WATCH: SA hiker pledges to climb Table Mountain 365 times in one year for charity

Cape Town - While 2018 may have been off to a bad start for SA's new wonder of nature, Table Mountain - one man is on a mission to climb the mountain 365 times this year to raise R1 million for charity.

Cape Town hiker,  Andrew Patterson says he hopes to shed light on critical South African issues and improve the lives of the poor.

SEE: Hikers 101 - Stay cool and play it safe this summer

As the founder of 365 Ubuntu Climbs initiative, Patterson will be hiking the mountain every day and he is asking if people could help him achieve this audacious goal of empowering 1 million South Africans this year, by simply donating R1 per climb. 

Donations will be collected via crowdfunding platform, Backabuddy. The funds will be distributed to three organisations, namely, Habitat for Humanity, One Heart For Kids and the Sunflower Fund.

The three organisations undertake a series of projects to improve disadvantaged South African communities. Importantly, teaching children to read, as well as creating awareness about Leukaemia in South Africa.

“I am passionate about fitness and charity and my love for both grew after being retrenched from work last year.

“I got the idea to start the campaign while I was driving pass Table Mountain to Stellenbosch one night. I was either going to return to corporate or do something to help South Africans,” says Patterson. 

“My mantra is to take things one step at a time. Small steps eventually lead to the final goal. I believe that power comes from focusing on what you can do, rather than what is wrong,” he adds. 

ALSO SEE: Long hikes 101: Tips and trails to try in SA

Since the campaign started, he has raised R39 875 thanks to donors from around the world. 

Patterson warns people that climbing Table Mountain is no mean feat, the weather can change at any time so being prepared is important.

“Make sure you hydrate, wear comfortable clothes and start the journey early”, Patterson suggests.

Watch his video below:

Visitor Safety Team at Table Mountain

As safety and security remain top of mind, Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) announced on Friday, 12 January, that its Visitor Safety Team is on the prowl to combat crime in the Park. 

SEE: Visitor Safety Team on the prowl to combat crime in Table Mountain National Park

According to TMNP spokesperson, Merle Collins, the team has produced many successes since its inception, adding that ranger corps have added to the law enforcement in the park.

An integral part of the Visitor Safety team is its strong dog unit (trained to Level 4 to search and retrieve), a result of a community-sponsorship campaign ran by the Table Mountain National Park Honorary Rangers which led to the sponsorship of dogs, expansion of their kennels, and a range of services that support the Dog Unit. 

Hikers Network's Safety Tracking tool

Added to that, n December 2017, Safety Mountain tracking introduced an extra precaution tool, Hikers Network's Safety Tracking, for the Western Cape, where volunteers can keep track of you and your squad throughout your hike in the Cape mountains.

SEE: Season safety: Hike the Cape mountains with this hiking tracking tool 

In 2017, from January to August, they tracked over 7 300 hikes, peaking in April and dying down in June.

How to use the tracking tool

You let them know where you are at all times through Whatsapp, and by checking in on a regular basis they'll be able to mobilise support if things go wrong.

They also have a paramedic volunteer on the network, who can give emergency advice while the Metro-Wilderness Search and Rescue mobilise for serious incidents.

Planning a hike, trail run or mountain bike adventure? Keep the following safety tips in mind:

  • Never hike, run, cycle alone - four or more is an ideal size for a party.
  • Plan your route from start to end and choose the route according to the ability, fitness and experience of the group. This will prevent potential injury.
  • Inform someone exactly which route you are taking as well as your expected time of return - and stick to this route and plan.
  • Always go prepared for bad weather, i.e. take proper weatherproof clothing even on a sunny day (wind and rain proof); torches - with spare batteries and globes; good footwear - strong boots or shoes with non-slip soles; food; water; a flask of tea or some other beverage; a rucksack to carry it all in - to leave your arms and hands free.
  • Undertake your activity with somebody who knows the way and carry a guidebook, map or route description. A registered guide is recommended.
  • Keep to the designated routes on well-used paths. Heed signs advising of danger and do not take short cuts or unknown routes.
  • Leave valuables like cash and cameras behind.

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