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

Access & Environment Officer Report July 2013

Wow people – I am a bit late in uploading this report. It’s almost time for the August
Sorry. It has been a crazy busy time for me and only seems to be getting busier. Amongst other things, read below and you’ll see why.

2013 is a year of anniversaries. And therefore celebrations. This will be the 60th anniversary of the Victorian Climbing Club. From it’s early beginnings climbing at the Cathedral Ranges all the way through to the development of climbing areas throughout Victoria, from Grampians to Arapiles, Hanging Rock to Black Hill, Werribee Gorge to You Yangs……the list goes on. Look at any guide book and you can be pretty positive that the names you see on many of the first ascents belonged to club members. It took the lead when it came to engaging with land managers also. Those early days were rough in this department – when the rebellious climbing community and often non climbing friendly park managers were not a good mix. But throughout the years, through both positive and negative outcomes, these relationships have grown and matured on both sides, and the club and the community it strives to represent, has for the most part, given access a good name. In 1998, the club made its access position formal by setting up CliffCare and employed an Access officer. While the work done previously by volunteers in the access area was certainly noteworthy, expecting volunteers to commit to longer term engagements with projects and land manager relationships would always be something that could suffer from inconsistency of commitment. And for the evergrowing need and importance of continued access for climbers, this progressive move would ensure that our status as a responsible user group was acknowledged. While I think most people would agree that climbing access in Victoria is on a good wicket at this present time, and I do hope this continues – I do have concerns with the way the park system is heading and maybe the access issues we deal with now will be different to the issues in the future, ie hunting, development etc. Anyway, that’s another story – back to the celebrations.
vcc colour logo (2)Yes, a celebration of everything the club has managed to achieve for itself over these 60 years and for those in the climbing community through its involvement in access. Whether a club is your thing or not, and for many of you reading this in the Argus newsletter, it obviously is – The club still plays a vital role in the bigger picture, its existence has pushed forward climbing in a positive way and I do hope as time goes on, that support for the club continues through its membership as well as in the broader climbing community.

And I did say Anniversaries didn’t I? Plural! Well, this November, Arapiles celebrates its 50th Anniversary of climbing at the mount. We have all heard the stories of Bob and Steve Craddock seeing a photo of Mitre Rock on a poster on a train, and heading out to discover that Mitre was a mere pimple compared to the much larger Mt Arapiles next to it. And the rest is history.

Come the Nati Frinj Festival in Natimuk on the Melbourne Cup weekend in November, there will be a few activities and events to celebrate these two anniversaries.

Photo exhibition – Climbing and Community – Mt Arapiles – presented by the Victorian Climbing Club
50th Anniversary pictorial of climbing at the mount
. From FA on that first weekend through to iconic moments across the years and the people that lived it. This will also be the first stage of an ongoing project to collect and digitalize many photos of Victorian climbing and community.

50th Anniversary Climbing Forum. – presented by Friends of Arapiles, CliffCare, Victorian Climbing Club and Parks Victoria.

This small scale climbing forum will look at climbing at Arapiles over the last 50 years from the sport itself to the environment we use to explore it. Static displays set up within a meeting place (at this early stage, the picnic pavilion area at Araps) across the weekend will encourage people to visit within their own time frames. These displays will cover the many aspects that climbers engage in when they climb. This will culminate in a presentation Monday 4th November evening by a number of notable climbers from the early years, followed by a Q & A style discussion. A lively attitude will be encouraged!  An entertaining and thoughtful approach to climbing then and now, what has and hasn’t changed and what do climbers want and expect from their climbing and the environment they engage in.

VCC 60th Anniversary Dinner

An opportunity for members new, old and past to meet, socialize  drink, eat and celebrate the history of the club. With the 50th anniversary of climbing at Arapiles inextricably linked with the Victorian Climbing Club, these two celebrations will happen together. A toast to many more years to come.

Banff Movie Festival Bar Volunteers Needed for CliffCare

banff2013hdrCliffCare will be running the fundraising bar at the festival over the 4 evenings and 1 matinee session.  Those who went to the Radical Reels festival late last year will remember us serving your drinks and being run off our feet This year we are also running the bar and display at the Banff movie festival and have more sessions so we need more volunteers. It’s a pretty good deal actually. You help us by serving a few drinks before the show and then at the 20 minute intermission. In turn for doing this, you get to see the movies, have refreshments and if you don’t already have an RSA(responsible service of alcohol) certificate then we will pay the certificate fees. You just need to do a short 3 hour course. Great to have, and needed if you want to work in bars, restaurants etc. And it will cost you nothing! It’s great fun – we all had a ball doing it last year.
Dates are: Wed 19, Thurs 20, Fri 21 & Sat 22 June.  On the 22nd there is also a matinee screening starting at 3:30pm.
Time: 6pm – 10pm  Volunteer serving time 1.5 hrs + 20 mins

If you can help but are only available for the starting session or intermission, please let me know.
The sooner you can let me know if you are available the easier it will be for me to roster efficiently.

Drop me a line at cliffcare@vicclimb.org.au

CliffCare Project Volunteers Required – Work Day and Banff film festival

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Two opportunities to help out with some CliffCare projects coming up. Have a read and drop me a line

First up – Next weekend Saturday 23rd, March

Walter our ever faithful stonemason who is constructing the dry stonework track and staircase in the Pharos Gully is looking to start working his magic again this year. We moved a good few rocks or more last weekend with the power carrier as far as we could but we now need some more people to jump on the stretchers and move some rocks up to where Walter is working. The usual deal. Pick up a rock, put it in the stretcher and join your fellow stretcher members in a little light hauling. Half an hour or so is all that’s expected of each person. More people = spread the load.
And to celebrate the first one of the year, there will be a bbq for all volunteers.

Where: Meet Pharos Gully Tourist Track intersection. This is lower Pharos, not the summit
When: 4pm – 6pm – Sat 23rd March
What: wear closed toe shoes and bring your water

Ideally, it would be great if you could let me know if you are planning to attend and if possible what time you could rock up. Helps me to roster people efficiently on the stretchers.  Also, for catering purposes – I would hate to run out of snags. let me know if you are carnivore or vegetarian or vegan cliffcare@vicclimb.org.au

And secondly – Banff Movie Festival Bar Volunteers

CliffCare will be running the fundraising bar at the festival over the 4 evenings and 1 matinee session.  Those who went to the Radical Reels festival late last year will remember us serving your drinks and being run off our feet This time we have more sessions so we need more volunteers. It’s a pretty good deal actually. You help us by serving a few drinks before the show and then at the 20 minute intermission. In turn for doing this, you get to see the movies, have refreshments and if you don’t already have an RSA(responsible service of alcohol) certificate then we will pay the certificate fees. You just need to do a short 3 hour course. Great to have, and needed if you want to work in bars, restaurants etc. And it will cost you nothing! It’s great fun – we all had a ball doing it last year.

Dates are: Wed 19, Thurs 20, Fri 21 & Sat 22 June.  On the 22nd there is also a matinee screening starting at 3:30pm.
Time: 6pm – 10pm  Volunteer serving time 1.5 hrs + 20 mins

If you can help but are only available for the starting session or intermission, please let me know.
The sooner you can let me know if you are available the easier it will be for me to roster efficiently.