MCSA - Likes / dislikes & what you would change

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MCSA - Likes / dislikes & what you would change

Post by Justin » Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:16 pm

WRT to the MCSA thread-jack thread and a few others on this site.

List your pro's and con's of the MCSA and what you would like to see changed.
Keep it short and to the point Give examples where possible and if you know something is section specific, says so - NO complaining, whining, moaning, etc
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Post by Justin » Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:18 pm

- Land owned by the club
- Tuesday nights (free & open to non members)
- Land access negotiation (e.g. Rocklands)
- Sponsoring bolts and the Anchor Replacement Fund
- Search & Rescue
- Path building

- Committee's (perhaps a necessary evil?)
- Time taken to get decision's made (see above)
- Joining process (payment of fee's should qualify person for membership)
- High fee's (Specifically the Cape Town section)

- Payment of fee's should a qualify person for membership (I could start a whole new thread on this... point is that it works overseas and would bring increased revenue to the club... allowing for further development)
- For everyone to get on within the club (like they do on Tuesday evenings)
- World peace (see above)
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Post by nosmo » Thu Nov 15, 2007 2:09 pm

- Establishing well-defined conservation policies (i.e. no bolting in the kloofs, yes yes yes leave it now :), the limit on bolting at Bronkies )
- Sponsoring expeditions
- Support of new initiatives and events (various rock rallies around the country, and the Rock and Road trip)

- slang for people who are in jail
- Perception of the club being an older generation thing (PERCEPTION)

I'm not sure, but are the JHB section's Tuesdays like the CPT section's Tuesdays?

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Post by GarethFrost » Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:04 pm

A good place to share in and enjoy the mountains with like minded individuals.
Access to information through a vast sourse of experience and knowledge.
Funding for expeditions and youth develpoment.
Extensive legal backing for access issues.
Training programs for beginners.
Many other subtle advantages.

Joining procedure is a bit teadeous but should be necessary. Just as you can't join a soccer team without being able to play soccer, so you should have to demonstrate some mountain skills to join the club.
Some committees do slow the works down. Having served on one, I fully understand the extra effort required by the volunteers to get things going. Without the committees, the club will fall apart.

The perception that the club is their to serve all and sundry and to satisfy the needs of each climber, member or non-member. The club serves those best who are prepared to put in the effort to make it work.

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Post by fanta » Thu Nov 15, 2007 4:47 pm

Nosmo, Gareth... well said I agree on all accounts...

The MCSA is a great platform to work off... who are you all by yourself...
The club has great international relations with other clubs around the world

It is a bit clicky

Just put in a bit of effort (not only the club and its members!)

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Post by megawat » Thu Nov 15, 2007 5:52 pm


CHEAP BEER on Wednesday nights in Josi section - note Nosmo (although prices did just go up - still half the price of anywhere else that night:), often with a good show by the characters in this game (alardnmark, adk, James P and Marianne Pretorius's recent crazy trip, Doug Scott, etc etc

I've witnessed first hand the unbelievable skill of the rescue guys and their chopper buddies. So if I land wrongside up, that's a big pro!

Magaliesberg access.

Discounts on gear (recent major retailer offered a special evening for 25% off)

Trips to specially-negotiated-access (ie off limits to anyone else anytime else) places like Makapansgat (2 weekends back) where its wild, beautiful climbing.

The company of some old-timers who are still setting new hairy routes in those wild places and who have great stories to tell. Have some respect for climbers who have probably done more in their day than you will in yours!

A bunch of people feverishly negotiating for further access and developing the sport so I don't have to. Unless you have pulled off something like the Rock and Road trip, perhaps its best to be less quick to judge when some things fall through the cracks.


Committee decisions - slooow. Not always optimum.

Historic stuff that is still causing negative perceptions today, despite new committees and endeavours.

Development and support of programmes/initiatives that would encourage a broader appeal to other race groups. I still think the club is too white. Can argue its not the point, but I stand by my earlier statement that its no way to be if you want to hold a long-term position in this country as an organsiation.

