A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, The N.S.W. Nurses' Association Rooms, “Northcote Building”, Reiby Place, Sydney. Box No. 4476, G.P.O. Sydney. 'Phone JW1462.
|Editor||Don Matthews, 33 Pomona Street, Pennant Hills. WJ3514.|
|Business Manager||Brian Harvey.|
|Sales and Subs||Audrey Kenway.|
|Typed by||Jean Harvey.|
|Put Your Best Foot Foremost||Kath McKay||3|
|At Our October Meeting||Alex Colley||4|
|Fashion Parade||Clarice Morris||8|
|The Walkers' Burden||9|
|Wee Jasper||Gwen Seach||12|
|The Tinderrys||Mike Peryman||15|
|Rabbits in the Snow Country||16|
|Sanitarium Health Food Shop||7|
|Hatswell's Taxi & Tourist Service||9|
There is a wealth of walking country within easy train, or motor distance of Sydney, even if it does get too hot for hard walking during summer.
In recent months S.B.W.'s have mixed visits to the Brindabellas, Wee Jasper and the Tinderry's with exploratory trips around Ettrema and in the Northern Blue Mountains (the latter by the Seasoned Labyrinth Types) and a fair sprinkling of all types of Blue Mountain trips. Over the Christmas period there will be parties down the Kowmung and other streams, and to New Zealand, Tasmania and Kosciusko.
For those who can't get away, there's a selection of swimming trips designed to keep the walker cool and contented.
During this time of relaxation, why not brush up your knowledge of Sydney's hinterland. Professor Griffith Taylor's “Sydneyside Scenery” is the best book written on the subject to date. It gives a birdseye view of many of cur walking areas, including Canberra and Kosciusko, and should suggest new places to visit and features to look for. Read it and be inspired! Then turn to our excellent Club Map File, and while you're there look up the Magazine Index - there' s something been written about most places.
- Edna Garrad.
The only social event for January is the slide night to be provided by Brian Harvey and Bill Rodgers on the 27th January, covering trips to the Castle mountain area. This will be good! (See Page 8 for details.)
In the meantime we hope that members' private social engagements during the Christmas Festivities will be very happy ones. Experience has shown that club attendances over the December and early January periods are usually low as so many folks are on holidays. We have some interesting evenings to look forward to in the New Year, including a talk by Palmer Kent on Japan. The older members will remember his very entertaining lectures some years ago. Palmer was in Japan in 1932 when he did a walking trip across the main island, and was there again in the recent typhoon, so he should have plenty of material. Another highlight will be Bob Savage's slides on India and Kashmir, which those who have already seen then describe as the “tops”.
Hoping to see you all at the Christmas Party!!
Bruce McInnes' walk for December 12-13 - Waterfall - Era - Waterfall - will now be going on December 19-20.
A search party recently had to clamber down “an almost sheer 2,144 foot mountainside at Govett's Leap… trudge through almost impassible boggy tracks and overhanging undergrowth along the snake-infested Rodriguez Pass”.
This country sure is rugged!
The S.W. Tasmanian talk (Brown, Peryman and Co.) was well attended and well received. Slides and commentary gave a horribly clear picture of the scrub bashing in this area.
For those interested in the S.W., see the “Tasman Tramp” December 1959 (Journal of the Hobart Walking Club.) Articles, maps and photos on Federation Peak, Port Davey; advice on air drops and food supplies etc. … 76 pages full of interest!
See also the H.W.C. letter of advice to those walking in Tasmania for the first time.
Both available from Paddy.
The oft-quoted saying that an army marches on its stomach might also apply to bushwalkers; but it is undoubtedly true that the most important things in the walking life are - feet. Given good feet, you can go anywhere, but the tiniest blister, the smallest abrasion can cause acute discomfort and the whole man is undone.
Recently a sharp stabbing pain afflicted one toe. Aha, I thought, a corn! and bought a bottle of wondrous liquid guaranteed to cure the most stubborn corn. Or callus. Humming lightly to myself:
“Don't be corney, don't be callous,
S.B.W. uber alles!”
I set about opening the phial. First, ham ever, I paused to read the literature enclosed.
“Important” it said. “Read Carefully. Now that you have made up your mind to use our corn cure, we feel certain that you will never again use razors, files, knives, or those most aggravating and inflaming salves, plasters or corn-pads”.
Well, I never had, but let it pass. (I use scissors.) I read on: “Watch your footwear! The same corns will return if you continue to wear tight or badly-fitting shoes.”
