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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 24
Author
visiting from the US
Shylo
31/03/2011
11:13:49 AM
My husband and I are planning a trip out to climb and surf during July and August. We are planning to rent a van to make getting around easier. During our winter we got used to climbing in 7 degree weather, but I am hoping most days it will be closer to 10 between the grampians and arapiles. i'd love to hear from folks any recommendations and tips that would be handy...especially about camping access with a van. is there free camping? if not, how much does it usually cost?

thank you so much!

ajfclark
31/03/2011
11:25:34 AM
Camping at Arapiles is $2 per person per night. A van would be fine. There's some more details here: http://www.chockstone.org/Arapiles/Arapiles.htm

In terms of weather, the selected climbs guidebook has an excellent intro with temps and mean rainfall graphs and stuff like that but don't have one on hand. Maybe one of the locals can point to something handy?

rodw
Online Now
31/03/2011
11:26:01 AM
If your travelling around Australia there are lots of free camping options..here are several books about that list them or you can start on this site for idea...click on the map.....

http://ozcamps.net/

nmonteith
Online Now
31/03/2011
11:27:21 AM
Why did you choose winter?! The ocean temps at that time of year will be in the sub teens - bloody freezing. I've been diving in the bay in Melbourne with water temps of 8'C. Even with a mega wetsuit and gloves and hood I was a shivering mess.

It rains a lot in winter so be prepared to hang out in caves a lot when you are climbing.

A van is a really good idea to make your time more pleasant! There are plenty of places in the Grampians where you will be able to camp for free, in fact even the 'paid' spots are so badly maintained that you probably don't need to pay most of the time. Unliek most American National Parks the Grampians is mostly just dirt roads and wilderness - you can just find a nice spot anywhere. At worst expect to pay $15 a night at a caravan park if you want showers. At Arapiles its much cheaper (used to be $2 not sure what it is now) - and probably not a good idea to try and camp for free as it pisses the rangers off.
Shylo
31/03/2011
11:33:55 AM
well...good question. we both work in the schools, and your winter is our summer. so we have 2 months off to come and play. plus, we're thinking of moving to australia at some point, so we wanted to spend a good chunk of time there to get a feel for things.

this will be our 6th summer on the road somewhere (although the first without a tent to live in).

we've been surfing all winter here on the east coast. damn cold indeed, but nice clean surf. we have 4.3 wetsuits with hood/booties/etc. i'm thinking it will be about the same there as it was here this winter.

nmonteith
Online Now
31/03/2011
11:37:26 AM
If it gets all too miserable consider heading to Nowra (just south of Sydney) or even further north to South East Queensland. Both areas have excellent warmer surf - and much nicer climbign conditions.

bw
31/03/2011
11:37:53 AM
On 31/03/2011 nmonteith wrote:
>Why did you choose winter?! The ocean temps at that time of year will
>be in the sub teens - bloody freezing. I've been diving in the bay in Melbourne
>with water temps of 8'C. Even with a mega wetsuit and gloves and hood I
>was a shivering mess.
>

NSW coast is quite pleasant for surfing in winter... I was in boardies until early june last year on the sunny days & a 3 mil steamer was more than enough after that, Autumn/winter is prime time here... Warm in the sun on those gin clear days in the blueys too. :D just keep outta that wind. Hope you enjoy your stay.

cruze
31/03/2011
11:44:33 AM
Aussies are generally pretty wussy when it comes to cold. If you are used to it then you will probably love having the crags to yourselves. Winter in Victoria can be wet (and therefore no fun) but if it is clear then I reckon it is the best time to climb at Araps in particular because the majority of the cliffline gets a lot of sun.

Gavo
31/03/2011
12:03:10 PM
4.3 suits will be fine for Melbourne in winter!

I used to dive 30-40+m in a 5mm semi dry and that would get cold but its a fair bit different being immersed in water as well as having your suit compressed by a factor of 4 or 5 giving you barely 1mm of insulation.

Plus I have poor cold tolerance.

But those suits will be great! Plus, less others around!

I do want to say though, that many of my friends from places like Germany and Canada, have said that winter here "feels" colder... I cant account for that but its common. And I lived in Germany through winter 2 years ago.. and I quite liked it. Dont like winter here though!

nmonteith
Online Now
31/03/2011
12:35:06 PM
Vic winters are generally high humidity - so feel colder apparently. In Canada it can be -30 but feels like Oz -10. The main problem with the Grampians (and the Bluies) in winter is the horrible mist that hangs around the peaks. It just doesn't go away and dampens everything - including enthusiasm. That said - Australia is one of those places where you can actually climb all year rounf if you don't mind a bit of rain and heatstroke.
simey
31/03/2011
12:35:25 PM
Sounds like you know what you are doing with regard to climbing and surfing in the winter months. There are plenty of sunny days during winter in this part of the world (Arapiles, Grampians) but like anywhere you could be unlucky. Check the internet to keep an eye on surf conditions and when things look promising and then blast down to the coast around Portland/Bridgewater for a day or two. We regularly do day surf trips down there from Arapiles. Portland is just over 2 hours away from Arapiles and is even closer to the Grampians. Kipping in your vehicle is not a problem.

