Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker.
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bushwalker, 14 Atchison Street, St. Leonards.
Postal Address: Box 4476 G.P.O., Sydney, N.S.W., 2000.
Meetings at the Club Room on Wednesday evenings after 7.30 p.m.
Enquiries regarding Club - Mrs. Marcia Shappert, Tel.30,2028.
|Editor||Spiro Ketas, 104/10 Wylde Street, Pott's Point, 2011. Tel.357-1381 (Home)|
|Business Manager||Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford, 2118|
|The July General Meeting||Jim Brown||2|
|Atkins Gap||Major J. Sturgiss||4|
|Conservation Notes||Alex Colley||5|
|A Ramble in the Rockies||Rosemary Edmunds||8|
|Correction & Apology||Spiro Ketas||11|
|Coming Walks||Wilf Hilder||11|
|Tasmania '72||Don Finch||13|
|Federation Notes||Ray Hookway||17|
The July General Meeting.
by Jim Brown.
With President Bob Younger away on holidays, it fell to John Campbell to open proceedings at the July meeting with a welcome to four new members - Sally Briggs, Adrienne Shilling, Les Powell and (from the June admissions) Alastair Battye. There were no dissentients from the text of the June minutes, and no business arising, while in Correspondence we learned that Barbara Bruce had transferred to the Non-active list, and Ray Dargan, after more than 20 years away from the Club, had been restored to membership.
On the financial side, Alan Hedstrom had to tell us that funds in the working account rose by a few dollars in June to the closing figure of $772. Ray Hookway presented a report on Federation affairs, the details of which were published in the July magazine.
Now came the piece de resistance of the evening - two months' doings of walking activity, which called for forty minutes speaking, either by Wilf Hilder or by leaders if they were present. The recital commenced with comment on Mike Short's Nattai River walk of 5/6/7 May, and included the information that the owner of the property on the direct route to Mount Jellore prefers parties to approach by ways other than that crossing his property at weekends. This had been done by Mike and his party of five. On Sunday, May 7th, Bill Hall was out with a team of 22 in the Cawley's Creek - Bola Heights country, finding some well grown-up areas. The second weekend in May included Don Finch's Jones Creek - Ettrema trip - an account of which went into the June issue - and an Instructional weekend held in mist and drizzle in a burnt-out region at Glenraphael, with 25 attending.
The third weekend of May saw John Campbell's trip to the Budawangs with 11 people present, who admired the views in spells of fine weather between a few showers. Wilf Hilder had nine starters on an energetic day walk in Dharug Park, which was extended slightly beyond the mileage programmed and ended just after dark. For the final weekend of the month there was Bob Younger's trip up the Nattai, 8 folk present, and the trip taking 13 hours actual walking; owing to the growth on the banks, it was necessary to walk on sand spits in the river bed in places. That weekend, too, was the 1972 Orienteering Contest, about 40 teams competing (only one wholly S.B.W.). Phil Butt's party (Kamerukas) completed the course in under two hours.
Thus to June, when the first event, Roger Gowing's trip, was cancelled, while Ray Carter and party of 9 headed for Wyanbene Caves, and apparently had some bother finding the main portal. Wilf led another ambitious day walk in the Hartley Vale area over part of Cox's original road and along a shale tramway, winding up about 8.45 p.m. On the Sunday Bill Hall had a team of 22 afield between Bundeena and Audley where “even the hakea is gentler and caresses you”, and Sam Hinde took a party on a leisurely wamble from Otford to Bulge and Werong.
The Queens Birthday Holiday had Ray Hookway heading a party of 27 (some of the time) in the Budawangs, finding good cave accommodation near the top of Darri Pass: Sunday was the dual-party day, some electing to penetrate the “scunge” on the slopes of Shrouded Gods Mountain. David Rostron had a team in the snow country, except there was a dearth of snow, and what there was rather icy. They topped Carruthers Peak. Meanwhile Alan Hedstrom had a group of six engaging in two day walks based on Mungo Brush at Myall Lakes. There was a day walk during the weekend, Gladys Roberts taking a party into Middle Harbour Creek, and coming to the view that the creeks are getting more polluted thereabouts.
June 16/18 and Phil Butt took a cross-country ski instructional, with 7 people. Snow was still scarce, but found in odd pockets. After instruction on Saturday, the party worked upstream from Guthega to Illawong on Sunday, and practised on the lower slopes of Twynam. A party went to Blue Gum under the auspices of Maria and Don Hitchcock - about 8 or 9 understood to be present. And on Sunday Les Davidson with a total of 32 bodies, topped the pops for the month on his walk along Cowan Creek.
