Yuri Bolotin

Yuri in pagoda territory


Why do you bush walk?


Why I bushwalk
by Yuri Bolotin, www.bushexplorers.com.au

What drives me to get up at an ungodly hour in the morning and go out exploring wild and dangerous places?

Several times a week, I get up at a very early hour in the morning, drive for several hours, then put my backpack on and explore the places where no one has probably been before. It could be cold, hot, humid, wet, windy, often all of the above things within the same day. Long, steep ascents often feel unrelentingly tiring; my backpack too heavy, thick scrub scratching my skin, leaving deep traces that hurt for many days; we may have to walk half submerged in freezing water, crawl on all fours under low overhangs or contort our bodies into impossible shapes in order to squeeze through tight openings in the sharp rocks.

Yet, I love every minute of it. I would not swap it for anything less demanding. The main thing that drives me is my curiosity. I must find out what is around the corner of this jagged cliff line; at the bottom of that deep ravine; on top of the mountain towering above me. And once I have discovered that, I want to know about the next cliff line, the next ravine, the next mountain on my way.

Another reason is learning. During our explorations, we constantly discover things we did not know before. Often, we must acquire whole new areas of knowledge in order to make sense of our finds. Through bushwalking, I have learnt what plants can sustain me in the bush; how the pagodas were formed; what types of ochre do the Aboriginal people use for rock painting; how to tell by a piece of broken glass where and when was the bottle manufactured, and many, many other things. And I continue to learn with every new expedition.

The other thing that drives me is a sense of adventure, danger and the unknown. There is something quite intoxicating about that. When we watch a movie or read a book, we are captivated by the challenges faced by the main hero; we want to read on to find out how these challenges have been resolved. In the same way, when I am faced with challenges presented by wild nature, I become the main hero of that book, that movie, however, it is I, and not the movie director, who is in full control, so I want to go on and overcome these challenges. Just as after having watched a good movie, I get that satisfaction in the end of being able to successfully deal with the trials and tribulations I was presented with.

The next factor that propels my bush adventures is the fact that I am not doing it alone. I am out in the wilderness with a bunch of really good people. Through my walks, I have met some of my best friends, as well as life mentors and colleagues. The challenging and often technical nature of our walks means that we must trust each other with our very lives. We do, and with this come deep friendships that continue forever. This alone would be well worth getting early out of bed for!

But there are at least two other, very important things, related to one another. One is sharing. I do it by writing books about our adventures and by taking other people with me on my walks. In the past few years, I have introduced hundreds, maybe thousands, to the wild places so close to our cities, yet so far away; places they perhaps would not have been able to experience otherwise. It makes a huge difference in their lives and gives me a lot of pleasure as well. The other thing is protecting. The environment around us needs protection. We can achieve it by sharing our knowledge and discoveries with other people, so they can see how fragile and precious these places are, and become advocates for their preservation.




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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