Words: Lisa de Speville
mini-FEAT events have been on the cards for ages and now they're happening - with thanks to Mountain Club of South Africa. Mini-FEAT events provide a platform for visiting, foreign adventurers to share tales of their expeditions with us.
Cape Town, there's something here for you!
FEAT has partnered with the Mountain Club of South Africa (MCSA) for these mini-FEAT events as they are bringing acclaimed mountaineer and author Stephen Venables to South Africa for a whirlwind lecture-and-climbing tour. Venables’ (59) has been mountaineering for almost 40 years. His accomplishments make for a lengthy list with first ascents, new routes, technical climbs and expeditions in the Himalayas, Peru, Bolivia, Patagonia and South Georgia Island.
Although he was the first Briton to summit Mt Everest without bottled oxygen (1988), it was his expedition on Panch Chuli V that brought Venables to my attention when I read his book, ‘A Slender Thread’ a few years ago. In this book Venables tells of breaking both legs on the descent of the mountain when an abseil anchor failed. He was rescued by his Indian and British teammates. This book, one of 12 that Venables has written, is a page turner.
The mini-FEAT format differs somewhat to the standard FEAT-event format of multiple speakers talking for seven minutes each. At mini-FEAT, the evening begins with an ‘opening act’ in the standard seven-minute FEAT format and is followed by a full-length, one-hour presentation by the visiting adventurer. The talk is broken by an intermission.
Dates and venues for the mini-FEAT events, held in partnership with MCSA, are:
Thursday, 14 November: Mountain Club of South Africa, CAPE TOWN
“In Shackleton’s Steps” – Venables has retraced Ernest Shackleton’s route across South Georgia Island twice – once on foot and once on skis. His presentation of this story includes archive images, stunning modern photography and a film. It’s a thrilling lecture.
Monday, 18 November: Victory Theatre, Houghton. JOHANNESBURG
“Mountains of the Southern Ocean” - Venables describes highlights of his many sailing-climbing expeditions to the Far South, including his expeditions to South Georgia Island – following in Ernest Shackleton’s footsteps – and Tierra del Fuego. This year he led a ski-mountaineering expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula with the internationally renowned yachtsman and climber, Skip Novak.
In addition there are MCSA lectures hosted by Sections in other Provinces. These events are open to MCSA members and the public. Tickets are booked directly through the Section.
• PRETORIA, Tuesday 12 November: MCSA - Magaliesberg Section.
Venue: L C de Villiers Sports Centre, University of Pretoria
• JOHANNESBURG, Wednesday 13 November: MCSA - Johannesburg Section.
Venue: Delta Park Environmental Centre, Road 3, Victory Park.
• CAPE TOWN, Friday 15 November: MCSA – Cape Town Section.
Venue: MCSA Clubhouse, 97 Hatfield Street.
• BLOEMFONTEIN, Tuesday 19 November: MCSA – Free State Section.
Venue: CR Swart Auditorium, University of the Free State.
• DURBAN, Friday 22 November: MCSA – KwaZulu-Natal Section.
Unite Lecture Theatre, University of KZN, Gate 3, Francois Road.
Please visit the MSCA website for details on these events – www.mcsa.org.za.
Bookings for the mini-FEAT events can be done through entrytickets.net. Tickets are R100.00. Bookings open over the weekend of 19 October.
I look forward to seeing you next month.