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The Sydney Bushwalker

January 1969.


Spring is the season of the soulBill Gillam 2
Up in the morning earlyPat Harrison 4
At our December meetingAlex Colley 6
In search of an Australian mountainRoss Wyborn 9
Map of the Mt. Barney massifRoss Wyborn11
Danae BrookBarry Wallace13
Mopping up after bushfiresMarie B. Byles15
Corrigenda for the current walks programme 16
“Wawks Pogrom” - Nattai bushfires 17
A note from the PresidentFrank Rigby19
Blue Mountains passes 20


Paddy's Ad. 8
Mountain Equipment Ad.12

A monthly bulletin,of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, Northcote Buildings, Reiby Place, Circular Quay, Sydney. Postal Address: Box 4476, G.P.O., Sydney.

EditorRoss Wyborn, 1/73 Harris Street, Harris Park 2150
Business ManagerBill Burke, Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford 2118
TypistShirley Dean, 30 Hannah Street, Beecroft 2119
Sales and SubsRamon U'Brien, 61 Nickson Street, Surry Hills 2010

Spring Is The Season Of The Soul.

Bill Gillam

“…there are alpine meadows, granite boulders, snow gums, long days, crisp nights, good views, and where it is still springtime at 6,000 feet on Morgan, Murray, and Bimberi.” (Pat Harrison 1968)

“The corollary of long days is short nights”. (Pithekoi. Greek Philosopher and Dramatist. 435 B.C.)

Those who believe advance publicity, indeed any publicity, bring to my mind a picture of the Childrens' Crusade; innocents behind a banner marching to find despair and disillusion long before they reached the Promised Land. I had my anti-despair shots years ago and disillusion is no more than a cloudy day. He was, in fact, not claiming much. At sea level Spring was only thirteen days past, officially, daylight and kookaburras arrive at 0345 and the calm period between fly and mosquitoes fourteen hours later. Cool nights could to a problem. Privately, he mentioned: no undergrowth, crystal clear water, the possibility of trouting, and the country's utter dissimilarity to the Colo.

The first thing to do was to find Frank Rigby, and the manner of his finding was sufficiently dramatic to call the affair “Pat Harrison's Frank Rigby Trip”. Shades of Philby and other characters suffering from the cold. My information was that he would be in the Seven Seas Cafe, Alinga Street, near Woolworth's, Canberra, between ten and eleven, and we would not wait later than eleven thirty. He would be wearing a red beard. This was direct verbal instruction. Others had telephonic gen that it was the Ling Nam Cafe near Coles, which they complicated further by saying we had crossed the main road, this wasn't Alinga and some deliberate mis-statements. Cunningly Frank had found another cafe when the Seven Seas dried up, situated directly opposite a Specified Building to which he know we must all come. He waited. We found the building. We found Frank. It was doubted if he would go very high.

Glendale Crossing, Gudgenby River. Half past twelve. At one o'clock I softened the ground sufficiently to rest on, at two an immense, dazzling thin sliver of moon woke me, at three I took my skivvy from my inadequate pillow to stop the convulsive shivering of my legs, then forty minutes later threw a stone at the giggling kookaburras and shamed Pat by getting up before him. The first long day had begun.

By half past eight and another forty miles we had left the cars, gazed in awe at the mountains, ventilated our lungs to the lowest lobe, and started up. Up through white mallee groves, up through mountain ash groves, up through scattered snow gums, and then flung our packs onto the first available alpine meadow. That was a mistake. Pat could see the bulk of Morgan only another thousand feet higher. He could not, and we would not, rest until it was knocked over, log book signed, the red-dust snows of the Main Range identified, and we had returned to the alpine meadow. It was not yet noon. We ate, we rested, Rigby slept. Pat announced it was time to go if we wanted to reach Oldfield's Hut. Oh! the deceit of the man! He had persuaded us to leave tents behind, offering the comforts of Oldfield's Hut if the weather turned foul. The hut looked many squares distant. When Pat added half that distance again for twists and turns it sounded absolutely unattainable. We ran. We took fences to indicate we were nearing the hut, we pointed the map at trig stations to convince ourselves we were falling behind. I had a daytime hallucination I had walked out of the creek, out of the Goodradigbee, followed the 'Bidgee, and then being allowed to rest and drink from the stream had found it salt. With five hours of daylight remaining we arrived, rested, and then the weather showing only day-type clouds Pat suggested camping in Murray's Gap, only another six hundred feet higher. Stunned silence. Utter disbelief. Aghast. Long days surely meant long hours of daylight. Not long days. I pointed out that I was descended from Early Settlers, that I had caught and carried a grasshopper and that there was a trout stream flanked by superb campsites.

