Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker.
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, c/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown Street, Sydney. Box No. 4476, G.P.O. Sydney. 'Phone: JW 1462.
No. 279 March, 1958 Price 1/-d.
|Editor||Frank Rigby, 70 Beach Road, Darling Point. MU 4411 (B)|
|Business Manager||Jack Gentle|
|Sales & Subs||Jess Martin|
|Typed By||Elsie Bruggy|
|At our February Meeting||Alex Colley||3|
|January Walks Report||Brian Anderson||6|
|Your Walking Guide||6|
|A Case of Duplicity||“Mumbedah”||8|
|In Tasmania's South-West - Part 1||Frank Rigby||10|
|A Tale of Two Packs||16|
|White Ant Borings||18|
|The Oberon Stock Route||“The Gent in The Tent”||19|
|S.B.W. Annual Swimming Carnival||22|
|The Sanitarium Health Food Shop||5|
|Leica Photo Service||7|
|Hatswells Taxi & Tourist Service||9|
|A Word to Prospectives - (Paddy's Advt.)||24|
Editorial - Full Circle.
This is the last time that I will say “hello” as Editor of your magazine, the “Sydney Bushwalker”. It's not that I've got a little crystal ball hidden under the editorial table and have seen the axe falling on my neck at the elections of the Annual General. But what I can see is a little of the road ahead in my own life, which promises to be extremely busy in the months ahead. Therefore, reluctantly, I shall not be standing for re-election. I say reluctantly, because for me it has been a happy and satisfying job - I can only hope that the results have been as equally satisfying to you as readers. If they have, then it is due in no small measure to you again, as contributors, the most important part of this magazine. Unlike most other journals remember that you are the makers of the magazine, as well as the readers, so it's large1y up to you to write your own ticket. This past year the quantity and quality of your contributions have been, in my opinion, excellent - please keep up this good work for the new Editor and he or she will have no worries.
I would particularly like to thank several individuals for a fine job done, over and over again on the routine side of the Magazine. What would we do without Alex Colley and his faithful reporting of our Monthly Meetings? Then there's Brian Anderson with his Walks Report (who will ever forget the Goon Type Report) and his own original “Your Walking Guide”. These go on month after month, never failing to eventuate, and it is all too easy therefore to take them just for granted. It must not be so. In the face of all too often giddy time limits, our typiste, Elsie Bruggy, has never wilted or complained - that's quite a record; and finally there's the Reproduction Maestro, Jess Martin, who with her helpers, somehow never fails to deliver the goods. All these people have worked hard for your Magazine.
Next month then, new hands will be at the helm, not only on the Magazine, but in other Club offices as well. This is the way it must and should be - new blood and new ideas to keep the Club alive and virulent.
The retrospect and the prospect - what an interesting time of the year is the moment when the wheel has turned full circle.
Let Us Reune.
S.B.W. Annual Reunion - to be held at Woods Creek, Sat. 15th and Sun, 16th March.
Fun and games, new opera, campfire, swimming, and all the rest that happens when 200 Bushwalkes come together - (BANG!)
Transport: 12.34 p.m. Electric train from Central - Change at Blacktown for Richmond. Special BUS will leave Richmond about 2.30 p.m. for Reunion Camp. There will be no return bus on Sunday - please waylay the private transporters.
Prospectives and visitors very welcome.
(N.B. If the Hawkesbury River floods the Reunion will be held at Long Angle Gully. Tickets to Warrimoo. Trains 12,54, 2.15, 5.46 p.m, Ring JW 1462 or FJ 2219 if in doubt).
Meet the members of other Clubs…
See what goes on in the bushwalking world at large - help eat two sheep - give S.B.W. good representation - and have a damn fine capital letter time was well.
Come along to the Federation Reunion, to be held at Era on 22nd and 23rd March.
Please see the President or Jack Gentle for details of transport.
At Our February Meeting.
At the commencement of the meeting the President announced that Harry Ellis, who had been an active member for the last 21 years, had been killed in a car accident in New Zealand. Marian Ellis had been in the accident too and had received severe head injuries, but was believed to be recovering. The meeting stood in memory of a member much esteemed by those who knew him.
In correspondence was a letter from the Boilermakers' Union telling us that no plans have yet been made for Forester House. Brian Harvey said that he had looked at the room in question, and it was in a good position, close to Paddy's and the C.E.N.E.F. building and next door to the Royal Standard Hotel.
A letter was received from the Minister for Mines, in answer to a protest made over a year ago, informing us that applications for mining leases in the Colong Caves Reserve had been refused but leases outside the Reserve had been allowed to stand. Tom said that this did nothing to remove the threat to the Kowmung Valley.
Jim Hooper asked for the appointment of another Search and Rescue contact man to help him rally the searchers when needed. It was suggested that a contact woman might be found. Jim said that this happened before, and after the significance of this remark had been elaborated, Elsie Bruggy was given the job.
In his report, the Treasurer, Jim Brown, told us that the Christmas party had been a financial as well as a social success, having netted us £9.
The annual debate on the theme “the black and white photographic exhibition - to be or not to be” then commenced. Opinion was almost unanimous that viewers, both old and new, were tired of seeing old photographs. Only one member owned to a nostalgic pleasure in seeing them. Frank Rigby then moved that we have two color slide exhibitions, one for landscapes, one for candids. At Laurie Rayner's suggestion it was decided to enlarge the “candids” exhibition to include flowers and other close-ups.
Pam Baker told us that 9 or 10 meMhers of her judo club were willing to come along and give us an exhibition, but means must be found of bringing the mats which, when rolled, could not be reduced below 12 feet in length. Even the Puttmobile was not quite long enough for this, but Colin Putt offered it, and said the door could be removed if necessary.
In his conservation report Tom Moppett told us that he and Alan Strom had attended the funeral of the late Mr. F.J. Griffiths, Chief Gardian of Fauna and very good friend of the Bush Walkers. The club had sent a wreath.
