock and road” trip. To kick-start the Rock ‘n Road Trip, the MCSA is hosting an open party for all climbers on Friday the 14th of September at the club house, where you can come and meet SA’s top climbers – All will be there. Saturday will not disappoint either, with a fireside meeting at the Bergheim resort in the Magaliesberg, where you can discuss anything you want to know, from those who can do it, followed by a day time display of SA’s finest on some of the Magaliesberg’s toughest routes. The Rock ‘n Road trip continues to Boven, where the Cape stars will find out all about the God No Wall, and who’s afraid of the Jabberwok! Finally, the trip ends with the start of the sport climbing event of the year, the Boven Rock Ralley.

Spring is in the air, the first migrant birds have already started arriving, and I’m exited, the club is a buzz with happenings.

Peter Adrian


2. Alberton granny leads expedition up unscaled peaks.

An Alberton grandmother has led a team of eight mountaineers to the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan, where they made history this month by climbing four previously unscaled peaks. Ulrike Kiefer, 60 - who has two sons and six grandchildren - and her elite team reached the summits of four peaks, ranging from 4828m to 5155m, in the remote Kokshaal-Too mountain range of the former Soviet republic.

Their first success was on August 15, when Kiefer and three of her teammates, Patrick Black, Dean van der Merwe and Robert Cromarty, reached a snow-capped 5055m peak. Two days later, a second group consisting of team members Carl Fatti, Donovan van Graan, and Willem and Linda Daffue, carried out two more first ascents.

And this week, Kiefer's group summited yet another untamed mountain before they returned to base camp - where they are now packing up and preparing to come home. Kiefer - who was honoured with the first Mountain Award by the Mountain Club of South Africa this year - is a legend in South African mountaineering circles. Climbers half her age admit that they cannot keep up with her, and she even plays her flute at high altitudes.

An electrical engineer with her own business, Kiefer is the head of expeditions for the Mountain Club's Joburg section. She has climbed peaks such as Khan Tengri (7010m) in the Tien Shan range in Kazakhstan, Peak Lenin (7134m) in Tajikistan's Pamir range, and Alpamayo (5947m) in the Peruvian Andes in South America.

She said the attraction of the Kokshaal-Too mountains was that they had hardly been visited before. "These mountains have not yet been explored and there are no route guides," she said.

Only two teams, one from Britain and another from Switzerland, had been there before them. One of the most daunting aspects of the trip was getting there. The team flew to Turkey, and from there into Kyrgyzstan. From the capital, Bishkek, they left for the mountains and, after a one-night sleepover, took a six-wheel-drive, off-road truck into the mountains as far as it could go. After that they hiked, each carrying about 25kg of their own gear.

Unlike those who attempt well-trodden peaks, the team had no mountain guides and minimal base-camp support.They returned to Joburg on Tuesday.

Claire Keeton

(taken from the Sunday Times, 26 August 2007)


The website for the Kokshaal Too expedition can be viewed at: http://www.kokshaal-expedition.co.za



Vultures form an important ecological component of our natural environment, cleaning up dead carcasses, decreasing the spread of some diseases and playing a social role in some early societies, most notably the Egyptians and the Hindu. Today, they face an unprecedented onslaught from modern man’s developments, including electrocutions and collisions with electrical structures, poisonings, land-use changes, decrease in food availability etc.

The vulture programme approaches vulture conservation in a multidisciplinary and networked fashion, with the benefit accruing to both the vulture and society at large. This is achieved by combining the disciplines of education and good science, with networking, capacity building and knowledge generation. The veterinary disciplines of toxicology, pharmacology, clinical pathology and medicine are combined with the science of cell-phone telemetry and the banking of genetic resources, with the end goal being of significantly influencing the well-being of our natural resources to the benefit of society. By focusing actions on the vulture, positioned at the top of the food chain (literally) and an indicator of the health of the environment below it, this project is destined to not only influence but also impact on the well-being of our natural environment.

