On their way to a gym near you.
As announced by the VCC President on 6th May https://vicclimb.org.au/2019/05/access-environment-officer-announcement/ I have resigned from my my position as Access & Environment Officer. Today will be my last day although I will be seeing the project launch of the Central Gully Walking Track Repair through on Saturday June 8th.
This hasn’t been an easy decision to make especially as I leave in a challenging time for Access, but after 11 years in the job, it’s time for a bit of self care, and also for someone else with a fresh heart and head to journey through the next couple of years that the Grampians access issues more specifically, will require. Best wishes for the new Access officer.
This will be my last report. It won’t contain much about the Grampians access – there will be more updates coming out about that soon. Instead it is just a few things I have also been working on with some great volunteers.
The new CliffCare website is currently being built by Brett Williams of Sidetrip Productions. This is definitely the website I have wished for many years. Easy to navigate, great educational information, advocacy history and current campaigns. Here is a screenshot – stay tuned for the launch sometime in the near future.
Now that the CliffCare Education Project poster campaign Access is No Accident has launched, further efforts can be put into discussing the issues at length. One of my last tasks to do today is put together some small packs that will be sent to the gyms that contain the Access is No Accident posters, CliffCare posters CLF3 Poster A4_1.0 and postcards, and a gym copy of a great publication – Aboriginal Heritage identification guide. This guide was developed by Parks Victoria’s culture and heritage branch. It is used by Parks Victoria employees as well as other agencies and groups that may work on Parks Victoria managed land. As the climbing community regularly engage in working parties in the parks, being aware is an important part of being a volunteer. Alongside this requirement for understanding the volunteer work, this booklet is a great opportunity for the climbing community in general to read up and understand a little more about Cultural Heritage and how it is more than rock art.
You can also find this for download on the Education tab – Indigenous Cultural Heritage
Many thanks to Parks Victoria for supplying hardcopies and allowing us to provide the pdf for access. This will eventually reside in the education portal on the new CliffCare website but it the meantime you can access it on the current website as noted above.
Central Gully Walking Track Repair Project Launch Date – Pick My Project.
After the successful win in the State Government ‘Pick My Project’ grant programme and all the usual paperwork and permits required –
The launch date is now confirmed – Queens Birthday Weekend – 8th June, 2019.
The project now needs one of the most important contributions in order to get it up and running. You.
We need bodies to help move some rocks down the track so that stonemason extraordinaire Walter Braun, can work his magic. All you need is an hour or so to spare, some closed toe shoes and that’s it.
We will meet at the top of Central Gully at 9.30am for some launch festivities and then onto a little rock transportation. Please drop CliffCare a line so we can estimate numbers. firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks for the funding provided by the Victorian Government through Pick My Project.
And that’s about it – As always lots more to say, so many works in the pipeline but I will be passing that onto the next person now.
Thanks to many for their support over the years and best wishes in the access space.
Over and out,
This week is National Reconciliation Week.
This is a great opportunity especially with the journey ahead for climbing, that we take the time to reflect, to learn and to understand.
National Reconcilliation Week takes place every year at the same time and the theme this year is
Grounded in Truth
Walk Together with Courage
From the website – National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia
There will be events across the country and one near you. Visit the website for more info.
Want to keep up to date with the management plan review and provide input? Register here at Engage Victoria. First step.
As announced on the 29th April, Parks Victoria will commence a review process of the Grampians National Park Management Plan in July 2019.
There will be a variety of opportunities to provide feedback over the review process and a Stakeholder Reference Group will soon be set in order to engage key stakeholders from the conservation, tourism and recreation sectors.
If you want to provide input make sure you register at Engage Victoria. Be informed and have your say.
Today is the day people! ClimbForGrampians. All the listed climbing businesses in Victoria and South Australia have come together to help raise funds and awareness around the access work happening for the Grampians. Get on down to one of the gyms or buy yourself something nice. Today is also the official launch date of the ACCESS IS NO ACCIDENT – CliffCare Education Project. This is not just about the Grampians. This is about what we need to do as a user group for sustainable climbing into the future in the Grampians or wherever else we may climb. CliffCare would like to extend a huge thanks to all who have been involved in organizing this and the accompanying education campaign launch of posters and workshops and to all the climbers taking part
ACCESS IS NO ACCIDENT. Developed by Tracey Skinner (@CliffCare), Simon Madden & Ross Taylor (@verticallifemag), Florence Seow & Indie Ladan (@northsideboulders), the campaign highlights actions that you can take to minimise your impact as a climber on the environment and help protect your access to crags. Along with the poster launch there will be workshop sessions at a number of gyms on crag etiquette. The workshops have been developed by Florence Seow, they are free and run by volunteers.
