Mt Arapiles Campground Repair Project – Pines Revegetation June 11th, 2017

Saturday 11th June saw approximately 30 volunteers rock up to the Pines campground at Mt Arapiles to plant out 100 young trees and shrubs – 80 of which were grown from seed collected from the area, by Ollie Sherlock. Ollie ran a VCC trip that weekend and recruited helpers from the trip for a couple of hours before they headed out climbing. A number of locals turned up. Louise Shepherd who runs Friends of Arapiles was there to help guide some of the planting and put her digging skills to the harder ground around the Squeeze Test Boulder. This area was also suggested to help reveg the area and provide a barrier to the cars driving in closer. Zoe Wilkinson and colleagues from Parks Victoria were also on hand to welcome everyone and go over safety briefings and planting advice with volunteers. Many thanks to everyone involved. It’s great to see such a fantastic turnout. I like this quote that Ollie used in his trip invite – An old Greek Proverb says it all: “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”

Thanks people! More photos in the Smugmug gallery here https://vicclimbingclub-cliffcare.smugmug.com/Access-Environment-at-Climbing/Mt-Arapiles/Revegetation-Pines-Campground-and-Beyond-2/

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Access & Environment report May 2017

Central Gully Repair Project is travelling along nicely. Walter Braun has been at the mount a number of times working by himself or with someone else he has managed to recruit for a day of volunteer work. Cameron Abraham, Steve Monks and Steve Findlay have helped shift rocks via the power barrow. And a cast of thousands helped out on a working bee on 1st April. Awesome turn out and a huge thanks to all who gave up a few hours of their time. This really makes the difference about getting the project finished in a decent time frame. The power barrow can bring the rocks to a certain point on the old track and then humans need to carry the rocks down. Most of the last rock pile at the top had been carried down to the intersection where the new track benching starts. This work day had the volunteers moving the rocks down the new track site so that Walter could start creating the hardening of the track. We are almost ready for a new load of rocks to be delivered – so we can start the process all over again. Stay tuned!

This Saturday 10th June (Queens Birthday long weekend) sees another working bee. This time it’s the revegetation of the Pines campground and beyond. Ollie Sherlock has been doing a brilliant job of growing and nurturing the little treelings from the seed collected at the mount. We will be supplementing these plants with some others sourced from the local nursery. Predominantly in the Pines campground but we also have a number of other sites where we will plant. See the details below and please rock up at 9.00 to give a hand. Those who have already contacted, you will receive a confirmation email shortly.

Fabulous work climbing community! All of this work will last for years to come and help manage the impact that our ever growing numbers have on the sites.

Revegetation Project – Pines Campground & Beyond. The Planting #1

As noted in the previous blog post, the planting took place on Saturday 11th and Tues 14th June. On Saturday, members of the climbing community and park users turned up at the Pines Campground to put the callitris glaucophylla  in the ground. VCC member Ollie Sherlock who originally gathered the seed from around the Plaque wall area and grew the plants, was also in attendance. Many thanks to Louise Shepherd from Friends of Arapiles and Zoe Wilkinson from Parks Victoria who directed proceedings on the morning and with the perfect weather also turning up, it made for a great event. Huge thanks to all the volunteers, those who emailed me in response to the call out and those who read the posters and just rocked up. This project is a collaboration between CliffCare/VCC, Friends of Arapiles and Parks Victoria.

On Tuesday, the young kids of the area who attend the Bush Kinder helped to plant the remaining 8 trees in the Pharos Gully track area. Some were used around the newly rehabbed area to the right of the main track and others were used along the main track to help define the track line. Another fine weather day and the kids loved having a dig, hammering a stake and watering the young plants. Thanks to Jane Wilkinson, her assistants and all the lovely kids from the Bush Kinder. I certainly enjoyed it as much as they appeared to also!

These pines are indigenous to the area and whilst they do take a while to mature, they are the first of a number of plantings that will be occurring in the campground and surrounds.

If you camp at Arapiles and usually have left over water when you leave, take the opportunity to give the plants a water by using your leftovers

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Revegetation Project – Pines Campground and Beyond

It’s taken a while and much is still in the pipeline, but thanks to VCC member Ollie Sherlock, we have some plants ready to hit the ground. Callitris glaucophylla. Sourced from seed from the Plaque area, Ollie has lovingly grown these little babies. Like all kids, at some point it’s time to leave home and that time has now come. We are spreading the love a bit. Most will end up in the Pines campground, a couple at the back of D Minor Pinnacle, one at Muldoon where previously lived a Callitris and the rest will take residence in the newly rehabilitated area near the Pharos Gully Tourist Track. The latter area will be planted next week by the Natimuk Bush Kinder and helpers. What I am needing is some volunteers to help out this Saturday at 10am in the Pines Campground. This is not an all day job – in fact if we have a decent number it shouldn’t take long at all.

