A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bushwalker, The N.S.W. Nurses' Association Rooms “Northcote Building, Reiby Place, Sydney.
Box No. 4476, G.P.O. Sydney. 'Phone 843985.
Editor - Bill Gillam, Old Bush Rd, Engadine. 5208423.
Business Manager - Bill Burke, Coral Tree Rd, West Pennant Hills.
367 JULY 1965 Price 1/-
The June General Meeting - A. Colley - 2.
Social Notes - 3.
Tracks Out of Kangaroo Valley - Paddy - 4.
A Climber in the French Alps - Ron Cox Part III - 8.
A week in the Valleys of Kathmandu - Dot Butler - 11.
Natural History - Some Funny Things Happen Before you can Apres Ski - B. Gillam - 13.
Federation Report - June - 15.
Day Walks - 16.
Search & Rescue weekend Information - 17.
Letter from Ken Lewis - 18.
The meeting commenced with an apology from Ron Knightley - last heard of heading for Washington.
Having disposed of correspondence (largely from people trying to sell us something) we arrived at reports. The President gave a verbal report on the Era working bee organised by Jack Wren. Five had turned up on Saturday and 6 on the Sunday. They had done a good job - the area was now free of tins and bottles, and the Club's thanks were due to the leader for his enthusiastic effort. John White then gave us a verbal report on the Barren Grounds faunal reserve. The only access permitted was via the main gates, and visitors could walk only on the bulldozed route known as the Griffiths Trail. Anyone wishing to go beyond this would require the permission of the Fauna Protection Panel. The ranger (now full time) could give permission to small parties to leave the trail.
The Treasurer reported a small increase - to £265.16.6 in our cash resources, income for the month being £67.10.0 and expenses £59.10.2. Walks Secretary Bob Godfrey reported on a dry, but active month's walking, with some trips in country seldom visited. Alan Round led a walk to Blue Gum and reported water scarce. Bob himself took 6 members and 7 prospectives up Linden Creek from the Grose (reached via Burralow Creek). He found Linden Creek very pleasant with reasonably easy going. Ten members and 3 prospectives went on David Ingram's day walk in the Heathcote area. Water was plentiful in Heathcote Creek and the Woronora. Gladys Roberts however, who took 10 members, 9 prospectives and 3 children down Middle Harbour Creek, reported that the drought was so bad there that the creek was running backwards. The Wondabyne walk led by David Ingram and John Holly proved extraordinarily popular. Seven members, 12 prospectives and 1 visitor started, but by the time they got back to the train there were 25 in the party. As the Walks Secretary observed, “an increase is preferable to a loss”. (Hear! Hear! from the Treasurer.) Another (or perhaps the same) 25 turned up on Jack Gnetles's Burning Palms walk. The end of the month found Bob Godfrey once again battling through the roughest country in the State. Hungerford Creek, along the Grose to Bluegum was the programme, but the party couldn't get into Porcupine Creek so they followed along the ridges until they found a way down to Hungerford Creek, then followed the creek down towards the Grose, only to find that they had come on the Grose itself below the junction. It was too late to go to Blue Gum then, so they came back along the Faulconbridge Track. (Mighty hard to find your way round there, specially in the days before contoured maps.)
Some difficulty has been experienced with late application forms submitted by prospectives and the Committee wants them submitted in future not later than 8 p m. on the Wednesday preceding the meeting. Frank Ashdown also asked those wanting to hire gear to let him know early, so that hiring could be organised; and the Magazine Editor would like contributions sent direct to Shirley Dean not later than the first Wednesday of the month.
Ross Wyborn reported that the area round Corang Trig was well burnt out (this is almost an annual event) and queried the right of the grazier responsible to burn off Crown Land. It was decided to bring the matter before Federation.
Following a short report on the merits and prices of typewriters, the meeting approved with the Treasurer's blessing, the expenditure of £41 on an Olivetti studio model.
Strong loquacious males turned weak and silent when the President called for Room Stewards. Only Audrey Kenway volunteered, so she and Ern French, who usually does it anyway, will share the job.
“The Greatest Adventure” is the most imposing title of a film to be presented by the Natural Health Society of N.S.W. on July 21. There may be a message in it for you, but even if you don't agree with the ideas of this group the film should be entertaining.
