Crime at climbing venues

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Real Name: Marc Dewrance
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Crime at climbing venues

Post by Dewrance » Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:44 pm

Thought it would be helpful to post any news on muggings etc.?

I know of land owners who have fantastic climbing on their property who don't allow access due to worries about crime escalating on their property. So this affects not only climbers at crags but also the growth of climbing in SA.

We are planning a trip to Swinburne later in the year. Anyone know of any problems in any of the climbing spots in the Harrismith and Swinburne/Everest areas?

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Re: Crime at climbing venues

Post by swissphotography » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:45 am

We go to Harrysmith fairly often and have never had any bad experiences with crime, nor heard of anything. Go and enjoy that fresh mountain air with clear peace of mind.

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Re: Crime at climbing venues

Post by pierre.joubert » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:34 am

Harrismith/Eagle Mountain is inside a fenced off nature reserver, AFAIK they have never had any issues with crime - it is one of the coolest places I've ever climbed at. Swinburne is more open access but I've also never heard of any issues there. MCSA bras please chip in here?

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Re: Crime at climbing venues

Post by cloudburst » Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:27 pm

I know of some people who had camera, phones, beer stolen from the barn at Swinburne, one of the farmworkers nabbed them while the climbers were out on the rocks.

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Re: Crime at climbing venues

Post by Hann » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:14 am

I've heard rumors of crime, gun stickups etc at crags.

Personally I've climbed at.
- Harrismith, Mt Everest.
Fenced in.

- Drakensberg,
Nature reserve

- Taba Nchu,
private property

- Bloemfontein, College of Knowledge and Naval Hill,
private property and game reserve

- Montague, All crags including Lost World, at all times of the day and night.
Not sure of ownership.

- Most Sport crags in the Cape Town area, including Hugovalle.
Predominantly nature reserves.

- The Ledges on TM, Muizenberg and Elsies Peak trad.
Predominantly nature reserves.

- Gordons Bay.
Public road, closed now.

- Kleinmond,
No idea. Probably municipal property.

- Paarl,

- Rooielse, Hangklip.
Also not sure

- In the Cedarberg Krakadouw, Wolfberg, Truikies, Sand drif.
Reserves, and private property

- Du Toits kloof, even parking at the Hellfire path start.
Parking on public road, climbing reserve

- the list goes on,
but I'm getting lazy..

Touch wood,
Never have I see any crime except cigarette butts, toilet paper left by previous climbers and the odd illegal bolt.

Be sensible and you'll be fine.

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Re: Crime at climbing venues

Post by Dewrance » Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:40 pm

Nice, that's what I like to hear!!!
I've done a fair bit of climbing (my list does not go on as long as yours :lol: ) and never experienced crime while climbing.

Not wanting to live in fear of it, but like you said it's good to be sensible about.

Like the change in avatar Hann..... How patriotic of you!!! :thumleft:

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Re: Crime at climbing venues

Post by shorti » Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:00 pm

This isn't really a crime story, but at least it sounds like one. 3 of us went to Makapansgat the other day and had a little bit of on epic, struggling like crazy to get up a route called Spiderman. It took us probably 2 hours just to get to the base and another 7 I guess to finally top out, absolutely blasted. When we got to the camp Marley got a call from his wife and a story even wilder than our climb was told. Apparently the cops showed up at my parents' house and told them my car was found abandoned in the field near Polokwane. Obviously my parents were a bit shocked, but figured it was probably normal. They went to my house and sure enough my car was gone and so was my flat mate (he was with me). In the end they got hold of Mokganjetsi who phoned around until they found out where we went from Marley's dad (where we slept over the night before). When we got to our car the next day we found our car still abandoned where we left it but with both rear tyres flat. We changed the flattest one and drove slowly to Potties to inflate the 2 flat tyres. They haven't gone flat again, so it wasn't punctures. The whole "abandoned car" story is also a little strange in view of the fact that we had to sign in at the gate and we told them who we were and what we were up to. So all in all, I have some mixed feelings about their concern for us.

The worst incident remotely linked to climbing that I've been caught in was when we were shot at by the police on our way back from climbing in the Magaliesberg. We were driving on the road between Pelindaba and Diepsloot when cops coming from behind opened fire with pistols on presumably the holy golfie (all hell has been driven out of it) 2 meters in front of their van. The weirdest thing was that the people in the golf didn't even seem to be aware of the cops, and the cops pretty much hit everything except what they aimed at. I have seriously never in my life seen worst shooting than that, never mind how bloody irresponsible they were shooting with so many "bystanders" (we didn't really stand). I'm relatively sure they hit the car in front of us. The strangest part of the story is that we later came upon the cops again further down the road. By this time there was "backup" in the form of another van full of cops. The golfie they were chasing was nowhere to be seen, they somehow got away with a car that couldn't quite reach 80km/h :roll:

All in all, I still think you're safer at your climbing destination than you are on your way there, or at home for that matter.

edited only to fix a few spelling mistakes
Last edited by shorti on Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Crime at climbing venues

Post by Para » Sun Jun 13, 2010 1:13 pm

Climbed at Mount Everest/Eagle Mountain many times. Fantastic place with no incidence of crime which I am aware of. Both the camping site and chalets are great!

A bit off topic, but was there last weekend and we arrived at the entrance at about 20h00 to a padlocked gate with no guard in sight. I understood that the arrangement has always been that a guard is posted at the gate until 22h00. The reception was not answering the phone at the time. To cut a long and memorable story short we finally managed to find someone to open up for us. I have included the numbers for the gate guards below.

Solomon 083-757-1478
Willy 082-296-6635

One other thing. The camping site toilet/bathroom facilities ran out of water Saturday evening. Not sure if it was a plumbing problem or if the water supply from the mountain just dried up.

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Re: Crime at climbing venues

Post by Bigfoot » Sun Jun 13, 2010 1:50 pm

Ha HA @ shorti

The only crime here seems to be that our tax money is not going to police training. Hmmm

Best to stick to the climbing areas.

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Re: Crime at climbing venues

Post by mokganjetsi » Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:46 am

i was once involved in crime @ eagle mountain / mt everest - we managed to convince the guard @ the gate to illegally sell a few zamalek corts to us on a sunday evening. at R10 a piece it is criminal :thumright

btw, had a petty theft incident at de bos a couple of weeks ago: we camped near the entrance and left everything outside as usual; while climbing we were relieved of a spar bag full of chips & chocolates and a leatherman tool. given that everything we had was lying out there in the open it's not the worst incident; and the goodies stolen gives a fairly accurate gauge of the criminal's age....... be sure to lock-up valuables when camping there (there were no other campers on this weekend; when de bos is it's bustling self i'm sure there's a very low risk; 1st incident in 15+ camping weekends...)

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