I had never been guilty of wearing tight shoes, but perhaps mine were a little sloppy… “For they were large boots, large boots…” “Herring boxes without topses …”
What followed shook me considerably, “Beware of Lockjaw and Blood Poisoning”! said the pamphlet. “Shun the menaces of dangerous razors and knives for paring corns. Give a moment's thought to the great risks you run in cutting them with these instruments and exposing yourself to the danger of infection and blood poisoning.”
To think of such possibilities in treating a simple corn! Oh gentle reader, exercise the utmost caution when dealing with these vital matters. Keep walking and put your best foot foremost; but let me close with this warning rhyme:
O stricken maid,
Seek not the aid
Of corn-pad, salve or plaster
Of any sort;
You'll simply court
The worst kind of disaster.
Shun knife and file,
Of razor blades beware!
Be sure to treat
Your precious feet
With kindness and with care.
Feet, believe me,
To treat 'em rough forbear,
For sure as eggs
You suffering legs
Won't grow another pair.
One new member, Roy Craggs, was welcomed by the President at the start of the meeting, and after that, routine business was soon disposed of.
From the Walks Secretary we learned of the hazards that had beset walkers during October. Jack Perry's party from Kanangra had considerable difficulty in crossing the Cox. On Bill Rodger's trip from Picton to Hilltop nothing worse than rain was encountered, but David Ingram had been unable to cross the Georges River on his Sunday walk and had had to cut out part of it as a result. Only 26 members had ventured on official walks, together with 12 prospectives and 2 visitors.
Room stewards who volunteered for the month were Brian Harvey, Len Young and Bill Ketas.
The President drew attention to the fact that, whereas we formerly had only one ash tray (reserved for Mr. Knightley), we had now, thanks to Jack Wren, a plentiful supply, which would be placed, and, he ventured to hope, replaced, near the door.
The President again told us that several new Club officers, including a Secretary and Assistant Secretary would be required next year.
The meeting then embarked upon a prolonged discussion as to whether we should mis-spell the Club's name in the 'phone book for the benefit of prospective prospectives. It was generally agreed that anyone silly enough to want to go bushwalking might find us under “Bushwalkers” (one word) but would be flummoxed if we appeared under “Bush Walkers” (two words). It was decided (with three dissentients) that we should appear under “Bushwalkers”. Brian Harvey informed us that we were now listed in the Pink Pages, next to “Clubs Coursing and Kennel”, under the7grouping “Clubs Bushwalking”.
Frank Ashdown then brought up the subject of free nights on the Social Programme. Half the nights on the programme were free, he said, and he wanted to know who decided that so many free nights should be placed on the programme. Edna Garrad explained that, in addition to Committee nights, now called free nights, it was Committee's policy to provide two free nights, which, after careful consideration, were usually placed on the programme at times when the members would probably want to discuss plans for trips - i.e. before holiday breaks. It was hoped more time for conversation would help to promote social activity. In December and January there were so many on holidays that there was no purpose in arranging any special activity on some nights. A number spoke against the motion, which eventually emerged as a resolution that the general meeting should determine the number of free nights. Colin Putt was dubious of the mathematics of determining the number of free nights by a “yes-no” system of voting. Jim Hooper said that the purpose of the Club was to talk. Frank, in reply, said that he meant no reflection on Edna, but he thought the Club should say what it wanted. The motion was put, and lost.
Complaints were voiced by Ron Knightley - that there was too much formality at meetings - and by Snow Brown - that somebody had placed all the spare Club songbooks under his bed. It transpired that what was wanted was someone to bind the songbooks and, at Kath Brown's suggestion, it was decided to enlist the aid of Malcolm McGregor. Kath offered to help, so as to have the songbooks, which had entailed so much work, available to members. The meeting closed about 9.30 p.m. when members moved across Pitt Street to the “Satellite” and went right on talking.
A full two years before - yes, exactly two years to the very weekend - in the goodly company of Binnsie and The Admiral, I set out to reach Big Yengo. The story of that ill-omened journey has been told before. It rained and rained and rained and we never left the car. It was, I considered All Hooper's Fault.
What, you don't know where Yengo is? Then you have never walked in that peculiar country north and east of the Colo River because from every high point you can see the big table-topped basalt mountain towering far above the flanking ridges, and although Yengo is only 2,200' in height, it dominates by a full thousand feet everything for miles around. Approximately west of Newcastle, and perhaps thirty miles inland, it lies just east of the MacDonald River, not far off the road that runs from Windsor to Singleton by way of Central Colo and Putty. If you want more data, have a look at the map in the Club collection called Mount Yengo.
