Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker
A Journal devoted to matters of interest to Sydney Bush Walkers, 5 Hamilton St., Sydney, N.S.W.
No. 34 July 1937.
|Editor:||Marie B. Byles.|
|Sales Manager:||W.J. Mullins.|
|The Famous Gangerang Trip||2|
|Anzac Week-end Meeting of The Ti Willa Picnic Race Club.||3|
|Correspondence “Are we Humbugs?”||Tom Herbert||5|
|“For the Very Young”||Evelyn Millard||7|
|The Valley of the Swampy Plain||Jim Muir||8|
|Club Walks||Flo Allsworth||11|
|How People Walk in Other Lands||Suzanne Reichard||14|
|Tramping in New Zealand-Bush Walking in Australia||15|
|Bonum Pic and Travis Pass||Alex Colley||17|
|“Redgum” A Tribute||“Bushwalker”||19|
|Bushland Memories||Walter D. White||20|
No editorial committee has as yet been appointed by the Committee, but the editor wishes to thank Misses Dinah Hearfield and Kath Mackay for their valuable assistance in the editing of this issue.
Several complaints have been received that the editor has been too drastic with the use of the blue pencil, and that members would prefer to see their own idiosyncrasies rather than perfection of grammers. In deference to these perhaps justifiable complaints it is proposed in future to adopt the slogan of “temperance in all things” even the blue pencil. So send along your manuscript knowing that you will see it printed in all its pristine beauty!
As a matter of fact, despite the blue pencil, there has been a surplus of contributions for this issue, and a number are held over for next. If this continues we can revert to a bi-monthly publication should you so desire.
In this number for the first time we publish a letter received concerning a matter of Club-controversy. “The Sydney Bushwalker” is yours and is always open for the free discussion of any matter of Club-interest. We hope that those of you who have theories to ventilate, or constructive criticism to offer, will follow Tom Herbert's example and write to the editor about the matter. Such letters will be given precedence over ordinary articles if space is short.
Anzac Week-End Meeting of the Ti Willa Picnic Race Club.
THE CLOUDMAKER STAKES: (For an anonymous cheque for 10 presented by a gentleman with a carpet snake).
First Division: All except Max got away to an even start on Friday night. Max left at the barrier at Central, but drew even at the ten mile mark and headed the field down Kedumba Creek. Racing neck to neck through Kills. Gordon drew away at the finish and won in a canter.
Second Division: Hilma first away - lead all the way up Ti Willa with Gordon running second and Len in ninth position. Max galloping strongly up Cloudmaker, however Len came through on the rails and looked a certain winner on the downgrade. Spectacular finish by Max, who ran well down the last two miles to win by two lengths from Hilma and Len.
Third Division: Jack led the field early, but baulked and fell in at the water jump while striving for the lead. Dave and Gordon first past eight mile mark, Bill lead at Carlon's Head, but rounding the turn Len again came through smartly on the rails and was first into the straight, while Alex sprinted up into sixth position. Coming up the straight Jack clapped on the pace and got to the front. At this stage he looked a certain winner, but Dot spurted over the last half-furlong to win by half a pack and a double helping of plum pudding.
(1) Max arriving at Central with leather coat, umbrella and no pack. (2) Waking in the dawn and hearing Jack bellow out ad nauseam “get up and pack.” (3) Watching Dot, who reputedly lives on nettles and ground-berries eat two helpings of meat, vegetables and pudding plus cream, milk and scones. (4) Hilmla running commentary when Bill was hanging to Carlon's Head by his eyebrows. (5) Jack Debert - naval officer. (6) Bill leaning over the bank after a meal of curried salmon and banana fritters. (7) Max's pancake. (8) Lennie leading the Charge of the Light Brigade. (9) The general dislike for the chocolate ration. (10) Katoomba nine minutes late.
Impressions, well - rain. Much walking, plenty talking. Tons to eat, crowded hours of peaceful sleep. Noisy awakenings. Delightful campsites, mighty big meals and jolly companions. Sunshine, sweat, sunbakes and swims. Climbs of all kinds. Exquisite panoramic views. Mountain mists, rippling rivers. Delightful dawns, glorious sunsets. Well earned rests and huge chocolate rations. Nettles, holly bush and hakea. Barging and charging through scrub. Easy going, plenty hard going too.
Undeniable fact, that when on a long arduous walk tempers can become worn and frayed. Marvellous what excellent good humour prevailed throughout. Appropriately enough the existing spirit was similar to that which we celebrated - The Spirit of Anzac.
Splendid foresight and good leadership combined with the whole party's wiliness to adhere to careful planning enabled a good five days trip in rough country to be done in three days without any undue hardship. Remarkable that so large a party could do so well. Was very sorry when it ended but felt something had been accomplished and as they say in the Social Notes “A good time was had by all.” I am passing my plate up for more.
The passengers called a derisive “Have a good time” as we detrained about 9 p m. at Wentworth Falls on Friday of Anzac week-end. Jupiter Pluvius threatened to be our unwelcome companion hence the derision.
We walked through showers to Kedumba Creek and camped at 11.30. Next day the swimmers (all except one) discovered a glacier called by the ignorant Cox's River. Drank fizz on Policeman's chest - Dead Bat flavour - picnic lunch at Kowmung House (until rain intervened).
Camped that night at the confluence (enough of that!) of Kowmung and Ti-Willa creeks. Fast broken we were away by 7.30 and climbing until 12.30. We topped Cloudmaker 4,000ft. Phew! What a climb! Wishing I had no breakfast. Kanangra clearing 5.30 and the biggest thing of the trip Max's Pancake!
Next morning via Cox, Breakfast and Carlon Creeks to Carlon's DINNER after which we set out to scale, if possible, Carlon Head. It was, although the last 500 ft. necessitated 1 hour to negotiate. At Narrow Neck Road we had 50 minutes to “make” Kat. “which” as George Metry's father said “is absurd.”
After “beating the clock” for three days, Father Time had his revenge; our watches were 10 minutes slow and the train 10 earlier.
