Mura Mura/Mt Zero(364m) – Climbing Australia’s Red Rocks

“A Mish a Day” #129 Mura Mura/Mt Zero(364m). Grampians National Park. 8.5.2016. A climbing trip to the many excellent crags of Grampians National Park was interrupted by a day of drizzle and low cloud, so instead of climbing the plan was a hiking mission to the Mura Mura/Mt Zero(364m) trail in the northern end of the park. From the local tourist hub of Halls Gap it takes about an hour or so to drive up and around Hollow Mountain to the Mura Mura/Mt Zero car park on dirt roads. A word of warning driving in this area can be made very interesting when every so often the local Kangaroos randomly jumping into on coming traffic!

We weren’t planning on getting many views of the huge plains of Western Victoria, as the mountain was completely engulfed in cloud. The first section of the track was climbing up a lightly sloping rock ramp, into a sheltered area of bush and forest, which contains some of the most popular climbing crags in the area. The forest had a very spooky feel to it, with the partially burnt gum trees from forest fires earlier in the year, wrapped in a thick mist of damp cloud. The track passes the impressive orange and black stained vertical sandstone walls of the Stapylton Amphitheatre, and also Swan Rock before swinging around the southern end of the mountain and beginning the climbing section leading to the summit.

Swan Rock

A short steeper section of track leads to a viewing platform, which I’m sure would be a great view of the vast expanses of the plains of West Victoria, unfortunately all covered in cloud. From here the route was far more interesting as it became a scramble on the sandstone, first up a chimney to a small ledge, then a final exposed traverse around a small rock face lead up to the summit. From the top the view was… cloud, so there wasn’t any point in staying on summit for to long so we slowly down-climbed our way back to the easier ground back at the viewing platform. After this it was an easy wander back down past Swan Rock to the car park, and the whole time the entire area was covered in thick cloud. A great side trip when the weather doesn’t suit climbing, and I’d love to get back there to see the view from the summit one day…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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