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Should the new via ferrata in the berg be chopped?
Poll ended at Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:24 pm
yes - the builders must chop it themselves 43%  43%  [ 35 ]
yes - get volunteers to remove that heineous thing 5%  5%  [ 4 ]
no. let it stay! 50%  50%  [ 41 ]
who cares? 2%  2%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 82
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:24 pm 
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Real Name: Franz Fuls
OK boys, lets have a fist fight - should the newly constructed via ferrata in the berg stay or go?
Let your voice be heard?

Image from topknot.co.za


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:45 pm 
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To the 7 of you who have so far voted in favour of this VF which has desecrated the pre-existing trad line I have this to say, "Suppose your current wife or girlfriend was ravished by some cowboy who has just ridden into town - how would that make you feel?
I'd like to disembowel each one of you, slowly, with a blunt knife! :jocolor: "
OK, maybe I'd just give you each a slap on the wrist, but come on guys, THINK what this action REALLY means. It's not about pro-VFs or anti-VFs, it's simply about doing things the right way or doing them the wrong way - i.e. basic ETHICS and common DECENCY !

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:49 pm 
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Do you want an honest sample of people's feelings or do you want everyone to just vote as you want them to vote? Hey Mr Mugabe...oops I mean Gavin?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:02 pm 
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You are quite right Pierre - point taken.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:07 am 
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I hastily cast my (democratic?) vote here based on what I have read, heard and experienced in the past without having had the honor/bliss/joy/displeasure/disgust during and or after an ascent of this route. Unfortunately I have no chance to weigh up all the true factors involved, so I am currently just another desk chair junkie hiding somewhere behind a firewall far far away at the end of the universal web.

The purpose, value and credibility of this vote is therefor in my opinion compromised to the extent where I think another, more accurate poll, should be done where only people that have fully ascended this Via Ferrata (and I believe there have already been a much larger number than expected on this route), should say their say.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:42 am 
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Quote:
I think another, more accurate poll, should be done where only people that have fully ascended this Via Ferrata . . . should say their say.

Oh come on Gustav, that would be like taking a poll on the merits of trespassing and then only allowing trespassers to vote!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:50 am 
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Real Name: Josh Pickering
Not to start another 7 page debate here... but i don't think it makes any difference whether you've climbed it or not. it's more about whether it's good for climbing or not (remembering that they've jeopardized access for many climbers, desecrated an existing route, damaged relations with those that fund mountain rescue and did so without permission etc. etc.) At least my gran can now walk up an exposed piece of mountain-side...


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:30 am 
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Real Name: Franz Fuls
Hey Josh, think about it... what would your gran be doing if it was not for highly debated VFs???

I think this vote can set a benchmark (or at least precedent) for how acceptable it is for the climbing community to place a barricade over an existing route.

dont worry about the 7 page gripe, the voting on this one has an expiry date.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:10 pm 
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Hey Josh, so it was YOUR gran who cracked me over the head with her walking stick on the switchbacks shouting: 'Move over! you old fart!!!'.

I pretended to tie my laces and mumbled something about coming from the low lying valleys, but her hearing aid was off and she had no sympathy whatsoever, just whacked and went.

Choking on her dust, I recalled a post several pages back stating that the VF was, in fact, a hiking trail (and NOT a climb). Therefore if the "authorities" ban anything, they would logically ban hiking and being passed by your gran would be a thing of the past (hopefully I would be able to keep up with Gavin P...)

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:08 pm 
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I totally agree this was put up the wrong way without permission and they should be fined heavily

But its up now and is such a waste to cut it. Its a good opportunity for someone to make money off ie kzn wildlife. They can train local guides from the community and create jobs.
Whats done is done they may aswell make the best of the situation.

As long as it is safe to use.........................................