At 2.10 a.m. being somewhat conscientious we entered a 2nd. class carriage but B.O. reigning high we hastily retreated and dived into an unlighted “First” The lone occupant, a Scot, gave us welcome and a bottle of stout. Bath, breakfast, and so to work!
Rain! RAIN! R A I N!!! The drizzling, driving dampener of spirits. But not of the Incompatibles - that, dear reader, was the start of our epic Anzac week-end grind care of Gordon Smith and Max Gentle - from Wentworth Falls to Katoomba. Hast ever (x)RUN with Gordon & Co.? No? You should try it. When your feet ache; you are weak and dizzy for want of food; when every fibre of your being cries stop! The Incompatibles say WALK!! And then, like those immortal heroes: “theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do or die” you struggle feebly on.
What though the leader more out 3 pairs of shoes; and another Incompat. went berserk, borrowed an axe and mutilated a pair of 34/- shoes; and still another tells you he was “desperately hungry” and so weary he just tossed his pack over Ti-Willa Buttress: mere trifles. YOU must feel nothing but an unconquerable urge to go ON, Ever ONWARD. For peaks must topple ere you rest.
Did I say REST? (my mind is still deranged.) How can one rest when 4:30 am marks the rising of the chief Incompat. namely Debert - and with what cajolery, threats, water splashing and bellowing does he belabour you until finally you struggle out into the bleak, cheerless, cold light of dawn.
Even when the turkey dinner at Carlon's turns out to be roast mutton; when you puff and pant up steep slopes; cross rivers inumerable times; scale verticle rocky faces; and finally (x) RACE into Katoomba to discover your matches are all 10 minutes slow and you have to wait 6 hours for the next train: it is a freezing night; you have no long pants; your knees are frozen stiff; the waiting room floor is hard; and the prospect of work 2 hours after you hit town looms like a spectre before you; you feel like sitting down and having a good old MOAN (like me.) But Forever restless you are Now an INCOMPATIBLE and must pooh-pooh! the idea of toughness and add “don't forget I'm in on the next one.”
NOTE: (x) Both these words are meant as written.
A story of Youth - nine people thrilling with the awful energy of life, with all the wonder of the world within them and a great love in their hearts for the music of things that happen.
A story of nights that were seas of silence, on whose unfathomable deeps of sky the quiet noon sailed, infinitely far away in the pure clear air, among silver-edged islands of cloud;
Mornings that opened shy eyes in a mist of rain, light, timid and tentative, that lay along the ground and crept from ridge to ridge, and a growing ripple of sound as the world awoke;
Afternoons when everything seemed just sunshine and a sky and rolling hills of green velvet as tar as eye could see; or the dipple dapple of forest trees and a play of light and shade.
And over all the mild keen smell of bushland earth wet after the rain, Or the hot gum scented air that made the blood dance in the veins and went to the head like mine.
And ever a little trail of figures went on, leaving behind the gentle playful breeze and the shy wide eyed denizens of the bush.
A story of effort and achievement, - and a journey well fulfilled.
Are we Humbugs?
Prospective Members and Cock-Eyed Officialdom.
Dear Editor - How we sweated over the building up of our Club's Constitution!
Remenber those days when we wished to prevent an undue influx of new members and how we invented the probationary period and the nomination form to be signed by the nominator and six supporters. We placed in the Constitution a clause saying that the nominator “shall be able to report to the Committee on the applicant's sociability, stamina, and regard for the Club's welfare.” Here at last, we thought, was the safety-valve that would enable us carefully to select our members and prevent an overgrowth of membership. No longer would members give their signatures cheaply to prospective members, and incompatible prospectives, unable to obtain the necessary signatures, would fade out and save the Committee the distasteful task of rejecting them.
From now on the nominator was to be an important person, mentioned in the Constitution as one who shall be able to report etc. His signature was to mean something, and he would be loath to sign unless he were perfectly satisfied in regard to the applicant's “sociability, stamina, and regard for the Club's welfare.” What a splendid piece of legislation! From then on we required Nominators to treat their signatures seriously and help the Committee in admitting the right type of member only.
But now the sinister figure of humbug creeps onto the stage. The nominator is apparently not as important as he thinks he is or as the Constitution says he is. Ask the Committee, they will tell you they told me. It happened like this The committee of last year rejected an applicant after what, I consider, was an unseemly muddling. I told them so and the correspondence was read at the Annual Meeting. Unfortunately it is sometimes necessary to reject applicants but it can be done constitutionally and in a manner perfectly fair to the applicant, his nominator and the Club.
It is quite fair if it is done after a full and impartial investigation but in the particular case in question the applicant was first illegally “deferred” and that without the nominator being given an opportunity to report and justify his signature. I protested to the Committee and pointed out the Constitutional position. I received a long reply in which the following sentence occurred - “the Committee has power to call for a report from the nominator, which it would probably do before rejecting an applicant.” Well, in fact, when it later considered the “deferred” applicant's nomination it did reject the applicant and did not call for the report. The nominator and the six supporters were simply not allowed a hearing despite a request for one, and yet the investigation was supposed to be full and impartial. What a nasty taste! and what a dangerous precedent!
Wishing to satisfy myself that this act would not be taken as a precedent I wrote to the present Committee re the matter and was informed that the Committee was of the opinion that it need not necessarily call for the nominator's report. There is no necessity always to do so but I maintain that there is one instance above all others where the report must of necessity be considered, and that is before an application is rejected. If it is not deemed necessary in this circumstance it could not be deemed necessary in any other, and a report that is never to be made is an absurdity and renders this clause of the Constitution senseless. At least let us be honest with ourselves. If the Constitution wont work as it is, then let us alter it, but don't allow officialism to sterilize significant clauses which were placed in the Constitution for a definite purpose and after much careful thought.
The Constitution must dictate to the Committee and any deviation on the plea of expediency must not be permitted. If the spirit as well as the letter of the Constitution is adhered to there should be no kick coming from anyone and Club administration will proceed without friction.
I place my views before you and would be glad to hear constructive criticism on the points that I have discussed.
Now hollow fires burn out to black,
And lights are guttering low;
Slime your shoulders, lift your pack,
And leave your friends and go.
