Easter 2019 was probably the most popular weekend ever recorded at Moonarie. With the recent release of the new Moonarie guidebook and the Grampians closures, attendance was at an all-time high. By all accounts everyone had a smashing time and got some great climbing in. It was great to see some old and new faces up there.
As demonstrated by the recent Grampians bans, access to climbing areas is fragile. Climbers are extremely privileged to have a dedicated camping area at Bottom Camp courtesy of the farmer landowner and a world class climbing area with approval to climb and little to no interference from the National Parks and indigenous land managers. The Climbing Club of SA has communicated with and developed solid relationships with National Parks and the Bottom Camp landowner for around 40 years. There are a few conditions that climbers must adhere to in order to maintain a good reputation and positive relationships with the landowner and National Parks. Let’s do the right thing and maintain access to this amazing crag.
Fires are not permitted at Top Camp which lies in the national park. Remember that a fire at Top camp can be seen for miles. Fires are permitted at Bottom Camp at certain times of the year and under certain conditions which are detailed extensively in the new guidebook. Remember to bring your own firewood and do not gather wood from the campsite.
Camping at Bottom Camp, Rubbish and toilet considerations
Remember that Bottom Camp is on private land so it is very important to leave this area in a respectable state and carry out all your rubbish. There are no toilet facilities so bring a shovel and bury your business well away from creek beds. It might be tempting to camp a few hundred metres away from everyone else for some peace and quiet but Bottom Camp is already an extensive area and probably doesn’t need any expansion so please try to camp in the central part of the campsite to avoid degrading the surrounding grassy areas
Water and the water tank
There was an unfortunate accident during the Easter weekend when some new visitors to Moonarie strayed from the main descent trail down the Southern Descent Gully and trundled rocks onto the water tank. The tank lid was knocked off and the tank was damaged but we think it was repairable. There is some loose rock so please be careful in the on the cliffs and in the gullies. Carrying the water tank up the track and installing it near Top Camp was extremely hard work and I wouldn’t be too keen on repeating the effort in the near future.
Flying of drones in SA Parks not permitted without a permit. The wording from Section 12(3) of the National Parks and Wildlife Regulations states: “A person must not, without the permission of the relevant authority, fly a drone or other remotely piloted aircraft over a reserve. “Check with CASA for permit conditions. https://www.casa.gov.au/