Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker
|Ski touring on Queen's Birthday Weekend
|The old buffers on the rampage again
|Ettrema-There and back again-Wyborn Style
|The May General Meeting
|Way to Buderoo
|A real dinkum 40 miler
|The Australian- Andean Expedition 1969
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bushwalker, The N.S.W Nurses' Association Rooms “Northcote Building,” Reiby Place, Sydney.
Postal address: Box No. 4476, GPO, Sydney.
Editor - Ross Wyborn, 25 Bourke Crescent, Oatley. 2223
Business Manager - Bill Burke, Coral Tree Dr., Carlingford 8711207.
Typist - Jess Martin, 1/36 Oberon St St., Randwick, 2031.
Sales & Subscriptions - Roger Gowing, 35 Croydon St, Petersham, 2049.\
Ski touring on Queen's Birthday Weekend
by Doone Wyborn
Ross Wyborn (leader), Margaret Dogterem, Don Finch, Lindsey Gilroy, Dot Butler, Wade Butler, Colin Putt, Paul Hinkley, Lyn Drummon, Frank and Joan Rigby and Allan Fenell.
After a failure in the 1967 season (no snow), the same trip, ski touring with a base at Lake Cootapetamba was again on the 1968 Walks Programme. This year, however, there was plenty of snow, and all we needed was good weather; surely that's not too much to ask. Huey decided to play the game our way this time, and He positioned a great big HIGH pressure cell slap bang over the top of the Kosciusko Massif, ensuring good weather for the whole weekend.
The bull paddock at Berridale was our meeting place on Friday night where we caught a couple of hours of welcome sleep. Next morning we headed off to Thredbo in high spirits, stopping at Jindabyne for a quick breakfast, Colin Putt was a bit worried about getting on and off the chairlift with his 60 or 70 lb. pack, skis and ice axe, but we all arrived at the top without losing a single bed or pack. However, Margaret had one of her ski stocks caught in the chair and unfortunately broke it in halves. Ross managed to scrounge a spare from an unsuspecting lift operator by employing all his past bludging experience.
At the top of the Ramshead Range there are many rock peaks 50 to 100 ft. high. The more enthusiastic members of the party couldn't resist climbing one of these, and Ross posed for a photo on the encrusted summit. The peak looked just like the top of Mt. Pumasillo, one of the objectives of the Australian-Andean Expedition next year. A 1.5 mile downhill run from here over icy snow brought us to Lake Cootapatamba. The Lake was frozen over and covered with about 1 ft of snow, so that it would be impossible to know whether the lake actually existed. We pitched our tents with tent poles carried up from Thredbo and replaced tent pegs with plastic bags of snow which were buried in the snaw. This method is very effective, and in a blizzard the tent would probably rip before it pulled out. Lilos or sponge rubber was used as bedding, and eventually a very comfortable camp was set up. We obtained water by cutting a hole in the lake. In the afternoon we only had time to climb up to Rawsons Pass and Mt. Kosciusko and ski back down to camp. Saturday night was very cold (3 degrees F. at Charlotte Pass, as we found out later), and this deterred everyone from a planned ski by moonlight.
Sunday was again a perfect sunny day as nine members of the party set off on a tour of the main range. We climbed up to Rawsons Pass and sided down the other side, past Rawsons Hut which was half buried in snow, and back up on to the saddle between Mt. Northcote and Mueller Peak. From here we began a fabulous ski run two miles long, dropping 1800 ft. down Lady Northcote's Canyon. The snow conditions were near perfect. Down and down we went past Lake Albina, skiing back and forth across the creek, sometimes over snow bridges. We reached the tree line where a steep side gully known as Little Austria entered the canyon. Here lunch was declared, a fire was lit and Ross produced some chops for barbecueing. There was some debate on where to go after lunch, but finally Ross said, “We'll go straight up the side onto Townsend Spur”. We all surveyed the very steep 2,000 ft high side with dismay, Lindsey thought Ross was only joking, but she soon found out differently. “It's the only way, if you want to learn ski mountaineering” said Ross. Paul, Who'had langlauf skis, and those with climbing skins for their skis, climbed by doing a series of zig-zags across the face. The others carried their skis over their shoulders, The walkers soon got ahead, and Don called down from above, “Come up this way, it's easy”. It would have been, if we had had crampons and ice axes, not skis, as it was covered with green ice. However, we all reached the top safely, and from there it was just a hop, skip and a jump to the top of Mt. Townsend. We then had a beaut. mile long run down the other side. By the time we had climbed back up to Rawsons Pass it was dark, so we had a mighty ski down to Lake Cootapatamba by moonlight. That day, Colin and Allan, who had not come skiing with us, did some climbing near base, and Allan had dug a snow cave. He didn't have time to dig it deep enough for sleeping in, however.
Monday was a lazy day, all we did was pack up in the morning, and wander back to the top of the chair lift in the afternoon. We put our packs on the lift and skied down to Thredbo and the cars, to end ond of those rare ski touring trips, where everything was perfect.
