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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 8. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 80 | 81 to 100 | 101 to 120 | 121 to 140 | 141 to 154
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Grampians Access 2019
Access T CliffCare
8-Feb-2019
3:22:33 PM

Grampians Access meeting – Feb 2019

The VCC and CliffCare, along with 6 of the members of the newly created Grampians Access working & technical working groups, will attend a meeting with Parks Victoria on 12th February.

As noted by land managers – ‘The purpose of this meeting is to discuss upcoming changes to rock climbing in the Grampians National park and surrounds, and confirm next steps and opportunities to work together’.

Attending Climbing Representatives:

Paula Toal – VCC President
Tracey Skinner – VCC/CliffCare Access & Environment Officer
Steve Monks – Victorian Climbing Rep
Adam Demmert – Climbing and Developer Representative
Simon Weill – Bouldering and Developer Representative
Adam Merrick – Western Victorian Climbing Club (WVCC) Rep and Education advisor
Ross Taylor – Climbing community Communications/Media (Vertical Life)
Nina Scott Bohanna – VCC PR and Communication advisor

We are in no doubt that this will be a challenging process. We look forward to some clarity from land managers around the current status of climbing in the park and surrounds, and the opportunity to collaborate to ensure that not only are park and cultural values protected, but the rights of climbers as a legitimate user group are taken into account.

I will have further information available soon on the Grampians Access working group and its members. If you would like to offer a particular set of skills or help out in any way that you feel could be beneficial to Access, we also have a technical working group. Drop me a line cliffcare@vicclimb.org.au

Tracey Skinner
VCC/CliffCare Access & Environment Officer
Rawpowa!
12-Feb-2019
6:05:49 PM
Any updates on this?
Access T CliffCare
14-Feb-2019
11:02:35 AM
Stakeholder meeting 12 February, 2019. Outcome statement

On Tuesday 12 February, we attended a meeting with Parks Victoria and representatives from the climbing community and the Western Victoria Climbing club to talk about rock climbing access in the Grampians.

Parks Victoria advised that eight areas in the western Grampians will be closed to rock climbers. The exact locations of the areas were not provided at the meeting, however, we were told to expect this information within 48 hours.

Signage will be put up at the eight closed areas over the next two weeks and people ignoring the closures will be issued with fines.

As soon as we receive information about the exact locations of the closures, we will make this available. We anticipate the majority are located in the Victoria Range.

Parks Victoria are banning climbing in these areas because Aboriginal Victoria—the organisation responsible for cultural heritage management and protection—believes Parks Victoria have failed to protect cultural sites. Aboriginal Victoria can place large fines on Parks Victoria in these cases.

There are ongoing concerns about damage to cultural sites due to the impact of climbing and bouldering. Two cases of bolting occurring close to rock art in the Black Range have added to the problems.

As well as the exact locations of the closures, we asked for information about the size of the closed areas (where the bans will extend to) and the reasons climbing bans are being placed on these particular areas.

With more information, we hope to be able to prevent other areas being closed to climbing and find ways to work together to protect the park.

The potential for more closures is a real possibility and Parks Victoria told us they plan to look at the impacts of climbing and bouldering in other areas.

As well as damage to cultural heritage, Parks Victoria are very concerned about environmental damage occurring in the park, in particular the active removal of vegetation around boulders, impacts due to bouldering mats on vegetation, and the use of fixed anchors and track clearing.

Parks Victoria plans to create a stakeholder group to help develop a state-wide climbing policy. And also provide input to update the 2003 park management plan for the Grampians, which currently doesn’t include guidance for activities like bouldering.

It’s essential that our response is clear, coordinated and respectful.

We are a legitimate user group of the Grampians National Park and climbing, like many other activities, can exist in a way that doesn’t impact negatively on cultural or environmental values.

Please respect these bans as they will be policed and ignoring the closures could jeopardise access to other areas. We strongly encourage you to familiarise yourself with the information Cliffcare has provided to date about access issues in the Grampians. It can be found on the CliffCare website.

Further information about the locations of closed areas will be provided as soon as we receive it.

Vertical Life has also made a statement and you can read it here: https://www.verticallifemag.com.au/2019/02/climbing-bans-in-the-grampians/?fbclid=IwAR2afPwX5mbrjBN8LqTjdKQKCCIy5Y6r8K8TUq8hAupQHgKhwiyq0c9_L3I


Thank you.