To my mind there are two logical approaches to the mountain. One is via the Putty Road mentioned heretofore: and the other is by the stock route that travels west from the Old Northern Road near Wollombi, and eventually ends on the grassy shoulders of the mountain. The latter is the easier, but longer, so I elected to go via the Putty Road - MacDonald River route.
After the publication of my confessions of the previous abortive jaunt, Dorothy Lawry sent me from New Zealand an account of a trip to Yengo in company with other S.B.W. members, back in the 1930's. It made me wonder whether I had been optimistic in hoping to get to and from the mountain in the limited space of a normal two day weekend. However, there was the counter evidence of the map. It was only eight miles down the Macdonald River from the road bridge, then about three miles of ridge involving an ascent of maybe 1,700'. Surely the Macdonald River couldn't be worse than mile an hour going.
It's grimly cold at 5.0 a.m. on an August morning, and in the hollows along the road to Windsor the headlights bounced back off pockets of mist: it was very soupy in the Hawkesbury Valley, and the three miles from Windsor to Wilberforce were made miserable by the dazzle from headlights of a following car, but once I was rising on to the ridges between Wilberforce and Central Colo, the air cleared and there was promise of a lovely late winter's day.
The Colo was cold-black and smoky in the pearly morning light and there was heavy frost: my gloved hands were numb on the wheel up through Colo Heights, and then the sun came up and made the day brilliant. At seventy five miles from home I ran on to the gravel road, and at a hundred and three I crossed the Macdonald and stopped on the grassy patch at the roadside. A brief halt to drain the radiator and drink tea from a thermos flask, and at eight o'clock I wet my feet in the first numbing crossing of the river.
The Macdonald at this point flows between grassy shores, with undulating slopes rising to timbered hills: the wattles were vivid against the wintry blue sky. Only two or three inches of water, rippling a sinuous course over the sandy bed, and seldom occupying more than half the width of the watercourse. For about an hour it was easy going: crossings were frequent but the open grassed banks a delight. My socks and sandshoes filled up with coarse river sand till there was no more space, and because the water was so cold I plodded along on feet that had no real sensation.
Almost three miles down from the road, the river changes. I still can't be sure whether it changes rapidly or by degrees: I know that I suddenly realised that I was more often on the sand of the river bed (and frequently splashing down the shallow stream) than on dry banks. A little further on, with the shores becoming less hospitable, rock strewn and grown with patches of dense shrubbery, I gave away all pretence of trying to follow the banks, and simply splashed down the river. It was very shallow, and only rarely did one sink above the ankle in sand, but it was bitterly cold, and my feet and legs remained a fragile purple tint all morning.
At 10 a.m., at the junction of Howes Valley Creek I decided I was a fool to keep my shoes and socks on, so wrung them out and put them on my pack, and went on barefoot: it was much better, and I continued to make 1 miles an hour down the middle of Macdonald River, passing Pipeclay Creek, Yokey Creek, and finally coming at midday to Yokey Swamp Creek. All the way from Howes Valley Creek the Macdonald passes through a shallow but quite rough valley with good enough river-bed walking, but rough, slow banks if you want to go dry-shod.
I lunched opposite the outflow of Yokey Swamp, left some non-essential gear wrapped in a groundsheet, put on footwear again, and at 1.30 started up the ridge to the east. A few rocky ledges and some thick vegetation slowed me down at first, but within 15 minutes the ridge was clear ahead, and in just over half an hour I breasted a rise where the spur flattened out: there she was - off to my left and ahead - Big Yengo, a thousand feet up, with steep grassy shoulders crouched in a lazy sleep of golden afternoon.
For twenty minutes or so the ridge was almost flat, then the forest thinned out, and I was puffing at the steady incline. Whenever I stopped to get my wind (and that was often) I found the horizon widening, and long before I reached the summit trig I was looking to Kurrajong Heights (and was it Mount King George?) in the south and south west, to the other big basalt tops of Tyan Pic, Uraterer, Coricudgy, Monundilla in the west, and away, away to the clear blue towers of Barrington in the north. From the top when I arrived at 3.0 p.m. I could glimpse the ocean, but found the views of known ground to the west so enthralling I forgot to try to identify any easterly landmark: it must have been there, but I can't even recall seeing Mount Warramolong, inland from Morisset. No wonder, I thought, no wonder Yengo crowds the skyline when you look at him from, say, over there.