So to 23/25 June, when Bob Younger and party of 8 went to Megalong and the Mini Mini Range, one of the prospective members returning by horse out of the valley owing to severe blisters. Bill Gillam had a snow instructional and, glory be! it had snowed and was recorded as “magnificent”. This was also the weekend of Alan Pike's assault on Wall's Pass and Cedar Creek but owing to some map trouble, it took a long time to sort out the top of the descent; two of the most vigorous members then carried out the rest of the scheduled trip, but the rest turned back rather than be overtaken by night in the valley. Finally John Holly went with 27 on a day walk to the George's River country.
After this marathon effort on walks, there seemed little enthusiasm for other affairs. However Kath Brown mentioned the off-repeated proposal to produce a Club song book, and foreshadowed a motion at the half-yearly meeting to sound out present opinion. And with that we ended at 9.20 p.m.
To Peter Donnelley and June Tyrell who were married last month.
by Major J. Sturgiss (The Man from the Misty Mountains).
In the autumn of 1934 Old Ted and myself were searching for wild horses on the ridge behind Atkins Gap, where a horse-path led down to Old Jenny's cabin-site on the Bundunah Creek. The previous day we had chased a wild mob and captured two mares and foals. The remainder had split up and were now hidden in remote thickets on the Ettrema Plateau. Next morning Old Ted had remarked: “You and I orter have a look down on Ole Jenny's selection. Some of the Wild Mob must know of the track down Atkins Gap and could be hiding there quietly whilst we are wearing our saddle-seats out, looking for them on top”. So at 10 o'clock he and I were just above Atkins Gap, sitting quietly in the morning sunlight, whilst Ted rolled a cigarette and inserted it into the battered holder he always used. “This place has grown up a lot,” he said, “You go over round that big boulder, afore you come to the Gap. I brought a woman out here once, a good while ago. Let's see. I'd just turned 18 and I'm 63 now. She was carrying a baby about a fortnight old. She had it wrapped in a long heavy shawl, and sorter slung around her neck, so's she could rest it on the saddle-pommel now and again when the going was smooth. She and her husband were living in Ole Jenny's cabin, after Jenny had moved out to her new home at Cabbage-tree Crick, on the Yalwal Read. This woman had gone into Goulburn to have her baby, and when she was fit to travel she came as far as Nerriga on the mail-coach, and her husband arranged with Father for me to meet her there with a quiet horse and bring her out here, on this particular Sunday. Somewhere just about here her husband met us. By Gawd! I never saw two people love each other so much. They led the horse and carried the baby, and cuddled each other as they staggered down the Gap. I thought they'd end up falling over the side and breaking their bloody necks. I went on down with them, and after we'd all had dinner we walked up the crick a piece, where the feller had a mine. Silver-lead-copper, I think. It wasn't gold. Anyhow I wasn't interested.”
But when Ted and I rode down Atkins Gap that morning, almost 40 years ago, we found no trace of Love or Hate or Hope or human endeavour. Only the changeless mountains, cradling the little valley and the chuckling streamiet on its endless journey on down to the River Nothing. Not even the hoof-print of a stray wild horse - only a rusty plow and a battered lemon-tree to show that somehow, sometime, someone had paused a while in passing that way.
Well friends, that's all we have time for now, because I know you have a long way to go and are in very great hurry to be on your way. May I remind you of the Persian fable of tho Prince and his gardener. 'One morning a Persian gardener said to his Prince, “Sir, I saw Death this morning. He threatened me. You alone can save me. By a miracle I can be in Ispahan tonight.” So the kind-hearted Prince lent him his fastest horse and he departed full gallop for Ispahan. Later on in the day the Prince himself saw Death, and he said to him: “Why did you threaten my gardener this morning?” “I did not threaten him,” said Death, “that was a gesture of surprise. I am to take him tonight in Ispahan. Hence my surprise at seeing him here this morning, so very far from Ispahan.”'
But we all detest moralising, so to expunge its bitter flavour from our discourse let us metaphorically persuade the fugitive Persian on his ill-advised journey to pull up his panting horse, at least long enough to contemplate with us this little idyll of the morning mountains:-
“Yet days are mine when Time, it seems,
His glass dream-clogged, quiescent dallies.
When morning mist, like smoke of dreams,
Begowns in gauze enchanted valleys.
When Springtime's breath, on bush winds borne,
Blows clear as on Creation's morn;
And I roam free where hazy ranges
Preside serene, beyond Life's changes.”
by Alex Colley.
