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General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
Araps History 8-Apr-2011 At 1:32:06 AM climbingjac
Not overly relevant to the "culture/history of climbing" but definitely about the "historical landscape" of Arapiles... I have a couple of antique pics of Arapiles from the 1800s.

The first one is a steel engraving from 1872, titled "Mount Araphilas, Victoria". It shows Bard Buttress, the Major Mitchell Gully, Tiger Wall & beyond, and Mitre Rock. Castle Crag is absent, most likely because the artist didn't feel like drawing it in. The "summit" of Tiger Wall is also very uniform, so quite possible that the artist drew it how they wanted and not entirely on the reality of what he/she saw. There is a swamp covering at least the area that is now "The Gums Campground" complete with some swamp birds, and some people (Aborigines?) having a campfire.

The second is a wood engraving from 1885, titled "Mount Arapiles". Drawn from almost the same position, only this time featuring Castle Crag as well. The swamp appears to be gone, and the Aborigines are replaced with some gentlemen in safari suits and hats. One of them seems to be attempting to shoot something with a rifle. If the 1872 pic did feature Aboriginal folk, I'd imagine they took off when team safari suit turned up with their rifles.

Plaque Rock is not present in either of the two pics.

You would be welcome to take a look if that is useful to your project. Might be an interesting intro to the "history" component of Arapiles. It certainly doesn't have a swamp at the base of Bard these days (or maybe it did during the recent floods!) I have seen (but am now annoyed that I did not buy) historical maps of the Wimmera that showed that large portions of the region were indeed swampland once upon a time.

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