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