A meeting had been held at Gosford to discuss the Kariong Park. It had been attended by representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, the Shire Council, the village of Kariong, the Hawkesbury Scenic Preservation Council, and the State members for Hawkesbury and Gosford. Opposition was expressed by the latter and the representatives of Kariong and Gosford who said they had not been consulted. The land, they said, was required for the coming cities of Kariong and Woy Woy, which might well rival Newcastle and Sydney. Progress and expansion (not conservation) were the keynote of the critics. Concern was expressed that Sydney would be deprived of the vegetables that might be produced on the area. (Tom estimated the potential crop of this rocky terrain as about 3 turnips per annum).
Tom also reported that the snow leases were coming up for review and the opportunity was taken by Laurie Rayner to stress the value of publicity. He suggested that those capable write individually to members of parliament, and to the newspapers, supporting the cancellation of leases.
Len Fall announced that, owing to the washaway of a bridge about 5 miles from Sassafras, the proposed visit to The Vines at Easter was cancelled.
John Bookluck then gave us a report on the White's River hut, which he visited over Christmas. A car could be got to within about two miles of the hut, but beyond that a four wheeled vehicle would be needed. It was a long four miles from Munyang - at least 2 hours walk. John thought it would be very suitable for a bushwalker hut, as to build a hut today with equivalent accommodation might well cost £1,000 and he couldn't see us starting from scratch to build a hut. Pounds Creek Hut and others had been fitted with every luxury, but this was often because of wealthy benefactors.
Tom Moppett said that the President of the K.A.C., Mr. Tom Keely, had been in touch with him to know whether we were interested in buying the place. Tom thought the hut was in reasonable order, considering it had been built over 20 years, but it was definitely a hut for the tough types. There was not, as far as he could see, a “burning desire” on the part of club members to own a hut. He moved that the ski hut committee proceed immediately to find out whether it was possible to raise sufficient money to buy the hut. This was seconded by Alex Colley, who said that a vote for the motion meant that members wanted the hut, though not necessarily at the price mentioned, and a vote against meant that they didn't want it at any price within reason. There was no purpose in seeking this information unless members wanted to acquire the place.
Ron Knightley said that the hut had accommodation for 8 and we would never fill it for a snow season with S.B.W. members. It was better to drop the project. Frank Leyden said that Huts on the Thredbo and at Pounds had all modern facilities and that was what skiers wanted. Ray Kirkby said that he too had visited the hut recently, and that, though after the exertion of climbing up to it his head may not have been very clear, he didn't think it was worth nearly £500 to us. As a walking hut it was too far away for the aged and decrepit and, for the energetic, having walked North, South, East and West from the hut, where else was there to go?
Laurie Rayner thought we could make arrangements to use the hut if we wanted to, and didn't think it would be used sufficiently to justify our buying it. It was not used much now, being placed where blizzards are fiercest (skiers had to wait days sometimes to get out). In Victoria clubs were interested almost exclusively in Mount Buller, which was readily accessible. The motion was then put, and lost. Tom then asked what he should tell Mr. Keely. It was resolved that we decline the offer.
At the close of the meeting the Editor said that contributions had lagged since Christmas, probably because there was not much walking being done. He called for contributions on bush philosophy, bush cookery and kindred subjects, and treated an interjection “cookery or crookery?” with the disdain it deserved.
Health Food Shop and Vegetarian Cafe.
For health foods at their best.
Prepared from blended nuts and whole grain products. Richer in good quality protein than lean meat. Serve Sanitarium Nut Meat straight from the tin with salads, or with Marmite in sandwich fillings. May also be cooked in all the ways in which flesh meat is prepared. Excellent as a base for cooked savouries.
Put some on your next food list. . For tasty recipes using Nutmeat and other Sanitarium Health Food Company foods see the enclosed leaflet on meatless meals. Available at our Store.
13 Hunter Street, Sydney. BW1725.
January Walks Report.
B. Anderson, Walks Sec.
With four walks programmed for January and only two going, this report will be quite brief.
The two cancelled walks were Eric Pegram's Shoalhaven River walk (lack of starters) and Bob Duncan's Kowmung ramble (Bob being in Adelaide.)
January the 18th, however, found Dot Butler with her party of four members and two visitors poised on the edge of the Gap. Quoting from Dot's own report the trip had “really spectacular sea-cliff climbing and bombora swimming on the end of a climbing rope - not to mention being cut off by the tide and finishing up in error in the Naval Reserve behind the back of a very startled sentry.”
The long weekend walk led by Frank Leyden in the Gerringong Falls - Yeola area proceeded very successfully. Nine members and two visitors made up the party. The trip terminated at Kiama not Robertson as stated on the Walks Programme.
Your Walking Guide.
|25||Annual Reunion - Details of arrangements for Woods Ck. sent with Annual Report.|
|26||Federation Reunion - To be held at Era. Arrangements for a bus to leave Waterfall midday Saturday are being made. Bus from Garie to Waterfall Sunday afternoon leaves 4.45 p.m. and 5.45 p.m. Total cost from Sydney 9/-.|
|27||This is a 30 mile Sunday day walk - extra light packs required. Mostly medium track walking with a few miles of Cox River involved. Contact Leader Colin Putt for transport arrangements. Very early start Sunday morning involved. Remember to take that torch as you may need it Sunday evening.|
|28||Straight out rock climbing weekend. Camp in Glenbrook Ck. Two miles walking involved. Check with leader re private transport from Foveaux St.|
|29||Medium undulating tracks. Good walk for prospectives wishing to complete a test walk. Ample opportunities for swimming and photography. Fares return to Central approx. 7/-.|
|30||Barrington. Advise leaders early of your intention of joining the walk as transport has to be arranged from Scone to Stewarts Brook and from Barrington Guest House to Dungog or West Maitland. Total fare will be approx. 85/-. Walking will be of a medium nature all the way. Mainly tracks and open ridges and upland plains. Excellent photographic opportunities - Barrington Falls - plane wreck - Barrington River itself and views from Carey's Peak. Only one major ridge pull - from Stewarts Brooks to Barrington Trig.|
|31||See or ring Tom Moppett for transport and trip details.|
|32||All track waking of easy to medium nature except for 5 miles of Cedar Ck. where going is medium to rough rock hopping and scrambling. Major descent in Devils Hole and ascent at end of trip will probably be by means of scenic railway. Return fare 22/2.|
|33||Going is medium to roughish at beginning, then track all the way to Govetts Leap (graded climb). Night camp will probably be Blue Gum. Fare return 27/-. Good mountain cliff scenery.|
|34||Excellent 13 mile test walk. Medium creek walking. Fares approx. 10/-.|
1 frameless pack. Waterproof extension. Reasonable condition.