Inertia won the day. Frank thought he would go higher if he rested longer. We rested. We dined. We were so intent on the conservation of energy that we spoke in monosyllables. We slept.

The moon, the shivering as before, the birds as before. I had the first match to the fire as Pat came running with his rubber hose to persuade the larger logs to burn. It was four oclock. Breakfast was a leisurely meal of thirty two minutes, a pensive burning and burying of tins, a positively gracious drying out of sleeping bags drenched by dew, a prolonged putting out of the fire, and then we sat down until six o'clock.

Frank was sure he would go high. We ventilated our lungs. Frank ran up the fire trail, heel and toed across alpine meadows, flung down his pack at Murray's Gap, shouted Bimberi, and then saw the thick mist coming from the Cotter side of the watershed. Would he be able to go to the top before the weather closed in? He was determined. A man in such an elevated mood is wonderful to contemplate. Run to the trig, identify the Main Range as before, run down, pick up pack, climb Murray feeling as though he had any number of Bimberis left in him, and then lunch in yet another alpine meadow, having done two six thousand peaks in the one morning.

It is a feeling not given to many men. A feeling of euphoria. A “stout Cortez” feeling to have eight hours of daylight left and all the way home downhill. Under the trees it was cool, the water like wine from a deep cellar. A cool breeze caressed his beard, soothed his bright pink sunburn. Before him stretched a magnificent vista of mountains waiting for his firm tread. The spring sun was not enough to burn the clouds from the valleys. Contorted gums sprang from the cool, grey granite. The snow grass cushioned his back. A daisy of intense gentian bloomed behind his left ear. He was asleep.

Up Early In The Morning.

Pat Harrison

The leader of a walk is always mightily pleased when Friday night comes, for then he knows that there can be no more changes in who is coming and who is not coming. The phone calls were at an end and the party for the Yaouk walk on 14/15 December was finally stabilised at six members. Ross Hughes collected Shirley Dean and Bill Gillam and headed for the Seven Seas Cafe at Canberra, while David Cotton collected me and headed for the same rendezvous, where we all met Frank Rigby at 10.40 p.m. The two vehicles then set out for Glendale Crossing on the Gudgenby River and decided to camp there because it was the only place for forty miles around where a fire could be lit. After a cup of Bill's coffee the party was in bed by 1.00 a.m., with the chuckle of the Gudgenby in our ears and the daybright moonlight on our faces. It shone so brightly over all that I had a half-awake confused dream that the nearby Tracking Station was engaged in an inter-planetary war with Mars and I really expected little men to carry me away at any moment. It was worth a 225-mile drive just to camp under such a moon in such a place on such a night.

We were up for an early breakfast on Saturday morning and climbed into the cars at 6.00 a.m. for the last stage of the drive to Yaouk and points north. The road climbed through the Snow Gums then down across the Naas River and through the pleasant country around Callemondah and on into the broad valley of Bradley's Creek where it was fascinating to consider how such a stream made such a valley and to wonder whether the Murrumbidgee once kept going eastwards at Yaouk and had something to do with the formation of the valley. It was a very beautiful drive down the broad, flat, lush-green valley in the early morning, with a ring of great mountains around us.

We parked the cars at a timbergetter's cottage in the shadow of Mount Morgan, but the timbergetter couldn't give us any topographical information whatsoever - he knew less than we did about the area. However, we found the Bung Harris Track and in pretty smart time were dumping our packs in one of those lovely little meadows that you find in this part of the world. Morgan was still another 1,000 feet above us, but without packs the party tore into it like terriers and soon were identifying the snow-plastered features of the Snowy Mountains, Jagungal standing out most impressively. There was a little alpine stream a few yards from our packs, thus enabling us to have a comfortable lunch before picking up the Bung Harris Track again and finding our way down to Oldfield's Hut along the open valley of the Goodradigbee River (or Murray Greek as it is known in its headwaters).

Oldfield's Hut is sited in a beautiful meadow, and the alpine flowers were beginning to show; there was also a most imposing view of Bimberi Peak: but Frank Rigby detests huts (and I must admit that Oldfield's looked a really good harbourage for rats and snakes) and consequently we moved down to the river and camped in an equally pleasant spot where we could see everything as before, excepting the hut.

Bill Gillam tied his fishing line to a pole that would have made Izaak Walton weep, and wandered down the river casting here and there, but without luck, although the fish were in sight.

We had reached Oldfield's at 3.40 p.m. on a mellow afternoon with loads of daylight in hand, and soon there was some talk of either climbing Bimberi Peak and camping on top or going up to the meadow in Murray Gap and camping there, but Frank Rigby quickly scotched that notion by declaring that he hadn't a Bimberi in him today but might have one tomorrow.

