Hiking leader faces ban for leading hikers on closed Table Mountain route

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Justin
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Hiking leader faces ban for leading hikers on closed Table Mountain route

Post by Justin » Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:09 pm

Guide faces ban for leading hikers on closed Table Mountain route.

The guide now faces a lifetime ban from SANParks for taking the group down the notorious Blinkwater ravine route which is clearly marked as 'CLOSED'.

http://m.news24.com/Traveller/Explore/B ... e-20150831
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Re: Guide faces ban for leading hikers on closed Table Mountain route

Post by Justin » Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:19 pm

So apparently this was not a commercial group who were being guided.
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Re: Guide faces ban for leading hikers on closed Table Mountain route

Post by Nic Le Maitre » Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:40 pm

Also the sign says, this route is closed (doesn't say which of the three or more routes that start from there are closed) and then "enter at your own risk" so I don't see the issue.
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Re: Guide faces ban for leading hikers on closed Table Mountain route

Post by Justin » Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:57 pm

BLINKWATER RAVINE TURNED RESCUE MISSION

https://myhikingmylife.wordpress.com/20 ... e-mission/
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Re: Guide faces ban for leading hikers on closed Table Mountain route

Post by mattb595 » Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:19 pm

I think we all know accidents happen on the mountain look at Bobby and Mark but the fact that in the blog the guy seemed arrogant saying they weren't stranded and just came across as a amateur (hiking in that weather in blinkwater) not taking any responsibility or regret from it, am I being harsh saying licenses should be taken away?

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Re: Guide faces ban for leading hikers on closed Table Mountain route

Post by MIKESCOTT » Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:58 pm

If SAN Parks spokesperson Merle Collins really said to use "Slangolie" then she should face a 'Lifetime Ban' for misleading information.
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Re: Guide faces ban for leading hikers on closed Table Mountain route

Post by robertbreyer » Mon Aug 31, 2015 6:17 pm

Merle Collins from TMNP probably never even heard of either Blinkwater or Slangolie before reading the Cape Argus this morning.

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Re: Guide faces ban for leading hikers on closed Table Mountain route

Post by Justin » Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:47 am

Cape Town - A City of Cape Town councillor has found himself in hot water after leading 14 hikers up a dangerous mountain path that had been closed for 33 years.

Sunday’s incident on the Blinkwater Ravine – closed since 1982 – has sparked an investigation by SANParks as to why councillor Anwar Adams took the hikers up the dangerous mountain path. Five of them were injured on the hike.
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Re: Guide faces ban for leading hikers on closed Table Mountain route

Post by MichaelW » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:42 am

Don't confuse an experienced recreational hiker leading a group up a mountain and a professional guide. A quick internet search doesn't reveal any professional mountain guiding qualifications for the leader of the hike.

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Re: Guide faces ban for leading hikers on closed Table Mountain route

Post by Justin » Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:45 am

Correct Michael, Anwaar is not a registered tour guide and was not on the mountain for profit. The people with him were not tourists.

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Re: Hiking leader faces ban for leading hikers on closed Table Mountain route

Post by MIKESCOTT » Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:10 pm

This incident, and SAN Parks comments should give all mountaineers concern that we have to avoid what nearly happened after the Matterhorn Tragedy.

After the Whymper accident Queen Victoria was only persuaded with difficulty that she should NOT ban climbing totally.
I hope SAN Parks will stop suggesting that Adams should be prosecuted, and listen to what he has been saying.

SAN Parks have done the reasonable thing by placing a notice saying "enter at own risk".
That is all that is required, and Blinkwater should NOT be closed totally.

The Blinkwater rockfall sounds a lot less than the massive rockfall that crossed Kasteelspoort path, and will SAN Parks want to close that next?
A rockfall on Lion's Head recently left huge slabs lying right on the main path that had to be levered out of the way, and I seriously doubt that the public will welcome SAN Parks closing Lion's Head.
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Re: Hiking leader faces ban for leading hikers on closed Table Mountain route

Post by Ghaznavid » Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:14 pm

Reading that writeup - the team knew what they were doing, they had done the route before, and it was not a commercial hike. I think banning them from SANParks would be a major overreaction. If it was a commercial group or the team didn't know what they were getting into, I would understand.

What about that recent rock fall on Lions Head, if a team was injured in that - should that leader also be banned?

I think people are very quick to judge others - especially those who don't do the harder hikes. Things go wrong on mountains, sometimes you are in the wrong place at the wrong time.
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Re: Hiking leader faces ban for leading hikers on closed Table Mountain route

Post by Justin » Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:28 am

So here is a Press Release which comes via the Meridian Hiking Group Facebook Page (I am however unable to find it on the SANParks website - so do not consider it Word until it does appear on their website!).