Just before four o'clock I left the top: rather reluctantly, I left it, wondering if I'd carried up enough gear to camp overnight, and deciding that I couldn't camp without water, and the only promising gully was too far down.
The short winter day closed down as I camped in an abominable place on sand: that's all you can find on that part of the Macdonald. Just as well the night was mild. Frosty sand would make a shocking bed, even with the thin sprinkling of dry leaves and bracken I raked up.
Came the brilliant Sunday morning, and I decided my feet were too sand-papered to do an upstream canter along the Macdonald, so I took to the ridges. Apart from a certain amount of navigational interest, they were undistinguished dry, barren looking spurs, but they served to bring me to the road, four miles south of the bridge, before 11.0 a.m. I wasn't inclined to cavil even at four miles of dusty roadbash: getting to Big Yengo was a warm and consoling sensation inside.
There's nothing more suitable for summer camping than Sanitarium Foods!!
Dried fruits for stewing, sultanas, raisins, nuts, rice, glace fruits, fruity confectionary, cereals, dried milk, healthful biscuits, peanut butter, marmite.
13 Hunter St. Sydney. BW1725.
“Barrington North” map to extend the Ordinance Maps of Barrington and Gloucester Tops - From Paddy Pallin & Robinson's. 4/-.
“The National Parks of Queensland” by the Q.N.P.A. - From Allen Strom. 3/6d.
Recently reprinted and again available from bookshops - “Native Australian Plants - Their Propagation and Cultivation”. - A.M. Blombery.
who have moved into their new home at Como. The angophora overhanging the back verandah is to be fitted with a tarzan type rope which will take Geoffrey to the comparative safety of the bush in one leap.
A horde of S.B.W's descended on them the other Saturday night, surrounded the house to prevent escape, and provided the doings for a house warming party.
New addition to the above household - One Son.
This has nothing to do with the House of Dior or with Helena Rubenstein, in the general sense. But have you ever thought what a source of inspiration bushwalkers, especially their nocturnal appearance, could provide for leaders in the fashion and beauty worlds?
If a fashion-conscious designer caught a glimpse of some prospectives taking to the track for the first time, I'm sure he would dash to his drawing board and with a few strokes here and there suggest some attire not only comfortable, but also functional and attractive. I remember my own experience as a raw prospective on the trip up Glenbrook Gorge. I arrived for the day in low lace-up kid shoes with kromhyde soles, and a woollen skirt. It poured all afternoon. While I hopped like bandy wallaby from rock to rock, shivering when rain trickled down my collar, Kath Brown enlightened me on the correct and practical attire for bushwalking, plus additional advice on what to wear to bed. By the end of the walk the soles were off the shoes and my knees chafed - so I took her advice about what to wear on the track… but to bed… ah, that's a personal choice! That's where the fun begins.
Kath's bedtime story was recalled during the recent holiday weekend. I sat watching a very experienced walker prepare for retiring. On went ski-pants, extra jumpers, night-cap and gloves. A whole chapter could be written on the nocturnal disguise of bushwalkers for some people swear by three pairs of sox, others by hot water bottles, while the head-warmer brigade are a crowd on their own. Some snuggle down into hooded sleeping bags and look like Sherpas on the upper slopes of the Himalayas. Some favour balaclavas, others hark back to a bit of fur like cavemen ancestors, while many look as though they have the mumps - not to mention the ski-cap fans who like to look both warm and attractive.
A couple of years ago on a trip with another club, on which four S.B.W's were present, I took stockinette pyjamas, as it was a two week trip. The first night I dressed for bed in my unaccustomed finery. The next night I couldn't find the legs anywhere. Not wanting to sound suspicious or negligent, I didn't say anything to my sleeping companions - but I kept my eyes open, and wondered. On the 12th day of the trip one of the females sleeping next to me said: “I believe I must've been wearing your pyjama pants all this time”. She did wash then so they were clean to take home - but that was the end of pyjamas for me. Now I sleep in slacks.
On receiving an advance copy of Paddy Pallin's “Bushwalking Around Sydney” today, I thought I'd see what that experienced walker had to say on the subject of clothing for tent-life. Not a word, unless he refers obliquely to this subject of individual choice in the words a “large supply of humour and commonsense”, for unless you're warm at night, bushwalking the next day may lose its invigorating appeal. So whether you wear unmentionables, or swear that, being nude is being next to Nature, good sleeping. Happy dreams!
