Stick to the path and the park’s rules

2017-10-17 06:01

Access to Wally’s Cave on Lion’s Head has been closed after a hiker died on the trail last month.

The recent death near Wally’s Cave “is a clear indication that hikers are not adhering to the access restrictions in this particular area”, says Sanparks spokesperson Merle Collins.

The hiker, in his late twenties, fell to his death on 14 September, Collins confirms.

“The current access path was illegally created by hiking enthusiasts who did not take into consideration accessibility, safety, environmental conditions and sustainability. The condition of this illegal path is therefore dangerous and eroded and has subsequently been closed off to the public. Official signage is in place indicating that veld rehabilitation is underway. Patrols to the area will also be increased to prevent injuries in this space,” she says.

Over the last few years, the number of walkers on Lion’s Head trails increased significantly, Louise Farrell, chairperson of the Friends of Lion’s Head, previously told People’s Post (“Green flag in the wind”, 14 February).

Based on counts by the organisation, over 500 walkers used the trail during the week. This number tripled on weekends, she said. This increase in walkers impacted the path and environment, she said.

Lion’s Head “remains a highly impacted area for its unique panoramic views of the mountain chain” and the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) management is encouraging hikers to keep to the rules of the park, “thus preventing potential injury and in some cases even death”, Collins adds.

“The TMNP team is deeply concerned about any incidents and we request that hikers save the park’s emergency number on their phones – 086 110 6417 or 107 – where officials can be contacted immediately via radio. In addition, hikers should walk in groups, be aware of their surroundings and leave cash and cameras behind.”

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