We were up early again on Sunday morning and in due course Frank announced that he had a Bimberi in him today. The party had protested somewhat about early rising and about early starts, but it was the poor leader who was still dousing the fire at 6.00 a.m. while the rest of them were galloping down the Goodradigbee and heading for Murray Gap. Leaders of walks can never win. If the walk goes perfectly, the others just regard that as it should be; but odium is heaped upon the poor fellow if things go wrong.

We dumped our packs at Murray Gap and a deaf ear was turned to subtle interpretations of the snowy mist that was rising from the Cotter Valley. Murray Gap is a glorious place to camp, with water right in the Gap; but there is an even better place on Dunn's Flat Creek about halfway between Oldfield's and the Gap.

Bimberi Peak was climbed and about forty minutes was spent there in picking out landmarks around the skyline - the Snowy Mountains, the Bogong Peaks over near Yarrangobilly, and the Tinderry Mountains near Michelago. Time was also taken to verify that there is still water on the very summit of Bimberi and that campsites are plentiful and good.

Back to Murray Gap, picked up our packs, and were up on Mount Murray for an early lunch at 11.00 a.m. All these mountains are beautiful, each in a different way, the weather-beaten Snow Gums on Mount Murray with snowgrass underneath providing a delightful lunch spot, and there was water a few feet down on the southern slope.

There are two summits on Murray, the easterly one apparently the higher, and it was from the jumbled mass of granite boulders on this end that we dropped off and steered ourselves back to the Bung Harris Track under Morgan. The country south of Murray was very alpine in appearance.

Everybody had a wash in the icy water of Bung Harris Creek, and we all set off for home at 3.40 p.m. I am somewhat nervous these days of motor vehicles, having recently been in one that was rolled; consequently you will appreciate how I felt when David came down Fitz's Hill in top gear with his brake linings burning and smoking furiously; but despite all my fears I at last fell asleep near Piton and David was allowed to drive the last leg of the journey in peace.

At Our December Meeting.

Reported by Alex Colley

After conveying Jim Brown's apologies for being unable to attend, the President welcomed three new members, two of them daughters of members. The new members welcomed were Frances Colley, Helen Rowen, and Peter Whitmore.

The minutes of the previous meeting gave rise to two reports. The first, from Barry Pacey our Social Secretary, explained the mystery of the missing dinner dance tickets. The number of tickets printed was 250, of which 115 were sold and 135 returned unsold. Not all Of the 115 sold, however, were collected by the staff of the Sky Lounge, probably because of late comers, or possibly because one or two ticket holders didn't turn up. The number catered for was 120, which was a reasonable estimate of the number who would attend, allowing for those who decided to come at the last minute, as so many usually do. The Treasurer declared that he not only accepted, but also endorsed, the report.

The other report was from Ross Wyborn,,covering the fatal accident on the October alpine trip. Although there has been no allegation of S.B.W. responsibility for the accident, it was thought advisable to hold the report as a safeguard.

In correspondence were letters from the Hon. Wal Fife, Minister for Mines, and the Hon. Tom Lewis, Minister for Lands, in reply to our letters re Colong. Mr. Fife pointed out that leases had been granted by the former Government in 1955 and 1958 and the Commonwealth Portland Cement Company could have undertaken extensive mining operations without any need for permission by the present Government. The Maldon Works gave direct employment to 160 men and indirectly employment to 600 men and women, an important consideration to a Government committed to decentralisation. Colong contained “the nearest economic deposits of limestone”. A transfer of the works elsewhere would involve the present producer in unnecessary heavy expenditure. Mr. Lewis expressed his sympathy with the view taken by the Club and assured us that the Government was fully conscious of the strong case against permitting mining at Colong. He pointed out that over 5% of the land within a radius of 100 miles of Sydney was within National or State Parks but more would be needed, and for that reason long range plans were being developed to expand the present acreage. Both Ministers stressed the more stringent conditions attached to the new consolidated lease granted this year, which had the effect of raising the guarantee deposit from $30 to $100,000.

From the Dungalla Club there came a list of officers (Mori Berry, President; Ian Malcolm and Rene Brown, Vice-Presidents; Brian Harvey, Hon. Secretary and Hon. Treasurer) and a copy of their constitution. The question of whether the “President for the time being” of the S.B.W. should accept Honorary membership of the Dungalla Club was debated and decided in the affirmative, though Bill Gillam and Wilf Hilder considered that the constitution did not allow present or future S.B.W. Presidents to be bound by the resolution of another body.

The Treasurer reported income for the month Of $8 and outgoings Of $88. Nevertheless our bank balance remained at a healthy $460.

