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General Climbing Discussion

Best month to climb at Arap/Gramps?

3:48:09 AM
This summer, I'm looking to burn some fly-buy miles to visit some old friends in Victoria as well as get in a few weeks of climbing there. I worked at a school camp in Bairnsdale(I'm from Seattle now) years ago but didn't start climbing until I moved back to the US, so I'm looking forward to discovering what I had missed!

I would like to time my visit with the best possible climbing weather. Since January and February pretty much suck for climbing here because of the cold and wet, those months would be my first choices to get away. Is it too hot to climb there mid-summer? Should I push the dates back toward the end of Feb/early March? Is it too crowded during certain months because of school holidays?

I'll also be hoping to find a couple fun partners once I get the dates nailed down. I'm primarily interested in moderate trad routes and will bring my rope and rack.

Thanks much for any info that may be helpful. I'll gladly reciprocate if you're looking for beta or partners for your next OS trip! (I live within a few hours of some incredible granite climbing.)


9:00:19 AM
Well, it is possible to climb there anytime, kinda, but I'd certainly recommend pushing your dates well back if you can. March can still be hot, April is usually "good"... as it is in your neck of the woods. Crowding isn't a problem.

10:09:28 AM
Onsight is right.

Here are some links to Australian Bureau of Meterology data for average temperatures (for Horsham) for Jan-April 2007.

Horsham average temperature for April 07

Horsham average temperature for March 07

Horsham average temperature for Feb 07

Horsham average temperature for Jan 07

Note the drop off in average temperature over time period January to April.
10:30:55 AM
autumn is the best time of the year for the Gramps/Araps, not too hot & generally more stable weather. But even if you go earlier in Feb there are plenty of shady crags/walls, it'll just be hotter & a little less comfortable The heat is dry - not humid like Seattle.

the only crowds you have to worry about is in the campground at Mt Buffalo on long weekends or Easter. But even then, the crags won't be crowded with climbers, just tourists in the campground. Cooler weather is better at Buffalo also, as there are lots of granite smearing slabs which are no fun in 30 deg temps.

4:04:49 PM
Those suggestions are a great help. Around here, there are places you can still enjoy in the heat(like Squamish, BC), and there are others to which you just don't go in mid-summer, if you know better(like anything east of the Cascades).

It's a long way to come to find out it's too hot to crank on all those great routes I've been reading about!

thanks, all! I'm looking forward to this trip all the more now!

9:09:03 PM
Also remember that climbing in Tasmania is brilliant in January/Feb/March.
Organ Pipes above Hobart, Freycinet and Ben Lomond are all good at this time. It's worth setting aside a week or so to pop down there or have Tasmania as a backup plan if Victoria is in a heat wave

3:35:21 AM
Excellent! I had not considered exploring the climbing possibilities in Tasmania but will certainly do so now, especially if it's a good alternative for summer climbing.

How would you compare the quality/accessibility of the routes there compared to Vic? I'll climb anything, but moderate trad routes(single or multipitch) are what I'm working currently and for rock, granite is my personal favorite.

Thanks again,

10:26:47 AM
I can vouch for climbing at Araps in warm/hot/summer weather and I suppose it's personal preference but I reckon it's the best time of year to be there. Have fun in Tassie if you end up there, but don't rule out our Vic crags just yet :)

10:33:29 AM
Shez, Coles Bay is a couple of hours from Hobart. It has good weather, climbing, great moderate trad routes on fine granite, good camping, food and beer nearby and there is bugger all chance of just showing up and finding a partner. Maybe think of it as a sideline trip. Flights from Mexico to Hobart are cheap and hire car from the airport is an option.
12:06:42 PM
Shez, the "big 3" climbing areas in Victoria are Arapiles, Grampians and Buffalo.

Araps and Grampians are in the west, low-lying, fairly dry and hence can be warm. However, I've had some great days at Araps during 38C temps, just pick some routes in the shade and hope for a cool change. Being close to the Southern Ocean, Victoria usually gets a cool change after 2-3 hot days. Also as you can see from the links above, most days in January (last year anyway) are pretty nice for climbing.

Alternatively if it gets too hot drive over to Buffalo which is a granite plateau in the north-east of the state at altitudes of 1200-1700m (hope I estimated that correctly) and hence typically 8C-10C cooler than the valley. You expressed a preference for granite so that might be more your style.

Tassie is another option, but doesn't sound like that was the motivation for the visit.

12:16:40 PM
For shear mind blowing quanitity, quality and convenience Arapiles is hard to beat anywhere in the
world. It's a real 'crag', with everthing within easy walking distance from a comfortable and well visited
camp. Partners are easy to t-up.

Grampians is much more spread out, you'll be driving 5km+ every day to go climbing from camp, and
partners can be thin on the ground.

Buffalo - Some great lines, but generally not the density of Arapiles or the Grampians. The real quality
routes are few and far between if you plan to spend more than week up there. Compared to American
granite, i'd say the place isn't super fantastic. You'll also have zero chance of finding a partner up


Coles Bay - fantastic granite, awesome easier routes (sub 5.10). Camping and location is unique and
beautiful (right above the routes!). Some chance of swinging a belay if your there over xams, no
chance otherwsie.

All other Tassie crags are desserted, with no chance of finding a belay partner. The island is very
unpopulated and suprisingly un-toruisrty once you go away from the major sites.
12:21:54 PM
On 15/11/2007 widewetandslippery wrote:
> Flights from Mexico to Hobart are cheap and hire car from the airport is an option.

Just to clarify Shez. Mexico referred to by ww&s is the state of Victoria not the country Mexico...

6:06:33 PM
Thanks, dalai. LOL. I figured it must be something along those lines. I spend a fair bit of time on a Seattle/Pacific Northwest forum,, and so have gotten somewhat used to reading between the lines. (I post there as "Sherri", if you're ever in the neighborhood.)

And thanks Steph, gfdonc, nmonteith and ww&s for the glimmer of hope for the Araps for a summer trip. That really would be my first choice, more and more so from the sounds of the climbing there, but it's great knowing that there are other options if the weather is too oppressive.

I wish I had been a climber while I lived Down Under! Seems like I missed out on some sweet climbing and on meeting some great folks.

I hope to tie in with some of you soon!

Heading off tomorrow for some sandstone climbing in Red Rocks, near Las Vegas. Gotta enjoy that sun while it's still shining!

10:33:24 PM
Tasmania - Organ Pipes. Mountain crags don't come much more accessible than this. I think there's a standard subruban bus route can can drop you off below the crag (Tas climbers can set me straight). I seem to remember a group of us catching a taxi from near the middle of Hobart once also.

There are 14 messages in this topic.


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