/ Australia - Arapeles, Grampians, Melbourne etc - Any Beta

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Dan-gerMouse on 31 Oct 2006
Hey folks; exactly as it says on the tin.

I'm heading over to Oz next week, and would appreciate any input on things like ;

Travel arrangments, cost of public transport, Recommendations for hostels, supermarkets, food,
Travel essentials,
Suggested routes tick list in the around the VS-E2 grades. Estimated costs, availabilty of things like camping gas.
Its obviously comming into their summer, what sort of temps can i expect, any fire restrictions, bird bans?
Advice on climbing areas and how to meet partners?
Guidebooks, gear shops etc etc?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
Dan
Dave C on 01 Nov 2006
In reply to Dan-gerMouse:
> Hey folks; exactly as it says on the tin.
>
> I'm heading over to Oz next week, and would appreciate any input on things like ;
>
> Travel arrangments, cost of public transport,
Go to http://www.chockstone.org

Recommendations for hostels, supermarkets, food,
> Travel essentials,
Go to http://www.chockstone.org

> Suggested routes tick list in the around the VS-E2 grades.
Oz grades 14-21. Hundreds of routes to do in that range. If you don;t want to spend the money on a guide you can borrow mine while you're over here (e-mail me if you're interested.)

Estimated costs, availabilty of things like camping gas.
You should definitely post on the Chockstone forum for this info.

> Its obviously comming into their summer, what sort of temps can i expect, any fire restrictions, bird bans?


> Advice on climbing areas and how to meet partners?
Chockstone forum or else just get to Arapiles and link up with whoevers about (a fine old Arapiles tradition.) The locals will almost certainly take you to the Gramps while you're there as they are just down the road.
> Guidebooks - see my earlier offer or:,
gear shops - there is a shop open part time in Natimuk these days apparently (Arapiles Mountain SHop). They should have the guide as well if you want to buy one.
>


nz Cragrat on 01 Nov 2006
Oh and it will be HOT

Actually looking at this maybe only hot - seems to have cooled down from the 37C high

http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/dwo/IDCJDW3035.latest.shtml
Dave C on 01 Nov 2006
In reply to nz Cragrat: Superb climbing weather here at the moment. We really could do with a bit of rain though (only 9mm in October, the average is 67mm!!) That 37 degree day was a total freak btw.
Si dH - on 01 Nov 2006
In reply to Dan-gerMouse:
> Hey folks; exactly as it says on the tin.
>
> I'm heading over to Oz next week, and would appreciate any input on things like ;
>
> Travel arrangments, cost of public transport, Recommendations for hostels, supermarkets, food,
> Travel essentials,
> Suggested routes tick list in the around the VS-E2 grades. Estimated costs, availabilty of things like camping gas.
> Its obviously comming into their summer, what sort of temps can i expect, any fire restrictions, bird bans?
> Advice on climbing areas and how to meet partners?
> Guidebooks, gear shops etc etc?

I was there for a month in the summer/autumn (their winter/spring) but didn't do any climbing. Generally for a night in a hostel you should expect to pay aroudn $20 = 8 (some are a bit more but it may be worth it) and food is also cheaper than the uk, especially eating out, although beer is more like UK prices (and if you don't like lager, tough luck. They even have the cheek to call most lager bitter!) In terms of public transport the train system is shit, buses however are much better. I was using long-distance greyhounds which I was really impressed with, but if youre not moving around so much they probably wouldnt be ecenomical. Check www.greyhound.com.au anyway. The biggest supermarkets are Coles and Woolworths which you'll see everywhere. Its wort hhavinga yha if you can since a lot of places give discounts for them (not just hostels and not just yha hostels).
I can't really help with the climbing-related stuff, although I expect there may well be fire issues?
Si
kajsurfer on 01 Nov 2006
In reply to Dan-gerMouse:

You mean Arapiles.
Public transport not cheap not overly expensive. You can train to Ballarat from Melbourne then bus to Horsham and Arapiles. For a city Hostel in Melbourne near Flinders Street Station try:

http://www.friendlygroup.com.au/greenhouse_home.asp

Camp at Arapiles. Max collects a small fee if he catches you.

