I'm describing a hike Reg and I went on in 2010. Our hike up to the top of Boronia Peak was a wonderful day. It involved conquering fear. I could remember a narrow and steep winding route at the top that I had needed Reg’s help to complete when I was young.
The route to the top had changed; it was more frightening. Several times I announced that I would quit. Then, each time, once I had recovered from my fear of heights, I continued.
I am sitting on top of the world.
The route to Boronia Peak was safe enough until we approached the top. The paths between the steep sections were the most dangerous, as they were covered in loose stones over sand, the same conditions that had caused me to fall the previous week.
The final stage of the rock climb to the summit was scary for me. It was a rock scramble. I’m not sure how they get away with calling some of these walks ‘walks,’ as there is no path or even arrows showing the safest route up.
There was a tower of rock that we climbed to the top. If there was an easier route, we never found it. I had to get down on my hands and knees and feel for hand and foot grips on a 45 to 90 degree sloping rock face. Reg would call out instructions on how close I was to finding the next hollow in the rock to grasp onto. Crazy, pigheadedly determined old woman!
I wasn’t making up my descriptions when I wrote in a fiction novel of two teenagers on a cliff path with a bush fire beneath them. In the novel, the teenager Harry is having an asthma attack, and the character part modelled on myself, Emily, is hugging the ground, immobilised by fear. If you read this chapter in the The Stolen Years Series by Ryn Shell, you will know I drew Emily’s reactions from my very real experience of fear coupled with determination during this walk to Boronia Peak.
Well, I never was young and foolish—I’m making up for that now.
I felt so proud and exhilarated to have overcome fear and past injuries and health issues from earlier times and to have made it to the top of Boronia Peak.
Reg and I sat at the top of Boronia Peak, enjoying the view and talking with pride about our achievement. The view was the BEST in the Grampians. It was a perfect day.