See Pamela Baker.
A Case Of Duplicity.
Words! Words! Words! If they're not spoken in the Clubroom or on the track, they're in the Magazine, and voluminous Reports or the Song book - or the Operas! And recently there was no exception to the general rule.
Grace Wagg recently typed 38 foolscap stencils of words for the new Song Book (get your copy 2/-). Simultaneously Jim Brown hammered out 10 foolscap pages of Opera words - Act 1 and 2, on a typewriter with 14 carbon copies. At the same time the Joint Secretaries were commencing to bash out the Annual Report and list of Members. Then came Friday, 20th February when a team had tea at Jess Martin's and ran off 225 copies of one-half of the song-book. The next day Jim Brown borrows the magazine typewriter, takes it home and over the weekend types 16 pages of foolscap stencils of the complete new Opera. He also corrects the two-page Financial Statement from the Hon. Auditor, which the President offered to type as a long-carriage typewriter was hard to come by elsewhere. Jim presents all this to the Pres. at his office on Monday morning and that night the Pres., borrowing the office duplicator, dashes off 100 copies of the 16-page Opera which appears on blue paper because the paper suppliers made a blue. Funny pun. Tuesday morning dawns and Yvonne received in the mail the final sectional report which was holding up the Annual Report. After work she bashes out the last two stencils and races down to the Pres.' office where she types one side of the Financial Statement. While this is going on, the Pres. is knocking out the Annual General Meeting Circular - two stencils on an office typewriter. Yvonne goes home to a late tea and leaves the Pres. to sweat it out alone on his office machine. 325 copies of the Annual Report. Meanwhile, out at Jess Martin's at Coogee, another band are pouring out the reverse sides of the song-book sheets, which have to be taken into the club-room on the Wednesday night so that Jim Hooper can have them guillotined, taken out to Goof Wag's place for collation, brought back into town to the book binders and taken Lord knows where from there. Wednesday morning and the Pres. is in early to finish typing the Financial Statement, which he runs off after work together with the reverse sides of the previous night's work. While he is doing this Dot Barr is slaving up at her office with a cranky duplicator running off the List of Members. All hands converge on the Clubroom somewhat pale and trembling and the Report is collated and posted. Woe betide anyone who complains about receiving a blank page. Let him have a go!
We are thinking of forming a company - the S.B.W. Duplicating Service Pty. Limited. If we can do that amount in our spare (?) time, we'd make a fortune commercially. 13,300 imprints from 64 stencils in five days - roughly 8,000,000 words. Are we a walking or talking club?
We very much regret to learn of the passing on of Mrs. Bill Henley, on 15th February, and extend to our steadfast member Bill our deepest sympathy in his bereavement.
The older members present at the February General Meeting were very shocked to learn of the recent tragic death of Harry Ellis, occasioned in a motor accident whilst holidaying in New Zealand. We mourn the loss of a very fine friend.
Over the years it has been my very great pleasure to spend a number of annual holiday trips with Harry and Marion, and I am sure there has never been a more thorough and enthusiastic planner of tours than Harry. In anticipation of trips to Tasmania and Victoria for example, he read all kinds of books and old records, studied maps, etc. so that a holiday always eventuated as a very enjoyable conducted tour. Sitting at a trig station he would gaze around and identify each peak as though they were as familiar to him as his own back yard. Unfortunately his work prevented him from joining in many club weekend trips, but older members will recall his test walks in the Blue Labyrinth area. He knew this area well and spent a lot of time with The Warrigals mapping and exploring it. Harry and Marion were always grand companions - Harry with his quiet competence and Marion with her sense of humour.
At the time of writing Marion is in a New Zealand Hospital recovering from a fractured skull. We extend to her our deep and sincere condolences, and hope that she will soon be back with us to share the healing peace of the bushlands.
In Tasmania's South-West - Part 1.
“Hobart, 13th November, 1957.
…we have booked your party of four to Lake Pedder on December 22nd/23rd. and we have high hopes that the beach will be suitable for landing at that time…
Lloyd Jones, Manager, Aero Club of Southern Tasmania.”
Such was the letter which reached me during early preparations for two walking trips in Tasmania over the Christmas-New Year period. This bright piece of news was a shot in the arm for our growing excitement. I showed it to the others - you could see their eyes light up in anticipation. At this stage much work had already been done, but much more was to follow before that wonderful day when we could say goodbye to poor old drought-stricken Sydney.
I had, of course, already drafted the general plan for our three weeks' holiday. We would spend about ten days in the Lake Pedder - Mt. Anne area of Tassie's fabulous South-West, flying in to the lake if physically possible and walking out to Maydena in the Derwent Valley. After that, spirits and bodies willing, there was to be a week's excursion through the Cradle Mt. - Lake St. Clair National Park. Time spent in civilisation was to be kept to the barest minimum - in fact, just sufficient to pick up our supplies and say hello to the world at large.
Maps of the Sou'-West, as well as a sheaf of very handy information were received from Mr. Bruce Davis, Secretary of the Hobart Walking Club. I have no hesitation in recommending this Club as a source of good friendly advice for anyone contemplating a walking trip in the more remote regions of Tasmania.
Then there was the Party. I remember at one time I nearly despaired as its size and composition fluctuated almost from week to week, as bods came in or pulled out according to changing circumstances. However, there were never fewer than two and never more than six, so one must be thankful for small mercies. Girls (or the lack of them) were the biggest problem (what has happened to the spark of adventure in our S.B.W. girls?) as it was my aim to have a well-balanced party for such a trip and you can't have true balance without both sexes (or could this be a lucrative subject for a Club debate?). Anyhow, in the end, we were resolved to four in number, three of them males and one of the other variety. To mention the last first, Joan Walker, having made up her mind, needed no further encouragement - her longing for the new and the adventurous never dies. Later on, the mere sight of a map was enough to double Joan up with excitement. You all know Henry Gold, our walking friend from Austria, who has performed such remarkable feats with his camera. Henry was a starter from the time the barrier was first down and was as keen as mustard to see something more of our great land. New Zealander Arthur Peters had just returned from Queensland at the crucial moment, heard of the trip and immediately decided to join it. Arthur was in the process of “seeing Aussie in twelve months”, and he sure was seeing a hunk of it. He was going on to Melbourne to earn a few chips and we would meet him there on our way through. Literary ethics prevent me from describing the fourth member and leader of the expedition, but perhaps one of my companions may choose to say a few censored words in a subsequent issue of the Magazine (?). So there we were, one from Sydney, one from Vienna, one from Christchurch and one from Brisbane; a real mixed bag - in fact, a League of Nations almost; luckily we had much more in common that that unfortunate body and, as the event turned out, a more compatible party would have been hard to find.