The Walks Secretary reported an active month, despite unpleasant conditions. Most popular walk of the month was Frank Rigby's Kanangra-Kowmung trip, attended by 19 members, 5 prospectives, and 2 visitors. Views from the Bullhead Range were magnificent, and so was a pool in Bulga Denis canyon, even though it was not large enough for all the party to fit into at once. Whether it was love of the bush, the popularity of the leader, or free afternoon tea that attracted 20 starters on Owen Mark's Burning Palms walk, may never be known; but, good as his word, the leader produced an eggbeater, a bowl and cream, and ran up a batch of pikelets for afternoon tea, which was enjoyed by all. David Cotton was substitute leader for Joan Rigby's trip to the Colo, but the party ran into bush fire trouble of unspecified nature and didn't get back until Monday. Unfair tactics were practised on Snow Brown's Jerrara Creek trip, attended by 18 starters for whom hearing was believing. At 5 a.m. Colin Putt shouted out “It's raining”, whereupon everyone got up. They'll probably take a tent next time if only for a good night's sleep. Doon Wyborn's trip to Tinderry Peak sounded rather like Ken Ellis's “Most Exciting Trip”. Somehow it ended up down the Wollongambie.

Though we are used to bits being taken off parks it came as a pleasant surprise to hear that several parks are having bits added. Wilf Hilder told us that 58 acres were being added to Bouddi, 40 to Dharrug, 600 to Kuring-gai (the catchment of the old railway dam), and smaller areas to the Mark Morton and Royal National Parks.

The question of missing Federation raffle and Ball tickets written off (nominal value $63) inspired Frank Ashdown to move that no more raffle tickets be sold in the Club. After debate it was decided that the missing tickets were never sold anyway (so it was merely a “paper” loss) and the motion was lost.

A report in the course of “General Business” to the effect that the C.M.W. had to vacate their Club rooms at one month's notice reminded members that our own rooms might be choice real estate bait for a developer, so perhaps we should be prepared. A committee of Owen Marks and Ramon U'Brien, with power to co-opt, was appointed to specify the Club's needs and report on any suitable premises.

It was also reported that Nadgee, Cudmirrah, and Barron Grounds reserves were not open to walkers over the holiday period.

In view of the holding of our dinner dance on October 18th, Committee had decided not to put on a Club Christmas party because the interval between parties would be too short.

The meeting ended with the expression of Christmas good wishes to members from the President.

Paddy Made.

“After the evening meal, we retired to our tents - a little hail had fallen, but the storm had not yet broken. What a curious sense of security and comfort is given us by a good tent and sleeping bag. We listened quite happily at the wind working at the tent cloth, which resisted it and gave us protection.

All of you who have experienced high mountain camps in an approaching storm recognise a sense of comradeship in those words. Those of you who still have this adventure to look forward to will share this confident spirit and mutual understanding, when the time comes.

When your time comes make sure your adventure is complete with PaddyMade Camp Gear. Gear that has given warmth and protection to thousands of adventurers for over 36 years.

Available from:

Paddy Pallin Pty. Limited.

109a Bathurst Street, Sydney. N.S.W. 2000. Phone, 26-2685.

Australia's first and leading lightweight camp gear specialist.

In Search Of An Australian Mountain - Mt. Barney.

Ross Wyborn

Over the Christmas period the continual search led Margaret and myself to Queensland. We had heard that Mt. Barney was the mountain of Queensland, and we went to investigate.

We found that Mt Barney is not just a single mountain, but rather a large mountain massif consisting of three main peaks (East Peak, West Peak, and North Peak) with subsidiary peaks such as Leaning Peak and Isolated Peak on the ridges leading up to the summits. The massif stands impressively over the plains with its rocky battlements towering nearly 4,000 feet above the Logan River. Indeed, Mt. Barney is a real mountain and unlike any others I have seen in Australia.

Then we arrived at the foot of Mt. Barney it was dark and as we were not amongst mountains we thought we were in the wrong place. Next morning we still couldn't see any mountains, but nearby steep slopes led into the clouds and we guessed that this was it. We drove the car closer, following the instructions in the “Walker's Guide to S.E. Queensland's Scenic Rim” and left the car near Cronan Greek. We had chosen the Mezzanine Ridge from the Guide Book, as this requires a rope; however, on starting up we were confronted with a number of spurs rather than a ridge. We eventually ended up cutting onto the South-East Ridge and followed this.

The ridge was narrow and rocky but easy to scramble up. Near the top of the ridge it became steeper and the view began to open out. We had hazy views of Mt. Lindsey, which is not far away. From the top of the East Peak we had extensive views stretching away into the haze of distant mountains. We followed a rough track down the other side and camped in a patch of rain forest near a hut built by the Brisbane Bushwalkers at the nearest permanent water to the top. This is situated at the head of Barney Gorge between the East and West Peaks.

