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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:08 am 
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Real Name: Lukas Malan
Snort you demon - that post brought your number of posts to 666! Quick! Make a wish! :jocolor:

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:10 am 
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Snort- Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:53 am
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Does anyone see what I see :?:

Jokes aside, I'd also be pretty interested to know. Did anyone get paid to put this up? Who did paid for what? Is anyone aiming to earn money off this? Or was it really put up for the greater good of mankind? Transparency would certainly go a long way.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:32 am 
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Real Name: Justin Lawson
Dark Horse wrote:
Does anyone see what I see :?:

Jokes aside, I'd also be pretty interested to know. Did anyone get paid to put this up? Who did paid for what? Is anyone aiming to earn money off this? Or was it really put up for the greater good of mankind? Transparency would certainly go a long way.


Nope I'm missing it (I am intrigued though :)

To the best of my knowledge (please someone correct me if I am wrong): The route was installed and paid for by individuals. There is no aim to profit from the route.

The furore that has has been caused is unfortunate! I've heard really great things about this route, at the same time I can understand why others are angry.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:21 pm 
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Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Justin, this VFwas done in the "public" interest, on public land. As such everything about it is in the public domain and in the public interest including who funded it and who was involved in all aspects of it.

Why is nobody prepared to account for it. Doesn't that make you wonder?

Plenty of justification for doing it, but no accounting.

Come clean guys.

You are all invited to the next Scorn Committee meeting March 21 in Cape Town...


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:24 pm 
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I hear you Snort. I have no doubt that all will be revealed to the public in time.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:17 pm 
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hey snort (and justin) and a few others. don't get too hung up on technicalities - sure the people who contributed it are known and accountable. ezemvelo kznwildlife know who they are and the future of the VF is still to be decided. no one's hiding. so have you done it yet? i have - twice. the last time was four days ago with my 4 year old son. it took us three and a half hours - could have been less but someone has loosened many of the clamps to try deter people from doing it, so we had to fix ropes and do conventional belays in places which took time. but it was worth it. we took only pictures and left only footprints, which means we conformed to the rules of world heritage preservation. there were even a group of 19 french and SA hikers in the hut who didn't know we were there, or where we slept that night, or what a VF is. the VF doesn't contravene the "no bolting policy" because it isn't a bolted climbing route. it's something else entirely, a form of extreme exposure hiking (EEH) for people with the necessary equipment and expertise. in italy (the dolomites and the home of the first VFs) they are for grannies and children. rock climbers would rather break a nail on a real route (bolted or trad). this understanding is what's missing on this blog, because everyone here is a climber, and so many climbers are drawn to the "to bolt or not to bolt debate". the VF is nothing to do with rock climbing, it's a route for hikers that is more exposed than the already existing chain ladder route (which is also a VF, italian for "iron assisted path"). that simple.


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File comment: paco reynolds - 4 year old climbs the via ferrata - drakensberg - south africa
PACO REYNOLDS VIA FERRATA 02 DSC00831.JPG
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:45 pm 
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I thoroughly have and will enjoy VF's. But this one is in the wrong place at the wrong time for the wrong reasons...

Read the whole thread. There is absolutely no transparency as to who did what, why, what money changed hands.

If it is all squeaky clean altruism, why is nobody putting it out there?


Last edited by SNORT on Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:53 pm 
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Hi Gavin P and Ivan.

I need to apologize to you for the fact that the VF clashes with your route on Beacon Buttress.

I will make sure this gets rectified.

Alard


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:57 pm 
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Real Name: Henk Grobler
daveman wrote:
we took only pictures and left only footprints...the VF doesn't contravene the "no bolting policy" because it isn't a bolted climbing route. it's something else entirely


Really Dave I think it is better you shut up as you talk non sense. What you say above is laughable (So ludicrous as to be amusing).

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:18 pm 
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The route was put up by 12 keen individuals ( from JHB, Pretoria, Natal and Mpumalanga) who all donated time, equipment, transport and knowledge or all four to the VF project.

No one was paid to put up the route.

No one earned anything for installing the route.

It was not installed for financial gain.

It was not installed by a company.

It was not installed as part of a business plan.