Oh never fear, man, nought's to dread,
Look not to left or right;
In all the endless road you tread
There's nothing but the night.
"For the Very Young"
By Evelyn Millard
Author's Note: All characters in this story are fictitious and have no reference to any living persons?????????
Once upon a time there lived a lonely KNIGHT named MARTIN HARVEY GRIFFITHS, who was always cranky, cross and irritable, owing to the fact that he very often had a CRAMP. He fell in love with a sweet, GENTLE maiden who had just sailed out from SPAIN with her wicked uncle who was once a DEAKIN, and was known all over this NEWLAND to which she had come, as LEE WHITE. Now, the KNIGHT was sadly distressed with the CRAMP, and could not set forth to storm the castle of the wicked uncle where the maiden was locked up, and so win her heart.
One lovely spring morning when the CRAMP began to HARRIS him more than usual, he wandered down to the gurgling brook which ran through his grounds, and after pulling up some little flowers by the ROOTS (he was very sorely distressed), he sat by the brook, sad at heart, but he had BEAN there only a short time when out of the water popped a big CROKER, which feeling sorry for the KNIGHT, began to tell him of the happy camps and walks of his friends, the WALKERS. The KNIGHT, who always felt happy when he was sad, became SCOTTY with the CROKER for interrupting his sad thoughts, and was very BLUNT with him; but the CROKER, not to be discouraged, told him he would soon lose the CRAMP, and would always be really happy if he did more exercise, and suggested he should TRAVIS the countryside by foot instead of in his AUSTIN and MORRIS motor cars. “Then”, said the CROKER, “you can go forth and storm the castle.” The KNIGHT thought this over, and after discussing it with young BIRT ROLFE, his favourite PAGE, decided it was a BERRY good idea, and he could YARDLEY wait for the morrow.
Next morn, although the CRAMP was still with him, he set forth for Mt. DOUGLAS, his MARSHALL cloak around him, and before many MYLES were gone, he discarded his cloak, with a feeling of great happiness. He thought the air was much PURA, and though he had many aches, he felt “ALLSWORTH while.' However, being new at the game, he soon began to feel a PAINE or two in his side, and had to EASDOWN his pace a little. When he reached the WOODS he lay down, and not being very HARDY, he MADE a hip-hole in the soft BROWNE earth and went to sleep. When he awoke it was very dark, and queer noises began to echo around him; he became afraid, his legs began to TRIMBLE, and thinking of the many SAVAGE things in the bush, he began to walk so fast that all the wild things thought he was on a test walk. Alas and alack he arrived at the station to see, like so many bushwalkers that the train had just pulled out! The poor KNIGHT felt very annoyed; used many words not in the ENGLISH language and commenced to walk to the next station to keep himself warm, as there was a FROST in the air. Soon there came along a LAWRY, travelling to town, driven by one HERBERT, a STOCKMAN. The KNIGHT stopped the LAWRY to enquire the WAY, and was told to TURNER corner about a mile past the shop of the black-SMITH, and then if he walked due WEST for about two miles he would see the Station. HERBERT offered him a lift and the KNIGHT was just about to accept, when the voice of the CROKER made him walk on. He listened to the voice of the tempter and to the voice of the CROKER, and finally, with a feeling of PRYDE in his heart, he declined the offer. The driver thought he had never met a DUMMER man. When the KNIGHT came to the shop of the SMITH he was given a feed of PARSONS oats and RICE, also a drink of water which he spilt on the floor and he had to MOPPETT up. He was given a box of BRYANT and May matches to light his pipe and then offered a bed in one of the BARNES. While resting he heard a BELL ring near by, and on enquiry, learnt it was in the HALL leading to the CHAPPEL in the school next door.
After a rest, the KNIGHT set forth for home, and the very next day, feeling a new man, set out for the COX, on the banks of which dwelt the maiden and her uncle. He set out for CLEAR HILL, and went down the ladder of one TARO, finally arriving at his destination, where, after a short battle with the wicked uncle, he won the heart of the maiden. They were married a few days later by a CLARKE of the peace who was camping near by, and after a trip to SCOTLAND arid back for the honeymoon, they settled down in a tumble-down shack, where they had to PIGGOTT for a while. Then they moved to one of the pretty HOLMES at GORDON, where they lived happily ever after.
The Valley of the Swampy Plain.
By Jim Muir, Coolemon.
Away up stream some ninety odd miles above Albury, two glorious mountain streams unite to form Australia's most noted waterway. The valleys of these two rivers, the Swampy Plain and the Indi, afford a wealth of walking possibilities, if I should favour one more than another it would be the valley of the Swampy Plain.
Access to the valley is gained by the road from Bringenbong, climbing a steep saddle, from which a splendid view of the mountains is obtained. The mighty Dargals stand like sentinels to the right, and above the misty cobalt of the foothills their barren purple crags frown down in a forbidding yet alluring manner, while away to the south, Townshend and Abbott Peak hide Kosciusko from view.
The road descends into the valley and runs for some seven or eight miles to the end of settlement. This strip of valley, known as Khancoban, is as pretty as its name. Graceful poplars and willows line the river, arid fine Hereford cattle feed knee-deep in luscious grass. It is always beautiful. Spring seems to dwell eternal in this delightful spot.
At the entrance to the valley, where the road descends from the saddle, Swamp Creek is forded. Along the creek's left bank a track runs up stream and over the Dargals Range to Pretty Plains beyond. Thence it travels on to the Bogong, where tracks command the whole of this southern tableland. From here one may penetrate the mists of romance that enshroud Jagungal, Gungarton, Twynam, Townshend and Kosciusko.
Kosciusko is accessible from Khancoban by two other routes, one direct in 15 miles, and the other over a better grade, via Groggin, in 40 miles.
