Auditor-General investigates Parks Victoria and archeologist Ben Gunn

The Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) has published a scathing review into Park Victoria’s procurement process in regards to assessing Aboriginal rock art sites at rock climbing areas in the Grampians and Arapiles by the archeologist Robert (Ben) Gunn and Parks Victoria staff member Jake Goodes. These two key players in the climbing bans are not named in the report but we are very happy to name them here. We knew this was suss all along and it’s good to see this has actually caught the attention of the government department responsible for checking how “effectively public sector agencies are providing services and using public money“.

Continue reading Auditor-General investigates Parks Victoria and archeologist Ben Gunn

July: Crag Stewards, campaigns and T-SHIRTS

No news yet from Parks Vic about the final management plan. We can only hope they are taking their time to consider all the submissions very carefully. There is definitely pressure on PV to develop a reasonable plan, one that is actually manageable (Tip: It’s in the title, PV). But there is no indication yet as to whether they are LISTENING to this advice. Which, it should be said is coming not just from climbers.

Keep an eye out this weekend on the Climbing Discussion Forum (Facebook) for a post from Mike Rockell, who will be running a last ditch email campaign to ensure PV make sensible determinations, and not just ‘full-steam ahead’ with their own corporate agenda.

The Goal: That the Minister ensures that the Final Plan properly allows for rock climbing to continue in the future, without excessive limitations beyond what is truly necessary to protect cultural heritage and environmental values.

Note: There’s a temporary pause on this, but we’ll post when more info becomes available.


T-Shirt Campaign

Save Grampians Climbing just ran a T-Shirt Crowdfunding campaign (a few more shirts are available – see below); and we’re proud to announce that over $1,300 has been raised, and donated to Crag Stewards Vic (and from a few coloured chalk sales). The campaign also covered SGC hosting costs for another year. Thanks everyone who contributed.


Crag Stewards Victoria – Official Launch

Crag Stewards Victoria is having it’s official launch this weekend.

It’s on this Saturday at 5 – 6:30pm at the NC2, (62 Main St), Natimuk. There will be 1h of presentation / discussion – followed by some Q&A. All welcome (you’ll just need to scan the QR code on the way in), and wear a mask.

Crag Stewards Victoria is all about climbers taking action to protect the cultural and environmental values at the places we love to climb for future generations to enjoy.

Stewardship objectives:

  • Establish a Network of Crag Stewards
  • Assess and monitor the impact of climbing on cultural and environmental values
  • Collaborate with Traditional Owners and Land Managers
  • Promote understanding and respect for traditional cultures
  • Encourage best climbing practices with the climbing community

If you can’t make it, then you read more about what Crag Stewards is about by visiting the website: https://cragstewards.org.au


A few more T-Shirts available!

If you missed out on one, or someone asks where they can get one – then for a limited time, they still can: Please direct them to the Arapiles Mountain Shop, who has a good range of sizes and colours available for sale. Also, Dick from Rock Adventures in Geelong has a few, and you can also order direct from us (very limited numbers).

They $39 ea plus $10 postage.
1 x Small (Natural colour)
3 x Med (Black)
1 x Large (Black)

You can order these via our contact form (we’ll reply with purchase information).

Off the Charts – the real route losses in the Grampians

We have crunched the data on the proposed route closures as detailed in the draft Greater Gariwerd Landscape Management Plan and the results are pretty shocking. Parks Victoria didn’t list individual route closures – instead they used the misleading term “climbing areas” when announcing what was being closed. Why is it misleading? Because each area can vary wildly in how many routes/problems they contain. 32 “areas” on PV’s list contain less than 5 routes, whilst come areas contain over 100 (the average per area is 25). Even worse 26 “areas” out of 86 on their approved list contain less than 5 “ticks” on the crag – a good judge of an area’s popularity (is a crag with 5 ticks even worth assessing for climbers damage?) We extracted data from thecrag.com to get the real figures on the potential climbing losses if this management plan goes forward (which is highly likely).

Continue reading Off the Charts – the real route losses in the Grampians

New Management Plan Revealed – Only 22% of routes open to climbing, Permits required, Bouldering decimated

  • PV to only allow access to 2000 routes out of 8700
  • Trackside, Bleachers, Valley of the Giants & Snake Pit bouldering added to banned list
  • Climbing permits to be introduced – and they can be revoked at PVs discretion
  • Ban on white chalk – coloured ok?
  • Bouldering mats to be banned at most “open” areas
  • No new areas to be developed & no new bolts
  • Huge new bans on bouldering in remote areas
Continue reading New Management Plan Revealed – Only 22% of routes open to climbing, Permits required, Bouldering decimated

GRAMPIANS t-sHIRT cROWDFUNDING

Save Grampians Climbing asked climbers what climbing areas that are now on the banned list (either permanently or temporarily) are most important to them. See survey results here.

We organised the hundreds of responses into a ‘Word Cloud’, and the resulting image is especially powerful, so we decided to get a T-Shirt printed to be reminded about what is at stake, and to never forget these amazing places.

Continue reading GRAMPIANS t-sHIRT cROWDFUNDING

Ashlee Hendy – A submission from the heart

We wanted to share this story (permission obtained) from Ashlee Hendy, of Natimuk, who is a long time climber, and is super passionate about climbing, Gariwerd (Grampians), and Djurite (Arapiles). This is her submission for the GGLMP, which is a bit different and tells a personal story that we can all identify with, even if sometimes it’s hard to put those feelings into words.

Continue reading Ashlee Hendy – A submission from the heart

Climber’s survey – Have your say

This survey has CLOSED and results are being analyzed.

Save Grampians Climbing have put together a climber’s survey and we’re inviting all climbers that have visited Arapiles or the Grampians to fill it out, or as many as possible. Please share to your friends, clubs and networks. Survey will remain available for a few weeks over the Christmas / New Year period, but it only takes around 10mins to fill out.

Continue reading Climber’s survey – Have your say

Assist efforts in restoring access to world renowned climbing areas in the Grampians National Park