Vivien de Courcelles
Vivien smiling back in the days that he wore boots and carried a 15kg pack - no more!
Vivien smiling back in the days that he wore boots and carried a 15kg pack - no more!
What started you bushwalking and when did you really get into it? I really started walking when I arrived in Australia at the end of 2002. I think walking is the best way to discover new areas and since Australia is more renowned for its vast expanse of wilderness than its middle age castles, bushwalking seemed the obvious way of getting a feel for the country.
Why do you bushwalk? (What motivates you?) I love getting away from the every day life. Bushwalking brings you back to basics - enjoying the outdoor and visiting places that not many people have seen.
When did you join SBW? March 2009
What were the 3 test walks you did and what memories do you have of them?

1. The Pittwater track with Roger Treagus in Kuringai NP. Great to discover tracks I didn’t know about, a great group of walkers and beautiful views so close to Sydney.

2. We did another of Roger’s walk in the same area: same comments apply.

I actually did a couple of overnight Q walks:

3. Goolara peak with Melinda Turner

4. Kanangra Walls, Cloudmaker and Paralyser via Thunder bend. We had been around these areas before but the company and the new ground covered made it very special. I also started to grow confidence in my orienteering capabilities and off-track walking as well as a masochistic taste for hills.

What's your favourite piece of gear in your pack and why? My Marmott Hydrogen sleeping bag. It weighs less than 650g, is very warm and extremely puffy.
Which piece of gear couldn't you live without and why? My backpack contains everything else so without my backpack, I suppose I’d have nothing. It also makes a good sleeping mat if you have to spend an unplanned night out!
Volleys, runners or boots? Since joining the club, I converted to trail runners. As a result, my feet are so much happier at the end of the day and despite my initial worries, I never twisted my ankle badly. Volleys come out for canyons.
Average, Light or Ultra Light pack? Since we joined the club, we have dramatically reduced the weight of our packs. On our recent Easter trip over the 3 peaks, we carried 12 kg each including water, a tent and extra food for a 4 day walk. With our new fly (that arrived just after that trip), I suppose we qualify for lightweight walkers. The weight I carry is shared with my wife.
What is the weight of your standard weekend pack not including water? Lately, I’d say about 8 kg. Probably a bit more in winter.
What's one piece of advice you can offer new walkers that you wish you knew when you started? On overnight walks ask the leader if there will be a campfire, as there's usually no need to carry a stove. Usually, just a billy will do. In general, ask around and check the SBW website about gear. Take only what you really need.
Favourite walking areas? Morton NP, Wollemi NP/Garden of Stone NP, Wild Dogs area, Grose Valley, Kanangra-Boyd NP. Anywhere that's a bit remote with great views or spectacular features.
Most memorable walks?

Aren’t they all? I spent the first 25 Christmas' of my life in France but my only white Christmas was on an overnight walk around the main range of Kosziuscko NP.

Easter 2009 in the Budawangs, being a new member and walking with 3 very experienced people. Amazing scenery and a new understanding of bushbashing.

Constipation Canyon (previously known as Contradiction) was another great trip where we learnt the hard way what to pack for a day walk/canyon that might stretch to overnight.

Describe the kind of walks you like to do and your style? Any kind of walk providing there is something new to explore or a bit of a physical challenge. It usually comes to walks with a significant off-track component or if on track, longish walks (25km +).
What's your walks philosophy? Discover and enjoy.
What's on your walking wish list? New Zealand, Tasmania and exploring more of the places mentioned above.

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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