Winter snakes

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Xenomorph
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Winter snakes

Postby Xenomorph » Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:38 pm

You might recall Summer snakes http://www.climb.co.za/forum/viewtopic. ... 7&start=30

This is the story of winter snakes:

After warming up on the easiest route at Pump House , Lower Silvermine, I decided to climb a grade harder on the route at the far right of the crag, about 2m left of the anchors there is a climbers friend which I declined to use as I want to do a cleaner ascent. I had a really good hold with my left hand and was padding around the lip feeling for a hold so that I could clip the chains. Suddenly I heard rustling and a hiss, so I screeched and leant back slightly to see the head of an alive climbers friend, Mr Boomslang. I say friend as he has been spotted on numerous occasions by various parties over the past few months.
He was about 1m meter from me and we checked each other out for about 2 minutes before he decide to retreat. There was much enthusiasm in our party, but a little sad that we did not get a picture. I down climbed and we decided to stick to the left of the crag.
30 minutes had passed whilst the stronger climbers were working the sequence of a hard 21 and beginners were playing on a 19 in the corner where we had set up a top rope. A visiting traveler from Denmark whom was with his Aunt, was on the route when he too heard rustling and saw movement in the bush in the photo's.
Out pops the head of our brazen friend, flexing his authority on his crag. He disappeared into a nice hand jam rail.
Suffice to say that that was the end of climbing for the now neurotic beginners and we all got the RP of 21- we all climbed way too fast to get pumped!
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Warren G
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Re: Winter snakes

Postby Warren G » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:36 pm

Eish! When exactly was this? We were there on Sunday and most of the lines were climbed in our presence, with no serpentine company being noted

Incidentally, what is the name and grade of the new route at the pump house?
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Justin
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Re: Winter snakes

Postby Justin » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:58 pm

Aah the african wildlife :) My biggest fear is being leadout on a trad route, putting my hand on a snake and then having to jump (to avoid the snake)!

The Boomslang Wiki says: The boomslang is a timid snake, and bites generally occur only when people attempt to handle, catch or kill the animal. When confronted and cornered, they inflate their necks and assume their striking "S"-shaped pose.
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Xenomorph
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Re: Winter snakes

Postby Xenomorph » Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:49 pm

Warren G wrote:Eish! When exactly was this? We were there on Sunday and most of the lines were climbed in our presence, with no serpentine company being noted

Incidentally, what is the name and grade of the new route at the pump house?


Warren what have you been smoking, I spoke to you in the parking lot and commented on your camouflage, um err, red beard! You mentioned how hot it was, perhaps you where suffering from heat stroke?
Obviously too hot for snakes. Maybe you did not recognize me as my black tights were in the wash!!!


Re route, are you referring to this http://www.climb.co.za/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=5954
"Boomslang rail" is pretty close, you might wanna add a grade or two!
Last edited by Xenomorph on Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Xenomorph
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Re: Winter snakes

Postby Xenomorph » Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:53 pm

Justin wrote:Aah the african wildlife :) My biggest fear is being leadout on a trad route, putting my hand on a snake and then having to jump (to avoid the snake)!

The Boomslang Wiki says: The boomslang is a timid snake, and bites generally occur only when people attempt to handle, catch or kill the animal. When confronted and cornered, they inflate their necks and assume their striking "S"-shaped pose.


This one was not timid, maybe he was not listening when they mentioned that at snake school, what am I talking about, snakes don't have ears!

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Faffy001
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Re: Winter snakes

Postby Faffy001 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:06 pm

OOOHHH my goodness!!! If it's not bees it's snakes :? eeeka

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henkg
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Re: Winter snakes

Postby henkg » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:02 pm

That is exactly the same type that greeted me in a rail near the chains on Wet Dreams. Thought it was a mole snake at the time. Summertime though. So much for "snakes are not active in winter".

Also had a cobra reared its head on me on the approach near pumphouse. Lower silwermine always struck me as a harmless crag?!
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DavidWade
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Re: Winter snakes

Postby DavidWade » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:53 pm

henkg wrote:So much for "snakes are not active in winter".


Xenomorph Siad it was a hot day. If its a hot day they will be active, even if it is in winter

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Leebo
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Re: Winter snakes

Postby Leebo » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:43 am

It does look very similar to the on that was on Wet Dreams a few months ago.

Xenomorph wrote:This one was not timid, maybe he was not listening when they mentioned that at snake school, what am I talking about, snakes don't have ears!


Touch his tale and see how timid he gets :thumleft:

Seriously though, you get all different temperaments through a particular species of snake, but I have yet to have a boomslang turn and come at me until it has been tailed. Maybe he's just brazen to climbers being around the area and the lizards and food source are worth him hanging around north facing rock gets good sun etc...

A few months ago when he was spotted on Wet Dreams a climber was poking him with a stick trying to get him out of the crack. He just slithered deeper in there without any aggression.

He has no interest in us silly human beings. I think it is awesome that there is such beautiful wildlife cruising around our crags!

If he's a local I think he deserves a name...

toejam
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Re: Winter snakes

Postby toejam » Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:16 am

The boomslang is quite territorial so it is likely that if mr boomslang is not caught and released elsewhere, he is there to stay. Also, timid or not, they have very toxic venom. Play nice with mr boomslang. Hopefully he'll return the favor.

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atropos
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Re: Winter snakes

Postby atropos » Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:14 am

Male Boomslang. What a great find! Being territorial implies that an animal defends a territory, which snakes do not.
But some do have a home range and a 'base' which they return to and if left undisturbed may use the
same area for years.

