Following a number of recent reports of rangers asking climbers to leave climbing areas in the Grampians/Gariwerd, more confusion has occurred around where people can and can’t climb.
The maps and information supplied by Parks Victoria (PV) note the old and new SPAs. It also contains eight focus sites contained within one particular SPA which is marked in blue where, as noted by PV, signs will be erected and enforcement activity will occur.
PV has said that in the coming months it will be working with stakeholders and the climbing community to review these areas. However, for many in the climbing community this messaging is ambiguous and many have taken it to mean that for now climbing is only banned in those eight areas, and the other areas will be up for review following a collaborative consultation process.
Climbers have respected the initial bans but with the recent ranger activity in other areas, this has further confused the situation.
Official clarification on the situation has not yet been provided, so at this point of time we can only reiterate what we have noted previously:
- Please respect all bans that have been put in place by PV. If you hear of anyone who is planning to climb in any of these areas, please inform them of the ban.
- The working group is committed to collaborating with land managers and other stakeholders to ensure a fair and transparent process.
- We have submitted a formal request to PV seeking clarification on closures and process.
Interactions with Rangers
Rangers have reportedly been telling climbers to vacate crags across the Grampians/Gariwerd that are inside SPAs. If you do meet rangers either at the crags, campgrounds or car parks, please be courteous but inquisitive about the climbing bans. Ask them what they personally think of the bans and what actions they have been told by management to perform. Be a good spokesperson for climbers and let them know how much you enjoy the Grampians/Gariwerd.
An authorised officer of PV can only ask for your name or ask you to leave if they have ‘reasonable grounds’ to believe that you’re doing something wrong.
What you can do
Given that penalties could be imposed, it’s important to be calm and polite when speaking to an authorised officer.
- Who they are by politely asking them to produce identification.
- To see a map of the banned areas.
- About the legal position.
- About alternative climbing locations that you can go to.
- If you’re asked for your name and address or asked to leave, ask what their grounds are for doing so.
We have limited information about exactly why these areas have been banned so any information is important. IMPORTANT – Please send any info about interactions with rangers to VCC Cliffcare firstname.lastname@example.org.
GRAMPIANS ACCESS WORKING GROUP