Hoping that many of you manage to check this before you head off for the weekend. As I noted in the previous post, the main bouldering areas such as Andersons and Kindergarten are still closed but there have been a few new openings so check the post or download the official PV document uploaded to this site.
As always, please remember that many of the sites that have been opened are still recovering from fire. Take care to stay on the designated tracks, avoid going in with large groups and be mindful of your packs and gear and try to keep them off the vegetation as much as possible.
Grampians National Park Fire Recovery Update – Parks Victoria For rock climbing and bouldering Monday 30th March 2015
In January 2014 a large bushfire swept through the Northern Grampians causing widespread damage to visitor sites, roads and walking tracks. Many popular rock climbing and bouldering sites were also impacted including Hollow Mountain, Summerday Valley and Mt Stapylton. While three main visitor sites have since re-opened ( Flat Rock, Mt Stapylton return walk and Mt Zero), the majority of the Mt Difficult Range remains closed to visitation, this includes rockclimbing.
Environmental recovery in the Northern Grampians has been slow – shallow soils and lack of rainfall has meant vegetation has taken longer to regenerate. The landscape is still very fragile – Parks Victoria has been working closely with the local rock climbing community and CliffCare to ensure there has been a considered approach to re-opening rock climbing sites in the Northern Grampians, taking into account long term sustainability of climbing. Please support the long term recovery of fire affected areas by remaining out of any closed sites.
Open and accessible rock climbing and bouldering areas in the Northern Grampians: (Accessible from Mt Zero Picnic Area, Flat Rock and Stapylton Amphitheatre areas only):
• Wildsides • Spurt and Afterglow • Between the Sheeps • Plaza Strip • The Citadel • Caves Club • Central Buttress • Grey & Green Walls • Taipan Wall (Upper and Lower) • Epsilon Wall • Trackside Bouldering area • Snakepit
*Hollow Mountain (Gun Buttress to Andersons), Farside, all climbing areas on the Northern Side of Stapylton (Van Dieman’s Land to Sandinista) and other climbing areas in the Mt Difficult Range such as Eastside, Pohlners and Smiths Rd remain closed. Summerday Valley is currently only accessible via Licensed Tour Operators and school groups.
Other accessible rock climbing areas in and around the Grampians:
• Victoria Range (Please respect cultural heritage and recovering fire affected areas) • Mt William Range (Seven Dials area) • Serra Range (Including Bundaleer and Mt Rosea) • Wonderland Range • Mt Arapiles
• The Black Range and Mt Talbot (west of the Grampians) remain closed due to fire.
You can help support sustainable climbing in the Grampians by considering the following:
Stay on designated tracks – any off track walking can impact soil stability and the regeneration of vegetation. Spread of weeds and other pathogens can occur by foot traffic in fragile soils and recovering mossbeds. Don’t create short cuts or new tracks.
Consider other options – There are many climbing and bouldering sites within the Grampians. By giving these fire affected areas some time to recover they will be here to enjoy in the future.
Think about your safety – tree risk and unstable soils are present across all fire affected areas. Please remember your climbing etiquette when in the Grampians National Park:
Only climb in open and accessible areas and keep group numbers low – Avoid taking large groups into area where there are no designated tracks.
• Respect fragile environmental areas and cultural heritage • Keep an eye out for aboriginal art sites – report to Parks Victoria if you find anything • Be mindful of cleaning • No chipping or bolting • Avoid excessive chalk • Take your rubbish home with you.
* Visit http://www.cliffcare.org.au/ for rock climbing access and environmental reports. * For detailed information on open and accessible climbing areas please refer to relevant guide books or websites. Please note park closures.
* The closest camping option in the National Park is Plantation Campground, approximately 10km north of Halls Gap, or private accommodation in the Northern Grampians area. Bush camping in closed fire affected areas is not appropriate.
For updates on the many camping, walking and driving opportunities in the park, call into Brambuk, the National Park and Cultural Centre in Halls Gap, visit the local Visitor Information Centre or call Parks Victoria on 13 19 63.
While Parks Victoria regrets the need to enforce closures, substantial fines will be imposed on those found in any closed, fire affected areas. For fire recovery updates, maps and further information on activities, campgrounds and car touring options in the Grampians National Park please visit http://www.parks.vic.gov.au phone 13 1963 or call into Brambuk the National Park and Cultural Centre, Halls Gap, open 9am-5pm daily.