Following a move stemming from Milton, the prospects of the formation of a National Park in The Castle - Mt. Renwick - Mt. Pigeon House Area, should add interest to the slides to be shown by Brian Harvey & Bill Rodgers on 27th January. Earlier probes by Alex Colley and Jim Brown to the west of The Castle have resulted in an easier, faster and more interesting approach. Come! See for yourself!!
For all your transport problems contact Hatswell's Taxi and Tourist Service. Ring, write, wire or call any hour, day or night.
'Phone: Blackheath W459 or W151. Booking Office - 4 doors from Gardner's Inn Hote1 (look for the neon sign.)
Speedy 5 or 8 passenger cars available. Large or small parties catered for.
We will be pleased to quote other trips or special parties on application.
Local walkers, if so inclined, can travel super-lightweight (18-20 lbs total?) during most of the year, but walking and climbing in a cold climate is a very different kettle of fish. The classic “Bushwalking and Camping” handbook covers local requirements admirably. For those going South, the Melbourne University Mountaineering Club's 30-page “Report on Equipment” (1952) gives a comprehensive treatment on what to take compares different types of equipment, and is good reading as well (e.g. “towel, soap, toothbrush, comb have been carried at times…”
The Butler-Putt New Zealand party is using the following list of gear, printed here by courtesy of the organisers. Our only comment is that none of the items seem tasty enough to eat with the edible candles.
Pack: To carry at least 55lbs. Waterproof, preferably with watertight sleeve in top.
Sleeping-bag: With wool or down hood.
Sleeping-bag cover: Heat-sealed plastic, or light oilskin, 18 ins. longer than sleeping bag.
Parka: Waterproof, not just showerproof. Knee length, drawstrings at face and waist, double cloth on shoulders, arms long enough to pull hands inside.
Shirt(s): One or two, all wool, buttoning at wrist and neck, roomy enough to wear over sweater. (2 shirts if no padded jacket.)
Sweater: Roll-neck, sleeves must come down to thumb-joint, bottom of sweater to come at least 10 ins. below waist. Preferably greasy wool.
Shorts: Tough cotton shorts or bathing trunks. Tear resistant - (some Alpine scrub similar to S.W. Tasmania).
Long woollen pants: Lightweight - optional depending on quality of long trousers.
Long trousers: Tight-woven, windproof, all wool. High waist, no side pockets, ankle buttons. Legs large enough to pass boots through.
Mitts: Greasy wool (not gloves), must come at least 4 ins. above wrist.
Windproof mitts: Waterproofed cotton. A loose fit over wool mitts. Must overlap these by 1 1/2“ at wrist.
Balaclava Hat: Knitted wool, to overlap roll-neck sweater by at least 4 ins.
Socks: Heavy-quality wool. Take at least 4 pairs plus darning equipment.
Boots: Vibram type rubber sole. The boot must have at least two full decks of sole leather and the stiff type of upper (not available in Australia) to support crampon straps. Suggest buy in N.Z.
Ankle puttees or gaiters: Must be a close fit to be snowproof.
Padded jacket: Down, kapok, or plastic foam fil1ed. Only needed if using snow-caves or tent-camps above 6,000 ft.
Axe: Heavy head, long spike on handle. Handle in Al condition.
Crampons: Long spike 10 or 12 pointers, leather straps. Eckerstien model preferred.
Rope: 120 ft. of 1 1/4 in. circ. nylon to each two people.
Sling and Karabiner: At least one each.
Waist rope: 30 ft. of 3/4” manilla.
Primus and fuel container: At least one to four people.
Aluminium food tins: 2 or 3 large ones.
Alkathene food bags: 6.
Billy: One, 3 to 4 pint.
Mess-tin: or equivalent, aluminium.
Knife: Bowee or carving type.
Waterproofed matches: 2 Boxes.
Snow-goggles: 2 pairs.
Lamp: Electric cycle lamp, lightweight , carbide lamp, or candle lantern, (edible candles).
Boot dressing: 2 oz. of Kiwi wetproof, castor oil, or brake fluid.
First Aid Outfit: Plenty of elastoplast and bandages, Savlon or acriflavine, A.P Codein tablets, needles and threads, mag. sulphate. Dimethyl Pthalate, soap.
Carry 3 spare sets of bootlaces (preferably nylon), assorted string and cord, wire, etc.
Lip salve or lipstick.
Hat (Optional): Should be waterproof, with chinstrap.
