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 Post subject: Cederberg fire closures?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:10 pm 
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Real Name: Glenn Moncrieff
I am planning a trip to Wolfberg next week, I read that the fires reached all the way south and across the Kromrivier valley. Does anybody know if access and infrastructure has been affected by the fires?
On a different note, are there ways of helping those affected by the fires? Perhaps we can give something back to this area from which we get so much?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:17 pm 
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Hi Glenn,

The recent fires are on the Clanwilliam side of the Mountain. There was a fire in the during December by the Maltes Cross/Sneeuberg area/The Pup areas.
The above areas are closed.

The Wolfberg Cracks / Sanddrif are open.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:23 pm 
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I spoke to Cape Nature.

Zones A and B are open.
Area C is closed.

Image

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:12 pm 
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Truikies Kraal?

Is it open?

It is not clear according to the map.

Can you please confirm Justin....


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:31 pm 
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I just spoke to Henry at Cape Nature and this what he told me:

Truitjieskraal is currently open.

Cape Nature are still taking stock of the damage and will have a report available soon.

Area C is closed due to the fire (Dwarsrivier, kromrivier, Sneeuberg, Maltse Cross)
They are having a meeting in the near future to decide on what areas will remain closed.

Area A is currently closed. They put the fire out yesterday and are still monitoring the area.
Area B is open.


Clanwilliam Tourism and Cape Nature will be meeting in the near future to discuss keeping Rocklands open for the upcoming season.

Cederberg Fire Article

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:33 pm 
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Real Name: Susan Watts
After hearing many different stories regarding the Cedarberg fires Wessell and I decided that we would go and check it our for ourselves. Being boulderers we specifically wanted to see what areas may be closed for the Rocklands bouldering season and to see if any of the farmers who are always so hospitable in season needed our help. De Pakhuis campsite is fine and so is all the bouldering on their farm. The only burnt area we found was at the entrance (the fire did not even make it to the olive trees at the entrance). This means Plateau, fields of joy etc.. are all fine.

Eight Day Rain and the areas surrounding it past De Pakhuis are also fine.

Further good news is that the farm at Klein Kliphuis and the camp area are also untouched. Bouldering on the farm will therefore also be possible (ACCESS PERMITTING) From Klein Kliphuis you cannot even see where the fire was. This only becomes apparent when you head over the pass to Riverside.

The entrance to Riverside was burnt but we did not do the walk in so it might be better than we think. The path is however unprotected as are the sandy areas and so erosion could be an issue here. It looked like the fire did reach quite far in. CampGround was also burnt but only in patches so some boulder areas will be fine and others not. The fire seemed to stay away from areas where the boulders are more densely packed. The walk ins will be the issue as the vegetation needs to have time to recover. This is exactly the same for both Roadcrew and Roadside which were also burnt in places although we could only establish this from a distance. I guess we are going to have to hear from the local authorities and Cape Nature to see what happens with access there.

Many houses were also narrowly missed but the good news is I did not see one which has burnt down. Although I am sure farmers in the pass have suffered damage to crops and livestock.

Lastly just remember that fires are necessary for the vegetation. Whether this one was good for the plant life I cannot say I will leave that for the professionals. Maybe it is what these areas need to recoup.

Please be careful and check regarding access. We just went to check it out for ourselves but please don't quote me. If you want hard facts on any area its best to check it our for yourself, we are just doing our little bit to help and fill in some of the pieces to the puzzle.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:26 pm 
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This just in from the Clanwilliam Tourism Association

Good afternoon all,

The news you have all been waiting for :) Rocklands will be open during bouldering season!!!

I have just spoken to Cape Nature, he said they are currently keeping Rocklands closed until they can walk through it to see what the damage is, but because the area is fairly flat it will not take long to recover (they might keep it closed for a month or so but as mentioned above will be open when bouldering starts), a good rain/wind will do it good, specially to wash away the soot/grime off the rocks.
We will however have to get the message out that people need to stay on the paths and not cut across to Rocklands as they have done previous years. If all obey the rules it will lead to a successful bouldering season in Rocklands again in 2013.

