17 Down Under:
17 DOWN UNDER. "A celebration of moderate grade climbing in Victoria". 184 pages. 285 images. Father & son team, Steve & John Morris, embark on a journey to climb and photograph 50 of the best rock climbs in Victoria, grade 17 & under. Inc bookmark $50.00
Me and the user "soundfx" went to have a look at Valencia Creek last weekend. We had a brief look at the known areas published in the "A Rockclimbing Guide - Eastern Victoria" book, and decided to keep looking.
We first stopped just after the ford in the river at the picnic area there overlooking the river ... before Granny ... Whatevers ... crag/jump.. There is a 10-12 m high slightly overhung cliff surrounded by brambles and stinging nettles close to the picnic area that caught our attention. We found it quite easy to reach the crag from above following a rough trail (accessed a little further down the road) and rap'd down for a look.
On the right hand side is a vaguely interesting line, a little laybacking up a finger-sized crack to avoid paper-wasp nests (otherwise you would attack it head-on!) to reach an awkward (fun?) overhung off-width section to straightforward finish. I thought around 18-19 grade-wise. The rock is generally good, just one loose patch, and there are a couple of bomber trees for top-anchors.
Nothing else was worth mentioning here, so we had a swim in the river and headed back toward the main picnic area. Across the river behind a house (on the near side) you can see a crag, mentioned in the guide, on private property. The landowner is friendly and gave us permission (and info on other possible cliffs). We crossed the river and walked through the paddock to reach the cliff.
This cliff is probably a couple of hundred metres long. There is one obvious nice enough line on this cliff following a weakness. Maybe 15m, vertical or thereabouts. There are paper-wasps here as well (all year?? not sure), I actually took a barrage of stings on my on-sight lead ... still sore. This was around grade 15 maybe (not too good at picking lower grades), 21 if you get chased by wasps ;)
I'm not sure if anyone actually really climbs out there, I wouldn't recommend it, unless like us you have little choice, but if you are in the area they might be worth a look at for the more adventurous/masochistic types. There are probably a few more potential routes, especially on the second cliff we visited, with a bit of clean-up work needed. Nothing worth mentioning though if it was anywhere other than this area that the climbing gods neglected.
Does anyone have contact details for the authours of the book? I can provide a little more info and photos if anyone is interested.