Sound Advice from the N.S.W. Minister for Environment Control:
Be involved in community action.
Keep beaches, parks and roadsides clean.
Ask young people's groups to emphasise the importance of the environment in enhancing the quality of life.
Dissuade friends and neighbours from destroying trees.
Ask State and National environment organisations and bodies for information and assistance.
Assess the impact of any development on the environment while the development is still at the planning stage. (APCK and Forestry Commissioner please note)
Be constantly involved in improving our environment. If you cannot rectify a pollution problem yourself, notify the responsible organisation.
(From “72 things you can do to reduce pollution and improve your environment.” issued by the Hon. J. G. Beale, M.L.A.)
The S.B.W. have been doing these things for a long time - since 1928 in fact. For many years we have been assessing the impact of developments on the environment. In recent years we have assisted in assessing the impact of a limestone quarry on the Kanangra-Boyd National Park, the impact of the Forestry Commissioner's plan to bulldoze all the native forest on the Boyd Plateau flat, the impact of the dumping of 60 million tons of mulloch into Barber's Creek, and the impact of mining to the edge of Bungonia Creek. Our principal difficulty has been to persuade the Minister for Mines and Conservation that our assessment of the impact is better than that of the parties who stand to gain by the developments.
The Minister for Mines and Conservation has listened sympathetically. None of these developments have yet taken place, and we hope the Ministers responsible (there are now two portfolios instead of one) will realise that we are doing just what their Government is asking us to do. Mr. Freudenstein, now Minister for Conservation, has given an assurance that no further logging, clearing, or similar operations will be carried out on the Boyd pending a review.
If Mr. Freudenstein, or anyone else, doubts the wisdom of preserving this area for recreation, he should look at the article “Goodbye Wilderness” in the Financial Review of 6th July. The “most accessible” sections of the 2000 mile Appalacian Trail have became overcrowded. In the Great Smoky National Park, permits must be obtained to camp on the trail, and the limit is one night at a campsite. On another section the trail is closed. The trail is within a day's drive of 125,000,000 Americans. The Boyd is within a day's drive of some 4 million Australians, but it is only 9 miles long.
In the May 1972 issue of the University of Sydney Gazette, Mary Besly, lecturer in Biological Science, pays tribute to Miss Crommelin, who created Warrah sanctuary at Pearl Beach, and presented it to the University. “Throughout her life at Warrah” Miss Bexley writes, “Miss Crommelin fought for the preservation of the natural bush in the area. She relentlessly pursued and prosecuted people who picked flowers in the area and often paid the fine if she thought they were poor. She carried on a voluminous correspondence with Members of Parliament, pressing for more National Parks to be gazetted, and for active research for the conservation and protection of the native fauna and flora. I find it sad that in her last years she felt she had failed: actually she had accomplished far more than most people, and the award of the M.B.E. in the New Year's Honours List of 1959 gave public recognition of her achievements.”
Another lifelong worker for conservation, S.B.W. member Marie Byles, has given her 4 acres of beautiful natural bush at Cheltenham to the National Trust.
Lightweight bushwalking and camp gear.
This 'shaped' rucksack is excellent for children. Useful day pack. Weight 14ozs.
A single pocket, shaped rucksack. Suitable for overnight camping. Weight 1½lbs.
Have sewn-in curved bottom for extra comfort in carrying. Will hold 30 lbs. 2 pocket model 1¼lbs. 3 pocket model 1½lbs.
is an extra large bag with four external pockets and will carry about 40lbs of camp gear. Weight 2¼lbs.
Mountaineer De Luxe
Can carry 70lbs or more. Tough lightweight terylene/cotton, proofed fabric with special P.V.C. reinforced base. 20“ x 17” x 9“ proofed nylon extension throat with double draw cord for positive closure. Flap has full sized zip pocket of waterproof nylon. Outside pocket. Bag is easily detached from the frame to form a 3' sleeping bag cover for cold, wet conditions. Weight 6lbs.
Same features as de luxe model except for P.V.C. bottom reinforcing. Weight 5¼lbs.
Tramper Frame Rucksack
Young people and ladies will find this pack a good one. It will carry sufficient camping equipment and food for 3 or 4 days or more. Has 3 pockets, capacity about 30 lbs. Weight 4lbs.
Hooded bag. Extra well filled. Very compact. Approx 3¾lbs.
Super warm. Box quilted. Added leg room. Approx 4½lbs.
P.V.C. or nylon.
One, two or three man. From 2½ to 3¾lbs.