A meeting is still scheduled with the owners of guesthouses around Rocklands to discuss the do’s and don’ts so we will keep you in the loop as well.

Have a great day,
Clanwilliam Tourism Association

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:58 am 
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Real Name: Warren Gans
Hi All

I wrote a comment on www.climbing.com (http://www.climbing.com/news/fire-devas ... ring-area/) and recieved mixed replies. I would love to continue this thread here to gauge opinion accordingly. the comments thread is copied below:

"Comments
Actually, Pete, you're the worthless, selfish, immature, egocentric dickhead, while Warren is 100% right on. Your project can wait, Pete- show some awareness for other sentient beings besides yourself, go climb somewhere else this year, and check your head before you call someone else an asshole, you asshole. Regards,
Jeff - 02/05/2013 5:39:14
We will start negotiations with Cape Nature soon to find solutions to keep Rocklands accessible during the bouldering season. We will keep you posted.
Clanwilliam Tourism - 01/31/2013 12:52:44
Sometimes you get the feeling people forget it´s nature, that provides the environment for climbing. Surely we should give it time to regenerate if it´s so heavily struck. Are we kids with such a short egicentric patience, just "I wanna, I wanna".. our shouldn´t we think log-term? Yeah, I was absolutely looking forward to go there this May (after I had no chance in 2012).. and yes, it´s sad right now- I must admit, I won´t travel half the world now. But surely I´ll be back another time. Sorry if I phrased something wrong, I´m not an english native speaker. Best wishes to all the people "down there" Simone
Simone - 01/30/2013 12:43:48
I'm with Warren on this one. I had a 3 month trip planned from June-September, but probably won't go now. But wildfires happen all the time in Africa and are great for regrowth. I think we need to let this run its course and not climb there until a steady regrowth is already goin on.
Robert - 01/28/2013 1:53:33
Hey Warren Congrats, your officially a total wack job climber, welcome to club you nutty asshole.
Pete - 01/25/2013 7:02:45
As a local it is tragic what has happened, but letting those delicate plants grow back and recover from the fire as well as the damage of 1000's of climbing tourists is a blessing. As humans we are too impatient, and unwilling to wait for nature to do what she does, and instead we jump the fence, avoid the ranger and climb in areas too sensitive to tolerate it. I can't help but feel this is a good fire long over due
Warren G - 01/25/2013 12:58:26"

Personally I believe climbers should self impose a closure of a year or two as a long term management plan to retain the area in great condition: we have enough rock to implement such a strategy and the land/land owners I'm sure wouldn't complain. Or do you agree with Pete above?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:56 am 
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Real Name: Glenn Moncrieff
As a professional ecologist I agree with the argument that it would probably be better for the flora to close some of the more sensitive areas. Certainly climbers cannot be allowed to continue abusing the area as before. However, is there not an economic argument for the opening of Rocklands this season. The revenue generated from climbers is important for the local economy and closing the whole of Rocklands would perhaps inflict further damage on peoples livelihoods.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:24 am 
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Warren you can ignore Pete's comment completely.

Yes, the area does need rehabilitation, but people in the area also need to survive financially.
In the past they closed an area for 2 and half years after a fire.

I was told the following from someone in the know:
"Cape nature still have to assess the area to ascertain the extent of the damage. They will try to do this in the next month. They will then make an announcement as to the situation on their web page. They feel that they may have to close certain areas off but will try not to close the whole area. They will have someone patrolling the area this year to make sure that climbers follow the rules."

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:43 am 
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I laughed at Pete's comment at the time and took no notice of it, but his comment does speak of an arrogance and greed that concerns me...

