Coppermine access

For the posting and discussion of Access Issues and Closures for Areas around South Africa.
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zoed
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Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:19 pm

Coppermine access

Post by zoed » Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:08 am

A few of us were accosted by rangers at Coppermine on Sunday while we were peacefully bouldering - they told us that climbing is prohibited in the area. One of them said you MIGHT be able to get a permit to climb but was unsure. They have knocked the cairns down and covered the path with dead bushes, and were turning people carrying bouldering pads away. We said that we were totally unaware of the prohibition and suggested that there needs to be a sign at the car park stating the regulations. The rangers didn't really seem to know the facts... The question remains - are we allowed to boulder here with a permit? Are we allowed to be there at all? Jeremy took the phone number of the head honcho lady and was going to call her today to find out the score... Anyone have any further info on this?

zoed
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Re: Coppermine access

Post by zoed » Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:32 am

?

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Geoffrey
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Real Name: Geoffrey OConnell

Re: Coppermine access

Post by Geoffrey » Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:05 am

Good morning,

I e-mailed the MCSA yesterday and was told that the Access Subcommittee is running with it.
It seems I will be kept in the loop if there are any new developments and will post any further information here.

Regards
Geoffrey
Last edited by Geoffrey on Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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XMod
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Real Name: Greg Hart

Re: Coppermine access

Post by XMod » Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:31 am

Copper mine is on Redhill - right? - Ok this sounds like total bollocks as usual. Some ranger (probably new to the area) with their own ideas as to what is and isnt allowed to happen there. If you hold a level two permit (National wild card) then surely you are allowed to climb there. The whole point of of the level two is that any damage created by climbing is offset by the extra fees you have paid. If you have this level two permit (all climbers in TMNP need one) then you have the right to climb in the reserve. I get really tired of hearing about bullshit like this. TMNP need the funds from paying visitors (us) desperately yet they do f-all to accomodate us and over and above that they turn people away, someone needs to be read the riot act here coz this sounds utterly pathetic!!!

PLEASE will the MCSA / Local Boulderer types chasing this keep us all informed about what they find. My 2c - go there and climb as much as possible. Throw the dead bushes off the paths and shove your wild card proudly up the nose of whoever is stupid enough to stand in your way!!! Take a photo of these fools next time so we can refer the incident to Brett Myrdell. TMNP are just caretakers, we have a historical right of access to the Mountain areas on the peninsula, park staff really have zero right to stop you going there unless its the habitat of something on the extremely endangered list or something.

zoed
Posts: 155
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:19 pm

Re: Coppermine access

Post by zoed » Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:57 am

thanks for the feedback chaps...

Yup all of us there were Wild Card holders and did raise the issue with the rangers but they reckoned that Wild Cards were irrelevant in this case.

Thanks Geoffrey for taking this to the Access subcommittee - please keep us posted... I do agree that we need to be sensitive and respectful about this and try to step on as few toes as possible.

We tried to point out to the rangers the fact also that covering up the paths and knocking down cairns without putting signs up is just going to cause more destruction - with people forging endless new paths through the fynbos instead of one well managed path.

wasatchgirl
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Real Name: Rachel Strate

Re: Coppermine access

Post by wasatchgirl » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:34 pm

I went out this weekend with a couple climbers to Coppermine. On the main trail we were stopped by a SANparks vehicle and told we were not permitted to climb. I had heard rumor of such, but had yet to be stopped. We chatted for awhile to see who we needed to talk to (Gavin Bell) and why we couldn't climb (supposedly they need to do a impact assessment as they are afraid we will hurt the plant life) and then we left and had a great bouldering session at Llandudno. Upon getting home, one of the crew members have chatted to a couple fellow climbers and learned that Coppermine is actually permitted according to the website. (Does anyone have a link to the access map as I can't quite find it.)