Cell-phone tracking devices are used for the first time to determine foraging and home ranges of a large number of vultures in Southern Africa. The output from such research allows for the monitoring capture-release of free-ranging vultures, the mapping of areas for further actions, such as community education and the safeguarding of vulture food through the monitoring of vulture restaurants. The educational impact of vultures will be felt both locally, through educational talks and interaction with both tame and wild vultures at the Lion and Rhino Nature Reserve, as well as regionally, through the follow-up of vulture home range and feeding studies, determining drug residues in carcasses and lobbying communities and society for appropriate measures and actions to the benefit of our natural environment. This project is therefore a pro-active attempt to determine, evaluate and monitor veterinary drugs / chemical residues in carcasses that are made available to vultures, build dedicated laboratory models for predicting avian toxicity, use a mass awareness campaign in order to involve and get feed-back from public, determine the home ranges of vultures, so as to better understand their foraging habits and bank down appropriate biological samples for current and future project use.

With the many threats vultures are facing throughout southern Africa, vulture rehabilitation has become an essential part of the Vulture Programme. Collecting grounded, injured, poisoned and disabled vultures around South Africa, special emphasis within the Gauteng and North West Provinces, we are able to save many vultures that would have met their untimely death. By doing this, we are in a position release those that are fit and healthy back to their freedom and keep those that cannot be released, in captivity for educational purposes. Providing a safe haven for these misunderstood birds. As present, this is the only facility approved by Gauteng Nature Conservation and recognised by North West Conservation for vulture rehabilitation.


Improve our understanding of the emerging risks of veterinary and other chemicals entering the vulture food chain.

Determine the home range / foraging range of vultures, using GPS/GSM telemetry and tagging.

Awareness Campaign of the plight of the vulture and its effect on other species, including man

Vulture rehabilitation

Since MCSA members are probably the most likely to encounter vultures in their natural environment in the Magaliesberg, Kerri Wolter, manager of the program, has kindly requested that if any vultures are found grounded, dehydrated, injured, electrocuted etc, please contact her on 082-808-5113. If anyone is interested in assisting this project or want additional information, please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Arrangements can also be made to visit the rehabilitation centre.



Well, Wednesday night was the first ever MCSA cook-a-thon, and although some of the contributions were a far cry from the Jamie Oliver’s, and Nigela’s of this world, there were some absolute marvels which could inspire the BBC food network to new heights, literally. When they finally run out of boring locations in Tuscany and Provence, they will call upon us for inspiration. The real deal: Alard’s how to cook a three course meal from a port-a-ledge at 18,000ft, meals that weigh only 200g, but are fit for a King, and how to cook for four with only 25ml of liquid fuel. What a staggering success, even the JHB hiking club rolled up en mass, with some novelties, like taking meat on a hike. That’s right, you heard it, meat! Well quite simple really, (after all, real men don’t eat lentils in the mountains). The one day hike is easy, just carry it in your pack. The two day hike is a bit trickier, first vacuum seal it, freeze it solid, and wrap it in a down sleeping bag, which acts as a super flexible cooler box, and there you have it, an energy efficient fridge. You can even throw in a few frozen beers to keep the beef company. And then there is another trick, as you go beyond three day hikes. Forget toppers, yuck! Make a nice real meat mince sauce, spread it out on a baking tray, bake it at 100°C until it is dry, chuck it in a zip lock bag, and voila, just add water and heat, for that home made Bolognese flavour. And for those with the luxury budget, the club has finally found a use for the masses of money invested by governments on nuclear programs, a spin off called Nuke food. That’s right, anything you like (except crispy lettuce), cook it, seal it and irradiate it, and it will last forever. Who knows, with “padkos” like that, even the mummies may have made it to the after life.

After much banter, tasting, munching, talking, and consumption of Old Brown Sherry, in the end there had to be some winners. Alard’s high altitude antics got him third place. Hardly a grain of rice separated first and second, with Jay Horrible Hyde and his gang of masked weirdo’s demonstrating the awesome power of the mad transmogrifyer, a patent technology that has the power to turn any climber into a genius sushi chef, at the touch ofa button. In the end it was the Editor’s choice, Team Bombay Bonanza, with a guest chef from India, with his low cost, light weight, non-perishable, energy efficient super fragrant deluxe vegan lentil curry.

Once again, I would like to thank Neil Margetts for organizing a highly successful event, and some excellent sponsored prizes, including, accommodation for six at Goblins Cove Restaurant, a Sunday buffer for two at the Mount Grace Hotel, and vouchers at the pizza place near Harties. Thanks also to Drifters of Sandton for supplying spot prizes to all competitors.

