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
PV are planning a control burn for sometime in May (assuming it rains!) in the area between Goat Track, Vic Range Tk and Hut Creek Track: that is around Millennium Caves and Red Cave. So, don't leave your draws on your project!!
Contact Dave Handscombe at PV in Halls Gap for more info
If it's like the 'controlled' burn PV started on the western side of Harrop Tk a few years ago (2003 I think?), I wouldn't leave draws on any route in the Vic Range - not just Millennium! That burn got away somewhat and was a little 'hotter' than planned apparently. It burned across Harrop Tk and extensively up the western side of the Range. It nearly made it to the top and then down the eastern side of the Range.
Crags such as Curiosity, Grahams Creek, Eagles Head, Slander Gully, Tortoise Wall and Gilhams etc got a very hot burn and the devastation was amazing.
That fire burnt every bit of vegetation in every gully and on top of the crags too. The oasis that was Curiosity has only just started to return - 6 years later. It certainly made me realise that you cannot hide from a fire at a crag. You just can't be caught at a crag in a bushfire - whether or not PV starts it.
If you plan to climb/walk in that area in May, you should contact Dave Handscombe at PV in Halls Gap before going.
Dave Handscombe also told me on the weekend that Parks Victoria have been "directed from above" to impose in the near future a complete ban on all campfires in the Grampians, year-round. Apparently there is a lot of pressure from "high up" since the February fires.
A ban in summer months is pretty understandable IMO. On the other hand, a ban on campfires through winter will make camping pretty miserable, and will achieve nothing considering that there is basically zero bushfire risk from April/May to October. In my view a "summer" fire ban (such as the 1st November to 30th April ban at Araps) is the most that should be imposed in the Grampians.
Dave made clear that there was no point lobbying Parks Vic on this one as it's not instigated by them. Anyone who cares about being able to sit around a campfire in the Grampians in winter should write to their member of parliament. Here's how to find yours: