A monthly Bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown St., Sydney. Box No.4476, G.P.O. Sydney.
|Co-Editors||Dot Butler, Boundary Road, Wahroonga (JW2208), Geoff Wagg, 19 Mary Street, Blacktown.|
|Business Manager||Alex Colley (XA1255).|
|Production||Alan Wilson (FY2047).|
|Sales and Subs||Jess Martin.|
|Typed by||Jean Harvey.|
|Editorial - The Great Exodus||1|
|Details - Official Walk 1/2/3/4th October - Barrington Tops||2|
|Federation Notes - August Meeting||Brian G. Harvey||3|
|Song of the Reluctant Rock Climber||D.B.||6|
|Magazine Information Bureau||7|
|Skyline||Allen A. Strom||11|
|Sanitarium Health Food Shop||3|
|Scenic Motor Tours||4|
|Leica Photo Service||5|
|Siedlecky's Taxi and Tourist Service||6|
|Brains-Brusher Problem (Paddy's Advert.)||20|
Anybody who is anybody in the S.B.W. seems to be having a session at Kosciusko this season. Never has the Club seen such a mass migration to the snowfields. I don't think we have any plutocrats at the Chalet at £30 per week, but we have everything else, from those occupying the superior huts with central heating, h. and c. water laid on, food and cook provided, to the twenty innocents in the care of your Editor who are hoping to get away with half-hut-half-tent conditions at an all-inclusive cost of from £6 to £12 for the fortnight depending on whether they hitch and borrow or go by train and hire equipment.
Bert Whinier has set the standard for our low-income group with his home made skiis constructed of two bits of flooring board, the bindings cunningly incorporating a couple of hinged doorstops, an old sock round his head as ear-protectors. “What do you want with fancy trimmings”, says Bert. “Cost too much. You're only going for a fortnight.”
All our party is decked out in men's reconverted second-hand evening pants at 5/- the pair, and borrowed plumes of every description. Equipment too is largely borrowed. A leader of the Christian Union movement has kindly supplied us with horsehair paliasses to augment our personal supplies.
Bert has closed in the back of his truck with a canvas and perspex hood as sleeping quarters for the 5 children. “You'll be nice and snug in there” (while the temperature sags through the minus 40's - poor trusting little beggars). But besides skiis we have a toboggan and various digging implements to warm them up by day.
Housework should be cut to the minimum. Plates are deep enough to hold the necessary food, but not so deep that they can't be licked out between courses (no washing-up water of course). We have a kerosene bucket specially for porridge so we can toss it outside in the snow unwashed to keep it fresh for tomorrow's porridge. Ditto with the stew-pot (I hate washing-up)!
You can think of us at the present moment crammed into Colin Putt's alpine tent with a couple of coke braziers braizing away wherever it is convenient to put them, and a battery of cooking primuses set up on a packing case in the snow. (Say, is this fun?? I don't know yet.) Some of the snow has been shovelled away and this area paved with 16 packing cases of food, (half a hundredweight of rolled oats to mention just one item). Thus insulated from the cold snow (we hope) by Uncle Toby's product, innumerable tins of bully beef, plum pud., golden syrup, etc., etc., we spread our mattresses, sleeping bags and extra eiderdowns and sleep as snug as a dozen jack rabbits in the snow. Do we hope the tent pegs hold? Do we hope the tent pole doesn't blow down in a blizzard? We most fervently do! Anyone who has any pull with the weather man, please petition for fine weather for the next fortnight so that we may return all in one piece. We will reward you with a special Snow Issue for October.
Till we return, Schnei hail!
Leader: Jim Hooper (XM6001).
Itinerary: Saturday: Camp within half a mile of Barrington Trig. Visit to The Rim and Rocky Knob if time permits. Sunday: Across Plain, Brumlow Creek, Big Hole, Falls, crashed 'plane site. Monday: Carey's Peak, down Corker to Rocky Crossing on Williams River, then to Guest House - here connect with bus outside. Home.
Transport arrangements must be finalised by 15th September!!
There is no need to cook in the rain when you carry these tasty, ready-to-eat vegetarian foods.
