Volunteer Wildfire Services 

180km non-stop from Cape Point to Signal Hill, ending at the VWS Headquarters at Newlands Forest

30th September 2010 to 3rd of October 2010

The Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS), a section 21 NPO, is made up of a group of wildly enthusiastic volunteers from all walks of life who come together to protect the natural biodiversity.  With stations in Newlands and Jonkershoek and affiliations with Table Mountain National Park and Cape Nature, the VWS are able to assist in fire suppression activities covering large tracts of land in the Cape.  Our 250 members train hard during the winter months to ensure that they are in prime condition to fight wildfires during the summer months whenever called upon.  Over and above this, the VWS aims to generate wildfire awareness through land owner fire prevention training.  Emphasis is also placed on getting involved with educating communities who find themselves in the middle of fire prone areas.  We have been growing for 10 years now and it is with great pride that we strive to carry on the strong tradition. 

VWS Twitter Feed: Follow the progress of the 6 hikers

Latest News:

The team has now completed the Endurance Challenge in three and a half days. It took a mammoth effort from all of them, walking through lots of pain and sleep deprivation. They ended at VWS Newlands Station at 17h05 on Sunday 3rd October.

A massive thank you to the logistics team for all the hard work they put in, without them it would not have been possible.

The stories from the hike have been posted under the Mountain Echoes section of this website. Please keep the donations coming in... we have received significant exposure while undertaking this event which has meant that we have hit our awareness objectives however we have not yet reached our target fundraising amount.

Sponsor this Challenge - click here.


VWS Endurance Challenge Hike Numbers

Distance Covered: 182.9 km

Altitude gained: 10340 metres

Steps taken: ~ 261 500 foot falls

Total Training Hike Numbers

Distance Covered: 248.2 km

Time on our feet: 69 hrs 25 mins

Altitude gained: 14321 metres

(Averaged over all 6 members doing the full hike) 

The aim of this endurance challenge is threefold; to highlight the amazing environment that we are surrounded by on the peninsula, to create awareness of the VWS and the role that we play within the community and to fundraise.  To accomplish these aims the decision was made to embark on a 180km non-stop (necessary breaks aside) hike from Cape Point to our base in Newlands Forest.  The route follows the fire line we serve to protect in the Cape Town area as it takes us through our amazing natural heritage.  The physical element of the challenge is in keeping with the physical nature of what we do and highlights the need for our members to be physically fit when on duty.  Indeed this is a key focus area of our training. 

Fire fighting is a dangerous activity.  To this end the VWS would like to use this endurance challenge to raise R500 000 to better equip our members with advanced Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).  As an NPO we rely heavily on the generosity of those around us to achieve our goals and digging deep to sponsor our members is greatly appreciated.  As always we will go the extra mile to earn it and continue to work hard to protect the mountains that we all enjoy so freely.


 6 Volunteer Fire Fighters taking on the 180km Challenge

(From Left) Kate, Ruedi, Tarren, Ryan, Peter, sTiv


Best Quote While Training:

"It all looked flat on the map"

Anonymous Hiker
(also known as Peter)

Before the training hike on 4th September, Kate handed out the new hiking kit that has been very kindly sponsored by adidas South Africa. We are gratefully to them for their wonderful support of this challenge.

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