Via Ferrata in the berg

Latest South Africa climbing news! Good news - Hard sends, first ascents, onsights, wicked redpoints, competitions, etc. Bad news - accidents, muggings, rockfalls, etc. You can also send it on over to info@climbing.co.za.

Marshall1
Posts: 746
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:38 am
Real Name: Derek Marshall
Location: Port Elizabeth

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by Marshall1 » Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:32 pm

.
Last edited by Marshall1 on Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.


trevor johnson
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 2:47 pm

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by trevor johnson » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:19 am

Hi,

Its a very interesting link posted by Justin. I read it and one can see that a lot of planning needs to be done even before the task of installing a VF can take place, below is some text that I had taken from the report and one can see that a lot needs to go into consideration:

The sport of via ferrata/klettersteig (VF/KS) climbing is booming, as indicated by the number of installed VF/KS—30 to 40 VF/KS are constructed in alpine environments annually—and by the increase in the number of VF/KS accident statistics; between 2000 and 2007, the number of VF/KS accidents doubled.

The installation of a VF/KS opens the vertical world to a very large number of people who lack significant training or experience.

Thus, the new construction of a VF/KS installation requires consideration of the consequences of further encroachment on an already sensitive natural environment. Ultimately, the sustainable development of the region must be the first priority. This priority dictates very stringent requirements on environmental impact, safety, and the ethics and aesthetics of alpine sports.

:!: Warning: there is significant potential for conflict for any new infrastructure for climbing or hiking; through the initial discussions, this conflict should be acknowledged and minimized. These issues are best addressed before the true planning process where conflict resolution is not optimal; thus the preparation phase is particularly critical. This open communication is a top priority for the installation of a VF/KS and the most important prerequisite for the construction and acceptance of a VF/KS. :!:


• Land owners/managers
- determine who the land owner/manager is and how to negotiate their buy-in
- obtain permission for the construction
• Alpine/climbing/hiking clubs
- determine which clubs have jurisdiction or stake in the VF/KS venue
- provide information on the VF/KS project to relevant (neighboring) clubs
• Climbing community
- any VF/KS that is planned in an area that has established rock climbing or rock climbing potential requires close contact with the local climbing community
- introducing a VF/KS in an area with established rock climbing is highly discouraged; such introduction is sure to precipitate the vociferous opposition of the local climbing community
• Emergency Rescue Services (Mountain Rescue)
- Planning of a VF/KS must be done with the agreement of local emergency rescue services
• Protection of community and environmental values
- In any case, the local community and government agencies (for example, environmental planning or zoning entities) ought to be drawn into the planning at an early stage, especially the in regards to the environmental issues.
Evaluation of parking and access problems
- in any event, the parking and access must conform to regulation; consult the local authorities

The mountain sport viewpoint has significant bearing on the installation of a VF/KS, particularly on target users, the frequency of use, and safety. Conflicts with other user groups must be minimized.

Target users

It must be determined which user group will be targeted for a planned VF/KS. Different user groups have different objectives that necessitate different lengths of climbs, difficulty, variation in the difficulty of different stages, and types of installation.

Alpine risks

Alpine dangers such as rock fall from other parties or thunderstorms (exposure) are foreseeable and can be kept to a minimum through thoughtful route selection. The same can be said for the specific risks of the approach and descent.
The influence of existing rock climbs
The installation of a new VF/KS must not contribute to the destruction or damage to existing routes. When in doubt, build consensus among the stakeholders (see 1.1.2) and balance the importance of the existing route against that of a potential VF/KS installation.

Permission of land owner

The installation of a VF/KS always requires the written permission of the land owner/land manager.
Building permit
A VF/KS is a construction project that requires a building permit according to the appropriate government or municipal agency.

1.4 Legal considerations

Environmental protection laws
Environmental protection laws must be complied with at all levels, including local, national, and international statutes.
Liability and duty to structural integrity [Verkehrssicherungspflicht]
The developer/owner/party responsible for the VF/KS takes on the duty of ensuring the structural integrity of the installation and must guarantee regular repair and maintenance. Liability insurance, as currently required for the Alpine Club sections, is also required for VF/KS, wherever any such liability coverage is required. At least once a year (usually at the start of the operating season) and in the event of accident an inspection must be carried out by a qualified person. If serious damage is discovered, the VF/KS must be closed until repairs are made and verified.