Two, three or four man. From 3½ to 4½lbs.
Compasses dry, oil filled or wrist types. Maps. Large range. Bushwalking books. Freeze dried and dehydrated foods. Stoves and lamps. Aluminium cook ware. Ground sheets. Everything for the bushwalker.
69 Liverpool St., Sydney. 26-2686, 61-7215.
A Ramble In The Rockies.
by Rosemary Edmunds.
Ever led a walking trip among unknown 10,000 ft. mountains, 2,000 miles away from home with only 1 week to get over the double shock of being asked to lead it, and agreeing to do so, plus 3 nights and 2 days sitting on a train getting there with nothing to do but wonder what couldn't go wrong? I have, and I recommend it. A marvellous stimulant. Matters were slightly complicated with the trip I led, by it coinciding with my departure from Canada, which triviality involved among other things transporting my two years accumulation of baggage across Canada from Toronto to Vancouver with a stopover of three weeks in the Rockies two thirds of the way.
The trip was one of the Canadian Y.H.A. trips run several times each year from Toronto, and apart from the itinerary of places to be visited the leader had the responsibility of planning meals, and buying food, of getting the food and gear off the train from Toronto to the first campsite, setting up camp, and moving it, which we did once. Also plotting the daily hikes and trips, within the itinerary depending on the weather and state of people's feet, etc. I was lucky. There were only 5 people with me, all adult. I managed to track down the leader of an earlier trip in Toronto and pick up a few tips from her before I left. Apparently the usual method of getting leaders for these trips was to spring it on someone booked on the trip about a week before it began, and whether this indicated bad organisation or excellent psychology I never really discovered.
After the journey from Toronto to our starting point at Field, a small station near the top of the continental divide through Kicking Horse Pass, everyone had found everyone else. Rather a boring journey until we reached the Rockies. At first coniferous forest through Northern Ontario for a day and a night with lumber camps along the line, then the prairies for two nights and a day. They washed the train at Calgary on the edge of the Mountains, where the scenery starts to get photogenic, and then we enjoyed the views to the accompaniment of clicking shutters, etc.
The train was two hours late at Field, which is standard, it seems. We managed to bribe the owner of the only car in the place to carry our packs and food 12 miles to the Takkaw Falls Youth Hostel where we stayed for the first 2 nights, and to ensure that he didn't forget to come and fetch us again two days later, we withheld the bribe until we were back at Field station. The majority of the Youth Hostels in the Rockies are only open from about July to October, and don't always have resident wardens. Snow makes many of them inaccessible in winter, others are used as ski lodges.
Our first 2 days' walking brought on the usual blisters and other minor complaints. Rather ferocious mosquitoes just here. Our first day's circular route planned couldn't be followed as a bridge, washed away by melting snow water the previous spring, had not yet been replaced. Busy people, trail wardens. Chipmunks and marmots appeared at every food stop. Seem to have very little fear at all of people. Difficult to catch, even so. Whiskey Jacks are common too. Rather like jays in appearance, they will steal anything, and are past masters at making one feel guilty if one doesn't feed them, like some dogs. The Eastern Rockies abound in spectacular waterfalls, and most days' trips included two or three. Valleys are mostly high up, and rather wide, so the mountains give an impression of massiveness rather than height.
The third day, we left the Y.H. and went the 12 miles to the campsite at Lake Louise with the aid of man with car at Field, and the train - the fast one, which was 1½ hours late this time. Two trains a day, on the Canadian Pacific Railway. The fast one which takes four days and nights to cross Canada, and the slow one which takes about 2 days longer.
We walked to Field then hitch-hiked to Lake Louise and collected tents, more food, and the indispensible axe from the station, and set up camp. The campsite had wooden platforms over which one could pitch one's tent - very hard to sleep on, but always dry. Cooking shelters had wood, burning stoves and a great pile of logs. We had to cut poles for our tents from the forest - quite illegal. There was a resident warden, and also a resident black bear, which regularly raided the garbage bins at around 5 a.m. most mornings. Noisy creature. Apparently the black bears get stomach ulcers due to the garbage they eat from campsites and other places. One is asked not to leave food in tents while absent, as the bears are given to tearing them down if they can smell bacon or anything sweet inside. The black bears are not regarded as dangerous. Ours seemed to look on humans as being necessary to provide garbage, but otherwise rather futile. Grizzly bears are never seen in this part of the Rockies, so I was told, but I did hear a wolf howling at around 2 a.m. one morning. An eerie noise.