NO ONE BENEFITED FINANCIALLY IN ANY WAY BY INSTALLING THIS ROUTE.

It was installed with the best intentions by passionate people who love the mountains.

Both cables are not new (but are in good condition 2 x 200m) and were donated.

The Vie Farrata was purely put up so people, young and old can enjoy the mountains. ( you can see in the great pic a four year old and his dad went up the route this weekend. FANTASTIC!!! Thanks for the info Dave) What an opportunity to go climbing a long route in the berg at the age of four!!!

This part of the berg has seen more climbing in the last 2 months than I guess it has in the last two years put together. We have received many supportive and thank you emails and phone calls from South Africans and foreigners in support of this route. One group of foreigners stated that climbing the VF was the highlight of their 1 month holiday traveling through SA.

The positive feedback helps combat some of the negative vibes on this forum. :)

Alard


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:44 pm 
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Real Name: Charles Edelstein
You are all invited to the Scorn committee meeting in 21 March in Cape Town. Come for a real adventure No one is gonna lynch you or lay charges against you. Come and face your buddies and the music!


Last edited by SNORT on Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:17 pm 
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Real Name: Charles Edelstein
.


Last edited by SNORT on Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:36 pm 
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Real Name: James Pitman
Phew, unfortunately I don’t have time to read all these posts, but I feel as if I get the general idea from reading the last two pages. I’ve done the VF and I loved it. I’d love to take up my kids, my grandparents and all my mates. I also think that, if it’s possible to ignore the politics of its origin for a moment, the VF could, on a small scale, contribute substantially to people's enjoyment of the Drakensberg.

While I love wild places and hate to see them compromised, I find myself getting far more emotional reading the posts on this site than about any perceived damage to the mountains caused by the VF. No doubt I’m to some extent influenced by the fact that I know Alard and admire the man greatly, but I also feel that his love of wild places, his competence in them and his contribution to them is abundantly evident in the route. The fact that I’m genuinely more upset by the chosen tone of some of his detractors than by any damage he may have done, suggests to me that, while his approach may have been impolitic, really this isn’t the end of the world. In fact it’s of less significance than the ill-chosen responses of the naysayers. What happened to gentle chiding and debate with otherwise great people who perhaps make a poor judgement? Is this really going to be the start of some great devastation of the Drakensberg by via ferrata which, otherwise, would not have occurred? If the powers that be believe it's undesireable, quite clearly it's going to stop right here.

While I disapprove of the repeated ad hominen attacks on the post, I just can’t seem to help myself. Why is it that it’s the supposed protectors of nature and virtue are also the ones that are insufferably pompous and self-righteous?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:33 am 
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Real Name: Charles Edelstein
James the attacks are not ad hominem but ad actum. Although the posts seem to attack the man, they don't. They are merely questioning the Acts of the man/men and transparency is lacking.

You on the other hand have made an ad hominem comment by calling me/us pompous and self righteous.

This forum is brutal as it should be. If you cannot take the heat then don't get on it.

I think it is critical for sorting out issues that arise in the common climbing public interest. Many people can and do air their views that they would never have the courage to do face to face or in other forms of print. And, hopefully, out if it all comes standards and policy that works for all.

The trick is to see through the words and get the message.

I personally have no idealistic notion of preserving any part of the berg and don't have a particular problem with VF's. In fact Margaret and I went to Europe once on a trip to specially climb VF's which we did! I don't know any other climbers who have done so.

All I am interested in is preserving the history and routes that are there and everybody's access to them. Acts like this seriously threaten access.
You obviously have no idea how tenuous our access to these places can be!

On the available info, this VF is in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and perhaps, although I am ambivalent about this, for the right reasons.

And it has corrupted an existing route. That's like someone shitting on your lawn dude.


Last edited by SNORT on Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:38 am 
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BTW Mt Everest has had a 16 year old and 75 year old climb it. (Might be one or two years out on the ages). Must be just a matter of time before there is a VF up it too. Considering that people do it on fixed ropes anyway I reckon that would be a great place for a VF. I would be there like fred the bear. :bom: :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:33 am 
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So don't see this as a personal attack on anyone because it's not.