More adventure races. Cross-selling with other mountain users.

More expert knowledge gathered on conservation issues in sensitive ecologies.
Have Fun...

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Post by Gadget » Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:02 pm

Justin: good idea. At least this is something more constructive although I have a suspicion only MCSA members is likely to make a contribution here. Any case here goes:

*Those few passionate individuals that work to benefit SA mountaineers without being asked to do it and who work behind the scenes without sticking a MCSA badge in your face (unfortunately there are too few of them)
* Free search and rescue service all over the country. Working with other state and private emergency agencies
* Properties owned, servitudes held, access arrangements and land owner relationships
* Sponsoring and organising bolting all over the country
* Discount from many climbing and hiking retailers
* Conservation activities (policy, alien vegetation, participation in environmental impact assessments)
* Organising Hiking and climbing meets that I can attend without doing the arrangements myself
* Sponsorship (albeit small) of local mountaineering events etc. to make them more attractive to me
* Publication of information (news, RDs, etc)
* Some level of formal training, members willing to show you the ropes and MCSA participation in setting training standards (MDT)
* Organising speakers and slide shows – much of which is of interest to me and whom I would not have seen nor have known about nice things to do
* Allows me to participate in international mountaineering trips which me and my climbing buddies can not / will not organise on our own
* Publishing the MCSA Journal which contains some of the best South African mountain writing
* A legacy of routes and trails developed during the past 100 years
* An incredible wealth of knowledge and experience (but this can be difficult to tap)

* MCSA Members who think they “are” the MCSA and that they have the right to tell others what to do as if there is only ONE way
* A large group of climbers and hikers are not members
* Inability to address negative perceptions about MCSA
* Membership entry fees for younger people are high
* Not representative enough
* Slow to act – relying on volunteers that have real jobs is free but has its downside
* More of our important crags should be bought by the MCSA

* Have to think about this one but for now: I want mountaineering insurance as part of membership (or at least the option)
* What I would like to change is my understanding (in a similar approach to this thread) how the anti-MCSA people benefit other mountaineers. It is my perception that they always talk about their selfish little worlds (and even want like to take things into their own hands to force their views of others)

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Post by Stu » Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:46 pm

All of the above.

Come on the joining process should be as simple as paying your fee - that's it. Having to \"demonstrate some mountain skills\" is ridiculous. The reason you join the club in the first place is to learn those skills!
I know plenty of people who have started the sign up process but just not finished it thanks to this (myself included).
And no this is not due to a lack of will but rather one doesn't join a club like the MCSA to deal with paperwork and unnecessary procedures but get out into the mountains and climb!

Walk in, fill in form, pay - welcome to the MCSA.

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Post by OneDogClimbing » Thu Nov 15, 2007 8:58 pm

'sme again, the pesky outsider.

I can agree with basically all that's said above wrt Pro's & Cons, good stuff. Nosmo - you have me worried with your \"mountin' club\" :lol: Megawatt: Beer is pure evil, get some tequila please, you'll see me there 4 shore. 8)

How about an insert every now and again by the MCSA on this site, as simple as a \"There's been an update to the calendar, come check our site\" - I was (pleasantly) surprised by the updates I saw, even for the before year-end period which I thought was \"dead\". I was not aware of or made aware of the mailing list (which would partially solve this problem). I've looked (briefly) on JHB & PTA sites, and could not find any info on sponsored bolts & / access etc. maybe it's in the newsletters, but it would do a lot for awareness if \"they\" could just do a \"howzit\" on this site every once in a while? I think I'd volunteer to do that, if there's no better suggestions / objections?

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Post by DolphinDawie » Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:25 pm

Been a member for since 2000, and although I never go on meets and rarely attend slideshows I want to contribute (at least monetarily) to an organisation that represents climbers interests in South Africa. That for me is a good enough reason to join.

