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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
New Grampians bans announced: Taipan, Bundaleer 17-Aug-2020 At 9:55:08 AM gordoste
On 17-Aug-2020 Olbert wrote:
>On 17-Aug-2020 E. Wells wrote:
>>Rapping into Serpentine belay is fine as per protection zone restriction.
>> Just wear an orange jumpsuit so the one percenters on their guided glamp
>>tramp (post reset) dont have their view ruined by peasants with a penchant
>>for challenge and adversity.
>Having read the Parks' document, it seems like E. Wells is correct...but
>climbing on Taipan with abseil access seems to be against the intent to
>the ban. What are people's perspective on abseil access to Taipan?
>I can't imagine that there is much Indigenous heritage on the top half
>of Taipan wall...
>I both don't want to be a dick but I also really really want to climb
>(or at least have a go at) Serpentine.

I hope the relevant climbing groups make it clear that our quarrel is not with traditional owners, but with PV. We recognise the need for a balanced approach that protects the remaining cultural heritage whilst (where possible) allowing responsible recreational access. From what I have seen, the traditional owner groups want this too. However, we really need to be clear that PV's behaviour is sabotaging this shared goal, through:

  • Repeated smearing of climbers in the media through misinformation

  • Statements that climbers will be consulted, followed by unilateral communication of bans. If we aren't going to be consulted in the short term while assessments occur, then just be honest about that.

  • Allowing cultural heritage consultants to comment on areas outside their domain of expertise. An Aboriginal art expert does not know what chalk looks like, nor do they have the ability to figure out who placed a particular bolt. In fact, comments they make on topics other than Aboriginal artwork should be removed from their reports.

  • Refusing to acknowledge that climbers are a valid park user. All that would be needed is to invite VCC & ACAV leadership into the room, explain why this is necessary, and ask for the climbing community's support and patience. The lack of engagement makes climbers feel that we are perceived as a nuisance, to be swatted away so that PV can get back to their strategy of attracting lucrative walkers and glampers.

Traditional owners and climbers share common values - forming a connection with the land through being in it. We cannot let PV's behaviour create conflict between us.

PV management are simply doing the job they've been given - figuring out how to save the taxpayer money whilst meeting their legislated requirement to protect cultural heritage. They do not care about climbers' hurt feelings, since we don't help them do that job. It's not personal - it's just business.

I just hope nobody does anything stupid that affects climbers' public image. That would be a total victory for PV - we will lose all credibility and they will be able to dictate to us exactly when and how things will be re-opened.

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