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Access & Environment Report August, 2013

For the second time, the scheduled workday for the Muline and Red Rocks area of the Victoria Ranges failed to eventuate. First one scheduled in June slowly lost its attendees until there wasn’t enough volunteers to efficiently do the work required on the day. On Saturday, 13th July, another workday event was planned. This time we had plenty of volunteers. With help from the guys at Vertical Life rounding up some bodies also and a number of the visiting international climbers putting up their hands, the day was set to be a success.

Unfortunately, the email I sent to the weather gods got lost somewhere along the way. Having had a wonderful week of weather in the Wimmera, it was decided that Saturday would be a perfect day for a drop or two of rain. And the weather gods lost count. I tried to remain optimistic whilst listening to the rain on our tin roof. I told myself it would pass. It was only when the radar screen was waved in front of my face that I needed to accept the fact. It was not going to pass anytime soon. So at the last hour, the frantic calls to intended volunteers took place and the workday was cancelled.

The perfect weather for a great workday. Not.

So, surely, third time will be lucky? At the time of writing this, I am working towards another day on the weekend of 3rd,4th August to mark and clear tracks in this area. And for the other repairs such as roads, there is a good chance that these will also be finished at the same time. Which means access to the cliffs in these areas will once again be happening. Discussions with PV on the weekend re access to climbing areas was very positive. As I mentioned above, the time frames are weather dependant so if we get a run of bad weather over the next few weeks this could extend the reopening dates. As it stands though, there is a good chance that we will be able to access the Muline/Red Rocks area and fingers crossed, the Gallery and Buandik area, around the start of August.

Media moguls can have flat batteries too. Who is that?

There are a number of issues around the Gallery and Buandik that make it a little more involved when it comes to reopening the area but PV have been plugging away on a number of solutions that might make it possible to get some access happening. Access to the Fortress and Chimney Pots should not be long after that. All of the cliffs around the Cave of the Emu Foot track , will as previously mentioned earlier in the year, be closed for a lot longer. This was the worst of the burnt areas and needs to be allowed to recover by giving it time. So recapping:

Muline, Red Rocks area – start of August Gallery/Buandik area – start of August The Fortress. Chimney Pots – end August Camp of Emu Foot Track area cliffs – minimum 1 year.

And lastly to round off the report. The Lookout area at the You Yangs is now open and ready for climbing business. The club ran a combined climb and rip up the boneseed trip on the 29th June and it was a great day. We pulled a huge amount of boneseed up in a short time and will look at managing this over the years. It grows ridiculously easy but also thank goodness, it pulls up ridiculously easy. Few pics on the before and after of the boneseed in this report and there are a few pics of the climbing elsewhere in Argus.

Boneseed has been removed

Access track to the Lookout

climbing sign at the Lookout

And not lastly, but finally – CliffCare has a new logo. Actually its first ever real logo and you will be seeing it around more and more.

Safe climbing and all that,

Cheers, Tracey

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