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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:14 pm 
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Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Can't agree with you Justin vis-a-vis climbing being an elitist activity. There are now more indoor than outdoor climbers in the US. Climbing is generally accessible to anyone that wants it enough. It is not elitist at all. Most climbers in the world are dirt bags compared to participants in other sports where people can become fabulously wealthy. There are extremely limited financial awards or rewards.

Climbing it esoteric and dangerous, expensive in time but not money unless it is commercialized and this is what bolts will do.

Anybody can go climb a rock or a tree for free. You don't need fancy boots and chalk and ropes and grades and other frills to enhance the experience.

It is only elitist in the sense that some people want it more than others for no other reason than they want it and the adventure it brings. No badges, no accolades no big prizes. If that's what makes it elite then indeed climbing must be elite. I have done hundreds of 1st ascents and many of the better ones esp at Blouberg have not seen an independent repeat in 15 or more years. No glory, no matter. No pay. Must I go bolt em to make them non-elitist?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:26 pm 
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Real Name: Charles Edelstein
I simply can't understand why experienced and seasoned trad climber/adventurers who have done their apprentice-ship on the sharp and bold end of a rope feel so compelled to dumb down and commoditize climbing for others. There is nothing in it for nature conservation or climbing ethics preservation by making access to nature especially sensitive areas easier for all.

Altruism it is so not! You cannot be altruistic by killing adventure.

But what really sucks is the drill first and justify afterwards attitude!

Nobody needs to or has to ever climb any given route or do a Via Verrata. This is hard selling climbing which goes completely against the grain of what climbing represents to me and most adventure climbers I know.


People who want to climb the Sentinel or any other rock or mountain will find a way if they want it enough. And if they don’t, so much the better for nature.


Last edited by SNORT on Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:11 pm 
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Real Name: Bruce Tomalin
I am trying to work out EXACTLY where this route goes?
The website for the route does not give detailed directions that I can make out...

Is it between the Sentinel and Beacon butress gulley ? ie in the same general area as the North west ridge route (Gavin Peckham, Ivan van Cleef and Gavin Raubenheimer, 1996
http://kzn.mcsa.org.za/climbing/route-g ... heatre-rds). If so, presumably it avoids this existing climb?

Or, is it somewhere between Beacon butress gulley and the chain ladders? If this is the case, what is the escape gulley on the chain ladder side referred to on the main page of the website (http://topknot.co.za/viaferrata/)?

Thanks,
Bruce

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:34 pm 
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Alard wrote: "He was the first person in I am guessing 100 people that I spoke to, that was against the route."
Oddball wrote: "I think that 98% of people recognise that this route is something quite amazing"
Oddball wrote: "Alard knew that it would cause controversy"

For interest sake why did you guys think it would cause controversy given the statistics you mentioned? Surely there is a larger percentage unhappy with the Via Ferrata than your over optimistic percentages?

Oddball wrote: " he put it up in a place that will allow access for thousands of tourists, not somewhere that only the elite can get to"

Oddball what do you consider as elite? In some circles owning a car and being able to go on vacation is for an elite few. You still need a harness, helmet, shock absorbers etc. to climb this. Thus this activity still remains for an "elite few".

Lastly, I believe quite a few people will attempt this route without the correct gear. Whether this is stupid or not is irrelevant, the point is an accident is bound to happen and I'm not sure the people who made this Ferrata can wash their hands clean considering that it was put up without the necessary approval.

This was not thought through well, and falls into the same category as 4x4 on top of the Amphi, and other cheap thrill activities with no commitment.

Andre van den Berg


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:23 pm 
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HaHa,

Entering the foray...

Charlie, there is very good reason for experienced seasoned climbers to develop the sport/adventure for the masses. It is exactly because there are not enough rewards and acknowledgement for our champions, that a need is felt by some.
The Piolet Dior, alpinism's controversial and often disputed highest award, receives very little notice (media), Compared to an 15 year old climbing Everest. (The highest and therefore the hardest mountain to climb.)
So without drawing the masses to our little show, who's going to take notice of them?
(Although, I really have No Idea what thier motive is. Just conjecture)
Personally, I have a commercial motive for promoting mountaineering, at least for the moment.

