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Classroom Boulder Access

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 4:50 pm
by George Horn
Returning from a bouldering session at the Classroom this morning, we were challenged by a Newlands forest ranger. He insisted that we needed to have a permit to go bouldering. Does anyone know about this requirement?

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:00 pm
by Tian
Don't know if this will help, but check the Wild Card system. They say something about a R130/year permit when climbing in Table Mountain National Park areas. I'm not sure where these climbing areas are. Does anyone know what's going on here?

Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 12:34 am
by Grigri
Yeah the park has defined a three tiered classification of users, based on the amount of impact the activity they are involved in, has on the environment. Basically everyone needs a permit to do anything now. Personally I think this is a load of crock as it flies in the face of centuries of free access to natural resources for all, but they have to maintain the park and get the funds to do so somehow. The higher impact sports cost a little more than low impact activities.
Level 1 is casual users like hikers.
2 is slightly higher impact activities including rock climbing.
3 is high impact activities such as mountain biking etc.

I find it a bit odd that the ranger approached you in this manner as the system is new and has not been well advertised at all. He/she should have explained things to you properly rather than simply challenging you. As I say I find it a bit of a cheek that this system has been instituted when we have built all of the paths to the crags and paid for all the equipment installed there. Hopefully if we have to pay more then we can expect the park to pay for maintaining the routes and building / maintaining paths to all the boulders and crags? If someone who knows more of the behind the scenes machinations reads this, please enlighten us as to what exactly the deal is.

On the upside a wild card is relatively cheap for a year and will save you a fortune when going to other areas where daily permits can be over twenty rands a day.

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:31 pm
by George Horn
Thanks Grigri. After a bit of investigation, it apperas that we do need to have a Wild Card + Permit to be allowed to do any climbing on Table Mountain. The minimum cost being R130. While I do not mind paying this small fee for access, it has not been very well communicated.

For existing wild card holders (e.g. I have a cape cluster wild card), this is sufficient as a permit until 16 July 2006 or until the wild card expires if it was purchased before 16 July 2006. Anyone purchasing a wild card after 16 July 2006 will need to purchase a permit as well and download that permit to your wild card.

In both cases it is also mandatory to carry a picture ID with you. E.g. ID book or drivers license.

Bouldering permit issues

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 1:35 pm
by Brent
I've had several reports of this, all in Newlands. I am waiting for response to my query about it from Parks. When I recieve one, I will post it here.
To my knowledge there is NO requirement for a permit for any climbing activity anywhere in the Park. This is in terms of the Environmental Management Plan for sport climbing in the park.

If this turns out to be a new thing, then it is probably just for a particular region (ie Newlands), and I will have some serious questions for Park management about communicating this to us.

I can confirm that no permit is needed for sport or trad climbing ANYWHERE on Table Mountain... and will try clear up this bouldering issue asap.


Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 2:30 pm
by Guy
Rather than every climber phoning SANP individually, it might be better if we (climbers) speak to guys like Brent from the MCSA who deal with SANP regularly...

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 6:31 pm
by Grigri
My info comes from a pamphlet a friend happened to pick up off the ground which gave the breakdown of activities and associated fees. Again this has not been advertised or posted anywhere that I have seen. It also goes against the peoples right to freedom of movement and access to natural resources. It also goes completely against the much touted rumours of laws being changed to include mountains as public areas in much the same way the beach below the high tide mark is at present. The whole story sounds awefully fishy!! (Or is it dassie?)

My feeling is the park needs reminding that they are managing the land for the people of planet earth (world heritage remember) and are not owners of some private estate!

Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 10:12 am
by Cheryl
Umm forgive me if I come across as sounding like a rabid greenie or have misunderstood your point of view......

The 'let me do whatever the hell I want to my xyz resource' is what has got us a world with global warming + a host of other problems I shudder to think about.

Who exactly is going to pay for maintaining managing the land for you??? I know you pay taxes but is it really fair to expect everyone in SA to have to pay for the impacts that you introduce into an area? Paths, bolts, climbing, walking, mtbing, horseriding etc all end up impacting the environment to some extent or other.......... those impacts have to be managed, paths maintained etc.

Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 1:26 pm
by Bongo_Muffin
Cherry-baby, maybe we should all pay a breathable-air tax, have a permit to defecate and urinate.

Sure we need to look out for our environment, but hell if we start paying for everything, a simple walk to the corner of your set will set you back a years salary. Perhaps if more people volunteered for path building etc., there would not be a need to tax, charge for permits and rape the already poor climber community. Be realistic and take care of the environment.

ps, can I have your number greenie

Permits for bouldering

Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 1:55 pm
by Brent
Whoa there. This isn't really the place for one of *these* debates. There is frustration, sure, but let's just focus on the question here.

I have spoken to several senior Park officials, and none of them know of any permit requirement either. My queries to one of the guys at the top continue to go unanswered.

I have communicated to Parks that until we hear otherwise, we will assume that a permit to boulder is not required. Anyone challenged by a ranger may feel free to tell him that, or politely heed his request not to boulder. My suggestion, for the record, is the former.

Boulderers are encouraged to contact me about any such confrontation, as this will greatly aid in obtaining some sort of definitive solution from Park management.

When bouldering, please take great care to avoid trampling vegetation, making unnecessary short-cut paths, and plonking crash-pads down on sensitive plants. Brush off all chalk when you're done too. Let these okes see that we do actually care about the environment too, it gives them less ammo against us.


Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 8:13 pm
by Grigri
The thot plickens! Last week a friendwas told he had to pay R60 per day per person surcharge to climb in a Cape Nature reserve! Despite the fact he is a paid up wild card holder. Another friend has seen pamphlets at their Rondebosch offices confirming this. And yet when I booked to visit the same crag a week earlier there was no mention of a surcharge. I dont mind paying a reasonable yearly fee to climb, but R60 a day is completely out of the ballpark! How did they arrive at this figure?? It bears absolutely no relation to the kind of impact likely in one visit, never mind suiting the pockets of the average climber.

Greg Mosley (MCSA chairman) has been alerted to this and has been pushing hard to get answers from Cape Nature officials. Hopefully we will get some feedback from MCSA members who frequent this site? If they really have to install an extra charge lets hope that it is reasonable (R10-15 a month tops!) and that in return we see the both Cape Nature and National Parks doing something constructive which directly benefits our user group - ie taking over path maintenance to the crags and boulders, taking financial (at least) responsibility for the maintenance of bolts and fixed equipment on their property. Unless there are concrete benefits to a surcharge system I can simply see people sidestepping the charge by saying they are hiking while booking permits or simply ignoring the need for permits at all.

Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 4:53 pm
by scottnoy
Can anyone tell me what the latest is with access to bouldering in Newlands?

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 7:04 am
by Grigri
Scott According to Brents investigations you can just go and boulder. Until such time as there is a clear communication from the parks to the contrary there are no permit requirements. Whichever park ranger confronted these guys; he/she is out of line.