The way I see it is you can argue any way you want about this Via Ferrata being great, how you've had so much feedback on how amazing it is and how noble all involved are but blah blah because at the end of the day you guys didn't get permission and Im guessing you didn't ask the guys who opened the trad route if they would mind if you shared a couple of pitches. How difficult would it have really been? I've always been told if something was easy then everybody would be doing it.

One of you said sorry though so that has to count for something.
I do think and I'm sure lots of climbers might agree a Via Ferrata in the right place and done with the correct permission might be a good addition.

Ps : If I really wanted to do this route as a one off with my granny and four year old son where would I buy/rent the gear i.e.: shock absorbers, harness and helmut? Do they require any sort of training? How much do they cost? Will the average hiker/ granny/four year old have this sort of gear easily and readily available? Would the average Hiker seriously be able to do this on their own without a guide?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:53 am 
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SNORT wrote:
That's like someone shitting on your lawn dude.

And pissing under someones post box is fine? :bom: :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:36 am 
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Real Name: Stephen Martindale
I'm afraid that this route has to be chopped. Personally, I think chopping is the silliest recourse because it leaves the rock scarred and removes all the potential good - and there is some good, even in the most controversial route. However, humans will always be human and, unfortunately, chopping is the only way to send the message that bolting (of any kind) without permission and running rampant over existing, known, documented and published traditional climbs will NOT be tolerated by the community.

Unless this route is chopped, no trad. route in the country will remain safe for long. Soon, there will be wires up table mountain - placed under the assumption that it is OK to bolt first and then apologise to the community in retrospect.

Sorry, Dark Horse - I don't think an apology counts for aught in this case.

Pissing under someone's post-box isn't fine but it is preferable.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:40 am 
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Just think how awesome it would be to see a photo of someone climbing the V.F. with their four-year-old son and to be able to say, "Remember the debate about that route. Wow - wasn't it explosive. I remember opposing the route but, hey, the community decided the plans should go ahead and I'm happy with that. Perhaps I'll take my son, one day..."


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:25 am 
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Wassup,

Okay, I live in Natal, the berg is where i go. I used to guide in the berg and was my source of income. My first route in the berg was Standard Route on Sentinel. I have Climbed the Route up Beacon Buttress. It is easy and was well worth the walk.
I once guided chaps up the chain Ladder, but wat was not ayoba was that it was a schools Centenary celebration and they literally had the entire school and parents there. Some going up the Sentinel and some via the Gully and some via the chain ladder. It was okay seeing so many people in the mountains at once, BUT there was a huge bottle neck on all three locations mentioned above and thus delayed me and my party of reaching our goal. Eventually we reached our goal and luckily were the only people on Mont Aux Sources but we could not go see the Tugela Falls as there were about 100 people there and we used this time to gap it back to the car. Upon walking down, I filled a Ruck Sack FULL of rubbish left by City slickers who do not really respect nature let alone the berg. It spoils it for the 'locals'.

okay, so now if a span of people go to the berg and want to do the VF it is fine as I know not many of the Natal guys will go do it so people from JHB will go as that is the main tourist clientele for the berg. So in time there will be a lot of litter in the area, let alone the environmental impact on the area say with 20 people per weekend going up to do the route, then the park fees increase to accommodate the increase use of the roads and for the extra rangers to come along and clean up after the people, in turn it could end up being to expensive to go to the berg for the day and then will leave that area dormant as many would not want to go there. Look at sani pass for example, the cars etc going up, laws are getting more strict there due to people cocking it up. the litter, you cant even drink the river water there. what will happen to the Tugela Falls up top. I can see more people going over the edge and killing themselves.

There are many routes that can get bolted or we would love to bolt, but we dont, we know we are not allowed to do it. so we dont. It was mentioned about the bolts at sani. Buddy I think the correct measures were taken to place the. There is absolutely no place to put pro in and if there is it is lank dodgey. Plus there is no existing route or antyhing where they were placed. As with the VF i reckon it is lank disrespectful to put a line up and have it following an existing route. not kiff.

the next thing or main point is that why is it chaps from else where who go and spoil things in other provinces. they dont care as it is not in there back yard. Can I go bolt Jacobs ladder and just not worry, no as I dont want to cock things up for the locals that side, thus i dont do thinks to cock up at my local crag. What was done can spoil things for the MCSA as ezemvelo give access to some parts of the berg not open to the public, it has taken years of having a good relation between the two parties to allow this and it could be stopped in an instant, again cocking it up for the locals. Many people see it as AAAAH thats so nice it s a great idea, but it has caused such a stink and is not appreciated.