We have already seen some of Henry Gold's wonderful colour slides of America and Europe - now there is an opportunity to study his black and white prints of North American landscapes.
Henry is holding an exhibition at Dennis Gittoes' studio - 67 West Street, North Sydney, open every day from 13th July to 21st July.
Whether you are interested in excellent photography, the obvious skill in the printing of these enlargements, spectacular scenery seen from an arresting angle or even perhaps an unusual and interesting picture for your home, you should enjoy this exhibition.
Volunteers are required for the Federation Ball Committee to plan the coming Ball. Two people are required. Anyone interested see Barry Pacey.
The Old Buffers on the rampage again
by Paddy Pallin
The ranks of the Old Buffers are becoming thinned by the ravages of time and tiredness, wear and weariness and so for their annual outing at Easter they recruited temporary members Bob Pallin and his “intended” Nancy Moppett. This brought the percentage of S.B.W. members up to 50% of the party, namely, Reg Yeakins, Bob and Paddy. Paul Hoard and Ken Brown completed the party.
Reg's original suggestion was Oallen Ford on the Shoalhaven, follow the river down to the vicinity of Great Horseshoe Bend or further if possible and return to a car left at Inverary Park near Bungonia. It seemed a bit far to me and Reg, as a concession, said we might get into the River at Welcome Reef 3 miles further down the river. This was agreed to, until, by great good fortune I turned up the April 1967 N.P.A. magazine and saw Henry Fairlie-Cunninghame's report that on part of the river a few miles down stream, it had taken them all day to do 3 miles. Reg reluctantly agreed that we should start at the same place as Henry's party 13 miles downstream from Oallen. It was just as well.
On Thursday night we took two cars to a point which we estimated was just on the Yalwal 1“ Emergency Sheet at approx. 011905. This spot was reached from Bungonia and following the road marked on the Goulburn 1” map to within half a mile of Inverary Park and then taking the turnoff to the left over a cattle grid and following this for about 3 miles until we reached a point where the road forked. The left branch swung hard left, crossed a grid and went uphill to a homestead on a small rise, The right fork followed the left bank of a dry gully for about 200 yards until it was blocked by a fallen tree. Next morning we left one car at the camping place and drove the other to the beginning of Henry's trip, viz, a homestead shown on the Oallen 1:50,000 map at 999636. We left the Oallen Ford road at a sign marked “Timberlight”. This road was fair.
We followed the right bank of the creek keeping high, and came to a splendid lookout overlooking the Shoalhaven. The slate rocks of the gorge were twisted and folded at fantastic angles and the bed of the river was full of jagged rocks. The water in the river was the colour of milky coffee.
At the junction of Yellow Spring Creek and the river was the smashed up remnants of a canoe, a relic of one of the many attempts to canoe this unnavigable bit of River from Oallen Ford. The going was not difficult, just laborious; climbing over, round and through this mighty jumble of worn slate boulders. We welcomed a swim at lunchtime, but an enforced swim in the late afternoon was not so welcome. By 4:3O we were approaching the big bend of the river and decided to camp on one of the rare sandbanks by the river.
The next, day was just as rough, crossing and recrossing the river, with three swims thrown in for luck. The river had been subjected to a severe flood following a cloudburst. The river fitted that description of the Yarra - “Too thin to plough - too thick to drink”. Here and there were long stretches of drying mud, many inches thick. At the foot of every gully on the sides of the gorge were great piles of boulders and rocks mixed up with trees and vegetation. The gorge would not have been a healthy place to be in when the flood was on.
We camped on another sandbank near Fagan's Point. It rained steadily all night and we rather glumly packed wet tents, prepared for a laborious day of scrambling over slippery wet rocks and through dripping wet vegetation. However, the weather cleared up, the going got a bit easier and we covered the 5 miles to the Endrick Junction by lunch time.
Yet another sandbank (Oh! My poor bones) a further 3 miles down the river made our third camp. We struck sheep tracks on the river banks now and made good progress, but there was still plenty of rock-hopping to do and the occasional patch of mud. A particualrly unpleasant stretch of black sticky mud was the climax to our trip down the river at the junction of Reedy Creek opposite Doctor's Point,
We had planned to go up Reedy Creek if possible and join the road shown on the map between it and Washedaway Creek and then follow the road back to the car. We had some misgivings. First the Yalwal map is one prepared by the Lands Dept, and their maps often show surveyed roads which do not exist on the ground. Secondly, we were not quite certain where our car was on the map. We had visions of plunging through the scrub in the dark hunting for a car. Good luck was with us, however. First, the creek was a little gem. It had carved out for itself a lovely gorge of multicoloured slate and the clear stream formed numerous crystal pools, which were a welcome change from the muddy river. Every few hundred yards we were faced with a seemingly vertical cliff, but each time we found the gorge turned and a way out for us. We left the main creek at map ref. 060862 and soon emerged on the ridge, and wonder of wonders, found the road as marked within 500 yds. There was even a rough signpost. Tom s Place(L) and Reedy Ck(R), The locals evidently- go down to the river that way.