On July 28, Mr. David McMillan of the Archives Sydney University will be at the club to tell us about “Old Sydney” with the use of the Smith Collection. The appearance of Mr. McMillan on the programme has delighted many members and their assurances have been given for an excellent night. The very position of our club room should be of significance when considering the history of the early days of the colony.
In the old days before cars cluttered up the roads, farmers who lived in the Kangaroo Valley regarded Robertson as their “home town”, and would make for a gap in the escarpment through which they could ride to the tableland and then head straight for Robertson. With the building of better roads and the increasing use of cars the old tracks fell into disuse and became overgrown. During the war years local volunteers cleared these tracks as escape routes for cattle in case of invasion, but another twenty odd years of disuse has allowed them to almost disappear again.
At Christmas time Ray Page and I, with one or two others from Ben Rickets made two forays to establish the whereabouts of these tracks with the hope that they could eventually be slashed clear and put into use again.
We succeeded in locating three tracks in the vicinity of Gerringong Creek - a tributory of the upper Kangaroo River. These were Cox's Track, Hansen's Track and the Butler Track. Interesting walks could be planned around these tracks. I give the following descriptions to help find these tracks. Cox's track and the Butler track could be quite difficult to locate from below so I suggest initial trips be planned going down one of these tracks and up Hansen's track which is relatively easy to find.
Starts from the Budderoo Peninsular at approximate Map Ref. 644164 (Kiama 1” = 1 mile) not far from trig 2064'. Go along the Budderoo Road - but before I forget, you may be going by car and the Budderoo road now leaves the Jamberoo-Robertson road at about 1 mile north of where it is shown on the military map (approx map ref. 703214). It is quite trafficable to an ordinary car. You will know when you are near trig 2064 because of high land on the left. There is a patch of volcanic soil here and there is grass and cultivation. Incidentally don't go hunting for the trig, someone has pinched it! We went through the gate (a good new one) and worked our way through potato paddocks till we came to the spot where the trig should be and then went south and west until we came to a fence and got through it. I think the same result would be achieved by going past the gate and following the fence until the corner was reached and then strike into the scrub. Roughly at the west point of the 2000' contour is an outcrop of rocks which drops away steeply making a break in the cliffs and an accessible way down. Don't take it. We wasted a lot of time here. Go another hundred yards or so further west and you will find definite signs of an old bridle track which goes on an easy grade to the left (west) for 5 or 6 hundred yards. It then turns sharply right for a hundred yards or so and then slightly left, then left again. It becomes very faint but as the grassy paddocks can be seen round Cox's house it is only a matter of getting out to the open. The track leaves the scrub near a pretty big red cedar tree about 500 yards true west of Cox's House (deserted). The track marked on the map from Cox's to Gerringong Creek is quite clear (except for the first few hundred yards).
Can be found fairly easily from the top or the bottom, but as it is the one most easily found from the bottom I will describe it from the bottom. Hansen's farm house (deserted) stands at Map Ref 616174. A new road runs practically to it. It stands forlorn and lonely; a neglected peach tree and a common lemon bearing mute testimony to the long dead hands that once tended them and savoured their fruit. A road near the farm contours round the hillside for nearly half a mile and goes down to the nearby creek (do not go to the road which is much higher on the hillside). There is an easy crossing of the creek and a timber road then ascends the hill by easy grade to the right. After a few hundred yards it turns left and goes across a flat area covered with blackberries, the track then turns right and is rapidly being overgrown with blackberries. This leg is only about 200 yards and then it becomes quite clear again and turns sharply left and goes off on a long leg heading roughly north and climbing steadily. This leg is about half a mile long and starts as a gravelly road between trees, it is then swampy, then comes out on an open cleared grassy area from which a clear view of Hansen's is obtained. It then passes through a small patch of trees and comes out on to the northern end of a large grassy flat with no apparent track. Turn right and go along this grassy flat until you see a tall broken-off stump of a large tree standing 20 or 30 feet high. Immediately below it on the hillside is a large dead tree with all its branches. If you proceed straight into the scrub from the stump you will find a clear track leading to the left (going north) up the hillside. The entrance however is obscure, it goes on for about 400 yards and then turns sharply to the right and soon goes through an easy break in the cliff line. The location of the break through the cliff is approx map ref. 627183. The track is fairly clear through scrub on the cliff top going approx. ESE(?) for 400 yards and winding about on an average bearing of ENE for another 500 yards or more. It then apparently shot off north towards Carrington Falls and Robertson. It is fairly easy to find from the top. For those interested I might mention that Gerringong Falls are well worth a visit and the track shown on the map is fairly clear. If you come from the Robertson-Jamberoo Road it leaves the Budderoo road just after crossing a cattle grid. Here the road bears off the left and the track to the right.
