News24

Man dies in Table Mountain fall

2011-03-22 08:16

Cape Town - A public holiday outing on Table Mountain ended tragically for two young men on Monday when one of them fell up to 40 metres to his death and the other one had to be rescued with a helicopter.

Mark Roux, from Claremont and his American friend Henry Herman from Chicago, Illinois, went walking on the India Venster trail on Monday morning when Roux fell to his death.

The two men had decided to veer off the track and to climb up against the mountain said police spokesperson Captain Frederick van Wyk on Monday.

"The deceased slipped and fell to his death. He died on the scene due to multiple injuries."

According to Kevin Tromp of Wilderness Search and Rescue, Roux fell about 40m.

Left footpath

"The two men for some or other reason decided to leave the footpath and started climbing up against the mountain. They got about 40m before one of them slipped and fell."

Tromp said the deceased was wearing hiking shoes while his friend was wearing flip-flops.

"The friend, who was trapped on a ledge and couldn't get up or down, was first taken to safety with a Skymed helicopter. Afterwards the helicopter went back to remove the body."

Table Mountain National Park spokesperson Merle Collins on Monday described the incident as a tragedy.

"We suspect the two got lost or deviated from the path, but that has not yet been confirmed."

The India Venster route is known as one of the most dangerous walking trails on the mountain. Several people have died on or near the route over the years.

Precautions

Collins emphasised, however, that none of Table Mountain's hiking routes were dangerous if people stayed on the trail.

Collins said people should take the necessary precautions when they hike on the mountain.

"Hikers should ensure they are wearing the right clothes and shoes when they go hiking. Enough water and an emergency number, should you get into trouble, are also essential."

"If you stay on the trails, it is very easy."           

- Collins also said a 42-year-old American tourist fell on the first ladder on Lion's Head on Saturday. He was taken to hospital with serious injuries. His condition was stable.

- Were you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts

Comments
  • paul.urban - 2011-03-22 08:41

    In places, the route is not very well marked and its easy to veer off course if you haven't done the route before.

  • Snotty - 2011-03-22 08:43

    flip flops to go mountain climbing ??? now u tell me ???

      Ntebo More - 2011-06-07 15:43

      damn flip flops? he wanted to die, well he succeded

  • theoldmanofthemountains - 2011-03-22 08:49

    It boggles the mind that anyone would go for a walk in the mountains wearing flip-flops. My condolences to the family of the deceased gent.

      Felix - 2011-03-22 14:45

      The chap with flip flops survived. I've climbed both Table Mnt and Lions head in flip flops. It is a straight forward walk if you stay on the path... Condolences to the family and friends of the deceased :'(

  • tonybighit - 2011-03-22 08:52

    I too climbed Lions Head on the weekend, there were 2 noobs wearing flip flops

      - 2011-03-23 19:46

      No they were not. They are both very experienced climbers. The young man who passed has been an avid hiker and outdoorsman for nearly a decade. The one who survived has been Free climbing for years, And I was shocked when I saw his climbing skills for the first time. He wasn't at all arrogant of his talents neither.

  • Craig - 2011-03-22 09:06

    Rest in peace cousin. We will sorely miss you

      cappuccino - 2011-03-22 10:18

      Condolences to you and your entire family on your recent loss! May your cousin rest in peace!

  • Robert - 2011-03-22 09:06

    I would like t suggest they put up a sign that is visible at the start of India Venster that informs people ta it is a dangerous route, and suggest platterkloof gorge as an easier way up. If people are made aware of the dangers of India Venster right from the bottom at the start, less inexperienced people will do it. I don't do India Venster to dangerous for my self

      nic - 2011-03-22 10:06

      At the bottom of India Venster the sign points people in the direction of PlatteKLIP Gorge. You dont actually easily see the route up IV and it certainly isn't promoted by signs. Just a small sign a few metres above the contour path. I dont think the authorities can do more. Thousands use the mountain and even without the many drinking on Lion's Head more deaths will happen. One of the best climbers in Cape Town died on Platteklip last year. Any route is dangerous...showing respect for the mountain is important. I run/walk these paths all the time...I don't expect to fall but it can happen easily and I will blame myself for injury but when I get to a dangerous part even if I have run it 20 times I slow down and don't take risks.

  • SayWhat? - 2011-03-22 09:12

    Mountain of death...