This is also a huge plus for local guides who now have an extra activity to offer to their clients and they didnt have to fork out a cent

This is like someone illegally mining on your property and they find gold sure you chase them away, but you dont close up the hole and say well thats over.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:17 pm 
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Real Name: Franz Fuls
yeah pwner, gold is better than water, and one day when all our resources are gone... we will simply switch to eating money!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:46 pm 
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This is a democratic voting process. I have never been a great fan of democracy - I prefer a system of benevolent dictatorship - with me in charge! Here is what some of the world's sharper minds have to say about democracy:

Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. James Bovard

A democracy is a government in the hands of men of low birth, no property, and vulgar employment. Aristotle

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. Churchill

A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine. Thomas Jefferson

In a democracy the peasants will have more power than the rich, because there are more of them. Aristotle

People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing. Walter H. Judd

Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses. Henry Louis Mencken

Democracy don't rule the world, you'd better get that in your head; This world is ruled by violence, but I guess that's better left unsaid. Bob Dylan

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:05 pm 
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Real Name: Frank de Souza
Hey why don't we get some guys to build a giant zip line from the top all the way down into the valley. Set up some picnic tables at the top fully equipped with braai facilities. Oohh oohh and a pool.......with a slide...that you can attach your harness to, you know just make sure its safe.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:19 pm 
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Great idea FdeS! And what about an escalator and a cable car adjacent to the VF and the original trad line, then ALL possible tastes will be catered for and even a bloated, beer swilling, lay-about could effortlessly enjoy the wonders of the 'Berg! In our new constitutional democracy we really must try to cater for all! No more of this damned elitist nonsense with all their drivel about ethics and etiquette!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:16 pm 
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Wasn't there a similar type vote on the compressor route? Anyway, look what happen there regardless of the vote.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:21 pm 
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Real Name: Derek Marshall
Does Ezemvelo care about what people think?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:35 pm 
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Real Name: Frank de Souza
I don't think that's the aim of this vote. I think its just to get an idea of how many climbers are idiots and how many are not.
I mean I don't understand how the same guy can have a stroke cause some one used to much chalk on the rock or used a steel brush to brush letters on the rock but be totally ok with VF.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:29 am 
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So YOU're the one who used the wire brush! BUSTED


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:41 am 
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Real Name: Marllu da Conceicao
http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/democracy-nothing-more-mob-rule should a refute all your other quotes too?

GavinP wrote:
This is a democratic voting process. I have never been a great fan of democracy - I prefer a system of benevolent dictatorship - with me in charge! Here is what some of the world's sharper minds have to say about democracy:

Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. James Bovard

A democracy is a government in the hands of men of low birth, no property, and vulgar employment. Aristotle

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. Churchill

A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine. Thomas Jefferson



In a democracy the peasants will have more power than the rich, because there are more of them. Aristotle

People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing. Walter H. Judd

Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses. Henry Louis Mencken

Democracy don't rule the world, you'd better get that in your head; This world is ruled by violence, but I guess that's better left unsaid. Bob Dylan


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:54 am 
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Real Name: Willem Boshoff
well, i'm hoping to relieve the mind boggling question that vexes the anti-VF crowd here - why are you losing (for now) in the democracy? it's got nothing to do with sheep & wolves; or with dumbass peasants, but rather with your lack of skill in handling a delicate situation.

i have not read the 10-page thread in it's entirety, but from the little i have read two things struck me:
alard owned up to the situation. he showed responsibility, accountability and most importantly, humility; regardless of his actions being right or wrong.
some guys taking him to the slaughterhouse has bordered on being hysterical about it, and in that overflow of anger the actual arguments are lost in the din.

so, my guess is that people who do not understand the intricasies of the situation will go with the person who shows quality of character that they admire........
food for thought :)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:24 am 
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Real Name: Franz Fuls
hey mokganjetsi,

hmmmm, chewed on your grub - somewhat neutral flavoured.

IMO the motivation of the anti VF crowd can be summed up as:
i. The action was illegal: did not get proper permission.
ii. Against climbing etiquette: see permission thing above, AND placing obstructions over an existing route.
iii. Relationships with authorities it seems has been damaged big time. If this is the way we behave, we will simply outstay our welcome and access to climbers and VF'rs will be revoked across the board.

I do not think anyone has a problem with VFs per se.

I must agree that if this trad route now desecrated was my favourite line / had special memories for me, or if I did the FA I would be very seriously *&^%$#
There is a lot of rock on south africa, lets give each other space.

Chopping it before a court order demands it will show good faith, and help restore the relationship with authorities.