Wheatflakes, Ryvita, Vita-weat of Krisp-o-wheat biscuits.
Peanuts, almonds, cashews, and the meat substitutes - nutmeat and nutolene.
Waltham raisins, dates, sultanas and dried fruit sweets.
Marmite and “Betta” peanut butter.
The Sanitarium Health Food Shop.
13 Hunter Street, Sydney.
Brian G. Harvey
The Federation will protest to the Premier's Department on the decision to make available .303 rifles to the general public, on the points of conservation and safety in the bush.
Annual report indicated that the 1953 bush fires had resulted in bad soil erosion in the Park. Illicit timber felling had been detected, and a fence had been repaired to prevent repetition. £300 had been granted by the Lands Department.
Following the Holland search, the Federation had requested the Police Department to write to the respective employers of the S & R Personnel acknowledging the assistance of the members of the Section in that Search. The Police agreed but later rescinded as they stated they did not desire to place the Department under any obligation to the employers concerned. It later transpired that the Headquarters Staff were under the misapprehension that the S & R Section had volunteered their services in this and other searches, whereas it was the Police who had requested the S & R to assist them. Steps have been taken by the Police laision officer to correct the false impression at H.Q. with the result that the Federation is hopeful that somewhat belated letters now will be sent to the employers concerned expressing appreciation of the latter's action in releasing staff to join in searches during the working week. Further conferences with the Police and the R.A.A.F. have resulted in standardised signals. A red Verey light will be the recall signal. The R.A.A.F. will use grid maps one inch to the mile. Foot parties will be issued with Ground Strips - 6 strips of white material to be laid in a prearranged pattern. Owing to legal difficulties, a bushwalker observer could not be carried in R.A.A.F. planes, which in future will operate from Canberra. A modified list of essentials for parachute drop to lost parties is in hand. Wherever possible the Police will supply transport and more use of radio is to be made, e.g. to organise civilian volunteer cars from Katoomba to convey search parties to starting points. The Federation has adopted an insurance scheme whereby members of the S & R section officially taking part in a search, or practice search, will be covered against death or accident. Injured members, unfit to work, will receive £12 per week plus medical expenses. Members will be covered from the time of leaving home until return. A S & R Practice Weekend will be held an the weekend of 18-19th September in the Carlon's-Galong Creek-Breakfast Creek area.
Federation is in dire need of a Social Secretary without whom there are no means of organising the raising of necessary funds for the carrying on of the organisation.
If you are going places, contact Scenic Motor Tours, Railway Steps, Katoomba.
Daily tours by parlor coach to the world famous Jenolan Caves and all Blue Mountain sights.
Transport by coaches for parties of bushwalkers to Kanangra Walls, Ginkin or other suitable points by arrangement.
For all information, write to P.O. Box 60, Katoomba. Telephone 60, Katoomba.
You press the button, we'll do the rest!
Finegrain Developing. Sparkling Prints. Perfect Enlargements. Your Rollfilms or Leica films deserve the best service.
Leica Photo Service.
31 Macquarie Place, Sydney, N.S.W.
Not, not S & R., but at Queen's Birthday Weekend Messrs. Leyden, Cosgrove and French were tracked down and located by the keen nose of Major James Sturgiss, a local resident. The irony of it is that they were betrayed by a surfeit of cleanliness, the pungent odour being Frank's Solvol!
A Bushwalker, having just bought his ticket to Blackheath, was given 12 pennies change. “Sorry for all the coppers”, said the Booking Clerk. “Also one of the pennies is a counterfeit coin, but unfortunately I don't know which one as they all look alike. However it will weigh lighter or heavier than a good penny. The Station Master has a set of balances in his office, but no weights, so you must weigh the coins against each other. If in three weighings you can find the counterfeit coin, Mr. Winsor's Department will be only too happy to replace it with a good one”.
The Bushwalker (1 think his name was Ashdown) hurried into the Station Masters office, and in three weighings was able to identify the spurious coin. How did he do it? We have a prize for the first Person who hands in the correct solution to the Editor.
Bushwalkers requiring transport from Blackheath, any hour, ring, write or call…
Siedlecky's Taxi and Tourist Service.
