Parks Victoria has announced a climbing ban that will bar access to 3,000 routes and problems in the Grampians, Australia—some 38% of all the climbs in the area.
The rumblings of any sort of climbing ban date back to the early 2000s and the release of the first Park Management Plan for Grampians National Park. While the plan forbade climbing—ostensibly of any sort, though bouldering was not technically included—in certain areas designated as “Special Protection Zones,” these restrictions were never enforced. Climbers continued to have more-or-less free rein in the Grampians.
While the issue of climbers’ impact on Indigenous sites of cultural and historical significance occasionally bubbled up throughout the first 15 years of the 2000s, things came to a head in 2017 and 2018. Two separate instances of climbers bolting within a meter of archaeological sites—a handprint in the rock in both cases—inflamed tensions.