In the few weeks before we left, our small party was as busy as a disturbed ant bed. What with the business of travel arrangements, search and rescue forms, the preparation of special gear and the organisation of community items, to say nothing of the planning, buying and packing for 90 lb. of food, all to be carried into the Sou'-West, there was never a dull moment. Naturally, we had acquired a “waterproof complex” - everything must be waterproof beyond question, tents, packs, food etc. as there is no room for argument about the vagaries of Tassie's weather, particularly in the Soul-West. In spite of our complex, we were not all perfection when the real tests came.
(Here are some interesting footnotes on the food and gear:
1. Extremely prominent among the food were two 16 inch salamis and a 2 lb. can of Christmas Pudding! No need to elaborate on how they made their presence felt, except to say that the Pud., scheduled to be flown into Pedder, was in fact humped half-way through the Reserve, where on a biting cold Christmas Day it was thankfully put to rest (?) inside four very full stomachs, being washed down with lashings of hot Rum Mellah. Poor Henry seemed to be dogged by salamis throughout the trips, and we thought at one stage that one was going to crawl out of his pack and become a fifth member of the party!
2. Parkas made from japara and proofed with a certain waterproofing paint are definitely NOT entirely waterproof under trip conditions. See Joan or myself and we'll give you the good oil on the name of the paint. We know. Never again!
3. Don't underestimate the capacity of a N.Z. “Mountain Mule” pack. Even when apparently full of personal gear, it can still accommodate 25 lb. of food with ease! (Though I must admit you gave me a nasty moment at Melbourne Station, Arthur.)
4. Don't remonstrate when a member of the party (he could only be a Kiwi) turns up with a 1/2 gallon billy instead of a l pinter. It could turn out extremely useful for making the porridge, and everyone knows that porridge is far better made in someone else's billy!)
It was against a background of completed plans, fervent last minute preparations and mounting anticipation that, the day before we left Sydney, an ugly duckling cracked its shell and faced us. It came in the guise of a second letter from Lloyd Jones of the Aero Club and read as follows:
“…very heavy rain has fallen in the Lake Pedder Area during the last few days and there is now no chance of the lake being open for landings before Christmas. Under average weather conditions, we cannot now hope to land at the lake before mid-January. This has given us a severe jolt and we also regret the interference to your plans …”
I might add that it also gave we walkers a severe jolt, but I was determined not to give up hope of flying in - the alternative was 3 to 4 days walking into Pedder with heavy packs and the necessity of having to double up on our outbound route. However, we would wait and see. And so, with over-bulging packs on our backs (Joan's sleeping bag is under her arm while I am carrying the Aberdeen Sausage in a billy in one hand) and Arthur's share of the food in a 10 gallon plastic bag strung between us, we boarded the Melbourne train on the night of December 20th. We met Arthur in Melbourne as planned, and after Henry had left a pretty pattern of tricouni marks on the lush carpet at the Airways office, we found ourselves aloft in promising weather, en route to Hobart and who knew what. At least we would now soon learn our fate…
After spending a comfortable night with all mod. cons. at the Aero Club, we met Lloyd in person early the following morning. He could only confirm his earlier news, but added that their Cessna aircraft was just about to take off for the Pedder area with some sight-seers; the pilot would have a final look-see at landing conditions and in less than two hours we would have the answer. We whiled away this uneasy period by watching the Aero Club at work - several trainee pilots were putting the tiny craft through their paces. It looked terrific, so terrific that a sudden desire to fly somewhere swept upon us. For one of our number it was to be immediately granted as if by a Fairy Godmother; Lloyd strolled on to the tarmac with a breezy “How would the lady like five minutes flying experience?” Would she ever! While we three males stood rooted to the spot with… er… yes, envy, Joan waltzed off in a flurry of excitement to lodge herself firmly in the rear seat of a Chipmunk. Three pairs of almost unbelieving eyes saw Lloyd put that kite through everything in the book and perhaps some more besides as he tossed it up and down the nearby lake and over the hills beyond. That was aeronautics plus - or so it seemed to we landlubbers; we sure had an “experienced” flying girl with us after that!
But listen! That sounds like a Cessna. It must be the Pedder plane coming in - and sure enough it was. Out scrambled the pilot and while he and Lloyd conferred we waited with bated breath. But it was not to be - the Lake was full and we accepted what could only have been the inevitable as graciously as we could. “With reasonable weather there's a fair chance of a landing in about a week's time”, said Lloyd. He was always out to help in every way he could. But did they every enjoy “reasonable” weather in Tassie? However, after the enthusiasm we had all acquired for flying that morning, there was only one thing to do. We would switch the trips and go to the Reserve for seven days first, and then return to Hobart and take our chances. At last the way ahead was clear and definite - it was a great relief to me. Our carefully-packed food was scaled down to a 7 day ration, we heaved out the primus and fuel, repacked our rucksacks and we were off to hitch to Deloraine, from whence we would hire a taxi to Waldheim and our first adventure.
This chronicle is not a story about the Reserve and therefore this part of our holiday must remain unsung. Suffice it to say that it will always hold a prominent place in our bushwalking memories. How could it do otherwise with such an environment? Joan and I were treading familiar ground, but the moods of the Reserve are manifold and seldom repetitive in one person's experience; and so it was with us - a different party and different conditions provided the necessary contrasts that enrich one's experience. The weather had, in fact, generally behaved itself, a good omen for our next adventure. We left Lake St. Clair on the morning of the 30th, eager to return to Hobart to see what the Fates had conjured up for us.
