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General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
Grampians Access 22-Feb-2019 At 3:21:34 PM vwills

... as the only indigenous climber on this continent that i've ever met.....

Somehow this evokes “ I’m the only gay in the village” scene in my head.

It seems elitism can cut both ways.

I have had the pleasure of speaking with a number of indigenous people about climbing, a couple of whom have climbed and think it is a great recreation and have been welcoming. I also recognise that this feeling isn’t unanimous and as with any community, there will be differences of opinion.

This in no way justifies damage to indigenous cultural heritage, but it gives me hope that climbing can coexist in areas of sensitivity, and although there must be areas that are off limits, hopefully all parties can come up with some creative solutions that don’t block access completely to large areas of the land. Unfortunately areas of stark geological relief are always going to be significant to First Nations and create potential for conflict. These areas are also significant to other outdoor communities, and sometimes it isn’t indigenous concerns that mean access should be closed, but the need for protection for flora or fauna. I have been impressed by the number of climbers who “get” this and have had similar feelings of disquiet about where climbing is headed with unchecked route “ development”.

Trying to teach people about the need for respect of the environment, of cultural heritage and even of climbing history, is important.

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