PRESS STATEMENT: SANPARKS RESPONSE TO MOUNTAIN ACCIDENT
September 1, 2015: On Sunday morning, at about 9am, an unfortunate incident happened in the Table Mountain National Park when a rock became dislodged from the mountainside and injured hikers during the rock fall. Fourteen hikers ascended Table Mountain above Camps Bay following a route known as Blinkwater ravine to get to the top.

Due to previous fatal accidents that occurred in this ravine, the route was originally closed for safety reasons by the City of Cape Town, endorsed by the Mountain Club of South Africa. Since the establishment of the national park, the closure of Blinkwater for safety reasons was reinforced by park management. The decision to keep this route closed was not considered a major impact on hikers because there are other routes in the vicinity that allow hikers to ascend that part of the mountain.

Due to the fact that the safety risks remained, signage was placed on site to warn hikers that Blinkwater is not a safe route. In terms of SANParks regulations we are entitled to put up signage to regulate access and to ensure safety of mountain users. Such signage is clearly in place at both the lower end and upper end of Blinkwater ravine.

It is unfortunate that the hikers, under the leadership of a guide, chose to ignore this signage, as well as adverse weather conditions, and continued to ascend the dangerous ravine. By ignoring this signage, the guide placed his group in danger resulting in injuries to 4 members of the party. SANParks however regrets that hikers were injured in this incident and extends its wishes for a speedy recovery.

“I wish the injured hikers a speedy recovery. I would also like to urge hikers and all users of our National Parks to adhere to the rules and regulations of these institutions,” said the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mrs Edna Molewa.

Park management will investigate further safety concerns and may consider permanent closure of this route. It remains to be said, however, that it is impossible to predict where rock falls will occur, but that all measures will be considered to continually improve the safety of mountain users.


Listen to the full conversation from CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies talking to Wilderness Search and Rescue spokesperson Johan Marais.
http://www.capetalk.co.za/articles/4896 ... r-20-years (scroll down for the sound clip).
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Re: Hiking leader faces ban for leading hikers on closed Table Mountain route

Post by Fats » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:55 pm

Wow! People still clicking on the link to my blog from here.. I get the stats.. Just FYI, we've been back up there without any incident.. Also, I'm a rock-climber now too 😬
Oh, also I'm a girl, not a boy

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Re: Hiking leader faces ban for leading hikers on closed Table Mountain route

Post by wesleywt » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:14 am

Just because there were no incidents this time doesn't mean you were safe. When you hike there is a social contract that we will come and rescue you if you get into trouble. But you also have a responsibility to ensure your own safety. You are playing with the goodwill of your fellow hikers and climbers.

Unless it was deemed safe, then please obey the signage. This is Africa when we put up a sign it means something.

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Re: Hiking leader faces ban for leading hikers on closed Table Mountain route

Post by Ghaznavid » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:39 am

wesleywt wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:14 am
Just because there were no incidents this time doesn't mean you were safe.
Where and when in life is anyone actually safe? Driving is statistically one of the most dangerous activities that one can do, should we outright avoid it to keep "safe"?

I would agree with these sentiments if it was a team of beginners, or if people in the party weren't aware of the risks. But the sport is mountaineering, not backgammon. There are inherent risks. And they were responsible enough to call for help when they knew they were in over their heads.

I have done many dodgy Drakensberg passes where no photo could do justice to the possibilities of things going wrong - but the passes where I have had issues that could have been fatal if timing had been different are always the popular ones. I took a break before entering the gully of Grey's Pass, and there was a rockfall while I was on my break, baboons dislodged some rocks on the cliffs of Beacon Buttress Gully that landed harmlessly between the two groups in the gully etc.

This "only go there if there is a path" attitude is a sure way of discouraging people from exploring - after all, how did the paths get there in the first place?
Last edited by Ghaznavid on Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hiking leader faces ban for leading hikers on closed Table Mountain route

Post by Nic Le Maitre » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:47 am

wesleywt wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:14 am
Just because there were no incidents this time doesn't mean you were safe. When you hike there is a social contract that we will come and rescue you if you get into trouble. But you also have a responsibility to ensure your own safety. You are playing with the goodwill of your fellow hikers and climbers.

Unless it was deemed safe, then please obey the signage. This is Africa when we put up a sign it means something.
The sign at the bottom says "Use at own risk". It doesn't say a damn thing about "Closed". There are also about 5 other routes up the mountain that start from there with some arguably having far more objective hazards than Blinkwater (Grotto-Fountain-Cairn is a good example).

Go where you like, do what you like, but be responsible about it. Hike in groups, prepare, carry the necessary gear, tell someone where you are going and when you are due back, and check the forecast.

If you have an accident, we will come and get you, regardless of why. Doesn't mean we won't judge you when we have our post rescue beer though...
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Re: Hiking leader faces ban for leading hikers on closed Table Mountain route

Post by mattb595 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:16 pm

Yes that's true hike at your own risk i agree however trying to go chase Rivers of wine and young boys fine as pearls and failing to come right then forcing search and rescue personal to come and rescue you at there own risk inst fair. Don't be selfish.