Next morning we went off to look at the North Peak and Leaning Peak. The North Peak is just a walk from the saddle between East and West Peaks. However, Leaning Peak is a rock climb from this direction and we failed to get to the top. We then decided to attempt to climb an arete on the East Peak between the Logan Ridge and the North Peak Ridge. This afforded some good rock climbing for a few rope lengths up a knife-edged rock arete; however, a large block on the ridge stopped us and we were forced to abseil into the gully alongside and complete the ascent by the Logan Ridge.

The Logan Ridge rises very Steeply direct to the summit of the East Peak. This spectacular line alongside the East Face affords very good views of the face, which is vertical for about 1,500 feet. The Logan Ridge is named after Captain Logan, Commandant of the Moreton Bay Penal Settlement, who first climbed Mt. Barney. Mt. Barney was then thought to be Mt. Warning which was noted by Captain Cook in 1770. The question was resolved when Logan saw the real Mt. Warning from the ridges of Mt. Barney. The Logan River is also named after Captain Logan.

As a change from ridges we walked down a pleasant creek under the terrifying name of Barney Gorge. This took us down to Mt. Barney Creek which is easy walking and affords many tantalising glimpses of Leaning Peak and the surrounding mountains. The creek itself is also interesting with cliffs dropping into the water. At the Lower Portal you have to swim a small section.

Below the Lower Portal the creek opens up to cattle grazing country. From the road back to the car we had good views of the whole Barney Massif.

This area is thoroughly recommended for a trip, and I would suggest the Logan Ridge to the intrepid types and the South-East Ridge to those not as keen.

For the rock-climbing enthusiast the area has a lot to offer and Leaning Peak is of particular interest.

[Cartoon of two climbers nearing mountain peak which is covered with litter. Caption: “Isn't it thrilling to think that in a few minutes we'll be setting foot where no human being has ever been before.”]

Mountain Equipment.

The new “fethalite” Mountain Mule H-Frame Pack. Inspect at our showroom. Price $29.00.

Our own make of superb quality dry oiled Japara Parkas. These are either lined or unlined at $17.56 and $16.50 each.

“Relax” brand oiled Japara Parka, one of the long time favourites with walkers. $13.50.

Try a couple of pairs of our natural oiled 'Everest' walking socks.The sock that is designed for walkers and is expedition proven. Nylon re-inforced. $1.65 pair.

The home of Fairy Down sleeping bags.

Sole distributers for “Geoff Barker” canoes and kayaks.

Normal trading hours.

165 Pacific Highway, North Sydney. 2060. 929-6504.

Danae Brook.

Barry Wallace

Trip: Kanangra Road-Danae Brook-Thurat Spires-Big Misty-Kanangra Rd. December 6-7-8.

Those present: Don Finch (Leader), Rod Rollins (N.Z. visitor), Roger Goring, Ken Ellis, Barry Pacey, Barry Wallace, and Marion Lloyd.

Saturday morning dawned clear and warm with a light breeze to dust the cobwebs of a short night's sleep. After a good deal of tramping to and fro for various reasons, but mainly to disturb everyone's rest, Don Finch produced a tin of some juice or other and at once improved his rating as a leader from its rather depressed condition.

A fire, a rather strung out breakfast, while Ken Ellis made running repairs to his holey pack, and then away along Kanangra Road in the cars searching for the right Fire Trail.

The decision as to exactly where to leave the cars along the fire trail was simplified somewhat by the trail's being blocked by a fallen tree about 2 1/2 miles in off Kanangra Road. At this point Finch began his usual bustling tactics by setting off down the track whilst one member was still engaged in strapping up his pack. I actually had to run to catch up!

After a period of scrub bashing and general uncertainty we began walking down Danae Brook toward the first precipitous drop, Rod muttering something about thinking Aussies never got their feet wet - and being wrong! As it turned out the first precipitous drop was not an abseil but a scramble, or as Don put it “Just a biscuit toss”. However, in this case the biscuit was carrying a 26 pound pack and clinging on with all fours as he edged his way around the top of some minor waterfalls and down, down, down through the scrub.

The first abseil really was quite simple but the second one made up for this, what with a doubtful belay point, and a chockstone to chimney around about halfway down the 80 feet of free hanging rope. It was about here that Marion explained that she hadn't abseiled before and had came along to see whether she liked it or not.

Abseiling under a waterfall must be somewhat like being hanged the slow way. There you are, dangling on a rope and suffocating, but of course it's much colder under a waterfall, so that your numbed hands hardly respond to the commands of your numbed brain to unlatch the karabiner as you reach the bottom and stumble out from under the stinging cascade into the relative warmth of a knee-deep pool of water.

Perhaps it was to provide sufficient incentive to undergo the aforementioned ordeal that lunch was taken at the foot of this third abseil. Ken Ellis proved his enduring worth at this stage by providing food for the leader. This was in the form of a much-travelled tin of fish which Ken discovered lurking in some dark corner of his pack. Come to think of it, he did say something about Finch gobbling up all his tucker, but it was about this time that the leader moved off to set up the dreadful fourth abseil with its 250 foot exposure.

Roger Gowing tied himself to a tree at the top of this abseil and controlled a safety rope for those who felt the need of that little extra support - in case! The actual abseil was only about 50 feet down onto a 4 foot wide ledge, and then a nervy sidle along the narrowing, wet ledge to an area of level, jumbled rocks. Below this again lay an easy scramble to a point about 25 feet above the creek bed with a hand-over-hand section down a near-vertical rock face to the water.

The creek (or brook if you prefer) proved slow going from this point to the last abseil of the day. There were a lot of awkward rock scrambles, one compulsory swim (packs across by flying,fox), and a slipping hand-over-hand bit down the front of a small waterfall. Then, at last, the abseil we had been looking forward to, the last one, for that day at least.

But it was not to be as simple as that! Our intrepid leader was not completely satisfied with the belay point, or perhaps he just couldn't resist the urge to use up one of the pitons he was carrying. In any case, we all milled around whilst Finch bashed his way up the scale on a piton. Rod milled a little too much and slipped, then rolled, slowly, almost ritually, backwards into a 12” deep pool of water. Funny the way the bubbles formed above his nose; proves he didn't scream anyway.

And so, as the sun sank slowly in the west, we abseiled down to our campsite, a nettle-covered, rock-carpeted, patch of tree ferns and scrub. A quick gathering of wood and fire lighting, food preparation, and the usual amicable trading,or giving away of the excess, the emptying of Barry Pacey's detergent bottle, and the long, deep sleep whilst the possums or other beasties danced on Ken's and Roger's sleeping bags. Tomorrow was tomorrow, but tonight, a-a-h! z-z-z-z-z!

Square Dancing.

It is anticipated that an opportunity will occur in the New Year to learn American Square Dancing. This could provide an excellent chance for members to gain proficiency in an energetic pastime. So that an estimate maybe made of the likely attendance, members interested should contact David Ingram (587-1101 (B) 8.45 a.m. to 10.30 a.m.) or in the Club Room any time up to the January, 1969 General Meeting.

The cost would be about 50 cents each evening and the class will probably be held in the Eastern Suburbs (Bondi Junction).

Mopping Up After Bushfires.

Marie B. Byles

The Cheltenham bushfire was small compared with many, but it was frightening. Rains came soon after and we may forget that this fire broke out twice again after the fire brigade had left and that it would have broken out again at least three times had it not been for the patient mopping up afterwards. The following facts about mopping up were given to me by a veteran firefighter, but also I know something of them myself from bitter experience when I was younger.

Mopping up is the name given to the work of putting out the bushfire after the first run has been stopped and the exhausted workers have gone home. The lack of competent mopping up is the reason why so many fires - thought to have been extinguished - break out again one, two, or three times.

When mopping up the first thing to remember is that a fire is not out until the fingers can comfortably run through all ashes and into all holes. Until this, a willy-willy on a hot day can gently pick up the burning embers in its spiralling embrace and deposit them in the unburnt bush a considerable distance away.

Anyone can mop up.

Any conscientious man or bushwalking woman can carry out the work of mopping up. The following advice is given to help such a one.

  1. Wear strong boots (or certainly strong shoes) so that you can tread on hot ashes. Wear long trousers closed around the ankles, a long-sleeved shirt closed around the neck, and a hat that won't blow off, felt or hard helmet for preference.
  2. Rake the edge of the bushfire so as to separate the burnt from the unburnt ground by a narrow strip right down to soil level.
  3. Rake the hot ashes from every tree, stump, and hole, and expose half buried decayed roots.
  4. Test every hot spot by ejecting a fine stream of water from a knap-sack spray, holding the nozzle not more than six inches from the object. Close the eyes to protect them from the first heat reaction, and go on ejecting until there is no more reaction.
  5. Throw all loose smouldering material into the burnt area.
  6. Cut away loose smouldering material from the inside of burnt trees.
  7. Watch out for those thick-barked banksias, cut away burning bark.
  8. Economize water - water is more valuable than beer. Economize by first cleaning the object with a fire tool, and scraping all loose smouldering bark from tree trunks. (Little boy friends can help by carrying water from the pool in the creek to fill the knap-sack spray).


