|It's funny to read people's opinions and involvement in the "development" of this particular area. It seems there are a few parties who have been active around the shire over the last few years.
I think the first time I bouldered out there was maybe 2008? I was taken out there by my good friends, a pair of strong lads from Horsham. The two brothers spent at least the last decade out there bouldering and cleaning boulders. Now, to set the record straight after Kieran, not surprisingly, jumped the gun and got on his high horse about "crag secrecy" and "elitism" I thought I would put forward what I know about this rad little place.
Unlike the northern grampians bouldering, down south things tend to be very spread out. The quality of the boulders is outstanding, but quantity, or more specifically concentration, leaves a lot to be desired. The brothers and along the way fellow avid boulderers/explorers would wander about the place, away from the crowds, more interested in the process of discovery and realization that goes with first ascents as opposed to following the masses up established problems. Now there is nothing wrong with that, as I myself cut my bouldering teeth claiming the 107th ascent of problems like 'wimmelfriedhoff' or 'the nevin rule'. But each to their own I believe. Anyway, these boys, believe me, have not a whiff of elitism to them. They just love exploring and doing new stuff. So this has sort of been their own private Idaho since the vast majority of Victorian boulders aren't into that sort of thing. Fair enough. The fact is that the area is so spread out and heavily vegetated that the putting together of a little guide would prove quiet difficult. I returned to the area last year with a mate. And low and behold had no luck in finding any of the boulders I was shown initially, but did find a couple of new ones. These guys haven't been secret about it, and are always keen to buddy up with anyone interested in a boulder, but unfortunately not many people are. Especially if t doesn't have a guide with names and numbers to follow.
And now it seems that a few other people are using the area as their own little exploration paradise. Which is awesome I think. There's a chance they have done first ascents of problems already climbed, and a guide would have cleared that up, but really who cares about such specific things! It's about the process. And as long as folks are getting out there with initiative and enthusiasm for discovery, and are being rewarded by getting the chance to climb some rad boulders, and most importantly having fun, then keep at I say.
I have spent many, many, many, MANY a day bashing about the grampians, north and south, in search of boulders. 99% of the time coming out empty handed. But that's how it goes. I'll keep searching.