Peter Adrian


The Winning Recipe:

Fragrant Rice:

200g quality basmati rice

25ml Cooking oil or Gee

1 Onion chopped (optional, but heavy)

1Tbspn chopped ginger

300ml water

Cinnamon stick

20 cardamom pods

2 Star anise

10 cloves

¼ tsp cumin seeds

¼ tsp tumeric


Fry the onion and ginger until golden brown, throw in the rice, water and spices, and bring to the boil. Place the lid on the pot, and place the pot into a slow cooker (i.e. wrap in a sleeping bag or down jacket). The advantage of this is that you save fuel, your stove is now free to make the rest of the meal, and most important, it is impossible to burn your rice this way, even the thinnest of camping pots come clean with ease. Once steamed, remove the spices that float to the top and garnish with sliced almonds and if you want to show off, coriander leaves.


Lentil Curry:

200g orange split lentils (cook fastest)

25ml Cooking oil or Gee

1 Onion chopped

1Tbspn chopped garlic

1Tbspn chopped ginger

200ml water

50g of tomato paste

1 tblsp curry powder


Soak the lentils before hand, and rinse well. This will dramatically reduce the amount of fuel you use, and the cooking time. Fry the onion, garlic and ginger. Add the lentils, water, and curry power, and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn stove on low, and add the tomato paste and simmer for another 10 minutes. The rice and curry will be ready at the same time.


5. Beginner’s Ice Course – Oxbow, 2007

The staff at Bethlehem Wimpy had a surprisingly early rush hour on the 7th of July this year when the aspiring ice climbers of the MCSA Jo’burg section arrived for their fill of greasy breakfast and essential Wimpy Mega Coffees. We were wired and settling bills as the groups of skiers, clad like storm troopers in all white waterproofs, began trickling in. They made a stark contrast to our multi-coloured garments and dilated eyes ready to face any of Herod’s tax collectors and legionnaires. We were also loaded to the hilt with weapons of ice destruction …

We raced on to the border where the rush was on to get ahead of the buses carting people home to the kingdom for the weekend. Once on the Lesotho side we were accosted by locals selling traditional hats which were perfect for stashing any booze that could possibly be confiscated by customs. Tip: fill cooler box with clothing as a decoy.

The Moteng mountain pass was blanketed with more snow than when I’d seen it in previous years, generating much excitement in the convoy. The pass had been cleared and salted and reopened in the last few days so we had no problems to the top of the pass. The big question was – is the Maluti Fall properly formed? Lofty had climbed this a few weeks previously so I knew it was climbable, but wanted it thick so the beginners could really hack at it. Straining up every gully we suddenly espied what looked like a giant fridge, 300m up a gully – fantastic!

We continued for a few kilometres past the Afri Ski resort to what has become known as the “Bouldering Area”. Here the snow was thick and the walk-in a bit of a trudge. The plan was to introduce the beginners to the equipment and technique of ice climbing in a relatively safe area where they could climb short routes and not be intimidated by loose ice or spiky climbers falling from above. The ice, although not as thick as in the past, offered many routes of various difficulties. I went through the basics and let the clan loose – they were all experienced rock climbers, who we know don’t take kindly to instruction, preferring the practical option over the theoretical. Lester Jackson complimented the Nordic ice feel of the area by donning a Viking helmet along with his Quarks, to intimidate everyone into action. We set up a couple of top ropes but found, as on previous courses, people began soloing routes according to their confidence and ability. This did lead to Dawie van der Merwe and I inadvertently displaying how to dismount ice from insane positions, and in Dawie’s case – height, as we found more challenging routes. I must say I am constantly impressed by the quality of ice climbing the beginners display, I’m not sure why but think it may have to do with the high crime rate in Johannesburg and our desire for self preservation. Maybe soon we’ll have reports of accidents around the CBD due to crampons getting stuck to clutches and accelerators?

The groups split in two for the evening, some deciding for the comforts of Camelroc, a great resort down at the border, while the plan was for the rest to camp at Afri Ski. Although this was arranged beforehand through the Pretoria head office, this was not possible and we ended up spending the night in the unfinished backpackers – which when finished, will become the accommodation of future courses. We had to be content with stumbling over angle grinders and temporary stairs in the dark – not a problem for MCSA members with Tikka headlamps nocturnally glued to the forehead. I’ve found this instrument invaluable as a way to differentiate between skiers and climbers in the dark – skiers not finding this tool very fashionable.