Hostels or camping in Hall's Gap:

http://www.visithallsgap.com.au/

Coles is a cheapish supermarket so is Woolworths (cheaper still and yes it's a supermarket). You'll get some good fruit and veggies at the Queen Victoria Market in Mebourne. Trams take you all over Melbourne at reasonable cost. You can by a cheap ticket that works for a day on all city trams and trains.

If you go to Arapiles get on Tannin, Watchtower Crack, Running on Empty, Morfydd, Little Thor, Kachoong, Cruel Consistency, Surface to Air, D Minor, Beautiful Possibilities, Mari, XI, Fang, Bulger, Eurydice, Yo Yo, Argyle Street, Lamplighter, Ethereal, Whacky-Did, Brolga, Skink, Auto Da Fe, A Taste of Honey, Acapulco Gold, Revelations...... and don't ignore the really easy grade longer lines. Most are well worth it. VS-E2 is about 13-21 in the Ewbank grade system. Take a pinch of salt with that!

Gas is very widely available. Loads of outdoor shops all over the place, hardware stores and garden centres sell it too. Little Bourke Street in Melbourne has all the climbing, camping and map shops. Mountain Designs, Kathmandu, Bogong, Paddy Pallin etc...... they sell the guidebooks. There's also a shop in Natimuk selling all you need, though gear down under is very expensive compared to the UK and Europe.

It could be very hot, but then again.....

Fire bans do sometimes happen.

If you go to Arapiles, there is no problem atall finding climbing partners. Just look at the notice board on the loo wall.

Don't miss out on the Grampians if you can find someone to go with. Blimp at Bundaleer is a good'n. Also some good stuff around Mount Stapylton. Even a nice VS on the left end of Taipan Wall called Tokyo Connection.

Have a ggod time.

Cheers Kaj
Veronica - on 01 Nov 2006
In reply to Dan-gerMouse:

I spent 10 weeks at Arapiles a couple of years ago. If you're tradding this is the place to base yourself and just cadge lifts down to the gramps whenever anyone is gong form the Pines. As for choosing routes, the list above is great, my tip is not to neglect the 1 and 2 stars routes in the guide. The 3 star routes are showing a bit of wear and can be ivery polished, 1 and 2 star routes are often the most enjoyable. The grades are soon got used to but reckon on 18 feeling like E1 5b, 19 E15c, 20 E2 5c, but that's only a guide to getyou started you'll find odd anomolies like Kachoong at 21 is a walk in the park (HVS 5a?) then Taste of Honey to it's left at 21 is solid E3 6a! I'm told certain grades are traditional!
Dan-gerMouse on 02 Nov 2006
Thanks to all, the info has been really helpful.

Got myself a nice little selection of beta. Chockstone is a good forum too. Managed to get in touch with a mate to put me up in melbournet. My flight arrives in only 5 days so i'm pretty excited. Only a 20kg luggae allowance though, so that truely sucks serious ass!

Ps. is there a climbing gym in melbourne?

Dan
Morgan Woods - on 02 Nov 2006
In reply to Dan-gerMouse:
> Thanks to all, the info has been really helpful.
>
My flight arrives in only 5 days so i'm pretty excited. Only a 20kg luggae allowance though, so that truely sucks serious ass!
>
> Ps. is there a climbing gym in melbourne?
>
> Dan

on long haul flights you can always go a little over ;)

make sure you try the milkshakes in Natimuk if they're still there....break the record for drinking them and you get all your shakes free....at least this was the case in 1988 :0

ask on chockstone about a gym in melbourne.

if you manage to get to the gramps....bundaleer is great and so is mount rosea.
Haggis on 02 Nov 2006
In reply to Dan-gerMouse: My 2p on grades:
16 = VS
18 = HVS
19 = E1
20 = E2 I didnt get any higher than that so won't comment further