116 Station Street, Blackheath.
24 hour service.
Bushwalkers arriving at Blackheath late at night without transport booking can ring for car from Railway Station or call at above address - it's never too late!
'Phone Blackheath 81 or 146. Look for cars 3210 or TV270 or book at Mark Salon Radio Shop - opposite Station.
Will Lawson in “When Cobb & Co. Was King'….
…. “The road is my home, really. It's a wonderful thing, a road. It seems to lead anywhere and everywhere. It's always a sort of adventure. You know how you feel when you wake early and look out at a glorious morning. It seems so futile to be in one place – doesn't it? After a long night trip under the stars, with the hoofs and harness and wheels making a song, and all the people drowsy and comfortable, when it is dawn, you get a new team and swing out again on to the road, and it stretches ahead, all bends and dips and hills and gullies. There is a smell of the earth that you get to love, and the birds are marvellous in the early morning; and the trees, even their green is different. And the wind rushes past, cool, yet with a sort of warmth about it.”
Who said, “I can't go on,
The ledge is too narrow:“
Who said: “Good Lord it's cold!
I'm chilled to the marrow!”
Who said: “All Hell's despair
Lurks for us there below;
We'll all be killed, I know!”
That's what I said!
Note: This index is based on Issues Nos. 1 to 235 (June 1931 to June 1954 inclusive).
Broadly speaking, reference has been made only to articles and trip stories which contain details of route, distances, times or nature of country. Stories dealing primarily with the personnel of the party have not been included.
Locations in N.S.W., Victoria, Queensland and to some extent Tasmania are indexed under place names but it has been found necessary to log some simply as “Kosciusko” or “Victorian Alps” or “Tasmania”. All overseas regions, including New Zealand, have been omitted from index.
Locations are listed in generally alphabetical order; the numbers following refer to the Issue No. of the magazine concerned. Names like Mt. Hay have been rendered “Hay, Mt.” for purposes of index.
|Place name||Issue No.|
|Angorawa Creek||158. 159.|
|Apsley Gorge and Falls||172.|
|Arethusa Gorge||43. 84.|
|Barrington Tops||13. 14. 16. 20. 72. 78. 136. 208. 225.|
|Barney Mt. (Q'land)||141.|
|Bartle Frere Mt. (Q'land)||142. 219.|
|Baw Baw Plateau (Vic.)||135.|
|Bellinger River||83. 93.|
|Bell River (Orange)||97.|
|Big Misty (Kanangra)||193.|
|Bimberi Mt.||14. 66. 86. 100. 113.|
|Blue Gum Forest||Feb 32 -12|
|Bluff Rock (Tenterfield)||182.|
|Bogong Mt. (Vic.)||173. 34. 104. 119. 128.|
|Bonnum Pic||33. 226.|
|Boonbourwa Mt.||182. 100.|
|Box Creek (Kowmung)||24.|
|Bruinei Island (Tas.)||88.|
|Buddong Falls (Tumut)||104.|
|Buffalo Mt. (Vic.)||226.|
|Bulga Plateau (N. Coast)||160.|
|Buller Mt. (Vic.)||231.|
|Bull Island Gap||215.|
|Burning Mt (Mt. Wingen)||114.|
|Caley Mt.||60. 64.|
|Capertee River||4. 125. 150. 167. 182.|
|Chimneys, The (Kosciusko)||198.|
|Cloudmaker (see Gangerang Range)|
|Clyde River||73. 74. 80. 170. 175.|
|Cobberas Mt. (Alps)||1.|
|Cobbler Mt. (Vic.)||195. 231.|
|Colo River||4. 20. 21. 22. 92. 158. 159. 167. 176.|
|Comboyne Plateau (N.Coast)||160.|
|Corang Trig.||150. 170.|
|Coricudgy Mt.||78. 79. 125. 156. 226.|
|Cotter River||14. 66. 86. 100. 113. 116.|
|Cox River||7. 21. 24. 37. 77. 200. (many others not indexed)|
