Friendship Doesn't Start And End At Trek Training. These Women Are For Life.
By the Wild Women On Top Team
When Chris first joined Wild Women - at the age of 59 - she was nervous. She was worried her age was going to be a barrier, that she wouldn't be as fit as everyone else on the trail, that she might get left behind. But her worries went away pretty quickly. She connected quickly with the women she was walking with. They talked and shared as they walked. Five years later, she's made life-long friends. It's the type of friendship that doesn't start and end at Trek Training but goes beyond the trail to monthly Book Club meetings.
Walking with women helps keep Chris physically strong and mentally balanced. "On an even keel", as she says. But it's the cameraderie she loves most about Wild Women. The bond that's created between women from all different walks of life.
What do you love MOST about being a Wild Woman?
First and foremost, it’s the camaraderie, a sense of community. Through Wild Women On Top, I have met the most amazing and inspiring group of women - women who I would otherwise not have met as our paths would never have crossed because we live in different parts of Sydney, have different careers, and are of different ages.
Of course, I also love getting out in nature. I never realised there were so many stunning bush, harbour and coastal tracks in Sydney. Watching the harbour sparkle, hearing the birds sing, and smelling eucalyptus at 7.00am makes me feel so alive. I know my non-Wild Women friends think I’m crazy when I tell them I’m up at 5.30am sometimes three mornings a week, but they don’t know what they’re missing out on.
I’ve just returned from doing the 60km Adelaide Coastrek, which was just fabulous. I think we were all a bit daunted by the prospect of 60km. Yet training together and supporting each other, which is what Wild Women On Top is all about, made for a great adventure.
What’s the best hiking adventure you’ve ever done and what made it so special.
Two years ago, I did nine days of the Larapinta Trail. It was that powerful sense of remoteness and timelessness - the arid, ancient landscape and red, red earth - that made it so special. Sleeping outdoors in a swag under the stars, getting up at 2.00am in the freezing cold to hike up Mount Sonder - the highest peak on the Larapinta Trail - to watch the most spectacular sunrise, have made for great memories.
Which hiking destination is at the top of your list and why?
Where do I start? I dream constantly about all these amazing hikes I would love to do. I would love to go hiking in Norway, up in the Lofoten Islands and along the fjords.The scenery is just spectacular.
What’s the best piece of hiking advice you’ve ever been given?
There are so many bits of advice but I do like, “be bold, start out cold”. That has stuck with me. That's not easy on some fresh, cold mornings.
What piece of hiking kit do you love the most?
That has to be my poles. I always have them with me. Besides reducing the impact on your knees, legs and ankles - especially when going down hill - they’re also great for balance when dealing with the many root-strewn trails we have here in Sydney. They also provide a sense of rhythm so you can go faster.