  • paulmandlankosi - 2011-03-22 09:17

    People, you are insensivitive. May his soul rest in peace

  • Jennifer Hume - 2011-03-22 09:19

    Mark Roux was an avid mountain hiker, a talented orienteerer, and a level-headed smart guy! It was certainly not out of irresponsibility that this tragedy occurred! It is a huge loss to his family and friends, and he will be desperately and sorely missed! RIP, cousin!

      michele.filby - 2011-03-22 20:46

      Condolences to the entire families on the loss of Mark. Such a tragedy.

      carina.labuschagnebester - 2012-08-27 10:42

      Condolences to all of you. My son fell off Paarl Rock a few years ago. He sliped, thats all.

  • agthorpe - 2011-03-22 09:39

    The city will save money if they employ a guy at the top and bottom of India Venster, telling people of the risk of going up this trail, checking if they've got the right gear and even handing out maps. Then they won't need to send out rescue helicopters once a month. This route claims many lives and people DO NOT realize the risk involved and the difficulty of the route.

      agthorpe - 2011-03-22 09:43

      I feel sorry for the family of the deceased. Obviously rescue teams need to go out for emergencies...just saying that this type of thing can be prevented...

      Barend - 2011-03-22 10:54

      Then you should also employ someone on every beach to tell people that it is dangerous to swim in the sea. And maybe you should forbid the sale of all bicycles. Given the number of people on Table Mountain every day, I believe that if you look at the statistics you will find that the most dangerous part of at trip to the mountain is that part where you drive to the mountain with your car. I have not been on that route for some time, but there used to be as sign at top for decades and later also on at the bottom, telling people that this is not an easy route. But some people, including myself, will always want to try something challenging. My four children, now all grown up, have all been up or down that route before their fourth birthday... and they were all girls. Since then we were up and down there countless times. According to Jennifer Mark was experienced, which make me think they went off the route to try something more challenging. They made a mistake which cost them dearly. But no officials on the route would have prevented that. And the cost to the city is very small compared to the cost of rescue services on the roads.

  • cappuccino - 2011-03-22 10:16

    In response to Nice Guy's comment - I find you to be so very rude and unkind. What if something like this happened to someone in your family accidentally and someone said this to you "Your cousin is a dumb fool for fooling around on the mouontain. Your familly should be sued for wasting taxpayers money" in time of sorrow. Great going it's idiots like you who just don't care. To the family my sincerest condolences to you all in this time of sorrow.

      Craig - 2011-03-22 10:31

      Thank you

  • Mogamat - 2011-03-22 11:07

    My wife and I was sitting just below the Cable car entrance about to head down India Venster. @noon she draw my attention to this thumping like sound. little did we know we will cross the path of the fatally injured climber. As we approached after engaging the chains and staples we met up with another hiking group who actually witnessed the actual fall. Two of them stayed with climber, checked for pulse, and covered his face. They said they never saw a person bounce so high and landing 1 meter off the path. Rescue response came within 1hour 45minutes. It was a most revealing experinece for us who have enjoyed the mountain for more than 20years. The route they chose was definitely a no no go. India Venster is a stunning trail upgraded with support chains and solid stainless steel staples done with extreme sensible caution. Ommiedraai Hiking Friends Shahmieg & Ghairo.

      dems - 2011-03-22 13:44

      Rescue response came within 1hour 45minutes. within? you make it sound swift?... rescue response should never take more than 5 minutes, otherwise it's not rescue, and it's hardly response either

  • Alex - 2011-03-22 11:43

    I was a close friend to Mark, he was very experienced, and I have hiked with him many many times, he was also a expieranced rock climber, and his companion, Henry, is one of the best rock climbers I have ever seen, he is so good that he never used his legs, I was suppose to go on the hike with them. This is a most tragic loss, Mark was a great friend and a great guy. See you in heaven friend

      colette.rossouw - 2011-03-22 18:14

      Perhaps that's why he was wearing flip-flops because he climbed without shoes? Condolences to the family and friends.

  • Alex - 2011-03-22 11:45

    I was a close friend to Mark, he was very experienced, and I have hiked with him many many times, he was also a expieranced rock climber, and his companion, Henry, is one of the best rock climbers I have ever seen, he is so good that he never used his legs, I was suppose to go on the hike with them. This is a most tragic loss, Mark was a great friend and a great guy. See you in heaven friend

  • Alex - 2011-03-22 11:51

    I was a close friend to Mark, he was very experienced, and I have hiked with him many many times, he was also a experienced rock climber, and his companion, Henry, is one of the best rock climbers I have ever seen, he is so good that he never used his legs, I was suppose to go on the hike with them. This is a most tragic loss, Mark was a great friend and a great guy. See you in heaven friend

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