|Craycroft River (Tas.)||183.|
|Crossing River (Tas.)||183.|
|Cross Cut Saw (Vic.)||195. 231.|
|Currockbilly Mt.||152. 153. 175.|
|Davey, Port (Tas.)||183.|
|Donna Buang (Vic.)||95.|
|Endrick River||75. 76.|
|Endrick Trig.||150. 170.|
|Erica Mt. (Vic.)||135.|
|Erskine Creek||165. 167.|
|Euroka Trig.||165. 167.|
|Feathertop Mt. (Vic.)||96.|
|Field Mt. (Tas.)||159.|
|Franklin Mt.||65. 66. 86. 106.|
|Frenchman's Cap (Tas.)||179. 184. 190.|
|Gangerang Range||34. 70. 105. 156. 215.|
|Geehi River||2. 12. 30. 34. 103. 110. 223.|
|Get Over (The)||34. (Also known as Travis' Pass)|
|Gingera Mt.||86. 119.|
|Gogongolly Creek||165. 167.|
|Goobaragandra River||68. 104. 113. 128.|
|Goodradigbee River||67. 120.|
|Green Island (Q'land.)||218.|
|Green Wattle Creek||215.|
|Grose River||32. 56. 60. 64. 67.|
|Guouogang Mt.||83. 84. 126.|
|Hastings River (Nth Coast)||130.|
|Hotham Mt. (Vic.)||96. 173.|
|Howes Valley||42. 43.|
|Howitt Mt. (Vic.)||231.|
|Howitt Plains (Vic.)||195.|
|Howqua River (Vic.)||195. 231.|
|Hughes Ridge||105. 108.|
|Illawarra Road (O1d)||164.|
|Indi River||223. (elsewhere briefly referred to in articles on Kosciusko area.)|
|Jacobs River||1. 198.|
|Jenolan Mt.||28. 83. 84.|
|Jenolan River||24. 38. 46. 107.|
|Jounana Creek||104. 219.|
|Jounana Peaks||16. 104.|
|Kanangra||2. 6, 8. 21. 27. 57. 156. 186. 193. 215.|
|Kanangra River and Creek||8. 21. 30, 70.|
|Kangaroo River (Lower)||229.|
|Kelly Mt.||86. 113. 116.|
|Kekeelbon Mts.||156. 226.|
|King George Mt.||22. 60. 64.|
|Kinglake Range (Vic.)||131. 224.|
|Kosciusko & N.S.W. Alps generally||1. 2. 6. 11. 15. 21. 99. 101. 102. 103. 110. 135. 157. 198. 232.|
|Kowmung River||7. 8. 11. 24. 25. 27. 50. 51. 62. 71. 166. 215. 219. 221.|
|Lacy's Gap||192. 195.|
|Lacy's Creek||192. 195.|
|Lamington Plateau||218. 220. 221. 222.|
|Lindsay Mt. (Q'land)||141. 162.|
|Little River (Upper Cox.)||46.|
Allen A. Strom.
The Great Dividing Range is a most disconcerting affair… at times, neither Great nor a Range, yet somehow it always Divides. Have you ever pondered over your maps… or better still, have you ever hazarded a guess as to its whereabouts when in the field? Take for example, along the Hume Highway en route for Goulburn from Yass. Somewhere there we go “over the line” just when you'd reckon we were traversing a plain; and you'd never have known if it hadn't been for the gracious notice erected by a considerate Main Roads Board.
Sometimes when you are far from signs, it is most important to keep on that mighty watershed; and it's just at that time when you wrinkle the brow and ponder between Gungarton and the Brassy or in the timber between the Cascades and the Tin Mines. Of course, there are strips of range where you'd merit the proverbial Lead Medal if you made a mistake… Cunningham's Gap in Queensland, the Main Range from Kosciusko to Dicky Cooper's Bogong or the Crosscut Saw that joins Howitt with Cobbler and the Barry Mtns….
Ah! Yes! The Crosscut Saw! Now there's a piece of mountain that's worth calling both Great and Range; and what's more, it Divides like a Saw! Situated in the Victorian Middle Alps, the Crosscut is the centre of a land of mystery, mighty peaks, romantic snowplains and old warrior snow gums. Nearby are the sources of the King and Howqua (flowing to the west); the Wonnangatta and Macalister (flowing to the east)….
