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 February General Meeting||Jim Brown||2|
|Kanangra Adventure||Dot Butler||4|
|Ayres Rock and Spoilation of Nature||Marie B. Byles||8|
|The Blue Breaks - Tempo Larghetto||Jim Brown||9|
|N.S.W. Federation of Bushwalking Clubs - Annual Reunion||13|
|S.B.W. Office Bearers - 1974||15|
|Walks Secretary's Notes for April||Wilf Hilder||15|
|Social Secretary's Notes for April||Elaine Brown||17|
|Europe in Midwinter||Frances Colley||18|
by Jim Brown.
Although it's the first business meeting of the Club's Official year, February's is traditionally rather a docile meeting, with things being stored up for the Annual General in March. However, about 45 folk put in an appearance for the February gathering, and four new members were welcomed, while two others were not present. Those greeted were Alan Martin, John Browne and Joe Darby, and (a little later during the proceedings) Tom Wilhelm who accepted Linda's badge and documentation. Frank Roberts was the other absentee.
Minutes were accepted without comment, and in correspondence we heard Alex Colley's letter on our behalf to the National Parks & Wildlife Service, commenting on the closure of most of Burning Palms to camping and indicating the desirability of re-opening it as early as could sensibly be done. This letter had been acknowledged, and also from the N.P. & W.L. Service was advice that our Kangaroo Valley land had been proclaimed a Wild Life Sanctuary. Membership movements included resignations from Audrey and Bob Godfrey (now settled in Queensland) and re-instatement of Meryl Smith (back from abroad).
The Treasury indicated that the closing balance in current funds at the end of January was $761, and Auditor Gordon Redmond cautioned that, because of several adjustments, the annual financial statement would differ slightly from that figure.
A Federation delegate opined that there had not been anything significant to report from the January meting, so we moved on to walking activity, beginning with Alastair Battye's Budawangs journey of January 11-13: according to a report given by Burke, flooded streams made quite a few changes of route imperative and the party spent their weekend in the vicinity of Quilty's Mountain and Foster Mountain. Since Glenbrook Creek was reputed to be 15 ft. over the causeway, Bob Younger's jaunt to Erskine Creek was cancelled, but 10 citizens were abroad on Kath Brown's day walk at Burning Palms in fair weather and a reasonable abundance of leeches.
Things were a deal more favourable for Barry Wallace and team of 18 on the Wollondilly-Tomat Falls country, which included some gourmandising at Tony Carlon's property. The other two overnight trips were cancelled - one in expectation of high river conditions - but the day walk from Patonga went forward with a party of 12, plus a stowaway dog, under Carl Bock's guidance. He described the trip up the valley from Patonga as “damp and mosquito-y”.
The long January weekend, saw Wilf Hilder's crew of 7 in the Snowy Mountains, including Kelly's Hut, Mt. Jagungal and the Grey Mare/Valentine Falls area in the itinerary. They succeeded in dispossessing another crowd at Valentine Hut, but on the last day Wilf “got out the whip”, and they covered about 26 miles. Weather threats wrecked Ray Hookway's planned Wolgan/Capertee Rivers exploit, but a Sunday trip conducted by Joe Marton, and including 17 people, went from Bundeena to Otford in fine conditions, with two of the party withdrawing after lunch and the remaining 15 reaching Otford about 7.0 p.m.
On the first weekend of February, David Rostron took a crew of eight towards Davies Canyon, but the volume of water in the falls made the going so tricky that two of the party withdrew quite early on Saturday, and the rest abandoned plans to go all the way down. On the way out they saw evidences of the people missing for several days on the tops - Dot Butler's account of the exploit is published in this issue. There was a leisured base camp at Macarthur's Flat on the Nattai under the tutelage of Jim Vatiliotis which brought out 24 people, while Elaine Brown's day trip from Cowan attracted 17 on what was dismissed by the leader as “quite a normal walk”.
To complete the recital, we couldn't find out what had occurred to Roy Higginbotham's Christy's Creek jaunt set down for 8-10th Feb, but Bob Younger's party numbered eight for a prowl down the Wolgan from Newnes to Rocky Creek, interspersed with blackberrying. Owing to illness, John Campbell was unable to lead the Claustral Canyon event, but 14 showed up for John Holly's walk to Georges River, where it was found a ranger now patrols the Bushwalkers Basin area on at least some Sundays.