Next day we rented a car and drove to the Columbia Ice Field beside the Banff-Jasper highway. This is two or three thousand feet thick, and feeds several large glaciers. Skiing takes place all the year round higher up on the field., but there was a rather high ice-cliff which would have had to be climbed carrying skis and other gear to get to the skiing area on this particular occasion. We were only Tourists, anyway. So we went for a ride on the snowmobile and looked down all the crevasses and listened to the comments of the driver, who said that they lost five snowmobiles a year down crevasses, plus passengers. An exaggeration, I decided.
The German section of the expedition drove the car some of the way back, taking several years off my life in the process, and on the way we saw a moose standing in a sort of big puddle full of reeds beside the road. During the next two or three days we went to the lake, a picture of which appears on the back of Canadian $10 bills - Emerald Lake. We also had hot showers in a lodge we found in a most remote and unlikely place - Lake 0'Hara - during another day's trip.
As anyone who had ever camped knows well, after a week's camping, cooking over wood fires, one is dirty. Six people are six times as dirty. I wondered if we blocked the drains.
On the last day at Lake Louise we did a walk up the Valley of the Ten Peaks from Moraine Lake to Larch Valley and Sentinel Pass - named after a tall rock needle standing not far from the top of the pass. This is a well known beauty spot, and it is easy to see why on a day like the one we had. The lake is 6,200 feet and the pass 8,550. The ten peaks, all over 10,000 feet, are in view all the way up the valley. Snow-capped, the lower slopes blue with distance, and the brilliant green glacial lake behind us. We had quite a long stop on the way down for repairs to feet, and ended up by the lake at Lake Louise. We went in the hotel for same refreshment, and were told that the Rye tasted so good because the water for the ice came from a lake - Lake Agnes - up the slopes above the hotel. It was the purest water in Canada. I didn't disagree.
Next morning I persuaded two of the party to leave at about 8.30 a.m. with the lightest of the 2 tents to hitch-hike to Banff, our next stop, early enough to secure a decent place for our camp on the Tunnel Mountain camp ground. It was about 40 miles to Banff, and if we'd waited until the train at around 3 p.m. all the good sites would most likely have gone. The other two left together, leaving the two of us to pack up the rest of the camp. We got a lift with a couple who had parked a trailer caravan next to us, and were going on to the Banff site too. We reached the camp-site gate at the same time as the advance party, who had walked at least 6 miles carrying the tent, and were hot and tired, and not very amused at the joke. We quite recovered after a swim in the warm springs and a visit to the local bar. This was our first chance to get fresh meat since the trip started ten days before, so I went shopping, and we had a monstrous meal of steak, mushrooms, tomatoes and onions, plus homemade blueberry and apple pies and cream.
The Tunnel Mountain campsite at Banff has hot showers, glorious luxury. We climbed a local mountain, Rundle, 9,000 feet, while we were there. Only two of the party actually got to the top. The German girl and a Canadian whom we met on the way, and joined up with. He was in Banff for the express purpose of climbing this mountain. It was a very steep climb even as far as I went, and the victors had a local private hail-storm on the top. That night we had two bottles of wine to celebrate having become mountaineers for a day at least, and in honour of our guest.
Two of the party left for Toronto the next day, and the rest of us spent the last two or three days swimming in the sulphur springs and otherwise relaxing. There is an excellent example of a beheaded river near Banff - the Bow river cut back and captured the headwaters of another river, the Spray, and forced it to flow backwards. Also some rather weird formations known as the Hoodoos, caused by erosion, and some Indian Relics, some still living. There is a small herd of Buffalo in Banff Park, too, which was started when there were very few buffaloes left alive.
After 2 days I left for Vancouver and New Zealand, having entrusted the tents and the axe to the remainder of the party, who saw them back to Toronto, and by some miracle I coincided with my baggage in Vancouver with a day to spare to catch the boat.
In the June issue of the Sydney Bushwalker it was incorrectly reported that the Federation had protested to the Water Board about the construction of a private road down Yellow Pup to the Cox.
It has been brought to the notice of the Editor that in fact Federation actually enquired as to whether or not a road was to be bulldozed down Yellow Pup, their letter being only an enquiry NOT a protest.
I apologize to the Carlon family for the consternation this error has caused.
Spiro Ketas, Editor.
by Wilf Hilder.
1,2,3 September - Rod Peters heads for the Alps in this classic ski tour of the 3 peaks - Kosciusko, Townsend and Twynam from Threddy (Who's Who calls it T.A.V.). The white wonderful world of the Australian Alps awaits you - book early.
