Permit now required to climb trad on TM

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mokganjetsi
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Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby mokganjetsi » Fri Aug 21, 2015 3:25 pm

Got this in my inbox; my personal thoughts will follow.....

Fellow climbers...

As you may know, the issue of permits to climb within the TMNP has been
a long and ongoing saga. The Mountain Club of South Africa has put in
much effort over the years to ensure that climbers' rights are
protected, as well as instill a culture of respect towards the mountain
and our environment in general.

In recent communication with the park, they have made it abundantly
clear that a climbing activity permit must be purchased by all climbers
who intend to climb in the park. Both trad and sport.


When the MCSA helped to draw up the Sport Climbing EMP it was done in
good faith that club members would always be exempt from paying an
additional activity permit fee. The park has indicated that any such
arrangement will no longer be honoured.

Trad climbing was never a part of this EMP, and as such (and due to its
almost negligible environmental impact) was never under any permit
system. Without any consultation with the MCSA or climbers, the park has
unilaterally decided to include all trad climbing as an activity
requiring a permit. It is unclear whether scrambling is included, seeing
as this is simply climbing without equipment.

TMNP has instructed its rangers to strictly enforce these regulations.

The MCSA will continue to pursue our plan to:

a) Promote the sport climbing management plan as it stands, including
the agreed-to waiver of the activity permit fee for mcsa members.
b) Reject any attempts to force a permit structure to trad climbing.
c) Promote the implementation of an environmentally appropriate plan for
bouldering as opposed to an outright ban.
d) Brief our members how to deal with rangers under various conditions,
including those where rangers become aggressive.

In this regard, the MCSA urges all its members (and other climbers) that
should they be approached by rangers, to be polite and courteous. Bear
in mind that the rangers are law enforcement officials, and have the
right to issue fines and perform arrests.

The Park will consider it an offence to provide false information, or
touch/assault a ranger, or swear at them.

If any ranger is difficult or obnoxious, or damages equipment or any
other property, the club member is urged to provide the club with a
detailed affidavit.

Club members are advised, in the event of any altercation with parks
staff, to record the ranger's details, and provide the MCSA with full
details of the incident and/or any fines issued. The MCSA will endeavour
to assist its members, where possible, and if deemed pertinent, with any
pending legal action relevant to such incidents. We are aware of several
instances where the parties preferred to contest the fine in court, as
is their right.

Remember that the rangers are simply attempting to perform their duties
as instructed by their employer. Often, a polite and non-confrontational
attitude will be all that is required to ensure that things do not
deteriorate further.


Regards
Brent Jennings
Vice Chair - MCSA (CT)

mokganjetsi
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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby mokganjetsi » Fri Aug 21, 2015 3:30 pm

The day TMNP (re)places a single bolt
or maintain any climber's path,
or pays climbers to conduct search & rescue / for clean-up efforts,
or catches a thief / mugger on the mountain

is the day I might consider paying something extra for the right to go climbing on public land. not before then :evil:

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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby Sam » Fri Aug 21, 2015 3:37 pm

I'll get some popcorn....this should be fun.

micky
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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby micky » Fri Aug 21, 2015 6:04 pm

money money money. TMNP are bunch of greedy morons with nothing else in mind except extra cash. They have done nothing to improve the mountain for users unless its the cable car and only then because of money again. greed is the only motivation at TMNP.

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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby Dragon » Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:21 pm

While I will continue to support the MCSA in their efforts to negotiate a way forward ..... I am DISGUSTED by this. It is not even safe to go out there any more and now the TMNP want to generate income from us, but are totally incompetent in the use of the funds. DISGUSTED.

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Q20
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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby Q20 » Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:48 pm

Well, this sucks, but a massive high five to the usual suspects at the MCSA who are putting in their time and effort to help sort it out.

:thumleft:
One life, one body. Use them well.

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Wes
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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby Wes » Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:57 pm

mokganjetsi wrote:The day TMNP (re)places a single bolt
or maintain any climber's path,
or pays climbers to conduct search & rescue / for clean-up efforts,
or catches a thief / mugger on the mountain

is the day I might consider paying something extra for the right to go climbing on public land. not before then :evil:



My sentiments exactly.