A narrow gorge of the Swampy Plain has prevented occupation along the river valley beyond Khancoban but a track leaves the end of the settlement and makes a detour over a range to the south east, and the river is again met about 5 miles farther upstream. This track is trafficable by foot and horseback, and though monotonous over the first three miles, opens out on to scenes of rare beauty, even transcending the tranquility of Khancoban. On the southern side of this steep grade, tree ferns grow in riotous profusion, while the sight of a lyre bird is not uncommon. Coming down the wall one gets an unforgetable view of the “Kosciusko Range.” Actually Kosciusko cannot be seen as it lies closely behind this range, across Wilkinson's Valley.
Just before the river is reached the track crosses the Bogong creek which has had its birth up under the mountain of the same name. Looking back down the river from the junction, one can see the narrow gorge that prevented the track following the river. This has been called the Devil's Grip and also the Murray Gate, and was once surveyed as a site for a proposed dam.
The track continues up the valley over delightful flats and river crossings. These flats bear the name of Geehi, and act as mustering paddocks when the cattle are brought down off the tops in autumn.
At Geehi the Swampy Plain is a glorious stream, strangely reminiscent of the Cox in its most turbulent mood. The bed of the stream is strewn with large, smooth granite boulders, mashed from Kosciusko's side, and the water burbles over these in mild gaiety. But with an inch of rain on the melting snow in the hills, trouble stirs, the waters boil and eddy, they lose their burbling gaiety and surge tumultuously forward with an ominous roar. Let him beware who is caught in the hills by the river in this forbidding role.
As one ascends the valley, he continually views before him the grey-blue wall of Townshend and Abbott Peak, and is thrilled thereby with the expectation of adventure. From the flats below, one can clearly perceive the change in vegetation on the slopes as the altitude increases first the heavy timber, then the misty grey of dead mountain ash snow gum, dead snow gum, then grey formidable granite crags devoid of vegetation.
Three or four miles from the Wall the river makes a right angle bend and is joined by the Geehi Creek. From this junction a track leads over the divide to the S.S.W on to the Indi River at Groggin. From here tracks radiate to Kosciusko, Nariel and Omeo, and down the Indi to Biggara.
A short trip may be made to Kosciusko from Geehi by climbing Hannel's Spur which ascends from between the Geehi Creek and the Swampy Plain River. A definite track now exists, but the grade is terrific. From Geehi at 1,350 ft., a six mile climb lifts one nearly 6,000 ft. to Kosciusko. Water is adequate in the driest times, but it is a little difficult to find on the lower slopes. One of the most disappointing features of this route is that the walker is climbing a 7,000 ft. mountain all day, and just when he reaches the top on his hands and knees, thinking his job is done, he finds he's on the shoulder of Abbott Peak, and that the cairn crowned top of Kosciusko lies away to the south east across Wilkinson's Valley.
I set out to discuss the walking possibilities of the Swampy Plain Valley, but all my tracks have climbed up to the hills. Let not this detract from the charm and spirit of the place. Should one have the taste for the outdoor, let him take a pack into the upper valley at Geehi, and I'll warrant you he will find all the romance, all the spirit of colour and exhilarating charm for which he yearns. In such a place one is aware of a peace that the quietest plain can never give, where solitude adds to the charm, and the multiplicity of streams and peaks to which the valley offers access, will stimulate the fancy and send it on a career of entertaining adventure.
“Slips that pass in the type”
Mr. & Mrs. S are being felicitated on the girth of a son at the hospital,
The Motorist ran into a live wife, which blew the lights of his car … and then … he sped away!
How Long Since You Visited Paddy's?
It is a good plan to have a look around Paddy's place
occasionally, just to keep in touch with the latest gadgets
Paddy has developed or acquired.
Here are a few new items of interest:
|WATERPROOF MATCHES:||Make falling in water a pleasure. 4d. a box.|
|WATERTIGHT MATCH BOXES:||Make assurance doubly sure. Brass boxes to hold a small box of waxies, 4d.|
|HEAD COSIES:||(Down stuffed hoods) Very snug and oh! so elegant 3/6.|
|ALUMINIUM PEGS:||If you are interested in lopping off the ounces, those pegs will help. They save 4 oz. per doz. Not quite as strong as the steel type. Try half and half. 1/3 per dozen.|
|REDUCTION IN HIRE RATES:||Butter having gone up, Paddy is doing his best to reduce the cost of living. Hire of tent, frame and rucksack or sleeping bag reduced from 3/. to 2/6 for week end.|
Drop in some time you'll not be pressed to buy.
P. A. PALLIN,
327 George St., (Opp, Paling's)
By Flo Allsmorth.
At the reunion there was rather a lot of talk about official walks and the lack of members on same. In fact one gathered that official walks weren't done. So imagine my surprise on Sunday April 11th. when I arrived at Central and met 8 members on the train and by the time we got to Wahroonga the members numbers 15, the visitors 3.
We hadn't been on the track long when we found our numbers had increased to 19. A dog, “Blue”, decided we were a likely crowd for a good tramp through the bush so just tagged on.
Ray Birt was the leader and she soon got us out into the bush headed for Cockle Creek. We all looked very bushwalkerish except Marie who has friends with a weakness for umbrellas and Marie having plenty of room in her pack volunteered to carry her friend's umbrella, and so erected it in her pack; there it stayed peeking over her shoulder all day but as no one had a camera you will have to take my word for it.
We soon got to Cockle Creek and had a rest. Then up the mountainous bank on the other side and along the top till we came to Cowan Creek where we stayed for a swim and lunch and lots of chatter. The spot we chose for our lunch was a very pretty one and had a little stream of fresh water running into it. There was a nice flat bit where we made a fire and the opposite bank was rather steepish. The creek on this day was very green and looked like glass, rather lovely with a bright blue sky overhead. After lunch we climbed the other bank and followed a good track until we hit the road at St. Ives, passed through St. Ives and the Pymble Forest, then on to the water pipes to Middle Harbour. I was glad to leave the road and get into the bush again. The bush at present is looking rather dull - no flower out, or scarcely any at this time of year, still an eriostemon peeped out of the bushes here and there and a few wattles glowed in the sunlight.
Early tea and more swimming were indulged in at Middle Harbour and more chatter, and Grace gave us a good demonstration of scrounging from a scrounger - she helped us all to Jack Debert's chocolate. After that we followed the creek along a bit till we came to Pymble Park and so on to the station, after dispatching No. 19 back to Wahroonga we took the city bound train. So ended a pleasant “SW' day out. Or was it a picnic? It was certainly an easy and enjoyable day.
This is my second official walk recently. The last was a test from Faulconbridge to Richmond, when the party consisted of 18 - half old-members and half prospectives. We had a thoroughly good time, old and new walkers both equally enjoying it. So much for the non-attendance of members on official walks. Might I suggest to prospective members that they do more walks with the Club, not just the necessary number to enable them to become members, and they will certainly get to know the old members in that way.
Oh! at the eagle's height
To lie i' the sweet of the sun,
While veil after veil takes flight
And God and the world are one.
A.E. (George Russell)
By Gwen Clarke.
Seven enthusiastic walkers on a clear moonlight night!
About half-past eleven we left the cars, seven miles from Marulan, to set off for our camping spot on Bungonia Creek. We were a merry party, Jean Trimble, Dorothy Lawry, Tom Moppett, Perce Harvey, Bennie Bryant, “the military”, and myself. “The military” you ask? A visitor who came clad in his regimental breeches, boots, puttees and hat. As most of us were fresh to the district, we halted to admire the view before descending to the river. Despite the soft light of the moon, the effect was austere. Ridge separated from ridge by the black bands of shadowed recesses, slipped abruptly down to the banks of the Shoalhaven: promise enough of rugged grandeur.
By one o'clock our zest was not so keen. Bennie, our leader, was nonplussed by the results of a recent flood, the creek having changed its course. As we scrambled round upturned beds of shale, with a slip meaning a thorough wetting, we were thinking the camping spot had better be a good one when we did reach it, if ever… It was, except for the water. The more we drank, the thirstier we became, so that ever and again, we talked of the cider off the ice to be had when we reached Marulan.
On Friday afternoon we set out to climb Sugar Loaf Peak. Jean and Dorothy decided to remain at the bottom but I thought I would try it. The last few hundred feet were the worst. Sweat dropped off the end of my nose as almost on hands and knees I crawled up the steep slope, whose slaty stones were lacking in footholds. In my own ways (I am almost ashamed to own it when I think of Marie Byles) I'm proud I climbed that peak, hence for the rest of the trip it was “my peak.” At the top we rested, wondering why the butterflies hovered round the tree-tops and why thistledown floated between us and the ridges that, enveloped in powdery shadows, fell down to Barber's Creek.
Each day we saw something more majestic than the previous. Saturday's walk was about five miles up stream to the “Block-up,” where the Shoalhaven flows for half-a-mile between jagged cliffs. Slate bluffs mirrored in the water reminded me of the reflections of mountains in the lakes of North Wales. These slates on the Shoalhaven are some of the world's oldest rocks. For the most part they are bare of verdure, but here and there, on some cliffs are stunted wattle trees with powdery blue foliage.
Saturday was sultry; the sort of day that makes you long for a watermelon all to yourself. In the heat of that morning, three of us stood amazed, to see the others about turn and run in quite a determined fashion. Had they seen a snake? No, melons growing upon the riverbank; yes and watermelons! Alas, they were green!
To provide variety on our going and returning walk, we had two river crossings - one, shoulder deep and the other, knee-deep above a rapid. I do not like crossing rapids. I was last on the way back. Now, at the Reunion, Dorothy had given us a tip. “If your party fails to wait while the last up a hill has a rest, you should, if you're last, take a rest before you reach the top.” Very sound advice which I followed, not in the case of a hill, but of the rapid.
The reward for distrusting my comrades consideration was a very wet rest. I decided to pause three quarters of the way across the rapid. Just as I was about to stand still, my foot slipped. Down I sat in the swirling water. Well, I could become no wetter, I continued to sit.
The following of Bungonia Creek to the gorge was Sunday's walk. A way of pleasantness and coolness for a mile or so amidst tall casuarinas and grassy bands stretches. Then clear against an intensely blue sky rose a bluff, yellow, red and brown; scudding overhead were two or three soft white clouds. Eager to see what was beyond, we scrambled over the massive, marble-like boulders below the bluff and entered the canyon, the mulls of which are about one thousand feet high, as opposed to a length of five hundred yards and a width of thirty yards. Along its dry floor we walked, for the creek flows underground, till we came into the sunlight again, and rested on a green bank beneath casuarinas.
On our way back “the military” became very excited at finding calcite crystals, and at seeing the up-turned beds of rock along the creek. Although we knew others had seen what we saw, we felt our experience was unique; perhaps because we met no other person except a prospector.
Reluctantly, for more reasons than one, we set off on Monday morning to climb the hill-side on our way back to Marulan. Before joining the cars, we looked over a limes-kiln and lime-stone quarry.
If you wish to see country different in formation and vegetation from our sandstone country, take the train to Marulan; you will not be disappointed. Choose the season wisely; and who knows a feast of water-melons may be yours!
Or are they paddy-melons? ED.
The Search and Rescue Section has issued a comprehensive report and scheme of action. All who are able should fill up the forms, which our secretary will provide, specifying just what they are prepared to do if the call comes for help.
The fast train to Lilyvale on Sundays has been restored thanks to the FederationtS representations to the Railway Commissioners.
A subcommittee has been appointed to investigate the Warragamba Reservoir project. At present the Federation feels uncertain what attitude bushwalkers should adopt with regard to it.
Three new clubs have recently become affiliated with Federation, The Trampers Club of N.S.W., the Newcastle Bushwalking Club and the H.H.Club. This organization of previously unorganized walkers is encouraging. The Federation is particularly anxious to forward this movement and anything that individuals can do to help will be welcomed. Have you any suggestions to offer?
A bushland conference was arranged in conjunction with other conservation societies. As a result a motion was passed and forwarded to the authorities urging the establishment of advisory councils to confer with the government departments concerned about the reservation of park lands, and also urging the need for the preservation of footpaths when scenic roads are constructed.
The Federation is still pressing for the reservation of Garawarra Park as originally intended and opposing the extension of Lady Carrington Drive to Otford.