After about a mile we found a turn-off to the right, not shown on the map, which we reckoned went down to Washedaway Creek. This was so and we then got on to the road on the North side of Washedaway Creek and this led us straight to our car. What luck!
The story should really end there but evidently we had used up all our luck. Paul had a flat tyre, broke his jack in the process of changing wheels, and we had to lift the car by man-power. We left the others at Bungonia while Paul and I went for the other car 30 miles away. On the way back to Bungonia, Paul had another puncture but luckily my spare fitted and so we all got home by midnight. More or less.
As there is a road right out to the Great Horse Shoe Bend and apparently a way down to the river, a very pleasant weekend walk could be made by going into the Shoalhaven Gorge via the Great Horse Shoe Bend and returning via Reedy Creek. Reedy Greek Gorge is a little gem and well worth seeing.
Ettrema - there and back - Wyborn style
by Dave Rostron
The President must have known what would happen, he very wisely withdrew on Friday. As a result I was without transport, so I called at the Wyborn residence to cadge a lift with the leader. He eventually arrived, home at 8 p.m. I was then instructed to locate the Yalwal map whilst the leader packed.
Ross had 54 of the 55 maps of NSW but of course the missing one was the Yalwal sheet. “I think it was there two months ago” was our leader's explanation. We finally departed for Nowra at 9.30 p.m. and reached Yalwal at about 2 a.m. There we almost became lost in the network of roads around the new dam site.
The next morning someone enquired who had brought matches - five idiots stared at each other - not a match between us. What a start to a trip - no map, no matches and the leader thought he knew the way, having been there 5 years ago, he at least had a compass. After buying matches from a farmer at blackmarket prices we wandered up Danjera Creek. Whilst having breakfast about 2 miles upstream we were joined by the farmer on horseback. He was going across to Bundundah Creek and offered to guide us that far. Our leader jumped at the offer and off we set in pursuit of the horse.
Along the creek and with open going the pace was too hot for we bush walkers, but once we started up the ridge the timber proved to be a handicap for the horse and the party managed to reach the saddle before the horse.
On the saddle our leader gazed in a westerly direction and, looking very wise, announced “Ettrema is somewhere over there”. Our confidence in his ability having been restored, we charged off down the ridge, to Bundundah Ck. On this stretch we proved that bushwalkers are faster than horses.
After everyone had plunged into the water and relaxed on the very pleasant banks of the Creek, the white ants set in and the party almost spent the weekend camped in Bundundah. However, this was not to be our fate and we were soon toiling up the ridge to the plateau between Bundundah and Ettrema. After a dry lunch on top we pushed on through the timber and scrub with very limited vision. Eventually we came across the fire trail of which our farmer friend had informed us. This runs from Sassafras along the plateau in a northerly direction for 17 miles. However, where we crossed the fire trail it was running almost East-West around the head of a creek. This was followed for about a mile and after a further 1-2 miles along the top we at last arrived at the cliff edge of Ettrema. only 300 yards from our objective - Point Possibility.
After photographs and taking in the grandeur of the scenery we started searching for the route down through the cliff line, “Just along here” said Ross. One hour later, after investigating 3-4 cracks which led into 100-ft. drops, we were still searching.
When I had almost reached the bottom of a dubious non-pack crack, Ross found the elusive route down about 50 yards away. This is a crack 12“-18” wide with a sloping bottom and about, 100 feet long - not suitable for stout persons. We then raced down a rough dry creek bed and reached Cinch Ck. just before dark. Another 100 yards and we located a suitable campsite in between the boulders.
The next morning, knowing we had a long day, and our leader was determined that the trip should go as programmed, we managed to get started at 7.15 a.m. We reached Ettrema after 20 minutes and then headed upstream. Another 500 yards and we came to a creek on our left. An argument followed between the leader and Don Finch as to whether this was the creek we were to follow. Donald maintained that he had inspected the Yalwal map at Paddys during the week and with his photographic memory was certain that this was the creek we should take. Strangely enough Ross capitulated and upstream we headed.
No problems were encountered but I managed to lead the party up a side creek for 400 yards. After retracing our steps and heading back up the main creek we had some interesting moments negotiating two 60 ft. waterfalls where the creek went through the cliff line at the head of the valley.
The creek finished in a low saddle and instead of crossing the fire trail and heading down the creek on the other side of the plateau, we found ourselves in the headwaters of Cinch Ck. This was followed in an easterly direction for 400 yards and as it swung to the south we turned into a side creek which was followed for half mile to another saddle. The fire trail ran across the plateau at this point. We then headed down the creek on the other side of the saddle.