Tracey Skinner
VCC/CliffCare Access & Environment Officer

Paula Toal
VCC President
Dave J
14-Feb-2019
12:15:25 PM
On 14-Feb-2019 Access T CliffCare wrote:
>Parks Victoria advised that eight areas in the western Grampians will
>be closed to rock climbers. The exact locations of the areas were not provided
>at the meeting, however, we were told to expect this information within
>48 hours.
>
>Signage will be put up at the eight closed areas over the next two weeks
>and people ignoring the closures will be issued with fines.
>
>As soon as we receive information about the exact locations of the closures,
>we will make this available. We anticipate the majority are located in
>the Victoria Range.

Hopefully "the Victoria Range" isn't just one of the 8 areas to be closed. Doesn't sound very promising.

gordoste
14-Feb-2019
12:42:10 PM
Let's be clear - this is a test to see if climbers can be trusted to police ourselves. If we do not obey the ban, the areas will never be re-opened. If we prove we can respect others, we will get respect in return and can start a conversation about whether some of the areas can be partially reopened.
If you see or hear of people putting our access at risk, call them out.

freepete
14-Feb-2019
12:45:40 PM
Well said gordoste
FlatPeach
14-Feb-2019
12:46:11 PM
Is this effective immediately? Or not until the signs go up? Or not until the 8 locations are announced? I'm heading to the Grampians this weekend (but TBH I'll probably respect the ban ASAP so as to avoid antagonizing anything).

Lastly - and please excuse my ignorant SA climbers mind - I'm already a SCA (SCSA) and CCSA member (whether they like it or not :P) but is there a more national (or what would be the best Victorian) organisation that I can join to try and support the negotiations from a climbers perspective.

My understanding is that there is no official organisation that coordinates land management access nationally - such as MTBA for MTBing.
FlatPeach
14-Feb-2019
12:48:11 PM
On 14-Feb-2019 gordoste wrote:
>Let's be clear - this is a test to see if climbers can be trusted to police
>ourselves. If we do not obey the ban, the areas will never be re-opened.
>If we prove we can respect others, we will get respect in return and can
>start a conversation about whether some of the areas can be partially reopened.
>If you see or hear of people putting our access at risk, call them out.
>
/s Can't call them out if I'm not there! :P

But seriously, yes, this. Agree.
Douglas H
14-Feb-2019
12:57:07 PM
Victorian climbing club (vcc) funds cliffcare who are leading the negotiating team.

ajfclark
Online Now
14-Feb-2019
12:59:27 PM
On 14-Feb-2019 FlatPeach wrote:
>Lastly - and please excuse my ignorant SA climbers mind - I'm already
>a SCA (SCSA) and CCSA member (whether they like it or not :P) but is there
>a more national (or what would be the best Victorian) organisation that
>I can join to try and support the negotiations from a climbers perspective.

You can donate to the Victorian CliffCare Trust (who pay part of the Access Officer's salary) or join the Victorian Climbing Club (who pay the other part) or both. Donations to CliffCare > $2 are tax deductible.

Follow on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/CliffCare/
http://www.facebook.com/vicclimb/

There's donate and join buttons there. If you'd like to make a large donation, please contact me directly: treasurer@vicclimb.org.au and I'll get you bank details, etc.

JamesMc
14-Feb-2019
3:23:51 PM
On 14-Feb-2019 gordoste wrote:
>Let's be clear - this is a test to see if climbers can be trusted to police
>ourselves. If we do not obey the ban, the areas will never be re-opened.
>If we prove we can respect others, we will get respect in return and can
>start a conversation about whether some of the areas can be partially reopened.
>If you see or hear of people putting our access at risk, call them out.

I think you've misunderstood. This isn't a voluntary ban, it's a legal ban. If we obey it then it will stay. If no Uber drivers broke the laws designed to protect the taxi industry then Uber would still be illegal.
Rawpowa!
14-Feb-2019
3:37:01 PM
On 14-Feb-2019 JamesMc wrote:
>On 14-Feb-2019 gordoste wrote:
>>Let's be clear - this is a test to see if climbers can be trusted to
>police
>>ourselves. If we do not obey the ban, the areas will never be re-opened.
>>If we prove we can respect others, we will get respect in return and
>can
>>start a conversation about whether some of the areas can be partially
>reopened.
>>If you see or hear of people putting our access at risk, call them out.
>
>I think you've misunderstood. This isn't a voluntary ban, it's a legal
>ban. If we obey it then it will stay. If no Uber drivers broke the laws
>designed to protect the taxi industry then Uber would still be illegal.


