Rock Master Publications:
Sublime Climbs - A Guide to the best rock climbing venues in Victoria, Australia.By Kevin Lindorff, Josef Goding & Jarrod Hodgson. Over 700 climbs, 158 phototopos, 36 maps, and 380 pages covering the best of Mt Arapiles, Mt Buffalo and the Grampians $45.00
On the Mt Buller ice climbng page (by Graeme Hoxley and Geoffrey Butcher) it says to email them for an up to date copy of the 'guide' to the place. I did about a month ago but have had no response. Does anyone a) know how I can get in touch with either of these guys or b) have a copy of the updated 'guide'.
Buller can be very good (for australia) scottish style mixed climbing, or it can be a nightmare of falling (or no) ice, loose rock and no climbing. It all depends on the weather of the week/day. For good conditions you need a good freeze and you need to be off the routes by about midday if its sunny. Mid August would be the absolute last bit of the season I would think (thanks to longer daylight hours keeping the rock above zero, hence the ice not sticking) but you could be lucky.
In terms of the routes, there are some obvious lines which get better and steeper the further around the west ridge you go. Me and some of the other bogong crew from a couple of years ago put up a few routes, some of which we described on this forum (do a search and you'll find them) and if you want I can probably do a rough topo of what we did, but the best plan I think is to go and get stuck in to whatever looks good. Take some pins and a small rock rack (and maybe a snarg if you've got one) and a picket to belay off. You'll be lucky to get an ice screw in anywhere apart from the waterfall, which might take a dogdy stubby screw.
There are a few bolts here and there and a strange chain hanging down at the crux of Going way out in the west, but in normal, rimed conditions you probably wont find them.
The "guide" is good for an overview of whats on offer in a good season. However, ice climbing at Buller is really a "watch the weather" proposition. Basically if the temp is low enough to get a freeze after a fine spell (melt), the go for it while you can. You usually only get a handful of good days a year for ideal conditions. Just be prepared to put in a couple of "sickies" at work, at short notice. The only way to get a good spell at climbing real ice in AUS is to go to Blue Lake in August/early September. If you can spare 1-2 weeks to ski in and camp in the area, you won't be dissapointed.
I'd say earlier in the season is better than later at blue lake because the snow tends to build up and shorten the (already short) routes. Also there is less sun on the routes (shorter days and better angle) in say june/july. I've heard stories of really early season, walking in to blue lake (ie there was no snow) and getting good ice conditions.