Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Seventh Report Back

Wow! The responses to my Sixth Report were déjà vu all right! Reminded me of the Committee of Seventeen who Advised and Argued over what should or should not be included in the Drakensberg maps of the 1980s. Then as now it was the minimalists versus the maximalists. In the end we opted for more rather than less – and now even Galeo has conceded that that might be necessary for the Cederberg.
My favourite all-time
minimalist map – or does
it have too many dots?
We have to bear in mind that the Cederberg, although a legally-proclaimed Wilderness, is nevertheless a very, very altered landscape – if it’s “pure” wilderness you want, with no paths, blockhouses, huts, sawpits, old leopard traps, ruins, graves etc etc then you should really rather be in the Kogelberg, or the Riviersonderend mountains.

Which is not in any way to deny the Cederberg its very, very special magic, but its “Wilderness” status carries two important implications. The first, as many correspondents pointed out, is that there are limitations on access in a Wilderness. Only a certain number of people are allowed on any given night. The booking system means that there is a way to follow up on miscreants, if necessary; the sheer distance from major population centres also insulates the range in a way that does not hold for the Peninsula or many Boland mountains.

The second is that a proclaimed Wilderness has no signposts, no awful little white footprints painted all over the rocks. Navigation for the newcomer can only be by map; and even amongst the old-timers there are few who can claim to know every inch of the vast Cederberg area. To be safe and effective there is a necessary level of info that the map must contain; if the only way to correctly identify routes is by means of landmarks these need identifying names, too – be they prominent rock pillars, pools or whatever.
This map shows why Wupperthal, Cederberg,
is the destination I personally prefer ...
The list of places I published last time remains posted below, and it remains open for comment. One of these days I will be publishing a list of “new” or “disputed” names for some features, and that, ladies and gentlemen, is when the fat will really be in the fire ...

In the meantime, thanks to everyone who sent in comments last time – they were all very much appreciated. If you have further comments, anyone, please keep them coming, but I shall be away from 20 April to 3 May so don’t think me rude, please, if you get no responses during that time.

I keep forgetting to mention that quite a long time ago Andrea and Moritz Connrad of Enjo Life [in the Biedouw valley] sent me a useful map of the summit of Krakadouw. The original was by Ernst Lotz and I gather was published in an MCSA Journal some years ago. It will be very useful: many thanks, you two.

Oops! I also forgot to mention that if you’re really interested in the philosophy behind mapping you should read J. Brian Harley on maps, an extract from ‘The Iconography of Landscape’, edited by D. Cosgrove and S. Daniels, Cambridge UP, 1988, published as chapter 8 in ‘Geographic Thought: A Praxis Perspective’, edited by George L. Henderson and Marvin Whitestone, Routledge, 2008. It’s a snip at $199.50 [yes, that’s US dollars] but I’m sure someone like Martin H-S could lend you his copy!
If you’re really interested, of course.

Info already in:
Already acknowledged: Rudolf Andrag, Quinton Martins, Ronnie Hazell, Charles Merry, Wim Morris, Alex Basson, Graham Bellairs, Julyan Symons, Galeo Saintz, Paul la Grange, Laurence Elton, Mike Scott, Peter Hart, Justin Lawson, David Donald, Johann Lanz, Cisca Nieuwoudt, Hendrico Burger, Nicky Lombard, Jeroen Kant, Patrick Lane, Ingar Valentyn, Eugene Moll, Greg Moseley, Tony Heher, Andrea and Moritz Connrad

Have a great Freedom Day weekend!
Kaartman, 17 April 2012

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