Some years back we had our first taste of this country when we “experimented” with the Baw Baws (a southern offshoot of the Divide where the Range turns east to back around behind Melbourne) and from these heights made out Mt Wellington on the skyline, Glen Maggie Reservoir and the Lakes on the coastal strip below. Coming home along the Princes Highway through Stratford and Bairnsdale, the jagged blue sky of the west whetted the appetite, and the following year, assisted with information from our good Melbourne friends, we approached Wellington from the south-east and were for some days, goggle-eyed at the beauty and mystery of Lake Tarli Karng, the Wellington, Snowy and Hewitt Plains and of course, the Crosscut Saw, which we traversed in order to go down to Whifield via Cobbler and the Bennie Homestead on the Rose River.
Well, there's been a hankering ever since and this year plans were laid to follow up the Howqua River, go over Howitt and then over via the Wonnangatta and Wongungarra Rivers to Dargo.
Once again, we had some invaluable details from our Melbourne friends and were able to get food packed in to Howitt Hut by Fred Fry who has a holding on the Howqua where we proposed to make a start on the trek.
The Coach took us through Mansfield to Merrijig where, camped on the Delatite, we were quite close to the beginning with Mt Buller and Timbertop rising directly to the north of the campsite. Once on the Howqua, the walking… or should I say the splashing… began. There were twenty four crossings in the first eight miles, at which point, a forestry hut… the Eight Mile… is established. In a day and a half we had progressed to the final flat at the foot of the Howitt Spur after a valley of great beauty and many flats clothed with fine Manna Gums. Ritchie's Hut at the 14 mile, is a veritable mansion complete with refrigeration and hot and cold running water. Bindareo Hut another forestry structure, is the last of the huts at about 18 miles from Fry's. Views of the shape of things to come are caught all along the valley floor… Buller, Magdala, Howitt… all above five thousand feet.
The Howitt Spur is steep but not a killer… perhaps its worse features are the wealth of scrub (largely young ash and Daviesia, products of the fire scourge) and the washed out and overgrown track… all in the earlier stages of the climb. As the elevation figures rise, a wild profusion of peaks begin to sort themselves out… west and north are Buller, Stirling, Thorne, the Stanley Name Range, Cobbler, Koonika, Speculation round to the Crosscut; south and east are Square Gin Bluff, Lovick, Magdala and Big Hill whilst straight ahead is the great massif of Howitt getting more and more vertical. Gradually the track improves, becoming a well-graded zigzag and although the party ahead appear to be crawling along an almost vertical face, we move up easily into the snow gums (carpetted with flowering Snow Daisies). Finally above the treeline, comes the first crest… a pleasant plateau of snow grass; and there across a shallow depression stands the cairn, the Howitt peak.
The 360º panorama from Howitt gives a large count of tops… the Great Divide from McDonald and Clear on the south to the Viking, the Razor, the Barries and a maze of folding blue ranges in the north… in this maze are Hotham, Feathertop, Bogong and Kosciusko. But it is the masses of flat tops and plains that attract… dropping off into terrific gorges… of the Macalister, the Wonnangatta, the King, the Howqua, the Jamieson… a virtual hub with rivers running out like the spokes of a wheel.
The trail goes northerly round the Terrible Hollow (the head of the Wonnangatta) passed Macalister Springs (where the river of that name finds birth)… a happy campsite ringed by snow gums… on to the Howitt Plain, a wide and long plain around five thousand feet above sea level. Away to the eastern end of this plain is the Howitt Hut, a hut apparently of great age, perhaps built by the Bryces, the pioneers of the Snowy Plains.
