The Bush Club, bushwalking in Sydney, Bush walking

On Walking Pace…

As members know, walks are graded on a scale of 1 to 6. The grade follows guidelines published in the walks program and website. However, the grade of a walk does not necessarily reflect the pace at which the leader may wish to conduct the walk.

To many members, a grade 1 walk is an easy walk and a grade 6 a hard one. This is not unreasonable, as walks at a lower grade are shorter with less challenging terrain, and hence the pace can be slower.

Any walk can be challenging

However, in reality, any walk can be more challenging than a higher graded one, depending on the leader and how he or she conducts the walk. Pace is not such an issue with higher graded walks, especially those off track, as it is often governed by other factors such as terrain, gradient, scrambling and scrub. Overall, the grading as listed is a considered judgment based on the leader's knowledge of the walk within the framework of the grading system.

So leaders:

If you list a grade 1 or 2 walk that is to be other than a slow pace, this should be stated in the description and potential walkers encouraged to contact you should they have concerns. Most walkers expect grade 1 or 2 walks to be conducted at a slow and unhurried pace;

On every walk it is your responsibility to keep track of all walkers. This is especially important on grade 1 or 2 walks (where you are more likely to have less experienced walkers). Set the pace from the front yourself (or appoint another who you know will stay within sight);

It is essential to nominate a tail who will assist to keep the group together (and alert you if it becomes too separated and you need to slow the pace);

Recognise that the larger the group, the slower the overall pace will be, and the greater likelihood the group will become separated.

Consider placing a limit on the number.

For any walk on track, consider listing the pace at which you will lead. Generally it will fall into slow (relaxed, unhurried, restrained); medium (steady, sustained, solid); or fast (brisk, spirited, vigorous, energetic), and you may choose to use such descriptors.

Bush Club Committee

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