During the Melbourne oseredok tabir, Starshe junatstvo embarked on a two-day hike that tested both their
physical and mental abilities to the limits. Initially for most of these young people it was their first
two day hike, which in itself was a big step for them, however for the first time at CYM tabir in Melb.
26 people also had to carry all their provisions with them, with the exception of timely water drops
(and an Icy-Pole.) Usually dinner and breakfast had been delivered at nightly destinations.
The initial hike was meant to be more of stroll on four wheel drive tracks because of the 40 degree
heat that was to be experienced on both days, but after further discussions with past hike leaders
and the junatstvo themselves it was decided to show the group what former hikers were talking about
when it came to the views and achievements that were made once the summit was reached.
The course that was taken had not been done by Cymivtsi for over ten years due to the difficulty of
the terrain and limited experience of younger hikers, and with that we left civilisation behind,
(apart from mobile phones for safety) and started our journey to really appreciate our surroundings,
(and by the end the comforts of modern technology).
The first day envolved an easy start to stretch those muscles that we never even new we had, followed
by a strenuous climb over many steep tracks until we got to our lunch stop by a river where everyone
cooled down and had a splash in the water. Next came the slowest and most mentally draining part of
the hike, which involved a constant hill climb for five kms until we reached our campsite for the
night, where everybody had to cook their own meals in pair on hexi stoves. As soon as we had set up
a safe place to sleep and cleaned up after dinner we hit the sack hard.
Day two started of energetically when I told the group that we were going to go through a cave
before reaching the 900mtr summit, but before we knew it the sun had slowed us down quite
considerably, that was until the cave slowed us down even further. Neds cave was only 100 metres
long yet it took us over an hour for everybody to pass through it, we had to make a human chain just
to get our bags through and then slowly scrambled through the narrow gap sideways! Once we were out
of the cave we had to climb straight up for 400 metres. Most of the well-marked track had foot and
handholds but then we got to a section where the older boys literally had to drag everyone else up
an embankment that led to the final steps before we hit the top of the RAZORBACK. This section is
aptly named for it consists of a 3 km track that has a cliff face on one side which isn’t much
steeper than the other, but at least the side we were on had trees and rocks that could stop a
deadly fall. Time and water was running out by the time we got to our lunch destination where we
ate and drank all that we had left to lighten our packs. The map and charts that we used stated that
the razorback walk would take 2 hours, it took us 6 so when we came to the second last section of our
hike and it read 1 hour we thought it would never end but surprisingly it only took us 50 minutes!
We had a mission! The last stage was also a one-hour walk but we wanted to beat it and to the
junatstvos credit I think we set a new record for that section with that many people, it only took
us 35 mins! I think the fact that a flowing river at the end coupled with the fact that we were
almost finished, had something to do with it too. The group got picked up by car and driven back to
tabir where we marched into Moletva and then bolted to the lake, as is the custom.
Through all my experiences with hikes and working with younger people, I, the Komanda and the
dryzhenyky who came with us and made my job a lot easier, were overjoyed with the success of this
years hike and the personal achievements of every member of the group, from those that were reluctant
to go and then told me that that want to do it again to those that started the hike and were forced
to leave on the second morning due to unavoidable medical reasons, to the leadership skills and
responsibility showed by the older junatstvo when needed most (Thanks Paul& Simon)
Finally I would like to thank all the participants in the hike and those who helped organise it, from the
Komanda to the parents, the dryzhenyky that agreed to join me and lead the hike and most of all to every
single one of you who came with us and successfully completed the hardest hike I’ve ever been involved
P.S. I think I’ll plan a canoe trip next year.