Alard et al, Go for it.
I would :
- approach Natal’s tourism board and sell it to them. Let them talk to parks.
What a fantastic thing, not only drawing tourism to the Area but giving the ones already there, a reason to stay another night, feasting on local brew and sleeping in local hotels, not to mention the media :-)
- A nice apology to the parks, so sorry we thought it was outside of the park. Otherwise we definitely would have asked.
- MCSA should simply distance itself, bunch of keen mountaineers that happen to belong to the club, like all good, responsible climbers are. As devoted members they want to credit the club with it.
But really, it has nothing to do with us.

Not so sure a 400m via ferrata, is really the thing for a 'never been climbing' kind of person, going it alone.
Falling on any of the vertical bits is going to hurt, regardless of the absorbers (not everyone in the gallery seems to own).
From my experience a 100m + exposure for the first time climber, may need a few gummy bears, soft voice and tight rope.
You'll never know if you have vertigo, unless you try it first, right?
Awesome for visiting climbers, without partners.

Gavin be stoked... All those keen tourists wanting to give it a go.
You could probably short pitch the entire thing.

There may even be a potential for job creation, although escaping a 400m+ ferrata in an aproaching electric storm with clients, may take a little training.


D


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:38 pm 
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Real Name: Henk Grobler
good one Dave!

Ezemvelo wrote: "The erection of the route is also in clear contravention of the Nature Conservation Ordinance 15 of 1974 Chapter 2 part 1 Section 15(d) which prohibits the damage of any geological material within a nature reserve."

by implication all bolting in nature reserves = unlawful?

Perspective...
Ironic (did they bolt by 1974?) ...

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:31 pm 
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Real Name: Jay Hyde
Whooohooo! Such passioned replies- well I suppose that is exactly what was expected and why it was felt that the route would be controversial. Its not so much about via ferrata but about bolting as can be seen by Snorts argument. Snort, if drilling is akin to driving big cars how is opening routes on minimalist gear any different- who needs to show that they are the manlier man? I have a lot of respect for you, but I think that that argument is simply emotive and your personal viewpoint (which is what I think you did say). It is not any sort of justification for not bolting and cannot extend to a project like this. Trad climbing has its place, so does bolting and so does via ferrata.

I kind of agree that it is a pity that we could not ask for permission beforehand, but one also has to be pragmatic about this. Some people had time and opportunity on thier hands, and motivation; all of that came together in a serndipitous manner. If the project was delayed by even a month it probably would not have happened. Consider the alternative- permission is applied for; after whatever time period- lets be very optimistic and say 6 months. Now try and call the people who were ready to go and do it all for free; OK we're ready for you now. By this stage real life has kicked in again and all those people are getting on with earning a living and can no longer do it for free- try raise around R120K to get this done 'professionally'. Good luck with that...

The astute readers on this forum correctly interpereted my words "climbing has long been seen to be elitist." It takes effort and equipment to be able to climb on trad gear- and that is how it should be, but this does not allow those less fortunate, or less motivated, the opportunity to experience a bit of what more motivated climbers love. A via ferrata route it may open doors in thier own minds; at the very least it will allow them to experience the mountains in magnificent manner that may scare the bejesus out of them or excite and open a whole new world. Either of those is good for climbers at large; if they are scared they will appreciate our sport more and tell many people about the experience; if they get excited, well, the same :)

We could adopt the attitude that only those motivated enough to lurk out and 'really' climb should be allowed to do so- we'll stay a slightly misunderstood minority. If we encourage this more people will understand what it is about, respect climbing more and how important it is to conserve our mountains. Somebody made a really good point in comparing 'real climbing' vs 'via ferrata climbing' to kayaking vs rafting. You bring more people to the sport, even if only peripheraly, and then you benefit from a wider range of support because people have been there and done it, and appreciate what we are on about more.

Jay


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:00 pm 
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Real Name: Jay Hyde
Andre, and others, perhaps elite is not the correct word. One needs all sorts of equipment to go and climb, you need to train and you have to put in hours of effort to do all this, so many won't- but perhaps they'd like to. Consider the pre-sport route days and how few climbers there were; then along came sport climbing and places like Waterval Boven (to mention one) and all of a sudden there are a plethora of climbers- even hot babes (now if that does not appeal to those of you hardened mountain men then perhaps you need to hang out in the 'Berg more where the gay policy is stated at least ;-) ).

All of a sardine the authorities start taking notice and better campsites go up (not so much as a result of the authorities mind you...). Climbers became more of a force and instead of just one or two trying to argue for access we are a 'body' that carries some clout.

As to who is responsible for some idiot who wants to try that out without having the correct equipment and some modicum of experience, here is another parrallel. I fly aircraft at airshows; our team does stuff that the average pilot should not do; now if another, inexperienced pilot decides to try that out and kills or hurts themselves, is that my fault?

There will be an engraved notice at the bottom and top, similar to that great one on Table Mountain that always brings a smile to my face- "THIS IS NOT AN EASY WAY DOWN". Probably also eventually a small information pamphlet at Witsieshoek and other places to tell people a bit more about the route and what is required; perhaps along the lines of:

"Did you like the chain ladder- well how about trying the Gordian Edge? Come along with a guide or hire the equipment you need from <insert company name here> and try out this magnificent route that any reasonably fit person wearing hiking boots can appreciate. See the 'Berg like few ever do whilst traversing across a 400m drop balanced on a 1 foot wide ledge, all whilst being protected from a fall by a steel cable and some important personal protecective gear"

(the name of the route is the "Gordian Edge" by the way)

Sure its a teeny weeny bit of a 'cheap thrill'. So? I can warrant that there will be no vet tannies, or oomies for that matter, that will make, or even attempt this climb after looking at the start. But there will be a whole lot of people going "wow, so that's what it's about..."

The route is not desperately easy, its not a walk in the park (heh, heh ;-) ) but its accessible to people who have a reasonable level of fitness and a bit of kop.

Jay


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:17 pm 
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Real Name: Jay Hyde
Some Beta about the route:
To get there- proceed from Witsieshoek along the normal path to the chain ladder (a mini via ferrata by the way...)
As you get past the Sentinal, at the gully between the Sentinal and Beacon buttress, just before the ascent/ descent gully, look up to the left. You could also look down and right and use a mirror to look back and up, but its confusing...
You'll see the start of the climb some 40-50m up (if you don't know that its there, or what you are looking for, you'll probably not notice it by the way).
There are three 'pitches' to the climb, separated by two distinct ledges. The gap between the cable is 20-30m at the ledges (you will be completely safe on the ledges- by 'Berg standards in any case).
At each ledge you can escape into the Beacon Buttress gully by walking off to the right.
If you, or anyone in your party, is scared by the time you reach the first ledge- walk off.
Same for the second ledge.
I found the second pitch to be technically the hardest.
The third pitch has the most (magnificent) exposure, with some harder moves near the end; not anything more than a 15/16.
You can pull on the cable or not; your decision- or the decision of those that you take along (this could lead to you being dubbed with the climbs unofficial name- 'Draadtrekker' :-) )
As it happens, I am a draadtrekker...
But I aspire to join the ranks of the real climbers once more...

In mitigation, I did climb a long while ago, and had a broken finger, and had carried a generator halfway up the gully the day before...

Go and climb it; take your teenage kids along, and your climber aspiring mates- it will live a long time in thier memories...

Jay


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:13 pm 
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Real Name: Alan Jarvis
L&G,
Has anyone climbed at Blouberg and NOT used a bolt? Either at a stance or to abseil down?
Has anyone who lives in Cape Town climbed without ever clipping a bolt?
Or taken the cable car down?
Or walked down using a path that's been made using drills??

I don't understand it when climbers make such a distinction about bolts.
If you don't want to use them then don't.
But don't force your own ideas on others.

I think anyone who has climbed more than a couple years needs to think about putting something back into the sport.
Does opening up new trad routes really count? That's a personal thing, not done for others.
I mean something that helps others, or at least protects the mountains by getting more public support.
You don't protect them by saying everybody except those with a high degree of skill, or relatively deep pockets to hire a guide must stay away.
If we do that we'll lose them.
We want to make lots of other people also appreciate their beauty.
If you say sod it, only those who can do what I did are allowed in, well THAT is elitist.

Put something back in.
Serve on committees like the MCSA.
Bolt routes.
Liase with the Parks etc (like Gavin).
Run a website like Climb.co.za
Organize something like ARF.

If you don't see your way clear to spending your valuable time, then contribute some funds that can make a difference.
But I don't mean just a few thousand Rands; base it on your wealth.
Don't be a Scrooge.