A planned VF/KS must be in accordance with every conservation goal. It must be possible to bring a planned VF/KS into compliance. Not only must the VF/KS installation conform to the land use regulations, but other elements and activities associated with VF/KS installation must also conform, including the approach, the descent, and the parking area. It ought to be possible to take public transportation to a VF/KS.


These are just a few to mention. I think if all the chaps who are for the VF should actually read the report and see what needs to be done to ensure the person/party/tourist climbing the VF is actually going to be safe. Yes for the chap who took his 4 yr old son,always awesome to see things like that, big ups to that but my concern is, is the VF safe and has it conformed to International standards seeing it will or is already a tourist attraction. Read the section in point form above and were those points considered?

Keep it tidy

:thumleft:

trevor johnson
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 2:47 pm

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by trevor johnson » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:27 am

Hi Marshall1

Sorry forgot to add that, but in the report it shows it is acceptable to use a single crosby clamp, I have seen a few pics on the net of VF's and some VF's actually have two Crosby clamps per rebar. I guess one is acceptable but two is safer. Considering the crosby clamp is installed correctly as the saying goes ''Never Saddle a Dead Horse'', I think for it being a ''permanent'' fixture i too would have probably used some Loctite on the nuts. This could reduce the probability of the nuts loosening but too makes it a little more difficult for people tampering with the equipment, you know common hike always has a Leatherman.

Have you read the link posted by Justin ?

pierre.joubert
Posts: 728
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:59 pm

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by pierre.joubert » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:02 am

Thank you for posting so that us oldies can also read it :thumright

trevor johnson
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 2:47 pm

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by trevor johnson » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:32 am

No Worries :shock:

SNORT
Posts: 1115
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:53 am
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Location: Cape Town

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by SNORT » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:52 am

Well it this document is accepted as being the definitive guide to VF's then these guys have broken virtually every important rule.

User avatar
GavinP
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 2:51 pm
Real Name: Gavin Peckham
Location: Zululand

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by GavinP » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:59 pm

There is no excuse for the Via Ferrata to have impinged in any way on the North West Ridge Route on the Eastern Buttress. A detailed RD for this route is published in the official 'Berg Route guide which is widely available to interested parties. The RD is also easily accessible on the MCSA-KZN web site and is published in the MCSA Journal of 1996. Anybody who made even the slightest effort could easily have established the line followed by the existing trad route in this area.

Even the suggestion to move the VF a few metres away is unpalatable. There are 100's of km of rock face in the 'Berg with vast areas that are totally unclimbed. Anyone wanting to put up a VF (after following the correct procedures) should explore these virtually limitless possibilities rather than simply parasitising the pioneering work of previous climbers.

The instigator of the VF was warned in advance that his actions were inappropriate but chose to ignore these warnings and press on regardless. This makes the situation particularly serious – especially since much of his subsequent discussion has been a justification of his actions rather than showing any significant degree of remorse.

It is possible that VFs could be an asset to the region provided the correct protocols are followed and less contentious lines are chosen. The instigators of this particular VF knowingly flouted virtually every ethical principle involved.

Despite my personal objections, described above, these pale into insignificance when compared to the risk that this deliberate action has posed for future relations between climbers and Evemvelo for the future of climbing in the Drakensberg. The interests of climbing are best served by the actions of responsible pioneers, not by the rodeo stunts of "cowboys".

Gavin Peckham
Last edited by GavinP on Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"I climb as hard as anyone on earth - I just do it on [much] easier routes!" Mad Dog

Marshall1
Posts: 746
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:38 am
Real Name: Derek Marshall
Location: Port Elizabeth

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by Marshall1 » Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:09 pm

DSCN2006.JPG
DSCN2006.JPG (151 KiB) Viewed 3540 times
If anyone has the balls to chop this f***ing thing...I'll sponsor this loverly chopper.

Arb
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:07 am
Real Name: Steve Traill

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by Arb » Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:37 am

What a pity about the controversy. I climbed the route last weekend and it was really incredible. Its not really a 'climb' in any sense because you end up pulling on the cable most of the way. But the views and exposure are huge all the way up. We climbed up with a single rope and clipped the rebar with draws and slings+biners becase we couldnt get the lanyards. Its very safe and almost impossible to fall but two of the lower sections of cable have been disconnected from the rebar to discourage climbers. There are signs up saying its illegal/dangerous and in violation of NEMA code xyz.

I dont think it should be removed. Its a great alternative access route to the top and maybe Ezemvelo can take ownership of the asset and manage its use by getting a couple of the local guys to rent out the lanyards and guide tourists or hikers up for a fee. Minimising liability and making the venture safe will be the trick. Maybe a formal apology by the team that put it up will help, but there is a future for this via ferrata and it can generate some cash for the community. Surely that is a good thing?

