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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:45 am 
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Real Name: Justin Lawson
As a matter of interest, how does everyone feel about the Chosspile access arrangements?
More specifically, that you have to belong to either the MCSA or University Club to get in - non members can visit with cardholders.

tx

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:41 am 
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If it keeps access open, it's fantastic! Seriously, it's not hard to join a club and then at least there's some accountability for how the crag is treated. :thumleft:


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:06 am 
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As I understand it (Andrew Pedley has explained it better somewhere...) - the land owner wants to be able to deal with known entities i.e. clubs & not some random bunch of yahoos...(yes you lot :? :mrgreen: :wink: )

Look at Bronkies by way of example - nice that currently anyone can go there - pay & climb (not just MCSA & various other club members as originally negotiated). Now say someone stays late, gets drunk, fights with the landowners etc. any combination of those scenarios -so the landowner gets upset & bans climbers entirely. This may sound familiar to climbers from the Cape...

Who fixes it? Most likely MCSA goes & explains that not all climbers are bad & negotiates access again - what is the landowner going to say? Ok I will let just your club in & you control your members - logic right?!

So what was the question?

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:06 am 
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@Justin... It almost sounds like you're trolling here :P

I was pretty irritated by the access agreements initially but I joined the MCSA and now I'm better off for it. Joining the MCSA isn't as hard as people think plus the added benefits are really useful.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:03 pm 
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brianweaver wrote:
@Justin... It almost sounds like you're trolling here :P.


Hi,
Thanks for the replies so far. Not trolling at all - just wanting to know what people felt about an a sport climbing area being limited to club members only.

I'm pro members access only because (some of these have been mentioned in posts above):
- They are more accountable for (therefore less likely to break the rules and more likely to enforce them). The landowner and the MCSA will know (specifically) who is on the property and when.
- Easier to track down (as above)
- Generally speaking, they are all-round better behaved mountain users
- It will increase membership in the club (and make newcomers better mountain users)
- The land owner likes the idea
- The land owner will have one organisation to speak to instead of an individual or no one
- We get one shot at this, we have to do it properly - if we screw this up the landowner will shutdown climbing again.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:34 pm 
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Does this question have anything to do with the Bosch Kloof crags? Hope the landowner likes the idea. :thumleft:
Just remember not all clubs and organisations make sure that their members know what they are doing, just look at the kid who "salvaged" a rope at choss a few months ago. I hope my suspicions are right and good luck I would be on my way to montagu asap if those crags are open again :)


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:43 pm 
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@McJagger Yes it does.
Duly noted.

It's pretty simple really: If people do not abide by the rules set out, then the area will be closed to all.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:08 pm 
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I love it and I've been there before & after. Neil & co did a stellar job.

The more I climb the more I'm anti-crowd. I stand by my standpoint that earth's problem is that mankind has sidestepped evolution and as a result we have over population. Every single global problem can be attributed to over population.

I'm anti "let's grow the sport, it brings costs down". I'd rather pay more. Go live in the UK if you want freebies. Please stay there.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:16 pm 
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PS: I had to sell my mother's virginity to become a member, BUT, I can now after many years of campaigning proudly say I'm a MCSA member.

On a serious note: if you want to climb on real rock, join the MCSA, else stick to the gym.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:20 pm 
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Real Name: Jonathan Newman
I'll throw my [relatively irrelevant] 2c worth in...

My beloved mountains tend to be badly littered close to camps or on easy routes (e.g. chain ladders). The obscure/difficult/far away stuff is usually great. I have never found litter on an obscure pass - even Gray's Pass which takes really heavy traffic by locals was mostly clean when I went there in June. By contrast common spots like Pillar Cave (4km from the car park) are often badly littered.

Similarly Monteseel is really bad from a litter point of view right now (not only blaming climbers - it is a common thoroughfare to many other people as well).

My point is - if only members of a club can go somewhere, you reduce the numbers and add difficulty to the process. I find people who genuinely love the outdoors [usually] don't litter, they tend to respect the surroundings, play by the rules etc. If you make it harder, lots of the less interested people won't bother, and add accountability - great!

