Adventure Log: Summerday Valley 16.09.17

Locale: Grampians
Date: September 2017
Style: Rock Climbing

The beautiful thing about the Grampians is, from Melbourne you can squeeze a very decent trip in a weekend. One of the world’s best sandstone climbing destinations only hours away from one of the world’s best cities.

Day 1: Friday Night – Melbourne to Grampians

We arrived Friday Night and pulled into Stapylton Campground. This is a great spot for climbing due to its close proximity to both Summerday Valley and Campsite Boulders.

Like many spots in The Grampians, Stapylton Campground is full of wildlife. During our stay we saw families of kangaroos and cockatoos, none of which seemed too disturbed by our presence.

We set up camp and after a few campsite beers, turned in for sleep.

Day 2: Saturday – Summerday Valley

It rained heavily overnight so we had some concern the rock would be wet and slippery. We were relieved to wake up to a beautiful clear day – the sun had already pretty much dried up the moisture from the night before.

Picture of Stapylton Campsite
Morning View of Stapylton Campsite – the FJ blending seamlessly into the cliffs in the background

It is a 10 minute drive to Hollow Mountain Carpark, which is where to head for Summerday Valley climbing. This is a pretty popular climbing spot. It is a cosy little valley which, when not too busy, can make for a rad atmosphere. Around the time of writing Main Wall was closed. A bushfire had gone through a couple years ago and the blackened trees can still be found through the valley – too burnt to live, not damaged enough to fall.

The day was spent top-roping climbs on the Back Wall. There are great features at the top of these wall to anchor from and the top is accessible from a fun little scramble from the far end. For more details and specific advice check out the link above.

Rock Climber on Overkill Summerday Valley Grampians
Alex Climbing Overkill – how about the beautiful colours of that sandstone

From the top of the routes, you are offered a great view out across the valley.

Day 3: Sunday – Campground Boulders and Beehive Falls

Another fine morning, after packing up camp we headed out toward Beehive Falls Trail. As most of our plans are fairly tentative, we realised we had a bit of extra time up our sleeves and decided to make a stop at Camground Boulders.

There isn’t a great deal of parking available at Campground Boulders, but there are a few spots to pull over around the water tank. The Boulders themselves are on private property, so you will need to walk around the wire fence.

Bouldering in Grampians
Nick working on a problem. Usually we’d have pads. Always use protection.

At the time of this visit, the boulders are being negotiated for public access. There is a sign to tell you to that, as this is private property, you must be respectful and clean up after yourself. While all climbers here would certainly be grateful to the owners of this land, this thinking should apply everywhere in the Grampians, and hopefully we don’t need a sign remind us.

There is a decent number of routes here, but not having mats (as this was an unplanned visit) we climbed around on some of the easier problems on Happy Camber Boulder before setting off for Beehive Falls.

Beehive Falls trail is 2.8km return, or supposedly about one and a half hours. It is a nice walk along Mud Hut Creek, up until you reach the falls. At this point we began to appreciate all the rain on Friday night.

Beehive Falls are quite nice and there are many spots to stop, have a rest and explore. There is, however, a trail that continues quite steeply up large sandstone steps. This gradually slopes up to ridge/peak and offers some great views and interesting rock formations.

All this and back in the city by Sunday afternoon.

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