I think that people who don't pull their weight should not be able to make any great input to something like this.
Sure they can still climb, but they've lost the right to make a lot of noise.

Alan Jarvis


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:26 am 
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Real Name: Nic Le Maitre
Oddball wrote:
Sure its a teeny weeny bit of a 'cheap thrill'. So? I can warrant that there will be no vet tannies, or oomies for that matter, that will make, or even attempt this climb after looking at the start. But there will be a whole lot of people going "wow, so that's what it's about..."

The route is not desperately easy, its not a walk in the park (heh, heh ;-) ) but its accessible to people who have a reasonable level of fitness and a bit of kop.


From several years of experience in Mountain Rescue I can categorically state that signage (however explicit/large/colourful/witty/clear) will make no difference. People will ignore it. Gavin and all the others will soon be rescuing said "vet tannie" from the "1m wide ledge with 400m of exposure" when they have reached a point from which they will not move. I am not referring to guided clients here but rather people who simply walk past, see it and decide to try it out.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:51 am 
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Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Any way you look at it, the easier you make it for people to access natural areas the less there will be to access.

For every 1000 or so people that try climbing one may stick. So "trying" climbing in the Berg on a ferrata is so completely crazy and the likes of Marshall1 and co will have lots of work to do.


Last edited by SNORT on Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:53 pm 
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I'm with Snort on this one although he is my new best friend so maybe I am biased.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:17 pm 
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Real Name: Bruce Tomalin
Hi jay.
Thanks for the clarification as to where it goes.
So its close to the North west ridge route on Beacon butress ...
Bruce

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:33 pm 
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Real Name: Lukas Malan
What Snort said.

How many of the people throwing their weight around here have actually climbed in the berg? I think that if you haven't, you've got a serious lack of perspective on the matter at hand. Go climb the Angus-Leppan route that starts less than a kilometer from the VF - it will blow your mind and you will see that you definitely don't NEED a VF to have a sensational and safe adventure in the berg.

A suggestion: If you do get to climb the VF, make some time to do Angus-Leppan as well, then see what you think. Route description here. Feel free to PM me for beta.

Also funny that one author on the website states that as a Gauteng MCSA recue member HE will have to rescue you on this route when AFAIK the KZN MCSA affects all rescues in the area...

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:38 pm 
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Meh


Last edited by pierre.joubert on Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:01 pm 
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Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Yeah the Angus Leppan is indeed a great outing. Also nothing wrong with a whirl up to the top of Cathedral. There are almost daily excursions leaving from Cathedral peak hotel. A night there that includes a free guide up the route will cost you less than the VF kit you would need. It is an indeed a fantastic outing and even not-so-fit people can do it. usually a 9 hour round-trip but can be done in 5 if you are fit and fast.

Promoting access to mountains is not the way to conserve them. More people = more problems. Period.

Alan
Quote:
I think anyone who has climbed more than a couple years needs to think about putting something back into the sport.


Many of us do. I personally have put gazillions of rands and time into climbing for climbers. I have guided many hundreds of people up routes of all grades and never charged a cent. But then I have vetted them and made sure they were the kind of person that would value the experience and take care.

But why I are you bent on making it easy for arbs? Do you really think the vast majority of people who scale the VF up Marmolada give a toss? It's an engineering waste land up there with hundreds of metres of derelict cable and metal structures rusting away.

If you want people to be "good" at anything and to value anything then you must make the entry to anything as difficult as practically possible. You certainly would not have good doctors in SA if the entry requirements and the training were not as stringent. You really gotta want to be specialist doctor to do the minimum 14 years it takes under often abysmal working conditions and pay that is less than half average other professionals earn during that time and the 90 hour weeks. But you get good doctors.

The vast majority of bolt clippers and boulderers do just that, they clip bolts and boulder and contribute nothing. Easy come and easy go. They never open a route, help build trails or whatever. They merely go and climb and that's it. And many leave a mess where they go.

Thys at De Pakhuys has a got a major problem on his hands. Boulderers are turning that area into a wasteland with toilet paper and shit everywhere. There are simply too many people going there. And this has nothing to with bolts! Its easy access.... Tafelberg - sans bolts - was/is also getting too many visitors with shit and paper everywhere.