1,2,3 Sept. - A scenic special in the fabulous Colo country - Steve Guthbridge leads this other world pilgrimage. Good tracks and gorgeous wattle along the Capertee. Good gravel going up Running Stream to the white cedar lining of Laycocks Pass to the disused airstrip. Legendary views from Gospers and a good track to Green Hill. Large visitors book in Gordon Smiths Monument overlooking the Capertee.
Saturday, 2 Sept. - No need to plug this delightful walk at the southern end of Mouogamarra Nature Reserve led by Nancy Alderson, with a barbeque tea (boree log in strine). Numbers strictly limited to 20, ring Nancy now on 419,2078.
Sunday, 3 Sept. - Always a good walk when Uncle Sam Hinds leads it. Good tracks from Engadine to Five Creek - a little slow along the river to idyllic Trailers Lake. Yes, plenty of time for a swim in Woronora River.
8,9,10 Sept. - An easy stroll on the Colo - seems too good to be real. Gerry Sinzig is leading this “bludge” into the mighty Colo Canyon - a photographers paradise. Easy going along the ridges to Colo - fairly easy going to the Red Pass (520-972). A scramble up some slabs and a rockhop up the creek.
Sunday, 10 Sept. - Gladys Roberts carries the flag on this pleasant walk down Cockle Creek along an old track to Bobbin Head - Aboriginal Carvings by old masters. Good tracks from Bobbin Head to Mount Kuringai.
l5,l6,17 Sept. - Would you believe camping in the snow? Mind you, Wilf keeps mumbling something about the Bondi Icebergs swimming in it at Perisher. Of course they did it to raise money for charity - doing it for love. Other would be philanthrophists should contact him without delay.
16,17 Sept. - A chance to look at all those places along the coast of Royal National Park that you have run past before. Uncle Sam Hinds is your genial guide and will be pleased to show you Aboriginal Carvings you never realised were there. Tracks, tracks all the way.
Sunday, 17 Sept. - Tearaway Callaway is on the old stamping ground again racing thru the Royal. Tracks to Saddle Trig - some scrub to Curracurrong and than tracks right thru. Combined hard walk with the Catholic Bushwalking Club.
Sunday, 17 Sept. - Uncle John Holly leads this beautiful wildflower walk around Kariong and Wondabyne. Guaranteed good scenery and company with a dash of medium scrub.
Sunday, 17 Sept. - David Cotton has come out of hibernation - apiary and cactus inspection time is here again - a very sweet stroll.
22,23,24 Sept. - Helen Gray leads the charge of the light brigade (7 kilograms per bed) to Shrouded Gods Mountain in those beautiful Budawangs. Full moon Saturday night should provide enough light for an excursion to the Castle. Yes, tracks all the way.
Sunday 24 Sept. - Bill Hall has arranged this pretty wildflower walk to Heathcote S.P. with the trustees of the Park. As this walk is sure to be very popular do let Bill know if you are coming so that he can make arrangements with the trustees.
29,30 Sept. l,2 Oct. (Long Weekend.) - Peter Franks makes a comeback with this great Medium to Hard in the spellbinding Nandowars, east of Narrabri. A classic set of day walks takes in the best features of Mount Kaputer State Park, which is even more scenic than the 'Bungles. Please book early if you want to camp among the snowgums and snowgrass of this unique area.
29,30 Sept. 1,2 October (Long weekend) - The ever popular New Zealand Alpine Club's (Australian Section) Snow and Ice Climbing Instructional at Watson's Crags is on again. Give Donny Finch a tinkle now.
29,30 Sept. 1,2 October (Long weekend) - Yes, the long weekend is early this year but not to worry, David Cotton's photographic stroll down Galong and up Breakfast is a pushover.
by Don Finch.
This is the account of a walking trip to Tasmania between 11th February 72 and 10th March 72. The trip was in three parts-
(i) Cradle Mountain, Lake St. Clair National Park for 2 weeks.
(ii) Mount Anne (day trip) and Lake Pedder - 4 days.
(iii) Port Davey and South Coast Tracks - 10 days.
Cradle Mountain Lake St. Clair National Park.
Heather and Leslie were feeding the wallabies and possums while Barry and I made a quick search for a campsite - our efforts were rewarded and soon tents were up and preparations made for our first night in Tasmania. Before retiring, however, a search was initiated for the small and prettily marked native cat who was reputed to inhabit the area. The full scale search was not successful. Heather, however, saw two later on in the evening when she investigated a noise. She fed them the remains of Leslie's raisin cakes. We did see several more of the possums. While a group of walkers who were staying in one of the huts gave us a few pointers on the track, Roy was seen hopping around, after Heather, on his haunches. When questioned on his motives he willingly explained that by his observations to get fed by Heather one had to hop around after her and generally behave like a wallaby.
