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General Climbing Discussion

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Cultural heritage and climbing 15-Jun-2012 At 3:43:43 PM Access T CliffCare
Hi All,

I am hoping that this thread will be one good way of helping to bring information about cultural heritage to the climbing masses and what it means to us, how it affects us and how we can be involved in the future of climbing co-existing responsibily with the cultural heritage sites that are out there and in the areas we climb at.
As I noted in the Excavation at Animal Acts thread, a discussion was prompted last year at the Bundaleer/Rosea inspection by Dave Roberts, Ranger in charge at Halls Gap. This was re climbing and more specifically, bouldering in the Grampians, and more specifically, in the Victoria Range. They are aware of the new development that Vic Range has been undergoing for a while and would like to work with climbers for the best outcome for all. Kieran Loughran was at this discussion and he put a post up on Chockstone after to get the ball rolling. I have cut and pasted the original post so there is some continuity here and also the link to the thread. I haven't had any feedback so far so this is refreshing it for all to see. I will send this thread link to a few people I know of more heavily into the bouldering scene. Anybody got Dave and Nalle contact details :) Only kidding.

(snip) from the Bouldering in the Grampians thread
On 9/12/2011 kieranl wrote:
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

So there's a start for dialogue.Comment here or as noted, you can send an email to me at


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