Underclothes (Optional) “String” singlet is best.
According to newspaper reports, 811 Americans were shot dead in 1958 in mistake for wild game. One character fired at a movement in the scrub and found he'd killed his wife! As the accident happened after sundown, he was fined for shooting out of season.
A farmer painted the letters COW on his cattle in the hope of protecting them from hunters who thought they were moose.
Our experiences with shooters are few but frightening - ask Jack Gentle. Our only hope is that shooters after rabbits will fire low and only slightly damage any walkers in the line of fire. If there are only cows about, watch out!
- Gwen Seach.
Now the long weekend had come at last
So t'was off to Wee Jasper Caves - quick fast
Of course caving is a thing for a specialised mob
But still the S.B.W. really do a good job.
We were all on our way by seven-fifteen
Happy, excited and feeling very keen.
Lindsey had never been caving before
And didn't quite know what was in store.
Goulburn we found all studded with lights
Making this town really quite a nice sight
For the Lilac Festival was now in full swing
And to squeeze through the cars you'd need to be thin.
The next fifteen minutes drinking Coffee were spent
While I ducked off to speak to a friend
I'd a cup of tea there, and patted the cat
And when I got back still they sat.
Just out of Yass we camped that night
And all went right until it was light
For we were all awakened by voices
“Wakey wakey”, and such like noises.
To Wee Jasper town, that day we went
And to the Post Office we were sent
To look at the map therein of the cave
Some great time of course this did save.
We reached the caves - oh! what a sight,
All clad in gear ready to try our might.
The rubbish was the first thing to negotiate
And then down the hole to our fate.
Dawn into the bowels of the earth we went
All doubled up and kind'er bent
This first cave was dry when we arrived
And the formations of course, were not alive.
The second cave we were to enter
In my opinion was much, much better
This was called the “Fourth Extension”
And this cave at least took Snow's attention.
For the very next day down the ladder we went
Snow with his camera - we knew what this meant
Of course this photography caused quite a delay
So in the cave for lunch we did stay.
There was hot stewed fruit for all of us
Which was prepared with not much fuss
It wasn't a balanced diet I might add
But it all went down of course, me lad.
That afternoon we joined the S.S.S.
To enter a cave which was rather a mess
75 feet of ladder we descended in all
And thank goodness none of our bods did fall.
This ladder was all very well to do down
But to come up, was not so easy we found
So when we were down, a good idea would be
To look around to see what we could see.
On a conducted tour the others were led
But Judy and I wouldn't go we said
For it would be fun to look around
To see what else could be found.
So after this very exciting day
We slept well that night I'd like to say
With six tired bodies in a two man tent
There was no space at all to rent.
The next day brought forth beautiful sunshine
So off to see how many unnamed caves we could find
But this did not eventuate to much
And soon we were thinking of what was for lunch.
The Signature Cave was one of two left
So down we hopped into that cleft
To find the hole the S.S.S. had blasted
And searching for this, about twenty minutes it lasted.
This hole went from the Signature to Punchbowl
The excitement of finding it, from the S.S.S. we stole
For they had been searching for almost two days
And that goes to show it's not experience that pays.
But all in all we had a wonderful time
And tea Monday night, we really did dine
For at Mittagong we had a good dish
But that smoky smell we really did miss.
Whilst recovering from Christmas this year, think of your intrepid pals over in the New Zealand Alps, for they will be sure to spare you a thought at Era and possibly each will envy the other.
No matter where you are, all at Paddy's send you Christmas Greetings and wish you Happy Walking for 1960.
Just in time for Christmas - “Kiwi” hooded, oilskin, zipp front, knee length parkas, considered by experienced walkers to be an indispensable section of their gear. Wonderful value at £6.10. 0. Weight 1 lb. 12 ozs.
Rock Climbers Gear - Nylon climbing rope in quarter, half and full weight sizes, also nylon abseil slings.
Manilla climbing rope and abseil slings, carabiners and pitons, piton hammers and ice axes, tricounis, clinkers and Sherpa soles.
Plastic Air Beds - a new line for that camping holiday and fun on the beach. Economically priced and very strong, easily repaired if damaged. 45/- to 60/-. Weight 2 1/2 lbs.
A Portable Gas Stove that weighs only 1 1/4 lbs. complete with a disposable cylinder. Stove 57/6, Cylinders to give 3 to 4 hours cooking 7/11d. each.
