Walking Since 1939

Latest News

First aid training course held

Our recent first aid training day was a great success. Feedback from the leaders, members and YHA ski club members was overwhelmingly positive –


It was definitely worthwhile and given that we as leaders have a duty of care, an excellent opportunity to be current with this knowledge and certification.

The location was fine, program and materials well structured and Peter, our presenter very professional. He kept us entertained with some very interesting anecdotes from his many years of work!

Yes, it is definitely highly recommended.


 

Thank you to First Aid Management for running an excellent tailored course for us!

Once we are through Covid-19 we will look to run another course at the end of the year.


Jonas Lea Award, Leader awards, AGM

Jonas Lea Memorial Award 2019

Congratulations to David Sale, the very deserving winner of our 2019 Jonas Lea memorial award.  Jonas Lea’s mother, Judy Koch, was present to make the presentation and to meet our inaugural winner, Andrew Francis, ensuring it was a special night for all. Read the full citations for David and Andrew.

Leader awards

Congratulations to our 2019 leaders who led the most walks:

Sonya R – Sunday walks

Craig B – Saturday walks

Ken S – weekend and extended walks

 

Annual General Meeting update

We had a very successful AGM and clubnight, with more than 30 members attending a great slide show from Bruce M reminiscing about walking in the 60s to celebrate our first 80 years of walking and checking out the latest in gear and food with Andrew S and Bruce M. Highlights included new stoves, portable lights, water filters and coffee machines.

 

Many thanks to our outgoing treasurer, Jon, for four years of dedicated service.  Our financial position is very sound as set out in the Treasurer’s report.  The committee has agreed we should donate $5,000 to bushfire relief and the AGM members indicated we should split this between track maintenance and wildlife recovery.

 

The 2020 committee consists of our new Treasurer Joanne, new committee member representing walkers Jan, and continuing President Kris, walk secretary Doug, secretary Tanveer, Communications manager Sonya, and committee members Ken and Jen.

 

2019 was a very successful year for the Club, as set out in the President’s report. We’ve seen tremendous growth in our membership, from 70 trip card holders to 200 members, which is particularly pleasing. Many thanks to all our committee members, leaders, members and walkers who have made this possible.

Happy and safe walking!

 

 


Bushfire update

We have been monitoring Bushwalking Victoria’s recommendations about how to best assist with bushfire recovery.  They are encouraging walks near the affected towns, so we will start to look at this as part of future programs.

 

We have also decided to donate $5,000 to appropriate recovery funds.  We will be asking for members’ preferences regarding which funds at the AGM and Clubnight on 3 March, 2020, another good reason to come along to a very interesting night.  Andrew Stevenson and Bruce Meincke are giving an update on the latest and greatest bushwalking gear – with samples to try.

 

We will also be assisting with track recovery programs – the Bushwalking VICTORIA standing committee, Bushwalking Tracks and Conservation (BTAC) has been in contact with Parks Vuctorua and the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning (DELWP) land managers and is awaiting their advice on where and when we can assist them. If you would like to help in the meantime, please have a look at options here.

 

 


New hazardous conditions policy

Given the unusual fire activity and weather conditions we are currently experiencing, we have revised our hazardous conditions policy.  This takes effect immediately.  Your safety is paramount, and the cancellation criteria have been set with this in mind.  However, ultimately you are the best judge of whether the conditions are appropriate for you to participate safely and enjoyably.  If you have any concerns please contact your leader or a committee member.

Please make sure you check the website the night before and morning of your walk to check it’s status, and if uncertain please contact your leader.

Cancellation criteria

Day walks

In the following circumstances a day walk will be cancelled if forecast or actual conditions are:

  • Fire Danger Rating (FDR) “severe”, “extreme” or “code red”
  • Air Quality Rating (AQR) “very poor” or “hazardous”
  • Wind Speed Rating (WSR) “gale force”, “storm force” or “hurricane force” (ie greater than 34 knots/63 km/hour)
  • Temperature above 35 degrees Celsius
  • Flood warnings in area of walk
  • Walk route or road access is closed
  • Park Rangers, other informed locals or experienced bushwalkers advise not safe to walk
  • Planned burns in or near walk route, or road access
  • Excessive rain
  • Blizzards
  • Heavy snowfalls
  • Known incidents that make the walk or the drive there unsafe (Eg. dust storm, falling trees).
Multi-day walks

Where forecasts meet cancellation criteria on at least one day during the walk, the Leader considers whether walk can be suspended safely for those days, or whether the whole walk needs to be cancelled.

Conditions requiring Leader to exercise judgement

In the following circumstances the Leader has primary responsibility to determine whether walks proceed:

  • FDR “very high”
  • AQR “poor”
  • Temperature between 30-35 degrees Celsius.

Welcome to 2020

Bush fires

I hope everyone enjoyed their break and are ready for a new decade of walking.  Unfortunately we are off to a difficult start with the bush fires.  It is so very sad to see the devastation for both humans, wildlife and our habitat.  We can’t thank our firefighters and other emergency responders enough.