If the forecast does look shitty for an extended period then head up to the NSW and QLD coast. If you have two months I would spend a couple of weeks at Araps and the Gramps and then do a road trip up the coast and then back down again.

Be careful when driving in the Gramps that you don't hit any kangaroos as they can do major damage to your vehicle. Drop your speed as they have a habit of jumping onto the road unexpectedly.
Wendy
31/03/2011
12:40:10 PM
I live in Nati (Arapiles) and I get the hell out of here in July and August! In a good year (such as most of the last 15 whilst we had El nino and droughts) you will get a reasonable number of sunny, not too windy days between 10-15. These are the days people remember when they wax lyrical about climbing here in winter. They are not however, normal. In a normal to bad year (such as the last 2) it will be predominantly drizzly, cold, windy and generally miserable. I believe the BOM are tipping another one of those years this year.

SE Qld is a great place in July/August. Temps in the early 20s, and it's their dry season. Although you might get the occasional annoying colder or wet day. Ocean temps much much warmer in NSW/Qld (there's no land between Antarctica and and the SW Vic coast, suitable only for entering when it's about 40 degrees in my world), you can wander on further north to sea kayaking in the Whitsundays, snorkling on the barrier reef, if you get as far as Townsville, there's rock worth climbing again.

I'd plan a trip to Vic for spring or autumn. Don't stress about crowds, it's been super quiet around here even whilst half the Grampians are closed. Won't compare to many US crags. Except next week. Have I warned everyone to stay away next week? The Grampians might be a better option for anyone wanting peace and quiet and to avoid groups of kiddies on easy routes.
hipdos
31/03/2011
1:00:58 PM
Nowra for climbing and the South Coast for surfing is a great combination in winter. You won't get many soaring lines or much 'cultural experience' at Nowra, but it is still a great place to climb, particularly in winter. There are usually lots of magical clear sunny days. You could combine that with climbing in SE Queensland with fantastic surfing in between. There are usually lots of south swells up the east coast in winter. Point Perpendicular near Nowra is incredible and can also be climbed in winter, but you need a mild day that is not too windy.
simey
31/03/2011
1:07:18 PM
On 31/03/2011 Wendy wrote:
>I live in Nati (Arapiles) and I get the hell out of here in July and August!

If you are not here, then how do you know what the weather is like during those months?

Miguel75
31/03/2011
1:19:43 PM
On 31/03/2011 Shylo wrote:
>we've been surfing all winter here on the east coast. damn cold indeed,
>but nice clean surf. we have 4.3 wetsuits with hood/booties/etc. i'm
>thinking it will be about the same there as it was here this winter.

You'll be fine with 4.3's and booties. I surf through the coldest months in a 3.2 F-bomb and it does me just fine (and I'm a sooky la la!). Booties are good gear, and while I rocked a hood once last year on a super windy day, (it was nice for sure), they're not a necessity IMHO. Get ready for powerful, fun waves and no crowds. I prefer surfing the East coast of Vic but the West coast is pretty darn magic too. If you want a good website where you can keep an eye on the swell, check:

Swellnet.com.au


Wendy
31/03/2011
1:59:24 PM
On 31/03/2011 simey wrote:
>On 31/03/2011 Wendy wrote:
>>I live in Nati (Arapiles) and I get the hell out of here in July and
>August!
>
>If you are not here, then how do you know what the weather is like during
>those months?
>

I occasionally forget how awful it is and find myself here for some of winter. Like last winter. I didn't run away until August. Bad bad idea. Everytime I tried to go climbing (and as I was keen to be fit for the states in September, that was quite a lot) I found I could never warm up enough. There are only so many laps of 22s I can do in a down jacket and thermals whilst still having freezing fingers before spitting the dummy and going home. I was not alone in this assessment of last winter. At least I didn't get the chillblains that Kate and Duncan did though.
simey
31/03/2011
2:11:38 PM
But Wendy, you complain about going to the shady side of Mitre Rock on an overcast day when everything will be the same anyway.
Wendy
31/03/2011
2:27:03 PM
On 31/03/2011 simey wrote:
>But Wendy, you complain about going to the shady side of Mitre Rock on
>an overcast day when everything will be the same anyway.

What would i want to climb on the shady side of MR that wouldn't wait for a hot day anyway? You know I'm a horrible grump to climb with when I'm cold. May as well save us both the pain and climb somewhere warm.

bw
31/03/2011
3:24:51 PM
On 31/03/2011 hipdos wrote:
You won't get many soaring lines or much 'cultural experience'
>at Nowra,

I'd say that downtown Nowra is quite the cultural experience!

salty crag
31/03/2011
4:58:08 PM
Pm'd you Shylo.

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

 

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