It was a *massive* undertaking to put it up (climb it and you will realise this immediately) and despite the objections and unfortunate violation of the rules....the thing is there! And it can be used productively.

If chopping is on the agenda - go and climb it before its gone. Its fantastic and you are guaranteed to have a fun morning. But dont expect a proper climb, its just an access route to the top, with a difference.

SNORT
Posts: 1115
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:53 am
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Location: Cape Town

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by SNORT » Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:33 am


SNORT
Posts: 1115
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:53 am
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Location: Cape Town

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by SNORT » Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:47 am

Arb: Your comment
It was a *massive* undertaking to put it up.


Opening any route on any big wall and especially in the berg is a massive undertaking by climbers who often paid the price with their lives. Duncan Souchon's book Serpent Spires has tales of death and broken bones. Developing the harder routes at the Berg, Blouberg and Yellowwood takes at least 5 trips each and Blouberg means 5 weekends.

12 guys and the right equipment and a hour’s walk from the car is just normal “boy” stuff. Any climber of Alard’s ilk has done far greater undertakings in the past.

SNORT
Posts: 1115
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:53 am
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Location: Cape Town

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by SNORT » Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:59 am

The other interesting thing is that a whole host of ostensibly "real climbers" from Cape Town have rushed off to do it and many that have not been there are frantically hunting down the VF kit to go. I find it really weird that people who have been on the forefront of adventure climbing are so keen to do this thing rather than climbing the route which it transgresses.

It is like there is a new toy or Ipad or cell phone just released.

Seems like people have run out of their own ideas to have fun and adventure. And the more that go, the more credence it gives to the project.

I personally have a berg trip planned end of march with my family and would rather "climb" Cathedral which is a monster walk from the valley than hang on a cable anywhere an hour walk from the car. I think it so sends the wrong message to your kids (my youngest is 7) if this is their intro to adventure.

Dark Horse
Posts: 133
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 2:10 pm
Location: cape town

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by Dark Horse » Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:00 am

@ Gavin Peckham- I'm sorry about what happened to your route.

If the possibly the greatest mountaineer of all time had something to say should we listen?

Famed alpinist Reinhold Messner spoke at The American Alpine Club's reception at this year's (2012) WInter Outdoor Retailer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... swqi913G1c

" I would say to young people if you like to go in to make experience's, strong personal experience's. Go where nobody else is going, don't leave any tracks....your footprints but the wind and snow will destroy them and so wilderness is there forever. Preservation is quite easy if each one is going where the others are not going and leaving nothing. We are free to go everywhere but we are not free to destroy the places where we make our experience's." - Reinhold Messner

Watch the video he actually makes a whole lot of good points

trevor johnson
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 2:47 pm

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by trevor johnson » Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:32 am

IMG_0377.JPG
IMG_0377.JPG (118.67 KiB) Viewed 3511 times
This pic was posted on Witzieshoek Facebook Page. I would be rather P&^%$D if i had to come across a shiny cable when walking in the mountains. I think it should be chopped and removed, clearly rules were not followed, simple like that. The other thing I do not feel a formal apology will suffice, this just goes against the ethics of the MCSA. If a formal apology is accepted then every tom dick and harry will go to the berg or any mountain for that matter and go install a VF or put a line of bolts in, everyone can enjoy it but not to worry as we just got to give a formal apology and all will be forgotten. Nope my ou it does not work that way.
I have a trip planned to CT so I will go put a VF on Table mountain two meters left of Arrow Final, not to worry I will formally apologize.

Now that someone has tampered with it, okay surely we all no it has been tampered with by now and it cannot be classed as SAFE, so just another point is if you start at the bottom, what measures are taken to ensure no one has tampered with it, what insures the VF is safe from start to finish. Yes employ or get staff from Ezemvelo to maintain, that chap who works at the Witzies gate, no offence, he is not the sharpest tool in the shed now you want him to maintain the VF, renting out equipment will not work, I would not like to Hire second hand equipment this too promotes the VF and thus will end up having lots of unskilled persons doing the VF and can result in more injuries in turn increases rescue call outs. Remember that mountains or rescues in mountains do get documented and this is not a good image for the berg if there is a rescue every week, it creates negative results for the berg and then gets a reputation of not being safe.