The I-pad and Samsung Galaxy and Blackberry has as much if not more value to most people than the outdoors. Let them stick to it and keep them away from the natural areas that are so sensitive to human use. People must earn their right to enter into and use nature. They must want it!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:19 pm 
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So I’ll also nail my colours (and these are my personal opinions) to the wall on this issue but hold on to your mouses, as was the case with others it might take some nailing:

Some of the opinions suggests that a via Ferrata in the ‘Berg should be automatically excluded due to the World Heritage status of the ‘Berg. In my understanding that is not 100% correct. The obvious counter example is the Dolomites which is a World Heritage Site where both bolting and via ferrata (80 or more!) do in fact occur within a World Heritage Site and where the whole via Ferrata trend has in fact started. The real issue is rather that the ‘Berg is managed under a policy and management plan that aims to retain as much of the wilderness character of the ‘Berg as possible. It is under this policy that development should be restricted. However, in my reading the management plan is not eliminating bolting and other ‘developments’ but aims to limit it in order to retain the wilderness character (which is something I agree with). Clearly the construction of this via Ferrata is against the intention of the management plan in not having gone though the approval process (although there might be fine print issues about whether it is actually in the Free State or in the Royal National Park/UDP etc. the spirit of the UDP management plan and the MCSA bolting policy for the ‘Berg has clearly been ignored). Never the less, what has been done has been done and one of the probable consequences may be that the route have to be taken down in addition to other fallouts - we’ll see. However I think the debate about the desirability or not of a well though out and approved via Ferrata in the ‘Berg or elsewhere is something worth engaging in.

Not having been to the Dolomites, there is another part of the world where I see some analogies (only a few so bear with me). If you are an eager beginner hiker in the Western Part of the USA you would most definitely know about the chains up Half Dome. It is almost unavoidable to at some stage to set your aim on going up the little Yosemite Valley and up the “back” of Half Dome where the chains lead over the dome’s slabs to the top. Climbing wise it is not difficult and in terms of the Yosemite bolting ethics the chains (not really a ladder more like two chain hand rails held up by removable posts temporarily fixed into the rock with the addition of some foot holds) are actually completely redundant (but a slip will have serious consequences, as it still often does regardless of the warnings and the existence of the chains). However I challenge anyone to spend a day on Half Dome whilst listening to the crowds that move up and down and rather vocally in American style voice their experience of the spectacular views and ‘exposure’ and not see that it provides many ordinary people with a very special mountaineering experience (as artificial as it might seem to those that pursue more pure styles of mountaineering away from the July/August crowds and ‘senseless’ and ‘needless’ redundancy of the chain as ‘protection’). One soon realise that a portion (definitely not the majority, this is the US after all) of the crowds are in fact inspired in part by the Half Dome chain route and become useful mountaineers. Mountaineers being either climbers that (very privately) hope to some day do their first Yosemite big wall on the ‘front’ of Half Dome or in fact do not become climbers at all but rather become competent hikers that will one day obtain a back country permit for some multi-day hiking on the particularly scenic and remote part of the Pacific Crest Trail that runs though Yosemite past the Tuolumne meadows and which goes though some true high Sierra wilderness (just a few KMs East of the main Yosemite Valley close to 4 000m) over Donohue pass and past Mount Whitney (the highest summit in the contiguous United States). Sure many mountaineers are inspired by other things but the Half Dome Chains at Yosemite is definitely an inspiration for many.

California has preciously little wilderness left but what amazes me is that here you have in a very small geographic area a “via Ferrata” (i.e. iron way / chains whatever), world class trad climbing with a strong trad ethic, mountain gawking from the ridiculously expensive Ahwahnee hotel , paying a couple of dollars a day for a walk-in camping at Camp 4, crowded day trails, tarred mountain passes, the solitude of multi-day wilderness hiking, a ski resort (Badger pass) boasting ski lifts as well as groomed and ungroomed cross country ski trails all under one National Park’s management! John Muir and the wise men of his time that laid the foundation for this seemingly impossible ‘political’ dispensation and management plan, which offers something for all manner of the USA outdoor going public without being overly exclusive to one particular user community and yet preserve some of the magic of this natural gem, need to be applauded. It should come as no surprise that Yosemite National Park is of course also a World Heritage Site.