I am happy for them to close some areas and leave others open: that is what management it about. I hope that both the local Western Cape Climbers and the Foreign climbing tourists are as honourable regarding rules as the Durban climbers who strictly obey the seasonal closure of Canyon due to nesting birds. Looking at how boulderers attacked one of their own when they tried to help regain access to Redhill and other areas local to them I suspect that they would rather not have access to these places, but let's hope I am wrong on this.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:07 pm 
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Real Name: Derek Marshall
.


Last edited by Marshall1 on Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:56 pm 
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@ Marshall: agreed absolutely. what I have never understood is why boulderers insist on repeating the same problems that everyone else has done, when they have the ability to open new problems with the same level of ease as opening new ones. my only theory on this is social reasons:

"Hey man I did XYZ last weekend!"
" Epic man, Well played!"

this conversation doesn't run so well when:
"Hey Man I opened my problem up Arbkloof last weekend"
"Oh? have you done Some Popular Problem in Queue Valley yet?"
"No :("

We give greater value to our own ascents if people can recognize the achievement. It's a shame as one could do the most amazing little weekend hikes with a pad and a tent in Cederberg etc, but then no one outside the group would appreciate it. To the credit of trad climbers they seem far more enthusiastic to open routes, even if they are bad ones: "don't like but don't tell, had fun though!" isn't that what climbing should be about?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:32 pm 
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Marshall1 wrote:
There are 100s of potential bouldering venues all over The Cederberg. Hopefully the fire sparks a few fresh areas.


Would be nice wouldn't it. Is Rocklands even the best? I must admit I find it so depressing that there are so many foreign climbers flocking to SA, and all going straight to Rocklands, ticking the same problems and churning out little films of them all doing the same thing. With a few notable exceptions. It's not surprising, verging on inevitable, but still it depresses me.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:26 am 
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Low hanging fruit! But then sport climbers are little different- more forgivable granted- but take a look at the distance between the crag and the nearest tar road: are there not better Bovens just further from the N4, or Montagu's away from a pretty town and cool camp sites? We have the ability to explore, but lack the vision and intent. We sacrifice discovery as it risks a weekend of bad/non-existing rock.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:38 pm 
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Word on the grapevine is that CapeNature confirmed today - NO CLIMBING AREAS will be closed this season!!!!

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:43 am 
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Just phoned Cape Nature and Sneeuberg and Sneeuberg hut are still closed.
What would you guys recommend doing instead of this hike?
On a similar vibe. We can even carry a tent if forced.
Thanks.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:58 pm 
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Hi, we phoned Cape Nature in Algeria last Thursday to enquiry about access to Krakadouw from Heuningvlei and were told Krakadouw will be closed until they can do their assessment (which we gathered would be only after winter!?).


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:46 pm 
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Rastaman wrote:
Just phoned Cape Nature and Sneeuberg and Sneeuberg hut are still closed.
What would you guys recommend doing instead of this hike?
On a similar vibe. We can even carry a tent if forced.
Thanks.


Sneeukop/Tafelberg to Wolfberg maybe?

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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 1:48 pm 
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CapeNature appears to have issued 2 new edicts (word of mouth only so far):

1- Permits for bouldering on CapeNature land at Rocklands now cost R60 per day (R270 per week), and this is being actively enforced.
2 - Kliphuis campsite has been open for 2 months already, R200 per night for a 6 person site.

There don't appear to be any deals for long termers.


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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 1:59 pm 
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Any idea if this applies to sport climbing? Also if there are discounts/voiding with wild cards or MSCA membership cards?


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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 2:57 pm 
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Also...

After six years of being closed (see: Kliphuis campsite closure) the Kliphuis campsite will be re-opening as well.

Question: How important is internet access for you at the campsite??