I feel it should get chopped and removed completely and in time can hopefully be forgotten and the weather will erase all traces of it and one can enjoy the berg in its natural form.

Theres my ten cents Buddy


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:13 am 
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Alrighty,

Before anyone heads up there to Chop this VF, in a vigilante act,
on behalf of the 'community', It's a little late for that.
The Authority's already know about it and have promised action.
Alard et al, should state their case to them and any decisions can be made by those charged
with that responsibility.

...and If it's anyone reading this forum that is loosening those clamps to deter folk from
climbing the route. STOP IT!!
You are going out of your way to make something dangerous.
If someone gets hurt due to your actions (a loose clamp).
You'll have to live with that and I'm sure you could be found negligent.

D


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:18 am 
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Real Name: Henk Grobler


"and the other travellers came riding down the track
and they never went further, no, they never went back
then came the churches then came the schools
then came the lawyers then came the rules
then came the trains and the trucks with their loads
and the dirty old track was the telegraph road...."

Dire Straits

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:49 am 
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Real Name: David Evans
Found this pic of a VF in the Dolomites.
Goes to show, everyone can enjoy it, not just climbers.
:jocolor:


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VF.jpg
VF.jpg [ 21.23 KiB | Viewed 1182 times ]
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:42 pm 
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Real Name: Greg Hart
Well done Alard and co. - seriously.

The infringement on an existing route sucks and should be rectified (researching old/existing routes is often extremely difficult) as should the loose clamps as these are dangerous. If anyone has been messing with these - cut it out already!!! If someone is injured or dies as a result you WILL be held responsible!

Society and all its (often daft) rules will never change if there arent ppl out there who are prepared to take the risk of challenging those norms. How does one communicate a vision without a physical example to spell things out? Its not like the desk jockies in Ezemvelo are ever going to get their fat arses over to Europe to discover this form of hiking for themselves, I wonder how many of them actually hike the berg at all?

The Via Ferrata in Europe are very popular and do a great deal to bring tourism into areas with little other than mountainous terrain as resources (read jobs, money, progress). SA is in desperate need of income and job creation, why is it then that the preservation bevok powers that control us cannot see the benefits of developments such as this and seize upon them as an added asset and drawcard?? Why are South Africans generally so bleddy terrified of change??

Its obvious that there exists a need/desire for such extreme hiking trails within society at large (lets NOT limit our vision only to the needs of SA citizens! -its precisely that narrow mindedness that has landed us in this mess in the first place!!) Why the heck not make more trails like this (in a controlled manner) to cater for that need and reap the rewards of that development. Its Ezemvelo primarily that would benefit from it! -If the route is indeed actually on their land??? (sorry I really cannot read through all of these posts! - just add more to make it even more cumbersome to read - LOL!)

Anyways - full props and cudos to Alard and co. for the super-human effort they have no doubt put in to establish this first (true) VF in SA!! Well done on an awesome job of expanding not only the possibilities of mountain travel/exploration locally but also for expanding the consciousness (by force if necessary!! :evil: Heaven knows ppl here need a swift kick to wake up!!) of the none-too-visionary powers that be.

PS to those of you who are egging to jump down my throat and accuse me of hypocricy (I have been extremely critical of other illegal bolting in the recent past) I really feel that this route is an appropriate, needed and desirable development in the correct place and setting. I hope to get my own fat lazy arse up it some day soon, before its taken down by some ill-informed and misguided team of do-gooders!!!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:56 pm 
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Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Read trevor's post back and see what a local guy says about it.