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GClamp
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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby GClamp » Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:38 am

This is from TMNP website: http://www.sanparks.co.za/parks/table_m ... ermits.php

Why you need an activity Permit:
In response to this challenge, TMNP therefore developed through a series of various public processes, Environmental Management Programs (EMPs) for dog walking; hang and paragliding; sport/rock climbing; horse riding; mountain biking as the management framework to manage these diverse recreational activities in the Park.
These EMPs include:

an overview of the current status of an activity and a brief summary of impacts and issues
an environmental policy
a strategic approach to respond to impacts and issues
guidelines for implementation of the EMP
maps of the approved routes, areas and entry/exit points
a permitting system
a Code of Conduct

These EMP's require users to obtain permits, respect the rules and regulations of the Park, undertake their activity with care and consideration for other users and to protect and conserve the natural and heritage resources of the Park.
It needs to be noted that the Activity Permits are not access cards but permits to undertake certain high impact recreational activities in a National Park. The Protected Areas Act and Regulations also make provision for the management authority to introduce such permits. In preparing the recreational Environmental Management Programs (EMPs), TMNP has over the years consulted with the various recreational stakeholders. All recreational activities (EMPs) are also prepared in terms of the Park's Conservation Development Framework (CDF) which were developed in consultation with all stakeholders including the City of Cape Town. These EMPs introduce a code of conduct for each recreational activity to promote best practice and appropriate behaviour by Park users so as to limit impacts and conflicts between users.
Rather than abuse their privilege of undertaking activities in the Park we would encourage users to conduct themselves responsibly in the Park by following the requirements of the relevant EMP. In this way we will all make the activities undertaken a safe and appropriate low impact means of enjoying and appreciating the Park.


There is no EMP for Traditional Climbing.

There is only an EMP regarding sport climbing in the Peninsula. A paragraph from this EMP:


After discussions held at the Upper cable Station on Table Mountain with South African National Parks representatives in 1997 it was decided that traditional (adventure) climbing and scrambling would not be included in this document because of the limited environmental impacts associated with this type of climbing. However, despite this decision all climbers should be committed to the environmental concerns inherent in Chapter Two and Chapter Three of this document.

Therefore no public process has been conducted regarding Traditional climbing and no EMP drawn up.

Therefore as far as I understand it is illegal for TMNP to require an activity permit for Traditional Climbing.

If anyone else has got any further information then please post below.
Last edited by GClamp on Mon Aug 24, 2015 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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GClamp
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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby GClamp » Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:45 am

If anyone has an original document of the sport climbing EMP i.e. from a few years ago.

Could you possibly send it to me.

I just want to check somethings regarding what is currently uploaded to the TMNP website and an older, original document.

Thanks

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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby Nic Le Maitre » Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:42 am

After further consultation with TMNP management, Parks have now agreed to hold off on enforcing any requirement for permits for tradding. An excerpt below:

[we agreed "there would be a moratorium on rangers asking for permits for trad climbing and attempting to fine people without said permits until your review, and the concomitant public participation process, is complete". This has not yet taken place.]

And the reply:
I will ask Hilton to hold off until the required processes have been followed.

Regards,

Paddy Gordon

Park Manager


The MCSA will continue to lobby for a situation whereby trad climbing is not subjected to any permit requirements, despite TMNP's clear thinking to the contrary.
Regards
Brent


Just got this from the CapeRock mailing list. Seems that SANParks have realized that they may have over stepped and this activity permit for trad thing will not be put in place as yet
Happy climbing
Nic

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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby mokganjetsi » Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:55 am

mmmm okay let's see....... it really irks me how much effort has to be made to deal with this ill conceived and unjustifiable fleecing of mountain users. even if all the trad climbers bought permits / cards it will amount to only a few thousand rand per year.

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XMod
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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby XMod » Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:10 pm

I'll play devils advocate then; I don't see why sport climbers should be compelled to comply with a permit (level 3 clearance isn't actually that expensive, less than R200 per year) and boulders are ostracised whilst trad climbers get to walk off (-path anywhere they like!) scot free. I agree the park has never lifted a finger to help climbing but that's not their mandate, they are not there to help you damage the environment - they are there to preserve and protect it.

Why shouldn't trad climbers (and boulderers) be held to the same system as sport climbers. Let see:-
Sport climbing = one path in, completely localised, people repeat the same routes - the spread of damage to the park after initial development is virtually null.
Trad and Bouldering = wander around off recognised paths (against park regs) wherever they please. Numerous paths form everywhere they go at random, vegetation gets removed, chalk proliferates in the most random places.

