Goto Chockstone Home

  Guide
  Gallery
  Tech Tips
  Articles
  Reviews
  Dictionary
  Links
  Forum
  Search
  About

      Sponsored By
      ROCK
   HARDWARE

  Shop
FREIGHT FREE
in Australia

Wild Country: Set of 7 X WC Rockcentrics. (Sizes 3 to 9) Anodized different colours! SUPER SPECIAL!  $119.00
21% Off

Chockstone Photography Australian Landscape Photography by Michael Boniwell
Australian Landscape Prints





Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 24
Author
Dog Rocks and the local Aboriginals

Bernardo
15/08/2004
9:06:03 PM
i was down at dog rocks the other day with uni adn brian (the regional ranger incharge of cultural heritage). as it turns out this great climbign spot is also a known aboriginal mens initiation site and considered sacred by the local aboriginal people.
i asked how they felt about the area being used for climbing and brian very colourfuly explained to us how much they actualy hate it, especialy the bolts.
the area is aparently currently under native title claim(a claim has been made but not yet accepted or rejected), if they claim is accepted brian said that climbing would very quickly be banned.
he also informs me that he droped by last year while we where there for the first chockstone gathering adn asked us to leave adn also to remove the bolts..
i cant say i remmember hearign about this during the gathering, although thats not realy what i wanted to ask.

what im actualy after is opinions on the ethics of climbing(or not climbing) in areas which are know to be sacred to a group...

adn possibly any info on whether anythign is being done after the gathering adn the request made by brain.

Paulie
15/08/2004
9:42:21 PM
I think that it's vitally important that healthy relationahips between climbers and land owners (no matter what their claim may be) are maintained. This may be through the use of groups such as the (American) Access Fund or our very own Cliff Care.

Many land owners don't want users (of any genre) to be admitted to their lands for fear of law suits, strangers walking through their property, litter, dogs attacking livestock etc etc. In the case of Aboriginal ownership there is more than just an issue of tenure as their links to the land are of a spiritual nature. It would be akin to someone boulering on your family's tombstones (or anything else your family holds sacred). Sometimes there is a joint agreement pro climbing, often there isn't, Heuco Tanks is a classic example...it's important to recognise that a rock face holds more value (perhaps 10,000yrs+ in many cases) to Aboriginal people than to climbers and let's face it, there's tons of rock around in Oz (Neil keeps turning up wicked new places all the time).

A classic example of blatant disregard for Aboriginal culture can be found in the 1st Grampians bouldering guide, where there is a description of a boulder problem near the Kindergarten that has stone chips taken from it eons ago by Aboriginal people...yet that particular (crap) problem is still written up and described in the guidebook...what makes this even worse is the big blurb in the front about respecting Aboriginal culture...hmmmmmm...editor?

Paulie

Damietta
15/08/2004
9:58:37 PM
Graeme Hill struggled with the same issue at Nowra. His way of dealing with the sensitive issue was to name the cliff Boong crag and bolt the hell out of it.

Philosophically, if there is an issue involving an indigenous tribal site in particular, I would think that the only sensible and respectful thing to do is to cease climbing activities at the site until the issue is resolved - especially if the local indigenous folk "hate" climbers being there - even the latter would be enough for me to skeedaddle on Karma grounds. If the claims are then legitimate and this has been ascertained in a fair and balanced way - and I think that this itself is important - then cease climbing activities permanently pending the collective opinion of the tribal owners of the site. As Paulie points out, there is enough rock to go round.

But by the same token, and again as Paulie points out, a climbing body or other affiliate should be at the table in the discussions and negotiations over these and all other access issues to represent climber's interests.

Climbing and climbing areas are valuable and we should by no means be shrinking voilets when these issues come up. Who knows what precedents will be set and what future access issues will arise for all climbing areas?

Maybe the issue is more complex when you start talking about an entire, significant climbing area like say Mt Stapylton or Mt Arapiles. Someone here might be able to correct me but I remember hearing about a climbing area in the US like Devils Tower, Wyoming, or similar being closed because it was a site of indigenous tribal significance - but this was ignored by many parties - who continued to fill in the summit register after their ascent. Neil, Martin or A5 might be able to shed some light on how (in)accurate my recollection is.

There you might have to start means testing the settlement involving all the stakeholders - ie how do you compare the benefit to climbers and the community of the site being open to climbing and other activities - significant - versus preserving the cultural and spiritual significance of the site - also significant - and are they indeed compatible or could they plausibly be complementary. And even if so, do climbers think that a karma comes in to play?

There's my piece, not worth much


Damietta
15/08/2004
10:04:02 PM
>>he also informs me that he droped by last year while we where there for the first >>chockstone gathering adn asked us to leave adn also to remove the bolts..
>>i cant say i remmember hearign about this during the gathering, although thats not >>realy what i wanted to ask.