The meals are reasonable at the resort, and there is quite a selection to choose from. A note to those wanting to try the local beer available. Maluti Lager is sold as a “premium” lager in the pub at R15.00 a tin, so rather stock up at Butha-Buthe and let all your friends enjoy the experience for the same price. Local beers are a lot cheaper and the glüwein really helps thaw the body.

The following morning we headed out to the Maluti Fall to experience a 20m climb – “real” ice climbing. Marc Bormann and I set up a top rope and everyone had a go. The cold and different muscles using the ice tools saw many people pumping at the crux towards the top. Determination won however, and most people completed the climb. Everyone had Cheshire Cat sized grins when returning the gear so I’m sure they all had a wicked time.

The amazing secret about ice is that it sets differently every year which means you don’t have to keep searching for new crags for new lines as one does with rock. This allows you to notice the changes and similarities of the area as well as annually bumping into other like-minded crazies in these wonderfully obscure settings. The individuals on the course made for a great experience and I expect to see many of them hacking on ice falls in the future.

Mike Sporen





As editor, you are often faced with a few funny moments. Attached is a list of funny spell-check results that have been encountered to put a smile on your face:

Chosspile - Hospice

Bouldering - Blundering

Rebolting - Revolting

Kloof - Aloof

Blouberg - Blubber

Uschi - Pushy

MCSA - Mecca


7. Book reviews

I love it when members have time on their hands. It is here that they truly discover their hidden talents, whether it be opening new routes, climbing in new areas, or putting pen to paper. Mike Sporen has once again put pen to paper, in the hope of making us more aware that we have a library, with an extensive collection of awesome climbing literature. I’m ashamed to say, (as editor) that I have never taken a single book out the club library, but herewith, an excerpt of Mikes tales of reading from the clubs collection.


The Best of Ascent – Twenty-five Years of the Mountaineering Experience

Edited by Steve Roper and Allen Steck

I started this anthology having never read a copy of the Ascent Journal, an annual publication by the Sierra Club in America and was amazed to find that there are still many ways to entertain the armchair mountaineer, as well as many issues the sport of climbing raises.

The exploits presented cover the history of technical climbing in the twentieth century from Gervastutti’s solo attempts to modern alpine assaults on obscure ridges around the world. The editors cleverly avoid major successes to show that one need not climb the highest or hardest route to obtain a valuable vertical experience. The article about climbing Denali (“Roughing it on Denali”) is hilarious and indirectly spoofs the farce hiking such routes as Kilimanjaro via the “Coca-Cola Route” have become. Allen Steck’s article about the Hummingbird Ridge is also a gem, his mother being more worried about him wearing the same clothes for twenty-six days, than the difficulty of this isolated ridge.

The Banff Mountain Film Festival recently released a chronicle written by the world’s top climbers (Voices from the Summit) providing them with the opportunity to provide their vision on the future of the sport, and although very insightful, it didn’t cover the range of issues discussed in the Ascent anthology, released ten years before. Here we find all the same ethical issues discussed – such as the trad / sport polemic, also climbing as an art form, as well as more controversial topics such as is there a need for all encompassing mountain clubs and the relation between drugs and the climbing experience (obviously written in the sixties!) all exceptionally written.

This collection of short excerpts into the mountain world should be used by all anthologies and climbing magazines as a benchmark in terms of structure and quality of the written experience. Granted it draws on a pool of twenty-five years for its articles, it does show that one needn’t have a disaster (Touching the Void, The Longest Climb, Life and Limb) to make for interesting mountain literature.

Mike Sporen


8. Babies in the Bush

MCSA members are always pushing the limits, with wild idea’s, like extreme ironing, but this has to take the cake … extreme babies. A tribute to the amazing spirit of adventure displayed by members, who are absolutely convinced that the birth of an anarchist into the family, is not going to disrupt their passion for adventure. Although attendance was low, due to the high proportion of Babe-o-phobics in the club, it was thoroughly enjoyed by everybody who attended. Even those who arrived by accident, where both inspired, and entertained, as they laughed their socks off at some of the slides.

This event should be a must for all those who keep putting off having a family for fears that their life will change. OK, it will, but this also makes you realise just how much fun you can have with children on adventure holidays. Extremely encouraging slides were presented, on how to survive charging elephants with kids strapped to the roof of the car, making crocodile proof barriers in lake Kariba, keeping kids amused while fixing Land Rovers (just for a change), hiking down flooded gorges, the permutations were endless. While some parents may consider this child abuse, I’d say, better a few bruises and scratches after a weekend, than another electronic toy. I wish my parents had brought me up in this way!


