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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 21
Author
Best way to access Mt. Difficult
darkpromenade
9-Jan-2018
6:16:06 AM
Hi,
I've visited the ParksVic website (is it deliberately obtuse?) and cliffcare and can't find definitive information.

If the track from the old Troopers Creek campground is closed (is it closed, or just not maintained?), how do you access the cliff?

Cheers

DP
JDB
9-Jan-2018
7:24:55 AM
Access is difficult.................
Access T CliffCare
9-Jan-2018
1:26:16 PM
On 9-Jan-2018 darkpromenade wrote:
>Hi,
>I've visited the ParksVic website (is it deliberately obtuse?) and cliffcare
>and can't find definitive information.
>
>If the track from the old Troopers Creek campground is closed (is it closed,
>or just not maintained?), how do you access the cliff?
>
>Cheers
>
Hi darkpromenade,

The track from Troopers Creek campground is officially closed as a walking track and was extensively damaged due to the North Grampians fire and won't be maintained as such any more. At the time of meetings with PV when they announced that they wouldn't be reopening the Troopers Creek campground, they discussed a new access into the climbing area from the newer campground at Dead Bullock creek. I discussed with them at this time, that this was unfair and an even longer walk in. It was agreed that climbers could continue to access using the old track. I haven't been in and from what I have been told, some sections are not in the best state. So basically, you can access as before - it just might be a little harder. I am keen to hear from people who have gone in and if sketchy in some areas, maybe we can look at highlighting the better track/access option. This was due to be updated on CliffCare and will do so shortly.

cheers,
Tracey

Grinder
9-Jan-2018
2:20:54 PM
I think they are trying to be clear to walkers and campers that the campsite and trail are closed.
My understanding is that the campsite is to be closed permanently, but the trail will eventually form part of the Grampians Peak Trail, as shown on this recent brochure:

http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/662813/Grampians-Peaks-Trail-Brochure.pdf


In the meantime, there is no indication that the area is closed to climbing. Climbers should be free to access the cliff. The most sensible and lowest impact option for that would be to use the existing trail as an access trail, being mindful of not interfering with any works along the way or worsening any erosion issues. There is no other way of accessing the cliff unless you bush-bash.

I suspect that if you asked Parks directly as an individual they would say that the trail is closed and shouldn't be used. VCC Access/Cliffcare probably has a better chance of coming to an understanding on climbers access based on the issues associated with the track closure and when/where work will be done. It has parallels with use of the Giants Staircase and the approach trail to Mt Rosea as a climbing access trail, except that at some stage they are likely to be doing construction work and genuinely won't want people around.

So, I reckon the definitive answer is that that trail is closed - bush-bash your own way in (maybe 50 cm off the track?). The practical answer is deliberately obtuse.

JamesMc
9-Jan-2018
5:25:38 PM
For what it's worth, my understanding is that the track to the Mt Difficult Cliff is originally a climbers' track, cut on a series of VCC working bees in the 1960s. It's a bit rough for Parks to close the track just because they want to close the camp site at the bottom or don't want to maintain it. If Parks don't want to be bothered with maintaining the track then it should be treated like the old track up Mt Rosea - a sign to direct tourists away, and just leave the track for climbers and any other free spirited people to use.

The track heads south east from the Troopers Creek camp ground. If you park just south of the camp ground and head east or north-east into the bush, you will soon pick it up.
Access T CliffCare
9-Jan-2018
8:00:05 PM
Hopefully, a little more clarity on the current state of the trail

On 9-Jan-2018 Grinder wrote:
>I think they are trying to be clear to walkers and campers that the campsite
>and trail are closed.
>My understanding is that the campsite is to be closed permanently, but
>the trail will eventually form part of the Grampians Peak Trail, as shown
>on this recent brochure:
>
>http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/662813/Grampians-Peaks-Trail-Brochu
>e.pdf
>
>
>In the meantime, there is no indication that the area is closed to climbing.
>Climbers should be free to access the cliff. The most sensible and lowest
>impact option for that would be to use the existing trail as an access
>trail, being mindful of not interfering with any works along the way or
>worsening any erosion issues. There is no other way of accessing the cliff
>unless you bush-bash.
>
>I suspect that if you asked Parks directly as an individual they would
>say that the trail is closed and shouldn't be used. VCC Access/Cliffcare
>probably has a better chance of coming to an understanding on climbers
>access based on the issues associated with the track closure and when/where
>work will be done. It has parallels with use of the Giants Staircase and
>the approach trail to Mt Rosea as a climbing access trail, except that
>at some stage they are likely to be doing construction work and genuinely
>won't want people around.
>
>So, I reckon the definitive answer is that that trail is closed - bush-bash
>your own way in (maybe 50 cm off the track?). The practical answer is deliberately
>obtuse.