Access & anchor replacement
Search and Rescue
UIAA membership

Sponsored Trips - Only a few people benefit directly from this practice, People should pay their own way. Slideshows are nice, but I'd rather the money went to access, S&R or anchor replacement.
Appears to have a strong 'hiker' bias, esp. in Cape Town.
Slow publications
No club-wide insurance policy (I think?)
Underutilization of club resources (land, library etc.)
Minimal sponsorship of guidebooks

More publications, highlighting club resources and how to use them
Strong sponsorship of guidebooks where possible
Clubwide travel and mountain sports insurance policy (forgive my ignorance if there is one already)
Minimal sponsorships
Weissbier on tap in the Table Mountain hut

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Just an observation..

Post by Chalk » Fri Nov 16, 2007 9:45 am

Most of the cons and changes relate to people and money issues….if we get more people who contribute more membership fees, we will have fresh ideas and the money to implement them…

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Post by 8a_climber » Fri Nov 16, 2007 10:23 am

Most of the cons and changes relate to people and money issues….if we get more people who contribute more membership fees, we will have fresh ideas and the money to implement them.
Any idea how many members you'd get if you did away with the current membership procedure? Membership should be as simple as signing a form, paying the fee and getting the Noddy badge.

-you wont need to pay the R20 permit fee to climb in the Magalies.
-Cake, tea and cheap beer at the clubhouse.
-you can meet real life heros in person.
-You'll have the right to be rude to non-members.
-you get a sticker for your car so everyone know you are a 'member'.

-Things take so long to decide upon that often it's better to just get out there and get on with it.
-antiquated procedures and ethics.
-too many old fuddy duddy hikers.
-The club does not protect it's members and as shown at the Chosspile, does not secure access properly.
-The club has a shroud of embarrassing racial issues where they unfairly acquired land during the aphartheid era on the basis that they have an \"All White Policy\", thus alienating the masses from the sport.
-While the club is always trying to get more land, there are no fixed guidelines as to the ethics of route-setting on this land, eg: Hallucigenic @ 'boven is beyond overbolted.
-Members of the MCSA in general have an elitist attitude and alienate non-members from the climbing community, saying things like \"what have you done as a non-member\". This implies that by being a member of the MCSA you are already doing something. FACT: There are MANY non-members developing routes and climbing amazing things.
-By becoming a member you'll be supporting a club that in my lifetime discriminated against people, and then made a tacky, insincere apology too late.


The club should be forced to hand over land that was acquired unfairly. This should be returned to public/government property. An example would be the Magaliesburg. This land should be protected by Nature conservation, but it should be part of the parks land [like the Capetown national parks]. EVERYONE should have the right to use the land. The MCSA keeps using the \"we're protecting it\" card, when we have taken over the whole planet as humans, and nothing is sacred or untouched anymore anyway. It's a disgrace that the MCSA issued an apology for the hatred they cultivated 12 years ago, when it was blatantly because the Government was reviewing land issues at the time.
The club should do away with it's pathetic process of joining. We dont join the club to have to go on hikes and camps with old farts and parents etc. Let people join. Explain the rules in writing, and contraventions result in banning.
The club should set up proper guidelines for bolting, so that we dont have another bronkies or Hallicigen situ.
There should be a student/scholor rate.
The access commitee should actually do their job by properly securing places like the Chosspile, which is still a vague situation.
The club members should have respect for non-members, and realize that by being a member it does not give one the right to make all decisions relating to climbing and 'own' the hills. Being a great climber does this, and there are MANY MANY brilliant climbers who still refuse to join up. I wonder why?
Last edited by 8a_climber on Fri Nov 16, 2007 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by mr Chabalala » Fri Nov 16, 2007 12:36 pm

Drop the joining process and fee. As many has said, simply an annual club membership fee.

As above

The MSCA will simple disregard the \"advice' from the non-members and the perceptions will remain

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Post by micky » Fri Nov 16, 2007 2:37 pm

agreed with megawat

the club needs to do more to encourage new members and especially non-white members

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Post by Justin » Fri Nov 16, 2007 3:32 pm

Hi all,
This thread is working well and hopefully will be followed through with some actions.
Just like to remind you to stick with the pre-determined format:

List your pro's and con's of the MCSA and what you would like to see changed.
Keep it short and to the point Give examples where possible and if you know something is section specific, says so - NO complaining, whining, moaning, etc
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Post by Hector » Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:15 pm

Access to land (particularly Magalies). Sorry Justin I have to respond to 8a. Why should MCSA land in magalies be handed over to the government? The rest of the range is in private hands. Wigwam, Bergheim, Upper Hammerkp, Lower Grootkloof, YsterhoutKloof, Breedsnek, Reteifs Kloof, Easter Kloof, Hidden Kloof, Kranskloof are all owned by farmers and/or developers. The MCSA land was bought legitimately with members' money. Anyone can still go there, you just buy a permit (R25). People dont mind paying at Bergheim, Wigwam and Chosspile so whats the issue on MCSA land?
Next pro = conservation (by limiting numbers at the kloofs)
Securing access. Eg. Makapansgat, Wellingtons Dome, Blouberg, Wigwam, Kranskloof, Breedtsnek, Wilgepoort, The Hell, Hanglip, Dome, Eureka etc etc etc
Teaching beginners trad, mentoring
MCSA journals
Search and Rescue
Strange and eccentric people

Joining procedure
Decisions take long
Run by people with full time jobs - ie not enough time to focus on key issues
Legacy of the past
Poor PR with non members
Strange and eccentric people

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Post by fanta » Wed Nov 21, 2007 7:33 am

8a_climber is not a member is not a member

We'll never really know when people like him join...

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Post by Drifter » Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:20 pm

I don't think you should have to be a climber to join the mountain club though I think the mountain club has the right to ask you for details and have delay period before they let you join. They might want to do back ground checks on you, that you aren't a violent criminal for example.

When there is a vote on something like fees increases everyone who is member should have to vote. Everyone must be informed and must go and vote so that things are done on a majority vote as something like this effects everyone who is a member.

I would like to see a copy of the mountain club constitution. This should be available to the public on the mountain club website. If there is going to be a debate everyone should be equally informed.

People who haven't paid their mountain club fees shouldn't have their names printed in mountain ear, they can be informed privately of this. This is a private matter.

1. Make money off the bar if they don't which can be used by the club.
2. Finance outreach and the mountain rescue if the club is not over spending then sponsor climbers to go on climbing trips.
3. Mentioned before cut down the number of huts if not enough people are using them.
4. I hope in the future the mountain club will also have a woman president sometime so that it will show the club is with the times.

The good thing about the mountain club is

1. It has a very good climbing library with lots of climbing books.
2. People taking the sport or trad training days out are very knowledgable about climbing.
3. Its bar at the moment has got to be the cheapest bar in Cape Town.
4. Its outreach program which gives something back to the community
5. Its volunteer mountain rescue.
6. If you are into climbing movies and slides shows then the first Tuesday night of every month is for you.
7. If you are hiker there are so many hikes to go on.

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Post by RobT » Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:39 pm

Apologies - this isn't a pro's and con's, just a reply to a couple of points.
I don't think you should have to be a climber to join the mountain club
You don't. You just have to love mountains.
I would like to see a copy of the mountain club constitution.


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Post by Iain » Wed Dec 19, 2007 6:51 am

ProsOrganised meets to areas and crags you would not normally visit for general weekend climbing.
Negotiated members only access to ecologically super sensitive areas. For instance: Orange Kloof on T.M.; Visgat Canyons; and the super cool new bouldering area on the Krom River Dome in Du Toits Kloof.

ConsThe joining process. The old guard make decisions slowly, which makes committee matters tedious. Due to total nation wide membership fees being so low (just over R800k), it limits the amount that the club is capable of doing for the climbing community.

Create the feeling of value for members. Streamline the joining process. The Catalan federation has 53000 members at 75euros each (without counting discounted mountain insurance). You can do a lot for the climbing community with just under R40m!
Inspiration exists, but it must find you working. – Pablo Picasso

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