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The Cape Province Mountain Club was established on 16 December 1931.  The founder members were Carl Fisher (Climbing Leader), Mr C Petersen (Chairman), Mrs K Petersen, Cecil Townsend, Henry Flowers and W (Bill) Stein.   Binder's Rest, near the start of the Kasteels Poort path is named after Mr Petersen who was a book-binder by trade.  Cecil Townsend lived part of his later life as a hermit.  Townsend's Cave on the Back Table of Table Mountain is named after him.

The constitution of the newly formed club espoused the objectives of promoting the love and appreciation of the mountains.  This would be achieved through organising expeditions, instructing members in mountain craft and climbing technique and by encouraging conservation.

The earliest history of the club was either not recorded or lost over the years. It is, however, known that most of the male members of the young club saw service with the Allied Forces in North Africa and Europe between 1939 and 1945.  There was very little activity until about 1948.

The 1950's were much more active and the Club established itself as a climbing force in its own right.  1951 saw a three man expedition consisting of N Galliet, A George and J Thomas, venture to Mount Kilamanjaro.  There was regular climbing activity on Table Mountain and in the mountains of the Western Cape and further afield.   The bulk of the club membership was drawn from the working classes and funding for longer, foreign expeditions was not available to members during those early years.  It was only from the mid- seventies that younger members became mobile and affluent enough to venture on climbing holidays to England, Scotland, Europe and the Americas.

The club was also heavily involved in search and rescue efforts in the 1950's.  In 1951 the Club was donated a rescue stretcher and established its own search and rescue team.   W Crump of MCSA assisted in instructing rescue techniques to members of the Club. 

The mid fifties, especially 1955-56, saw Club heavily involved in search and rescue activity, often in conjunction with the Mountain Club of South Africa.  The home of Mr and Mrs Henry Mead was used as a co-ordination headquarters for these activities.  Mrs Mary Mead was later awarded a Gold badge and Honorary Life Membership for services rendered to the Club on these and other occasions.  Henry Mead also received Honorary Life Membership. 

The Club also forged strong links with foreign mountain clubs during the fifties.  Links were established with The Alpine Club (Europe) and CPMC hosted members of the Japanese Alpine Club when they passed through Cape Town with the Japanese Antarctic Expedition of 1957.

During the fifties the tradition of providing a service to the community was established.  There are many records of mountain activities organised specifically for school, church and youth groups.  An emphasis was placed on providing opportunities and outdoor experiences for the underprivileged.  This tradition was carried on through the sixties and seventies and well into the eighties.

In 1955 "The Carl Fisher Memorial Building Fund" was started and by 1961 plans for a Club House had been drawn up and the Club was negotiating to lease land from the City Council.  The negotiations were however unsuccessful and the project was eventually shelved.   The imposition of the Group Areas Act had no small part in this decision.   The development and growth of the Club has suffered from the lack of a fixed venue for meetings and social functions and which could act as a focal point for members and their friends.   Members who could no longer be actively involved in climbing programs, and particularly older members, soon lost contact with the club because of the lack of facilities.   Younger members have thus not benefited from the experiences and support that these members could have provided.

The Club has, however always had a hut on Table Mountain and this has at least provided a focal point for active members.  The hut was built during the construction of the Woodhead Dam on the Back Table at the end of the last century.   The late City Councillor Dr Abduraman was instrumental in acquiring a lease from the City Council.  The building was originally divided into two sections and CPMC shared it with the labourers of the City Council Waterworks Department until their new quarters were built in the late 1960's.

The hut stands on the open plateau at the top of Kasteels Poort and is continually exposed to harsh weather conditions.  By the early seventies the wood and iron used for the construction had all but rotted away and was in need of urgent replacement.  The Club decided to rebuild the wood and iron sections with brick and mortar and reconstruction started during the Easter Weekend of 1975.  For the rest of that year a loyal and dedicated group of members spent almost every weekend rebuilding the hut.  The new hut was officially opened on the Club's 44th anniversary on 16 December 1975.

After the major effort to rebuild the hut the members decided to take a well deserved climbing break.  That break stretched for almost nine years before the renovations were completed and a new roof was added to the hut.  Ten days later during the night of 15-16 May 1984 a tremendous storm hit Cape Town.  The new roof was completely torn from the building and a good portion of the upper walls were destroyed too.   It was a catastrophic disaster and the situation was worse than before renovations had begun.  Accommodation  was reduced to a very small lean-to kitchen which, at a very tight squeeze, could accommodate six people.   The Club immediately embarked on a major fund raising drive to raise the funds to restore and re-roof the building.  The reconstruction and re-roofing was started within a year and completed in an intense six week period.  Furnishing and refitting the interior has continued at a more leisurely pace ever since.

1985 to 1988 saw a general decline in the membership of the Club.  Toward the end of this period the decline was so dramatic that it was feared that the Club would be forced into dissolution.  Fortunately the tide has turned and the last two years have seen an even more dramatic increase in membership and activities.  Membership numbers are set to double the number at the AGM in September 1988 and the flood show no sign of abating.

With the increase in membership there has also been an increased attendance at climbing meets.   On average there is an organised climbing activity every other week of the year.  While the Table Mountain chain acts as a home base, many of the activities occur in the local country mountain peaks.  A lot of "unofficial" activity also occurs.  Rock climbing activity in particular, often occurs outside the formal climbing program.  This level of involvement and enthusiasm augers well for the future of the Club.