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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 5:07 pm 
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Real Name: Niel Mostert
So there's been some run-ins with rangers from time to time at coppermine, but today the rangers were waiting at the redhill parking area to turn climbers away. In fact, when I left (I was turned away) one of the rangers was heading in to go look for climbers who were already at the bouldering areas. At least the ranger who spoke to me was very apologetic and gave me 2 nrs to phone with my grievances.

I want to ask for some help on this forum: Can we please get some climbers and MCSA committee members together to sit down with TMNP and sort the coppermine/redhill access out once and for all? There's more momentum to it if it's a joint effort from the community instead of a couple of angry phone calls TMNP no doubt get most Monday mornings from boulderers.

I am a regular user of these areas (and an MCSA member :) ) and I am very willing to attend any meetings, make phone calls, write e-mails or supply pitchforks. If it doesn't go in the climbers' favour then at least there will be clear policy and people will know to go somewhere else.

Niel "Hell no I won't go!!!" Mostert


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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 6:25 pm 
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Real Name: Rachel Strate
My crew was told today we could not boulder as well (we actually were talking to the ranger when Niel pulled up), but we decided to leave our pads and still hike up because we had other friends up there. We never saw the rangers on the hike up nor were the climbers already in Vasjra kicked out.... but this is definitely an issue and I agree fully with Niel that we need to address it asap.

Niel, do you want to arrange a time and place for climbers to gather? (I am happy to do so as well, if you prefer). And I will definitely help spread the word out. I am not a member of the MCSA yet (just need to turn in the paperwork) but do think they should be involved, if possible.

Thoughts?


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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 7:54 pm 
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Real Name: Warren Gans
I have to ask this question- sorry: what was the history of access to the area? did climbers just randomly start climbing there without consent of management or where there meetings etc to settle on access issues? i ask because this makes a big difference to the communities bargaining power. i dearly hope we had spoken to them, because otherwise they are in every right to stop us. also there should be some kind of standard protocal from the TMNP regarding bouldering access. if there has been some kind of ideology change from them, this could spell trouble for the future for all areas, so it is important to know these facts.

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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 8:15 pm 
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Location: CT
Real Name: Paul P
Warren G wrote:
...because otherwise they are in every right to stop us.

Nooit dude! I'm a born'n'bred South African who pays me taxes, matey. This is my country. I have every right to use public land in a non-destructive fashion. They have every right to act in their mandate to facilitate and manage public access to public resources, but not to restrict reasonable public access! :thumleft:


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 7:16 am 
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Can't you sneak around the rangers and go boulder there since you are not hurting anyone or anything by bouldering?

"Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth."
John F. Kennedy


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 9:40 am 
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<prrrrrrrrrrt> brain fart


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 9:45 am 
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Drifter bra: 1. If there is a pending access issue, pissing off the guys that control access during the negotiation phase is not good or clever. 2. If you're going to sneak in, don't tell the interwebs your cunning plan (CN also read the same interwebs), Stay chipper :thumleft:


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 10:10 am 
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Real Name: CityROCK
why doesn't someone call the TMNP South area manager?
find out why?
with the Higgovale Quarry, TMNP didnt want anyone there because of drug dealers hanging out in the quarry and neighbours complaining. when we spoke to them it all got sorted out.
legally i dont think TMNP can prevent us from accessing any part of the park.


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 10:52 am 
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Real Name: Rachel Strate
We have called and know the reason. The reason why we aren't allowed is because a needs assessment needs to be completed.... this means they do NOT know if we are causing harm, so they are simply not allowing us. However, it is a gray area... they don't post on their website or the signs that we are not allowed, instead they send around this one ranger who if catches you will throw you out. (I will admit she is always pleasant and constructive.)

Numerous boulderers and the MCSA (from my knowledge) have been in contact with TMNP. I don't know the results of all the conversations, but I do know that when my friends and I tried to contact Gavin Bell (the name we were previously given last time we were kicked out) he just never responded back.