Due to, shall we very politely say, a temporary lack of co-operation on the part of the local motorists, Henry and I did not hit the Big Smoke until nightfall. (The bus doesn't get in till four o'clock, says the bus driver, so that's not for us - we'll be there, long before that, we boast, as we wave the bus goodbye. Some more famous last words). Joan and Arthur fared somewhat better. (Well, of course, a girl in the hitching party is a different matter, we contend - but… we refuse to admit our failure was due to our appearances, albeit a rather rakish appearance after seven days in the wilds). The two of us were landed at the G.P.O. in a bookmaker's Holden just as our friends were giving us up for lost. I immediately rang Lloyd for news… three days previously it had been hopeless, but a training flight was due to go out early in the morning; he would send the pilots out to Pedder to get today's news today, as it were. (I should mention here that the state of the beach can change quite rapidly, either for the better or the worse. It is possible to wade hundreds of yards out into the lake before water covers the knees - therefore, in the absence of rain, evaporation and drainage lengthen and widen the beach at quite a fast rate). We were again kindly offered the Aero Club as an overnight campsite.
Of course we made hay with our small ration of time in town. An incomparable hot shower, a long pale ale of Cascade (for Henry and me) and a juicy steak were the Orders of the Day. Naturally, the three of us who grew beards had not seen a razor since leaving the Mainland so we were attracting more than our share of curious attention. I have every reason to believe that my face was particularly bushrangerish, to say the least. I have found that, provided you don't look in the mirror too often, you can accept the public stare with almost a degree of relish, probably because you're constantly reminded you're not just one of the common throng. Undoubtedly egotism must play its part here; but I sometimes wonder how Joan held her head erect, associating with three such characters. Ah, faithful womanhood!
Tired out beyond our staying power by a thousand things, we hired a taxi to Cambridge airport and sank into the glorious dreamless sleep of the really weary bushwalker. It was enough for today - tomorrow could go to blazes at that moment when the head was contentedly laid to rest…
A rattling of locks and chains tingled me awake - it must be the Aero Club men come for their kite. Through dreamy eyes I looked at my watch - six o'clock - undoubtedly they believed in early starts. I looked out at the weather - fine. Perhaps there was a chance of a flight out to Pedder? Yes, they could fit a bod into the back seat of the Auster. What a thrill! Inside a quarter-hour we were winging our way out over Hobart, still fast asleep in the early morning sunshine. As we slowly headed south-west over famous Mt. Wellington, we left civilisation behind as the fantastic ruggedness of the Sou'-West began to open out below. Far ahead a lofty and majestic peak reared up into the sky - it could be nothing else but Mt. Anne. A little further out and I was presented with my first views of the Arthur Range, a jagged saw-tooth skyline bedecked with broken cloud, a really magnificent sight; and there's the celebrated Federation Peak, rising from its own massif and dominating the Arthurs like an enthroned queen in all her regal and splendid isolation. This was Nature's masterpiece. Here was a whole new universe of walking realms - and yet the tremendous scale of this part of Nature's stage could never be appreciated from the ground, “This is the only intelligent way to see this country”, was the pilots comment on my enthusiasm. Bushwalker that I am, I still had no answer for him - perhaps he is right after all. The plane droned on and as we flew up the valley to the south of Mt. Anne, Lake Pedder itself came into view, nestling among the peaks of the Frankland Range. Look, there's the climbing ridge of Mt. Eliza, the beautiful Judd's Charm behind Mt. Anne, the twisting tree-line of the Huon River and the treacherous button-grass of the Huon Plains. Today that soggy morass would not worry me. How fantastically easy it all was as we skirted Mt. Solitary and flew in over the lake, a lake which seemed to be full of port wine, not water, judging by its unexpected colour. Yes, there is some beach showing, but is it enough? The instructor took over and made several runs over the landing strip at low level. I waited for a sign, perhaps an opinion. “The Cessna might just do it, but I wouldn't like to be dogmatic. It would be touch and go. All I can do is to discuss it with Lloyd when we get back.”
As the little craft touched down at Cambridge, three anxious faces on the tarmac eagerly sought the answer for the second time. I dared not express myself with gestures - only words could explain the situation. Well, we should soon know; and we did. Three hearty British cheers for the Aero Club - they are going to try it in the Cessna, which requires a shorter run! Our faces were suddenly made of smiles. But speed was the essence of the contract. It was now 9 o'clock. Two separate trips had to be made into Pedder and back, and all before 12.30, when the Cessna was required for work on the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. As for ourselves, most of our food was still in Hobart City, having been ordered from Ingles before we left for the Reserve. Henry must buy a “Yak Jacket” or equivalent and I a hat for sure (something is always left behind). The Police must be notified of our change of dates for the Sou'-West trip etc. Right; Joan and Arthur would fly in on the first leg while Henry and I took a hectic taxi trip into town and back.
When we returned to the Airport the Cessna was ready and waiting and the pilot raring to go; air-lift No. 1 had been successful. On we piled, food boxes as they were, half-packed rucksacks and odd and sundry packages - it all went in! Within minutes we were air-borne. For the second time that morning I was on my way to Lake Pedder; it seemed incredible when one contemplated the 3 or 4 day trek on foot! On the route in at 5,000 feet, it is possible to look ahead and see Mt. Anne and at the same time to look back at Hobart just merely by the turn of the head. (One of these days, when the Club wins the Lottery, someone at a General Meeting is going to advocate the acquisition of a Cessna). As we flew further in, the weather deteriorated rapidly; it looked as if we were going to receive a typical soupy welcome. No longer were the peaks of the Arthurs jutting proudly into the sky - in fact they had been subdued into a grey obscurity. Great cloud masses swirled around the Annes and when we finally landed on our sacred strip of beach rain had begun to fall. Our coming was a great relief to Joan and Arthur, who had been assailed by grim thoughts of a highly unbalanced diet, to say the least, if the weather had closed in for days with Henry and I plus most of the grub marooned in Hobart.
As it was though, what did anything else in the world matter at that wonderful moment - we were there, all of us, right on the threshold of all that was new and breathtaking. I scooped up a handful of firm white beach and shouted to the mountaintops for sheer joy. Quite suddenly, it seemed to me, our lives had been elevated to a higher plane, a plane that I had never known in the very ordinary world of civilisation.