North again, from the Howitt Plain the track goes down some 3,000ft to the Dry River. This was new country to us and we were amazed by the width of the valley floor which continued to broaden right down to the junction with the Wonnangatta. Here a terrific clearing greets the traveller… the “home paddocks” of the Wonnangatta Station. The buildings of the old station still stand… the 16-roomed homestead slowly decaying along with the furnishings, all hand made on the spot. This is where the Bryce family took over in the 70's alongside the junction of the Conglomerate and Wonnangatta Rivers… and from the homestead looking south up the valley of the Wonnangatta, stands Mt Howitt and the Crosscut Saw, blue with haze in the summer and white-capped in the winter. Once the “Wonnangatta Run” covered all the grasslands and tops from the Humphrey River across the Snowy Plains to Mt Clear! For six months of the year, the Bryce family was cut off from the world by snow; then when the rivers went down, treks were made to Dargo for supplies. Before Dargo was established, the nearest supply town was Harrietville! Somewhere along the line, the pioneer spirit faded out and the Bryces left the district; Wonnangatta passed into new hands who put in a Manager. The old home was on the downward for soon after the Manager and his cook were found murdered with only the silent hills and the ever-watching Howitt to solve the mystery.
Downstream from the Conglomerate, the Wonnangatta slowly bottles up and as the Humphrey comes in from the west (and from under the feet of the Barry Mtns.) the trail climbs up the Wombat Mtn (to some 4,000 feet, unfortunately) and down on to the Wongungarra River.
The views from the eastern side of the range give a panorama and an inventory of peaks seen nowhere else on the trip. These include the two Mt Kents and Snowy Bluff together with the valley of the Moroka and its background of high plateau land near Wellington.
The Wongungarra together with its tributary the Crooked River, have valleys of great historic significance. Many hundreds once peopled such towns as Grant, Talbotville and Howittville… now just names or a clearing overgrown with thistles, so elusive is the yellow metal.
Thus the first section of our Skyline Tour finished as we boarded the coach at “Glen View”, the homestead on the junction of the Wonnagatta and Wongungarra Rivers, beneath the great towering ridges, the foothills of a hundred snowy peaks.
Loathe to leave the wide plains of the high altitudes, the Coach made off through Dargo township and along the rapidly rising range, into the snow gums and out on to the Dargo High Plains and the summer home of the Treasure family. Once these plains were the scene of much activity as the gold miners dug down through the basalt on “deep leads”… but the returns weren't worth the effort and so to soft quietude of the skyline the little plain (some twentyfive square miles) returned.
From the edge of Lankey's Plain, the plateau crumbled rapidly and the road runs out along a narrow backbone past Mt Freeze-out. The valleys of the Crooked and Wongungarra Rivers coming up to their sources on the left, the Dargo River on the right, whilst ahead and west, a north-south line, comes the Barries, the double massif of the Twins going on to Mt St. Bernard… all bald and gaunt. Right on the very corner of St. Bernard, we join the Alpine Highway, coming up from Harrietville and going on to Omeo around Blowhard, Hotham and Higginbottom. We nose the vehicle towards Hotham and up comes a galaxy of peaks, best described from the cairn of Hotham.
It's got to be seen to be believed. Wellington, Howitt, Buller, Cobbler, The Twins, a huge granite monadnock that is Buffalo, Feathertop flecked with snow, Fainter, the wide expanse of peaks and flats making up the Bogong High Plains, Mount Bogong (more snow), Kosciusko (the Main Range glistening with snow patches), the Pilot, the Cobberas, the Bowen Mtns and the Nunniong Plains… indeed a complete circle to sea and a magnificent day to enjoy it.
We got out to Mt Loch aboard the Coach and stood by to commence the third and last stage of our sojourn on the heights. Bogong High Plains are well known to Sydneysiders though familiarity does not detract from the magnificence of being on them. But the changing scene is here apparent as the Kiewa Scheme with painful slowness takes over Pretty Plain and Rocky Valley. Our route went from Mt Loch to Dibbin's Hut to Mt Jim and then Mt Cope. Few visitors realise the value of Mt Cope and pass on leaving its peak unchallenged. Not that it takes great fortitude to climb it; but rather that here one gains a Dress Circle view well worth the effort. The snowpole route was followed past Wallace's Hut and Basalt Hill to the major shock of the trip, the tremendous damage and waste brought about by Man in Rocky Valley. Last time that we were here, it was a place of quietly grazing cattle… now the scene of upheaval and squalid waste.
