Another death on Table Mountain yesterday

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Another death on Table Mountain yesterday

Post by AlexB-S »

Just heard on the radio news, that a 72 year old man died after a fall on the mountain yesterday. The radio of course was playing up the India Venster angle, but it seems he was in the India Waterfall Area, the decent route from Frasers and Bombay Duck etc. How on earth did he get there and it was also reported that he was with his 11 year old grandson.

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Re: Another death on Table Mountain yesterday

Post by Nic Le Maitre »


I wasn't on this one but I gather that he walked up the venster path and turn left to follow the path up to the waterfall rather than the actual Venster route which heads right and up. They were climbing up the waterfall when he fell.
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Re: Another death on Table Mountain yesterday

Post by Wayne73 »

As always this is very sad, but wondering around in the mountains is dangerous. I read that a group is going up India Venster next week to discuss how to make this route safer. Is this not just going to cause more traffic up this route, then what. more people getting lost trying to traverse Africa Ledge, Hikers trying to scramble Africa Final - its not verticle and does not look that difficult. The point I am trying to make is that the danger area will just be moved. I do understand that the route is not well defined, the first time I did it I got off route and had to retrace and go home. Because of the proximity to Town and that the mountain looks easy (at only 1000m) you will always have a lot of people in a dangerous area and this is going to lead to people getting into trouble. (especially but not limited to those who are ill prepared)

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Re: Another death on Table Mountain yesterday

Post by Spike »

Wayne it's covered already. It's already been checked out and a plan already made to cut down on inexperienced traffic

Posted by Roy White a few weeks ago
Some feed back that things are happening.

A meeting was held on Thursday evening between Wilderness Search and Rescue and Table Mountain National Parks to address the problems with the number of accidents on the India Venster route. TMNP have agreed to take certain steps to try and resolve the issues.

The problem is basically two fold. The first and most urgent issue is the high risk of people falling on the 'C' scramble section. Staples and possibly a chain are to be placed on this section to reduce the risk of a slip and what should go where will be assessed this weekend by experienced climbers who have done this sort of work before. Once the inspection has been done the hardware will be made up and installed fairly soon afterwards. While this should reduce the number of accidents it will not prevent them completely as people will still manage to fall off from time to time. In fact we had to rescue a young girl of Lion's Head in the morning before the meeting as she had fallen off the chains there and injured her back.

The second issue is that this section of the mountain is still steep and potentially dangerous and in fact there is only one easy way up the front of Table Mountain and that is via Platteklip. Many of the people who use the IV route do so without any real understanding of the risks involved and several do it convinced that they are on the Platteklip route. This despite signage warning of the dangers which people apparently don't read or believe it doesn't apply to them.

To address this issue the signage where the path from the lower cable station reaches the contour path will be changed to indicate only the route left along the contour path to the upper cableway station via Platteklip and right along the contour path down to the road. The IV route will not be shown. A gabion will be built across the start of the IV route so that it is less obvious and anyone wanting to use this route will have to consciously step over it. This should reduce the number of people who unintentionally take the IV route up. Some distance up the IV route a severe warning sign will be placed that will describe it as a dangerous black diamond route requiring use of rope and rock climbing. Hopefully this sign will turn back those who are not sure what they are doing and the black diamond symbol is familiar to many overseas tourists. A similar sign will be placed near the top of the route to warn people who decide to descend that way.

These actions should reduce the number of incidents in this area although I'm sure we will still have plenty of people wandering around up there out of their depth.

No doubt some of you will find something to criticise in these actions but at least they are actions and besides you have to have something to write about. Oh, and all of those who wanted to spend hundreds of thousands of rands on suing TMNP, why don't you just donate some of that money to them with the specification that it is used for the India Venster route. I'm sure they would appreciate it.
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Re: Another death on Table Mountain yesterday

Post by Wayne73 »

Sorry bit behind the times :oops: and Sounds like a good plan. I hope that it works.

It is still however in the guide books as an easy scramble (Mike Lundies book) and as a "B" route in Table mountain Classics (not a "C")- which incidently warns against using the chains route on Lions Head as it is an nasty accident waiting to happen, to which I agree.
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Re: Another death on Table Mountain yesterday

Post by zabullet »

Some distance up the IV route a severe warning sign will be placed that will describe it as a dangerous black diamond route requiring use of rope and rock climbing.
How about a sign that says "Number of people killed in last 10 years: X", where X is changeable....that should get the message across!

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Re: Another death on Table Mountain yesterday

Post by XMod »

Whilst Im glad things are finally moving on this problem I do wish they would stop talking and get the job the job done asap! Our mountain is becoming a slaughterhouse! The path up to the waterfall / lower butresses should also be discreetly but obviously signposted as a: no-entry, cul de sac, access to rock climbing area only, not a hiking route. Again liberal use of the skull and crossbones would be good, I really feel too few people will understand what a black diamond indicates, a skull and cross bones is obvious. Although knowing tourons some will still probably think they have to be on the lookout for Somali pirates!

In fact all the paths up the mountain should have some small yet obvious (like you'll walk right into them) signposts at the start indicating where the route goes and what the difficulties are, as well as a big arrow pointing them to Platteklip. On top of this Platteklip needs a bit of maintenance to some of the steps and more obvious route markers (like really obvious! we are dealing with people whose most ambitious previous outing was going to Disneyland).
PS Whatever ironic humor my post may include should in no way be taken as diminishing sympathy for those who have lost family and loved ones on the hill.
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Re: Another death on Table Mountain yesterday

Post by madcrazyhaha »

I'm not a cape town climber but I do have friends who climbe there. Hope taht you guys come right with making it safer for those who do, and don't climb!
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Re: Another death on Table Mountain yesterday

Post by justin »

They had taken a wrong path and ended up on India Ravine, where the accident happened.

"They got snarled up on the waterfall. The (grandfather) then fell about 15 to 20 metres from the waterfall, landing at the foot of it and sustaining fatal injuries," Tromp said.

Hike ends in tragedy
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