Auckland Grammar Rockwall (Quarry) – Climbing Access
Daniel Krippner climbing at the AGS Rockwall. Photo by John Palmer
Recent media over the closure of Auckland’s premier rock climbing venue, the Auckland Grammar Rockwall (or Quarry, as many know it), has highlighted the fragile state of climber access to public and private land throughout New Zealand. It is trite to say that, without access to climbing areas, climbing becomes even more challenging. Access issues can arise for a range of reasons but there are some all too common threads: lack of/loss of landowner or manager relationship, “Health & safety” issues, use of fixed anchors, competing commercial interests and climber behaviour.
The last member survey revealed that members consider the Club to have an important role in advocating for climbing access. The Recreational Access Committee was re-established in 2015 and, under the careful stewardship of Shane Orchard, has embarked on a significant access work programme, principally aimed at advocating for members on key national park management plans and issues. And the effort is already paying dividends, with an excellent ‘pro rock climbing development’ outcome achieved in the recent Paparoa National Park management plan review.
In addition, president-elect John Palmer has established a rock climbing/cragging group, which has set about supporting local climbers with access issues arising at their local crags (such as the Quarry) as well as reforming the Club’s standard documentation relating to rock climbing conduct and practices.
Sadly, as climbing becomes ever more popular, access issues are not going to go away. The Club is, therefore, looking at ways that it can apply more resources in this area – watch this space.
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