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General Climbing Discussion

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Grampians Access 2019
One Day Hero
10:02:54 PM
On 20-Jun-2019 Ithomas wrote:
>I think you should stop obsessing about that. You do
>not know what I have climbed (itís much more than you think) and in any
>case, my climbing history is totally irrelevant to the discussion.

Your history (and your future) in climbing are entirely relevant. Now that Gerry has chimed in, let me walk you through worked example. I couldn't give a flying fuch about the closure of Hillwood. It's a poorly conceived, mediocre pile of choss which was developed in a lame fashion. I was never going to go back there anyway because that bumbly crag with its complete lack of climbing lines wasn't even worth visiting, let alone bolting. Therefore the closure doesn't affect me at all. I have some sympathy for Gerry since he's obviously attached to the place, but I'm hardly likely to try and help out in any meaningful way.

It would be nice if you could admit (to yourself at least) that your personal investment in and connection to the contentious Victorian areas are similar to my connection to Hillwood. Dave, on the other hand, has probably spent more time in the affected areas of the Grampians than any other living person (climber or non climber). I'm substantially more interested in his take on the matter than I am in your armchair assessments.

>If I
>were a suspicious type I might suspect that have been stalking me.

I'm writing the ACT climbing guide (with a couple of others), I know where you were and what you were doing on any given weekend between about '76 and '80 :)
3:33:38 AM
ODH. You are sounding a little creepy now. Try not to embarrass yourself any more than you already have and focus instead on how to contribute positively to the problem in the Grampians: itís bigger than my tick list (which as it turns out includes climbing in the Grampians most weekends while living in Melbourne in 1976 and 1977) plus many times before and since.
Oh yes, the zenith of my climbing was attained in 1972. After that it was a downhill slide; but a very happy and enjoyable downhill slide! That is not the point. The access problem is more significant than anyoneís tick list or ambitions. At this stage, any suggestions from armchair climbers should not be dismissed. I guess you also dismiss opinions from non-climbers as well?

By the way, Hillwood is a lovely geological oddity that has been completely done over by sports climbers. If I was the owner I would close off access as well.

Just like anyone, if I have any new thoughts about the access problems I will post them here. I hope that someone other than you reads them. I think that I will now self-moderate and stop baiting or being baited by you. Waste of time.
11:50:05 AM
On 19-Jun-2019 ithomas wrote:
>DD: you can all me by my name: Ian.
>ODH. Every single argument by climbers that I have heard concerning bans
>have all been said before by Mountain Cattle people, four-wheel drivers,
>trail bikers, mountain bikers, bee keepers, orchid enthusiasts, photographers.
>All of those groups, and more, seem to have a sense of entitlement based
>on their love of the natural world and their estimation of what constitutes
>long term use.
>Getting angry and self indignant will not help.
>Climbers will have to give something and it will hurt. Itís not a game
>and itís clear that the world of free access for all has changed since
>Wik, Mabo, land rights and increasing visitor pressures.
>Climbers are not immune from the reality of how this will play out. Just
>as surfing changed from a handful of enthusiasts in the 60ís to an enormous
>publicity driven world of magazines, photographs, surf shops, surf schools,
>clothing businesses and now have to deal with a legacy of totally overcrowded
>waves, polluted camping spots and access regulations, so climbers have
>sewn the seeds of the present dispute. Not through malicious intent, just
>through entitlement and lazy thinking.
>We have all participated.
>I am sure the good people of Natimuk and various climbers groups have
>analysed the situation and developed plans. None will succeed if climbers
>are not prepared to relinquish some of that which was not theirs in the
>first place. Itís not a matter of winning. Itís a matter of adjusting to
>changes which will take effect over the coming decades.
Hi Ian,

Thanks for your contribution. Well said.

11:04:40 AM
As a visitor and climber from NZ, I can tell you that many many regular visitors to Australia are watching, concerned, and sympathetic.

As a visitor from NZ, which suffers its own environmental and cultural pressures from untrammelled tourism and the rule of the dollar, I can only pass on my horror at how this may be playing out.

I can only imagine how Victorian climbers who have climbed at Djurite/Arapiles for 50+ years may be feeling. I can also only imagine how the local Aboriginal community who have been there for many thousands of years may be feeling.

If I step back from my love for the place as a visitor and climber, and relinquish any sense of entitlement or ownership my privileged position in the world brings me, and think about what this might mean for those whose place was undeniably stolen from them, and how its return might make them feel, and how I might feel if I were them, then what does my climbing there matter?

But still , after 150-odd days over the last 10 years, Djurite/Arapiles calls to my heart. I wonder if I may still be allowed to return as a guest, sit in a rocky place by myself, appreciate the flora and fauna, listen to the ancient land whisper to me, climb without damage, without bolts, anchors or chalk, and leave it as it was before I arrived.

I wonder if there might be a dialogue directly between climbers and traditional owners, without mediation or interference by obviously political and commercial entities who have a toxic and artificial struggle embedded in their nature.

I wonder if perhaps something like that might work? I can only hope so.
11:49:23 AM
Thoughtful and certainly well worth doing. Nearly all indigenous groups call out to be genuinely recognised by the broader community. What you suggest is a positive way for rockclimbers to get involved and therefore to participate in the future direction of our pastime and in some cases, livelihoods.

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