Solutions for the Amphitheatre
If you are suggesting that Vertical Endeavour is somehow responsible for the degradation of paths and caves then I think you are shooting a bit wide of the mark.
That is not what I was suggesting but I will leave it at that.
I agree with you that the answer lies in more frequent patrols, particularly on the escarpment/border.
I have encountered parks board rangers a few times on the contour paths but never on top.
Thank you for your post. The user-pays principal is an accepted practice in World Heritage Sites across the globe, and I recently heard that it is cheaper to stay in luxury hotels here than in ones own house in certain european countries.
I would also like to make mention of Rangers comments about patrols enforcing the closure of the Amphitheatre. This seems like a contradiction to his earlier claims that there are no resources for general patrols aimed at protecting hikers and the park's resources in general.
In connection with patrols, perhaps an additional charge, not unlike the rescue fund, could be levied against entry permits towards proper patrols along park borders. Although that being said, if EKZNW was managed properly regular patrols would still be a reality. Surely patrolling falls under the job description of a Ranger?
Game rangers in the private sector earn very low salaries and work for 6 weeks at a time so the idea of sleep out allowance and 8 hour shifts for Rangers in the park is quite amusing. Guys like Bill Barnes and George Hughes used to patrol for days at a time.
@Viking: You misread the post as we indicated that a shortage of resources due to a massive budget cut that make patrolling the area difficult...not impossible. The current economic crisis is limiting resources, but various funding models are being discussed with stakeholders, and all it needs is buy-in from all roleplayers and final approvals to be implemented. If you would like to volunteer your services for patrols, we would be happy to welcome you to our Honorary Officer Corps .
I doubt that VE is responsible for higher Berg traffic - the number of hikers I have seen on the escarpment in my last 5 escarpment hikes:
- Vergelegen hike: none
- Ublebi Pass at Lotheni: none
- Pins loop at Mnweni: 3 groups (one in the distance, and two at Mponjwane Cave - including Viking's team)
- Rhino Day Hike: none
- Monks/Didima traverse this last weekend: none
On my GT with AndrewP and Relihan over New Years 2014/2015, we saw exactly 0 hikers between Ribbon Falls and Sani, and on my News Years GT 2015/2016 with Hobbit - we saw only one other team over this stretch, aside from AndrewP bringing us our resupply.
I haven't seen official numbers, but I hear stories of caves being booked up most weekends in the 70's - something that is most certainly not happening these days.
Ranger wrote: If you would like to volunteer your services for patrols, we would be happy to welcome you to our Honorary Officer Corps .
From what I hear, being an Honourary Officer isn't met with the same appreciation and cooperation from QE Park that it used to. That said, I'm sure some old members wouldn't mind knocking on a few escarpment doors with an R4 in hand. Or is that an R1?
“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”