Is it possible to rope up a wheelchair to other bushwalkers and create a new kind of team outdoor sport? I’ve had this idea for a while now and Faulconbridge Ridge seemed like the perfect opportunity to test it – especially given that it was raining cats and dogs.
The idea stemmed from my frustration with bushwalking in a chair with friends can be a challenging social experience, for the simple reason that your pace is so different. You’re super slow and out of breath on the uphills, and you’re way ahead on the downhills. By roping up together, you can all travel at the same pace, with the same energy input, as long as you get the rope tension right.
Originally, I had a fair few reservations about this approach, wanting to be the one that puts in the energy required to do the distance. But the more that I thought about it, the more that this approach opens up a lot more track options for me. Steep uphills are no longer a limiting factor, and you can navigate through deep water with relative ease. And when you think about it, this is not an uncommon approach in the outdoor world at all: for climbing you rope up, for adventure racing, it’s also common to rope up the slower person to ensure an even speed.
Faulconbridge ridge is a fire trail out to a lookout of the Grose River called Faulconbridge Point. The trickiest bit is to get around the locked gate at the start (steep up to it, no bypass). A fun track with great views!