(To be continued.)
The smell of the earth when first sunkissed -
Gumleaves burning in mountain mist.
A whiff of the surf on a sweltering day,
The fragrance of a bale of hay.
A wattle bough soaked thick with dew,
Aroma of a coffee brew.
Eriostemon, most subtle reek,
The perfume of a scented cheek.
But the acme of smells - my piece of cake,
Is the luscious smell of a grilling steak.
A Tale Of Two Packs - "Hymn of Hate"
Oh, how I hate the race of packs!
I'd like to hit mine with an axe.
I'd like to bust it, right in to,
Or beat it till it's black and blue!
I'd like to fling it in the sea,
Or jump upon it, savagely!
How dare it sit and mock at me,
Knowing that it must carried be?
How dare it grin, with beastly bulge,
And naught but ribald mirth divulge?
And does it feed upon the air,
That it grows daily heavier?
Or slyly suck my puny strength,
And take my breadth, and leave but length?
Just watch it try to break my neck,
Using me as a landing-deck!
Pompous pincushion! Loathsome lump!
I vow you ne'er again I'll hump!
In Defence Of The Pack.
My monthly “Bushwalker” I buy,
And what's this verse that meets my eye?
A “Hymn of Hate” about a pack -
Shame! It is a most unkind attack,
Now Walkers, I appeal to you,
Without our packs what would we do?
How would we carry all we need?
Food, clothing and a book to read.
I know that sometimes in the heat,
When toiling on with blistered feet,
The pack may seem a heavy curse, -
To be without one would be worse!
For when we reach the journey's end,
The pack is proved a thorough friend.
And when its hidden store is tried,
We find our needs are satisfied.
Warm bed, soft shoes, and 'ere we stop
Perhaps some raisins or a chop -
I hope for many years to tramp,
To climb a mountain, make a camp,
And wander miles of bushland track,
With my good friend still on my back!
(Reprinted from the July and August, 1938, editions of the “Sydney Bushwalker”.)
The Stork Announces...
The joyous arrival of a brand new baby boy to our good friend and fellow-member, Betty Armstrong (nee Swain) in Wellington, New Zealand. Some of you will also remember Betty's husband, Peter, from when he was over here among us.
The Club passes on to you both, Betty and Peter, its heartiest congratulations and hopes that he's another little bushwalker (sorry, tramper) in the making.
Don't forget two big slide nights this month.
March 19th Bonno Barr will be showing a selection of his 2 1/4“ Kodachromes. It is a show that only Bonno could put on and you know that means it must be “mighty”.
March 26th Hans Zatschler, a visitor from Austria, will have an interesting night of slides taken in his homeland. We believe some of the ones on Alpine mountaineering are really breathtaking.
White Ant Borings
To start with, here's a couple of tales from the Kosciusko Christmas trip that we missed out on last month.
Picture this scene at the Red Hut. It's pouring rain outside while inside fourteen sorely tried bods are desperately striving to dry out their wet gear from the previous night's campsite washout. Under such circumstances how on earth do you dry out so many sleeping bags? Ha, you have to think big. They lined up no fewer than EIGHT primuses in a row below the saturated slumber sacks. Some hours and several gallons of kerosene later, it is reported that success was achieved.
Kipling's “If” Dept: Tents had been washed out, gear saturated, tempers frayed and a whole camp had been uprooted when the Kosciusko trippers received their 4” rain ration in one night. Sometime in the wee small hours, when the routed party had assembled in the Red Hut, a certain party's presence was missed. “Where's Bookie?”. No one had seen him. On a last visit to the campsites one tent was seen to be still erect - Frank Ashdown parted the laps to reveal our Bookie sitting up quite unconcernedly, reading a book by torchlight and obviously at peace with the world. Bookie's only comment - “This is a terrific novel, Frank”.
Kevin Ardill's quip on his forthcoming round-the-world-yacht cruise: “This is definitely a pleasure cruise - no women allowed.”
Speaking of round-the-world jaunts, we hear that Edna Garrad will set off in May for an eleven week world tour, mainly by plane, during her long service leave. You'll be breathless when you get back Edna, but not too breathless to tell us all about it, we hope. The Club wishes you a happy and rewarding trip.
On a recent official day walk, it was reported that the entire party consisted of the leader and one (one only) other member, with one (one only) Girl Guide's pack between them. The lone starter, although a member of several years standing and with many hard trips under his belt, was on his first day walk - his sole equipment was a cut lunch. What next? Perhaps there ought to be a compulsory Instructional Weekend for instruction in day walks or something. The name of the member? You've got Buckley's Chance of finding that out.
Who's going mountaineering after hearing Bob Binks expound on the subject of “Mountaineering Injuries and their Treatment”? Bob had mangled and dying bodies littering the Ingersoll Hall by the time he'd finished - it's rumoured that one or two are already selling their climbing ropes. But aside from the jokes, all agreed it was an interesting, informative and unusual evening.
And a happy Annual General and Reunion to all S.B.W.'s. I won't say farewell because who knows but what the new Editor might be quite a tolerant and forbearing type and let me continue these rambling shamblings in future magazines. Thanks anyway for the gossip - it was all on you.
The Oberon Stock Route
“The Gent in The Tent”.
The Editor says he is temporarily short of articles for the magazine. Well, here is one, written after last Easter, which may be of interest as a record when the rising waters of Warragamba Dam block the access road to Yerranderie and cut the settlement off from the rest of the State to all but walkers and horsemen.
Many Club members have traversed the Eastern end of the Oberon Stock Route from Colong Station to the Yerranderie Road to catch transport to Camden after various walking trips, but very few have traversed the Stock Route from Yerranderie Road in a Westerly direction to Shooter's Hill in the Oberon District. At Easter, John White's programmed trip over this route offered an admirable opportunity to visit Mt. Shivering and beyond.
