Grampians Mostly Trad climbing8,450 routes in crag
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Some of the best climbing in a Australia in a beautiful environment, often in great solitude.
For many climbers, memories of the Grampians are like memories of paradise. The warm winter sun, breathtaking sunsets lighting up Taipan Wall and sore tips from hard days. The Grampians are beautiful and the climbing reflects this. The solitude, routes that offer variety and adventure, these are the hallmarks of the Grampians.
The Grampians offer some of the most spectacular and high quality climbing in Australia. The beautiful thing about the Grampians is that it offers so much choice, there is plenty of good easier climbing in fantastic locations, and also probably the best hard routes in the land. When you talk about climbing in the Grampians you are referring to a multitude of crags and thousands of routes. There are a core of popular crags regularly visited, then there are a host of areas that are lucky to be visited more than once a year. The most popular crags are the ones with a combination of good access and a large amount of top routes. Among the most popular areas are 'Mt Stapylton' (which incorporates a number of crags like the enormously popular 'Summerday Valley', 'The Ampitheatre' and 'Taipan Wall'), 'Mt Rosea' (loads of quality multipitch routes) and 'Bundaleer' (an intimidating summer crag). Apart from this there is a plethora of marginally less important crags, all of which offer fantastic climbing.
Sport climbing is limited in the Grampians (although what there is, is of fantastic quality), there are three or four main areas, 'The Gallery' (steep thuggery of perfect orange sandstone), 'Millenium Caves' (very steep flawless rock with committing runouts), 'Van Diemens Land' (great fun) and 'Spurt Wall' (funky fun at the end of 'Taipan Wall'). Sport climbing in the Grampians begins at grade 22, so you want to be fairly competent.
Like Arapiles the trad climbing is very good, and generally the gear is exceptionally solid, there is often the occasional bolt. The harder routes to tend to be mainly on bolts. While you are here it is essential to check out Taipan Wall, unquestionably the best piece of rock in the land.
Climbing in the Grampians is generally less accessible than Arapiles, you will need to have a partner (there is no meeting someone here, unless you are lucky) and a car to get around in. The one benefit of being less accessible is that the Grampians is more of a wilderness experience. Bouldering has recently exploded in the Grampians, and there are loads of great problems to be found, including some of the hardest in the world. Bouldering is a good option if you are here in winter. All up the Grampians is a wonderful place, deserving of a decent stay. You will love it!
Please note that due to the fact that the Grampians is a national park, dogs and other pets are not allowed in the park except in vehicles on sealed roads and in sealed car parks. See http://m.parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/grampians-national-park/safety-and-regulations#overview
235km west of Melbourne. Driving is best. You can catch a train to Ballarat, then bus to Halls Gap. The only problem is that once you are there there is no way to get around unless you hire a car, or know someone that has one.
Where to stay
There are official campgrounds throughout the Grampians. Most do have fees, that can be quite expensive ($38 a night). Free bush camping is accepted and well practiced.
Also a range of accommodation (cabins, B&B, backpackers, motels, etc) in Halls Gap and the other villages around the National Park.
If you are wishing to camp, for further information or to book, go to http://www.parkstay.vic.gov.au/
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