Lost World lost again!

For the posting and discussion of Access Issues and Closures for Areas around South Africa.
Nikki
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Lost World lost again!

Post by Nikki »

What's going on with climbing etiquette these days? Lloyd Turner spent a good year buttering up the farmer who owns the land containing the magnificent Lost World crag. It meant phone calls, letters, dinner at his restaurant - he even learnt a little French to impress the guy! We had an awesome meet there this year - new and old trad climbers loved it, but a few of the guys pitched up late, then a few left late (the farmer was very specific about the times people could come and go so as to avoid clashing with his guests). Lloyd had to write and phone all over again for a few months to convince the guy to give climbers another chance. Now I hear that a group of climbers went there, then left way past the curfew. They were told the rules, given the contact details, and explicily told not to piss the farmer off!!! Now, no more access to Lost World! How about some respect for the guy who owns the land, for Lloyd, and for the rest of us who wanted to go there again some time?! :(
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Hann
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Post by Hann »

Hello dear.

Yes, Lost World is, as far as I understand, well...lost.

Perhaps those who really want to climb there will have to book into \"the Frenchman’s\" guesthouse, same as for Karbonaatjies kraal.

However, I have it on good authority that those responsible for the lost word situation is in negotiations for access to other private property in the Montague area.

Will give you a call once I have more information on the crag quality and in ‘possession’ of an invite for us both.
Andy Davies
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Lost World

Post by Andy Davies »

Hann we would love to know who the idiots are who trashed our access? I am curious about your statement \"those responsible for the lost word situation is in negotiations for access to other private property in the Montague area\" Are you trying to say those responsible for losing this pristine trad crag are going to make amends by negotiating access to some other dodgy pile of choss? This kind of behaviour is unacceptable and we as a climbing community cannot let our peers get away with selfish actions that result in all of us losing access to the limited number of crags we have. We have to respect the wishes of landowners - individuals who can't do this need to have their asses kicked.
AndyDavies
eza
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Post by eza »

Hi
The other side of the story:
We arrived on time and entered the farm with the other climbers. we did not see the farmer and so we walked up to the crag.
we did two climbs without much problem and proceeded to the third; nuclear waste.
we started the climb well before the curfew and if all went well(witch it did not)we would have been finished and down on time.
the first climber started up the climb and got to a point that he could not pass. he gave it a few goes and then decided to come down and let the others have a go.
the second climber also got stuck at the same point. only after a long while struggling and with the help of some aid he got to the top. it was now getting dark and as if to add insult to injury we could not find the abseil anchor. the second climber thus built an anchor and brought up the second. together they finally managed to find the bolt and rap back down with two ropes. it was now pretty dark and finding the path down was not easy.
when we where at the car we got a call to tell us that the gate had been locked and the farmer was really angry. we then went to his house and tried to explain the circumstances and apologized profusely. he said that climbing at the lost word was over. we tried two get him only to ban us and not the whole climbing community. eventually he opened the gate for us, we again said that we were sorry and to please not ban climbing only us.
since then we have sent him letters in English and French again saying sorry and to please not ban climbing only us, with no reply.
and I would just like to say on behalf of the others that we are sorry but it was most certainly not done deliberately.
jeff
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Post by jeff »

Sounds like a perfectly logical reason to have been 'late' to me, I know nothing about the history of this place and the landowner / climber relationships, but there are very similar situations in the paragliding fraternity when it comes to private land and access issues. There are cases where the landowners have become complete $#@*heads as they realise the power they hold, and it becomes impossible to keep happy if they have other motives for not wanting climbers / pilots on their property. In such a case, I have seen the landowner find a pathetic excuse, but it just gives them that opening, and youre gone. This sounds like it may be one of those cases, but again, I'm not familar with the background.

Happy climbing and seasons greets to all.

Jeff
ATC
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Post by ATC »

Come on!! everyone knew how delicate the relationship was. I for one understand that sometimes it is not always possible to predict how a climb will go and how long it will take, but that is why I often research the condition of a climb, making sure to find out where rap points can be found and which descent routes to use. Apologies... Apologies the bottom line is they broke the arrangement and have now most probably ended everyones chances of ever climbing there again. I stand under correction but eza you say you never saw the farmer on arrival, had you arranged to be there?, sounds like you just snuck onto his land. Had you spoken to him before maybe things wouldve been different- alas lost world is truly lost forever :cry:
eza
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Post by eza »

hi
No we did not ‘sneak’ onto his land. we arrived with all the other climbers. We all had permits from De Bos. Someone did explain where the rap anchors where but we still did not find them quickly enough.
We had a bit of an epic and any one who has had an epic know that they come when you need them the least.
I am not trying to say what we did was right I am just giving the other side of the story
cheers eza
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justin
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Post by justin »

