Access Report May

As I noted in previous Access reports, discussions with Walter Braun, VCC/CliffCare, Friends of Arapiles, Mt Arapiles Advisory Group and Parks Victoria have been ongoing regarding the Central Gully Repair Project. Well, I am pleased to now announce that the first official work day will be taking place on Saturday 7th May. This is a collaborative project between Parks Victoria, VCC/CliffCare and Friends of Arapiles.
A little about the project now.

ISSUES: As with the Pharos Gully(PG), Central Gully(CG) gets its fair share of traffic. CG certainly doesn’t have the very steep gradient that PG has, but there are sections that are steeper than others and these are definitely suffering from erosion and track widening and therefore the eventual loss of more vegetation. Coupled with this is the fact that previous work done in the gully many years ago, using concrete and rocks, is now unstable. The upshot of this, is that people walk around sections that have very deep steps where either erosion or loss of steps has occurred. The track then widens or another smaller parallel track happens. The Central Gully track itself is also, from a walkers perspective, not a particularly interesting one. For most people, it tends to be a way to get from one place to another rather than an enjoyable walk.
After numerous meetings and discussions with the above named groups and individuals, a few decisions have been reached. Walter Braun’s insight and knowledge into the best alignments for tracks has been invaluable and all parties are really pleased with how the project will improve the CG track on so many levels, most importantly, its long term sustainability.

SOLUTIONS: The track will undergo some minor realignment which puts much of it back to a very old alignment that followed closer to the cliff rather than directly up the gully which is a water run line. Over the years the track has wandered around to end up eventually as it is now. The lower section until the Mari vicinity and upper section after the climbing areas will remain aligned for the most part, as they are now. Stabilising and hardening work will take place where required. The middle section of the track undergoing some minor realignment, will in fact, require less work than repairing the current track as it is now. It will follow an easier gradient and will also make use of rock platforms.


  • Minimal disruption as old track can be used until newer alignment is complete
  • Better, gentler, gradient
  • Less resources required ie time, labour, finance, due to the gentler gradient and utilisation of existing rocky platforms
  • More scenic walk with better views from the track
  • Reduction of erosion by moving the track alignment away from water drainage line
  • Revegetation of old track when old alignment is closed.
  • Rationalisation and clarification of informal climber access tracks off Central Gully Walking One access track to Charity Buttress off Central Gully Track clearly identified etc
  • Central Gully Walking Track will be sustainable for many years to come
  • The project helps protects the natural, cultural and recreational values of the Mt Arapiles-Tooan State Park.

I will soon have a new section up on the CliffCare website regarding the project and further updates, so please check there regularly to keep yourself informed. Content will be coming.Temporary notices and signage will be placed on site and also in the campground toilets. Please refrain from using any of the new alignment until it is complete and its opening is announced. Please also take note of any guidelines on signage.


Now that the Pharos Gully Track work has been completed, we will be working with Parks Victoria in doing a little clean up work around the area where much of the rock was delivered near the Pharos Gully carpark. In order to move the rock up the gully we had to deliver it off the track and therefore we created a temporary track. We knew what the eventual issue would be with this – people would start using it as a track in its own right but it was the only option available to us. The time has come though, to close down this track and revegetate it to get it back to what it was before. On Thursday 5th May, Walter Braun and 4 volunteers from CMA will dig up the track, create some water bars and use many of the rocks that were rejects from the PG project. The fencing that was removed will be replaced and although a date is yet to be set, revegetation will take place by planting some Callitris. These plants have been lovingly grown from seed by a VCC member Ollie Sherlock. Seed was gathered from around the Plaque area in order to produce plants useful for revegetating. Very exciting that these are going in the ground and a perfect spot for them. Zoe Wilkinson has been organizing the volunteer manpower to assist with the workday and I will be liasing with her and Lou from Friends of Arapiles to get the planting happening sometime in the very near future.
There will be some temporary signage in place to alert people to the track closure and work occurring. Please do not use this track anymore. The proper PG track is mere metres away and it takes you no longer to get to where you want to go. Thanks for your care and understanding of this.

CliffCare Raffe Winners. WooHoo!

The CliffCare Raffle was drawn on the 5th December. Thanks to everyone who purchased a ticket and to all the sponsors who provided prizes. CliffCare couldn’t continue without all of your support. Below are the list of prize winners. You will be contacted over the next 2 days to organize your prize redemption.