The ‘Berg is no Yosemite and the analogy is rather tenuous and its policies not directly applicable, but I do not see that it is unimaginable, even under the current management plan for the ‘Berg, for such a large expanse of mountains such as the ‘Berg to retain its wilderness character whilst still having a couple of places that allow the ordinary day hiker to taste its magnificence in some measure of protection along with a bit of exposure and heaven forbid a small chance to be inspired to become a more experienced hiker / climber. Hopefully to go a bit further to savour some of the trade (trad) climbing routes (some now sporting bolted stances) or the stunning wilderness hiking. In fact I think for more than half a century the Chain Ladder at Witsieshoek / Sentinel has served that extract purpose – and has been a right of passage (albeit small) for many hikers. There are many, many keen hikers in the Northern Part of South Africa that has at some stage set the Chain Ladders in their aim and camp at the top near the Tugela and a portion of them have been inspired to move on to become experienced enough to enjoy the wilderness of the valleys and spires in the Imweni Cutback area in winter, aim for the top of the Bell / Sentinel / Pyramid (even Cathedral) or go ice climbing at Giants and elsewhere in the ‘Berg. I see the idea of a well thought out and approved via Ferrata in a similar light. Sure the chain ladder or indeed such via Ferrata is not “needed” but I do not see that as the only argument or it being completely out of the question to offer the South African Outdoor going public (most of whom will never become mountaineers in the true sense of the word) an opportunity to get a taste of more dimensions of the ‘Berg in a still environmentally responsible way.

In fact I think the 50m or so of the Chain Ladder is, whether we like it or not, one of if not the first via Ferrata (i.e. iron way) in South Africa and still one of the most popular. Whether good or bad the Chain Ladders are already a precedent in this part of the ‘Berg (which in my opinion, along with the Sani area, is a part of the ‘Berg which has lost much of it true wilderness character due to its popularity). For my part I think there is an argument that there is a place for other via Ferrata that can serve as a challenge that beginner South African mountaineers can aspire to and entice them to go beyond without sacrificing the overall wilderness character of the ‘Berg. Given the popularity of the canopy tour and commercial abseil type ventures this is a topic that will not go away soon, in any case and it would be hypocritical of me to not even consider via Ferrata as an option since I have been on those things too (in addition to a couple of the 'Berg trad routes).

Regardless of the legal loop holes (if any), creating an unauthorised via Ferrata cannot be condoned full stop; and this action should also not be allowed to invalidate the good work that many individuals and the MCSA have put in to establish a good relationship with Ezemvelo and represent the mountaineering community in a responsible way. The debate may go either way and obtaining permission for this or other “developments” may go either way, but regardless ambush bolting should not happen in the ‘Berg (and other areas where similar policies apply). I personally just hope that the waters have not been muddled and the ante been upped to such an extent that an open minded debate about a via Ferrata (and it may not necessarily be this one or in the ‘Berg) within the mountaineering community, within the MCSA and with the relevant authorities and land owners is not possible at all (the debate that is). After all, South Africa is a democratic country and it is up to us and not just the authorities to debate whether there is any room for a compromise between deliberate exclusionary and restrictive policies to (rightfully) preserve our wilderness heritage on the one hand. And on the other providing citizens (we are the real custodians after all) controlled access (even though some infrastructure / development) to those same wilderness areas.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:31 pm 
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JIS! tl;dr


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:35 am 
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To paraphrase what I think SNORT is saying....

Image


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:21 am 
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Posts: 222
Real Name: Franz Fuls
In the wise (paraphrased) words of Shakespeare:

To bolt, or not to bolt
that is not the question
whether t'is nobler to make ascent using traditional pro
with slings and nuts of outrageous fortune,
or to take a drill and go a-bolting,
and by opposing end them.

Maybe its just a simple case of of getting your neighbour's permission before starting to farm his fields.

ASSUME
makes an
ASS of U & ME

My take: bolt the crap out of everything your heart desires (if you do not feel happy enough with cams and nuts), BUT get clear and unmistakable permission from the landowner before you pull the stunt. If the route is not in the park, great - but then the other landowner must be traced and asked for permission...
Getting access and permission is like getting a map of a minefield. Without that map you are sure to trigger some explosions and probably cause collateral damage.

peace


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:45 pm 
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Posts: 166
Location: da Big Red baboon in magalies
From the Aurther of http://www.topknot.co.za/viaferrata


Gavin wrote:
The Gauteng rescue members who have helped and promoted this whole VF, seem to forget that it is the same individuals who every year grant them free rain to train on their land at Dragon Peaks.