How People Walk in Other Lands or More News of New York's Hiking Clubs
From Suzanne Reichard
Mr. Dench has further acted tile fairy godfather to the extent of securing invitations for me to go out with all the important hiking clubs around New York, with the exception of the Apalachian Mountain Club, which was too snooty even to reply to his letter. He really is a splendid man.
The first club I went out with, was the Green Mountain Club, whose headquarters are in the Green Mountains, but which has a very active New York chapter with about 250 members. I went out on one of their Sunday walks, which was most enjoyable, but as the weather was already pretty hot, only eight people turned up. The leader had been told by their secretary to look out for me on the train, and everybody was most kind and friendly. Judging by the people who came on the walk, this club seemed to have more young members than most of the New York clubs, whose members are mostly over thirty. Moreover the Green Mountain Club is the only club in which a girl may walk in shorts without being regarded as behaving in a slightly improper manner. On this walk most of the men actually took off their shirts! In any other club such conduct would be unthinkable! Indeed there is quite a large nudist contingent in the Green Mountain Club. Of course, they do not go nude on the official club walks, but when the urge comes on them, they make for a place called Terriss Pond, a small lake in the woods, where, at week-ends, there is quite a nudist colony, including a German group called the Naturfreunde. The Club has a fine camp on Lake Tiorati, which I hope to visit some day. In summer they have swimming and canoeing and in winter, ice-skating.
A much smaller club (60 members) and one which only does day walks, is the Tramp and Trail Club. This club has a membership limit of 70, and consists entirely of older people who like their walking to be leisurely and not too long. The club is 27 years old, The president is Frank Place, quite an authority on hiking around New York and, with Mr. Dickenson, co-author of the “New York Walk Book.”
The third club I visited, was the Adirondack Mountain Club. I had the good fortune to spend a day at their beautiful camp on Lake Sebago. Camp Nahwakwa is typical of the American camp, with its large log-cabin style community-building, with a huge open fire-place and surrounded, at some distance, by smaller log-cabins which serve as sleeping quarters. Like the Green Mountain Club the Adirondack Mountain Club is about 40 years old and has a substantial membership and a fairly high membership fee - 5 dollars (25 shillings) per annum. The members appear somewhat older and less broad-minded than the former. I could not help smiling to myself when one lady-member announced in a very enterprising manner, that she was going to get a divided skirt for the summer! Anyway the dear things were hospitality itself, so I should not make fun of them.
After having been out with quite a number of American clubs I must say that my respect for the S.B.W. has increased mightily. There is no club here that can compare with them for toughness, pioneering spirit, arid ability to rough it; for here, with made trails and trail shelters everywhere such qualities are not require. The American clubs lack, too, the informality of the S.B.W., and the real mateship that comes from hardships bravely shared. Members, who have been in the same club for years will continue to call one another Mr. and Miss. Of course you must bare in mind that these are generalizations based on rather superficial observations and I have no doubt that, on increased acquaintance, I would find that there were many really fine people in the clubs.
Tramping in New Zealand - Bush Walking in Australia.
I have been asked to write an article comparing walking conditions in New Zealand with those in N.S.W.
First of all I should like to say how pleased I am to meet the members of the Sydney Bushwalkers and have the opportunity of visiting parts of your country I would not otherwise have known existed. It is good to get off the beaten track and I shall always retain very pleasant memories of the trips I have made with your Club. In its variety of attractions Sydney must surely be incomparable and I only wish I had the time and opportunity to visit all the delightful places I have heard so much about.
In Wellington I was a member of the Varsity and the Tararua Tramping Clubs, the latter so named after the range of mountains extending north of the City and the haunt of all Wellington trampers. The Tararua Club is one of the oldest and best known in N.Z. Our Club room, like your own, is open every Friday night and alternatively there are open nights and social nights. The latter comprise debates, concerts and lectures usually dealing with travels abroad.
Our paper “The Tararua Tramper” is published monthly and sent out to all members free. The number of engagements and marriages announced in it lately, however, has made me wonder whether the Club has been converted into a matrimonial agency with walking a secondary interest.
The country surrounding Wellington is particularly favourable for tramping. There are four main Clubs, The Tararua, Hutt Valley, Paua and Varsity besides dozens of lone star trampers who each week-end also make for the bush.
Perhaps the first difference I noticed was in the name. Here you walk, in N.Z. we tramp, and I can well imagine the expression on some of our tough he-men's faces if, after a particularly arduous week-end through dense bush and muddy tracks, they were greeted with the words “Wells and how did you enjoy your walk?” I am not insinuating that your walks are not equally as strenuous as our tramps but in instances like the above the term “walk” always seems to me a little mild.
As our suburbs are not so extensive as in Sydney, it is easier for us to be far from the madding crowd much more quickly and, ipso facto, much more cheaply than you.
We are, I think, more fortunate than you in our system of huts. Our members unless going to the less frequented spots need never carry a tent and can be sure of a night's shelter, if not always a night's sleep. Some of these huts are most comfortable and shelter up to 50 people or more. Bunks are provided, also forms and tables. These huts are primarily for the use of Club members but unless they are filled to overflowing no one is refused accommodation.
Until I arrived.. in Australia, I had never carried a billy, which now brings me to another difference. With us, as with you, meal time is quite the most important function of the walks but there all resemblance ends. Individual camp fires and cooking are rare. I am not, of course, referring to Sunday tramps where everyone usually eats his or her own lunch.
Meals during a week-end are supplied on a community basis, the boys in most cases being the cooks. On arrival at a hut, everyone produces meat, vegetables, soup, bread, butters etc. etc. and preparations are begun for a large and nighty stew. It would be well nigh impossible on a cold wet winter's night (and we get a few in N.Z.) for a crowd of 20 or 30 to cook their own special delicacies on one large open fire. In that case, the best meal would be to the swift and the strong.
A supply of billies is usually kept in the hut or, if not, the leader is responsible for bringing them, together with sufficient tea and sugar for the whole party. He is also responsible for lighting the fire in the morning (poor leader in the winter when an early rise is indicated!) and all that the majority of us seem to do is to get up and lo presto! the breakfast is cooked and only waiting to be eaten. Needless to say, our meals are perhaps not so luxurious as yours but I have very pleasant memories of how delicious a Tararua stew tasted after a long day's tramp.