1- 2 Bayside Rock 6 month memberships: 3000 0967
Tim Lucas. Anthony Cheffings

3.$500 Bogong voucher: 5822
Paul Reich

4.Roos with a View weekend accomodation: 1175
Norma Costorphan

5.Beal Opera Rope from Sea to Summit: 4291
Tim Preston

6. Breathe Pilates 10 class multipass: 1759
David Focken

7.Mount Zero Log Cabins weekend accomodation for 2: 5633
Stuart Holloway

8-12. Hardrock 10 visit pass: 5762 5660 1713 5761 3348
Les Tate. Andrew Conolly.John Fells. Les Tate. Kate Sandford.

13.Cliffhanger 10 visit pass: 1752
David Focken

14.Balance Control Pilates 5 mat classes: 2890
Tim Lockwood

15-16.Lactic Factory/Northside Boulders 1 month dual membership: 3932 0638
Cam Oxley. Peter Brookes.

17.#1.5 WC Helium Friend from Wilderness Shop: 0829
Neil Campbell

18. $100 Climbing Anchors Gift Voucher: 5989
Aaron Campbell

19.Arapiles Resoles Voucher: 4555
Fabian Schuelte

20.Ocun WeBee Move Harness from Verx: 5760
Sirja and Chris

21. Meal Voucher from the Natimuk Cafe: 1707
Verene Gomez

22. Meal Voucher from the National Hotel Natimuk: 0275
Jeremy Baba

23. Grampians Guide from Onsight Photography: 3443
David Hunchak

24-25.Ocun Crack Gloves from Verx: 3624 1898
R. Day. Geoff Gledhill

26-27. Vertical Life Magazine: 5827 3851
Andrea White. Michael O’Reilly

28. Arapiles Pocket Guide from Open Spaces: 5996
Vince Waters

29.Arapiles 444 of the Best from Onsight Photography: 5181
Peter Watson

Access & Environment Report(s) November, (Sept & Oct)

My apologies. It has been a seriously busy couple of months at the Access officer desk. Whilst I have been getting all information needed out via social media platforms such as Facebook and forums, I have neglected to post the monthly report. So this is a bumper post that includes my regular report that gets published in Argus

Posted latest report to the earliest, this is mainly for reference purpose and some of the issues have now changed status so will update in a new post shortly. Hmm, if I could just have a few more hours in the day….

It has taken a while, but for the most part, many of the climbing areas previously out of bounds because of the Victoria Range fires are now accessible. Much of the access did hinge on the roads being closed and the listed roads below are now open which means that any of the cliffs accessible from them are open for climbing. Red Rock Road is still closed while it undergoes some final work but hopefully reopening shouldn’t be too far off. You are still able to access the cliffs along that road though by walking in from the Anderson Road intersection.

The cliffs in the Camp of the Emu Foot track area are still out of bounds. This particular area was burnt the worst and the ground really needs time to recover before it is opened to any kind of foot traffic. These cliffs include Eureka Wall, Lost World, Red Sail, Weirs Creek.

Rather than listing every single cliff that is open, the roads and walking tracks below will govern what is open for climbing. If you are not sure, drop me a line and I will let you know

The following roads, walking tracks and visitor sites are now open:
Harrops Track
Billywing Road
Syphon Road
Northern end of Sawmill Track
Victoria Range Track
Goat Track
Buandik Camping Ground and Picnic area
Fortress walking track
Ingleton Springs Picnic area
Glenelg River Road
Chimney Pots Walking Track

The following walking tracks and roads will remain closed until further works are completed:
Billimina walking track
Red Rock Road (you can access cliffs on Red Rock road by parking and walking in from Andersons Road)
Matthews Track
Strachans Campground
Manja Walking track

Just in before Argus sent to printers so have no time or space to add anything further. Keep an eye on the CliffCare and VCC site but please read up and send your comments in. If this goes through, it will mean paying a lot more for camping. In my opinion excessively so! NOTE: Information on this will be added to a new post in the next day or two but PLEASE read up and make your comment submission if you are able to as soon as possible. We really need as many people responding as possible.

Victorian National Parks Camping and Accommodation Fees – Regulatory Impact Statement.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) has released a proposal for a user-pays approach to charges for camping and roofed accommodation in parks and reserves managed by Parks Victoria. The new approach is designed to help fund ongoing maintenance and services to ensure that people can continue to enjoy these special places well into the future. Victorians are invited to provide comment on the regulatory impact statement by 22 November 2013.