The "Gauteng Rescue Member" you speak of Gavin; FIRSTLY, as you will see by 90% of the information on the website, promotes the safety and correct procedures of climbing this route!!! I have already had phone calls asking me where people can get shock absorbers. If information like that was not available you would see MORE of what Nic was referring to about people ignoring signage. You, Me and Parks Board and Park Rangers should see the benefit of what and why I put those pages together. None of us have any desire to be scraping up pieces of climbers from the valley below. The people we have to worry about most are the climbers because they "think" they have all they need... the people that have no gear will be the ones sourcing all the required equipment because that's what they have been told... Secondly the Parks Board does also benefits from having choppers in the area. One of these is cargo drops of equipment that would in other ways simply not make it up to the higher Berg. Another is dropping off and collecting people studying the movements and living habits of bird life in the area. None of which is charged for.

BruceT wrote:
I am trying to work out EXACTLY where this route goes? The website for the route does not give detailed directions that I can make out...

Bruce, apologies this was done intentionally for various reasons.

Someone mentioned about not everyone in the gallery not wearing shock absorbers, I tried to made sure to exclude any such photos of incorrect practise's such as this. Which picture are you referring to?

gollum wrote:
Also funny that one author on the website states that as a Gauteng MCSA recue member HE will have to rescue you on this route when AFAIK the KZN MCSA affects all rescues in the area...

I said "I may be involved in your rescue in one way or another" meaning I may be there in person or I would have helped with the training of the people fetching you should the GP team be called out. As for GP being involved in Berg Rescues see the article below for the latest incident.


Attachments:
MSARGP Berg Rescue.jpg
MSARGP Berg Rescue.jpg [ 102.01 KiB | Viewed 1625 times ]
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:52 pm 
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Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Our dear Clint is perhaps not a gun activist but is a member of the NRA (American National Rifle Association) and you may be interested in what Michael Moore had to say about it. He, Clint, also happens to be a Vegan.

Yes, don't shit on my lawn or anyone else's without permission. All public spaces and land are owned by me and everyone else. So get off it unless you ask nice first. Maybe not to me directly, but rather the custodians. And if it's privately owned then the owners must be asked first.


Last edited by SNORT on Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:44 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:18 am 
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Location: cape town
The thing is I believe there are just too many people on the planet and not enough resources so I'm not sure I buy the fact that making the mountains more accessible will conserve them. Some areas are unfortunately so sensitive that the more people that visit the more those areas will be destroyed. I've just recently been to the most amazing beautiful place in the cedarberg, there was nobody there. Tar the road, organize free bus trips, put a cable car to the top and make it accessible to the general public and it will be destroyed. Take a group of school kids there for a weekend hike and leaving nothing but footprints and who knows maybe we'll save it!

I've taken a whole lot of non climbers climbing and only 1 still climbs and none of them are actively involved in any conservation action. My dad loves hiking in the mountains and would definitely be on the side of trying to conserve them and he has never been rock climbing. Education is the key and showing people how to leave no trace so that it remains a beautiful wilderness for all to appreciate.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:58 am 
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Location: London, United Kingdom
Real Name: Stephen Martindale
"Trying Climbing" is not even comparable to "scrambling up a route, assisted and protected by a wire, wearing hiking boots."


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:11 am 
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Real Name: dave reynolds
there are lots of things to consider, and i hope that we all are considering them (rather than just talking online):

(1) nobody said anyone was going to bolt the column or cathkin or the western injasuthi triplet. let's try talk about the VF with this in mind - it's a very specific event/phenomenon.

(2) whether it adds value to the region or not is subjective. ie the answer lies ion feelings not facts. i reckon we should all go do it ourselves, get our feelings touched directly before we can really say what we feel.

(3) the region is not a wilderness area: it already has many man-made systems - the chain ladders, the access road, the mountain hut. none of these are about climbing. maybe the VF is not either. i wonder if the bolted route "paradigm shift" on the sentinel is not more controversial.

keep buzzing ...


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:25 am 
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Real Name: Stephen Martindale
There is nothing to consider. There are no arguments. There can be no judgement on the route - it is already built.

