2023 – Mountain Club of South Africa – ZAF

In the name of Alpine solidarity, Pinzolo becomes an international meeting place for those who, in the mountains of the world, put their lives at risk to save those of others. He succeeds in this laudable undertaking, thanks to the “Silver Plaque – Alpine Solidarity Award” created in 1972 by Angiolino Binelli and which has reached its 52nd edition today, arriving in South Africa.

The Committee, chaired by Giuseppe Ciaghi, this year awarded the “Silver Plaque” to the Mountain Club of South Africa (MCSA) “which has been promoting mountain culture for over a century with rescue, accompaniment and training interventions mountaineering, and with a punctual, meritorious, priceless activity of protection of the environment and its creatures”.

Present for a few days in Val Rendena with a delegation of eleven members, the “Alpine Club” of South Africa, with headquarters in Cape Town, received the recognition during the ceremony held at the Paladolomiti in Pinzolo. Ciaghi presented the plaque to the president of Mcsa Paul Cartensen flanked by the head of Rescue Steve Cooke.

The mountain club of South Africa is a voluntary association involved in various fields, from mountain rescue to environmental protection, from protecting free access to the mountains to the education of young generations.

The ceremony, accompanied by the notes of the Presanella Choir, was attended by numerous civil and military authorities, the Alpini, the National Alpine and Speleological Rescue Corps, the winners of previous editions, the families of those who received the medal in past years of gold in memory and several national and international delegations. The figure of Angiolino Binelli has been remembered several times, who continues, with his moral legacy and commitment to others, to inspire the “Alpine Solidarity Award”.

Furthermore, a moment was dedicated to the mountaineer Ermanno Salvaterra, who tragically passed away on Campanil Alto last August, arousing deep condolences within the community and the world of mountaineering, with the delivery of a memory by the Municipality of Pinzolo to the sisters Laura and Flavia Salvaterra.

“The Municipality of Pinzolo – said the mayor Michele Cereghini – has been deeply linked to the Award since its inception. One of the most beautiful aspects to underline is how the work and commitment of the organizing committee lead to the establishment of friendships on a global stage, which continue over time. The “Silver Plaque” does not reward a mountaineering or competitive result, but solidarity and volunteering”.

Giuseppe Ciaghi, quoting Angiolino Binelli, reiterated that “human life has no price and whoever saves a person by putting their own life at risk must be recognized. Solidarity is universal and in the mountains we are all equal. Pinzolo has demonstrated and continues to demonstrate that it is an example of solidarity. He did it with the birth not only of the Award, but also in 1952 with the foundation of the first Italian mountain rescue station, in 1992 with the conference on mountain therapy and on numerous other occasions. We want to become a center that raises awareness on the topic of peace within ourselves and in the world.”

President Paul Cartensen: “The mountains called and here we are. Receiving this Award, which a year ago was just a dream, is an honor. It is an Award for all the selfless and tireless volunteers, access teams, educators, instructors, conservation and rescue teams in South Africa. From Africa we arrived here and we will return to Africa bringing with us the message of Angiolino Binelli. Now the Prize family can count on new support in Africa.”


The Mcsa is a federal club founded in Cape Town in 1891 made up of 15 autonomous sections spread throughout southern Africa, which operate at a voluntary level with different objectives. Its activity consists of organizing and facilitating mountaineering, protecting access to mountains and mountain areas, initiating and supporting actions aimed at protecting the natural beauty and wild character of the mountains by effectively managing their conservation, in promote the safety and training of mountaineers, in providing search and rescue services and in encouraging the study of mountains and their environments, the conservation of the historical heritage and archaeological sites on them and the dissemination of information on mountains and mountaineering . Summarizing what the MCSA has achieved in over one hundred years of history with rescue interventions and mountaineering expeditions in the mountains all over the world is almost impossible, they have been so many, so different and often so challenging. Suffice it to say that last year he carried out more than 250 rescue operations in South Africa alone and that in 1970 he even flew to Peru with a team of doctors and others

Team mountain club of South Africa
Montagne sud africa
Sud Africa

Photo of the 52nd edition

Video of the 52nd edition