Now available - A long awaited book by Paddy: “Bushwalking Around Sydney” containing 24 one day walks and 12 camping trips around Sydney - 8/6d. per copy.
New edition of “Bushwalking and Camping”, price 5/-, ready December.
Plenty of gifts at Paddy's.
Paddy Pallin Pty Ltd. Lightweight Camp Gear.
201 Castlereagh St., Sydney. BM2685.
After spending a wet and misty Easter in the Brindabellas catching glimpses of elusive peaks, I decided that my luck could not be that bad again so set out for the neighbouring Tinderrys on the October long weekend.
I got together a motley crew of old faithfuls and a few good clean white ants and thus equipped proceeded to attack this impressive range.
The Tinderrys, which lie east of the Murrumbidgee River at Michelago - are that jagged massif one sees from the Canberra-Coma Road - about 20 miles in length, running almost due north/south with about 5 miles of granite tops over 5000'. An added attraction is that its Eastern boundary is the trout “filled” Queanbeyan River.
When at last we got cracking on Saturday, it was to face an overcast sky, floating around our peaks and when the time came to leave the cars at the foot of the range, the sky had dropped a further 1000' and the bold decision was made to reverse the planned trip, i.e. to go down to Queanbeyan and climb over the high peaks on Monday. Even the white ants agreed to this, thus saving themselves a climb.
We set off up a good third class road that crossed the range at a most convenient saddle, and from the saddle we moved southward along the Tinderrys and climbed above the tree line to behold an expansive view to the South and West. The broad valley of the Murrumbidgee could be easily traced; the Brindabellas and Scabby Range were clothed in low cloud; the main south range was obliterated but Mt. Dromedary and Brown Mountain showed through due south; to the east a dirty grey black wall covered our valley and beyond.
In order to get a decent view to the north, where I knew Curruckbilly and the Budawang Range to lie, we proceeded around the knoll of a spur and finally, atop this spur, gazed into the murky wilds to the north and pointed out proudly “See that - that's Currockbilly, just there to the right one inch, that Pidgeon House - over to the left more, that's The Peak - no, I don't need a map to show what's what. Know it? Of course, like the back of my hand. Direction by compass, what rot! What's that you say, I'm pointing south west? Ridiculous, you've dropped your compass - see over there, that's the headwaters of the Shoalhaven - Eh:! The compasses show its south west… Squad about face! Forward march! (Aside - These minor blues happen to all of us occasionally).
With the party now moving downwards and in an easterly direction, there were no questions when a lunch stop was called. There is no shortage of water at all; springs, high marshes and small brooks provide excellent high (4,000') camps.
The next day was spent walking along the banks of the Queanbeyan River. This river has several prominent features: (1) trout (so we're told); (2) it's tortuous ; (3) it's suitable to canoe; (4) it's…
Entering into the true adventurous spirit of bushwalking and after a few painful immersions it was found that (1) you can't see trout in muddy water. (2) The Army Ordinance Surveyors were more wise than some party members, who stuck rigidly to the meanders of the river and threw all their knowledge of woodsy lore to the wind. (Thoughts for the day - You don't have to be in the water to be wet, or, should one always take notice of the leader.) (3) Time did not allow us to follow this aspect up, but an excellent road crossing is at Adienbilly Creek and there should be canoeable rapids and good camp spots between there and London Bridge Caves.
By Monday the weather was trying to improve and on the climb up from our Groggy Creek camp impressive glimpses towards the Tinderrys rewarded us. Finally our goal was won. Tinderry Pic, altitude 5,310', the sky overcast but clearing, visibility 200º all toward the South and West. While on top, over the clicking of camera shutters, the cry was heard “Over there (to the Southwest) as all eyes and cameras followed the moving finger the clouds were seen to lift, until the main range in the vicinity of Jagungal appeared, glistening white with fresh snow.
Moving off across this granite ridge another aspect of the range became apparent. The huge granite tors and slabs afforded opportunities for the pseudo “rockies” and at times we would progress amidst the boulders only to find ourselves in a blind canyon with walls 20' - 30' high and we would have to retreat for 50 yards to go up another passageway, but as these wanderings were amongst the delicate pastel granite shadings even the white ants did not complain.
Shortly afterwards we were back on the road again.
During last year, CSIRO printed a Division of Plant Industry Technical Paper:
“The Grazing factor and the maintenance of Catchment Values in The Australian Alps” by A.B. Costin.
This concise and comprehensive study has photos of places known to many walkers, and references for further reading.