As an avid boulderer, can someone tell me what we can do to clear up communication between climbers and the park rangers? I have heard that people (Marijus and the MCSA) have been in contact with the rangers but the problem has yet to be resolved due to slack on the ranger side. (I did hear a temp solution is using the old trail rather than the main trail.) Does anyone have feedback on the history of these conversations? Or what is currently being done about this issue? I'd love to help out here, if needed.
Thanks!
Rachel

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robertbreyer
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Re: Coppermine access

Post by robertbreyer » Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:25 pm

sounds like typical SANParks bullshit.
a few months ago i had a run-in with the area manager Paddy for access to the quarry in Higgovale. turned out that they wanted to close the quarry for everyone because of suspected drug dealing. when i said to paddy that he had no right to close the quarry to us climbers because of other people's illegal activities he actually agreed. been all quiet on that front since. maybe paddy has been moved to south peninsula.
will call the silvermine area manager tomorrow and find out. stay tuned.
zoe, got any full names of the rangers that kicked you out?
wasatchgirl, is gavin bell the area manager?
i am all with xmod. we mustn't let them get away with this. i cant believe that we actually pay these people's salaries.

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klimkop
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Real Name: Klimkop - Ricko
Location: Cape Town

Re: Coppermine access

Post by klimkop » Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:52 pm

Xmod. You sound like a trouble maker :lol: hardekwas!
Since I started climbing I developed a big crack addiction.

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klimkop
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Real Name: Klimkop - Ricko
Location: Cape Town

Re: Coppermine access

Post by klimkop » Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:13 pm

The problem is. Rangers contribute towards the conserving task. Boulderers do what they want in terms of create new paths continually and clear areas around boulders/problems. I experienced this first hand. Climbers destroy big shrubs and small trees to climb boulders. Climbers call this gardening. When they go for a nap they simply through their crash pads on top of a nice bushy patch and fuck it up. This does not gel with rangers and conservators. This might sound anul and irritating to the norm but this is why there is clashes with some rangers and authorities. Obviously not every climber is inconsiderate like this. Eish!, the same old song. :|
Since I started climbing I developed a big crack addiction.

Paul Goddard
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Re: Coppermine access

Post by Paul Goddard » Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:07 pm

Howdy Robert

Slightly off topic but wrt climbing in Higgovale quarry. I sent Justin a scanned copy of an email i got from a woman at Sanparks permit office after a run in i had with a very aggressive sanparks official when climbing there on a Saturday morning about a year ago.
The ranger told me i needed a permit to climb in the quarry.
The only thing you need a permit for in the Higgovale quarry is if you are doing a photo shoot or any ''thing'' of a commercial nature.
The lady at the permit office gauranteed me we do not need a permit for CLIMBING in the quarry.
Please find that letter in the archives on this site, print it out and take it with you when you go there next. Just in case. :thumright
cheers

wasatchgirl
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Real Name: Rachel Strate

Re: Coppermine access

Post by wasatchgirl » Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:49 pm

@Robert, Yeah, we were told the person to speak with is Gavin Bell. The ranger who threw us out was really nice and sat and answered our questions. She even said she hoped we had a good climbing day... nice. I must admit, it was tempting to walk back in once she drove away, but we didn't since we didn't want to ruin or damage any relationship between climbers and rangers....

So, what is the best course of action for us climbers? Do we carry a map that shows that yes, we actually ARE allowed? Do we store a pad at the boulders? And long term, what is the solution?

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Brent
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Location: Cape Town

Re: Coppermine access

Post by Brent » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:12 am

Eish...
Ok, this is a bit of a complicated one. Let's look at a few facts, as I know them.

Yes, the MCSA is helping to sort out access. There's always stuff going on behind the scenes with access. We will keep you informed.

A Wild Card with a climbing 'permit' is part of the arrangement we have with TMNP for sport climbing. (note that MCSA members do not have to pay the additional fee on top of the wild card basic charge for this). This has nothing to do with bouldering. There is a 'Sport Climbing Management Plan' in place for sport climbing in TMNP. This also has nothing to do with bouldering, but only refers to bolted routes in the Park. It defines how sport crags are managed, outlines a code of conduct, and how new routes are to be dealt with. Basically, it allows us to access our sport crags.

Technically, bouldering at Coppermine is indeed not permitted by the TMNP. They don't appear to enforce this regularly, or very strictly, however.

Having done with the facts, here's some other info:

I know that some boulderers were working on looking into access issues. Jeremy Colenso and maybe Guy were digging in this department, but I've had no feedback from anyone on this.

The Park's major concerns with bouldering are the damage to vegetation (pads, walking), the amount of litter people leave behind (stompies, finger tape), and the shortcut paths amongst the boulders. These are real issues.

There was some speculation that at least part of the Coppermine area does not lie within the Park but is privately owned. Again, maybe Jeremy could answer that more thoroughly.

Hope this all helps.
~Brent

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