This creek only dropped slightly, with a few small waterfalls, and after 2-3 miles we could see what appeared to be the other side of Bundundah Ck. This was alarmingly close and it was apparent that our creek would drop suddenly. Drop it did - two 120 ft. waterfalls, and we had wisely left our ropes in the car. Don negotiated a route down the first fall and then reported that there was no way down the next fall. After exploring a number of ledges, we followed one out on the right to the nose of the ridge. We then had some difficulty getting through the cliff-line - about 50 ft. just, above the creek junction. Afternoon tea,followed (there had been no time for lunch) and we then charged off down Bundundah at 4.0 p.m. It was a good hour before we reached the bottom of the bridle track down which we had raced the horse on the previous day.
Light was beginning to fade, but we managed to reach the saddle just on darkness - and dark it was, no moon and an overcast sky. We managed to keep to the track with much straining of eyeballs; for about a mile, but it gradually petered out - or we lost it - or both, as we headed down the ridge. For some reason we finished up sidling on the right of the ridge and a heated discussion then followed as to where we were and where we should be. Two torches were produced and Don Finch then announced - “Let's have a look at the map”. At least the Walks Secretary had followed the advice printed on each Walks Programme. We had thought Don was having bowel trouble as he had remained behind after each stop. Our leader then confessed that he was aware of Master Finch's secret.
However, the map did not help, and we were left guessing as to where we were on the ridge in relation to a side creek and Danjera Ck. We ploughed onwards, assuming we were some distance from the creek junction and at least 600-700 ft, above the creeks. We hoped to reach the nose of the ridge and then walk down this to Danjera Ck. Someone then suggested we drop about 30 ft. to what appeared to be a level part on the ridge. Down we went and found ourselves on the banks of Danjera Ck. I think that everyone had experienced visions of spending the night camped halfway up the ridge.
Following numerous stops for food (everybody appeared to have unlimited supplies in the expectation of spending three days on the trip.) we finally reached the road, but then became lost in the piles of earth and rocks around the dam site.
We eventually got back to the car at 5.15 p.m. A gallon tin of orange juice, which had been left in the car, was polished off in about one minute flat.
It was essential that I return, to Sydney for work on Monday but I had the sneaking suspicion that all other members of the party were more than anxious to enjoy a three day weekend. As a result I was the unpopular slave driver for the weekend and the penalty of scribe for the trip was promptly imposed on me as soon as we reached the car.
Date: 26th, 27th, 28-th April. Party:Don Finch, Lindsey Gilroy, Margaret Dogterom, Ross Wyborne, Dave Rostron.
Official club notice
All walkers and leaders should be aware of the hazards of walking in areas which take them above 3000 ft. in altitude during winter months. Temperatures can drop suddenly and snow is possible. All precautions must be taken to prevent a repetition of last years tragedy when a Boy Scout perished in the Kanangra area. Leaders should be sure that their parties are adequately equipped.
EDITORS NOTE: Statistics have shown that most exposure tragedies have been caused by clothing being wet through. Most clothing loses its insulation prorerties when it is wet. Wool insulates better than other materials when wet. A good parka is essential for winter walking and oily japara parkas are probably the most suitable. Most nylon parkas are not suitably waterproof. Remember, if you are caught in bad conditions don't exhaust yourself trying to get back to the cars seek shelter and light a fire.
See the mighty Nattai River with towering cliffs on either side. Colin Burton p walk tlans to walk the whole length (35 miles). It is easy walking but a long way. For details see Colin.
The May General Meeting
by Jim Brown
The first item, said the Presldent, would be the election of an assistant Secretary, because no Asst. Sec. no minutes. It was very sudden; someone said Sheila Binns, only a month back from some years in England: no more nominations, elected unopposed. Frank Ashdown said darkley- he would bet she had a notebook in her handbag. She did.
Then six new mernbers and one carry-over from a previous month were named. Four were present - Bronwyn Seccombe, Lindsey Gilroy, John Campbell and John Millthorpe. Marion Lloyd, Doug Pearce and Rona Woods yet to be welcomed. Then it was discovered we had another “brought forward” - Narika Andersen; who was duly greeted.
Minutes - all of them - first the April meeting and then the Annuai General, Book I and Book II were read.
Correspondence contained Sheila Binns' restoration to the Active List; a letter from Margaret Child enclosing the Annual report of the Parks and Playgrounds Movement, with advice that she would be prepared to continue as delegate, but may not be able to attend all the meetings; a circular from Federation concerning this year's Orienteering Contest. And from a student, a request for material to enable him to do a project on Hire Purchase!! There was an exchange of correspondence in which the Club expressed its appreciation of the work done by Mrs. Page in typing for the magazine last year.
The Treasurer reported that funds had risen from $240 in the current account to $614 at the end of April Apart from a goodly turn up of subscriptions, the increase included. $180 magazine funds transferred to the general accounts.
Walks Report covered the three Easter trips, one leisured at Wee Jasper Caves, one with the 6 members running short of tucker on the Grose River, and an account of Ross Wyborn's into the unknown on the Upper Apsley. About 45 people went on these three trips.