Anyways, Keep it tidy

SNORT
Posts: 1115
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:53 am
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Location: Cape Town

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by SNORT » Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:44 am

Did Witzieshoek or any of the other commercial entities make any contribution to this?

trevor johnson
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 2:47 pm

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by trevor johnson » Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:57 am

Hey SNORT

Not as far as I know, It was on there Facebook Page, just boasting on a walk they did but nothing was said.

Keep it tidy

Gavin
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 9:01 pm
Real Name: Gavin Raubenheimer
Location: KZN
Contact:

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by Gavin » Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:52 pm

I don't know of anyone putting money in for commercial gain, although there has been some commercial guiding on it I hear. From some company in the Monk's Cowl area. The Ezemvelo Ranger from down at Royal Natal have seen them twice I heard.

User avatar
GavinP
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 2:51 pm
Real Name: Gavin Peckham
Location: Zululand

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by GavinP » Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:58 pm

@ Arb
If chopping is on the agenda - go and climb it before its gone. Its fantastic and you are guaranteed to have a fun morning. But dont expect a proper climb, its just an access route to the top, with a difference.
Yes, the North West Ridge route WAS a good route and you WERE guaranteed to have a fun morning, as many parties can testify, before the line was violated by the construction of the VF. It WAS also a "proper climb" until it was trivialised by the VF.

I think it is beholden on the instigators themselves to remove this construction and perform the necessary "cosmetic surgery" to restore the rock as closely as possible to it's original pristine state - why should somebody else have to clean up their mess? Gavin P
"I climb as hard as anyone on earth - I just do it on [much] easier routes!" Mad Dog

Tristan
Posts: 159
Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 10:39 am
Location: Cape Town (mostly :) )
Contact:

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by Tristan » Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:43 pm

...
Last edited by Tristan on Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

SNORT
Posts: 1115
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:53 am
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Location: Cape Town

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by SNORT » Sun Feb 12, 2012 5:00 pm

Yes, the North West Ridge route WAS a good route and you WERE guaranteed to have a fun morning, as many parties can testify, before the line was violated by the construction of the VF. It WAS also a "proper climb" until it was trivialised by the VF.



If any engineering ever transgresses a route trad route or even alters the character of the crag where any routes that have historic trad value are situated at, it must immediately chopped. That should be a knee jerk response.
Last edited by SNORT on Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

Tristan
Posts: 159
Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 10:39 am
Location: Cape Town (mostly :) )
Contact:

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by Tristan » Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:08 pm

...
Last edited by Tristan on Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

SNORT
Posts: 1115
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:53 am
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Location: Cape Town

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by SNORT » Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:21 pm

.
Last edited by SNORT on Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

Tristan
Posts: 159
Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 10:39 am
Location: Cape Town (mostly :) )
Contact:

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by Tristan » Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:36 pm

...
Last edited by Tristan on Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

SNORT
Posts: 1115
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:53 am
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Location: Cape Town

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by SNORT » Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:04 pm

.
Last edited by SNORT on Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

Tristan
Posts: 159
Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 10:39 am
Location: Cape Town (mostly :) )
Contact:

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by Tristan » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:49 pm

...
Last edited by Tristan on Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

SNORT
Posts: 1115
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:53 am
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Location: Cape Town

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by SNORT » Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:09 am

.
Last edited by SNORT on Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

pierre.joubert
Posts: 728
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:59 pm

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by pierre.joubert » Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:24 am

SNORT now you're just attacking the man. The wrong one at that. Other people also have opinions, not just you. Nice word use there: 'Raping' - sensationalise much? Ha ha ha. You could always write for news24.

Franz
Posts: 222
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:45 pm
Real Name: Franz Fuls

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by Franz » Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:42 am

all we need is love :mrgreen:

Dark Horse
Posts: 133
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 2:10 pm
Location: cape town

Re: Via Ferrata in the berg

Post by Dark Horse » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:14 pm

I don't quite see how Snort is attacking the man?

It seems to me though that all who defend this VF are doing so because of the man (Alard) and not the deed. He's a well known, well liked and respected South African rock climber/ mountaineer and has achieved some remarkable things. As for Gavin and his route, and I mean no disrespect at all but I haven't heard of either (I know I'm ignorant when it comes to the history of the berg).
I do wander if all the people defending Alard and co would take the same stance if it was Gavin that had put up the VF, perhaps sharing a couple of pitches that a famous South African climber (someone like Andy de Klerk/ Ed February/ Jeremy Samson) had opened? Would that be just as cool? Would we all condone it and say how fantastic it is?

Post Reply