Seems to me trad-climbers and boulderers have far more reason to be held accountable for their actions. Fair's fair, why should sport be the only lot who get to pay? Is R200 per-annum really that expensive for the priviledge of roaming around wherever you please?

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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby Richard » Wed Aug 26, 2015 8:11 pm

Surely then walkers and hikers, and trail runners, must pay too? Seems to me that they have the greatest impact?

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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby Old Smelly » Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:03 am

Interesting Observations Xmod - but surely you jest! Who would place Trad climbers and boulderers in the same bracket in terms of environmental impact, if for anything!

Obviously boulderers have a big impact (literally) on the environment. :jocolor: They create paths everywhere - and as far as we can see litter and do their business everywhere - judging from what we hear. So their impact may be more than sport climbers - unless there are less of them - the bases of sport crags are very worn areas.

On the other hand I doubt you can tell when a trad climber has passed through an area. Maybe- and only maybe - if they used chalk. Also their numbers are lower. So I think your point is pointless in this regard. But yes R200 is very little to have access to pristine land.

I think the truth is as stated above - hikers, trail runners and numerous other users who wander the land most likely have a much higher impact, so all users should pay.
Really, its not that bad...I think it's my shoes...

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Thermophage
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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby Thermophage » Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:44 am

Lol...boulderers creating litter and krapping everywhere. That's a joke. Well at least in terms of the local bouldering community.
You try to leave behind something at a boulder and people will rip you a new one.
Some bloody traddies and their love for looking down on other forms of the passtime are getting a bit much.
Just so you know people were likely climbing boulders LONG before they were tradding anyway.
Anyway, it's getting to that time of the year where i get bored of bouldering again anyway so i will become a traddie for a bit soon too :P

FYI...Activity permit level 2 is required for sport climbing and is R350 per year. Just get one this kak is not gonna be resolved for a while I would guess :(

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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby mokganjetsi » Thu Aug 27, 2015 6:09 pm

jip, i think environmental impact relates to numbers mostly - if there were 300 trad climbers roaming the cliff faces on a daily basis I would agree that there is some real impact. but there's not. and for TMNP the mess follows the numbers - the crap, rubbish & graffiti mostly accumulating on platteklip & lion's head.

climbers are not just using the mountain, we contribute (as a community) - cleaning, rescue, safety - and we do not charge TMNP for it. we place our own bolts, maintain our own paths (for the most of it at least) and we wear the rock a little bit..... compared to hikers our impact is virtually zero. R350 won't kill me and i'll probably get the card in any case once the Tokai mountainbike trails are open again (now there is some real impact!). but it pisses me off that we have to perpetually negotiate with TMNP whilst i have not yet seen a single good reason for their eagerness to get money out of us. not to mention the impossible situation they create for visiting trad climbers - now supposed to go through the schlep & cost to get a card for a one day outing on Jacob's? eish :?

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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby XMod » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:29 pm

Isnt it level three? Yip R350 for the year but that is including wild card fees so the actual activity permit part of it is less (about R200 [?])

As Thermodude points out its all a storm in a rusty old trad teacup, you have to have the permit if you want to sport climb as well as trad (and I'd say that covers about 90%+ of people who trad) so there isn't really much point in making a big hooha about it all.

I contest the claim that traddies do not make an impact - any activity is going to create an impact, at least hikers generally stay on the paths (sometimes - shhh). However its completely impossible to measure what the impact of trad-climbing at the ledge (besides the positive of cleaning up tourists trash) actually is with the crags being on a major hiking trail. So again a moot point.

Not really a whole lot to make a fuss about in this issue is there? Arguments about the long tradition of free access etc blabla don't wash. Times change, you know - once upon a time you could go and claim a farm anywhere practically for free - things just don't work that way anymore.

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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby Justin » Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:05 pm

Don't you just hate it when Xmod makes a valid point :eye:


Ok, so what about tourists or someone who is going out with a guide for the first time (a person who would like to experience the 'climbing' thing just one time)?
Can they get a day pass ?

Should I forgo my MCSA membership in lieu of a SANParks Activity Permit - they (SANParks) take care of the paths, nesting birds and everything else.
So for sure they'll also take care of the bolts (though it might be easier to just shut it down :scratch:

And I can still attend Tuesday night slideshows at the MCSA for free.
Good to go :thumleft:

Scrambling... I forgot scrambling, will there be a charge for this? Well, how about if I just solo the route (at least my insurance company will pay out since I was not undertaking a high risk activity!).
I wonder if abseiler's have to pay an activity fee?