Handy hints when adventure travelling with kids:

·Slow down - get used to the fact that you can’t do what you used to be able to do in a day.

·Get organised – the more organised you are, as far as food, nappies, extra plastic bags, the easier the trip will be.

·Bring other kids with on hikes – kids that struggle to keep up with parents, will be motivated by their peers, to get to the top first

·Bring entertainment - toys to distract kids on long drives, and whist setting up camp. Things like collapsible kites, paper planes, drawing kit, improvise toys such as jumper cables, car tools, climbing gear

·Baby carriers – For the young ones (as soon as mom can walk again) the Bjorn Baby active carrier with lumbar support is a must, also, carry your usual pack as counter balance, to help you go the distance

·Tie a child onto a ledge so that you can belay your partner, and have peace of mind about your offspring wondering off.

·Malaria – avoid these area’s due to the high mortality in young children

·Places with water and sand provide endless amusement.

·Short hikes, like Cederberg camp site, are a good option to start on.


Thanks to Neil Margetts, Roland and Diane Magg for organising another enjoyable club evening, all those who contributed were awarded with an MCSA badge teddy bear with hot water bottle inside!

Peter Adrian



It is with a great deal of distress, that I now have devoted a section of this newsletter to reporting crimes, and warnings for members. I think most of the problems relate to our greater social and political sphere, and are beyond the scope of what the club can do to remedy this, hence, I can only post these as a cautionary notes for members to keep them updated with problem areas. In the worst case, remember that none of your material possessions are worth your life, stay calm, and hand them over.

Melville Koppies. On Saturday morning, 9 June, Paul Fatti and Chris Ziranek were climbing on the cliffs on Melville Koppies West, just South of the intersection of Beyers Naude and Judith (it is a fairly popular climbing venue, with bolts in place), when two guys arrived, showing an apparent interest in climbing. We chatted to them as we continued climbing (this has happened before - there are frequently people around, often belonging to one of the Zionist churches that hold their services nearby - so we weren't in any way alarmed). A while later my cellphone rang (we were both on the ground, in between climbs) and I answered it. As the call ended one of the guys tried to grab my cellphone, but I hung on to it. He then sprayed pepper spray into my eyes, while the other guy did the same to Chris and also produced a knife. We stopped resisting and handed over our two cellphones (the pepper spray is very debilitating). The two then tied us up with our climbing ropes, in an amateurish way, and ran off. The incident took place at about 11:00 am.

Paul Fatti

The Wilds. The Wilds has been solidly fenced off and it looks like passing traffic has pretty much been stopped. It's looking clean, free of vagrants and for once it looks like it could become the park it was meant to be. A private initiative has replaced the official lock on the gate at the bottom with a combination one (Code: 12370) in order to access the bouldering area. There have previously been two reports of attacks on climbers before the completion of the fences, so please go with caution before we are sure that the situation is improved by the fence.

Boven.“Crime has somehow left the whole area over the last year. Even recent discussions with cops were positive and they reckoned that they had things under control”. Up till now, I guess. There was an incident at the Roc & Rope Lodge in town recently. When crime was hectic in previous years, I employed a security guard at the lodge. He left us for greener pastures and nobody replaced his position.

We now have a new security guard who will look after things for us. All we can do is look forward and hope that these guys are not a new breed of thugs targeting tourists/climbers! There will be no changes to the Roc Rally (to be held from 21 -24 September). We will take the usual security precautions during the event at Tranquilitas and at the Wonderland crags.

From the MCSA point of view, it would be nice have volunteers "patrolling" all the crags on MCSA properties. Not so much to guard against crime, but to keep an eye on misconduct, littering, unsafe climbing practice and attempts to "cheat". The latter is virtually unavoidable considering the honesty system that we use in this style of competition.


The MCSA crags are:

1.God No wall

2.Disciple wall

3.Hallucinogen Wall

4.Reunion Wall


6.Left Wing/Theatre

7.Right Wing/Stone Philosopher Area


As manager of the Tranquilitas Adventure Farm, I would like to invite all members of the MCSA to join in on a festival of climbing over this period. The MCSA has only been good to me and to climbing in this area. In return I have been promoting membership etc. to my clients and friends.