For more information go to


CLIFFCARE – 2012/2013 AGM Report

The last year has been an eventful but progressive and successful year for CliffCare.
Onground projects:
Working Bees –
Pharos Gully Repair Project – 5
You Yangs Boneseed Rip it Up day -1
Grampians Vic Range Fire Recovery – 5 attempts and 1 working bee for multiple areas.
Climbing Area Access Negotiations
You Yangs – After discussions with Parks Victoria at the You Yangs, a number of changes to restrictions were implented:
The Sunday closure to climbers on Big Rock has been removed.
The permanent seasonal closure of sites on the east of Flinders Peak from August to November was removed.
Particularly exciting though was the reopening of The Lookout at the You Yangs which had been closed to climbing for approximately 25 years.
Arapiles – Camp fee dispute, negotiations and successful outcome
Summerday Valley Repair Project – $
Arapiles Climbing Forum Display – $1,100
A successful partnership with the Banff and Radical Reels film festival running the bar as a fundraising and promotional exposure event. This is a partnership that will be continuing and goes a long way to help fund the projects and costs of CliffCare. It provides a great opportunity for the community to learn more about CliffCare, how it is run and the importance of it for continued access to the cliffs.
New CliffCare logo. Took a little while to get off the ground but CliffCare now has it’s own logo which will hopefully spread the word further out into the climbing community.
Future and Ongoing projects:
Arapiles 50th Anniversary Climbing Forum – Nati Frinj/Cup weekend 2013
Commercial climbing and the community – Bridging the Divide
Summerday Valley Repair Project


Following a very successful workday in the Victoria Range on the 24th August, I am pleased to let everyone know that we are able to access a few of the areas. First up, though, I must thank the 26 people that rocked up on a perfect working bee weather day. (This was about the 5th attempt to get this day off the ground). We had a great selection of people with the local Halls Gap crew, Nati crew, Melbourne and Warrnambool volunteers. Big thanks also to Ross and Simon from Vertical Life/Adventure Types for getting the word out in their circles and helping with providing info. The team I work with at Parks Victoria and Claire being there on the day once again proved the great working relationship we have with them. Please remember that these areas have been impacted by fire. While they may have been the least damaged of the climbing areas, there are sections that have still been quite badly burnt, so extra care really does need to be taken. Don’t go in with large groups, really keep an eye on the track markings such as tape, cairns and delineation. Just be a little more vigilant about keeping to the one track. The teams have assessed each area and for the most part, tracks are the same but there have been some realignments. These are the better, more sustainable options with what we have to work with. Please don’t decide otherwise by creating new tracks and new cairns. Some follow up work will be done on these tracks in another couple of months when more regrowth has been established. Point to note: The Victoria Range has a strong indigenous cultural heritage content and all visitors should be aware of this and take due care and respect when visiting the area.

Due to the recent weather and rainfall, unfortunately much of the planned works by PV for the roads hasn’t eventuated and some of the roads and tracks are definitely bogworthy, so at this present time, roads are still closed. A small extra walk is all that is needed to access a couple of the cliffs. Others require a bit more motivation.

NOTE: In the case of Red Rocks, this access is the new access approach that was established before the fire. Do not cross the paddock – this is private property and no longer allowed. TEMPORARY (Due to road closures)- From the Henty Highway, take Andersons Road. Follow this all the way through to where it intersects with Red Rock Road. Park up here on Andersons Road not Red Rock Rd. This is closed so please respect this closure even though it may seem super easy to just park on it or drive a little way down. We are trying to establish some kind of road access but for now it is not possible.

Red Rocks Pinnacles
Mt Fox
Hollywood Bowl

Turn left and walk a short distance (150m) to a sandy track on the right. This track leads you to all of the above climbing areas and is the permanent access track after the road closures finish. Follow this track for approximately 500m to the intersection. Turn right. Another 70m will get you to the Mt Fox track(cairned) and a further 450m along will get you to the access track to Red Rocks area.
Emu Rock/Emu Cave
Muline and environs is as before (some track realignment) but will require a longer walk from Andersons road to get to the start of the access track.
Gallery/Buandik area – Track here has been cleared and re-established (no foot bridge) but with the road closures, you are going to need to be keen, as access at the current time is only by foot. A big walk. This area can be accessed by the Tower but this area is very wet and boggy at the moment, and we couldn’t get in to assess the track. Once road closures are lifted, I will provide further info on areas such as The Fortress, Chimney Pots and environs. Cliffs around the Camp of the Emu Foot Track will remain closed even after road closures are lifted. These areas were really badly burnt and need to recover. Please respect this.
Cheers, Tracey



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 Fundraising Events

CliffCare is working hard for the climbing community, helping to keep cliffs open by working with climbers and land managers.  From access negotiations, to environmental work days and education about climbing and its culture for both sides of the fence, this continuing work ensures that climbing has a healthy future in Victoria. But it takes money to get it done and this is where we need your help. You can always donate via our donation portal here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and even set up a regular deduction from your salary if you wish visit here.  But coming up are two very exciting fundraising projects.

