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June 2017 -  feeling generous today? We’re on JustTextGiving, so why not text RTUG12 plus the amount that you would like to donate to 70070? There are no charges for the text and your donation is all passed directly to the Rwenzori Trust. It only costs around £6 per month to sponsor a child.

May 2017 - a reading room is being constructed in Ruboni village using the “community pot” budget. Progress is slow with only foundations and walls built so far, but it is expected to be completed in summer 2018.

January 2017 - we are now in our tenth year of the child sponsorship programme and we currently sponsor 43 children in secondary schools and further education in Uganda. In fact, the current number of children is 40 because the local admissions committee has decided (exceptionally) to award a bursary equivalent to funds for 4 children to one young person to help with their fees for attending Kyambogo University.

 

Guide to the Rwenzori by Henry Osmaston

“In this glorious antidote to consumer sun-rock climbing, Henry Osmaston celebrates the idiosyncratic joys of travelling amongst some of the world’s wettest, weirdest, boggiest mountains - the luxuriantly vegetated Mountains of the Moon. That nickname originated with Ptolemy, one of the first geographers to hypothesise about snowy mountains at the heart of Africa; the official ‘Rwenzori’ derives from a local name meaning, appropriately, ‘Hill of Rain’.

It is that almost relentless rain which nurtures the range’s unique ecosystem, with numerous endemic species of gigantic plants. But just occasionally the sun shines, everything glitters and sparkles, and the Rwenzori becomes a place of utter enchantment. The first serious scientific exploration was made by Alexander Wollaston’s 1906 expedition, followed later that year by the Duke of Abruzzi, whose team made first ascents of nearly all the major peaks, including the highest, Margherita, named after Abruzzi’s aunt, the Queen Mother of Italy. To mark the centenary of those pioneering expeditions, Osmaston has revised extensively the original 1972 guide which he wrote with another former colonial officer of Uganda, David Pasteur.

Much of the original material remains: meticulously researched climbing history, route descriptions, excellent sketch maps, clear topos and informative monotone photos, along with copious notes on the area’s natural history. New to this edition are extended historical notes, including fascinating material on Uganda’s troubled post-colonial history, lots of enticing new colour photos and updated details on huts and climbing routes. It is the latter which have changed most drastically and that change is highlighted in four photos of the highest peaks, Alexandra and Margherita, dated between 1906 and 2005. Each view is almost identical, apart from the snow and ice cover. Should anyone doubt the reality of our current, accelerated, global warming, let them just see these photos.

The meltdown has been particularly rapid during the last decade and it is depressing to see how drastically Margherita has altered in just the 20 years since I was there. The landscape of the highest summits has altered, perhaps irrevocably, and many snow and ice routes have become rock climbs. The nature of many approaches has also altered. Osmaston has recorded these changes meticulously. Both he, Pasteur and Andrew Stuart, a collaborator on this new edition, lived and worked in Uganda and returned repeatedly to the Rwenzori, also visiting the western Congo side of the range when that was politically possible. At the moment the Congo is off limits, but with Uganda enjoying reasonable stability, the eastern approach is currently accessible and anyone wanting to explore those extraordinary mountains should take a copy of this new definitive guide.”

Text by Stephen Venables, Pres. Alpine Club, in The Climber, August 2006.

Available from EWP: 01550 721319, www.ewpnet.com