I talked to the ranger this week and told her all this and she gave me a number and two new names. I also let her know that we are happy to move this forward, happy to do what they need to get their needs assessment done... however, it seems silly they are kicking us out if they don't even know if we are causing harm. In Redhill the boulders are seriously RIGHT along the path and we should be having the same impact as a hiker. I also stated that the majority of climbers are Wild Card holders and they are simply throwing out a group of people who probably respect the land most.

She did tell me some horse riders went through this process and did a needs assessment for an area and suggested we do the same. I told her we would be happy to if someone would actually call us back this time. I did inquire on the result of the horse riding needs assessment and it resulted in them NOT being allowed. However, I think it would just be good (as Niel states) to have some clarity on this issue. Either allow us or don't... and if you aren't going to allow us, tell us why. I will admit that I could see some areas not being allowed (perhaps Coppermine.. because we built the trail not them, from my understanding... but at the same time it is one trail. Maybe Easter Island...) but Redhill boulders are RIGHT on their trail.

Just to clarify, I was there a bit before Niel and the rangers weren't in the parking lot when we pulled up... however, they were on foot this time rather than a vehicle. This is different than usual and makes them harder to spot. Plus, they have never really given us trouble in this area and so we weren't even watching for them... it is simply an issue that they are now actively watching both parking lots.


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 11:12 am 
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@Rachel - Trust me, if horse riders can get permission then we really shouldn't have a problem. Just head out to Boulder Garden to witness the amount of erosion horses hooves create on the paths, etc...


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 11:25 am 
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Real Name: Rachel Strate
@Stu They were actually NOT allowed in the end.

Also, @Stu, it seems that we should try to resolve this issue before a guidebook is released... don't you think?


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 11:48 am 
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wasatchgirl wrote:
@Stu They were actually NOT allowed in the end.

Are you sure, I see them riding there all the time?

Quote:
Also, @Stu, it seems that we should try to resolve this issue before a guidebook is released... don't you think?

Definitely...


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 11:59 am 
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Real Name: Rachel Strate
@Stu I don't know which area specifically they did the needs assessment on. The ranger just said that the result of it was negative in their favor... By this comment I am not saying we should NOT move forward, rather just know that the implications could be of closure.


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 12:25 pm 
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Location: cape town/ grahamstown
horse-riding is allowed by the boulder garden, but bouldering isnt apparently. was chased away by a ranger once, citing path impact. the irony of alllowing riders access, and not boulderers (there is a single path to the boulders, that is easily maintained) was not lost on the ranger....
the rangers also seem unware of the SANPARKS document that someone kindly also posted up here, mapping out usage zones, etc...


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 1:45 pm 
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Real Name: Rachel Strate
According to the ranger the only place we are allowed to climb is Silvermine.

Also a friend of mine just sent me a mail back from October 2009 where the MCSA access committee had started to address the issue. Anyone know who is part of the MCSA access committee? And any update from their side?

@SMEG do you have those docs that you mentioned. I don't believe I saw them.


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 2:51 pm 
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SMEG wrote:
horse-riding is allowed by the boulder garden, but bouldering isnt apparently. was chased away by a ranger once, citing path impact. the irony of alllowing riders access, and not boulderers (there is a single path to the boulders, that is easily maintained) was not lost on the ranger....
the rangers also seem unware of the SANPARKS document that someone kindly also posted up here, mapping out usage zones, etc...

Hey, which area were you chased away from - the boulder close to the road, or one of the other areas?


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 3:10 pm 
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Location: cape town/ grahamstown
@ stu: chased away from the training boulder, the one close to the road, with all the the eliminates on it... the others boulders arent on SANPARKS land according to said ranger.

@rache: ill see if i can find them.. i just cut the appropraite bit out of the doc, bt have its name and publication date.. it was posted on a previous coppermine/redhill access thread.. ill email you what i can find either 2day, or 2mrw when i get into the department.