During the night several leeches came to light. The wind became quite strong. Tent flys became loose as did tent pegs. Barry, Brian and Roy had some problems in their 2-man tent with 2 li-los and a share of the leeches.
Sunday, 11th February, 72, Waldheim. The sky was overcast with a chill wind and light intermittent rain. We retreated to the day-hut to cook breakfast in comfort.
Our daily allowance of dried food weight per person came to 28 oz. Our breakfast was powdered egg made up to resemble something like scrambled egg, Meusli with dried apples, and Milo. Slight variations on this theme helped most of us to avoid getting bored with our rather staple breakfast.
Lunch was rather a more interesting experience as far as type of food was concerned. Cheese, salami, dried fruits and scroggin were the chief constituents of our midday meal. Four different types of cheese and five different types of salami provided the necessary variation to keep most people interested in lunch. A spoonful of honey sufficed as dessert. The swatting of blowflies and the cremation of marchflies provided afternoon entertainment.
The evening meal provided real scope for creation and conversely complete failure. Leslie, perhaps because of an interest in chemistry or the awakening of her innermost culinary urges, became chief stirrer of the billies. Barry emerged as simply “chief stirrer” with appropriate comments and an intelligent answer to every question, although he had to think hard when Dot asked him why he was unemployed. Roy, suitably armed with a spoon so large it would be impossible for it to fit into a normal mouth, was “chief taster sampler (i.e. bludger) extraordinaire”.
Our first day's walk took us past the bulk of Cradle Mountain and to Waterfall Valley Hut. The high open country afforded good views to the south where the track passes close to East Pelion and Mount Ossa, the latter being the highest mountain in Tasmania. The low coarse scrub along the track gave birth to delicate and beautiful blooms. About 1½ miles from Waterfall Valley a track branches off to the west, winding its way through the low scrub, past several small tarns, over mossy clumps and up a small hill until it ascends the slopes of Barn Bluff. Climbing upwards the low tough scrub gives way to the lichen covered rubble heaps at the base of the massive dolorite cliffs. Rock cairns show the way to the weakness in the cliff long since broached by walkers. The last 200 yards to the top along the summit ridge is broken jagged rock. Lizards stand aloof as we pass to gaze at their view and then leave to find others.
nether group was already occupying Waterfall Valley Hut. A suitable campsite was chosen about 50 yards from the hut. Tents were erected on the long grass and a fire lit on the old fire under the low trees. The creek flowed past within 10 ft of our fire. Firewood has become quite scarce and rather long trips were necessary to collect even moderate amounts.
Having left Waterfall Valley Hut to walk to Lake Windermere we climbed up a ridge for about a mile, finally gaining the exposed open country which continued to within a mile or so of Windermere. A side track to Lake Will branches off in this area. Small tarns dot the area, while to the west and southwest can be seen several larger sheets of water.
Windermere Hut was found to be delapidated and dirty with no handy water. A campsite on the shores of Lake Windermere ½ a mile distant was preferred. Barry collected firewood by throwing a stick tied to about 30 ft. of tough terylene cord over dead branches, catching hold of both ends and pulling. This method proved most useful in areas that had been overcamped.
After leaving Windermere, the track passes through forest, then out on to more open country, passes close to Mt. Pelion West and then drops steeply down through low trees and mossy myrtle forest to burst on to the green grass of Frog Flat. An ideal spot for lunch before the inevitable uphill climb to Pelion Huts.
New Pelion Hut stands among large gum trees with a view across a dry grass plain to Mt. Oakleigh, and a swimming pool 400 yds away. This superbly situated hut is a victim of pollution. What thoughts spring to your mind? Mining operations, tree cutting, road building or drowning - wrong every time. This time it's caused directly by the people using the park. Throughout the whole park we found evidence that points to the increasing use of the park by people who do not hold any respect for its appearance or hygiene. Dirty campsites were commonplace and in one hut a fire was found burning hours after the previous occupants had left. This was a wooden hut where dry grass and leaves are used as bedding with a liberal amount spilt on the floor. All of these other instances pale when compared to the environs of Pelion Hut where human decadence has ebbed to an all time low. Literally hundreds of human droppings made pretty with different coloured flags littered the ground between 20 and 100 yds radially from the hut. Tins of all descriptions could be found within direct line of sight of the front door. Bottles, paper and plastic containers were prolific. Rotting food scraps, at least in one heap, were less than 10 ft. from the door. As everybody else says “Something should be done”.