Starts at the cliff line at Map. Ref. 615187 where a small creek cuts the cliff just above a tongue-like ridge overlooking Gerringong Creek. We could find no trace of any track on the plateau but the location is easily enough determined by the distinct fall in the land which occurs as this tongue is approached. We had some difficulty in locating the beginning of the track although we hit the correct spot straight away. There is an obvious break in the cliff where a small creek breaks through and the track at first goes to the right only a short distance - it then turns left and winds about a bit but losing height and working its way directly under the cliff to the left (south). It is fairly clear for a while and continues to go south and slightly west until it gets nearly as far south as the cliffs at the tip of the “tongue”. It then turns right and heads about N.W. About here it reaches the top of a landslide which has obliterated all traces for a while. We slid down the landslide and picked up the leg of an old formed track which is shown on the map just north of grid line 18. After pushing along on this track, hacking through nettles and blackberries we came out into the open. Here another red cedar greeted us, but it would be difficult to locate it coming from below.
Arditto's farm at 598179 is now a timber mill. We did not descend to it, but kept at the level we came out into the clear and were able to make our way round following grass most of the way to Hansen's and so back to the plateau.
We hope to have more information on tracks in and out of the valley in a few months time. Let us hope these tracks are used. It would be a great pity if these historic tracks were completely lost.
12 slides per person - no categories - slides to Edna Stretton or Margaret Child on or before 4th August. Please carefully label slides with topic and name of owner.
At Easter I made a pilgrimage to Chamonix which is 80 miles by road from Grenoble I hitch-hiked - left late Saturday and arrived 10 a m. Easter Sunday. Chamonix was crowded with skiers and holiday makers and looked very touristy - more postcard shops than I've seen anywhere. The Aiguilles looked very high above. The southern, sunny faces were clean brown rock, but the northern sides were all iced up. Snow covered all the lower slopes and there was a light dusting on the trees right down to the valley floor, but there was no snow in Chamonix itself. There is often a metre of snow in the streets at Easter, but this is one of the feeblest winters in living memory. Mont Blanc was a vast gleaming mass of ice, hazy and indistinct. The sun blazed down on the great areas of white above Chamonix and one was quite dazzled looking up - one really needed to wear goggles in town!
Having neither ice-axe nor climbing partner I contented myself with a peaceful 3-hour walk up to the Montenvers. There is a beautifully graded track which winds up through fine pine forest. There was deep snow in the forest from about 500 ft. above Chamonix but fortunately people walking down from the Montenvers had plugged a good trail. It was very pretty; one got frequent tree-framed views of the well plastered Aiguilles Ranges across the valley.
Montenvers is a hotel-restaurant perched on the moraine wall near the snout of the Mer de Glace, served by rack railway from Chamonix. Just after I arrived the last train went down, and since the hotel is closed in winter I was left alone.
The view is, Charmoz to the right, Grand Jorasses straight ahead (some distance away) and the Dru to the left, very close and very high. I did nothing, just looked for an hour or two. I was even treated to a fine red sunset. After sunset the sky clouded over and landscape lost all colour. In greys and blacks it looked very inhospitable, very savage. The skyline crests are incredibly jagged, the walls of rock streaked with grey verglas, the vast fields of deep snow over all the lower slopes and over the Mer de Glace made things look very desolate. The continual rattle and crash of falling rock echoing around the walls and the frostiness in the air helped the mood. It was so cold I couldn't imagine climbing bare-handed. These winter-ascent boys must be keen men. I definitely felt that if I'd been enrolled for a climb anywhere on those crags I'd have been terrified. Presumably it's less scary in summer. In the last light I raw a party of skiers far out on the Mer de Glace, working down through the nearly invisible crevasses, and I felt very sorry for them; it would not have been nice out there, racing the darkness.
