Approximately 9 weeks were spent in this sacred place that is known by the Aboriginal name of Gariwerd or to most others as the Grampians National Park. With a total size of 167,000 hectares & over 15 campgrounds, one may perhaps need a map. Above is the stunning and world-famous Taipan wall at sunset with an illuminating almost full moon rising above.
Among the many activities catered for, is some of the best climbing on some of the finest orange burned sandstone in the country. Many of the original routes are a mixture of both natural gear and old carrot bolts, yet many a proper equipped route can be found amongst. As for pure sport-climbing crags, they are few and far between, none the less all are most spectacular and are sure to satisfy the senses. For more information you can find most routes and crags listed on climb.org.au.
If you prefer the more shorter and powerful style of bouldering then you have also come to the right place. From a 10minute stroll to a 1hour hike to the more remote areas, the Grampians offers the most concentrated and accessible amount of boulders in Australia, ranging from V0 all the way to one of the worlds only V16’s. The quality of these boulders is of the finest and a huge range of styles is indeed available. All this is complimented by the recent edition of the new Bouldering guidebook by David Pearson & Chris Webb Parsons, covering all the major areas with colour topos etc, not to mention loads of other relevant info on camping, eating out and so on. A must for any new arrival. Keeping in mind this guide only covers the Staplyton area as covering all the rest would take a sherpa to carry. A car is also essential in getting around this majestic and colossus area.
Josie and I spent our weeks working on a local olive farm and in an ECO YHA in Halls Gap, this allowed us to stay in a bit more comfort in the often rainy winter month of July (April-June being ideal for cooler conditions). In the afternoons we would venture out into the maze of the unexpected in search of the unknown, finding many a great piece of rock to conquer. Among which where:
Bridesmaids Anonymous V9:
Snow Mike V10:
Many more great highlights, like the flashing of no less than three V8’s, and the send of Etch A Sketch V11.
This in conjunction with the only route I tried and successfully redpointed on the 30th of June:
The often attempted and rarely repeated United Nations 32 8b+:
A place of certain return we leave humbled in the search of the now warmer climate of Europe.
On our way there we stoped off in the Blue Mountains to farewell friends and family.
Many thanks to Josie for all her hard work, getting incredible photos and dealing gracefully with many new situations.
And to SPELEAN who have taken me on board and provided some great gear and support for upcoming events.