Briefly it was concluded that “present day grazing is not compatible with the preservation and improvement of catchment values. The possibilities for making it so are limited to a small fraction of snow country mainly below 4500' Here grazing by cattle would in general be preferable to grazing by sheep…”
More recently, The Journal of the Soil Conservation Service of N.S.W. (April 1959) states that:
Rabbits do not usually invade a healthy dense sward of snowgrass, but favour short cropped or burnt sward with some bare ground. They survived at fairly high altitudes because each year the habitat became more suitable to them; and have reached 4,500' with a few even higher. Depth of snow prevents permanent warrens above 4,500'.
To quote from the Journal:
“In the Snowy Catchment, by working with nature, the vegetation cover can be greatly improved so that it gradually approaches that condition obtaining originally. The soils, heaths and bogs will become progressively wetter and the catchment will improve as a source of usable water. As these changes develop, the area also becomes less suitable habitat for rabbits and they will become much less of a problem in this region than they have been in the last forty years.”
|December 20||The Rudolph Cup. Here's your chance to win a prize combining utility and beauty. Contact David Brown for details. When asked for a description of the event (for this page) the Organiser's only reply was “Arrr, Mighty!”|
|December 25-26-27-28||Christmas at Era. Enquire in Clubroom about parties going.|
|January 1-2-3||New Year at Era. Enquire in Clubroom about parties going.|
|January 8-9-10||Heathcote - Lake Eckersley - Heathcote. Good camping, freshwater swimming, only a few miles walk from Station. Leader: Eileen Taylor.|
|January 9-10||Waterfall - Heathcote Creek - Heathcote. Pleasant easy walking, swimming holes along the creek. Leader: Kevin Ardill.|
|January 16-17||Campbelltown - O'Hare' s Creek - Campbelltown. Easy walking, good swimming hole on O'Hare's Creek. Leader: Dick Childs.|
|January 17||Hawkesbury River - Bus to Brookland - Hawkesbury River Dam. - bus back to station. Swimming, wildflowers. Leader: Miriam Steenbohm.|
|January 24-25-26||and for the long weekend. Waterfall - bus to Governor Game lookout - easy walk along tops to Squeezehole - camp Burning Palms above Ranger's Hut. Swimming and surfing - bus back from Garie. Leader: Jean Harvey.|
A useful map far most of the above walks is the Tourist Map of Port Hacking District (mounted copy kept in the Club Map Cupboard).
Pat and Ian Wood are back in Sydney after a couple of years in Canberra.
The Admiral' s Anniversary boat race from Cowan Creek to Wiseman' s Ferry was held recently, but no one seems willing to say much about it. Snow Brown is said to have fallen asleep within five minutes of pushing off, leaving his landlubber shipmates to navigate throLgh the Hawkesbury labyrinth.
There's also a wild (?) yarn going around that the same boat didn't rise with the tide on the Saturday night. If only they'd had the Rudolph Cup with them, bailing out would have been much faster!
Admiral Anderson, we regret, was not a starter.
Pair Selby Golf Shoes, Size 4, as new. £3 or offer.
- Georgina Langley.
Eric Pegram writes: “Just got back from following. Booky (John Bookluck) around Scotland. I didn't catch up with him. but had a terrific time. It' s really a great place. So are the Scotsmen!”
The other four pages (of inimitable Pegram humour) may be read in manuscript by those who think they might understand it. Enquiries to the Editor.
Ross Laird, working in New Guinea, is exploring on a Lambretta in his spare time.
“It was good to see Ron Knightley up here and was I surprised. I suppose a person should be prepared to meet S.B.W's just about anywhere in the world.
Last Thursday I jumped on my trusty Lambretta and drove 46 miles into the wilds of New Guinea to visit some friends (I met them originally on the Oronsey going to England) who've been in the Territory for 20 years and run an Experimental Farm. Spent a terrific day being chased by death adders. The road to Erap (?) takes you over the war famous Nadzab airstrip - immense! There were 4,000 planes parked on the 18 runways in 1946. There's not much there now, apart from great expanses of concrete and sealing, and even that is gradually being covered by Kunai grass. Kunai is amazing stuff. From a distance, mountains appear to be covered with beautiful lawns right to the summit, but on closer inspection you find the Kunai growing up to 12 feet high. It looks like ordinary grass but so much bigger…”
The Railways Department has asked us to point out to readers that in connection with their advertisement inside the back cover of this Magazine, that the extension of the electrification to Gosford will come into effect on the 23rd January next.