I spent the night in the cellar of the Montenvers hotel, the wind had fortuitously blown the door open. It was very dark but cosy and relatively warm. (Still cold enough to lightly freeze my boots.) While cooking dinner on the choofer I felt it would be good to have a wee drop of something to drink. Next morning in daylight I discovered one corner of the cellar was stacked full of crates of wine. Unfortunately I can't drink in the morning, not being French.
The morning weather was bad so I descended to Chamonix and hitch-hiked home. If I have dwelt in detail on this trivial ascent to the Montenvers it is because it was important to me - it really was a pilgrimage - and I wanted to describe by first impressions.
The following weekend Fred Mitchell of the M.U.M.C., well known for his exceptionally fast times on New Zealand peaks, came to visit me. He's been bumming around Europe all winter, having given his architect's job away. He reckons he has enough money to last two years. He recently went to Scotland and visited Aussi friends and they had a bit of a grog up. Fred is now in Scandinavia and then goes through Russia, Poland, Germany to arrive back in the Alps for the season. That a life!
The Sunday he was here we made an attempt on Taillefer, a magnificent, massive 9,400 foot peak 15 miles from Grenoble. We caught the Sunday morning bus up to a village at about 400 feet. The snow line lay just above the village and from there on it was a long, long uphill flog. We were always thinking of turning back but mainly through stupidity kept going. The visibility, incidentally, was nil - we were in complete whiteout. We finally gave it away a bit after noon at about 8,000 feet, when we reached the first real mountaineering difficulties. What great climbers! I still haven't got a handle fitted to my axe and I felt a bit odd on this climb, holding the axe head in my hand trying to pretend it was a real axe. I was fairly pleased to have climbed so much soft without collapsing. Knee britches make this sort of thing much easier as one can lift the knee with more freedom than in ordinary trousers.
This trip convinced me - everyone has to learn for himself - that the only way to climb in winter or spring is on skis. So I started skiing at nearby resorts in order to develop my skiing ability enough to go ski-mountaineering. The third time I went skiing, in one of the numerous crazy busters that one has, I tore a ligament in my knee. Doctor's orders are no climbing for at least another two weeks. I was at least pleased I hadn't broken my leg. Skiing is very dangerous - one could easily do oneself in for the climbing season! It's now well and truly spring, and when l'm fit again I guess it'll be time to seriously think about climbing. I hope some of you keep thinking about getting a job in Switzerland. As I said before, it's alright over here!
The first woman has climbed the Eigerwand; sehe is a 32 year old Munich blonde. The Eiger Diretissama has not been done. The outstanding climb of the season was the diretissama on the Pointe Wymper, the point adjacent to the Pointe Walker on the Grandes Jorasses. The team was Bonnatti with Vaucher, a Swiss amateur who last winter was on the first descent of the Eigerwand. Their route is the third route to be made on the North Face of the Grandes Jorasses - it lies between the Walker Spur (Cassin) route and the Central Buttress (Gervasutti) route. From the reports in the newspapers it sounded a pretty frightful thing, mainly due to the vast quantities of rock which were continually whistling past them; they had their ropes cut twice by falling rock and during one bivouac a slab 100 m high by 40 m wide came away above and fell past them. The culmination of the climb is very steep with much VI and VI sup. Bonnatti is reported to have said that the route is so frightening that, to rest his eyes, he used to look across at the Walker Spur. They were on the face four days.
The other big Alpine news of the season, very bad news, was the Aiguille Verte disaster. The inquiring commission has just released its report. The fourteen climbers were climbing in line astern up the 40 degree summit cap of the Aiguille Verte about 11.30 a m., having negotiated the long intricate Grands Montets ridge. The surface snow came away with them; it was a windslab. They went 3,000 feet down the north (Argentieres) face - no survivors. There were some very good men amongst them, which is rather frightening as it shows it could happen to anyone. Apparently a windslab can be quite undetectable. There were 9 apprentice guides almost fully qualified and three instructors from the Ecole Nationale de Ski et Alpinisme at Chamonix, plus two others who'd joined the ascent, one of whom was a world ski champion. They were climbing in 7 ropes of two strung out over 100 feet. The entire surface underneath the 7 ropes broke off at once. Counting this accident, there have been between 50 and 60 deaths at Chamonix this season. I'd say the percentage death rate is considerably lower than in New Zealand. The numbers that climb at Chamonix are enormous. In mid-July a trip up the Mar de Glace to the Couvercle hut reminds you of one of those expedition photos showing 600 porters strung out up the Baltoro Glacier. You see great numbers of people going up and coming down to the half dozen huts to which the route lies over the Mar de Glace.
