/ NEWS: Australian Access Issues - Breaking Up is Hard to Do

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UKC News 29 Jul 2019
Australian climbing bans give rise to new access body. Kiwi climbing legend Charlie Creese explains the situation...

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spidermonkey09 29 Jul 2019
In reply to UKC News:

Brilliant piece. I would urge anyone who has ever been to Arapiles and the Grampians, or who ever wants to go, to put their hand in their pocket for ACAV. Its the best place to trad climb up to E4 in the world, full stop. 

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dbrooks 29 Jul 2019
In reply to UKC News:

great article Charlie, well done.

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Chris Snell 30 Jul 2019

All true. Arapiles is a world class trad crag - the rock is so good that RPs were invented there. Grampians has some of the best bouldering - think "Wheel of Life" the amazing roof problem that goes forever. "Serpentine - 8a" and "Groove Train - 8c" on Taipan wall are widely recognised as some of the best single pitches anywhere.

Please join ACAV to help save these iconic climbs and crags for everyone

http://acav.climb.org.au/join/

Post edited at 00:05
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Damo 30 Jul 2019
In reply to UKC News:

Good article, and I wouldn't disagree with any of it, and I've joined ACAV even though I've never climbed in the Gramps. The actions of Parks Victoria have been inexcusable and worrying for outdoor users worldwide. There are also other underlying issues about pending paid walking trails and other monetisation of our parks and commons, the intrusion of business, consultants and lobbyists etc. I'd be gutted if Arapiles was closed to climbing, and it would be economic madness which would ruin the town of Natimuk, in a part of the state otherwise dying.

But having followed all the articles and posts online, mostly Facebook, that go out into the general public, climbers also need to have a good look at ourselves. Most of us are so far into it we can't see it how others see it - and they are the majority. And indigenous issues have a lot of sway in many areas now.

There are a hell of a lot of Joe Publics saying that we have no right to leave our 'hooks' and stuff in the rock. Maybe they're right. What other recreational group in national parks gets to leave so much stuff fixed in place? I clip bolts, I occasionally sport climb, but I mostly trad climb, always have. So maybe it was more obvious to me than many (better) climbers that the proliferation of bolts and chalked-up routes over the last decade or so might be a problem in the making. It certainly looks pretty bad in press photos, so I can see why non-climbing readers might object, even if they're nowhere near cave art or sacred sites.

For a valuable alternative perspective to most of the (understandable) shouting, I'd recommend trying to read Angus Farquhar's piece in the latest print edition of Vertical Life, where he embarks on removing all the bolts from many of his routes:

https://www.verticallifemag.com.au/2019/07/vertical-life-no-29-the-8a-issue-is-now-out/

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L gbedford 31 Jul 2019
In reply to UKC News:

A good article but the fact remains the same reasons for the ban on climbing Uluru are given for Grampians ban and the threat to Arapiles. Australia is facing the dispossession of public land from the public. This will keep marching on. It is all about guilt versus power. As soon as you fall down the hole of 20,000 years of past history and guilt for past wrongs, what leg do you stand on? I have joined the ACAV but I don't know how they and the VCC can tread the tightrope of standing up for public access without offending the sacred rights. But Uluru is the alternative. A paid bus trip to the car park,  a short guided tour, then back on the bus.

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Rog Wilko 31 Jul 2019
In reply to UKC News:

This is an excellent balanced account of a very  serious issue which unfortunately seems to be in danger of dividing the climbing community in Australia.  Of course, any permanent bans in the Grampians would be disastrous but if climbing at Arapiles is also threatened the word would be catastrophic. As has already been suggested the economy of Natimuk owes a lot (almost everything) to the presence of climbers, both residents and visitors. I believe the resident population is around 450, of whom half are climbers, and Natimuk is said to be the only rural settlement in West Victoria to have seen an increase in population over the last 30-40 years

I can't help thinking that the defacing of crags with bolts and chalk is not helping the climbers' case. 

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Rog Wilko 01 Aug 2019
In reply to Damo:

Another vertical life article here. The need is not to win but to achieve reconciliation.

https://www.verticallifemag.com.au/2019/08/reconciliation/?fbclid=IwAR18KmjR7Xle_ER2-S6UCMleQDXTBFQU_eDsirOettC0NdNLX_w6hlibNEc

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MikeTS 09 Aug 2019
In reply to UKC News:

Climb Arabs while you can

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