Might have been a bit hard to hear anything over Neilo's drill and the booze brothers (A5 and Hex) trying to hit the barbie with empty stubbies from the top of the crag while spilling tomato sauce from their snag sizzles all over the place

IdratherbeclimbingM9
16/08/2004
8:10:57 AM
On 15/08/2004 Damietta wrote:
>I remember hearing about a climbing area in the US like Devils Tower, Wyoming, or >similar being closed because it was a site of indigenous tribal significance - but this >was ignored by many parties - who continued to fill in the summit register after their >ascent.
My understanding of the current climbing / indigenous indians agreement; is that climbers are banned for a couple of months per year during periods of religious significance.
From what I have read it seems both parties are happy with this arrangement, and that climbers are adhering to the ban voluntarily.
There may have been a period before the present agreement when climbers chose to climb Devils Tower in defiance of a total ban?

>Might have been a bit hard to hear anything over Neilo's drill and the
>booze brothers (A5 and Hex) ...
>(snip)
Sounds like your jealous Damo?
Not to worry as unfortunately I have not been able to make it to any of the chockstone gatherings so far ...

nmonteith
16/08/2004
9:49:24 AM
On 15/08/2004 Bernardo wrote:
>he also informs me that he droped by last year while we where there for
>the first chockstone gathering adn asked us to leave adn also to remove
>the bolts

He did mumble a few word to a couple of people on that day. He was very quiet and just hovered around for a few hours. I guess he must have felt a bit threatend by the fact there was 40 of us - all yeling and running around that spot. It was only after he left that I was told he had some sort of problem with us climbing there. I think there needs to be a sign put in place or something a bit more official put forward. I totally respect the aborginal claim to the area - and i think it would be wise if we all kept off for the moment.

The problem I see with that area is that it is a 30sec walk from the the main road. It will be very hard to police climbers or even picnicers from playing on these boulders.

BTW I do not, and I will not use drills in front of non-climbers, mass groups of climbers etc. I really really make a point to make my work as minimal impact as possible. It is a sore point with me! I am forced to take days off work, work until midnight by headtorch etc to continue my safer cliffs re-equipping.

Perhpas the VCC access officer should try and find out the full story?

tmarsh
16/08/2004
11:47:59 AM
On 15/08/2004 Paulie wrote:

>A classic example of blatant disregard for Aboriginal culture can be found
>in the 1st Grampians bouldering guide, where there is a description of
>a boulder problem near the Kindergarten that has stone chips taken from
>it eons ago by Aboriginal people...yet that particular (crap) problem is
>still written up and described in the guidebook...what makes this even
>worse is the big blurb in the front about respecting Aboriginal culture...
>hmmmmmm...editor

What you are describing is a 'battering site' - a stone quarry used to gather
useful sharp bits of rock. What I'm wondering is precisely why you think
that battering sites are sacred to local aborigines? They're certainly
interesting, but beyond that?

tim

Bernardo
16/08/2004
12:01:31 PM
on neils suggestions of signs:
someone in the group did suggest it on the day we where there, but brian believes that puting a sign there will cause ppl to go there adn try to leave their 'mark' on it(spary painting adn such).
so it seems that parks vic has taken the aproach of 'if no one knows than no one will vandalise'
gfdonc
16/08/2004
12:24:37 PM
My view on the original thread:
I believe the national features of this country are there for all to enjoy. If "enjoyment" by one group is regarded as descration by another then someone needs to adjudicate to ensure fairness. Generally the National Parks Service has this role. However no one special interest group deserves the option to exclude all others.

Tolerance and understanding in both directions is key. Putting up a climb (or boulder problem) over native cave paintings is insensitive and wrong. However so is a complete climbing ban on a particular cliff. The rocks predate the arrival of both "indigenous" and European groups.

From written reports I have read this issue comes to a head in the administration of Uluru as an example. Leave the issue of climbing the rock aside for a moment - tribal elders reserve right of approval on all photographs taken by pro photographers (who require a permit and consent to having their collection culled). Specifically they ensure that only certain angles can be photographed, effectively restricting the right to view parts of our natural wonders. I think this is unreasonable and thus intolerant.
- Steve
James
16/08/2004
5:45:46 PM
when I was at Dog Rocks a month or so ago we bumped into a Parks Vic ranger who was checking the place out because a commercial operator from Beendigo was applying for permission to take commercial groups there. Either Parks Vic don't know about the native title or they spun us a fairy tale...

if the PV guy was worried about climbing then he certianly didn't let on.

climbau
16/08/2004
7:50:38 PM
On 16/08/2004 tmarsh wrote:
>What you are describing is a 'battering site' - a stone quarry used to
>gather
>useful sharp bits of rock. What I'm wondering is precisely why you think
>
>that battering sites are sacred to local aborigines? They're certainly
>
>interesting, but beyond that?
>
>tim
>
Sacred may not be the right word, but these areas still have great significance to indigenous folk. These areas are included in stories and are considered to be of cultural value, not just by black fella's, but also by white fella's.
Likewise (to my kinowledge) any quarry older than 50 years in Australia is considered to have heritage value and to that end climbing and bolting activity is considered illegal.
What is valuable varies from group to group, and as such tolerance and respect is the key. I would think that a voluntary ban on climbing at dog rocks by climbers is the right thing to do until opinions of NPs and Black fellas is confirmed.
Andrew

Paulie
17/08/2004
9:50:22 PM
On 16/08/2004 tmarsh wrote:

"What you are describing is a 'battering site' - a stone quarry used to gather useful sharp bits of rock. What I'm wondering is precisely why you think that battering sites are sacred to local aborigines? They're certainly interesting, but beyond that?"