I think the fact that we regularly hear stories of 'close' encounters yet never hear accounts of actual bites
is testament to their nature and the way one should behave when faced with these animals.

Leave them alone - simple.

The only reason that this snake will bite anyone climbing is if people poke it with sticks, try to catch it or agitate
it in anyway. Then it will defend itself as any of us would when faced with a seemingly life and death situation.

I hope, and would suggest that this snake is left to live where it has chosen, but, if absolutely necessary, I would
be willing to assist by trying to move this snake to another location. Although this is probably not a practical solution
considering the multitasking and equipment needed while harnessed in :shock:

What would be great is if climbers could keep taking pictures when they see snakes to monitor them. We might be able to
tell if it is the same snake between the sites then.
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deadmuppet
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Re: Winter snakes

Postby deadmuppet » Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:18 pm

We were at Lower Silvermine this past Sunday (June 10) and found Mr. B. Slang chilling out in a crack about head height at the bottom of Wet Dream (slightly to the right of the face you start on, near the bush/tree). Further round, more to the right, there was apparently a baby snake of unknown type deep in a crack. There are photos that I can organise if anyone wants.

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Xenomorph
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Re: Winter snakes

Postby Xenomorph » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:27 am

Yes, Please post or you can send to me and I can post!

thomsonza
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Re: Winter snakes

Postby thomsonza » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:45 am

So... It's great that we have this fantastic creature protecting our crags from would-be bolt thieves but let's say one does get bitten by this snake. What are the necessary first aid measures that should be taken?

From my understanding on this, and please note that I am NO expert on the matter, the procedure for the snake bite itself would depend on the type of snake.

Boomslang = Haemotoxic = Pressure Bandage
(Others include Cytotoxic and and Neurotoxic which may have different procedures, note that in some cases pressure bandages should be avoided!)

In this case, standard First Aid procedures aside, the treatment would be:
- Get the patient to a medical facility as soon as possible (It can take up to 48 hours and longer for the boomslang's poison to take effect in the form of progressive bleeding, leaving the victim fair time to get to a hospital)
- Minimize activity.
- DO NOT cut the bite site; DO NOT use suction to attempt to extract poison.
- Clean bite; cover with a dressing.
- Overwrap the bite site with a tight (elastic) bandage. The intent is to slow capillary and venous blood flow but not arterial flow. Check for pulse below the overwrap.
- Splint bitten extremity to prevent motion.
- Treat for shock
- Position extremity below level of heart.

Like I said before, I am no expert on the matter, so PLEASE do your own research on it and don't take this as the single truth. Is there anyone on the forum that can give a little more insight into this?

A good link:
http://www.sastm.org.za/articles/Snakebite-Protocol-WPEMS-GKB.pdf

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deadmuppet
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Re: Winter snakes

Postby deadmuppet » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:31 am

I've attached a photo of the snake we saw at the bottom of Wet Dreams (credit to Stacey d V)
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Snake at bottom of Wet Dreams, Silvermine
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atropos
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Re: Winter snakes

Postby atropos » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:16 pm

Snake bite is a very complex matter and the protocol has changed dramatically over the years as we gain a better understanding through research and experience.

Nowadays the short of it is this: Immobilise the limb and use a pressure bandage for ALL venomous snake bites and get the patient to a suitable hospital as quickly as possible(don't rely on an ambulance if you don't have to)

Remove all restrictive clothing and jewelery from the bite site (rings etc.)

It is critical the the crepe bandage is not too tight. Make 100% sure that you can place your finger between the bandage and the affected limb, as if you were wrapping a sprained ankle - from the bite site towards the heart.

Image

This is a first aid measure only and the bandage should be removed once professional help is sought. The idea behind it is that proper application will inhibit lymphatic drainage of the affected limb and thus delay the uptake of the venom into the circulatory system via the lymphatic system - in other words you're not aiming to cut of blood supply!

NB:If swelling has occurred (as in the case of a puff adder bite) it is best NOT to apply a bandage

If the victim stops breathing (Cape cobra), then it's mouth to mouth I'm afraid at between 10-15 breaths per minute.

Never underestimate any venomous snake bite, some people experience anaphylactic shock (allergic reaction) to snake venom. Even bites from so-called mildly venomous snakes like the herold, Crotaphopeltis hotamboeiahave been known to bring people close to death.

I am going to be adding a comprehensive bite protocol to my website soon http://www.capesnakeconservation.com if anyone is interested. We also offer a free snake ID service; simply upload your photos to http://www.capesnakeconservation.com/snake-sightings/
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pierre.joubert
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Re: Winter snakes

Postby pierre.joubert » Mon May 20, 2013 12:34 pm

Boven yesterday
Rinkhals-Boven.jpg
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Justin
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Re: Winter snakes

Postby Justin » Mon May 20, 2013 1:17 pm

Very pretty!
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DiabolicDassie
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Re: Winter snakes

Postby DiabolicDassie » Tue May 21, 2013 2:29 pm

Was that on the trail down the waterfall on the way to Baboon Buttress?

Russell Warren
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Re: Winter snakes

Postby Russell Warren » Tue May 21, 2013 3:43 pm

What snake is that?

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DiabolicDassie
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Re: Winter snakes

Postby DiabolicDassie » Tue May 21, 2013 4:17 pm

Most probably a Mozambican spitting cobra. We have them in the area.


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