We left Moscow on a bracing Autumn day, with the wind blowing in strong and virile off the steppes. At the Airport was Mr. Kruschez flanked by Army, Navy and Airforce guards, farewelling the Prime Minister of India. Our plane was not allowed to take off until the important guest had departed. Memories of our past few days were still with us - the powerful, energetic Muscovites in fur hats and overcoats down to their ankles - young women as straight as dies effortlessly striding along with a papoose-like bundle of baby under one arm, its little moon-face peeping out from a halo of fur bonnet - old women in thick wool socks and knee length boots - wiry grey little cats, as swift as Speedy Gonzales, rocketing over the cobbles of the Red Square between the Church of St. Basil and Lenin's Tomb.
We flew over the incredibly vast lands of the U.S.S.R. - mountains, plains and deserts where one could wander for years and see something new every day, and then over the equally vast plain of India, channelled with huge rivers in yellow flood - drowned rice-fields and brown huddles of villages, till we reached New Delhi. Here we spent one night of tropical heat - sombre, dark-skinned Indians sleeping out on the pavement - white sacred cows ambling down the streets - rickshaws and huge banyan-type trees. Early next morning, amidst a babble of native noise and a loading of rice, our plane soared northward to Nepal, Kathmandu and the Himalayas - an age-long dream about to be fulfilled.
The next few weeks were a kaliediscope of sights, all astonishingly new. We stayed at the Hotel Royal at Kathmandu. This is an ex-Palance, rented from the Government by a White Russian, Mr. Boris, the mere mention of whose name is enough to start a swift flow of stories from those who know him. Mr. Boris is happy to let camping-type travellers camp free in the grounds of the Hotel. It has a very nice walled garden, secluded and clean (no manure). In the past some Australian-minded person did the place a good turn by planting it out with Eucalypts, Silky Oaks, Red Bottlebrush etc, all of which are growing with great gusto. In gratitude for this fine campsite, the traveller paints in large letters on his jeep or truck or motorbike “LONDON to HOTEL ROYAL, KATHMANDU”, or “BERLIN to HOTEL ROYAL, KATHMANDU”, or whatever the name of the place he hails from. There were half a dozen such overland vehicles parked in the grounds, all of which had advertised Mr. Boris' Hotel half-way round the world and back.
The climate of Nepal is 4 months Wet (June, July, Aug, Sept), 4 months Dry (Oct, Nov, Dec,Jan), 4 months Hot (Feb, Mch, April, May). October to January is the best time for tourists but mountaineers must come earlier as it is getting too cold for mountaineering by November.
There is very little motor transport in Nepal. Apart from a few government jeeps and 4-wheel-drive vehicles, and the famous Kathmandu taxis beloved by Ed. Hillary, most of the getting around the place is done on foot. The horse is a rarity.
The place is a photographer's Paradise - mountains, lakes, vivid green paddy fields, tree-covered hills, botanic gardens with a soil that would make the ardent gardener reel with delight, water gardens with floating waterlillies - “Ohm mane padme hum” “Beautiful is the jewel in the Lotus”. Busy villages, flower-strewn shrines, hill-top temples where the monkey is as important as the monk.
The Nepalese are small, agile, incredibly strong and hardy people. Natural selection has been at work for centuries and only the extremely hardy survive the dirt and unhygenic conditions everywhere. Mortality rate in the first year of life is very high. The hardy little kids who successfully get through their first year are practically indestructible. From the age of about 6 years they have to learn to “stand on their own legs.” i e. be workers. Everyone carries loads; tiny girls (4 or 5) carry the baby brother on their hip; little boys (6 or 8) all working carrying bundles of wood, baskets of clay (for bricks) or soil - as much as would fit in a kerosene tin, quite heavy. Aided by a head-strap, women carry big baskets on their backs, filled with produce. The men, too, carry huge loads on their backs. In wet weather they also carry a woven reed hood, like a sack slit down one side, which fits over the head and back.
