Skip to content

American Alpine Club / MCSA Exchange 14 – 28 March 2017


After the second successful BMC/MCSA exchange in 2016 members of the South African trad climbing community are again invited to participate in a similar event in 2017.  A group of America’s best trad climbing talent will be visiting us here and a South African Team will travel to the USA later in the year around September 2017.
If you are interested to participate in the local and/or offshore event then please send me a PM with your email address.

Younger enthusiastic keen climbers are encouraged to apply.

The local event will take place in the Western Cape and Gauteng and the trad climbing venues under consideration include the following:

The final itinerary will depend on whether there is access to certain climbing areas as some have been badly affected by wild fires.

Local leg of the American Alpine Club/MCSA Exchange

The first part of the event will take place over the long weekend of 17 March to 21 March probably in the Cederberg. However the event may start in Gauteng once logistics are sorted out.

All and Sundry are invited to join the local event except possibly participation at Tafelberg due to the acute water shortage there in March.  However, if individuals are able to carry water for themselves, then there is plenty of space up there to camp.

Numbers may be limited but the organizers will arrange instructional courses at all the venues for as many less experienced individuals wishing to participate as possible.  Depending on the amount of volunteers than can be mustered and funding obtained, it may necessitate paying a small fee so as ensure we can “employ” sufficient instructors to assist in this regard. However basic knowledge of rope work and trad climbing techniques is required. In this regard it is most important approach your local MCSA branch and head out on to some real rock on a meet.

The team traveling to the USA will be chosen on “climbing” merit as far as that is possible but individuals will have to fund themselves at least for the airline trip.  Once there you should be hosted by the American participants.  The organizers will endeavor to assist in accessing funding (such as air miles) for our more impecunious, younger climbers.

Applications are now open for the Team so please PM me if your are interested.

Your organizing team will be identified and further details will follow.


Application for American Alpine Club (AAC) – MCSA trad exchange team

Applications due Monday 6 Feb 2017

The latest information for the AAC-MCSA trad exchange and the application details are copied below

For more information please contact Jimbo (083 305 7593), Snort ( 082 375 0310), Illona ( 071 802 2737) or Johann ( 082 927 9018)

A team will be selected based on applications received by 6 Feb 2017.  Any additional places will be filled by late submissions.

Overview of SA leg: 14 – 28 March 2017

• The structure will be similar to the 2016 British Mountaineering Council – MCSA trad exchange.
• 10 AAC climbers will visit SA for 2 weeks in March to be hosted and climb with a core team of 10 MCSA climbers plus any other local climbers who want to tag along for the ride. The idea is that we show case some of our best climbs and destinations to our US visitors.

• The MCSA team will be selected based on:
o Their commitment to the event (able to take 2 weeks leave in March),
o Climbing merit (particularly onsight ability)
o Trad experience or potential to develop as a trad climber (you will need to know what nuts and cams are),
o Potential to contribute to the event (hosting, driving, telling jokes, eye candy etc)
o Being an MCSA member
o Youth (we will accept climbers of any age but definitely want to encourage some younger climbers to take part eg low to mid 20s)

• Additional local climbers not selected for the event are encouraged to join for sections of the event.
• Depending on funds raised we hope to cover most of the teams expenses and will aim to organise food, travel and accommodation. Others will have to cover their own costs and organise themselves.
• Climbing destinations still need to be finalised but will include Table Mountain, Du Toits kloof (Yellowwood, Hell fire etc), Blouberg, Magaliesberg (Unfortunately the Cederberg may no longer be an option because of the recent fires)
• Likely itinerary (subject to change): Cape 14 to ~20 March, Gauteng ~20 to 28 March.

Overview of US leg

• Details are fuzzy at this stage
• At some point later this year or early next year, 10 MCSA climbers will visit the US for ~2 weeks to be hosted and climb with the AAC team.
• All food, transport and accommodation expenses while in the US should be covered (depending on funds available).
• Most team members will need to buy their own flights to the US. Depending on funds raised we hope to subsidise the cost of ~3 flights based on financial need, youth and potential of the climber.
• The MCSA core team from the SA leg will be given preference to go to the states.
• For those that are not selected for the SA core team in March but would still like to go to the states, participation in the local event will count favourably for their selection to travel to the US.

Application procedures for MCSA Team.

If you would like to take part as a team member please send the following information to Jimbo at with MCSA-AAC application in subject title by 6 Feb 2017 (do not re post it on this forum). Please do this even if you have already sent Snort your Bio.

1. Personal details
a. Name:
b. Age:
c. Address:
d. Cell number:
e. Email:

2. Are you available to take part in the exchange for:

a. The entire 2 weeks between 14 and 28 March 2017?
b. The Cape leg 14 – ~20 March
c. The Gauteng leg ~20 – 28 March
d. Other dates (please specify)

3. Please provide a Climbing Bio of yourself (~ 1 paragraph highlighting your climbing history, climbing preference, climbing personality, quirks etc). This may be posted online.

4. Comment on your trad experience or potential as a trad climber.

5. List a few of your more notable climbing achievements.

6. Comment briefly on how you think you might add value/ contribute to the trad exchange (local knowledge, driver, willingness to help cook, clean etc.)

7. Are you an MCSA member?

8. If not, will you join the MCSA if selected for the team?

9. Do you have a trad rack and ropes that can be used for the exchange?

1 Comment

  1. Its a rad exchange and I highly encourage anyone keen on trad to take part.

    Only small correction to the comprehensive explanation above is a minor one: there were several (at least 2 I know of) BMC exchanges in the 90’s.

    I do hope the USA leg is concentrated to as few states as possible or flights could get prohibitive!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *