Protruding from the Wimmera Plains in Victoria, like a whale breaching the waves, Mt Arapiles is a mecca for rock climbers from all over the world and it’s easy to understand why this is so. Its crags, chimneys, bluffs and labyrinths of gullies provide many challenges for anyone who is mad enough to put themselves into gravity-defying situations in the name of sport.
Luckily for us we didn’t have to climb to reach the summit as on the opposite side of the bluff in the first photo above, there’s a road that finishes within 50 metres of the top, leaving some hand- engineered stone steps through stunted scrub for the final ascent. It was a hazy windy day when we visited, and winter; so the wind was cold and the views somewhat compromised. Even so, we could still get an idea of the bulk of this monolith and its dizzying drops from the viewing platform where we stood hunched against the gale with our jackets pulled tightly around our bodies.
In the photo below, on the right ( you need to look carefully), there’s a climber, lightly dressed and seemingly unperturbed by the journey he has ahead of him.
With our viewing over, we scuttled back to the warmth of the car and continued our journey.