The people are very friendly, gentle and laughing and full of curiosity. They are all eager for new things. Little boys offer to take you around and show you interesting things, then very tactfully ask how much a transistor radio would cost in your beautiful country, and how they won't accept any money but how they would like to own a transistor radio. One bright little rogue of 12 or 14 who attached himself to us goes systematically through all the tourists “I speak five languages, Mem Sahib.” He gives out a number of words and phrases in French, German, Russian as well as English and Nepali. His line is to ask you, will you buy him an English-Nepali dictionary “to help him with his school work.” Lots of people think this is a most reasonable request (only 10 rupees, i.e. 10/-) and so the same dictionary is bought and then returned by him privately to the shopkeeper (probably his father) countless times, and at each turnover he is at least 10/- to the good. Some Americans have paid 19/- for it. The glow of satisfaction they get from their generous deed should be ample recompense if they find how they have been tricked. We gave him 1 R. (1/-) for his entertainment value. In this human anthill of poverty only the really bright boys struggle out on top.
TO BE CONTINUED NEXT MONTH.
There is a type of undulant fever which flares up about May, rages until October and leaves its victims exhausted and panting on the summer beaches, waiting for the first sign of foul weather. To these victims foul weather means the chance of early snow and the heightening of the fever. Really rabid feverees hurry the wasted summer months with their exercises; deep knee bends, push up, chin ups, even the 5 BX. They chivvy their wives onto a skipping rope. Waking hours are directed into sewing parkas, knitting of sweaters and the pouring of neatsfoot oil into ski boots. My children stand on their heads, rumble and eat their tea while they listen to the exploits of such famous skiers as Johnny Gelandusprung and Hans-Richter Vorlage. With Mothers Day dutifully saluted there is only a month to sweat out until the tows should start operating.
The least expensive way to ski is to camp, drive up to the snow each day and get into your sleeping bag (lilo and hot water bag) straight after tea. There are many advantages in this method.
1. Transport in a car load is less expensive than the return fare to Blackheath. You can take an immense amount of food.
2. Camping is to an extent self-justifying. It may seem cold camping - until you get out of the car at Perisher. It will be agonising while you put on your skis, apalling when the sun, if present, leaves the valley. When you come off the mountain, have that three course meal and a last cup of coffee, Sawpit will seem positively subtropical. It will, if you aren't down to cook the porridga in the morning. There is plenty of food.
3. The organising of a weekend is far easier. The car owner will, for his own protection provide all the food and check it into the car. This leaves your pack to be filled with extra clothing. And some spare food.
The technique of skiing is easily understood but less easily applied. There are only four laws but they are as immutable as any of Newton's.
1. The seriousness of gravity. This is easily and early demonstrated.
2. Skis are, on average, seven feet long and cannot be jumped off, stood upon or ignored with impunity. If you feel that it is necessary to ease the frustration by taking them off, undo the binding and not the laces. The person who comes home with a ski on his shoulders and a parka on his foot buys drinks all round.
3. Snow, and this is only a generality, is more yielding than trees or rocks.
4. Your left foot is designed to bend properly only when it is on the left hand side of your body and your right foot when it is on its home territory. Anatomy and skiing are not necessarily contradictory but this is your left side and this is your right side.
The week before the lifts started I was to go with three mates. One thought he might break a leg and wouldn't go. One became suddenly and disastrously unfinancial. One stoic, one Roman, was left. His desire to learn to ski burnt like a bright light. He is of such a build that he couldn't break a leg if he tried and had money put by for an electronic flash gun. He took two cameras and the light was too bright to use them. The flash gun has not been mentioned since. At Sawpit the caretaker, who is a friend of my wife, had six young ladies bursting to meet us. We had transport, they didn't. They had our complete biographies; we learnt their names as we went along. The school of seven could schuss in the first twenty minutes, turn occasionally at the end of the day. On the third day they could neither stand, turn or fall and if they fell couldn't stand up again. They were tired wet and cold. Some had used their “edges” to scratch their shins or run over their thumbs. We packed up and went to a poetically named wayside establishment.
Later, at Smiggins, we watched a pro. giving, in body English, a lesson to his class. On the white asphalt the pupils could neither stand, etc. My pupils hilariously recognised their own faults and the dire results.