For every person who climbs at one of the participating gyms listed below, $5 will be donated to CliffCare.
Show up and show your support!
See below for a list of participating gyms and details. Each participating gym’s in-house event activities may vary. Contact the gym for further details.
Adelaide’s Bouldering Club
Cliffhanger Indoor Rock Climbing Gym
The Lactic Factory
North Walls Indoor Climbing
The Rock Adventure Centre
Urban Climb Collingwood
The Wilderness Shop*
9 Degrees Lane Cove
*Participating retailers donating %10 of retail sales revenue.
In the early years of my role as VCC Access & Environment Officer, I started developing an idea for an education project for climbers and climbing. The CliffCare Education Project (CEP). For me, education was always the key for a sustainable climbing future. Being told that you can’t do something, that you can’t climb at a, b or c without having a real understanding of why this might be, seems to me like a lesson in failure. It was around the time of my discussions and negotiations for The Ravine – back in 2009 that the idea was put down on paper. You can see the project outline here – https://cliffcare.org.au/about/education/cliffcare-education-project/
After the 2014 fires in the Grampians, concerns about climbing and bouldering impacts moving into the future, were more present in discussions with land managers. Following a report I put out to the community on bouldering and the education project, Jimmy and Reuben from Lactic and Northside Boulders contacted me offering help with design work for the poster campaign.
And here we are. It’s been a long road (there were a number of stalls) and many thanks must go to those who have put volunteer time and ideas into it over the years. Reuben and Jimmy, Indie Laden(designer), Simon Madden, Ross Taylor, Brett Williams and more recently Florence Seow.
I hope that a stronger education campaign continues on from this. The operative word being continues. The poster campaign represents some key issues we face as a user group and the impacts we need to manage. These are our impacts that we need to educate ourselves on – it is our responsibility. The posters are a visual conversation starting point with the opportunity to provide further educational possibilities as we discuss them in more detail. You can download the posters, print them for display or maybe share with club members etc. With a new CliffCare website on the way, more information on the various issues will be available. In the meantime, posters will soon be up on the current website under the Education tab. www.cliffcare.org.au About > Education.
Now onto the handbook….
WANT TO PRINT THE POSTERS FOR DISPLAY?
What do I need to know to climb in the Grampians this weekend?
Where can I climb?
All closures as noted previously are still in place.
Please respect all bans in place. Take a copy of the map that show the SPA’s.
Enforcement can occur at the following key focus sites
Little Hands Cave
Cave of Man Hands
There have been questions from the community regarding regarding signage around the key focus sites in locations that aren’t noted as key focus sites. Parks Victoria has provided the following information in response to my queries –
What is scope of the blue squares area? ie does it just apply to the actual cliff as noted The Gallery?
The blue dots indicate approximate locations where compliance activities will be occurring for rock climbing
What are the total number of signs pertaining to the 8 focus sites?
In total, there are 11 signs installed in the Victoria Range SPA to identify the eight key locations where enforcement activities are occurring.
Are there 2 signs in place at each sign installation site?
There is a minimum of one sign installed at each site. There are multiple entry points to some sites with some sites having lengthy approaches by walking. Where this is the case, additional signage has been installed. There are:
o Three signs at locations leading into Gondwanaland
o Three signs at locations leading into Manja Area
o Four signs at locations leading into The Gallery area
o One sign at Millennium
Does one of these signs at each installation site note the names of the key focus sites so that people are aware the fines only apply to those 8 focus sites?
The names of the key focus sites are detailed on the signs so that park users are aware where compliance activities are occurring.
What can I do to protect the environment and respect Aboriginal cultural heritage?
What should I do if I’m approached by a ranger?
Be an ambassador for climbing and stay friendly and curious about their concerns. Follow their directions.
What should I do if a ranger tells me to leave or asks my name and address?
Under law they are entitled to do both if they have reasonable grounds to do these things.
Ask for their reasons and comply with their requests
Ask for their name, repeatedly if necessary
Make a record of what happened and what was said. Get someone who was there to sign your it if possible
Let CliffCare know what happened and use Parks Victoria’s complaints process if you think you were wrongly told to move on or to identify yourself.