Now I'm working in the grampians, I can get to Arapiles in 1.5 hrs.
So I spent 3 weekends there. 2 weekends with a Brasilian Friend, and did some routes I have been eying for years but never got the confidence to do...
They are after all, "trad" routes : Traditional climbing, where you need to place all your protection while you climb, and every rope length, at belay stops. This means you need to carry "nuts" which jam into veritcal cracks, and "cams" which spring load open in crack vertical or horizontal .
So I needed to buy a few extra of these, as well as renew some of my old nylon straps which were getting pretty old. This and a good climbing partner (Fred) helped me get up. And I found I had less fall anxiety than in previous years. A lot of climbing is not physical ,but mental. Something you could do easily off a gym mat becomes scary when you are several stories of the ground. So you need self talk, and breaking things down into small bites.
we did two 100m routes, grade 9 : "Arachnes" and "The Eighth"
About 3 hours climbing + descent time, with 4 belays approx.
It also helps that I have a very smooth , light and tough rope: the Beal opera superdry, 60m. I climb with 2 strands to reduce rope drag . And these can be tied together for abseils to make a 60m abseil. This a good rope for multi-pitch rock, and also Ice climbing and mountaineering. At 48g/m the lightest on the market.
we climbed mid may, cool breezes and sunshine - perfect weather.