Back in Dec/Jan, Save Grampians Climbing invited climbers to complete a survey on the Gariwerd/Djurite access situation in order to gauge community attitudes and understanding of the issues, and gain feedback about these.
We know there are a diverse range of opinions out there in the climbing community, and that many voices are not represented on social media. In addition, Parks Victoria have seemed unable or unwilling to engage in any serious consultation with climbers, leading to a situation of apathy, anger and frustration amongst the Victorian climbing community. We decided to give them a voice.
We received just over 500 responses, and we thank everyone who filled out the survey and gave us much needed feedback. You can see the summary analysis of the results here:
The results have been shared with climbing access organisations working in Victoria, although individual forms remain anonymous.
- Respondents were from a range of locations incl Local, Melb/Vic and Interstate.
- 58% of respondents listed Trad Climbing as most important to them.
- Climbers bring a large amount of skilled professionals to regional Victoria.
- They overwhelmingly support working with Traditional Owners in order to regain access to suitable climbing areas.
- Most climbers are supportive of a ‘permit system’, provided it was a way of avoiding [some] closures.
- 85% of climbers agree with the VCC ‘safety bolt’ policy that indications that bolts should only be used where traditional protection is not available.
- Most climbers (53%) would be ok with using coloured chalk instead of white chalk, but boulderers would be driven away if unable to use a boulder pad.
- The bans are having a significant effect on the mental health of the climbing community.
We also received lots of written feedback to various questions, and it’s been humbling to read respondents heart-felt concerns and suggestions. We’ve taken it all on board in order to provide a snapshot of where the climbing community is at in 2021.
We’d like to note that this survey was aimed at climbers, so questions are around access and recreational use of Gariwerd / Djurite, however, we acknowledge the Traditional Owners, including Gunditj Mirring, Eastern Maar and Barengi Gadjin Traditional owners, and we support and recognise their continuing connection to Gariwerd (and Djurite), and their ongoing role in caring for country.