In General Business, Dot Butler was able to bring us up to date on negotiations with the Water Board over the flooding of part of Coolana. Legal documents were being prepared in which we sell to the Board about 16 acres (being inundated) for $3500, and “purchase” a lease over the 27 acres of portion 107 for $2800, giving a monetary gain of $700 and an increased holding of about 11 acres. On a motion by Gordon Redmond we agreed to authorise the trustees to sign the necessary papers when prepared.
Alex Colley referred to a recent statement by the Federal Minister for Conservation & Environment, Dr. Moss Cass, that administration of parklands and reserves need to recognise that usage by the public has to be accepted even though some environmental damage may result. Alex moved we write to the Minister agreeing with his view and pointing out that certain types of usage, i.e. by walkers, caused little or no harm.
Next we heard that the A.B.C. wanted to obtain some TV film footage showing young walkers at their sport. Some discussion ensued, in which some believed we should have nothing to do with the request, because it seemed to be slanted along somewhat unrealistic lines; while others put it that we should offer co-operation, but with some insistance that walkers were not mis-represented. Finally it was left to the President to negotiate with the news media.
In fact the meeting ended by loading an added burden to the President when he indicated that, in the absence of any other taker, he would act as convener of the Re-union sub-committee provided help with the supper arrangements was forthcoming.
After announcements that certain Club officers would not seek re-election in March and that any proposed Constitutional Amendments must be received before the March meeting of the Committee, we called it a night at 9.30 p.m.
by Dot Butler.
NEWS FLASH…. the rain continues….. enormous flood damage in Queensland….. roads cut in the great Outwest….. Mt. Isa isolated in a sea of wet spinifex, unable to get its copper out or fuel supplies stock being drowned in thousands…. FLASH…. FLASH…. Typhoon Ida? or, Clara? or Whatnot swooping towards our drenched coastline….. FLASH…. FLASH…. Giant tides (the perigee-syzygy demons) sweeping around the world and due to strike the coast of Australia this first week in February. In a word, physical upheaval on a colossal scale. Most sane people prefer to stay all snug and safe at home. But what do Bushwalkers, being a perverse breed - what do Bushwalkers do? Nothing is good enough but an abseiling trip down Davies Canyon, the roughest canyon in the Roughest Country in the State!
Our intrepid leader is Dave Rostron. He has, for once, left his recent bride at home. Judith is keen on bushwalking, but she is not an idiot.
What should you know that you don't know? tell you:
Our party of 8 in two cars reached the campsite near Whelan's clearing about the same time and we retired to roost somewhere around midnight.
We made a reasonably early getaway next morning, along the road towards Kanangra Tops then a turnoff on the left along the fire trail to Queen Pin. After several detours left or right to avoid pools of water, muddy patches or great fallen trees across the track we eventually came to a stop at a point beyond which it would be inadvisable for even a Bushwalker to take his car. Then we strode off along a track which headed in our direction and at length abandoned it and struck out through the wet scrub, down a steep hillside till we burst through a thicket of dense vegetation and found ourselves gazing on Sally Camp Creek. I had last seen it in drought time when there was no difficulty in following down the bed of the creek; the contrast now was somewhat chilling - all those extra feet of water rushing along - just imagine what the abseil over the waterfall is going to be like!
We made heavy going downstream, pushing through wet bushes, making thigh-deep crossings when the other side looked possibly less torturing than the side we were on, blondining over fallen treetrunks above the swirling water, occasional stops for everyone to catch up; Laurie is trailing along somewhere back there, physically present but mentally absent; Bob looks fetching in his cutdown overalls; Peter is beginning to look blue about the gills; Willie Burke is cursing his slippery soles and our leader is wondering whether he is really going to manage to “do” Davies Canyon this time. Here comes Laurie, and we continue on.
We had been walking for two hours, various members going for involuntary slides on the slippery rocks and a general feeling of insecurity pervading all. Whilst negotiating a deep crossing amongst black rocks, suddenly eleven stone of Irish muscle floundered and fell on top of me.