  1. Buy a fire-fighting tool or Rakho, a combination of a chipping hoe and super rake. The cutting edge can be sharpened with a file. This serves as a rake, shovel, and mattock, and helps you climb cliffs. In an emergency a strong rake and spade can be used effectively.
  2. Buy a knapsack spray with a fine Bordeau nozzle. The two gallon junior model can be carried on the back by a boy or girl of 14. This is particularly effective in forcing a jet of water into smouldering cracks. Such knap-sack sprays are sometimes used for spraying fruit trees; therefore never drink from a knapsack spray. In an emergency a hand spray and bucket of water can do much to extinguish smouldering logs.

The moral of Cheltenham's Fire.

The lack of mopping up on the Sunday evening accounted for the fire brigade's being called out again at 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. to protect homes in Cobran and Day Road.

That the work of mopping up was carried out on the Monday and Tuesday accounted for the fact that the fire did not get away again in at least three places. The weather being favourable, the job could be done by one determined volunteer, assisted by two women, and after school by two boys, and after work by three men, while little boys carried water.

Had the weather been not so favourable it might have called for four able-bodied men.

Corrigenda for the current Walks Programme.

The Australia Day Holiday falls on Monday, 27th January.

Would members please amend the dates for Roger Gowing's and Ken Ellis's Bawley Head - Pebbly Beach walk to read 24-25-26-27 January and please amend the dates for Barry Pacey's Epicurean Escapade at Macarthur's Flat and Ken Ellis's Boyd River-Kowmung River-Morong Deep-Boyd River to read 31 January - 1/2 February.

"Wawks Pogrom"

Januerry 11-12: Carl on Farm - Gaylon Kreec - Cocks Riva - Brekker Kreec - Carl on Kreec

Will it ever come to this?

Yes, the last Walks Programme must have set an all time record for wrongly-spelt place names.

Our Programme not only reaches all Club Members, but finds its way overseas, to other Clubs, to Notice Boards, etc. etc. Then the route of the walk is followed on maps where the spelling should be right.

Now, of course, the Club has purchased a large number of maps, which have been mounted on sheets, and which are wheeled into the clubroom for the use of everyone, so we know that those responsible for preparing the Programme are going to check all place names in future.

A plea, then, to arrest a situation which, if allowed to continue, will hold us to ridicule.

A.L. Wyborn

The area between Hilltop and the Wollondilly River was very severely burnt by the big fires which raged during November. Many parts of the area were so completely burnt that nothing remains but the limbs of the trees - in other places the trees still have their lifeless leaves. The Casuarinas at the little campsite on Starlight's Track where the track runs side by side with the creek about halfway down to the Nattai River have been killed by the fire. Mr. Coates's farm survived, but it was a narrow shave both for him and the village of Hilltop. The beautiful Ribbon Gums on the Nattai are lifeless at the moment and only time will tell whether they come to life again; certainly it will be many years before they recover anything of their former glory. The grass has sprung up green again on Macarthur's Flat but elsewhere the ground is bare sand and ash. Many trees were completely burnt to ash, others have toppled down and others are very insecure and will topple at any time. The devastation was so complete that now there are good views across to Mount Jellore, High Range, and the green hills of Wanganderry.

For The Information Of Members.

Motions Of Continuing Effect.

Notice is hereby given that at the Monthly General Meeting of the Sydney Bush Walkers to be held on Wednesday, 12th. February, 1969, certain resolutions having continuing effect will be brought up, with recommendations that they be rescinded.

This action arises out of the recommendations of the Sub-Committee formed to investigate the problem of Resolutions of Continuing Effect still on the Books of the Club. When the necessary rescission motions have been passed or lost, an up to date list of Resolutions of Continuing Effect will be produced.

Constitutional Amendments.

Persons wishing to propose Constitutional Amendments at the Annual General Meeting on 12th. March, 1969, are advised that in order that the necessary 14 days notice be given to Members, such proposed amendments must be in the hands of the Secretary by Wednesday, 5th. February, 1969 at the latest.

Barry Pacey's Epicurean Escapade

Will now be held at Maitland Bay.

Colour Slide Competition

Taken any good slides lately? Whether on a bushwalk, travelling overseas, close-ups or good old candid shots, bring them along on or before February 12th. so that they can be judged for the Grand Colour Slide Competition on February 19th. Mr. Henry Gold will be acting as Hon. Judge, and will be selecting the best slide from each of the following categories.

  1. Australian landscapes
  2. Overseas landscapes- Close-up (e.g. insects, flowers, etc.)
  3. Candid shot

Persons are limited to 6 slides entered in one category, but you may enter as many categories as you like. Slides can be presented to Barry Pacey on or before Wednesday, February 12th.

Theatre Party

All Melodrama Lovers will be pleased to note that on February 13th. at 8-15 p.m. an evening's entertainment at the Music Hall, 156 Military Rd., Neutral Bay is being arranged. “The Face at the Window” is being presented with all its humour and tragedy. Tickets are only $1.10, including coffee, and parents are informed that this particular play has a warning and a moral, so is perfectly suitable for the teenager.