Sam Hinde had conducted two well patronise day walks - one, in the Burning Palms area with 15, and another with 33 to Marley on Anzac Day. There were 10 People on Betty Farquhar's Instructional at Marella Karong. Barry Pacey took 8 on a Cullenbenong trip, and John Holly's day walk to Eureka and Mt. Portal brought out 15, To conclude the month, Ross Wyborn and party spent a weekend in the Yalwal-Ettrema area, where a new dam to supply Nowra with water is under construction on Danjera Creek.
Now Ron Knightley rose to point out that, despite a polite ultimatum to people in the ante-room, there was still some noise, and it was moved that the offenders be asked to leave the foyer. Discussion was both pro and con - with arguments that some Club officials had business to transact that was best done in the annexe, and others that such business should not occur during meetings and entertainments and it was particularly undesirable that guest speakers should have to compete with noise from a group just outside the hall. The motion was carried and the Secretary despatched to move the gathering away.
Federation Report included mention of a discussion on the low attendance of SBW at the Federation Reunion: another Club had carried a resolution deploring our lack of support, but their delegate had gone beyond the terms of the motion and said some harsh things. David Ingram proposed we assure Federation of our continued interest and support (carried). The Federation Report also advised walkers NOT to leave cars near the Western Sawmills, (foot of Mt.Coricudgy) as some vehicles had been damaged. Members are required for an organising Committee for this yearts Federation Ball.
In the absence of any other nominee, it was decided to accept Margaret Child's offer to continue, whenever possible, as Parks & Playgrounds delegate.
Wilf Hilder advised that provisional maps 2“ to one mile of Katoomba, Mt. Wilson, Hartley and Hampton had been released, the two first-named being most useful to walkers, Also Grattai (Mount Kaputar area) in normal five- colour printing.
The President expressed regret over the late production of the April magazine, pointing out that the collation of 300 copies, and addressing procedures had added to delays caused by the Easter holidays. Joan Rigby would like to hear of any helpers who could sometimes assist in assembling and despatching magazines.
At the May Committee Meeting the Non-Active subscription had been fixed at $1,00 and the application fee at $2,00 ($1,00 for full-time students). An additional office of Archivist had also been created as custodian of Club property and documents, and would be filled at the June meeting.
Frank now suggested that the earlier decision to evacuate the Noises Off Club be considered, and members express their views on the stand that should be taken in future. This promoted a good deal of discussion, some feelings that had been slightly ruffled in early debate were smoothed, and a variety of suggestions was offered. The essence was that most people woiuld have no objection to the quiet transaction of essential Club business in the anteroom, although it would be 'preferable' to keep such “off-stage” affairs to a minimum. The noisy assemblies, especially during lectures, shows or meetings should not be tolerated. It was left without a motion so that Committee could formulate a code or principle to follow.
John Holly mentioned that new railway timetables, effective from 5th May, were in the cupboard, and Wilf Hilder suggested that leaders and walkers confirm train times.
Phil Hall enquired about the dearth of test walks in May and was assured that Committee had examined the programme closely and apart from the “possibly too hard” trips had indicated all acceptable tests. And with that, it was over for another month at 9:40 p.m.
Way to Buderoo
By Peter Harding
You take a train or taxi (or drive yourself) to the picnic lookout on the flank of Saddleback Mountain. There's a shelter shed there but if you have Alex Colley for leader you walk on in the darkness, crossing a gully, and camp on grass by trees, with big views waiting.
In our group the Saturday-morning circle of introductions disclosed two Daves, two Rosalinds, two Peters - all confusing enough- an Ivy, a Frank and Joan, a Phil and Marion … anyway, there were 14 of us, 13 of them members. We carried on up a volcanic spur, following what's left of a narrow old coach road, and paused to look down on Foxground on one side. and the Jamberoo Valley– richest dairy land in NSW, Alex quoted .. on the other. A good start to what he indulgently called a sight seeing tour.
A foot-track took us up to the Barren Grounds plateau of swampy heathland; and (smugly carrying written authority) we skirted round to the trig, there to look 60 miles south to Pigeonhouse and north through the Port Kembla murk - on a clear day you see 55 miles to the Kurnell Peninsula.
Pushing on along vehicle tracks which have done more damage than a battalion of walkers could, we came on a rare ground parrot; a strong-nerved bird, it flew only a few yards to hide again… it is one of the reasons why the Barren Grounds need strict protection.
Soon we ducked down a gully breaking the escarpment and stopped for lunch on Ben Ricketts, Alex's old stamping ground, once a coaching stage on the Moss Vale-Jamberoo road, now the home of Peter and Rae Page; with the Duncan, Pallin and Noble cabins nearby.
When I was a boy in New Zealand my father sometimes referred to me as Peter the Pathfinder, but I think now he was joking. About the route we followed in the afternoon, I can only say you carry on up the Jamberoo Pass road, turn left behind the Barren Grounds, slog along a dirt road for, well, quite a way, past more blasted heath, and lo, you've come to the fertile region called Budderoo; a place of grass and tall bush. It's called Budderoo on the map but I'm told the South Coasters regularly pronounce it a little differently.