The party consisted of Sheila Binns, Mary Walton, Molly and Bill Rodgers, Betty Sisley, Lynette Baber, John Bookluck, Alan Round, Bob Abernethy, John White and myself. We set out in 8.0 p.m. train to Camden on the Thursday evening and found Camden blanketed in fog. There were two taxis waiting to take us the 40 miles to the Stock Route turn off, two miles East of Yerranderie. The fog was really thick, but, to the relief of our drivers, dispersed about 2 miles out and was encountered again only near Braithwaite's Lookout and the Upper Burragorang Bridge. We reached the site of the Peaks settlement soon after 1.0 a.m. and camped near the head of Byrne's Creek about 1/4 mile along the Stock route.
Next morning came out beautifully clear after some early cloud. We were away at about 9.0 a.m. climbing up the road to the Gap near South Peak where there were some lovely views across the surrounding country. In an address given to the Royal Australian Historical Society in 1910 concerning Barallier's Explorations in the Area, Mr, R.H. Cambage, who evidently did quite a lot of exploring and traversed the Stock Route, comments, “It is significant as illustrating the ruggedness of this part of the country, that this is the passage (between South Peak and the rest of The Peaks) through which the whole of the stock traffic is conducted to the present day between Burragorang and Oberon, and the greater part of the road between this passage and Mt. Werong, about 25 miles, is still only a bridle track.”
We used Myles Dunphy's map of this area because it is large scale and more detailed than others in print. Most of the morning was spent following the tortuous road as it winds round under sandstone walls with evidence of a recent rock fall almost onto the road near Basin Creek. I agree with Mr. Cambage - the road isn't very good for modern cars, except four wheel drive and could be difficult after rain. The turn off to Colong Station does not seem to be used much now, so we continued to a small creek North of Myanga Valley Creek for a sunny lunch spot. We did not attempt Barallier's Pass which has been described as due West of “Colong” Station Woolshed on Portion 1 of Parish of Colong and West of Portion 5. The passage is described as being about half a mile wide with perpendicular sides. (Subsequent exploration in June proved this to be correct, but I have not yet located a good route down the Western side).
Had we known that Myanga Valley Creek Crossing was such a pleasant place, we would have continued to the crossing for lunch. In spite of the recent dry weather, the creek was running well and clear. Half a mile to the South, the climb up Blackall Rocks commences. At the top there is a splendid panorama to the East and South towards the Wollondilly Walls and Wanganderry. Along the Myall Causeway the road follows a narrow plateau over a series of flat rocks and it was just beyond this point, near Tomat Swamps, that we met two men in a jeep, the only people seen in 2 days. On through Tomat Pass, a rather wide wooded gap until we sighted “Bindook” homestead and clearing. Instead of visiting the house, we left the road and turned North-West to strike Bindook Creek in about half a mile and select a campsite at about 4.45 p.m. near one of the excellent waterholes abounding along the creek.
Easter Saturday was fine and clear. We set off at about 9 a.m. heading North North West up a lightly timbered ridge into the Bindook Sandstone Gap and over onto The Back Swamps, which were mainly dry, but could be messy in wet weather. The Swamps led to Back Swamps Creek where the elusive Barallier's Pass track should come out, but there wasn't a trace of any track. The creek was located on the Northern edge of the swamp and we soon began to ascend a low ridge keeping in a North North West direction. The gradual climb continued and, before long, evidence of the Stock Route, which seems to have been a dray track at one time, became apparent. The Route had obviously not been used by wheeled vehicles for some years. It drops suddenly into saddles, climbs out again, disappears into stands of young Eucalypts, which have sprung up after the recent wet Summers, gradually swings to the West, keeping to high ground with some lovely views of wooded ridges sweeping down to the Kowmung Valley. Behind us, Mt. Colong, (native Colung, meaning home of the bandicoot) dominated the sky, while straight ahead all the morning was the high country near Mt. Shivering. We had lunch in a pleasant saddle with a wide view, where water was available after a sharp climb down. Soon after starting off again, we lost the trail for a few minutes in a damp fern gully, but found it again after a bit of a scout around to arrive just North of Mt. Shivering at about 2.30 p.m. The grassy saddle between us and Mt. Shivering looked inviting, so down we went to a good, if draughty, camp site. After rain, water should be just West of the saddle, but it was 400 yards to the West when we visited the spot. Was surprised to note a few leeches about - they were probably excited to sense our presence, too. Of course, we climbed Mt. Shivering before tea and enjoyed a splendid view over miles of unspoiled country.
Quoting again from Mr. Cambage's observations on his trek through the area - “The route followed to Mt. Werong was through Barallier's Pass, South of Colong Mt. and Bindook Swamp to a narrow spur, which divides the waters of Gulf Creek on the South from those of the Kowmung on the North, the deep gorge of the latter sometimes coming into view nearly 2,000 ft. below. This locality is the home of many of our cold region plants including some Snow Gums and trees found in Victoria and Tasmania. From Yerranderie past Colong and Bindook to Mt. Werong, the country gradually rises from 2,000 ft. to 4,000 ft. above sea level and the geological formation alternates between felsite and a few hills of Permo-Carboniferous Sandstone, after which and beyond Bindook, there is a considerable area of Silurian Slate with some Basalt on the highest points, such as Mt. Shivering (3,678ft.) and the actual summit of Mt. Werong (4,005 ft.). Much of the country around Mt. Werong, which is on the Great Dividing Range, consists of a Granite plateau, having a general elevation of about 3,900 ft.”
Easter Sunday morning was perfect again, so we started just after 8 a.m. We had walked almost off Myles Dunphy's map and were not sure what lay ahead. Hence the early start. A couple of miles brought us to the Long Plain where the trails turns in a generally Northerly direction and becomes very indistinct for a couple of miles across swampy ground. Care in direction finding is needed here. In due course the ridge with its hills and hollows becomes clear again, except where clumps of young trees are growing across the track. After rounding South Head, the track bears almost South-West until about a mile or so from Mt. Werong settlement. Here we swung further South onto a good ridge leading into the Headwaters of Murruin Creek and an excellent lunch spot. We were obviously not on the track, but a stiff climb in a North-Westerly direction located the trail, complete with a very scared Wallaby, in about three-quarters of a mile. It was merely a hop, step and jump into the clearings which were once the Mt. Werong settlement, now mostly deserted bush homes. In the first clearing grew a couple of large apple trees in full fruit - stewed apple for tea!