If you decide to vote for the VF to stay, dont complain when SA National Parks ban climbing all over south africa to prevent recurrence.
The law of Newton applies here too: your action will have an equal reaction..somewhere in the universe.
So vote, but think about the consequences before you do.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:24 pm 
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Real Name: Willem Boshoff
haibo franz

neutral wrt to the VF si; but certainly not neutral towards the way this was handled.

for the record: i oppose the VF for the exact reasons you mentioned above. i do not know the trad route however and from alard's post i gathered they actually tried to avoid it, but did not on account of the top pitches' description being vague - which creates the impression that it is anything but a remarkable route, but maybe i'm wrong.... i digress

that said, my point was really about throwing toys; public shaming and comparing it with rape. people's votes are governed as much by feelings as by facts; if the voice of conservation is constantly carried by hysterical overtones we will not enjoy the support we should. this is just a call to play the facts; to always be respectful and do things in a character worthy of the issue.

and thanks for caring about it. seriously. :thumleft:


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:31 am 
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Nothing more fun than opening up a closed can of worms :)

Personally I would rather have 10 via ferrata in the Berg before a cable car or another road pass like Sani. Personally I like the concept of a via ferrata route, but my biggest concern with via ferrata routes (and the reason I would vote against them) is the fact that so many irresponsible "adventure seekers" head up the chain ladders in shorts and T-shirts with no map, GPS, warm clothes or even a water bottle. Easy routes in dangerous places are never good.

Further to the above, the fact that KZN tourism is pushing for a cable car at Mnweni shows there ignorance to the landscape and weather - a small breeze causes a cable car to have to be shut down. Whats their plan for the morning when 100 tourists in shorts and T-shirts are standing in snow as a Berg gale picks up, none of us want to see the newspaper headline "evil mountain where 100 tourists died in a day".

If people don't have the skill or ability to reach a place on their own (and unlike Table Mountain with buildings at the top, so all isn't lost when someone is stuck up there - the Berg will hopefully never have such facilities on top, Sani Top Chalet is already a bit much), they shouldn't be there in the first place.

I have accepted that certain summits (eg the Western Injisuthi Triplet - F3/A1 8 hour climb on rotten basalt) are places that I will never stand on. Via Ferrata routes, road passes etc make people who can't manage things like Thabana Ntlenyana and the top of Tugela Falls think that they can...

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:01 pm 
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Real Name: Caroline Henderson
No doubt flogging a can of dead worms, even if no one witnesses the flogging, here goes: I have been commissioned to write a story on the Via Ferrata issue for a popular SA periodical, so I HAVE waded through the 221 posts -and more - and have the following observations to make re the VOTE as given above:

82 voters; 50% FOR; 48% against. Narrow majority in favour.

What is interesting is that the 221 posts on the topic (the posts having fizzled out in Feb 2012 pretty much) were posted by perhaps 20 people, a quarter or less of those that voted. While I haven't done a quantitative analysis of the posts, I'd say confidently that a majority of them were AGAINST the actions of those who put up the VF and felt it should be taken down. There were a few who were against how it was done, but felt now it should be retained and utilised.

Now what interests me about this is that many of those in favour did not see fit to air their support in a public forum, but were prepared to peek out of the closet and vote in a secret ballot. What this suggests to me is not so much that they were indicating support for someone who had displayed 'quality of character' (as mokganjetsi surmised), but they were indicating their own character, that of mountaineers, of that non-collective of freedom-loving, individualistic, anarchistic, rebellious characters whose will tolerate only the 'rules' they impose on themselves.

There's no real resolution to the debate that has raged: you either think it's cool to cock a snoot at The System, or you don't! Making appeals on the basis what the effect of the snoot-cocking will do to others' interests don't hold water with the 'It's cool' crowd, while the illicit pleasures or thrills of snoot-cocking will never pass muster with the law abiding set.

And then there are we neutral, objective observers whose only interest is to present The Facts!!!! ha ha..... : :cyclops:


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:12 pm 
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@callyh: there is a similar discussion on Vertical Endeavor (a forum specifically about the Drakensberg) - see http://www.vertical-endeavour.com/forum ... t=40#53570

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:31 pm 
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Uhm ... lets open a new topic about something that actually exist and get on with our lives. :jocolor:

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