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General Climbing Discussion

Climbing on the horn NOT banned (but difficult)
Access Ant
12:37:13 PM
Peroxide Blonde or other routes are not banned from climbing but the use of the hand rails as anchors is. I have just spoken with the head Ranger and she states that she never banned climbing on the horn (and if she did there would be notification about it) but she is very unhappy with climbers using the handrails and has asked for clairification from her superiours (head office). In the mean time she has asked that the handrails are not used for anything other than their intended use. The fact that climbers have always done it doesn't really matter now because they're now on to it and they would like it to be included in thier management plans. As there are other areas where this occurs it might actually help our position with Parks if we can do it right (what is right?). From memory there isn't a lot to anchor to apart from the railings but if it can be rigged in a manner that the railings aren't used then there wouldn't be an issue. I personally liked the old school body counterweight someone suggested in the last thread on this.

2:02:33 PM
Thanks for the clarification Mr. Ant. Keep up the great work!

6:00:20 PM
On 6/01/2006 gordoste wrote:
>Thanks for the clarification Mr. Ant. Keep up the great work!

Yes, he's doing a good job - working away quietly but effectively!

As someone who resides north of the border, I hope the majority of 'local' Chockstoners appreciate what gains Anthony, and John Stone before him, have been able to achieve for the Victorian climbing community through consultation and a commonsense approach in their dealings with Parks Vic and other land managers. These gains may not be massive yet, but from small things ...

And sure, there may be some Parks Rangers (in Vic, as well as in NSW) who are opposed to climbing anywhere/anytime for whatever reason. But the other type, the one who will listen and doesn't have a personal agenda (as appears to be the case at Buffalo), is worth respecting AND cultivating. Give them information about climbing, encourage them to join climbers for site visits and discussions, and in return listen to and understand their side of the situation. We can all do our bit of PR for the activity and I'm sure Ant would appreciate the help!

(Vested Interest Disclosure: I'm Anthony's 'opposite number' in Sydney)

10:47:08 AM
Giving the authorities a list of other climbs - or even whole crags - that rely on railings or other man-made structures for a belay will just get them banned too, sooner or later.

The belay was removed from Ship Rock as well as all the bolts. Now the moss cover grows thick. Think it couldn't happen here? Elsewhere in the world crags have been banned all over for environmental reasons.

A pity that Australia is increasingly becomming a nanny state in all ways, and that it also extends to climbing, one way that people can still extend themselves outside of pedantic rule-enforcement.

Obviously the railing is totally safe and vastly better than 'body weight' or any other such unsound option: can we not get these people to understand that? Is the railing safe enough to stop tourists falling over the edge? Yes: so it can be tested and given a Kn rating. This will certainly exceed the strength of a typical belay.

I guess otherwise we could rely on some kind person to put in a couple of bolts and hope that the quiet life lets climbers go on climbing a little longer.

2:58:14 PM
Will parks let us anchor to the BOTTOM of the railings on The Horn? Doing so will provide much less bending load on the railing than people leaning on the top of the railing. They should just consult the designer of the railing system, presuming that it was actually designed properly. Otherwise they should pull it down because if it's not safe for us then it's not safe for the tourists. Personally I reckon it's a major eyesore on top of what would otherwise be one of Victoria's greatest peaks.

As for other places where climbers use rails for anchors, as mentioned in the previous thread, we sometimes abseil from Bents Lookout to get to the upper part of The Establishment.

James Mc

8:23:13 AM
X-link to earlier thread.

1:16:36 PM

> Will parks let us anchor to the BOTTOM of the railings on The Horn?
> Doing so will provide much less bending load on the railing than people
>leaning on the top of the railing. They should just consult the designer
>of the railing system, presuming that it was actually designed properly.
> Otherwise they should pull it down because if it's not safe for us then
>it's not safe for the tourists.

Let's give Ant (and the ranger) some time and hopefully a logicial solution can be found. From the other posts seem's like she's a decent person - if we can get some progress in a one-on-one discussion we may have a better chance of beating the illogical liability concerns that seem to be at the route of this. They have let some bolts be placed specifiacly for climbing (abseiling) in the gorge - maybe some bolts for climbers can be added to the horn (even though I suspect the gurad rail is plenty solid...)
Access Ant
1:45:40 PM
> Will parks let us anchor to the BOTTOM of the railings on The Horn?

No. Unfortunately use of any part of the railings is not permitted. I would also like to think if anyone was
using any sort of railing they should always anchor as close to the rock (the BOTTOM) as possible to
minimise the load placed on it anyway. I too don't find fences placed for my safety attractive at all but
being a climber we tend to be aware of the dangers of cliffs and the importance of falling off them safely
(?) the same can't always be said of other Park users. I personally would simply like to get the engineers
specification amended so that it states it's strong enough, because as I think someone has already
pointed out, it is! Like most constructions now being built within Parks boundaries they are built to
wilthsand a nuclear blast because of the litigation issue. I just hope some sort of common sense will
prevail. Lastly I would just like to thank those of you out there who have been supporting me.

2:29:48 PM
Keep up the good work Ant!

12:46:03 PM
Is there a sign at the horn to inform climbers of the ban (on using the railing)? It would be very easy to go to buffalo and try these climbs - and inadvertantly break the ban and anger parks vic without any inttention of doing so - which would not help our cause. If I had been able to get a campsite over new years, these climbs were on my hit list .. and I was not then aware of the ban.


8:47:24 AM
The Mt Buffalo Park office has Brochures stating the climbers code of conduct, these are free and also available online. This brochure hasn't changed for years.
Regarding comments made about climbers "accidentally breaking rules"; Parks Vic climbing code of conduct is available here
and is for all Victorian National Parks. IMHO it is up to individual climbers to make themselves aware of Parks rules. We all know that our prescence is tolerated and that we aid a thin line regarding access.

Ant & Kevin(Kuu) don't get nearly enough recognition for the efforts they put in to maintain (and hopefully make progress) the access rights for climbers. Thanks guys.

There are 11 messages in this topic.


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