Perhaps the clubs should also agree with the owners to occasionally go in and clean up the area if there is any litter. Kind of a precaution and sign of goodwill toward the land owner.

I know KZN MCSA has a strong warning on their website for people who climb in certain areas without following the rules - e.g. Kloof Gorge.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:34 am 
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I think R50 a day for a non-member is a bit steep. Some of us are underpaid school teachers you know!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:39 am 
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Pricing has not been set out yet.

Bear this in mind:
The landowner is taking the word of the MCSA and its members (who would be responsible and answerable for their guests that they bring in with them) that they will not pollute his water.

In perspective: The landowner of Boschkloof is trusting that no one will be urinating/other in the water that flows from the taps in his house.
So when he pours a glass of water for himself or his family at his home he wants to know that no one will get sick from it. This has already happened, hence the closure. Their household water became polluted - reason unknown, but the kloof was probably at its busiest with climbers when this occurred.
Logic prevailing: remove the human element from the catchment area - the rest you all know.

Fortunately, the landowner continued allowing climbers to climb at Legoland.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:24 pm 
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I have no problem with the access, only the time we have to be out. Some of us only climb during the afternoon and to be out by 5 is a joke. I leave when the sun sets as those are the best conditions for a good last burn. For the rest. The place is perfect, but out of season now. Kloof time:D

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:05 am 
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Real Name: Neil Margetts
Hi Guys

This feedback is encouraging.

Flex - become a member that's the easiest way to save the R20 each time, and contribute to a group who share your passions.

Forket - Mount Amanzi is looking into putting a bridge or barge across the Croc river, then you park at reception and the whole gate thing gets eliminated.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:15 am 
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Once again thank you Neil & everyone else involved!

I see the problem as this - we say the clubs members will be more accountable & then constantly strive to make it easier for someone to join who has no clue as to what they are doing or what the access arrangements are. So now we have some pay-as-you-go portions of the club where the only requirements are the join up fees - no attending meets, no climbing with members to see if you are safe to be let into the environment, no 3 hour lecture on how unfriendly the club is & how it won't babysit you.. :lol:

Seriously what am I saying? Making it easy to join the club is good but some standards need to be maintained - otherwise we will end up with clueless people stealing rope & draws, falling down kloofs & not knowing how to be rescued, or even setting alight to entire mountain ranges...

What will the club do? Suspend you? I think Choss is good because someone puts their name on the forms & a membership number BUT I would also like to see some form of competency testing before someone is allowed to join (just the basics on ropework, maybe an environmental questionnaire?).

Then maybe when internationals come along they can also fill in the environmental questionnaire before they are allowed into ecologically sensitive areas. I also think club membership should be worth something - though I do agree most climbers should join.

I bet most sport climbers don't know that they would not be able to do much climbing at Boven without MCSA bolts & MCSA land!

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:11 am 
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There are plenty of people like myself who have more money than time who would gladly support the MCSA if the organization made it easier to do so. Where I was living in Canada, anyone with a credit card could become a member of the Alpine Club online, and as a result the club had a lot of money to build toilets and huts and trails, etc. Here the club almost seems to go out of its way to make it as difficult as possible to join/support the club with minimum meeting requirements and sign offs and all kinds of pointless complications which aren't going to go that far in preventing anyone from doing something stupid anyway.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:23 am 
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mikej wrote:
Here the club almost seems to go out of its way to make it as difficult as possible to join/support the club with minimum meeting requirements and sign offs and all kinds of pointless complications which aren't going to go that far in preventing anyone from doing something stupid anyway.


I do partially agree.

I joined Mountain Backpackers Club last year - filled in the online registration form, paid the fees and became a member in about 2 days. I eventually ditched the club after a year - I signed up for 7 hikes during that year, 4 of them were canceled at short notice, 1 at 5AM on the morning of the hike. When I moaned about this they complained that they don't have enough hike leaders and when I volunteered to lead their hikes they said I don't qualify to lead their hikes.