The Annual CliffCare Raffle is held every year and is CliffCare’s main fundraiser. Our brilliant sponsors have once again donated some great prizes.  So not only do you donate some funds to help CliffCare, you also have the opportunity to win some great prizes.  All VCC members will get tickets automatically mailed out to them.  If you are not a VCC member, drop me a line and we can organize some tickets for you
$2.00 a ticket or $20 for a book of ten.

For more info on our sponsors check out the sponsor page

Bayside Rock –
1 year gym membership – Valued : $1,000
Hardrock – 6 month dual gym membership – Valued : $835
Roos with a View – 3 night accom for up to 6 people – Valued – $690
Bayside Rock – 6 month gym membership – Valued: $555
Bogong Equipment – $500 voucher – Valued: $500
Hardrock Climbing Gym – 4 x 10 visit passes – Valued: $144 each
Rock Adventure Centre – 10 visit pass – Valued: $140
Balance & Control Pilates – 5 x classes – Valued – $120
Bogong Equipment – $100 voucher – Valued: $100
Mosaic Myotherapy – One Rock Climber’s Myotherapy Treatment (60-75 minutes) – Valued: $90+
Arapiles Resoles – 1 x shoe resole – Valued: $85.00
Remote Equipment Repairs – Wash & reproofing of a breathable garment – Valued: $65
Open Spaces Publications – Arapiles Selected Climbs Guidebook – Valued: $59.95
Rockmaster Publications – Sublime Climbs guidebook – Valued: $59.95
Prime Creative Media – 1 year Subscription to Wild Magazine – Valued: $47.95
Prime Creative Media – 1 year Subscription to Outer Edge Magazine – Valued: $47.95
The Natimuk Café – Meal Voucher for 2Valued: $40
Prime Creative Media – 1 Year subscription to Rock Magazine – Valued: $31.95
Open Spaces – Rockclimbs Around Melbourne guidebook – Valued: $29.95 each
Official blurb: The raffle will be drawn Dec 13th 2012. Winners will be notified by mail, in the Argus, and at Money raised goes to the Victorian CliffCare Trust (ABN 73 822 336 642) 0419 563 733 GPO Box 1725 Melbourne 3001


I know, you can hardly believe it right? The El Cap Challenge is back!!!
1 Night, 100 Laps, 1000 Meters!!!!!

The El Cap Challenge is designed to test your physical and mental will, pushing climbers and beginners alike to achieve new heights.
Can you rise to the challenge of climbing 1000 meters in a single night?

For teams and individuals to battle the legendary “El Capitan.” Climb it at the grade, or any grade you want, as a single or in a team of four, it’s up to you. Come dressed as your favourite climbing legend. Is it Robbins, Harding or Caldwell? Perhaps Miss Davis or the one and only Lynn Hill!!!

In pure Yosemite style there will be BBQ, cheap banter and of course, the Slackline!!! How do you think you will fare?

All this whilst raising money for CliffCare

November 30th, 2012, Bayside Rock, 6pm start

Check out or for more details!!!

El Cap Challenge. It Returns!

I know, I know.  I hear what you’re saying.  You can hardly believe it! The opportunity to do it all over again, or the chance to do it for the first time cos you were slow off the blocks last year!

El Cap Challenge Returns!
30th November, 2012, Bayside Rock
More details soon but start preparing your teams and your costumes now.
Climbing inspired costumes are almost compulsory – besides there will be great prizes for the best dressed! Why wouldn’t you? Your chance to be Royal Robbins or Alex Honnold for just once!
Funds raised go to CliffCare Victoria

hugh on  slackline el cap challenge

el cap challenge. and it's on!

You Yangs Work Day Saturday 12th May, 2012

There is a work day happening tomorrow at the You Yangs – Urinal Wall. Couple of hours in the morning sourcing and moving some rock to the Urinal Wall area to build the new rock retaining wall near the base end of Royal Flush. This will help to control further movement into the vegetation. With it being such a busy group climbing area, this section sees groups of people congregating there. While we won’t be building the wall itself we will be sourcing some rock from the area to be used in it.
Don’t be thinking huge arse Pharos gully kind of rocks – these will all be manageable.

Where: Urinal Wall area
When: 9.30 -12
Bring: backpack to carry rocks if possible and wear closed toe shoes

any enquiries:

For some pics on the You Yangs see here