From Rocky Valley on the land grows bald and mighty. At Mt Nelse one looks out towards Bogong, notes the great depth of the Big River that separates the two masses and scans the huge rifts on Victoria's highest peak; then slowly one picks up the gear and moves on to find Roper's Hut, thinking (but only in the most secluded inner self) “will we ever make it?”
Bogong is a little world of its own. The northern and western faces dive down in a terrific plunge, the south is bordered by the deeply entrenched Big River whilst the east tapers away along the Long Spur to Mount Wills. Here are little glades and plains… some treed, some bald. In keeping with the majesty of the mountain, Bogong's top is marked by a large cairn giving a front stalls view of the Murray's source… Kosciusko and the Main Range and some near at hand peaks of note… Benambra, Gibbo and Wills.
It was Wills that attracted most of our concern at this stage, because alongside that Mountain (and connected to it by a low saddle) ran the Long Spur… an unexperimented line of descent. From the Cleve Cole Hut the start of the Long Spur was readily located by snow poles going up past “Hotel Aptex” and out along the spur itself. Then followed a well-defined track for some miles, the Mitta Mitta Route going down the Mulhaussen Spur to the North. The early stages of the Long Spur are narrow like a backbone; but slowly as the altitude drops and the slopes of Mt. Wills are approached, the Spur widens, snow gums give place to groves of Mountain Ash and we come upon a small log cabin… Hodgkinson's Hut. It is from here that difficulties arise since apparently, the track is little used even though the drop is gradual and the route an excellent one. There are traps for the unwary and very scrubby patches. Parts of the scrub have been cut at some time in the past and the track although undoubtedly present is difficult to locate. But in all this scurrying to find and keep the track a full day passes and the altitude in lost without a sudden descent. Coming off the Long Spur to the east brigs one on to Kangaroo Creek (it rises between Mt Wills and the Long Spur back at the connecting saddle) a tributary of the Big River. Just above the junction a road and water race runs down the Valley of the Big River to the Maude and Yellow Girl Gold Mine at Glen Valley on the Omeo Highway. At this point our Coach was awaiting us bringing the Third Stage of the Skyline Tour to a close and commencing the homeward trip through Tallangatta and the Hume Weir.
And now we have come to the time to reminisce. The difficulties of terrain, of attention to provisions and of personality repercussions, have passed; no doubt those factors are extremely important for they all add up to a determination of our sincerity of purpose and bring into relief, the impressions that are made upon our fellows; no doubt too, despite the many difficulties, we would welcome another opportunity to be together if it meant the vista of the great plains and snowgams… or the tumultuous call of the birds in the mornings as we awoke alongside the swiftly flowing mountain streams.
It is the romance in our soul, the search after the infinite that impels the truly cultured to sweat on when lesser men would throw in the towel. The effort, the inconveniences have left us with a lasting satisfaction… a satisfaction that we must not hold too selfishly lest we forget that there are others, filled with a similar but unsatisfied impulse to enjoy what we have enjoyed. Beset by many difficulties, those folk need our assistance!
May I ask you to think about a vast Alpine National Park stretching from Mt Erica (The Baw Paws) along the Great Divide through Mts Matlock, Skene, MacDonald, Magdala, Howitt; The Howitt, Snowy and Wellington Plains; The Barry Mtns; The Dargo, Bogong and [illegible].
Anyhow, we are at Mt St. Bernard, by one [illegible] stores could be taken on and the route that we followed across the High Plains to the Bogong Peak (or similar) followed. Many routes lead off from Bogong and although our Long Spur was a headache, this was largely due to poor tracking. Such a track would not be following the Great Divide which you will notice doubles back from Mt Hotham around Omeo and Benambra. Hereabouts it is low and developed for agriculture. I would suggest two alternatives… down the Long Spur to Glen Valley, then transport through Omeo to Benambra. From Benambra, the Tin Mines Track leads finally to Kosciusko via The Pilot and the Ramshead Range. The other alternative would be to follow the Long Spur until it connects with Mt Wills, then Mt Wills, Glen Wills, across to Gibbs Creek, over Mt Gibbs and on to the Buenbar Hut track to Tom Groggin and then the Leatherbarrel route to Dead Horse Gap and Kosciusko. (A further suggestion still from Benambra on to the Nunniong Plain, the Cobberas, the Pilot, Kosciusko.)