If Budderoo is an oasis, its water is hard to see. You beat around till darkness finds you back at a hanging swamp. Swamps, we know hold water; but this one is the primitive democratic kind that spread it so evenly you'd have to take a spoon to it. So we camped under the nearest trees in a cold gale (“But the bigger the fire the warmer the fool”, said somebody during the evening), and took water from rain puddles.
Gusts in the night sounded like trains in tunnels, and a small tree crashed near a tent. The hardiest among us used no tent and at dawn was seen to have spent the night head on to the gale, the clear-plastic envelope round his sleeping bag billowing like a great bubble.
Sunday: more “sightseeing”. The route through bush took in the Gerringong Falls and then the Carrington Falls, two of Australia's best. On in sunshine and gale, Gang Gangs yelled freedom slogans at us, this was a good walk for parrots (not to do but be seen during). So up to Robertson, with the winds off the potato fields setting teeth chattering.
The station's general waiting-room was closed and (collusion?) the pub open; and who, we asked ourselves, could be bona-fidier than us travellers?
Don't hesitate to ask for any further technical details of the walk; ask somebody else. We ought to have weekend trips more often in this fine, varied walking country before Port Kembla halitosis reaches it all.
Official club notice
Notice is hereby given that certain amendments to the Club's Pattern Test Walks will be proposed at the Monthly General Meeting of the Sydney Bush Walkers to be held on Wednesday, 10th July, 1968
A large proportion of members have not paid theirfees. PROMPT PAYMENT WOULD BE APPRECIATED.
Paddy's Orienteering Competition was well attended by S.B.Ws. The members can be proud that S.B.W. teams came last and second last, (who said our instructionals were effective?). To spoil the record another two teams tied for third place.
A real dinkum 40 miler
By David Russell
The walk began on an optimistic note as we attempted to park the cars in a dead end track. It also began on this note as it was simply a rotten day, with rain and blood chilling cold; adding to this it was already 11 o'clock, as we forgot to put the alarm on. But anyway, in our leader's eyes it was going to be a 40 miler and that was that. As soon as we got out of the cars it seemed we couldn't recollect where exactly we were and the only indication was a small insignificant track which led off into fog, mist and thicket.
Well, anyway, the walk began on this track and thickness of scrub and mist were ever increasing until visibility was down to a few yards. By this time the scrub had turned into a 10 foot jungle. As the scrub bash increased so also did the cold, wet and numbess, with the occasional sting from the bushes. Every now and then one was halted when their packs caught in the limbs of the scrub. Our fearless leader's optimism was still undying, and she had every hope of getting us there and back again alive.
Wallara West we were heading for and Wallara West West we made but only after walking blindly down a gully which ended up in a cliff face, which the whole party nearly walked over. From there we plodded up into a thickly wooded area but at this stage we were missing one member, and the most resourceful too; who other than Rosso? After about ten minutes yelling and no response, we concluded that he was doomed. Seeing this was a matter of grave importance we resorted to the only means of overcoming such worry, by masticating “Minties” generously supplied by our new prospective.
A gallant man, with holes in his pants - Roger Gowing - shot over the hillside to find Ross. Minutes later Roger could be heard bellowing from the top of the plateau, so we decided to investigate and, sure enough, Ross could be seen about a mile away near a cliff face. By the time he got back up on top of the plateau, it began to pour, and being the only one without a parka, all the clothes I had on and which were the only clothes I had brought, were thoroughly soaked, and by now my veins were blue with cold.
Thanks to Ross we found a way off the plateau and down on to Wallara Ridge. We started walking once again and thus completed a full 360 degrees from the moment we walked down into the gully.
After of a mile plod we found a dry cave. So with two miles of a 40 mile walk completed we decided to have lunch. As the minutes of stay and lunching grew, so too did the affection of the members for the warm, dry cave, but as a born leader Margaret broke these mutineers' hopes of staying the weekend and continually said “39 to go”.
From there down the ridge it was a gradual descent, then one reaches Barallier's Crown, which sticks out like a sore thumb, If mist didn't persist one would get a spectacular view from the top. Ascending this seemed quite simple, but on the descent, on one particular face, a boulder hung loosely and when one climbed under it, all that could be done was to hope the thing wouldn't hit you on the head. But finally it gave way and nearly claimed Roger its victim. Then onwards down to Christys Creek was a fair drop, everyone running most of the way, until one point about 70degrees and covered with loose top soil. Here one can throw themselves over onto the slope and slide most of the way down to the Creek. After cooling our feet in the chilly waters, we shoved on to camp. Only one swim had to be made which wasn't as cold as we thought it would be.
At camp the only thing hard to do was to get the fire going, and only those with alcho. breath would have any glimmer of hope, but apparently we had a few, so the thing started. With a bit of fireside chatter and the ever present gap in the stomach filled, we went to bed, where the ingenious Roger had set out his tent between some bushes.