Yes, any ban because of aboriginal heritage is permanent, there's no way it will change. Wallcliffe in WA and Buledelah will never reopen either.
kieranl
14-Feb-2019
3:51:34 PM
On 14-Feb-2019 JamesMc wrote:
>On 14-Feb-2019 gordoste wrote:
>>Let's be clear - this is a test to see if climbers can be trusted to
>police
>>ourselves. If we do not obey the ban, the areas will never be re-opened.
>>If we prove we can respect others, we will get respect in return and
>can
>>start a conversation about whether some of the areas can be partially
>reopened.
>>If you see or hear of people putting our access at risk, call them out.
>
>I think you've misunderstood. This isn't a voluntary ban, it's a legal
>ban. If we obey it then it will stay. If no Uber drivers broke the laws
>designed to protect the taxi industry then Uber would still be illegal.

If our attitude to cultural heritage bans is that we'll break them then we've lost at the outset. Showing disrespect to cultural heritage will confirm to Aboriginal Victoria that there is nothing to negotiate with us. Our only valid (or viable) negotiating position is to acknowledge the presence of cultural heritage and ask how climbing can respectfully co-exist with it. That may not be possible at some sites - it may be at others. We now have a long road ahead of us.

Duang Daunk
14-Feb-2019
6:06:46 PM
> We now have a long road ahead of us.

How many illegitimate ascents of The Fear at Nth Head do you reckon happen bro?

JamesMc
14-Feb-2019
6:14:51 PM

>If our attitude to cultural heritage bans is that we'll break them then
>we've lost at the outset. Showing disrespect to cultural heritage will
>confirm to Aboriginal Victoria that there is nothing to negotiate with
>us. Our only valid (or viable) negotiating position is to acknowledge the
>presence of cultural heritage and ask how climbing can respectfully co-exist
>with it. That may not be possible at some sites - it may be at others.
>We now have a long road ahead of us.

Kieran, agree up to the point that they're valid, but there's no particular reason to expect that to be the case. Remember that Parks Vic (I think they had a different name at the time) maintained a seasonal prohibition on climbing at Werribee Gorge to protect peregrine falcons for years after they stopped nesting there.

My expectation is that we'll see something like "no climbing in Vic Range west of the watershed" which I would not regard as valid. If it was "no climbing at Camp of the Emu's Foot" then I could respect that.

I don't think there's any suggestion of climbing respectfully coexisting with cultural heritage in the current regulation. That was the hope years ago when Gordon and I named our guide book "South Western Grampians Gariwerd Interim Climbing Guide" to pay some respect to the Aboriginal community.

A

kieranl
14-Feb-2019
6:51:27 PM
On 14-Feb-2019 JamesMc wrote:
>
>
>My expectation is that we'll see something like "no climbing in Vic Range
>west of the watershed" which I would not regard as valid. If it was "no
>climbing at Camp of the Emu's Foot" then I could respect that.
>

I'd hope that it's closer to the second rather than the first. I expect it to be fairly devastating in any case. Looking at my list of likely sites I can't see how it'll get to 8 sites without including at least some major crags. I guess that we'll find out soon enough.

The good Dr
Online Now
14-Feb-2019
7:51:28 PM
If you look at the management plan it gives an idea where the likely affected areas will be. One of the other issues is that there is no definitive list of sites available and the list that exist is kept secret due to the potential for mailicious damage to those sites by idiots (fair response). I know of some sites in caves on tousit tracks with significant and continually occuring graffiti that will not recieve the same level of attention as the climbing areas. Raising these inconsistencies will eiher be ignored or harden various attitdes. A shame really as protection of these sites should be applied equally to all user groups.

My proposal would be for climber representative(s) to assist in assessment of cultural heritage sites with a view to mitigation of the risks of damage. Some sites may have climbing banned and this would be fair.

In terms of the effect of bouldering on destruction of vegetation and local microenvironments, this is has an added level of complexity. Boulders and shaded areas can be significant habitats for sensitive species and bouldering can be destructive. How this is managed needs further discussion.

I have no answers, but it may be the case that for continued access, restrictions need to be put in place and adhered to, otherwise we will end up with a situation like Hueco Tanks.
gfdonc
15-Feb-2019
5:19:30 AM
Neil Mitchell's radio programme on 3AW this morning (8:30am onwards) is running with the issue if you care to tune in.
gfdonc
15-Feb-2019
6:47:00 AM
I also just had a call from one of the main TV networks. They got my name from the VCC website then located me via other means.
Be aware the news media are likely to be monitoring this forum over the next few days.

ajfclark
Online Now
15-Feb-2019
7:20:05 AM
Rock and Ice:

http://www.facebook.com/rockandice/posts/10157039345150030
http://rockandice.com/climbing-news/widespread-climbing-ban-in-the-grampians-announced/

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There are 154 messages in this topic.

 

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