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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 10:28 am 
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Location: cape town/ grahamstown
@rache: decided to (re)post it up here for the benifit of everyone:
TMNP Conservation Development Framework report 2006-2011
http://www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain/about/2008/CDF_vol1_report.pdf

thanks to mr colenso for the link, taken from this tread:
http://www.climb.co.za/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=5906


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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 12:52 pm 
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Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Guy Holwill
Hi everyone

We need to work with the officials from TMNP to resolve this, so thanks to those of you who are posting stuff about constructively solving this problem.

The MSCA gives us a formal voice with SANPARKS and this is exactly the kind of stuff that the Rock Climbining Sub Committee does.

The real problem is that we need to understand all the relevant regulations and then have the energy to drive the process (because nobody else is going to). So who wants to volunteer??

In the meantime, please will you climb at other areas so that we don't hinder the process further by annoying the guys from SANPARKS.

Thanks

Guy Holwill (on behlaf of the MCSA Rock Climbing Sub Comm)

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 4:27 pm 
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Real Name: Niel Mostert
@Guy, you definitely have my cooperation sir!

I think it would be best if the MCSA (and thus by implication you) spearhead this effort, both from a management and credibility point of view, with the rest of us volunteers helping as required.

pm me any time or call me 0829675080


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 3:30 am 
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Real Name: Rachel Strate
Hey @Guy,
Thanks for posting up from the MCSA viewpoint.

I agree fully with you and @Niel that this should be coming from the MCSA. I am happy to volunteer as much as you need. And am happy to continue to spread the word to the climbers I know. I will email you my personal contact information now.

Also, I understand your request to stay away from the area and in response my crew for tomorrow has canceled our Coppermine plans. (Sigh... to cancel is PAINFUL. It is truly difficult to find a crew, enough pads and even another woman psyched on Pandemonium and that was tomorrow's plan. SIGH.) I will be honest that your request for people to stay out will only happen if action is seen. The boulderers are fully aware that this has been a known issue with the MCSA for YEARS. Can I propose that the MCSA define meeting dates within the next week or two? Otherwise I am afraid this will lose it's legs and the boulderers will instead find either alternative solutions to getting around the rangers or just keep taking their chances on getting in, neither of which will help our image in the eyes of the rangers.

Also, the two people to contact at SANSPARK are Matbatha and Justin. They can both be reached at the same number 021 780 9100.

Thanks in advance for your help! It is truly appreciated.
Rachel Strate


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 9:21 am 
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Guys & gals.....

The MCSA does not have a squadron of officials ready to tackle landowners on access issues. We rely on a few key individuals who have a vested interest in an area to sort these kind of things out. We can't really expect some old codger out in Milnerton to sort access out for a sport that he doesn't really undertand in an area 50km away he has never visited. The MCSA does however have resources available to assist people with pesky little problems like this (eg money, exisiting relationships & frameworks with SANP). So may I suggest someone who is passionate about this area, is presentable, is organised and has credibility sticks their hand up and runs with this problem? I'm sure a little leadership will get that snowball rolling. Julia Wakeling is the MCSA CT rock subcom chief and can be contacted through the MCSA office.

Happy climbing :drunken:

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 9:38 am 
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Real Name: Rachel Strate
I simply proposed that the MCSA move forward with dates if there is a request from the MCSA for us to stay out. I will follow-up with Julia.

Thanks, Andy.