Last edited by SNORT on Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:02 pm 
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Real Name: dave reynolds
snort - your posts are interesting - thanks for debating and contributing. i know this takes time. i like the way you say you won't even consider my arguments, then you respond to them point by point - show's you care and are passionate.

i'd like to offer some constructive criticism on your style:

in places, you're jamming misinformation - saying things like "people got paid", as if you knew and then prompting alard to say "no one got paid". you could have just asked alard who paid who what, and he'd tell you he put in R7k from his own pocket plus 18 days of planning and time and experience to guarantee the safety of the route. he's a respectable, straight guy. if you had asked a straight question two weeks ago, i'm sure you'd have got a straight answer.

understanding comes from listening (mostly) and commenting a little - using hate speech and expletives and emotive language does your position harm. i'm still trying to see exactly what your position is (through a smoke screen of anger). on sites like vertical-endeavour your posts could easily have been removed by the admin. after many posts you still have failed to provide substantial arguments for why you believe it's in the wrong place or at the wrong time. postulated is not proved. please try to clarify.

now for "extreme exposure hiking" (EEH). for now maybe climbers are the only ones that have the equipment and expertise, but that's understandable. if the VF gains acceptance, it's easy for kznwildlife to have info on the shock absorbing devices etc... folks could even rent the gear at the sentinel carpark, or go with a local guide. there's a guy called samson who guides in the region and could do it with ease. samson is involved with many rescues every year. gavin (raubenheimer) bats it to him often. why do people need to be rescued? number one cause: lost in the mist. even people who find the chain ladders scary almost never fall off (i certainly haven't heard of a case of this).

keep buzzing, and bring the grandpas and children.

dave


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:37 pm 
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henk

there never will be churches and schools on the amphitheatre (as per dire straights) - or if there will be it won't be because of the VF. there's already the mountain hut ... built in 1930. it pretty much colonised the area, brought the punters and lowered the true-wilderness status of the amphitheatre. i have written to kznwildlife asking that it be considered no longer necessary (gortex jackets, cell phones, expedition tents etc have replaced it's function). it also attracts the wrong types of people - who drink whiskey and leave the bottles behind, defecate without burying, a centralised destination for potential basotho raiders, and so on. but the VF - di's 'n klein ding, broer. dit sal nooit 'n groot vloed van mense veroorsaak nie - mense is anyway te bang vir die soort ding. di's net vir ek en jy - jy, as jy wil - en ons kinders en oupas.

daveman


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:05 pm 
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...


Last edited by Tristan on Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:47 pm 
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I look forward to climbing/hiking/cycling this VF at some point. Just to see what the fuss is all about.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:36 pm 
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OKay,
another question i see not one person has asked. How did 2 x 200m of cable get to the location. I doubt it was walked up.

I do not know who has tampered with the bolts and dont wish to know. But obviously it proves it should not be there and that action is taken. I have seen the VF and took a few pics, I did not climb it though as I did not have the correct equipment. I noted that it is a Mild steel Cable with Mild Steel Rebar with chemical anchors and a few hangers with I would assume is also chemical anchors. Were the conditions sufficient for placing chemical anchors, were the holes cleaned out correctly, were the anchors pull tested. What proves that this is actually safe. Yes might sound petty but being in the Rope Access industry there is certain criteria that needs to be met. Was all this done. Bent rebar with a single crosby clamp holding it in place. How was the rebar bent, as far as I understand it has to be heated in turn weakens the steel. Telkom technicians use a sort of cable clamp, basically a shunt for cable. One too needs to use a Full Body Harness or it is preferable to use one. If you come short and then end up in an inverted position, at least it keeps you up right, similar rules for a VF i feel should be applied to the same as Fall Arrest.
Now it was said who ever removed or tampered with the VF and someone dies or gets injured he will have to live with, considering the points above, if someone dies or injures themselves, the person/s who installed it will have to live with themselves. Consider this as well, if lots of people do the VF and many people get injured and can only imagine it would be a serious injury, remember the MCSA KZN Section would probably get called out to do a rescue, in turn it cost a lot of money in turn people on the rescue team loose revenue as it is a voluntary service.
Yes it is not for person financial gain but if something like this is to be installed and one expects many people doing it, I would expect it to be done properly. Just some food for thought.

I must say that i was rather shocked to see that a Natal chap was involved, that is not ayoba.

Keep it tidy

:thumright


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