We were told by some amateur prospectors we met that there were once 150 trappers and gold fossickers living at Mt. Werong. Also that during the 1930's, two local bushmen had set out along the Stock Route, which we had just traversed, and had not been heard of since. Possibly their map reading was at fault! In any case, our informants seemed surprised to see us. After a chat we pushed on to Ruby Creek to camp at about 3.30 p.m.
It rained a shower overnight so that Easter Monday was cold and clear. We had a rendezvous at the Oberon State Forest with two hired cars coming from Blackheath to meet us. So, off about 9 a.m. along a bush road now, whence there were splendid views to the South-West onto country in the Abercrombie River area of the Taralga District. Then past the Oberon State Forest with thick rows of pine trees, sheltering us from the wind and giving off a pleasant aroma in the sunshine. Lunch just near the rendezvous and then a laze in the sun until nearly 3.30 p.m. for our transport to arrive - the drivers hadn't realised that the spot was so far out. All was now well, completing a most interesting excursion.
A word of warning - this trip is for thoroughly experienced walkers only. A fair amount of map reading is involved and the country traversed is uninhabited. Once on the main ridge running East to West from Bindook to Mt. Werong stick to it - otherwise, trouble with a BIG “T”!
S.B.W. Annual Swimming Carnival.
For the first time in three years, Nature was kind to us, and fine weather and the Swimming Carnival somehow managed to coincide, though the Woronora had been “up” during the preceeding week, leaving traces of mud on the edges. The weekend camp was also a farewell occasion for our Ex-Secretary, Sheila Binns, who took off for England on 20th February. On behalf of her many friends in the Club, the President at the campfire presented her with a very fine reproduction of an oil painting by Hans Heysen depicting working horses at rest amongst beautiful blue gums. We hope the scene will raise happy memories for Sheila under the grey skies of England - perhaps of poor tired bushwalkers resting in the shade - and bring her back to our midst!
Twenty eight bods, and one death-adder (killed) graced the overnight camp, while another nineteen came out on the Sunday morning, giving a record number for recent years. Naturally, in the interim since the last carnival, new blood has come forward. Even the President, unbeaten in all his starts in the Men's Breaststroke since 1937, has a battle to stave off the third place-getter in that race! He reckons he's still good for another try! And here are the results:-
Men's Open Championship:
- Eric Pegram
- Bill Rodgers
- Michael Elfick
Ladies Open Championship:
- Georgina Langley
- Grace Wagg
- Lynette Baber
- Michael Elfick
- Brian Harvey
- Eric Adcock
- Georgina Langley
- Grace Wagg
- Lynette Baber
Mandelberg Cup (Mixed Relay):
- John Scott - Mary Walton
- Bruce McInnes - Eileen Ashdown
- Frank Rigby - Jean Harvey.
1. Eric Pegram (Men)
1. Georgina Langley (Ladies)
1. Eric Adcock (Men)
1. Lynette Baber (Ladies)
Henley Cup (Point-score)
- Georgina Langley (9)
- Eric Pegram (6)
- Lynette Baber (5)
Our congratulations to our new member Georgina Langley her very fine performance!
Federation Report - February.
The meeting opened with 14 in attendance representing 6 member Clubs and one club awaiting affiliation.
As a result of an editorial in the “Blue Mountains Courier”, which suggested that bushwalkers should virtually be licensed, the President, Mr. Paul Driver, wrote to the Editor/Owner of the above paper drawing his attention to the organised set up of bushwalking clubs, and outlined the salient features of our individual club activities, such as Walk's programmes, Search Rescue operation, Mapping and First Aid instruction. A federation constitution and code of ethics was also sent.
The Editor acknowledged the letter and also sent a copy of the “Courier” in which parts of the President's letter were published. It was felt, however, that the extracts published were joined in such a way as to slightly alter the sense of the original letter. However, the resultant editorial was generally favourable to “bona-fide” bushwalkers. Jack Gentle moved that Federation acknowledge the Editor's letter and tender our thanks for his co-operation without further comment. This motion was passed unanimously.
Mr. Stan Cattier offered to help organise proposed improvements to Burning Palms Water Supply and will report to Federation at a later date.
This will be held at Era on 22/23rd March. No job has as yet been allocated to S.B.W. Two Sheep will be barbecued and Cocoa will be supplied for supper. A voluntary donation of 2/- is expected of participants to defray supper expenses, and the supply of a piece of dry bread to eat with the sheep. The sheep is free. A special bus will be provided, running from Gari Beach to Waterfall on Sunday afternoon to cater for those requiring return transport. Further arrangements will be made for transport to Era on the Saturday and this will be advised by circular.
Anzac Day Walk and Service.
Tentative arrangements for this event are that the Service will be held at Splendour Rock at Dawn on Saturday 26th April. Parties could then have breakfast on the Cox or at Mobbs Swamp. Proposals to erect a Cairn at the rock and install a Log Book are being examined.
A Sydney Girl's School is forming a bushwalking/camping group. Some 300 girls attend the school and 150 of them show immediate interest. Ages 11 to 16. Would any Club care to assist? If so please contact Federation.
Victoria Falls track.
This track among others, was reported to be in a state of disrepair. Since this track is a prelude to a delightful approach to Blue Gum, the Blue Mountains Council will be asked to effect repairs, or if unable due to labour or other difficulties asked to offer financial aid to any bushwalking group to carry out the work.
J. Gentle, Delegate.
A word to Prospectives.
It is a common thing for walkers to come into Paddy's shop bewailing the fact that they have been tempted into buying “cheap” walking gear. For what seemed a bargain price they have picked up a tent or rucksack or sleeping bag only to find that under the searching test of hard conditions the article did not measure up to requirements.
Take thought, therefore, before investing money in camp gear and get the advice of the old hands first. Paddymade camp gear for Walkers offer a wide range of joys to suit individual requirements. The prices asked are the lowest prices practical for the quality of goods offered. These prices are in many cases lower than “bargains” offered elsewhere.
Paddy is the largest manufacturer of light weight camp gear in Australia and the resulting economies are passed on to the customer.
Wherever you see Walkers you will see Paddy made gear.
Paddy Pallin Pty Ltd. Lightweight Camp Gear.
201 Castlereagh street, Sydney. 'Phone BM 2685.