 

Cancellation decision, timing and communication

We do not want to impose any extra burden on our emergency responders so we need to be respectful of  warnings and guidance.  The cancellation of a walk may need to occur at short notice, preferably no later than the night before, but sometimes it may even be necessary on the morning of walk.

 

Accordingly for the next couple of months it’s important you keep checking our website  and your email the night before and the morning of any walk to make sure you are aware of cancelled events – cancellations of any walks will be noted on the website and meetup.  We will do what we can to arrange alternatives, however safety must come first.

 

New air quality criteria for cancellation

As a result of the current bush fire situation, air quality conditions now also need to be considered when determining whether a walk will be cancelled, in addition to our existing severe weather criteria such as temperature above 38 degrees and fire rating of ‘severe’ or higher.

 

When the EPA Air Quality index is forecast to be, or is ‘very poor’ or ‘hazardous’ in the area of the walk, it will be cancelled.  See our safety policy.… Read More


Seasons greetings

On behalf of YHA Bushwalking Victoria, we hope you have enjoyed this years walk program, and are looking forward to the start of a new decade of walking.

Many thanks to our Leaders for their great efforts during the year and all those who helped the committee.  Particular thanks to Sharnee G and Celine S, our Walk Secretary, and other members of the Committee for doing a great job organising the end of year function and our 80th birthday celebrations.
We hope you have a happy and safe holiday break, and look forward to walking with you again next year.


November news

Clubnights
There are no club nights planned for November or December.
Our next social catch up before the year ends is our Mt Macedon walk and lunch function:

Sunday 1st December – Mt Macedon Christmas Lunch & Walk

Bookings are required – cost is members $18 non-members $38
Enquiries & more details on the event page:
https://yhabush.org.au/events/xmas-function-2019/
Bookings are now open.

Summer 2019-2020 Walks Program
The summer program is being put together at the moment – if you would like to lead a walk or run a social event on the 2019-2020 summer program please contact Doug walkssecretary@yhabush.org.au.  If you are interested in leading your first walk and would like some help and/or advice also contact Doug.

Upcoming events

Walks are now being added as the details get finalised – check in regularly with the program to see what is coming up

Memberships

Please note we are no longer issuing a member card.  If you are asked to provide evidence of membership the confirmatory email and/or screenshot of your member profile with the expiry date is enough.

 


80th Birthday celebrations

Happy 80th Birthday YHA and YHA Bushwalking Victoria!  What an incredible achievement!  To celebrate, your current committee were delighted to be invited to dinner on Saturday 7th September 2019 with the Chair, Board members and key staff of YHA.  A great night was had by all.  Read the YHA CEO’s blog about the 80th   and  YHA Chair speech for 80th  which set out just how important and relevant YHA remains today.

We then did what we do best on the Sunday, 8th September and organised a walk to the memorial stone at the site of the very first YHA Hostel, at Pound Bend, Warrandyte.  Many thanks to YHA for providing the coffee cart – it was very popular.  Big thanks also to Doug Miers (our current walk secretary) and Ken Sussex (current committee member and long standing leader) for leading the walks on the day.  A great morning was had by all.

I was honoured to be asked to say a few words at the dinner and the walk.  I gratefully acknowledged all the efforts of our past and present commitee members, leaders and walkers, who have enabled us to be one of the oldest walking clubs in Victoria.  Of course, we wouldn’t be here today, without the support of YHA.  It was great to be able to support some of YHA’s key themes with what we do with our bushwalking.  We also try to provide opportunities for young people, foster friendships and promote better understanding of our environment.  We are very proud that our Sunday walks cater to a large range of walking capabilities.  Allowing walkers to turn up on the day means we also continue the YHA tradition of supporting those who are just sampling the attractions of Melbourne and Victoria.

Check out the photos.

80th Birthday celebrations
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Yeti newsletter #52 (summer 2019)

Yeti #52 cover

It’s the annual Cake Walk, but why is leader Chris on the phone while the others look on anxiously?
Download the latest newletter, Yeti #52, to find out.(photo: John Morriss)

Happy 2019

I hope everyone has had a very Merry Christmas and is now looking forward to a new year of walking adventures.
Should you need a little motivation, try and have a chat to your fellow walkers.
From where I sit, it’s clear that everyone has a story to share and we are all the better for hearing it.

There is the story of Sharon and Rafal, who took their young children on an overnight hike along the Great Ocean Walk. It was not all smooth sailing, but their tale of preparation and determination is inspiring to say the least.

Then there’s the satisfaction of setting yourself a goal and achieving it, as Leona did on completion of a pack carry trip to Mt Cole State Forest- Beeripmo Circuit last November, reaching her target of 52 hikes a year a month ahead of deadline. These are but two of the awesome experiences shared by our members. I hope we will get to hear and share more in the months ahead.

As always, email your stories to yetieditor@yhabush.org.au

Fifi (editor)