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 11:22 am 
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Real Name: Niel Mostert
Thanks Andy for the reply, but maybe lets just get the ball rolling in the right direction then. Allow me to note the issues categorically :) as I see them:

1. I'm not familiar with the inner workings of the MCSA on issues like these, hence my initial posting on this forum asking for help.
2. I hear what you're saying about old codgers (he said it Guy, not me) and resources but at the same time the MCSA does, like you say, have existing frameworks and relationships with SANP and being the main body in SA concerned with mountain activities I felt it would be the wisest route to approach SANP via the MCSA and not around them, especially since SANP seem to be concerned about impact and various other possible issues (Redhill and coppermine are also not exclusive bouldering areas, but used for hiking, mountainbiking, etc. ) that the MCSA might be more equipt to discuss than a bunch of boulderers on their own.
3. If you need someone to take charge then I am more than willing to step up to the plate. However in 3 weeks time I will be leaving CT for a few months, so I might not be the best candidate.
4. I will get the ball rolling and contact Julia.
5. If we can at least arrange a meeting with the right people in SANP in the next few weeks to discuss exactly what their current concerns are, or get something from them in writing, then it gives a base to start from.

Makes sense?


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 11:53 am 
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Well it seems that between Niel and Rachel we should have a lead on this issue - lekker :thumleft: . All it takes is a little initiative from passionate people like yourselves and the ball will get rolling. And working through the MCSA is a good idea, so your approach is spot on. SANP management is far more likely to listen to a large organised stakeholder, than say Joe Bloggs.

Its always a pity when any climbing area has access issues so I hope we will be able to sort this one out. Let me know if I can help in any way (please contact me through the MCSA). And keep us all informed please ........ be a bummer driving 50km to Redhill to get blocked by Dan Dan the Ranger Man.

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 9:05 am 
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Real Name: Rachel Strate
Hey thanks everyone for your help with this!!! Guy has called me with great info, Niel has pushed emails forward, Andy has given lots of good feedback, Marijus has pointed us to the right .pdfs, people are talking about the issue... thanks! And poor Julia is getting bombarded with emails. (Sorry, girl... :? )

Between Niel and I we can push this forward. Niel, if you can get something set up in the next few weeks before you leave, I can push it forward after that. If anyone wants to get involved, would you please post up on this forum or PM Niel or me so we know who we should be contacting / keeping in the loop?

Have a great week and safe climbing. :thumleft:


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 12:49 pm 
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Niel Mostert and I had a meeting with SANParks Table Mountain National Park section rangers yesterday.

Basically, bouldering is not allowed on SANParks land on the peninsula. After a recent biodiversity assessment, the managers are keen to minimise impact in this area. According to the rules, people are only allowed to walk on paths. The managers are unhappy with the new paths that have been made by boulderers. They have tried to close and rehabilitate these paths, but are getting more and more annoyed with people making new paths. They know about all the paths and all the areas. They have been wanting to get hold of the bouldering community to tell us to go away and are on the verge of arresting someone.

The way forward:
We (myself, Niel, Rachel and Marijus) put together an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for bouldering in this area. There is a high chance that this will be successful in the most part, but we need to stay way until we are given permission to return. So, please stay away from all the Redhill / Coppermine areas until we resolve this. I'm sorry. I know it's frustrating, but to regain access to these areas, we need to not annoy anyone any more than they already are.

Cheers,
Julia, Niel, Rachel & Marijus (and the MCSA Rock Climbing Sub-Committee)


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 1:18 pm 
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F****** apartheid-hangover bull$hit...


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 2:57 pm 
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Real Name: Brittany Bunce
I just want to thank Rachel, Julia, Niel and Marijus for all your efforts in dealing with the access issues in such a constructive and active way. It is very concerning that we could possibly lose access to such an incredible climbing area so 'action' and not just 'debate' is definitely what is needed, so thanks guys!

I will spread the word to other climbers to stay out until this issue has been resolved. I definitely think that your constructive approach is best and pissing off the rangers and creating a bad image of boulderers is definitely going to undermine the outcome of the negotiations with SANParks. I think that now that something is being done to deal with the issue climbers will feel more inclined to stay out.
Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help?

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 3:27 pm 
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Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Willem Boshoff
let's go trad climbing :mrgreen:

seriously, hope you guys get it sorted - seems like a bit of a knee jerk reaction to me


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