Hi Eza,
Thanks for coming out and letting us know. At least now we all have it from the horses mouth. The situation has been 'tricky' at Lost World for sometime...
I've think we've all had an epic on the mountain before and have arrived later than planned.
It's unfortunate, maybe it will be fixed one day. Until then we climb on 8)
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Andy Davies
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Last World

Post by Andy Davies »

Eza thanks for giving us the other side of the story. Epics do happen and I suspected as much - nobody goes out and maliciously wrecks access for everyone. However we all need to learn from this and realise that a little mistake may be 'the straw that breaks the camels back'. Lets rememeber that its a privilage and not a right to use someone else's land, no matter how long we have been climbing there. How many of us have been late for gate closing at Silvermine because we tried to squeeze one more route in? Or sneaked over a fence because we were too lazy and impolite to get permission? Maybe next time we will need to sacrifice that extra route or some gear to bail off a route so that others will be able to enjoy the area later.
AndyDavies
DouglasWard
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Post by DouglasWard »

Can I be a little negative, and point out that an access arrangement with a curfew is never going to work? Especially at a trad venue. Come on, sooner or later somebody is going to have an epic. In any case, climbing with an artificial time deadline is crap (besides being potentially dangerously distracting).

Unless access can be arranged with an open door, and a smile, rather go climbing somewhere else and let a-hole landowners be that to themselves. Compare this guy's behaviour with that of the farmer at Oorlogskloof. I know where I'd rather go climbing.
Marshall
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Post by Marshall »

We were the first climbers to make contact with this farmer a few years back. He is an totaly arrogant prat. How can we respect his right to buy up the best crag in Euros & give the locals the finger. Who the F... does he think he is?

What is he going to do if we refuse to respect his closure? shoot us?The days of shooting are over. Are the cops going to arrest us? In court...1st offence...maybe a slap on the wrist. MCSA members have been climbing there for about 30 years, could it be posible that we have right of way.

We parked on his neighbour's farm who is very awesome by the way, & trespased onto his land. This was before any access was ironed out. He was not happy & had a rifle. On another farm where we trespased the farmer & his mate fired a few shots in our direction. We gave them such sh.t. Reminded them that prison s.. would not be fun if they threatend us further with their weapons. We planned to fire his land every chance we got. Someone always beats us too it. He needs to be burned of his land...scorched earth!
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Captain Haddock
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Post by Captain Haddock »

Marshall, love youtr work - there's a box of matches in the post from JHB!!!
Billions of blue blistering barnacles!!!
Andy Davies
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Hot air

Post by Andy Davies »

Doug and Derek...

What are you going to achieve with this kind of attitude? Put yourself in the mans shoes - if I had a farm and some arrogant people walked across it without showing any kind of good manners, I'd also be a tad p1ssed.
AndyDavies
jeff
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Post by jeff »

Hi

Is there any way that an 'official' group can be put together to meet and discuss the situation under an official banner.
EG, get 2 or 3 climbers who look and sound responsible, and approach the landowner under an official banner, eg, MCSA, and set up a formal structure in writing, rubber stamped, the whole 9 yards.

It can serve to make the guy feel important enough if he is a pratt, and if he's not a pratt, then he can at least see that the climbing fraternity are serious about getting responsible / organised. Buy the dude a case of wine, and offer to start the new year on a good footing by inviting him to meet at a nice resturant in Montague??

Just my 2 cents worth, maybe this route has been 'sent' before?

Jeff
Marshall
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Post by Marshall »

Hey Jeff.... \"Lloyd Turner spent a good year buttering up the farmer who owns the land containing the magnificent Lost World crag. It meant phone calls, letters, dinner at his restaurant - he even learnt a little French to impress the guy!\" ...none of that worked. What is the next step?
JonoJ
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Post by JonoJ »

How old is the le-dude?

Maybe invite him along to another crag, teach him to climb, get him hooked...and voila!
DouglasWard
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Post by DouglasWard »

Andy, I'm suggesting that the rather spares resources in the access negotiation department be directed where they will best achieve results.

Lost World is one landowner with one crag. We have other landowners to deal with with many more crags.