As noted in my post responding to darkpromenade, this has been discussed with PV and climbers can use it as previously. The trail was damaged extensively in the North Grampians fire and for a variety of reasons and without going into too much detail, the campground and trail won't be repaired. Therefore it is no longer an 'official' trail or walk that they promote as such to park visitors. There is a new campground slated for Dead Bullock Creek that lines up with a Trailhead and a newer section of the GPT.
The area is not closed for climbing now.
Please use the same trail you previously used although as I noted above, I have been told some parts are not so good. (keen to hear from those who have been in. Maybe I will schedule a visit)
The old trail will not be part of the GPT.

A little from a report I did in 2016 https://cliffcare.org.au/2016/08/31/access-report-september

On 9-Jan_2018 JamesMc wrote:
>For what it's worth, my understanding is that the track to the Mt Difficult Cliff is originally >a climbers' track, cut on a series of VCC working bees in the 1960s.

Really? The whole track from the campground up? I'd been keen to get the background on that. From my understanding, the last section was but not the whole track.

>It's a bit rough for Parks to close the track just because they want to close the camp >site at the bottom or don't want to maintain it. If Parks don't want to be bothered with

It was damaged in the fire and due to new trails and a few other concerns, it won't be repaired and therefore not maintained

>maintaining the track then it should be treated like the old track up Mt Rosea - a sign to >direct tourists away, and just leave the track for climbers and any other free spirited >people to use.

That's pretty much what is happening


>The track heads south east from the Troopers Creek camp ground. If you park just >south of the camp ground and head east or north-east into the bush, you will soon pick >it up.

Not sure of how clear the track is at certain points due to the damage.

ajfclark
10-Jan-2018
5:00:36 AM
On 9-Jan-2018 Access T CliffCare wrote:
>Please use the same trail you previously used although as I noted above, I have been told some parts are not so good. (keen to hear from those who have been in. Maybe I will schedule a visit)
>Not sure of how clear the track is at certain points due to the damage.

That's ok. It's not called Mount Easy.
JDB
10-Jan-2018
5:09:12 AM
Told you so
gfdonc
10-Jan-2018
5:34:27 AM
Tracey,
Has there been any discussion with Parks about climbers maintaining climber's tracks?

Clearly Parks don't have the resources or inclination to maintain any of these (never have), so it's been back onto the climbing community.
However this is a legal grey area (well, several shades darker than that) so I wonder if the issue has been brought up with them so that (for example) a climber clearing fallen logs from an established trail isn't going to be subject to prosecution?

The climbers access to Rosea is a case in point - several fallen trees over the last few months could use attention with a chainsaw if someone can be bothered.
regards
darkpromenade
10-Jan-2018
6:28:31 AM
Thanks for the calrification Tracey.

I wasn't sure if I had missed something on the ParksVic or Cliffcare site.

Many Thanks

DP

gordoste
10-Jan-2018
11:32:02 AM
> I wonder if the issue has been brought up with them so that (for example) a climber clearing fallen logs from an established trail isn't going to be subject to prosecution?

Perhaps the question should be "under what circumstances is a permit needed" not "is it legal to clear a track". You will not get a blanket exemption for chain-sawing.

ajfclark
10-Jan-2018
11:45:05 AM
I doubt Parks will approve the general public to do chainsaw work.

Even on sanctioned track work days to get access to The Gallery, we needed to have a ticketed chainsaw operator doing the cutting.
gfdonc
10-Jan-2018
1:26:46 PM
I'm not surprised. There's a big difference legally between a private citizen doing something on their own time and hurting themselves, and someone on a Parks-managed activity /outing hurting themselves.