I hope this relationship will keep growing, especially in the light of much needed development of climbing for PDI’s. Some proceeds of this event will go to development of climbing in local schools and support of these projects from the MCSA will be greatly appreciated.

Let’s keep communicating. “Regards, Gustav


A reminder of the rules:

·Please carry your membership card.

·As a member you may take one guest to the areas we are allowed to go to.

·If you have extra guests and it is a permit area, please apply for a permit.

·The permit areas are the areas we co-own i.e. Cedarberg /Tonquani, Grootkloof, Mhlabatini and Castle Gorge. Dome( we do not co-own but help administer); we co-own Seremodi (portion at Dome)

·Permits cost R25 per adult per day, R15 for students and high school scholars and R5 for children under 13.

·Non-members need to apply for a permit for the above areas.


Parking Fees and other Fees:

Tonquani from the south (members only) – no one in the house at present. R20 per car to Uschi. A lump sum of collections will be forwarded to the new owner.

Cedarberg/Tonquani via Mountain Sanctuary Park R20 per car.Permit holders have to pay the entrance fee of MSP.

Cedarberg /Tonquani via Calabash: no charge

Dome: no charge. Park to the left of the gate.

Castle Gorge: obtain lock code from Uschi.

Mhlabatini: R20 per car. Complete register and deposit amount in box at side of barn/shed. Park in open area behind house.

Grootkloof: Pay Mr Bartlett R20 per car. Parking at Sparkling Waters no charge.

Kranskloof: members (and one guest) only: R20 per car and R5 pp per day. To Uschi please.

Trident: (members only) We have a servitude. It is a request of the owner that a permit (free) be obtained by members 7 days in advance. Please give name, membership number and car registration number. This request is for security reasons. Parking fees R20 to be deposited in box. Permits available from:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hamerkop: MCSA members only and one guest per member.

Easterkloof: only club meets.

Fernkloof: open to all. Pay daily fee/parking to Bergheim Resort.

Wolkberg Hut: (near Haenertsburg) members (and three guests) only. Booking through Uschi.Wilderness fees as well as Wolkberg Hut fees are payable.

Wilgepoort: Members may get permission from Mr Andre van Staden to visit Wilgepoort. Please phone 082 388 3087 (Mr) or Mrs Lindi v Staden 082 388 3657 and arrange your visit to climb or hike.

Other areas: contact Land & Access convener, or Uschi 011 807 1310 weekdays 8 – 10am.

Patrolling: Once every +/- 15 months we ask members to patrol the areas we administer. We send out letters to members with information on patrolling. We try our best to keep our areas under control, and yet, we find some members taking this once in 15 months requestas a BOTHER. Magaliesberg section, who patrol Grootkloof, Dome and Mhlabatini have a similar problem. Please, your commitment to helping control our beautiful kloofs is part of your being a member of the MCSA. Is this too much to ask?



We welcome the following new members: Ralf Miller, Kaja Kopkow, Oliver Hoffman, Louis Hanekom, Tony Seebregts, Mark Kirchmann, Shayne Young, Mark van Wyk, Warren Krynie, Roelof Barkhuizen, Nicola Stotter, Jeanette Fuchs, Garth Fuchs, Sean Buchanan, Andrew Sheahan, Dirk Botha. Family members: Emily and Benjamin Newton, Melissa and Laura Chandler - whew.

Priors. In recognition of their long association with the Club and of their contributions made, Jean and Mervyn Prior, Life Members of the Johannesburg Section, were elected as Honorary Life Members of the South Cape Section.

ToMerv who celebrates his 80th birthday on 5 September our congratulations and best wishes.




Tea for Three: 5th September. The South African production company, Fresh Air Crew did it again, it latest documentary “Tea for Three” won the “Best film on Mountain Culture Award” at VIMFF 2007, and it was selected by the panel of judges as the best! The documentary tells the story of three friends who have spent a lifetime climbing together, and they reflect on where the journey has taken them, and where it will lead. With a cumulative age of 145 years these three men are attempting to grow old gracefully. R25 pp entrance which will go towards the next project – film History of Mountaineering /MCSAby the Fresh Air Crew. The DVD will be on sale. Join us for cheese & wine .


‘Angola Adventure’ 12 September: Alard & Mike

Their recent adventure to Angola.


