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MCSA is it worth it for beginners?

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:02 pm
by Nax
Hello Fellow climbing fanatics.

Iv only been climbing for a few months and want to know of joining the mcsa is worth the cash and the long joining process?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks Nax. :twisted:

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:20 pm
by nosmo
In a word, yes.

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:55 pm
by oOdball

My personal view is that the joining process is totally unnecessary, but it's not actually that difficult to get through. Who knows, things might change one day.

The money is definitely worth it, you are contributing to the only organization that allows the climbers voice to be heard in formal forums. Maintaining access to and preserving the character of climbing areas is the most obvious place that your effort in joining the MCSA will 'be worth it'. There are many others...

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:05 pm
by 8a_climber
You should not join the MCSA. You will be wasting your money. Rather take the money and go and buy some climbing gear.

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:27 pm
by Marc
The joining process is a great way to explore new crags and every cent of your membership fee goes toward developing and securing access to climbing areas…
It always helps to get to know other climbers in your area. You can never have enough climbing partners. Even if you are not involved with the MCSA after joining, I think it’s still worth while.

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:36 pm
by Drifter
I think it is worth joining the Mountain Club of South Africa just from the point, that you are a beginner and the Mountain Club has good sport and trad training days out. The training days are worth going on.

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:46 pm
by ant
You will get out of it what you put in.

It is a forum for mountaineers to get together and achieve something greater than the sum of the parts.
It is not a commercial service out of which you demand something to be given to you.

If you rock up (scus the pun) eager to enrich the experiences of those around you, you will quickly find yourslef at the centre of something really cool.
It is a great way to meet people, it is a great way to explore new crags without having to get lost once at each new crag you visit.

I joined to find climbing partners, for access to the library (for back-country route descriptions) and to help find funding for big trips (not GIVE ME rather HELP FIND) - I've never looked back.

Re access: Having a club allows one to negotiate access with land-owners, on the premise that the club has recourse* to those members that may infringe rules. (ie the ones that cock it up for everyone else)- that as I understand is the reason for the supposedly long joining process. I never saw going along on 'prospective member meets' as arduous at all - I enjoyed it, albeit a departure from my standard schedule.

*not legal/financial, but rather 'social' recourse

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:26 am
by Nax
Thanks for all the help everyone .

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:52 pm
by JC
The MCSA Cape Town section runs regular training meets, focusing on rock climbing - incuding both trad and sport. These courses are free to members and are commercially worth about two years subscriptions. This alone makes it worthwhile to beginner climbers. Not to mention all the rest that the club does!

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:45 pm
by Justin
In a word, Yes

Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:02 am
by drew
yes its worth it

as an example im off into the Bav to a place closed to the public. MCSA are allowed in because of their efforts in alien clearing, search and rescue and interestes in the mountains. another exaample is the National parks great management plan. MCSA are on the advisory board to make sure the mountains stay open to those who love to roam in them. So, to those that think its a waste of time. wake up and make an effort.


Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:10 pm
by Brent
I think it's worth it. And they've changed the admission admin so now it's easy. The beer's cheap there too.

The club's changed a lot from the days where they were a bunch of non-rockclimbing old farts who sat around drinking port and smoking cigars (not that there's anything wrong with port or cigars - but I digress...).

Yup, you get out what you put in. Join. Go on the training meets, go climbing, get involved in search and rescue - the MCSA has a top-notch technical team, go killing pine trees with chainsaws, do some community service by getting involved with the outreach programs the club runs, get access to some cool properties, help with developing our sport crags.

Or just meet and go climbing with people who love the mountains.

Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:40 pm
by noki
In three words: Yes, yes, yes.

Some people gripe about the MCSA, but somehow they fail to see that the best way to change the MCSA is to do it form within. So join, throw in your weight, and reap the rewards.

And note that there are a lot more happy MCSA members than griping non-members out there.


Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 10:18 pm
by Camp
I would not have replied to this as 2 replies says it all. The comment by the \"8a - climber' prompts me to however. Unless you have an immediate contact with a group of climbers, the MCSA is a very good way to go. The organised meets at different places are very helpful. And perhaps you will learn that there is a heck of a lot more to climbing than \"8a climber' thinks.

Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:26 pm
by Mad
From a beginners perspective I have to note that I have been receiving very conflicting information with regards to joining the MCSA. However, I got to meet one of the members recently and I was very impressed by what he had to say. Joining definitely sounds like something to be recommended but I would suggest you read up on them some more on their website. Generally the meetings occur on a Wednesday night but heads up – check out the events calendar on their site to see when they have stuff planned for their meetings otherwise you might end up going on one of the more “boring” nights. He said it – not me. Hiehie.
Alternatively pop in at Wonder Wall on one of the next 5 Mondays where the bouldering competition is currently being hosted (hope I have my info right) and have a chat to them yourself.

Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:52 pm
by emile
Seeing as I've been vocal on this topic before, I'll add my bit here. My intention in the past was to stir a bit (although not in a malicious sense) in an attempt to get some sort of a feel for the club - some of the questions I asked are still unanswered, but thats fine too.

Having spent some time with MCSA members and even attending a \"Kamp staaldraad\" :lol: , I think as a rule the people are all very nice, often awe inspiring in terms of their knowledge, easy to get along with and helpful.

As in life and every group / club / society, there are members who should rather not have gotten membership - natural de-selection is not what it used to be. Unfortunately, these individuals also tend to attract 100x more attention of the other members, causing the group to get a bad reputation. This makes the group / club involved an easy target for it's detractors, causing a lob-sided impression of said group / club to an outsider. As an example, good current real-life examples include the f-wits who made the UFS video and 8a posting on this site. :P

I'd say it's worth it. As far as I'm concerned, the MCSA members giving the bad impressions are lone rangers, as for the detractors, to each his own - show me your efforts towards preserving the environment. The joining process is as tedious as you decide to perceive it - it can be \"forced\" time spent somewhere, or an enjoyable outing to somewhere you possible did not even know of before.