It doesn't matter how good the arguments for or against the route are. In the end, the bolters failed to get permission from the reserve or the MCSA and are undeniably guilty of bolting in spite of the community. If you have good arguments to support your plan, use them. Get permission.

Bolting without consent is immature and irresponsible.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:22 pm 
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Real Name: Alan Jarvis
There are two issues here.
One is about THIS VF.
The other is about VF in general.

Obviously if you are against VF in general you are against this one.
The main arguments wrt VF in general I'd say are:
- Allowing people to get a good feeling for the exposure of climbing a multi-pitch route
- etc etc

The ones for this VF are these ones plus doing it without prior permission.

Does anyone think that permission COULD be obtained within 6 months?
And at less than R100k cost?

Read Jay's post about the Kayak polo floating pier.
Big palaver, threats of law suits etc etc.
Took the first one down.
Then tried for permission.
No progress until a "facilitation payment" was made and then it went up.
Is still without official permission.
But nobody complaining now.
I played there last Thursday: great structure.

Sometimes progress has to be made by doing stuff that's not allowed.
Forget bolting, look at many of the major advances in science that the Church blocked.
So people did them anyway.
Some were caught and punished.
Some not.

Anyone recall how rugby got started?
Picking up the ball and running with it.
Oops, against the rules.....shame shame.

I didn't realize there were so many rule followers around.
Dang, are all the rebels and limit pushers gone???

Yes in an ideal world permission could and SHOULD be asked for.
But realistically??
Anyone actually think it would be given???
So push the envelope a bit.
Take a chance.
Perhaps it WILL end with it being chopped, a court conviction for Alard and a fine.
Perhaps a criminal record too.
At least I'm going to feel like I did my best to support a good cause and behind someone who wants to give others a chance to do what he loves doing.

I'm going to wait 10 years and see how many VF's are in RSA then: I bet there will be LOTS.
Some put in badly too.
Here's a chance to organize a good system to put in good quality ones and control it.
Alard jumped the gun: sure.
But let's make something of it.
Unless you're one of those who are against VF's in principle.

I think there's too much fuss over a few bolts and cable.
Who's actually going to see it??
Hard to see.
What has it really damaged????

I'm not saying that means everything can go ahead in a Park, Heritage Site or not.
But you need to look at what you get out of it compared to the damage it does.

Guys, get off your Ivory Towers and take some enthusiastic people up something like this VF.
See the look on their faces and how much they talk about it afterwards.
Big grin factor.

Just like a bunch of people going down a rapids in a raft: solid ear to ear grin.
They see kayakers after that and can really appreciate us: they feel a bond.
And they support our causes too.

Climbing a VF is still not super easy: you're not going to get a couch potato doing it.
But you'll get other sporting people doing it.

What right does any of us have to exclude them from this sort of thing?
If you really want to preserve the wilds then no humans should go in at all.

Even putting in natural protection damages the rock to some extent.
Bolting can reduce the wear in soft rock and high traffic routes.
To take some of the arguments posed to their extreme, maybe climbing with ANY protection should be banned.
Be a REAL purist.

For the Capies posting here, are any of your bolts going to last 10 maybe 20 years???
What then?
Chop 'em and put in new?
Big mess.
Why not bolt with bolts good enough to last 50 years??
If you're worried about damaging the mountains then think about your own home crags.

I'm really surprised at some of the arguments being putty forth against VF's here: maybe is partly because it's a new idea for most people.

Alan Jarvis


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:14 pm 
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Location: cape town
Another priceless post :lol: comparing science breaking the rules of the church- just hilarious!

Perhaps this Via ferrata is the beginning... I can just see the headlines- Mayan's wrong, Alard's Via Ferrata saves us all :lol: Thank god we have brave men willing to break the rules....


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:52 pm 
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Real Name: Alan Jarvis
Well reading a lot of the negative posts it seems a strong common thread is that he didn't ask permission first.
And thus didn't follow the rules.
And that rules MUST be followed.

I'm not sure how strong your history is or your logic, but one can extend an argument as I did to show how absurd it is to argue one must always follow the rules just because they are there.
Reductio ad absurdum.

It was in fact quite an inspired thing to do.
So tell me Mr. Dark Horse, what's the best thing you've ever done?
Seriously.


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