If some individuals (such as the late Lloyd Turner) want to spend huge amounts of effort to butter up a particular landowner for access, then who am I to say they shouldn't. But one can hardly expect the kind of hoop-jumping access arrangements that result from such negotiations to work for the masses.

There is a truly awesome crag called the Outback at Anysberg, past Montagu. Apart from the long drive, one of the reasons I stopped climbing there is that the landowner, although he granted permission, quite clearly did not want people there. And we were hardly going to put more effort into a place with access based on a whim.
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justin
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Finding the Cost of Freedom

Post by justin »

Dear climber,

Lost World is one of the first crags to be discovered in Montagu (western Cape). The climbing there is brilliant. It is also one of the few trad areas in Montagu.

Tony Lourens and others have put in what I imagine to be a good amount of work in order to gain access to the climbing on the property.
The nature of how they wish to regain access is the reason for this forum post.

**Please note: This is not an attack on anyone.

Recently an event has been created to allow climbers to climb at Lost World again.
In order to attend the event you need to stay at the lodge at a cost of R2000 per night (for 2 people).
R4000 gets you food, accommodation and access to the climbing area.
02_galenia_estate_rock_climbing.jpg
03_galenia_estate_rock_climbing.jpg
My concern is that if landowners with climbing on their properties throughout South Africa learn that climbers are willing to put down this kind of cash to go climbing, climbing as we know could be in trouble?

The event remains exclusive only to those who can afford it and the first 20 who book their place.
The event sold out in 24 hours.

My feeling is that through this revival we may be winning a battle by gaining access to our sacred 'Lost World' but could lose the long term fight on free (cheaper)/easy access to climbing areas. In my opinion this event sets a dangerous precedent.

Again: I am not looking to take anything away from anyone, nor am I attacking anyone on trying to get things going. I just feel that we could be setting ourselves up for future fails.

Event info here: https://montaguoutdooradventures.co.za/ ... e-revival/

Sincerely,
Justin Lawson
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SNORT
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Re: Lost World lost again!

Post by SNORT »

I really don't see the problem and would not worry about it. There is ample rock around the world and Montague to climb.

Land owners make substantial sacrifices to improve their properties whether it be by farming, camp site or luxury lodges. And in that regard they need to pay the bills.

Karoo 1 is a case in point where the climbing is actually not on the land owners property and we merely access it. The Karoo 1 land has always been available for climbers by and large gratis but again they have bills to pay and the access road needs to be maintained. So over the years I have brought as much business as I can too them and developed a symbiotic relationship with the climbers and other users. So at least book a meal there or whatever even if you do not stay.

Sanddrif, Truitjies and so on works the same where the climbing is not on the owners land. But Sanparks, farm and lodge owners all work together to make it work.

Then there is the MCSA that around SA does a wonderful job of owning and servicing properties entirely through the work and donations of time and money of members. So get people to sign up to the MCSA and securing either ownership or servitudes to climbing areas.

And finally nothing is free in life. Most climbers go on overseas trips that are exhorbitantly more costly than here so be prepared to Kak and betaal if you must.

Lost World is a great trad area but in a way it is the lack of access that makes it so desirable. There are not that many good routes there compared to the Cederberg and even TM
mokganjetsi
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Re: Lost World lost again!

Post by mokganjetsi »

It's just bad luck that the crag happens to be on a 5-star lodge's land. There are fortunately many landowners who see the sense of having affordable accommodation and access arrangements where it's a win-win - like Houdenbek, Sanddrif, Oudtshoorn, Tranquilitas etc etc. Should they start jacking prices up climbers will only converge on affordable areas.

It is however sad that the landowners made it practically impossible for most climbers to ever go climb there, and I'd hope properly supervised access could be arranged in a way that it's a bit more accessible and guaranteed not to mess with their comfort (Justin, Tony - organise guided daytrips at R200pp; max 10 people...?) The landowners might see the sense of making a few grand a month extra from people who will never stay at their lodge in any case.

Or maybe there's a climber who bought Bitcoin in 2012 who can just buy Galenia for the sake of giving the climbing community regular access again :idea:
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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Lost World lost again!

Post by Nic Le Maitre »

SNORT wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 2:36 pmSanddrif, Truitjies and so on works the same where the climbing is not on the owners land. But Sanparks, farm and lodge owners all work together to make it work.
Huh? Sanddrif crag is on the Niewoudt's farm, as is the Wolfberg.

Truitjieskraal is on CapeNature property (part of the Matjiesrivier Reserve)

SANParks has nothing to do with it at all
Happy climbing
Nic
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Re: Lost World lost again!