‘No Need for Parking – ‘ An African Adventure’19 SeptemberMarianne andJames.

In June 2006, Marianne Pretorius, James Pitman and Mike Blyth set out to see whether they could fly two microlight aircraft 5 800km around the Southern African subcontinent. They had 16 days in which to complete the trip, during which Marianne andJames hoped to scale three of Southern Africa's wildest and most isolated rock walls - Blouberg, Spitzkoppe and The Klein Winterhoek.. To document their adventure each carried a video camera.


A 8 day trip through the Pyrenees: 26 September Andrew Pedley


Andy de Klerk: Date to be advised. Will present his slide show and book ‘Sharper Edges’ at a club evening.TBA.The book will also be on sale.


MCSA's Funniest Photos and Movies: Date to be advised. Peter Lazarus and Megan Watkins will present a video and slide show. Contributions welcome!


Reel Rock Tour: 17thOctober ‘King Lines: Chris Sharma’s Search for the Planet’s Greatest Climbs’ scheduled for at the Waverley Girl Guide Hall, Entrance R40 pp. 18 Oct- venue to be advised.

Booking 011 807 1310


Climbing Gear Through the Ages. 24thOctober. Paul Fatti, will run us on how climbing gear has developed through time, with examples of the old things and pics.


2007 Super Tramp’s; ‘Encounters in Turkey,Mt. Ararat, Kazbegi and others’31 October: Donovan van Graan.


Lessons to be Learned: 7th November. Mike Grant, will run through a number of search and rescue incidents and work through the things that they should have done, and what we should do.


21 November: Talk and presentation: by John Hone of his new book ‘Encounters with the Dragon’.Copies will be for sale at a discounted price of R360.



ROCK AND ROAD 14th to 24th September 2007.

THE PARTY, Friday 14th September 8pm, at the clubhouse, Join us and celebrate the launch of the Road Trip, and meet South Africa’s hottest climbers in person.

FIRESIDE SESSION, Saturday evening, 15th September at Bergheim resort in the Magaliesberg. Discuss anything you want to know about hot-climbing, such as sponsorship, training, etc, with those who can do it.

FERNKLOOF, 16th September. Watch them in action on Magaliesberg’s toughest sports routes.

BOVEN 17th – 23rd September. Follow the climbing Gods to sport mecca, to find their place on mount Olympus and watch them battle it out at the Rock Rally to see who is the greatest.

If there are any members who are willing to help in the road trip with transport and accommodation of the climbers, or anything else, give Neil Margetts a ring on 083 669 3028.


BANFF FILM FESTIVAL. 7th – 13th September, Sandton City.

The South African leg of the World Tour is made up of ten thrilling short films ranging from mountain biking and skiing to bouldering and B.A.S.E jumping. All ten films are screened in one showing, starting at 20h15 with a total duration of one hour and fifty-two minutes per show.


ANNUAL DINNER 13 October 2007 19h00

Remember to book for the 2007 MCSA Annual Dinner to be hosted by Cape Town Section at Constantia Nek Restaurant. The guest speaker will be the world-renowned mountaineer, Doug Scott. His tales and extraordinary photographs from his climbs around the world, which include the Seven Summits, promise to make this a not-to-be-missed event (http://www.dougscottmountaineering.co.uk/about_us.htm)

Tickets for a three-course meal with wine are R195pp and are available from the MCSA (Cape Town Section) office, 97 Hatfield Street, Cape Town This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 021-465-3412, Tables seat 10, so please advise if you want to be seated with friends.




BOVEN ROCK RALLY: 21-24 September 2007.


FOUR PEAKS MOUNTAIN RACE: This will take place on 29 September over 24km in the Witteberg near Ficksburg (in the Moolmanshoek Private Nature Reserve). More info from Derek Odendaal (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).


SKY RUN: This mountain race of 100km over 2 days will take place 1-2 December 2007. The route is over the summits of the Witteberg from Lady Grey to Tiffendel Ski Resort near Rhodes.Contact: Adrian Saffy (082-5665668; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

You gotta be crazy!!!!


2008 NATIONAL MEET: the Johannesburg Section is hosting this event. The meet will take place at Wolkberg (near Haenerstburg and Tzaneen).from 26 April to 3 May 2008.Further information, booking forms etc will be available shortly.

Contact Mike Grant082 940 9493or



The annual campfire date has been changed to 21/22 October

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