There are some major anomalies at Arapiles especially on the ***, historical routes. I think up to 4 grades leeway may be applied to some traditionally graded routes.
Rog Wilko on 02 Nov 2006
In reply to Dan-gerMouse: temperature-wise Nov is about ideal in my experience, but you can get freaky wet or v hot weather in the spring, but probably not for long.
Add to recommendations - Revelation (or something like that) 15 on Tiger Wall. Amazing route! Grades can be very hard to work out - I had to back off a 13 once! Despite what Haggis says I don't think you'll go far wrong if you count 14 as equal to VS and 16 as HVS.
sam the man on 02 Nov 2006 - student-halls-devonshire-pc251-178.leeds.ac.uk
In reply to Dan-gerMouse: Hey, is this Dan Dan?! Start at Araps-its a great place to meet people for the rest of your trip (if you want to leave!) Plenty of walls in Melbourne which are good places to blag lifts to araps as there are a lot of climbers there, and plenty go there every week. Definately dont discount easy route there-the quality is superband totally worth doing stuff way below your lead grade. there's a really good site with loads of info somewhere on the web (though that maybe chockstone-cant remember so google it).
If the fire restrictions havent kicked in yet (probably must have) they will very soon, this means no campfires so stoves only, unless there is a very hot dry period in which case they might have a total fire ban which means no fire at all. Obviously. If your after a bit of work while your there then try the organic farm which is nearby, I met some guys who did hen I was there and they got paid with loads of nice fruit, veg, jam, etc for very little work it seemed-probably worth it on rest days. You will need rest days occasinally cos is really hot, and tempting to climb too much.
Have a wicked time dude, I'm sure you will.
Sam
Adam Lincoln - on 02 Nov 2006
In reply to sam the man:

Where is this farm, details? Cheers
nz Cragrat on 02 Nov 2006
In reply to Adam Lincoln:

At the end of the road that Arapiles is on - coming from Natimuk on the left before you turn R to Araps
Adam Lincoln - on 02 Nov 2006
In reply to nz Cragrat:

Sweet. Would that count towards the new 3 month seasonal work equals 2 year visa rule?
sam the man on 03 Nov 2006 - student-halls-devonshire-pc251-178.leeds.ac.uk
In reply to Adam Lincoln: I dont really know about that-you might be fine without a visa as I got the feling it was pretty casual, but I really dont know.I dont think the visa's are that difficult to get-the non work ones are very very easy to get.
Sam
Dave C on 03 Nov 2006
In reply to Morgan Woods:
> (In reply to Dan-gerMouse)

> make sure you try the milkshakes in Natimuk if they're still there....break the record for drinking them and you get all your shakes free....at least this was the case in 1988 :0
>
The Willows is not what it was (the Delaney's moved on some years ago) and I couldn't get a good milkshake when I dropped by earlier this year. A sad loss indeed.

> if you manage to get to the gramps....bundaleer is great and so is mount rosea.

The massive Grampians bushfire last summer trashed the Rosea/Bundaleer area. It may well still be closed to climbers.
nz Cragrat on 03 Nov 2006
MikeTS - on 03 Nov 2006
In reply to Dan-gerMouse:


>
> Ps. is there a climbing gym in melbourne?
>
> Dan

There's a bouldering only gym in the city, a regular but crowded gym in Nunawading a suburb NW of centre that you can get to by train (HardRock tel 03 9894 4183) and another in Altona west of town that I think is impossible by public transport.

Also there are many spots for day and (in summer) evening climbing.

Tobes on 03 Nov 2006
In reply to Dan-gerMouse: I think its all been said already but its a good start to get the arapiles guide, simon mentz and glenn tempest. theres obviously one for the gramps and blues which are all worth having if you're there for a while. if you are there for some time then buying a cheap car is worth it. true getting to the pines is no prob and finding people there is easy but if you want to get around (mt buffallo is also worth a look) then having your own wheels helps. you will def need them for the gramps and unlike the araps there aren't so many single climbers waiting to hook up, most do this before they get there. A large area in the gramps has been destroyed recently by bush fire, check on conditions before you head in. obvious stuff....tent, maybe a hammock, tarp to protect from sun though there's normally some left set up ready to use. blah blah.. i know a few people who will be there in a cple of weeks can give you numbers if you like though you'll have no probs finding folk. yeah at the araps do anything with stars even some 10's basically difs like Agamemnon are worth a go even when well within your grade! you'll see. Oh also very small wires like .25 .5 etc wild countries or whatever and double up in 1 - 5's this is all you'll need some times unless its some of the cracks then go scrounge all the number 3 - 5 camalots you can!
Enjoy
ads.ukclimbing.com
Adam Lincoln - on 03 Nov 2006
In reply to sam the man:

That wasnt what i meant!

