Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Report Back #37

1. Maclear’s Beacon in the Cederberg

2. Annual Cedar tree planting: your invitation 

3. News from Quinton die Tierman

4. Mark Hanley and Hike the Cederberg #2

1. Maclear’s Beacon in the Cederberg

Research by Dawie Burger of Driehoek has revealed the exciting news that the Cederberg has its very own Maclear’s Beacon. It’s situated on the infrequently-climbed Sneeukop, which Dawie visited recently with George van der Watt. His research resulted in the following edited account [modern pics by Dawie Burger]:—

First Sneeukop Summit 1843
Thomas Maclear and William Mann
 Dr Thomas Maclear and his assistant William Mann climbed Sneeukop in 1843 with a group of Khoi servants, reaching the summit on 21 March. Maclear was busy with his famous triangulation survey of the Cape. On the next morning Mann volunteered to hike to a hill or koppie that lay almost due north of Sneeukop. The distant mountain, known as Augustfonteinberg or Kliprug, was some 70 to 8o km away, and with one servant as a guide it took Mann five or six days to reach its summit. 
Kliprug (Augustfonteinberge) where William Mann sent the signal back to Maclear

As soon as he arrived Mann signalled to Maclear by heliograph; on 29th March Maclear signalled back to Mann that he should return to Sneeukop.
[Mann’s journey would have taken him down to Wupperthal, over to Biedouw and over the Biedouw mountain to the Doring River. From there the most direct line to Augustfontein lay up the Botterkloof, where the pass did still not exist, of course. – Ed]

They built this sleeping place and fire place near the Sneeukop summit, and also built a wind break at the beacon where Maclear sat during the day while he was waiting for Mann’s signal.

Sneeuwkop Beacon

Some artefacts found in the area where Thomas Maclear and William Mann slept.

Where the Khoi servants slept under an overhang, close to where Maclear slept. They even apparently had a whole sheep leg for supper!

The next summiting of Sneeukop  was in 1896 by Gother Charles Maclear Mann. Gother Mann was the youngest son of William Mann and a keen mountaineer. He was the first MCSA [Mountain Club] member to reach the summit of Tafelberg, accompanied by farmer Viljoen. He decided to climb Sneeukop in August of the same year, where he was joined by G.T. Amphlett and Sr Arthur Stark. Christian Friedrich Leipoldt joined them later that day, at sunset.

Gother Charles Maclear Mann and Christian Freidrich Leipoldt

Artefacts founded at the sleeping place and beacon.

Thanks for a great account, Dawie – Hike the Cederberg #2 will proudly carry the name ‘Maclear’s Beacon’!

2. You are invited by CapeNature and Bushmans Kloof

To the annual Clanwilliam Cedar Tree Planting Event in the Cederberg on Saturday 15 May 2015

Gather friends and family and venture into the heart of the spectacular Cederberg to join Cape Nature, the Heuningvlei community and local schools for a day of conservation fun to help save the endemic Clanwilliam cedar tree (categorised as endangered on the Red Data List).
Starting at 09:00, you will have the opportunity to plant your own cedar tree in the grove and surrounding wilderness area. Complimentary lunch will be provided and entertainment is courtesy of Bushmans Kloof’s young Riel Dance Champions, ending the programme at 15:00. The event is open to the public and entrance is free.
Your hosts for the day are Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat and CapeNature, with members of local environmental groups, the Botanical Society, the Wildflower Society and the Cederberg Conservancy participating too.
Should you wish to attend the event, kindly contact Jill Wagner or Jeanine de Vos
Telephone: 021 481 1863
(Guest numbers required for catering purposes)

Programme of Events - Saturday, 16 May

09h30 - 10h00
Refreshments on arrival
The gate at the top of the Pakhuis Pass will open in the morning at 08:30.
Please note that only 4 X 4 vehicles will manage this road as it is
not in a good driving state at the moment.
All non 4 x 4 vehicles need to access Heuningvlei from the Wupperthal Road.
10h00 - 10h30
Welcome by Patrick Lane, Cape Nature planting of the seeds by the local school children
and ceremonial planting of trees in the grove.
10h30 - 13h00
Planting of the trees in the Wilderness Area
13h30 - 15h00
Lunch will be provided by Bushmans Kloof,
entertainment courtesy of our Riel Dance Champions!

Please remember to bring well marked hand spades for the planting of the small trees.

3. News from Quinton die Tierman

Quinton sent this from California, where the mountain lions are shy, it seems ...

Hi All,
Rodney, Liz, Ayla and I put out 4 camera traps at our house on Sunday a week ago – this was one of the captures we got – our first mountain lion sighting at home.
Shy Californian mountain lion ...
While cleaning up around the house I found 4 scorpions, 1 centipede, 1 giant lizard of sorts and along with Liz’s bobcat sighting and fox sightings – well, suffice it to say that Ayla is getting her fair share of animal life.
Very cool!!
Lots of love

4. Mark Hanley and Hike the Cederberg #2

Mark Hanley was [too many years ago to recall] an ex-pupil of mine, and later a much-loved and respected teacher at Bishops. At Bishops he created the ‘Epic’, a ten day programme for pre-matric pupils who visit the Cederberg for an active programme of hiking and exploring as well as community programmes with the pupils of Elizabethfontein Primary School. After Mark  died a plaque in his memory was placed at Traveller’s Rest in the Agter-Pakhuis. Fellow staff members remembered, too, that Mark had a favourite place in the Cederberg, an unnamed waterfall in Kruiskloof, near the head of the Beesgat valley. 

Remembering the ancient and time-honoured tradition of cartography, whereby cartographers exercise their right to name the unnamed on their maps [both America and Australia were named this way, by the way!] I have agreed that the falls will appear on edition #2 of ‘Hike the Cederberg’ and on all subsequent editions too, of course.

If you know of any unnamed features and have suggestions for naming them, please step up to the plate. In May we are off to gather more local names, but these generally only involve places near settlements and roads, and not the plethora of features that are out there in our favourite mountains.
And to Mark’s family: I am honoured to be able to remember him this way.

Kaartman, April 2015