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Re: Hiking leader faces ban for leading hikers on closed Table Mountain route

Post by rocklooney » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:06 pm

I gree. Don'tmean to be personnel but to many rivers of fone wine insh't a goodidea ether. :drunken:

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Re: Hiking leader faces ban for leading hikers on closed Table Mountain route

Post by Nic Le Maitre » Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:23 am

mattb595 wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:16 pm
Yes that's true hike at your own risk i agree however trying to go chase Rivers of wine and young boys fine as pearls and failing to come right then forcing search and rescue personal to come and rescue you at there own risk inst fair. Don't be selfish.
We're not forced to fetch anyone, we're volunteers, we do it because we want to and at the most minimal risk to ourselves possible.
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Re: Hiking leader faces ban for leading hikers on closed Table Mountain route

Post by Old Smelly » Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:00 am

This rivers of wine thing is mostly a Cape problem I think...
Really, its not that bad...I think it's my shoes...

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Re: Hiking leader faces ban for leading hikers on closed Table Mountain route

Post by Ghaznavid » Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:39 am

Nic Le Maitre wrote:
Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:23 am
We're not forced to fetch anyone, we're volunteers, we do it because we want to and at the most minimal risk to ourselves possible.
Thank you to everyone who has ever been involved in completing rescues - you guys are legends!

It is one of the most awesome things about hiking in South Africa - permits are cheap, access is generally easy to arrange and if things do go wrong, we have amazingly skilled and well drilled rescue teams throughout the country.

I hope to visit the Atacama Desert some time in the near future - where there are no permit fees and access is fairly easy (aside from being a mission to get there), but there is no rescue. If things go wrong, you get yourself out or die. It is a scary thought - seeing as many of those mountains get no ascents for decades at a time, so odds are your body won't even be found if you die out there.
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Re: Hiking leader faces ban for leading hikers on closed Table Mountain route

Post by wesleywt » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:52 pm

Nic Le Maitre wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:47 am

The sign at the bottom says "Use at own risk". It doesn't say a damn thing about "Closed".
You need to chill out. At the time of the accident, the route was CLOSED, according to the article. I don't hike because it is hard. So I don't know if they changed it.

*edit I see your old comment. You don't mind hiking in CLOSED areas (at your own risk). I would like to add..."also at the risk of the people coming to rescue you".

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Re: Hiking leader faces ban for leading hikers on closed Table Mountain route

Post by JohanW » Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:41 pm

wesleywt wrote:
Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:52 pm
Nic Le Maitre wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:47 am

The sign at the bottom says "Use at own risk". It doesn't say a damn thing about "Closed".
You need to chill out. At the time of the accident, the route was CLOSED, according to the article. I don't hike because it is hard. So I don't know if they changed it.

*edit I see your old comment. You don't mind hiking in CLOSED areas (at your own risk). I would like to add..."also at the risk of the people coming to rescue you".
Article was wrong. Most news articles do a piss poor job reporting on rescues. This I have seen time and time again. Just because it was written somewhere on the internet doesn't make it true.

You are unfortunately arguing with people who were actually there on that day. Maybe consider stepping back and sitting down.

"also at the risk of the people coming to rescue you". Every single person involved in rescue is acutely aware of this. Beers are expensive if its your turn to buy your mates a round because they needed to come fetch you.

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Re: Hiking leader faces ban for leading hikers on closed Table Mountain route

Post by Fats » Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:56 pm

I don't think we ever made this public knowledge but what happened wasn't due to adverse weather conditions. As a mountaineer, we should be prepared for any weather. It wasn't coz the route was/is 'closed, enter at your own risk'. NO-ONE goes out with the intention of being rescued. I for one do not want to be injured and forced to stay off the mountain. Be it hiking, climbing or trail running.

Someone above pulled the boulder loose as he was scrambling and it came tumbling down. Like Johan stated and I mentioned in the blog, the media sensationalised the story.
Analogy - there's a peaceful march today and do you hear anyone talking about it? No. If things turn violent,everyone would be talking about it.

I also mentioned that some of the members are a part of WSAR and now also part of MCSA search and rescue and go for various rescue training. All of them volunteers. They do this because they want to. This is what it means to be a volunteer, to help those in need. Be it humans or animals (as per the dog that was rescued not too long ago - right in the feels there guys!). Also, I've been in the company of those who assisted in rescues and have a laugh at various incidents. Also, great respect to these guys as their knowledge and skills (and dedicated monthly training) are all invaluable to each mountain user.

The club hikes all year round, doing B+ and occasionally C graded hikes if the weather allows- I found that the judgmental are those who stick to the normal touristy routes and don't know what rain gear or sturdy waterproof boots are.

Happy climbing!

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