I have the standard 1 year working visa. But now if you do 3 months seasonal work they will up it to 2 years. Wondered if this would be classed as seasonal work.
Clint86 - on 03 Nov 2006
In reply to Dan-gerMouse: Five years ago we stayed in a great hostel in Natimuk. Very friendly, clean, about five miles from crag.
Si dH - on 03 Nov 2006
In reply to Adam Lincoln:
If its fruit-picking, I imagine it would since thats what pretty much everyone out there does to get the second year. (I only heard of people doing one other job that was valid - working on a horse farm grooming horses etc)

Fruit-picking is a shit job though, have you done it?? :(
Adam Lincoln - on 03 Nov 2006
In reply to Si dH:

Nah, but worth doing the odd day to extend visa
Si dH - on 03 Nov 2006
In reply to Adam Lincoln:
True. The government are pretty strict about the rules despite what Sam the man said (at least it sounded like it fro mtalking ot loads of people out there the other month), but a lot of farms aren't so strict - you can often do 2 months and get signed off for 3. I guess if it was near to Araps it would take the sting out of the job anyway :)
Have a good one, Australia is awesome.
Adam Lincoln - on 03 Nov 2006
In reply to Si dH:

Yeah, gives me a reason to take a rest day. And puts some schedule into my life!
Adam Lincoln - on 03 Nov 2006
In reply to Si dH:

I see you work for Rolls in Derby. Do you know Dave Mawer?
Si dH - on 03 Nov 2006
In reply to Adam Lincoln:
Nope, sorry. Theres a lot of people work for Rolls in Derby :S
Adam Lincoln - on 03 Nov 2006
In reply to Si dH:

Ahh fair enough. He is a climber so thought you might.
UKC Forums - on 03 Nov 2006
This thread was started in the wrong forum and has now been moved.
Please could you try and post in the correct forum, it makes life easier for both users and moderators.

Forum descriptions - http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/info/forums.html
Dave C on 03 Nov 2006
In reply to UKC Forums: Well it only took you 3 days to realise!
sam the man on 03 Nov 2006 - student-halls-devonshire-pc251-178.leeds.ac.uk
In reply to Adam Lincoln: Sorry, I didnt realise what you meant. I imagine it would count as seasonal work. Ive never worked in Aus so I dont know, but the electronic visa I got to go was very easy to get.
Sam
Crofty - on 06 Nov 2006
In reply to Rog Wilko: Rog, you must mean Resignation, the guidebook description is as follows, quote, "A fantastic and thoroughly recommended climb. The third pitch is quite sensational- it climbs an exposed, run out and overhanging wall that feels more like 23!". The description for the pitch reads " traverse right for 5 metres, arrange good wires, and then take a deep breath, drop down a gear and motor up the overhanging wall. Trend left and up deep crack. Belay on spacious ledge." Grade 15 and brilliant, the wires are very good and placed correctly will stop you, but I would not like to fall off as you are certainly out there. I guess you would be about 50 metres off the floor at the belay. It can't be too hard if an old fart like me can do it.
Rog Wilko on 06 Nov 2006
In reply to Crofty: you're right of course; for some reason I've always had trouble remembering its name. Resignation doesn't really have the right ring about it, does it? Rather a despondent sort of name. Perhaps that's why I keep thinking it's Revelation!
Lurking Dave - on 08 Nov 2006
In reply to Dan-gerMouse: FYI - Its bl**dy freezing, bring your duvet.

Climbing gym worth going to is the www.thelacticfactory.com.au top place run by a friendly bloke.

Alternative (depending on where in the city you are staying) is the Burnley wall, its free! (search on chockstone)Good for traversing and the like.

Be aware that lots of the Grampians is still closed following bush fires and not likly to open again anytime soon, next March?

I'll be up in Buandik campsite weekend of the 17th November, I might be able to give you a lift up from Melbourne depends on who else is grabbing a lift.

Cheers
LD
Dave C on 08 Nov 2006
In reply to Lurking Dave:
> (In reply to Dan-gerMouse) FYI - Its bl**dy freezing, bring your duvet.
>


Isn't our climate just wonderful?
nz Cragrat on 08 Nov 2006

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