We will be meeting at 10am at the wash trough in the lower Pines area. Just bring yourself and wear closed toe shoes. PV has tools will be supplied but if you have any mallets or the like to hammer in the tree guard posts, that would be great. Tasks will be assigned. Some might dig and others might mallet the spikes and tree guards. If you are able to let me know if you are able to help out that would be awesome. Otherwise rock up. cliffcare@vicclimb.org.aulittle trees for centenary park

Pharos Gully Track Repair Project Complete! Pats on the back all around.

Walter Braun, Stonemason,fitting the last rock in place.

Walter Braun, Stonemason,fitting the last rock in place.

Approximately 6 years down the line from the start of the project, the final rocks were put in place, and the Pharos Gully Track is now complete. This was a mammoth undertaking in a collaboration between CliffCare, Friends of Arapiles and Parks Victoria. Our artist in residence – anyone who has seen and walked the track will know what I mean – was Walter  Braun. Walter is a climber and stonemason whom we employed to build the track. The rocks, of which the majority we had to bring onto the site were carried over the years by well over 1000 people. CliffCare and the Victorian Climbing Club would like to take this opportunity to thank Walter for his amazing work and to all the volunteers who believed the speel of ‘Take your training to a new level. Haul a rock’. We love you all and can’t thank you and your muscles enough. Peter Hawker the ranger at the park was also an integral part of this project and helped in whatever way he could along the way.  Huge thanks also to our fellow collaborators – Friends  of Arapiles and Parks Victoria. One word people. Teamwork.

I will have another article soon on the project, that gives a little more detail on project costs, volunteer hours and project timeline. Along with pictures along the years. Stay tuned.

Walter, and Peter who was also on hand to move a few rocks on the last day.

Walter, and Peter who was also on hand to move a few rocks on the last day.

Walter explaining how large the fish was that got away. That or the size of the rock he needs Peter to haul for him.

Walter explaining how large the fish was that got away. That or the size of the rock he needs Peter to haul for him. Actually, I think he may be crux miming.

Thanks to Acacia Rose and Peter from K7 Adventures for being on  hand to take the photographic evidence of finished project.

A&E Report August. North Grampians August working bees announced.

Volunteers Needed!

It’s a long post but please read through. Info for climbers and boulderers alike.

I have been collaborating with David Witham from the Grampians Walking Track Support Group and Tammy Schoo at Parks Victoria on finalizing dates for the North Grampians working bees.

Dates have been set for the first of the working bees in the North Grampians climbing areas. Please drop me a line at cliffcare@vicclimb.org.au as soon as possible to register your availability for your preferred date. I will be sending out more details once I have a list of people. We are really hoping for a good turnout for these days. Gives us a much better chance of getting some climbing in the area come the September holidays!

Wed 20th August  – Tree risk and vegetation clearing works at Stapylton Amphitheatre, Summerday Valley and Andersons. Working with David, our chainsaw guy, this day requires only a couple of extra workers.

Thursday 21st August – Stapylton Ampitheatre. Grey/ Green Walls Rehab track works and belay area delineation.  Also any required works around the Taipan area. Possible start on some works in the Summerday Valley/Bark Wall area. Enough people for two or more groups would be good.

Saturday 23rd August – Bark Wall (Summerday Valley area) rock works.  Also other veg clearing, abseil area delineation works. Enough people for two groups would be beneficial. As this is a weekend working bee, there will also be a VCC trip run in conjunction with it. Working bee on the Saturday and climbing on the Sunday (location to be confirmed) So if you are wanting to help out and also find a climbing partner for Sunday this could be a good option. You are also welcome to just be part of the working bee.

Some food and beverage will be supplied on these work days and start time  will be 9.30am.

Along with David Witham from the Grampians Walking Track Support Group, CliffCare is also trying to raise some funds to put towards the track work of the climbing areas. Please make a donation – every little bit helps and this money can be dedicated towards just the North Grampians climbing track works. Just make a note in the Special Message part of the donation process – North Grampians. This will ensure that your donation is just directed at these works. Your donation is also tax deductible! You can donate here https://www.givenow.com.au/cliffcare

There is also the possibility of another working day or two in September should we need it. Especially in respect to some of the bouldering areas in the North Gramps. The PV team at Halls Gap would like  to get some of the tracks into these areas delineated and are contemplating the idea of some of them being a bit more formalized. The team are really keen to get the bouldering community on board with this so I am aiming to organize a small group to meet either late this week or early next to visit the site and have some discussion on what they think might work for tracks between these areas. I will be contacting some of you that I already know but if you think that you might be available on a weekday to come along and to have a say on bouldering in the Northern Grampians please drop me a line. This will also be an opportunity for discussion on the future of bouldering in the Grampians National Park. This is also something that the team I have been working with at Halls Gap PV are really keen to start dialogue on. With bouldering and new development occurring throughout the park, it is important that we have these discussions to avoid any issues with sensitive areas in the Grampians. Moving forward with a sustainable plan for the future and having the climbing community involved and on board with it means a much more successful outcome for both sides.

A new rock drain in Summerday Valley. The drain is actually the old walking track which  now acts as the main drainage through the site.

A new rock drain in Summerday Valley. The drain is actually the old walking track which now acts as the main drainage through the site.

So lots to take on board and I look forward to receiving emails of volunteer availability for the upcoming working bees