Star-Gazing @ Wilgepoort


Star Gazing @ Wilgepoort –6 to 7 July:Please join us for an amazing afternoon and evening of discovering more about astronomy and our celestial bodies. (i.e. Star Gazing)

Expert members of the Astronomy Society of South Africa (ASSA) will be hosting thisevent for us and general programwill proceed as follows:

  • Try to arrive at Wilgepoort by 12ish on Saturday so you can put up your tent, etc before we start.
  • At 3pm or so we will have a brief introduction into Star Maps and their use.
  • Copies of maps will be handed out during the talk and in theevening we will be asked to find/identify bodies in the night sky. (Finally you will be able to confidently point out Mars).
  • We hope to have a physical model of our Solar system showing the movements of planets and moons around our sun. (Did youknow that the morning and evening star is not always the same star?)
  • We plan to have a telescope with special filters enabling us to look at the sun (hopefully there will be some solar flares). We might even be able toobserve cooler spots on the sun.
  • The evening we will star gaze using the telescopes supplied by ASSA.SPECIAL request-white light is no good for our night vision. Please be kind enough to ensure that there are red filters on any and all head or flash lights you use around the camp site. We will try to bring some red cellophane wrapping that we can cut and stick onto lights.

For this reason also we might be stopping cars from driving to the camping area from about 5pm. (Depending on where we setup the telescopes….but itis better if you arrive early anyway)If you have never been to Wilgepoort REMEMBER, or TAKE NOTE,that there are absolutely no “facilities”. There is only a long drop toilet so you will need to bring everything you will need to make your weekend comfortable. Luckily you can drive to the camping area so feel free to pack the kitchen sink.Remember to bring enough drinking water and some wood and charcoal for the braai. Also some rubbish bags to take your rubbish away in on Sunday.Chairs and tables are always a good idea. And Glühwein.The location is on the Wilgeriver and quite cold in the winter.The property offerslimited hiking,sport climbing, rafting/kayaking, fishing,cyclingand lots of trad climbing. Please bring your own gear.The wildlife is quite healthy and we have breeding Verreauxeagles on the cliff faces.So do bring the family and come spend the weekend and not just one evening.

For more info contact the meet leader IvanVan Zyl



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    • Message from National Search & Rescue:Notice regarding Mountain Rescue during the COVID-19 lockdown

      We are all aware how Public Health guidelines have urged the public to 'flatten the curve' of the COVID-19 virus, and our President's announcement of lockdown is a welcomed show of courageous leadership that South Africa needs at this time.

      The Mountain Club of SA's Search and Rescue teams support this approach categorically.

      1) If engaging in some last minute pursuits this week, please engage in ultra-low-risk activities only. Please also respect closures already in place by SAN Parks and Ezemvelo.
      2) Please respect the lockdown unconditionally.
      Because it is the right thing to do.
      ...and accidents do happen, no matter how expert you think you may be.
      The MCSA's search and rescue team make themselves available because we believe in the value of responsible enjoyment of the wilderness, and in supporting our outdoor colleagues and community.
      Where life and limb is at stake, our members may still come to your aid.

      HOWEVER, during this crisis:
      - Healthcare infrastructure must be reserved for only the most critical, necessary cases.
      - Your own exposure to the virus will be significantly higher while being rescued and receiving healthcare.
      - Our search and rescue volunteers are not 'essential healthcare workers'. Don't be selfish!
      If our members must respond to a call-out during the lockdown period, they invalidate their and their family's quarantine activities during this critical time and that may have an impact on their ability to return to work.
      - S&R response may in fact be limited - our approach to incident management will be to coach and support self-rescue, or to send minimum-team responses.

      We look forward to a time soon where we can all enjoy our wilderness and natural areas together, assured of the safety and well being of our loved ones at home.

      Thank you.
      MCSA Search & Rescue


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