Andrew Vilder
andrew vilder
What started you bushwalking and when did you really get into it? I headed bush often with friends from a very young age, just exploring and camping in Kuring-gai Chase. During the mid 1980s as a member of Sydney Uni Speleological Society I partook in various caving and bushwalking expeditions. However I began walking seriously during the late 1990s after discovering SBW in the Yellow Pages.
Why do you bushwalk? (What motivates you?) To recharge and relax, and keep in touch with the natural world. I’d probably go mad otherwise.
When did you join SBW? 1997
What were the 3 Q test walks you did and what memories do you have of them?

The first was a quick jaunt up to Splendour Rock and back from Carlons, via Blackhorse Ridge. I remember wearing long jeans on this walk. I could not believe how steep that ridge was, and how chafed my legs were afterwards! Leader was Eddie Collins.

The second was the overnighter, planned to be a loop around Mt.Paralyzer and Guouogang with a camp on Whalania Creek, but heavy snow on the Friday night saw the trip simply go to the Kowmung and back via the Uni Rover Trail. Led by Morie Ward, who ‘passed’ me but assured me I got off lightly…he was right! And I got to watch how Jan Mohandas eats hills, which was inspiring... (he later gave me some tips).

I can’t exactly remember the third, I think it was down in the Royal NP, led by Jim Callaway (who else?) and was a pleasant day ending with ice cream at Bundeena..

What's your favourite piece of gear in your pack and why? My camera. I like to record events as they unfold and the beautiful places I visit.
Which piece of gear couldn't you live without and why? My oversized Mountain Designs storm jacket. It's completely waterproof, breathes readily and is much lighter than Goretex. Great to sit on during lunch, and rolls up for a pillow at night.
Volleys, runners or boots? I wore boots for the first 25 years of walking and always wondered why I suffered blisters. In 2008 a club member converted me into runners, and I’ve never looked back. Volleys give you flat feet over time, as they have no arch support…they don’t have a credible purpose in the 21st century. Try Aquaboots in canyons!
Average, Light or Ultra Light pack? Tend to be average to light, depending on length and difficulty of walk. There is a fine line between luxury and lightness.
What is the weight of your standard weekend pack not including water? About 13kg. I don’t mind carrying a can of food or two, a second Thermarest, and I don’t drink or carry much water.
What's your walking motto? Give it your best shot!
What's one piece of advice you can offer new walkers that you wish you knew when you started? Wear runners, not boots, and Vaseline your whole feet before and during walks to remain blister free!.
Favourite walking areas? Snowy Mountains, NSW.
Most memorable walks?

New Year’s Eve ‘98 with Zol Bodlay and others on the Genoa River way down the south coast. Vaguely recall something about a metal bottle of Danzka Vodka and lots of fireflies…

The South-North traverse of the Overland Track in Tassie, during Feb ‘99 (it was still two-way then). Great weather, scenery and company, probably the best 10 days of my life.

Not an SBW walk, the four days in the Budawangs with three friends over Easter 1987 which was my first time there. Being barnstormed by a B-52 bomber near the Castle was fairly memorable, not to mention deafening. Saw a girl in red shoes.

Describe the kind of walks you like to do and your style? I like all kinds, however lately have been tending to go on and lead endurance type walks covering great distances. My style is fairly relaxed I suppose, because ultimately most of us do this for recreation.
What's your walks philosophy? Strategy beats sweating.
What's on your walking wish list? North and South America, Himalayas.

New Members Information Night
New Members Information Nights are held every month except January, at 16 Fitzroy Street Kirribilli, 7:30pm - 8:30 pm on the second Wednesday the month.


February 2017 - Autumn Program released!

The Autumn Program for 2017 is now out and has been emailed to members. Check it out for lots of great walks around Sydney and beyond. If you haven't got your copy, it can be downloaded from the Member's Area of the website. You'll need to login to access it.


Prospective Members, watch your Qs

Are you a Prospective Member and have completed your Qualifying (Q) day walks and overnight trip as well as the first aid and navigation training requirements? If yes, then you're eligible to become a Full Member!


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Current Albums

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Cowan to Mt Kuring-gai, Berowra Valley NP

Splendour Rock, Blue Mountains NP

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