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Banned Trigs/caches

Posted: 06 December 20 2:52 pm
by asbestiform
Controversial topic! Assistance required.
Following on from the ban on climbing Ayers Rock last year and destruction of the summit cairn the NT parks service announced this week that from 1 March 2021 the informal walking track to the summit of Mt Gillen with its superb views over Alice Springs will be closed. There is a GC multi and GA trig point that will be made inaccessible due to the ban. I consider this action to be completely irrational and without basis in history. One of the earliest photos taken at the summit in 1926 (can view here... ... any-years/) shows the then custodian of the mountain standing next to a group of men women and children he had guided up there. Presumably Charlie was well aware of the traditional rules and you would think his actions might set a precedent for future access. The recent claims of "trespass" do not stand up to close scrutiny on this basis and Alice Springs residents, tourists and geocachers face losing access to another remarkable adventure and view. But of course any attempt to challenge this results in the usual meaningless name calling. I understand the walking track to the summit of Mt Warning in NSW and St Mary's Peak in SA are coming under similar threat in the near future.
I am writing to relevant state, territory and federal Ministers and local land councils to draw attention to the loss of access to these remarkable places and request any geocachers who are similarly agrieved do so also. The hope is that these politically motivated bans might still be prevented some how. At the very least you can say to your children you did something about it.

Re: Banned Trigs/caches

Posted: 11 December 20 12:25 pm
by asbestiform
The following from an information sheet for Mt Warning dated Nov. 2020. This does not look good for continued access at Mt Warning. If this continues expect access to Nat parks to be limited to paved footpaths not far from the car park, and forget about placing physical caches. Again please find time to write to the NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean.

Wollumbin Summit track (Nov 2020)
The 8.8km return Summit track is a very steep and challenging track rising 720m in altitude to the summit at 1096m. It includes a rock scramble section in the f inal 100m of the ascent which requires a high level of f itness, experience and skill, where climbers use chains to ascend a near vertical exposed rockface. NPWS has committed significant capital and maintenance funding, resources and effort, to maintain visitor access to the Wollumbin Summit walking track. Despite this, infrastructure is recorded as mostly poor to very poor condition due to the high use, steep terrain, vegetation and impacts of severe storms and very heavy rainfall events. NPWS and NSW Police have responded to 44 significant visitor safety incidents on the Summit track over the past 10 years, including two deaths. These incidents have involved both heli-evacuations and search and rescue operations. The number of unreported injuries is likely much higher. Current safety concerns
A recent structural assessment undertaken by a qualified consulting engineer identified an extreme risk of failure of the chain section near the summit. The report recommended the track be closed as the risk of further accidents or fatalities from a catastrophic failure is very high and there is no possibility of adequately repairing or maintaining the critical parts. In addition, a Visitor Safety Risk Assessment of the Wollumbin Summit track undertaken in September 2019 identified other catastrophic or extreme risks including: • an extreme risk of rock fall, landslide or slope instability causing serious injury or fatality • delays in emergency response to lost or injured walkers endangering patient survival • built asset (such as platforms, handrails, pathway) failure causing serious injury or fatality, slips, trips or falls ascending and descending the chain section causing serious injury or fatality.
Aboriginal cultural significance
Wollumbin Summit is a sacred place of the highest significance to Bundjalung people and other Aboriginal Nations. Wollumbin, which means ‘cloud catcher’ to some Aboriginal People, is a traditional place of cultural law, initiation and spiritual education for the people of the Bundjalung Nation. Under Bundjalung law, only certain people can climb the summit. Wollumbin summit was declared an Aboriginal Place in 2014 to protect these values, and people have been asked to consider not climbing the summit since then. There is a high level of community acceptance of the significance of Wollumbin Summit and the message not to climb. Of the 858 domestic participants in a recent visitor research survey (DPIE 2019), 49 per cent stated they would not climb Wollumbin summit upon receiving the request not to climb, most of the remaining participants were unsure or needed more information, and only nine percent still wanted to climb Wollumbin. Tweed Byron Hinterland Trails project The $7.35 million Tweed Byron Hinterland Trails project was initiated to help alleviate safety and cultural risks at Wollumbin National Park by providing alternative experiences in the Tweed Byron region. Work has commenced on stage one of that project to increase capacity and enhance visitor access and safety at Minyon Falls lookout and nearby day use area. The project will also deliver a signature multi-day walk from Unicorn Falls in Mount Jerusalem National Park near Uki to Minyon Falls in Nightcap National Park by 2022. Visit for more information.

Re: Banned Trigs/caches

Posted: 12 December 20 11:20 pm
by Team737
Sounds like mostly nanny-state, cover your butt type stuff unfortunately....

Re: Banned Trigs/caches

Posted: 06 January 21 7:23 am
by asbestiform
Quick check this week reveals that NSW NPWS have secretly removed the chain and posts from the rock scramble at the summit of Mt Warning. The current temporary closure supposedly for safety appears a con. The posts and chain and the footings were all up in serviceable condition and the summit is accessible without the chain anyway thanks to rock ledges forming a natural staircase. The current situation is supposed to be reviewed in May but it seems NPWS have already made up their mind.
If you have not done so please write to Minister Matt Kean and your local member in support of this iconic NSW bushwalk.

Re: Banned Trigs/caches

Posted: 07 January 21 8:54 pm
by No_Tomorrow
Glad I didn't create my planned Adventure lab now.

Re: Banned Trigs/caches

Posted: 09 January 21 11:13 am
by asbestiform
More detail about what I found. The sad thing is that it's such a missed opportunity to showcase the park. It could easily be a major attraction if the bureaucracy would just wake up to the possibilities. ... rning.html

Re: Banned Trigs/caches

Posted: 12 January 21 5:19 pm
by asbestiform
Seems that very little of what NPWS provide about the walk is true.

Signs at the base state that following:
Wollumbin, which means ‘cloud catcher’ to some Aboriginal People, is a traditional place of cultural law, initiation and spiritual education for the people of the Bundjalung Nation. Under Bundjalung law, only certain people can climb the summit. Out of respect for their law and culture, consider not climbing the summit.

What they do not state are the words of Ngaraakwal Elder Marlene Boyd RIP in 2007. Auntie Marlene was an elder of the Ngarakwal people, and inherited the Bootheram (dreaming) of her people from her mother Millie Boyd, who was the Gulgan or keeper of Mt Warning. In a 2007 interview before her death she said "I do not oppose the public climbing of Mt Warning - how can the public experience the spiritual significance of this land if they do not climb the summit and witness creation!" she said.

More mythbusting in this post.... ... about.html

Why no signs at the base containing Aunty Marlene's views?