With regard to Aborginal quarry sites, these are just as important as anything else in Aborginal heritage. Until the local Aborginal representative tells us otherwise, we should refrain from climbing on such historical sites, simple!

It is one poxy problem in one of the most amazing bouldering areas in the world with a lifetime of boulder problem potential, was it really necessary to climb and name this one?

Paulie

Kanya
17/08/2004
10:44:36 PM
Does anyone know if the situation described in this thread applies to the other climbing areas at Mt
Alexander? I have suggested some rebolting is required at Wabbit Wocks and Scorpion Rocks.

tmarsh
19/08/2004
8:47:08 AM
On 17/08/2004 Paulie wrote:
>With regard to Aborginal quarry sites, these are just as important as
>anything else in Aborginal heritage. Until the local Aborginal representative
>tells us otherwise, we should refrain from climbing on such historical
>sites, simple!

I'm not trying to wind you up here, nor do I necessarily disagree with you,
but where is your evidence for this assertion. Who says that battering sites
are as important as rock art?

As a general approach, I think we should err on the side of conservatism
and back off climbing in areas where there is any issue at all, but I'd
much rather there was an informed approach to all of this rather than
non-experts (ie us) spouting off a whole lot of black and white statements.

tim

HEX
19/08/2004
12:38:07 PM
On 19/08/2004 tmarsh wrote:
spouting off a whole lot of black and white statements.

Ha ! --- boom ! tish ! --- I luvya sense-of-political-correctness-humour...

rhinckle
19/08/2004
3:18:10 PM
to the sacred siters:
climbing is my religion.
the thing i mean to do on sundays, often don't get around to but is my very special relationship with special parts of the planet.
my other belief is that nobody really owns land. human law pretends that we do.
i am happy to let some people believe that a particular set of rocks are more sacred than the rest of the planet, as long as they are happy to let me get on with my particlar worship of (to me & my ilk) the wonderful naked parts of the mineral mass of good old 'gaiea' .

Bernardo
20/08/2004
2:15:32 PM
i did ask about other areas on mt alex. but all i got was a mumble that sounded abit like: the other areas are fine...
im pretty sure its just dog rocks, acording to the story it was a mens initiation site adn a reginal chieftan/leader/elder (not sure what they are called in australia) lived there.(and was arrested for alegedly stealing sheep)
JamieF
10/11/2005
10:38:21 AM
On 8/11/2005 nmonteith wrote: (On the "What we all did on the weekend 3" thread)
>... We spent the morning doing three new routes at Dog Rocks,
>a nice grade 20 arete (3 bolts) etc etc...

Which reminded me of this thread from last year...

On 16/08/2004 nmonteith wrote:
>...I totally respect the aborginal claim to the area - and i think it
>would be wise if we all kept off for the moment...Perhpas the
>VCC access officer should try and find out the full story?

Did anyone ever find any more out about this? Any of the Bendigo locals know? I don't remember ever seeing anything on the VCC site.

It also reminds me to ask again if anyone knows what the two (from memory) bolts on the small face just to the left of Jewellery are (name, grade?). There is a anchor (double bolt and chain) directly above the route. I don't know how long they have been there, but at least since early this year.

Cheers,
Jamie

nmonteith
10/11/2005
11:20:25 AM
I've heard nothing since then. There is no signage mentioning the significance of the site - there's a
carpark, walking track and a constant stream of climbers, picnickers, hikers and photographers hanging
about.

tom_1
10/11/2005
11:35:33 AM
Hey there guys just curious about these dog rocks, i just got into climbing about 2 weeks ago and am loving it. i live in geelong and there is a place called dog rocks aout 20 minutes away and im just wondering if where talking about the same place???

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 24
There are 24 messages in this topic.

 

Home | Guide | Gallery | Tech Tips | Articles | Reviews | Dictionary | Forum | Links | About | Search
Chockstone Photography | Landscape Photography Australia | Australian Landscape Photography

Please read the full disclaimer before using any information contained on these pages.



Australian Panoramic | Australian Coast | Australian Mountains | Australian Countryside | Australian Waterfalls | Australian Lakes | Australian Cities | Australian Macro | Australian Wildlife
Landscape Photo | Landscape Photography | Landscape Photography Australia | Fine Art Photography | Wilderness Photography | Nature Photo | Australian Landscape Photo | Stock Photography Australia | Landscape Photos | Panoramic Photos | Panoramic Photography Australia | Australian Landscape Photography | Mothers Day Gifts | Gifts for Mothers Day | Mothers Day Gift Ideas | Ideas for Mothers Day | Wedding Gift Ideas | Christmas Gift Ideas | Fathers Day Gifts | Gifts for Fathers Day | Fathers Day Gift Ideas | Ideas for Fathers Day | Landscape Prints | Landscape Poster | Limited Edition Prints | Panoramic Photo | Buy Posters | Poster Prints