A short update on some GAWG activities and further information from Parks Victoria. They have sent us copies of maps that enlarge the northern end of SPAs and included legend and grid references. This has been created following feedback and were used this weekend to help engagement activity.
VCC/CliffCare have a meeting with Parks Victoria next week. We will be discussing the climbing data currently available, and next steps associated with establishing the reference group and the future of the Grampians National Park Management Plan. Parks Victoria and VCC/CliffCare are working together to share spatial information to help park users understand where climbing can and can’t occur. We will take this opportunity to question and discuss further the current closures in place and also follow up on our previous complaints about misinformation being put into the public sphere that adversely affects the reputation of the climbing community.
In the area of Cultural Heritage and Indigenous affairs – After initial contact with a number of Traditional Owner groups, we are working with our Reconcilliation advisor on next steps in this area. Once we have more substantive information we will share.
As always, we ask for your patience whilst we work through a multi layered process that requires thoughtful and respectful engagement.
Education. The launch of CliffCare’s educational campaign is just around the corner. This has been a long time in the making with many people offering their help. More on this soon.
Fundraising and Educational Awareness event. ClimbForGrampians May8 is a climber community initiative which CliffCare has been collaborating on with a number of gyms throughout Victoria and South Australia.
Huge thanks to Vertical Life and the participants of the Grampians Bouldering Festival. Participants dug into their pockets for comp entry donations and the team from Vertical Life have further donated some funds from the festival. A total of $500 is now winging its way to the CliffCare coffers. I was invited by Ross and Simon to give a quick early morning speech to the slightly awake masses. I’m not sure the coffee had kicked in yet but I think I got a few words out that made sense.
Great to have been involved in some small way and from all accounts, it was a great success. Thanks all for taking on board the ‘Please don’t do this’ speech.
With the hot weather approaching, we are engaging in a big push to get some work done on the Central Gully track at Mt Arapiles before end of year. After that our stonemason and haulers go into summer hibernation. Three working bees planned and the first one is soon – Saturday 11th November! Drop me a line if you can. It’s always fun. You engage in strength training. And may the warm fuzzy feeling be with you.
Latest update from PV. Park is once again open. Please take note though of various closures. See links following this update for maps, full official update etc
Grampians National Park Recovery Update
This morning, VicRoads reinstated access to the Mt Victory-Northern Grampians road from Halls Gap to Mackenzie Falls. Unfortunately beyond Mackenzie Falls (to the west) the road closure will remain in place until next week.
Parks Victoria staff have cleared debris off roads and carparks and have now reinstated access to popular visitor sites such as Mackenzie Falls (lookouts only, not to the base), Reeds Lookout and the Balconies, Boroka Lookout and the Wonderland area – including the Grampians Peaks Trail overnight walk. Water levels remain high in some creeks however and there is a track diversion around Barneys creek, just north of Borough Huts.
Other popular visitor sites such as Hollow Mountain, Mt Zero, Flat Rock and Mt Stapylton in the Northern Grampians will also reopen. There northern section of Mt Zero road is closed however, so access is best from the Western Hwy, Dadswells Bridge and Winfields roads.
Access to Plantation campground and Heatherlie Quarry has been reinstated however the Mt Zero Road is closed north of Roses Gap Rd.
Mt William and the Major Mitchell Plateau overnight walk will reopen and access is available to the southern Grampians attractions such as Mt Sturgeon, Mt Abrupt and The Piccaninny.
Buandik campground, Manja Art shelter, Jardwardjali falls and Billimina art shelter are open in the West of the park, as is the Victoria Range overnight walk. However due to the Victoria Valley being closed, the best access is via Mirranatawa Rd, Jensens Rd , Glenelg River Rd, Henty Hwy and Harrops track.
The Mt Difficult Range (between Roses Gap Road and Northern Grampians road remains under a fire recovery closure).
Just another post on that old chestnut – campfires. It’s all been said before. CliffCare and Friends of Arapiles as well as many members of the climbing community are working together to try and get the information out there. This recent campfire was discovered last week at the Good Morning Arapiles boulder. Quite a large and recent campfire as well as a half burnt log which I can only assume was removed from the campfire at the end of the evening. Signage is at the campground. But best it be said again. Campfires at Mt Arapiles are:
Only allowed in the actual campground.
Only allowed in the campground and in the official metal fireplaces
Only allowed between 1st May and 31st October. (No fires between 1st Nov & 30th April)
Firewood collection is not allowed in the park.
Put a jacket on if you are cold.
Various reasons as to why – the main one being environmental impact. Especially so in an isolated park such as Mt Arapiles. At this point in time, people are still allowed to have campfires, albeit in the campground. It would be great if this could continue but if the incidences of campfires around the park continues to grow, we could find ourselves out of luck.
There have been numerous posts on this. A couple that I can link to immediately:
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
Ollie Sherlock with one of the plants he grew. About to be released
Youngest volunteer Max
Campground users happy to dig in.
Local climbers Louise Shepherd, Kieran Loughran and Rox enjoying the crisp air, a shovel and dirt. Louise manages Friends Of Arapiles.
Louise and Rox up near D Minor Pinnacle
Adam Demmert near D Minor Pinnacle
Bush Kinder and Louise Shepherd
Planting in the young trees
A touch of water
Everyone got to have a go at digging, planting, watering and bashing in stakes!
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. firstname.lastname@example.org