Fac­ing fears and do­ing it any­way

Whanganui Midweek - - NEWS -

Acro­pho­bia is de­fined as an ex­treme or ir­ra­tional fear or pho­bia of heights, es­pe­cially when one is not par­tic­u­larly high up.

Not a nice thing to have, es­pe­cially for tram­pers who of­ten find them­selves on steep ground. When you are acro­pho­bic you tend to shy away from tramps which warn they are “steep, nar­row and ex­posed” which is the way the Paeka¯ ka¯ riki es­carp­ment walk is de­scribed.

But some acro­pho­bics face their fears and do it any­way. That’s what hap­pened on a re­cent Wan­ganui Tramp­ing Club visit to the es­carp­ment. One mem­ber, we’ll call him War­ren (not his real name) had the es­carp­ment on his bucket list but doesn’t like heights. So it was a case of fac­ing his per­sonal de­mons.

We no­ticed War­ren moved very care­fully, but he pushed on through the scary bits. He said later there had been times when he would have liked to have been some­where else, but to com­plete the 10km walk with some sharp drop offs to the rail­way line and state high­way gave him a real feel­ing of sat­is­fac­tion.

Tramp­ing should not be com­pet­i­tive. Par­tic­i­pants set their own goals and they de­cide what is suc­cess and fail­ure. War­ren set his own goal and got a big pass mark for his gutsy per­for­mance. He con­quered the es­carp­ment by con­quer­ing his own fears.

The club’s pro­gramme for Septem­ber is: —

Sat 1, Fox­ton Beach, leader San­dra

Sat or Sun 8 or 9, Sum­mit of Ruapehu, leader Mike

Sat 15, Maude Track, Eg­mont Na­tional Park, leader Barry

Sat-Sun 22-23, Syme Hut, Eg­mont Na­tional Park, leader Mike

Sun 30, Palmer­ston North walk­ways, leader Val

Make all en­quiries about trips to Bar­bara phone 348 9149 or Dorothy phone 345 7039.

The mid­week­ers have a full pro­gramme of in­ter­est­ing trips ev­ery Wed­nes­day. Those who get out on Thurs­day are in two groups, with a longer walks on Septem­ber 13 and 27 and shorter ones for the TT2 group on Septem­ber 6 and 20. The Wed­nes­day con­tact is Mar­gret, phone 344 3899, and the Thurs­day con­tact is Val, phone 345 0456.

To join week­end trips call the leader by the pre­vi­ous Tues­day at the lat­est, the night be­fore for day trips. As some trips have limited num­bers, lead­ers have the fi­nal say about who to take as they are re­spon­si­ble for safety and well-be­ing. Con­tact Bar­bara at 348 9149 or visit our web­site www.wan­ga­nu­itramp­ing­club.net

The next club meet­ing at the Deer­stalk­ers’ Hall, Peat St, at 7.30pm on Wed­nes­day, Septem­ber 5 fea­tures a talk by Gra­ham and Glenys El­lett on their re­cent trip to Viet­nam.

PIC­TURE / SUP­PLIED.

All smiles for this Wan­ganui Tramp­ing Club quar­tet on the Paekakariki es­carp­ment, but it’s a dif­fer­ent story for those with a fear of heights. From left are Ge­orge Ra­joo, Es­ther Wil­liams, Har­vey Palle­son and Kay Lee.

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