Post by SNORT »

Sorry about the semantics as to who owns the land whether it be Private, MCSA Sanparks Cape Nature etc.

I make the point that there are various property owners that include private, the state and the MCSA that should and do work together. Whoever owns the land has to look after it and pay the bills and that means anyone that comes along and wants to climb on it must contribute an appropriate fee. So if you want to climb on land that has a 5* lodge then negotiate access and if that means staying there for the night then so be it. Otherwise, join the MCSA and use their resources to negotiate a servitude or purchase of the land.

But it all costs money!!!! And that is my point
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CragRat
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Re: Lost World lost again!

Post by CragRat »

Cost and permission of access has always been a touchy point and is synonymous with land owners who understand very little about rock climbing and the nature of the people they are engaging with.

Over the last 50 years I have had the privilege to climb in some of the most pristine areas in the country, many of them privately owned at a very nominal fee per day. These properties remain pristine to this day. This is due to in large the relentless activities of the MCSA in gaining trust and cooperation from land owners. These land owners realize that pure ACCESS it is not a money making game as you will NEVER make money out of access fees. It is about sharing what they own and is dear to them with like minded folk. The fees are just a sign of goodwill and respect. Any farmer / land owner / investor who is trying to recoup their investment out of ACCESS fees is inherently a crap business man and or a useless farmer and will never gain the respect of the climbing community.

Where investments to improvement in to property to serve the climbing community are done, it is quite normal to charge accordingly such as camping and chalet accommodation and other facilities likes pools, ablution blocks etc. However where the improvements were originally done on some other business model such as building a 5-star lodge for NONC's to indulge themselves at exorbitant prices, then this does not fall under the banner of serving the climbing community. It is an after thought and climbers will not pay for something they don't use. Pay for what you use I say !

So Justin, I sincerely hope this does not create a precedent. I for one am going to this event ONCE at this price as Tony has put in a lot of effort and its largely to support his efforts in trying to get to a final long term solution. I will certainly not do it again. I am hoping that the outcome is a more reasonable DAILY ACCESS rate (not accommodation) more in line with what I am used to (R40-R50). Out of principal I will not support any land owner seeking to extort money from me, force me use accommodation and or pay for other facilities / services not used.

We also cannot justify the costs by saying all the accommodation was snapped up in a jiffy and therefor climbers are willing to pay the price!! I suggest that the profile of those that are attending the event are a bunch of old trad Gits that have an average age well above 40, have solid jobs or are retired well off. We need a sustainable and amicable solution that caters for a broader population of trad enthusiasts

....... especially younger guys like me who cant even afford a trad rack yet !! :hapban

Regards
Colin
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tygereye
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Re: Lost World lost again!

Post by tygereye »

Just also look at it from the owner's perspective.
He doesn't NEED climbers on his land.
It's his private land.
He doesn't want "strangers" to enter his property.
He bought Galenia as an investment and with that he wants to make money. And he's used to earning pounds (not ZAR).
R30 or R40 or even R100 per climber per day is really nothing for him.
Tony Lourens has been trying for a long time to regain access to Lost World.
It was only because of unrelated personal reasons that he agreed to listen to Tony, and it was all on his (the owner's) terms.
It still is all on his terms, and we must respect that.
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CragRat
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Re: Lost World lost again!

Post by CragRat »

Tygereye

The greater climbing community and including those that are members of the MCSA have a code of conduct that without question respects land access rights whether granted or not. However if not granted we certainly do not have to respect the owner at all. That is a personal choice.

As I have said before, there are many land owners out there that have out of the kindness of their hearts agreed to share their wilderness areas with us at little or not cost for access and have in return only asked for us to respect and look after what is theirs and treat it as if it were our own.

These are the owners for which I have a high regard and fully respect. Not some chump who lives in a foreign country, buys up land in our country and than denies access to it where access was once granted. What if a South African went to the UK bought a large chunk of land and then denied access to the locals in the village who once were able to traverse the land?....... Oh !, wait a minute, they cant as in the UK there are laws preventing you from denying total access or paying for it.