Trust you have had patience with me during this outline of routes. Pour over your maps and you too, will see a dozen routes for the choosing. Many places are tracked… many tracks shown or pre-existing have gone because of lack of use, or fires or washaways, or simply because it has been nobody's business to care for them. To my knowledge no Huts for General Public use exist anywhere in the area planned. No wonder one needs to be a virile walker to make the grade! These lands are national property… how often do we hear that they are wasteland because they are seldom visited and only then by the most adventurous!
Obviously, the difficulties of use are far too great for most, even though they have a continuous hankering to see and know. Sufficient facilities MUST be provided… at least decent tracking and construction of Huts could be undertaken. No manner of voluntary work could be comparable to the possible effort of an enlightened administration.
I offer you these ideas for you to distribute. These are our lands and we should be able to use them commensurate with keeping them undespoiled. The more you can talk the ideas, the better the chance of achievement before “development”… ill-planned and heedless of the Total Requirements of the Community, in all its ramifications… takes them from us for all time.
May all your enjoyment of Landscape and Natural Beauty… actual and reminiscent… be coloured with the ambition to see that Land Usage involves an understanding of the needs of recreation where recreation really means re-creation… “to preserve the natural balance of minds, strengthen ordinary, comradely human nature, and perfect healthy physique; also to preserve for the human race, that connection with things natural and wholesome, which now is more than ever necessary, because of our remarkably artificial city and town environment.”
[ Map ]
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We asked the President of Federation “Do you think more Bushwalkers make their pastime an aesthetic treat or an athletic feat?” “Some make it a pathetic bleat”, said Paul.
That is happening to all the debaters in the Club? For three consecutive months the General Meeting has terminated under an hour, that of last month being unique in that there was nothing at all to discuss except for a very brief mention of the building which was so worrying Bill Cosgrove at the previous meeting: it appears that this building, the foundations of which suddenly appeared in a city park, was to be a Ladies and Gents Convenience, but it has now been pulled down - it wasn't so convenient after all. While on this delicate subject Dormo saw fit to voice his disapproval of what is happening to the Women's Rest Room in Hyde Park: it has degenerated into a common shop, displaying women's wearing apparel in the window!
Sheila Binns is back from the snows wrecked in one knee. Consequently her two forthcoming walks will be led by John White.
Being snowed under has no terrors for Bob Chapman. Although snowed under with studies as a Fourth-Year Medical student he has been able to organise a party of 15 (mostly Med. students and physiotherapists in training) to visit the Alpine Hut at Brassy Mt. When the hard years of study are over Bob may be able to lure some of them to join the ranks of the Sydney Bush Walkers.
As a test of intelligence, three Bushwalkers were shown 5 packs three of which were Paddy-made and two were not. They were told that a pack would be put on each person's back. The wearer would be unaware whether it was a Paddy-made or otherwise on his own back, but would be able to see the packs worn by the other two Bushwalkers. The remaining two packs would be hidden away.
The first person to walk out of the room and correctly state the make of pack on his back would be judged the most intelligent.
A Paddy-made pack was put on each person's back, and the two other packs, unbeknown to them, were locked away. Each person was able to see a Paddy-made being worn by the other two, but had no idea of the type of pack on his own back.
How did the most intelligent Bushwalker work out logically the type of pack on his own back?
There were two packs of unspecified make, and three Paddy-made packs.
If there were two “unspecified” packs being worn, one man would obviously know he must have a Paddy-made pack and would walk out.
If there was one unspecified pack being worn, either of the other two would be in a position to reason to himself, if I have an unspecified pack the third person will walk out immediately. If he does not do so, I must have a Paddy-made. He would therefore be able to walk out and give the correct answer.
As no one walks out of the room, there can be neither two unspecified packs being worn, nor one unspecified pack being worn.
The first person to arrive at this conclusion realises that they must all be wearing Paddy-made packs.
Paddy thanks Dot Butler for the above but suggests that a really intelligent Walker would know immediately if he had a Paddymade Rucksack on his back by the feel of it!!