So this year I joined MCSA KZN section - it took me over 2 months to get all the formalities in order. Although I take it it is easy to stay a member going forward. I think MCSA in SA is run very well - the journal is very professional, the club in general fights for important things (e.g. against the proposed Drakensberg cable car, restoration of Giant's Hut etc). Overall I have been very impressed with MCSA KZN - despite only ever being on 1 of their hikes and it was lead by me and no one in the group was an MCSA member :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:46 am 
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Hi everyone, i'm a forum noob so please be gentle. i used to live and climb in SA and was once a member of a uni club (WUMC). I am now living and climbing in britain where i am a (card-carrying) member of BMC. is there any scheme in place with MCSA, Mt. Amanzi, or the esteemed Mr. Bezuidenhout, to allow a day's access to chosspile for international climbers? that is, people who would unquestionably meet the requirements of club membership - if they were residents - but cannot, owing to the short time frame of a holiday?

i would gladly pay access fee or make appropriate contact with relevant authorities beforehand... just wondering if anyone knows of a precedent. (don't force me to drive all the way to WB please)

thanks
owen


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:39 am 
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I think in this case you can explain & show them proof of BMC membership. It may help to go with an MCSA member.

What I would like to know is what criteria the BMC had for you joining as they are a very well run club, so it would be of interest to us.

As you will see from above we have people who think that just like everything else you should be able to just pay for everything & demand service, and others who believe that belonging to a club means getting to know the people, volunteering for some of the work & basically being a club member. I would be curious to see if there are required standards & some requirement for commitment.

Personally I know people are busy & it is easier if the whole thing is automated, but at the same time I think the whole concept of entitlement comes with the concept of "I have paid my fees so now you must deliver what I want & let me do what I want" - how much better if you wanted to be part of a community of climbers who know each other and work together - like a club. This is an alien concept to those who think it's their right to just climb where they want - regardless of who owns the land, the ethics or the right way of doing things & personally I think the MCSA should refuse membership to those kind of individuals as they cast all climbers in a bad light.

All the best with your climbing in SA & have fun!

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:45 am 
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Real Name: Mike J
Owen, if it's on a weekend you can show up before the gate opens at 8:30 and almost surely get in as a guest of some local climbers. And they're not that strict about having the right documentation... I've seen people get in with gym membership cards.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:25 pm 
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If you keen to go to choss, message me, I've got a large network of people that would maybe be interested in joining on whatever date you prepose and in doing so provide a membership card for your entrance.

peace
Ebert


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:56 pm 
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Real Name: owen f
thanks for the advice folks. I'm not sure whether i'll be able to do a weekend day but will definitely be back here to post when i have a date in mind. Thanks for your offer Ebert, i will probably take you up on it soon. As to membershop requirements of BMC, there is no minimum level of participation required (number of meets etc) for membership, as was the case when i was looking at MCSA membership (nearly two decades ago). The BMC is a national umbrella body for mountain people of all stripes, and annual subs are all that's required for membership. I think that they do have high standards though, and all their communications etc encourage members to behave responsibly wrt landowners, environment and wildlife etc (all big issues here). there are many 'local' clubs as well, some of which have participation requirements for membership and i would guess are more focussed on that sense of community. these clubs are usually affiliated to BMC.

another poster made the point that having minimum participation requirements might prevent clubs from getting subs and for little benefit, as members could still behave outside of what the club encourages. i think that probably holds true for the BMC, they need all the membership subs they can get to do the access, development and conservation work they do, and they even send some lucky people on expeditions!

i applaud what the MCSA, BMC, and other such organisations do, generally in the background and for the benefit of all (not just members); i believe access control is important, in the case of chosspile for safety and to protect continued access, but i don't think that being a member of an organisation necessarily guarantees good conduct at the crags.

anyway, that's all a bit heavy... i look forward to climbing there; it will be sometime in feb. i'm the weak one labouring up the easy routes :)

owen


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