Of course
He doesn't NEED climbers on his land
Of course
It's his private land.
Of course
He doesn't want "strangers" to enter his property.
of Course
He bought Galenia as an investment and with that he wants to make money. And he's used to earning pounds (not ZAR).
I could give a Sh1t if he is used to earning pounds. This is not the UK
R30 or R40 or even R100 per climber per day is really nothing for him.
. We all know that access fees don't bring home the bacon and never will so stop trying to make it so.
It was only because of unrelated personal reasons that he agreed to listen to Tony, and it was all on his (the owner's) terms.
It still is all on his terms, and we must respect that.
. Tony's efforts have already been acknowledged and we are all eternally grateful. I don't have to respect the owners terms, only to heed the call for no entry. I think they suck and are not in line with how many other South African Land owners have responded to the call for access. :puker:
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justin
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Negotiate

Post by justin »

So going way back I spoke to two of the managers at the farm (at the time, I don't know if they are still there).

Their main concerns were disturbing the guests at the luxury lodge and liability (in the event of a climber getting hurt and seeking compensation from them via legal channels).

I explained to them that 'we' (the climbing community at large) and many times along with the help of the MCSA, have negotiated safe secure access where liability is dealt with and relationships are long lasting. The managers, mentioned and idea: The lodge would close down for 3 months of the year during winter (I do not know if this is still the case?) and that climbers might be able to come in during this time.
I expressed that this would be a perfect time for climbers to make use of the property and that we could make a side path entrance to the kloof so that guests would not notice climbers - cars parked out of sight, etc.

Times are hard right now and I understand that the business needs to recoup losses endured due to Covid (in particular recovering staff wages, the lodge employs local Montagu people and this is vital to Montagu as a town).

A one time event (even per year) might not be the best way for them to earn money (whilst letting 20 climbers go in for 2 days - also a risk if weather comes into play).
A better solution could be a long term one:
Boschkloof receives +-R900.00 a month in permit fee's - that's without the owner needing to do anything. ClimbZA covers the % payable for the transactions, hosting of permits website, maintenance of website, etc.
Replacement bolts, bits and other hardware is paid for by MCSA. Labour (of love) done by climbers.

For the most part people pay their fee's and they always carry their shit out (literally carry their shit out - read the T&C's)

My feeling is that rather than go in with a very exclusive and pricey event that benefits only a few, play the long game and lets get proper access.
It took us almost 3 years to gain access back into Boschkloof!! Farmers/business people can be very patient.

Also, there is more than one way to get things done (I hate the skin a cat proverb :? - appeal to the people who best fit the picture: The MD of the group is an adventurous sports person with connections to Africa (he even wears a climbing harness --> http://africa-reps.com/joelcrossland.htm

Whilst I am here - an update on Boschkloof - Last month I sent out a message to the Local Montagu Climbing Group:

I spoke with the owner of Boschkloof yesterday.
He has given the go-ahead for ARF to perform maintenance on existing routes only. That is to say that we shall not bolt any new routes.
He has given us permission to perform path maintenance.
I informed him that the maintenance will be done under the auspices of the MCSA - Brian Watts is handling the ARF side of things.

We also discussed putting something more official in place (with regards to the access agreement). This would be done at a later date (something more official and on paper).
I suggested that I bring along some other members of the MCSA so that a relationship is built with the club (vs. just one person) for continuity reasons (and perhaps a Montagu local as well).
When that happens we shall also discuss creating an annual permit.


In addition to the above, the owner of Boschkloof agreed to not increase the entry price (currently R30 per person).
New routes will be discussed one day, but first we need to maintain what is already there.
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tygereye
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Re: Lost World lost again!

Post by tygereye »

Hi CragRat
Thanks for your opinion.
Why not befriend the land owner(s) and you might just get unlimited access?
A self-righteous attitude will get you nowhere.
Unfortunately the world is ruled by who has the money and it sucks, but that's how it works.
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Re: Lost World lost again!

Post by Marshall1 »

Eat the Rich!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wh3t49N ... rt_radio=1

The rich are begging to be eaten.
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Thermophage
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Re: Lost World lost again!

Post by Thermophage »

Marshall1 wrote: Tue Aug 10, 2021 2:02 pm Eat the Rich!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wh3t49N ... rt_radio=1

The rich are begging to be eaten.
\\m//
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CragRat
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Re: Lost World lost again!

Post by CragRat »

Hey Brenda

Now that the weekend is over and that we all had great fun at a fantastic crag and have heard and seen the rules in the guide book, it would seem that befriending the owner to get unlimited access is not an option especially seeing he does not even live here and anyone other than Tony now liaising with him would most likely jeopardize further access negotiations.

It will be very interesting to see if anything ever comes out of this costly event and by this I mean reasonable access. It is only with reasonable and regular access that people will be able to get psyched to project some of the amazing routes there and not have to be limited to having to do routes within your comfort zone.
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