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General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
Bouldering in the Grampians 9-Dec-2011 At 10:24:06 PM kieranl

A couple of weeks ago I was with a group of climbers meeting with the Grampians ranger-in-charge Dave Roberts. The main part of the day was checking out access options for Bundaleer and Rosea but the talk got around to bouldering at one point. The upshot was that I was asked to try to identify some possible contact points between Parks and boulderers.
Now i donít boulder much anymore and know virtually no one in the bouldering community (whatever that means) and feel a bit of a fraud doing this. So, this post is a feeler to see if people have any suggestions as to approach. There donít seem to be any active bouldering sites any more to act as forums for this.
The discussions we had were very informal, conducted in a 4WD, with no notes being taken so what follows is my interpretation of things, hopefully very similar to what Dave intended.
Dave is very interested in the explosion of bouldering in the Grampians, both excited to see the interest being shown and concerned at future directions.
The concentration of intense bouldering activity on the Stapylton area is seen as desirable. The only active concern here is with large groups effectively ďtaking overĒ an area. This can be intimidating to other park users.
Parks would be concerned if intensive bouldering activity moved into the remote areas of the Grampians, particularly in the Victoria Range. There are a few aspects to this :
Track creation to bouldering areas, particularly on top of the range. There can be a lot of impact if an area becomes popular. Parks is wanting to preserve an element of remoteness here.
Impact on cultural sites. The Vic Range has the largest number of indigenous cultural sites in the Grampians and these may well be in prime bouldering territory. The thing is that these sites are all there is. Once one is damaged there will not be a replacement. There are actually two aspects here : the first, and the imperative one, is to prevent damage. At present Parks have no idea whether bouldering is taking place in sensitive areas. The second is that boulderers could actively help the cultural program by identifying previously unknown sites . I suggested that it might be useful to have some educational sessions with boulderers to help them to identify indigenous sites, suggest suitable behaviour around them and to identify areas which are generally culturally sensitive where bouldering should be avoided or undertaken only with great respect.
Bouldering in areas that will be subject to the Parks burning program. There is going to be a fair amount of prescribed burning in the Vic range next year and there is concern that boulderers might be in areas that are being burned.
This all looks like a case for dialogue. It should be pointed out that itís not an attack on boulderers; there are similar concerns about the impact of other Park users.
So, where to from here? Anyone who has any ideas or who wants to volunteer can post here or email me kieranl (at) or pass them on to Tracey at Cliffcare

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