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Exploration Society crossed the border into Victoria to visit one of the world’s best climbing locations in Mt Arapiles. People travel from around the world for the more than 3000 routes on the many cliffs, crags and pinnacles, presenting variety and challenge for all levels of experience.

The students and staff involved couldn’t be happier that this trip went ahead as the last time this ran was in 2019, due to COVID-19 disruptions.

We all jumped on a bus and travelled over to the local Natimuk caravan park and set up our tents. The first day saw many students confronting heights with the group climbing rock faces up to 60m high. This was a good warm up for what was to come in the following days.

For the rest of the trip the students climbed multi pitch walls that were 110m high and traversed technical sections. The longest climb was 145m long, taking most of the day to climb. Other days were spent on more difficult single pitch climbs. We also climbed without ropes, which is called bouldering. This is where safety mats are laid beneath us as we climbed, harnessless, up shorter problems that maxed out at 5m high. These three different disciplines saw students thrive and be challenged in different areas while all coming together as a tight nit group to problem solve their way through as a team.

Watching the students completely immerse themselves in rock climbing and give it their all, while stepping outside of their comfort zones was inspiring to watch. I thoroughly look forward to running this program in the future and can only hope to have such an amazing group of students along again.

Tim Hennekam
Exploration Society Coordinator