At least for one it was a night to remember, as with still damp clothes and a cheap sleeping bag, it kept me on the deep freeze the whole night long.
When the morning broke things were more cheerful, as most of the cloud had disappeared; but as on most cold mornings many people find it somewhat hard to get out of a snug position in bed, this delayed things more. By the time we had fulfilled our obligation to our stomachs, Margaret persisted in saying “30 miles to go”, which by now seemed far from realism.
From there, we toddled down to the KoWmung, where I saw a brown kangaroo. At one stage of this leisurely stroll we didn't exactly know where we were, so Ross decided to consult the map; he gave everyone a chance to decipher his position but eventually he pulled everyone out of their ignorance and then moved on, till instinct told us that it was “time for a Kit Kat' ”. This time the urge became slightly out of hand, as two of the most prominent members savaged each other in a blood-producing wrestle over a can of fruit. The villian was defeated an d' the oWner returned victorious, only to see that all his worldly possessions had been mangled and thrown into the river as the battle raged.
From there we shot across the river and up Roots Ridge, until the Gingra track was reached. Exhausted, we pushed on another three miles along Kanangra Road to the cars, packed and headed for the 'AB' Cafe at Katoomba for some grub. Here Roger, in an attempt to keep himself warm, wrapped his sleeping bag round himself but this pleasure didn't last long, as a Search and Rescue bod came in, asking for volunteers to pull- a fellow out of a creek near Roots Ridge, (this incidentally, was the creek we intended to come up after lunch) where he had fallen 30 feet. Roger was our only volunteer, as most of us weren't looking forward to a cold, wet and windy trip back to Gingra Trail.
Thus exit one Club walk. This walk turned out to be half the proposed distance.
Party: Margaret Dogterom (Leader), Ross Wyborn, Roger Gowing, Rolf Jansen, Colin Burton, Dave Ricketts, Dave Russell.
The S.B.W. library will be sold by auction on July 24th. Ironically, this prospect has created stimulated interest in the library, and numerous inquiries are being made as to the various books that will be on sale.
There are three complete lists of available books. These are kept in the library for your inspection. However, below I shall list some of the books that have been popular, and those in which you may be interested. There are many more on various subjects of interest to the mountaineer, walker and those simply interested in the bush and all that goes with it.
Australian Encyclopaedia - Vols. I & II. A. T. Jose and H.J. Cartier 1926-27 Editions Australia I s Alps Elyne Mitchell The Mountains of New Zealand Rodney Hewitt & M. Davidson Peaks, Packs and Mountain Tracks V. Scott Gilkinson Rock Climbing and Mountaineering C. Brunning The Ascent of Everest John Hunt The Ascent of Rumdoodle W. E. Bowman Australian Seashores W. J. Dakin What Bird is That Neville Cayley Australian Wild Flowers A. E. Sulman Also, Vols. I & II of same Wild Flowers of Australia Thistle Y. Harris The Trees of New South Wales R. H. Anderson The Sea - My Hunting Ground A. Watkins Various books on Map-reading and Bushcraft The Voyage of Discovery R. F. Scott Exploration Fawcett Col. P. W. Fawcett The Pumals Paw Simon Clark Antarctic Adventure V. Fudas Kon-Tiki Thor Heyerdahl High Adventure E. Hillary We Come From the Sea Hans Hass Tibet Adventure Andre Guibaut And many, many more. Judging by the growing interest in the forthcoming sale, we anticipate a very lively night on July 24th. So be there.
BEACH TO BE RUINED
The Editor recently received a letter from “Mouldy” Harrison about the fate of Caves Beach, which is 20 miles south of Newcastle and has been a stamping ground far bushwalkers for many years.
It has been announced that Mawson Pacific Ltd, will build an artificial harbour at the beach for loading 50,000 ton bulk coal ships. Along with the 3000 ft. breakwater and conveyor belt loading equipment, a complete town will be built for 20,000 people, with hotel-motel and a golf course.
“Mouldy” comments - “So are the old Walkers' haunts bespoiled by Commerce!”
The Australian-Andean Expedition 1969
You may have heard about this expedition which is being planned at the moment. Many people have shown an interest in the expedition and have been asking many questions about it. This may answer some of your questions.
WHAT KIND OF EXPEDITION IS IT?
The aims of the expedition may be regarded as twofold. Firstly, the expedition has an extensive mountaineering programme and will attempt unclimbed peaks and new routes on peaks up to 20,000 ft. in the Peruvian Andes. Secondly, the expedition has planned a valuable scientific programme. The main part of this programme is a medical research programme on Exercise/Physiology which will be carried out by Dr. John Sutton.
The team has been selected from all-Austra1ian mountaineers. The Sydney Bushwalkers are well represented in the expedition having two of their members seleetced in the team. These are Dot Butler and Ross Wyborn. Ross is the expedition leader. In all, there are 10 members in the team, coming fro Victoria and Tasmania as well as N.S.W.
WHO'S BACKING THE EXPEDITION?