Ooh ooh!! Other activities that I enjoy on the mountain - I'm also into Botany and birding....


"No Mr Ranger, I'm not climbing for sport. I am merely ascending the wall to satisfy my interest in Geology"
We should all become amateur Geologists :bball:
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GClamp
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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby GClamp » Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:30 am

Justin wrote:Ok, so what about tourists or someone who is going out with a guide for the first time (a person who would like to experience the 'climbing' thing just one time)?
Can they get a day pass ?

Should I forgo my MCSA membership in lieu of a SANParks Activity Permit - they (SANParks) take care of the paths, nesting birds and everything else.
So for sure they'll also take care of the bolts (though it might be easier to just shut it down :scratch:

And I can still attend Tuesday night slideshows at the MCSA for free.
Good to go :thumleft:

Scrambling... I forgot scrambling, will there be a charge for this? Well, how about if I just solo the route (at least my insurance company will pay out since I was not undertaking a high risk activity!).
I wonder if abseiler's have to pay an activity fee?

Ooh ooh!! Other activities that I enjoy on the mountain - I'm also into Botany and birding....


Exactly this .... none of this has been thought out with regards to this ridiculous permit system. What about if you want to take a group of kids climbing, must they all have a R350 activity permit?

I think the thing, Xmod, that most people disagree with is that they have no idea where the money goes. Have you read the FAQ on TMNP's website. The answer to this question is so vague and general. Alien vegetation clearing, fire management etc. What has any of this got to do with impact from climbing?

So I aks what is the reason for this permit? Apparently because of the high impact of the activity on the environment. However, I am failing to see the link between my permit money and where SanParks is using it to mitigate my "high impact activity".

Let me use an example: I walk up to the mine, using the jeep track. I then walk along a path maintained by the MCSA. I get to the base of the crag and put my bag down. Now this is all free right? I mean anyone could do this on a hike and not have to pay? But now as soon as I start climbing on the rock I am causing a high impact on the environment? Oh I forgot there are metal bolts in the rock which are causing a high impact. Fine I agree but how is the permit money lessening the impact of the bolts? The same argument goes for the base of crags. How is SanParks using the money to lessen the impact at the base of the crag? (Personally I think all bases of the crags in the peninsula are in pretty good condition and the environmental impact is negligible)

The bottom line is they not. They don't give a crap about the users of the mountain. If they did they would be engaging with users over issues like this.

However, they don't. They prefer to try bully user's, with their rangers, into a paying for a ill conceived, ill though out and nontransparent permit system.

I don't think anyone would object to paying for a permit if there was more openness and transparency from TMNP/SanParks side.

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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby Nic Le Maitre » Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:37 am

This:

GClamp wrote:I don't think anyone would object to paying for a permit if there was more openness and transparency from TMNP/SanParks side.
or at the very least, an open and honest attempt at true engagement with the mountain users. If I'm going to get fleeced I want to know who is getting my wool...

As a somewhat related aside, we now have to apply for a permit for rescue trainings on the mountain, it's free but we still have to apply...
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Justin
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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby Justin » Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:58 am

GClamp wrote:What about if you want to take a group of kids climbing, must they all have a R350 activity permit?


I'm not 100% sure on this, but I suspect that you require a Commercial Operator Permit for groups (much like a guiding company (see list below) would hold) - this would probably include unpaid groups (MCSA meets??).
I can understand why they would want to know when Rescue Practices take place.

Film or photographic shoots
Parties
Group events
Concerts
Helicopter landings
Races
Competitions
Cultural or sporting events
Organized or special events
Fund raising
Extreme sports, food, beverage, curios and craft sales
Equipment rental
Selling or hiring goods
Offering to sell or hire goods.
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GClamp
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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby GClamp » Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:29 am

Justin wrote:I'm not 100% sure on this, but I suspect that you require a Commercial Operator Permit for groups (much like a guiding company (see list below) would hold) - this would probably include unpaid groups (MCSA meets??).


Yes this is what I assumed.

See my post here on my understanding of this issue: viewtopic.php?f=12&t=13050&p=61856#p61856

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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby Keith » Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:04 am

This permit system is indeed extremely poorly thought through.

The least we can do is send them glitter to retaliate.

http://theglittergrenade.com/#huh

Anyone have the addresses of the people who cooked up these dumbass rules?