All our members wear short light waterproof coats for wet weather with a flap attached to the shoulders for protecting the pack. This appears to me to offer more freedom for hill climbing than the buttoned up ground sheet worn by your members.
During the year, we occasionally have a combined Clubs week-end, members of Clubs as far north as Palmerston participating. The huge campfire and singsong on the Saturday night will always linger in my memory as some of the happiest hours spent in the Club.
Attached to the Tararuas is a Botany Circle of which I was a keen, if not a particularly bright, member. N.Z. on account of its variety of trees, ferns and shrubs is considered one of the hardest countries in the world for the budding botanist, so it is not uncommon for members to be in the Botany Circle for years and years and still find now plants to conquer. This circle meets every alternate Friday and organises occasional outings of its own.
Another difference is our system of computing distance. Your tramps are measured by mileage, ours by time although, through bitter experience in last minute jumps on moving boats and trains, I have learned to add half-an-hour or so to the time usually shown on the syllabus.
The differences between the two Clubs are only minor after all and the essentials - love of the open air and good fellowship - are the same.
Tips for Tyros
Winkles for Walkers
On exploratory trips it is better to go down rivers and up ridges. They converge that way.
The blue end of your compass needle points Magnetic North. The sides of Lands Department Maps run magnetic N. & S.
The sun is approximately: True N. at Mid-day, true E. at 6 a.m. true W. at 6 p.m.
Don't dry leather boots by the fire. It's a fifty-fifty chance you'll burn them. Why worry anyway. If it's dry next day they'll be dry in no time and if it's wet soon be soaked. Much better get your socks dry.
Don't waste hours rolling your sleeping bag for packing, push it into the cover in a couple of minutes.
Bonum Pic and Travis Pass.
By Alec Colley.
The night was cool and misty. There was no wind nor any sound to ruffle our slumbers. Not for long were we to remain in this happy state. Already Jack was looking at his match, and soon the silence was shattered by a raucous shout “Get up! Get up!” He went on to explain that it was morning, which was just as well, as, looking into the pitch blackness around us, we mould have thought it was night if we hadn't been told. Our feelings towards Jack were not of the warmest at this time, but by seven o'clock we had almost forgotten his nasty manners of 5 a.m. By this time we had set off through the still misty Wanganderry paddocks and were heading for Bonum Pic.
There were seven in the party when we set out, Jean Travis, Jessie Martin, Gordon Mannell, Jack Debert, myself, and Dr. and Mrs. LemDerg, who were starting out with us in order to find their way down to the Wollondilly.
For about three miles we followed a cart-track leading to Malcolm's. From here on we had a little difficulty in finding the track, despite fairly detailed instructions, as the tableland is featureless to one travelling along the top of it. However we found our way to the edge of the cliffs and were soon in sight of the Pic. It is something like Clear Hill in formation excepting that the top is much more uneven and in many places consists only of a narrow ramp of broken rock. Although a lot of rock climbing is necessary to get along the top, there are no cliff faces such as were met by Marie Byles when she approached from below, on the Western side. On the whole I would recommend this approach to the less agile and those with family responsibilities. But it would be advisable to get full information before trying it as the tableland is a maze of deep gullies and flat-topped ridges.
We were fortunate in having a clear day to enjoy the view. In the middle distance were the Tonalli Range, Byrnes' Gap, Yerranderie Peak, Mount Colong and some un-named ridges to the West. Further away, on the skyline, was Kanangra, and through a gap we could see what Jack told us were Mount Mouin and Debert's Knob. He assured us that he could recognise this much cursed hump from any angle. Below the Wollondilly wound its may through rolling grassy hills which lead up to mountain spurs and cliffs. The great height of the cliffs which form the Pic and the fact that it is almost isolated from the main tableland, give one a feeling of being suspended far above the extensive valley beneath. It is a most unusual view of some of the best walking country.
We found our way back along the Pic and then made our way over to the head of Bonum Pic Creek. Here we left the Doctor and his wife who were now on the right track for the river. The upper parts of the Creek were rough, but there were no actual cliff faces to negotiate, and we were soon making our way round the foothills towards the river, where we camped for the night.
Next morning we started for a walk up the river without our packs. Somehow our walk developed into a talk and ended in a swim. We spent some time sliding round narrow channels where the river made its way through an outcrop of smooth granite rook. Eventually we got back for lunch and afterwards made our may down the river to a spot near Coleman's Creek.
The following morning we set off down the river for a short distance, and then along a spur towards a small break in the cliff face to the East. Before leaving the river we had a very clear view of a platypus from a point nearly 100 ft. directly above the water. It seemed quite unaware of our presence and for some minutes we watched it floating on the top and diving underneath in turn. Near this place too we had a look at the irrigation plant put in by Jack in his rural days. The lower part of the system had consisted of pine saplings, bored through the centre with an auger. The water was pumped through these to the top of the bank, about 20 ft. above the river, and from there was conveyed 30 or 40 yards by means of a windlass and buckets. It must have been tremendously hard work raising the water by this primitive method and I could not help thinking of the great quantities of modern machinery which were lying idle at the time when Jack was working the handle of this home-made windlass.
The mountain ahead of us looked almost inaccessible from a distance, but actually proved quite easy to climb. There was a steep pinch near the top, but again there was nothing we could not walk up. Having got up we left our packs and went along the top of the mountain for a little over half a mile to a point overlooking the Nattai Valley, which is very narrow here and lies at the foot of steep cliffs. Around here it is somewhat like a rather narrow version of the Burragorang.
From the point where we first arrived at the top of the mountain we had no difficulty in getting down the other side. For about half the way we followed a dry gully and when this became rough we climbed up onto a ridge and followed this down to the river. This route from the Upper Burragorang to the Nattai is probably the only way of getting from one to the other without following down to the junction of the two rivers, and makes possible quite a number of interesting walks.