Sir Edmund Hillary is the expeditions patron. The expedition also has the full support of the New Zealand Alpine Club. Financial support is being sought from the Mount Everest Foundation, large Australian Companies and Australian Bush-walking and Mountaineering Clubs .
WHEN WILL THE EXPEDITION TAKE PLACE?
The Expedition will take place in May, June, July and August of 1969. The expedition plans to be in the mountains for a full three months.
ISN'T THAT THE WINTER MONTHS?
Yes, this is the winter for Peru but be cause Peru is situated so close to the equator it is subjected to monsoonal weather. Thus Peru gets unstable weather in the summer months and fine settled weather in the winter months.
WHERE IS THE EXPEDITION GOING?
The expedition will operate in the Pumasillo Group of the Cordillera Vilcabamba in South-eastern Peru.
Between the gigantic chasm of the Vilcanota River (called Urubamba in its lower section) and the Alpurimac River, the Cordillera Vilcabamba stretches for about sixty miles. It is divided into three groups. The eastern-most group is dominated by Salcantay (20,551'), the highest peak of the region, a lonely summit against which its immediate neighbours can hardly compete. About 30 miles further west rises the second and completely different massif, a series of summits of more or less equal height arranged in ridges, separated only in insignificant ridge depressions and culminating in the summit of Pumasillo (19,930'), to which the group owes its name. Further west, already near the bend of the Alpurimac Gorge, stands the Panta group, somewhat lower than those just mentioned but due to the rugged country and deep valleys, it has similar differences in elevation with equally bold forms.
Of these three massifs, Salcantay lies nearest to Cusco within reach of modern transport. For this reason it was climbed first and has been ascended since. The way to Puma,sillo is longer; the Americans and George Band (one of the British Everest party) attempted it in vain. However in 1957 an English Expedition from Cambridge found the approach after a search lasting over a fortnight.
The Pumasillo group contains six peaks over 19,000'. These lie on the range running approximately NW-SE and extend from Lasunayoc (20,010') in the south, over Purnasillo (19,930') to Mitre in the north. Radiating out from this main ridge are a series of ridges with many peaks over 17,000'.
WHAT WILL THE EXPEDITION CLIMB?
For the three months that the team will be in the field a fairly extensive programme is planned. The first problem is to transport into base camp the large amount of equipment and three months supply of food that will be required to keep the team in the field. This will be carried by mule train on a journey that will take up to two weeks.
The first climbing obctive will be the unclimbed Yanacocha (over 18,000 ft.) which is the most westerly peak of the Yanama Range which is in the southern part of the Pumasillo Group. The expedition will then attempt three other unclimbed peaks of the Yanama Range (all about 18,000 ft) and two unclimbed peaks over 18,000 ft on the main divide. An attempt will then be made to make the first ascent of the N.E. ridge of Lasunayoc (20,010 ft.) which is the highest in the group. If the expedition is successful on these objectives it will go further north and attempt new routes on some of the northern peaks in the group.
WHAT IS THIS MEDICAL RESEARCH PROGRAM ABOUT?
The medical research programme will be conducted by Dr. John. Sutton and will study fundamentals of Exercise Physiology, particularly aspects of Heart and Glandular function as yet unknown.
Cardiovascular studies include original work concerned with the initial mechanisms controlling heart rate and will be a valuable extension of research performed at Garvin Institute of Medical Research at St. Vincent's Hospital, Sydney. (The Control of Heart Rate - Sutton, J. R.; Cole, K; Gunning, J; Hickie, J.B. , Seldon, A. LANCET, 1967) Various examinations will be required and include Blood Pressure, Electrocardiographic and Intrinsic Heart Rate measurements.
In conjunction with the above, research studies involving the Pituitary, Adrenal Glands and the Pancreas will be made. Previous work has indicated that marked hormonal changes occur during and following exercise, and that this differs in fit and unfit subjects (In Press: Sutton, J; Young, J .D; Hickie J.B,; Lazarus, L, ; Seidon, W.A.) It is intended to study various biochemical and hormonal changes which occur in the process of acclimatisation, and also during exercise at altitude.
Support for the above projects is being sought from the National Heart Foundation, Post-Graduate Committee in Medicine, Royal Australian College of Physicians and the National Fitness Council.
WILL ANY OTHER SCIENTIFIC WORK BE CONDUCTED?
Yes, The expedition has a qualified surveyor and geologist and it is intended to make a geological map of the area.
WHAT WILL THE EXPEDITION COST?
The cost has been estimated at $22,000. More than half of this amount will be supplied by members of the expedition, but the rest has to be raised from the public.
HOW CAN I HELP?
For this expedition to be a success we must have the support of the public, especially those people connected with bushwalking and mountaineering. The best way you could help is by sending a donation to the expedition, no matter how small or by arranging a fund-raising function to support the expedition.
WHAT IS THE ADDRESS OF THE EXPEDITION?
30 Boundary Road, Wahroonga, N.S.W. 2076