During the next two days it rained. Finch's 500 casino got under way. People who knew how to play were soon coerced into a game. Brian Holden, a card sharp to be, was quickly taught the rudiments.
We had pitched our tents about 50 yds. from the hut in a relatively clean area.
On the morning of the second day at Pelion Huts, Barry awoke and was disgusted to find that the leader was still in his sleeping bag. Setting up his firewood-gatherer stick tied to his piece of card he began to dismantle my tent. He achieved this by throwing the stick over the tent guys, then pulling the pegs out. At first I ignored his childish antics, but then he made a major advance and one corner of the tent came crashing down upon Heather and myself. Roy, who was acting as Barry's gunnery officer, laughed uproariously. It was clearly time for action. So while Heather kept up a constant stream of propaganda I lifted up the far edges of my tent and slid out on my stomach. Gaining the creek I kept low and ran around in a large arc and camp up behind Barry and Roy in their tent. They were both giggling like little schoolgirls as I issued the coup de grace by taking out both main tent poles.
The next day we moved on through the Park, climbing Mt. Ossa, Pelion East and visiting Pine Valley. Later we went by bus and car to Mt. Anne, Lake Pedder and then the mighty South West Coast. If the editor will let me I will tell you about all of this next month.
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Federation Notes, July 1972.
by Ray Hookway.
At the Annual General Meeting of the Federation held at Assembly Hall on July 18th the following office bearers were elected for the year 1972/1973:
|Vice Presidents||Nin Melville, W. Daniels|
|Assistant Secretary||Miss Carolyn Crawford|
|Minutes Secretary||Miss A. Edgecombe|
|S. & R. Director||Robert Pallin|
|S. & R. Secretary||Mrs. Heather White|
|S. & R. Field Officer||W. Smith|
|Rock Rescue Officer||Bruce Postill|
|Conservation Bureau Director||Position still vacant|
|Tracks & Access Officers||B. Sneddon and K. Maxwell|
|Information Officer||W. Hilder|
|Publications Officer||T. Herborne|
|Public Relations Officer||J. Seabrook|
|Auditor||Position still vacant|
Conservation and Wildlife Exhibition.
Federation Delegate Jim Seabrook (SUBW) has volunteered to arrange a Federation display for the Conservation and Wildlife Exhibition being arranged by the Sydney Technical College Conservation and Wildlife Group during the Earth Week from 18th to 23rd September. Volunteers to man the stand will be required for the show which is to be held in the old Marcus Clark Building in Railway Square.
The 1972 Ball is to be held at the Roundhouse on September 15th. Tickets for the raffle held in conjunction with the ball are now on sale and club members are asked to give the raffle maximum support as it is the main source of S. and R. funds and the S. and R. kitty is pretty bare.
S. and R. Practice.
45 members attended the recent practice weekend held at Evans Head and at the Three Sisters. Sydney and Katoomba police participated and gave full marks to the Federation S. and R. group for the efficiency of their organisation.
Two more high-frequency pack set radios of the type now used are to be purchased by the S. and R. section. This purchase should give more flexibility to future searches.
Affiliation Fees raised.
Federation has altered affiliation fees for 1972/1973. The new fees will be 15 cents per member with a $4.00 minimum and a $40.00 maximum for all clubs in the Sydney-Wollongong-Newcastle area and the City of Blue Mountains. Clubs outside this area will pay a flat levy of $2,00.
Grazing in the Kosciusko Park.
Following receipt of voluminous correspondence from a Mr. O. Moriarty, a member of an organisation seeking reintroduction of summer grazing in the Kosciusko Park and on the Dargo High plains, Federation has written to the Minister for Lands and to the Director of the National Parks and Wildlife Service expressing approval of their policy in these areas and opposing reintroduction of any summer grazing.
Exposure article at Paddy's.
Reprints of the article “Death from Exposure” are again available from Paddy Pallin.
August 26th/27th - Replacement of chains on Carlons Head.
September 14th - 7 p.m. Science House, S. & R. lecture, supper served.
September 15th - Federation Ball at the Roundhouse.
September 18th to 23rd - Conservation and Wildlife show, Marcus Clarks building.
September 19th - 60.0 p.m. Federation meeting, Assembly Hall.
October 13th/15th - S. & R. practice.
October 17th - 6.30 p.m. Federation meeting, Assembly Hall.
April 6th/8th 1973 - Federation Reunion.