Expect to see signs with regards to aiding rehabilitation of vegetation.
Natural Rehabilitation in Progress – please help us conserve the Cederberg Wilderness World Heritage Site

Due to a wildfire, the ecosystem is currently in a sensitive stage of natural rehabilitation. Most of the Fynbos vegetation has burnt away, leaving an open and bare environment. Fynbos is however well adapted to fires and with the first rains, the vegetation will start to re-generate. Some plants will re-sprout from the base of their stems, others like restios and bulbs will push from below. Many of the larger species such as the Proteas and Pincushions will establish from seedlings. Due to the absence of groundcover in the area, more rain-water is likely to run-off the slopes and mountains – leading to an increased risk of water erosion.

Please help us to conserve and manage the sensitive environment by:
· Staying on designated roads or hiking trails – do not cut corners
· Do not trample through open veld
· Tread lightly – avoid stepping on new vegetation or seedlings
· During bouldering activities, stick to established climbing sites and keep the human footprint to a minimum
· During ablutions consider the environment and other people using the area. Use a small spade to bury offal and paper.
· Enjoy your Wilderness Experience and remember you are a guest in the great outdoors.

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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 4:59 pm 
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I think the sticking to the main paths rule cannot be overemphasised at the moment. To the untrained (European?) eye it may look like you are walking over lifeless ground, but there could be new plant life either too small to be seen or still growing underneath the surface. If it gets walked on at that stage it has no chance of re-establishing and surviving and the less the plant life the more the erosion, and a vicious circle is then set up.

Warnings and notices need to be set up in just about every conceivable language so visitors get this.


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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 5:00 pm 
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Not sure if this is old news but I got an email today from CapeNature saying you can now also rent the old caretaker cottages (which have been refurbished) at Kliphuis. You also get 20% discount if you book before 30 September.

Cottages: from R750 for 6 people per cottage per night
(R80pp additional, sleeps max 8 people)

see http://www.capenature.co.za/news.htm?sm[p1][action]=content&sm[p1][cntid]=2343&sm[p1][persistent]=1


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 Post subject: Rocklands update
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:35 am 
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Real Name: Matthew Bickell
Hi all,
Now that people have made numerous trips to Rocklands since the fire, I'd like to ask what the damage is like up there. I'm sure the rock is still there (which is the important part, I know), but is all the fynbos in the area completely stark and black?

Also, I hear the Kliphuis campsite has reopend, has anyone been there yet? http://www.capenature.co.za/news.htm?sm[p1][action]=content&sm[p1][cntid]=2343&sm[p1][persistent]=1


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 Post subject: Re: Rocklands update
PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:29 am 
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Cape Nature bouldering permits are now available from de Pakhuys office.
R60 per day or R270 per week. You need one of these to boulder anywhere up at the pass, or Riverside/Campground etc.
Apparently if you stay at the newly re-opened Kliphuis campsite/cottages you can boulder at Riverside and Campground without a permit.
If you stay at de Pakhuys you can boulder Plateau/Fields of Joy etc for free.


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 Post subject: Re: Rocklands update
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:49 am 
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Hey Zoe,

I've heard though (many places) that Wild Card holders do not need said permit for bouldering up in the pass. Any idea whether that's the case or not?


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 Post subject: Re: Rocklands update
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:25 am 
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@Thermopage - the ranger we bought the bouldering permits off last time said that Wild Cards don't apply there, and that you still need to buy a separate 'activity permit' for bouldering. Though I haven't seen any official statement on this.


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 Post subject: Re: Rocklands update
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:41 am 
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http://www.capenature.co.za/news.htm?sm[p1][action]=content&sm[p1][cntid]=2339&sm[p1][persistent]=1


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 Post subject: Re: Rocklands update
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:08 am 
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Real Name: Cuan Lohrentz
Shot for the update. Such crazyness...I would have no problem paying this stupidly high fee IF they maintained any paths/etc regarding bouldering. Once again they do 4KOL, but still want us to pay. So typical. Just like Silvermine where they do no maintenance but want us to pay to climb by buying a yearly permit. The maintain the "access paths"...but these are maintained more for the hikers/walkers than climbers. It just irritates me! :evil:


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