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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby Nic Le Maitre » Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:46 am

Justin wrote:I can understand why they would want to know when Rescue Practices take place.
Why?
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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby Nic Le Maitre » Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:47 am

Keith wrote:This permit system is indeed extremely poorly thought through.

The least we can do is send them glitter to retaliate.

http://theglittergrenade.com/#huh

Anyone have the addresses of the people who cooked up these dumbass rules?



http://www.sanparks.co.za/parks/table_m ... ontact.php
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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby XMod » Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:28 pm

That's a good point - " What do the Park do with our money to mitigate our impact?" (supposedly our impact is the reason we have to have a permit)

The answer is: absolutely zip! Nada! They're attitude (as far as I can gather from ppl who have dealt directly with them) is that the users must create their own impact mitigation measures. We make damage - we fix. The Park management are there to ensure that our activities do not get out of hand to the point where we are destroying the environment - ie their role is to ensure the conservation of the land - which does infer that they actually have build paths for us etc., what it means is that they must make sure the paths get built. As we are the ones using them (and are a minority user group - Joe public gets catered for [-hiking trails] not us unfortunately) we must take the responsibility of containing our impact on the park to within reasonable limits.

Personally Im just stoked that they actually allow us the freedom of pursuing these 'out-there' activities on the land under their care. Looked at in perspective we enjoy a LOT of liberty in this regard. They could just shut us down - heaven forbid!!

To get back to the question - our money goes toward the running of the park - now, what they actually do may seem obscure to you and I (about as obscure as scaling rocks probably seems to them!) but they do a ton of work. Eg: Ive seen rangers sitting in the dirt for hours analysing the drainage patterns in immense detail by studying the way grass and twigs were lying - all of which was necessary for the planning of the (awesome) hiking trails that have been built in recent years. They need our money to pay people to do necessary stuff like this. The money has to be gathered somehow - hence the (yes badly thought out and implemented) permit system.

In summation my perspective is:
I dislike intensely the active persecution of climbers some rangers seem to have engaged in - they were ill-informed as to the actual status of the system they serve and were acting outside of the norm of acceptable social behaviour.
I also disagree with one set of rules for trad climbers and another for sport climbers, this is discrimination.
I disagree that MCSA members should be able to waive the permit system - all park users should get equal treatment.

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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby McJagger » Fri Aug 28, 2015 3:22 pm

I can understand having a permit system, to ensure the area in question doesn't get overrun. But they should be free! Recently climbed in Luxembourg where you also need a permit but it was free and they only issue a certain amount per year to limit the impact on the area.

This is a money making scheme.

What is the consequence of being arrested by a ranger? Do they take you to a police station? Can you be criminally prosecuted? Has someone every been convicted? I think this is another case of E-Toll or E-Mountain Toll :jocolor:

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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby proze » Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:57 pm

XMod wrote:Im just stoked that they actually allow us the freedom of pursuing these 'out-there' activities on the land under their care. Looked at in perspective we enjoy a LOT of liberty in this regard. They could just shut us down - heaven forbid!!

What? I'm South African. I was born here. This is MY land. TM is MY mountain. Mountains, rivers, kloofs, beaches. These things belong to South Africans in general. I'm not going to get down on my knees and beg Sanparks for anything!

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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby Justin » Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:47 am

Nic Le Maitre wrote:
Justin wrote:I can understand why they would want to know when Rescue Practices take place.
Why?


Example: if a company were running an event or filming a movie / advert.
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Re: Permit now required to climb trad on TM

Postby mokganjetsi » Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:02 am

XMod wrote:To get back to the question - our money goes toward the running of the park - now, what they actually do may seem obscure to you and I (about as obscure as scaling rocks probably seems to them!) but they do a ton of work. Eg: Ive seen rangers sitting in the dirt for hours analysing the drainage patterns in immense detail by studying the way grass and twigs were lying - all of which was necessary for the planning of the (awesome) hiking trails that have been built in recent years.


i agree fully. they do a lot of work. this benefits to a large extent & mitigates the impact of the numerous hikers. making climbers pay for their activity, which has negligibly more impact than hiking, is BS. treat climbers & hikers consistently at least.

proze wrote:These things belong to South Africans in general. I'm not going to get down on my knees and beg Sanparks for anything!


yup. i will fight to protect the mountain, and i will fight for my right to enjoy it. if the park engaged the climbing community proactively and demonstrated a keenness to create a win-win solutions it would be awesome. their habit of trying to make unilateral decisions is not acceptable.


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