“His track is too wide. Oh, oh, oh. I thought he would split.” “You don't snow plough like that. He is bowing. Knees closer. His edges won't grip. He won't stop. He can't stop. He ca…. He fell downhill to make it worse.” “There is your style, Les. The constipated crouch. That's a beautiful parka. Oops, too far forward. Wow. Too far badk. No control at all.”
The bonoculars were passed from hand to hand. At arms length the tired faces grimaced, the jangled limbs shook. Effortlessly the pro. kick- turned and demonstrated again. The pupils crossed their skis. The pro. called it a day. Tired pupils trooped past the car on their way to the sauna baths, the plates of hors-d'oeuvres, the wine list. They were magnificently clad and shod. I felt a window wind down behind me. A gently consoling voice said, “That is a beautiful parka. What did it cost?” The beautiful face behind the beautiful fur lined hood grimaced. The many rayed stars of the beautiful parka shimmered. With a crash like an ice fall from a hut roof came the answer. “Eighteen —— guineas.”
We drove down the mountain to our own apres ski such as it was. And the long drive home.
At the date of the Federation Meeting, the Annual had been printed and was ready for distribution. This has been done and sales are brisk.
16th-18th July, 1965. Full details are on the Notice Board. The camp site will be at Ingar (Blue Labyrinth). The President suggested that, where possible, cars should be left at the top of the hill above the camp site. At least 6 parties are to be rescued.
As there are now 7 walking clubs in Queensland, a Federation is being formed.
The track from the new Sawmill, 9 miles South from Sassafras, to Folly Point (The Castle area) has been completed and is open. The track from the Sawmill Road to Sally Camp Creek has been marked. A graded track is being cut from Hartley Vale to Victoria Falls Crk. The track down the Middle Blue Dog Range has been marked.
Reserve No. R52670 known as Linden Park comprising 50 acres has been added to the Blue Mountains National Park. It is located at the Northern side of the Western Railway near Linden Stn. An area of 66,000 acres in the Wallangambie - Yarraman Crks. area will be added to the Park. The Erskine Crk. State Forest is to be added, also. The Park Trust to mark the junction of Linden Crk. and the Grose River and the old Zig Zag (Faulconbridge) Track where it starts from the Grose, by signposts. Another sign is proposed for Blue Gum Forest to read “Richmond 4 days, Faulconbridge 3 days”. The proposed sanitary depot at Bundeena will not be located within the Royal National Park.
As instructed by the June General Meeting, this matter was placed before Federation. During discussion, it was stated that a number of Crown Land Leases had been granted in the area during the past 3 years. The lessee has a right to fence his lease and burn it off as necessary. It was suggested that this Club should conduct any investigation it felt was necessary and report to Federation, which could not undertake the inquiry owing to the pressure of work on the depleted executive.
Engadine - Red Bluff - Garie Trig - Wilson's Creek - Helensburgh.
A rather long walk through the centre of the Royal National Park, with plenty of ups and downs. Some of the Garie Trig. area is bushfire damaged. Train: 7.50 a m. Cronulla Train from Central Electric Station. CHANGE AT SUTHERLAND for rail motor to Engadine. Tickets: Helensburgh return @ 8/-. Map: Port Hacking Tourist. Leader: Jim Calloway. Note new phone no. B0961 xtn. 3367 (B)
Terry Hills - Cowan Creek - Bobbin Head - Mt. Kuringai Stn. 11 miles.
A pleasant walk through part of Kuringai Chase. Some scrambling is necessary soon after leaving Terry Hills, otherwise, it is mainly track walking. Train: 7.55 am. Lindfield train via Bridge from Central Electric Stn to Chatswood. 8.20 a m. bus Chatswood - Terry Hills (the only one) 2/6 bus fare. Map: Broken Bay Military or Hawkesbury River Tourist. Leader: John White.
Waterfall - Uloola Falls - Karloo Pool - Audley. 8 miles.
A look at a portion of the Western area of the Royal National Park. Can be recommended as a first walk with the club. Train : 8.50 a m. Cronulla train from Central Electric Station. CHANGE AT SUTHERLAND for rail motor to waterfall. Tickets: Waterfall return @ 6/-. Map: Port Hacking Tourist or Port Hacking Military. Leader: Betty Farquhar.
