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Shoalhaven Bushwalkers Inc.

PO Box 403
Nowra NSW 2541

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Leaving walks early

For various reasons, leaders are often requested to cut a walk short due to the wishes of someone in the group. Usually the "emergency" is a need to get to the shops before they close, or to pick up a car left for a service, and most often the request is made after the walk has started.

Walkers who need to make such a request should, prior to the walk, find out from the leader the estimated finishing time. If the finishing time does not fit in with their plans, then they should either change their plans or not go on the walk. It should not be expected that a leader should change the walk for one person at the expense of many others.

Some walkers may try to get around this problem by asking to leave the walk early. They should be reminded that they have signed a waiver which contains the following statement :-

"I will make every effort to remain with the rest of the party during the activity and accept the instructions of the leader of the activity."

If a walker has to leave a walk early, they should ask permission from the leader prior to the walk, and if this is not granted, then the walker should not go on the walk. If permission is granted, the leader has responsibilities as well.

Our Emergency Procedures have been amended to include the following statement: "It may happen that a walker simply does not wish to proceed and believes he/she can make it out alone or will be able to hitch a ride from their present position. The leader cannot accept this offer, but must ensure that the walker is delivered into safety before continuing with the walk. The leader is ultimately responsible for the safety of all the people who begin the walk."

This means that if one walker decides they do not want to complete the walk, then the walk may have to be abandoned to ensure that everyone on the walk completes it safely.

(Ettremist - August 2004)