The Rock-Climbing Section
June 1937 saw the advent of the Rock-Climbing Section of the Sydney Bush Walkers, the moving spirits being Dot English, our star-climber, Gordon Smith, Bill McKosker, David Stead and Frazer Radcliffe (from N.Z.). Having seen rock-climbing abroad, we have no doubt that these people would take their place at the forefront of any rock-climbing club elsewhere. Their methods being self-taught are shockingly unorthodox, and we are not certain that they even know how to tie the ordinary knots, but they take very good care that the knots they do tie take a lot of untying, but this is fortunately not often necessary, because they do not use the rope except in places which ordinary people would regard as impossible even with it. We wish them good luck and hope they will always hold the record of a rock-climbing club which never has accidents.
It was a happy thought which inspired Charlie Pride when he suggested breaking the usual rule about a prophet not being without honour except among his own people, and arranged that we should do honour to Myles Dunphy, the father of the bushwalking movement in N.S.W. and one who has done more for its interests than any other person. A suitable presentation was arranged and speakers paid tribute to the work of the person whom we all acknowledge to be the only one indispensable to the work for the reservation of national parks and primitive areas. May he be long with us to carry that work forward.
Mr. J.G. Lockley has passed on.
His monument is what he achieved. It is unnecessary here to expound upon his achievements, they are so well known, and although we shall be the poorer by his loss, we are the richer for the legacy he has left us.
It would seem, however, that the official Journal of The Sydney Bush Walkers, which club was honoured by Redgum's membership, is a fit place to express how we of the Bushwalking fraternity esteemed and loved this man, not only for what he was, a lovable and beloved character, but for what he did.
Always an exponent of the trees, the out-of-doors and the ideals for which all bushlovers strive, he never failed in an appeal for assistance, even though it entailed sheer physical labour.
Never shall I forget what a privilege it was to accompany him among that small party some few years ago which descended into the Grose Valley to inspect the proposed reservation for posterity of what is now The Blue Gum Forest. His admiration for everything about him! His explanation and naming of the multiplicity of the flora! How he thrilled to the beauty and the majesty of the trees. How he prophesied - “This must and shall be reserved for future generations!” And chiefly through his able penmanship and the courtesy of “The Sydney Morning Herald” such prophecy was fortunately fulfilled.
No mean accomplishment this, for a man almost 70 years of age to descend 2,000 feet by a rough bridle track and after inspecting 40 acres of virgin forest land to ascend via the precipitous Govett's Leap to Blackheath, then to drive his car to Sydney. But Mr. Lockley was uncomplaining, his sole desire being to help in the preservation of some more of his beloved trees.
It was an inspiration to all of us and with our association with him in other ways served to bring Bushwalkers to love this man as I feel sure he loved us.
Among the memorials to perpetuate his name is one, and of which I think he was proudest, the Lockley Pylon, a rugged outcrop of sandstone near Mount Hay overlooking the Govett's Leap Valley and The Blue Gum Forest.
When speaking with him of the accomplishments of himself and others his reply would almost invariably be “Well, I've done little, but the others haven't a pylon!”
We are the pilgrims, master; we shall go
Always a little further; it may be
Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow
Across that angry or that glimmering sea.
I long to sing the songs I heard
The lilting songs of leaf and bird
And water falling:
Of laughing rivers gliding by,
Beneath the wide Australian sky,
And magpies calling;
Of beauty that I cannot tell,
Of moss and fern and quiet dell
And sunbeams glancing
O'er lonely, tree-fringed waterways,
Of magic dawns and blue gold days
And fairies dancing;
Of bush and valley, hill and plain,
The smell of gum leaves after rain,
A curlew crying
When ebon night comes swiftly down
And drifting mists enshroud the town,
The west wind sighing;
Of forest splendour far unrolled,
Of leafy spires, the living gold
Of wattles growing
In valley depths and wild things shy
Where lone peaks lean against the sky,
With brave winds blowing.
At times I pause and fain would speak
Of windless vale and winding creek,
And often in the wind and rain
I hear those wordless songs again.
I watch the black swan streaming by,
See camel teams against the sky,
As o'er the hills there come to me
The songs that I, enchanted, heard,
Soft cadences of leaf and birds
The wonder and the witchery
Of earth and air and moving sea.
I hear them in the golden noon
And oft beneath a great white moon
My soul is filled with rapt delight
As bushland memories flood the night.
Walter D. White.
Sydney Morning Herald.
The Club has recently been made wealthier by the addition to the library of the following publications:
The New Zealand Alpine Journal - This is the annual publication of the New Zealand Alpine Club, beautifully got-up, well illustrated and interestingly written, the sort of publication that perhaps one day a Bushwalker Annual may aspire to be. It gives an account of New Zealand exploration and mountaineering during the past year, and those who intend to go over there this year will be glad to study it carefully.
The Conquest of Mount Cook by Freda Du Faur - This has been presented to the Club by the author's executrix. It is the classic of New Zealand mountaineering and is written in a manner which holds the attention from cover to cover. The author was a Sydney girl, and perhaps after reading of her exploits some of our members will feel inspired to emulate her example.
Australian Encyclopaedia - We are indebted to Ted Dollimore for this very handsome and useful gift. It is too well known to need comment, and we can only thank the donor very sincerely for a book which would make any library envious.
The following have been handed to the editor just before going to press, so that there is no time to review them. They also will be added to the library:
The Rambler's Handbook 1937.
The Tararua Tramper, April, May and June 1937.
Bulletin of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, January and October 1936. January and April 1937.
The Potomac Appalachian Trail Club and its Trails.
The Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania's South Mountain by Myron H. Avery.
List of Camping, Hiking and Trail - Making Equipment 1935.
Songs of Canadian Climbers - presented by Eileen Desbrisay of the Alpine Club of Canada.
Into the Blue - Journal of the Coast and Mountain Walkers.
The Tree Book by David G. Stead.
Giants and. Pigmies of the Deep by David G. Stead.
The Rabbit in Australia by David G. Stead.
Journal of the Ruc-Sac Tramping Club of N.Z. January, February and March 1937.