Regarding the original question, though, it doesn't need to be a chainsaw. A machete would do. Oops did I say that?


Access T CliffCare
10-Jan-2018
1:44:07 PM
On 10-Jan-2018 gfdonc wrote:
>Tracey,
>Has there been any discussion with Parks about climbers maintaining climber's
>tracks?
>
>Clearly Parks don't have the resources or inclination to maintain any
>of these (never have), so it's been back onto the climbing community.
>However this is a legal grey area (well, several shades darker than that)
>so I wonder if the issue has been brought up with them so that (for example)
>a climber clearing fallen logs from an established trail isn't going to
>be subject to prosecution?
>
>The climbers access to Rosea is a case in point - several fallen trees
>over the last few months could use attention with a chainsaw if someone
>can be bothered.
>regards
>

Yes, there has been discussion prompted by the work days we did at both Rosea and The Gallery. The idea behind the work that we did at both of these sites and unofficial tracks was that we would keep an eye on them and if required maintain them. And that is really how it already does happen. As long as climbers keep an eye out and let me know, we generally get a work day happening and do the repairs or maintenance. This is the first I have heard of the recent problem of trees over tracks at Rosea

So first up -

Regardless of whether it is a park employee or a climber clearing a climber's access track, that person must be ticketed to use a chainsaw in the park. This level of ticketing is dependant on the work required. Clearing a fallen tree wouldn't require the same high level ticketing required for felling a larger tree that was identified as a danger. And understandably so.

This doesn't mean though, that if a climber has the required tickets, that they can just head in there and do the job. If an area is identified, it is as simple as letting me know and I can run the situation by PV, and organize it as a work day as such.

In the case of Rosea and The Gallery, I looked for a climber who had such tickets. He has been a great help. Obviously the issue sometimes is availability from coming out from Melbourne to do the job. We also discussed at the time, of getting some training for a particular individual who was more local and could help out on jobs such as this. And then....more nature events came the parks way ie fires and it fell to the bottom of the list. I will pursue this and see if the training is something that is still a possibility.

This opens up a bigger discussion around tracks and the cutting of them, particulary new ones but I won't go into it too deeply on this thread as it will get lost. Might be good to start another thread at some time or at least I should put some info on the CliffCare site. What I will say though is that care should be taken when it comes to newer tracks. Marking an access in, or maintaining in a thoughtful manner is one thing, digging or disturbing soil is treading on very sensitive ground. Any track that PV want to create must go through a cultural heritage process with AV before they can proceed. So for park users to do so because they want a track there is not going to be look on favourably.

So if there are any areas on climber's access tracks that have issues, be it erosion, fallen trees, new multiple social tracks growing etc, drop me a line and we can go from there. It is up to us to try and prevent and manage issues before they become major but as they are generally in state and national parks, it is also about going about this in a more thoughtful way.
I shall mark Rosea on the noted list and get onto it and hopefully some further training for future works. Thanks!


JamesMc
10-Jan-2018
3:26:28 PM
Love your work Access T

Rocker
10-Jan-2018
4:03:38 PM
A friend of mine walked up Mt difficult from troopers last year. Apparently a number of people have made their way up their and constructed cairns. The track is in disrepair, and it is easy to go the wrong way. A decent map and a good level of navigation is required.

gordoste
11-Jan-2018
6:59:56 AM
On 10-Jan-2018 JamesMc wrote:
>Love your work Access T
>

+1

Please let me know if I can help in any way without attending the site (these sites are 6 hours from me)

gnaguts
11-Jan-2018
11:26:49 AM
On 9-Jan-2018 JDB wrote:
>Access is difficult.................

Itz nuthin a lightning strike in tha bush on tha way wont fix.
Access T CliffCare
11-Jan-2018
2:05:51 PM
On 11-Jan-2018 gnaguts wrote:
>On 9-Jan-2018 JDB wrote:
>>Access is difficult.................
>
>Itz nuthin a lightning strike in tha bush on tha way wont fix.

That was the problem in the first place..
kieranl
11-Jan-2018
5:52:35 PM
Perhaps gnanuts can volunteer as a lightning rod.

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There are 21 messages in this topic.

 

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