Pymble - bus to St. Ives (Douglas St.) - Middle Harbour Crk. Bungaroo Waterhole - Lindfield. 9 miles.
This walk does not appear on the programme, but the leader has offered to take it in the hope that the Acacias (wattles) which abound in Lady Davidson Park will be at their best. An ideal walk for new members. Train: 9.10 a m. Hornsby train via Bridge from Central Electric Station to Pymble. 9.46 a m. bus Pymble to St. Ives (the last for the morning). Tickets: Pymble return via Bridge @ 4/6 plus 1/3 bus fare. Map: Sydney Military or any up to date Sydney Street Directory. Leader: Gladys Roberts.
Lands Department Topo - Jamison - 2 inches to 1 mile. Lands Department Topo - Blue Labyrinth - 2 inches to 1 mile.
Friday night - Ingar Picnic Ground - Jamison Sheet Ref 455274. This will also be Saturday night's camp.
Great Western Highway to the Kings Tableland Road - Signpost says “To Ingar”. Turn left, proceed along Kings Tableland Rd for about 1 mile where another signpost indicates, Turn Left “To Ingar”. F.B.W. yellow arrows will be placed at both these points. From here a good dirt road - Murphys Trail - (a little stony at first) leads 6 miles to Ingar Picnic Ground.
About six lost parties of no less than three persons including a competent leader are required. We would like those who volunteer, to see the S & R Field Officer (N. Melville) no later than a week before July 17. These people will be required to go into their lost positions on Friday night and lacking instructions to the contrary should first report to S & R Field Officer at Ingar on Friday night. Lost parties are not to indulge in “hide and seek” tactics.
The Search Area will be bounded by the northern boundary of Jamison Map - The top of Kedumba Valley Escarpment - Red Ridge - Bedford and Erskine creeks. ALL BIG CLIFFS, ROUGH CREEK BOTTOMS & VERY DENSE GOING ARE EXLUDED.
Will be given their instructions and a map of their area on Saturday morning. No party is to comprise of less than three with a competent leader. Searchers are requested to be at Ingar no later than breakfast time Saturday.
All parties will cease searching and being lost and return to Ingar. The Rock Rescue team will be in ressrve at Ingar to deal with anything that may turn up.
Will be held at Ingar Saturday Night.
There will be further operations including a Rock Rescue Act up at Waterfall. (Clear view to all spectators.)
For walkers. The shortest route is from Woodford Station. For Friday night 6.08 p m. Train.
Hermitage Hotel, Mt. Cook, New Zealand.
Bet you didn't expect a letter from me, but I thought I would take you by surprise.
I have been at Mt. Cook now for 8 months; fact is, as soon as I came back from Antartica (I worked as a weather observer on the N.Z. ship 'Homeburn'), I started up here. I work as a steward-cum-weather-observer (on land). Just the shot for me as I get sea sick.
This would be the best job I have ever had. I drive a bus now - got my licence and drive two days a week. I drive up to Ball Hut and act as a temporary guide on the glacier - haven't lost anyone yet. These two days I work with Mick Bowier, former head guide for the Old Hermitage. He is terrific and I can listen to him for hours. He has climbed Mt. Cook fifteen times, his last ascent when he was 56 years old. He sure knows the mountains.
The other three days I am second steward which, in actual fact, means I'm the working boss. The Head steward is an ardent out-doors man so we get on well. Fact is, you might say the place runs how I want it to now.
Eric Saxby, one of the S.R.C. is now on the staff so we have a bit of fun. Graham Bishop comes through quite regularly. Have got to know him quite well.
Didn't do much climbing myself this last season; these mountains are big and I was not going up them till I know them backwards. I did go up Madeland, though, and over the Copeland Pass and to the top of Graham Saddle. Also I have become great friends with one of the pilots of the ski-planes and have been to the Plateau hut and over to the West Coast, etc.
I came to N.Z. with the intention of staying 6 months then going to South America on my cobber's yacht. Well, he is all but married and I might as well swim to South America! Feeling a little disappointed I decided to make the best of a bad bargain so now I am looking elsewhere, so if you hear of anyone going that way and they want a good deck hand, send me word.
If you want to buy New Zealand, or hear of anyone wanting to buy it, send me word. Tell them I can prove it isn't stolen property.
Your old Mate,