Ring or see Owen Marks at the first instant (30-1827). Everyone is welcome and you may bring as many friends as you wish.

A Note From The President.

Office Bearers.

Before we know where we are the Annual General Meeting in March will be upon us, and the Club will be electing a new set of Office Bearers for all those positions both inside and outside the Committee.

It would be an excellent idea for all members to start thinking now about this important matter. Maybe you would like to stand for office yourself, or on the other hand you may have other people in mind whom you would like to see in a particular position. The Club is more likely to get better results from the elections if some preparation is done before the night of the A.G.M. Members should regard all positions as being completely open, irrespective whether the present holders intend to stand again or not. Then again, there is much to be said for having more than one nomination for an office - this shows a healthy situation in the Club and allows the electors a choice.

A certain amount of work, time, and dedication is required of any office bearer; naturally, this varies considerably with the particular office, but it is always an essential feature if the job is to be done properly. In return, there are rewards - the satisfaction of serving others, the interest of the job (and they can be very interesting), the extra experience gained, and that rather satisfying feeling that you are doing something for your Club.

To help members to do some thinking, listed below are the various offices to be filled. Run through the list, think about yourself, or the Club members whom you know, and see if you can come up with some ideas.


  • President
  • Two Vice-Presidents
  • Secretary
  • Assistant Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Walks Secretary
  • Social Secretary
  • Membership Secretary
  • Four Committee Members
  • Two Federation Delegates


  • Editor
  • Conservation Secretary
  • Two Federation Delegates
  • Two Substitute Federation Delegates
  • Two Delegates to Nature Conservation Council
  • Magazine Business Manager
  • Magazine Circulation and Sales Officer
  • Archivist
  • Keeper of Maps
  • Two Search and Rescue Contacts
  • Three Equipment Hire Officers
  • Auditor
  • Two Projectionists


  • One for Treasurer
  • One for Walks Secretary
  • One for Social Secretary
  • Two for Membership Secretary
  • One for Keeper of Maps

Note: Assistants are usually nominated by the Principal Officer concerned and then appointed by Committee in April.

Frank Rigby, President.

Blue Mountains Passes.

(7) Hughes Defile

Is another convenient way of getting from the Wolgan Valley to the Capertee Valley. The Defile is at the western end of the Wolgan near Blue Cap Rock and no effort is needed to enjoy the pleasant walk from one valley to the other. If you have the good fortune to come out of the Defile and around Mount Stewart as the sun is sloping in the west you will get an unforgettable view of Crown Mountain.

The Glen Alice 1:50,000 Military map covers the area.

(8) Grassy Hill

On the Capertee River is on the left bank in the bay at approximately GR355025 (Glen Davis 1:50,000 Military map). The map, however, is unable to give any real indication of the topography, for Grassy Hill is a basalt intrusion which rises in the bay aforementioned.

The best way to find Grassy Hill is to walk in (northwards) from the Capertee at the estimated location until you find the basalt hill; then, having climbed climbed to the top (where there is a huge cairn and a visitors' book), walk along the causeway which connects Grassy Hill with the sandstone, here sufficiently broken up to provide good access to the Plateau.

Once on top your next objective should be Mount Uraterer, a beautiful, rounded basalt mountain whence all trees but one have been removed.

There is an old hut on Uraterer (which is also known as Gosper's Mountain) and not far from the hut there is a good spring of water. It is a far better way to come to Uraterer this way than to follow the fire trails from Wirraba or Red Hill.

(9) Culoul Pass

Between the Colo River and the Culoul Range is the creek at GR534948 (Mellong 1:50,000 Military map). Almost opposite the place where this creek enters the Colo there is (or was) a notched log leaning against the cliff and giving access to an overhang which seems to be used by fishermen.

There are great boulders across the Colo at the mouth of the escape creek and in times of higher water in the river it will be necessary to swim across. The creek rises steeply from the river over bouldery ground and eventually splits as the map shows at GR536949.

If you take the northern branch and get out at approximately GR542953 on the eastern side you will eventually work your way up to the old roads which will get you to the vicinity of Hollow Rock, from where there is a trafficable fire trail to the Putty Road.

For those who may follow the Sheepwalk from Yerranderie to Jooriland Stn it is a dry stretch with the doubtful exception of Jooriland Creek. It may be helpful, therefore, to know that there is an old well on the northern side of Byrnes Greek near the Tea Trees where the road runs parallel with Byrnes Creek just before crossing it. The well is on the opposite side of the road from the Tea Trees and is in a grassy area just about where the road bends away from Byrnes Creek.

196901.txt · Last modified: 2016/12/06 12:55 by tyreless

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