I performed a jack-knife-forward-bend at the knee, to the detriment of that joint which pretty soon started to stiffen up. Even bashing along at high speed to keep it warmed up was no good, so I bade the party Godspeed and told them I was going out to the high country and they could have the canyon on their own. Bill decided to accompany me so we headed back upstream, recognising all the familiar landmarks we had passed on the way down, and just when we couldn't see any more familiar terrain there was a trail of trampled daisies leading up the hillside and we followed it up like a couple of bloodhounds on the scent, to emerge on the road at precisely the spot where we had left it four hours earlier.
Back at the cars we dug out David's key and drove his car out and down the Whalania firetrail, the plan being to go to the top of Whalania Falls where we would expect the others to emerge after they had completed the trip dawn Davies and up Whalania Canyon. Whilst engaged on these perigrinations what should we pass but a motor-car and auto tent looking all forlorn and deserted in the wet scrub. The tent was empty, but when I peered through the car window I saw sleeping bags which looked somehow sad and deserted as though they hadn't been used. Other gear indicated that the owners were not bushwalkers. We presumed they were fishermen. However, there was no one about to talk to so we continued on our way.
Bill and I followed a track around the high swamps, then down a feeder creek which plunged at length over a precipice and disappeared noisily into an eerie mist-filled gorge. It was quite a waterfall due to all the recent rain but it was not Whalania Falls, so rather than push through the wet scrub for another mile we headed out to the track and decided to take the car back again to its original parking spot; after all, the others might conceivable came out another way and not up the slimy rocks of the waterfall.
Just as well we did. We had abandoned the car just short of a swampy patch, to get around which would have meant a precarious detour through a close thicket of saplings, and were walking towards the other car when the rest of the party hove into view almost simultaneously. Without letting them get their packs off we had them tell us their story: They had made a very hairy descent down the first abseil and along a narrow ledge where the wind blast from the rush of water was almost enough to blow them off, then seeing that a quarter of the party had already white-anted the trip, they also called it a day and climbed out via a side ridge and so made their way back to the cars. But one odd thing they had seen on the way: compass-reading and studying the map continuously as they felt their way through the all-engulfing white-out they had stumbled upon what looked like a fairly recent campfire - its embers were still glowing. But what was noteworthy about it was its unusual size - quite long, and a great heap of ashes as though they had really piled the logs on all night. Another thing that stuck out as unusual was a flattened out beer-can with three names scratched laborously on it and the message that they had slept here the previous night. But no sign of the people themselves. “Just as well,” said Barry, “or I would have given them a lecture about not putting out their campfire and leaving a mess of beer cans about”. Anyhow our party then pressed on through the mist and, as I have said, met us back at the cars.
A council of war was held. Obviously something was wrong. Barry offered to go back to the camp that Bill and I had seen for some further sleuthing. We all met out on the road soon after and Barry was able to report that their car had been left unlocked, with car keys and money lying around, and that the name of the owner co-incided with one of the names on the flattened out beer can and he was a member of Richmond Air Force. Well, pilots are taught how to navigate in the air, but are they equally efficient when grounded amongst thick scrub in a whiteout? We decided to play safe and report the matter to the nearest Police on our way out. The Mt. Victoria cop was not on the job, so Barry, whose social conscience is very well developed, offered to go round via Katoomba and report the matter there, giving exact grid references as to the car and the abandoned campfire. The rest of us headed for home via Bell's Road and that was that.
The next day we saw nothing in the papers about the lost ones, nor the day after. It was not till Wednesday that the headlines broke: “THREE SURVIVE ON RAW FISH!” “Two men and a boy plucked to safety by a RAAF helicopter. They had gone up on the Friday night for a 2-day trout fishing trip but got lost, fell into a creek and got their clothes and matches wet. They ran out of food but caught 16 trout which they had to eat raw. On Tuesday they managed to dry their matches and were able to light a fire but they were tired and hungry and “scared stiff”. On Wednesday they heard a helicopter and managed to attract its attention by lighting a fire with their second-last match and piling green vegetation on it. The 'copter could not land because of the trees so used its air-sea rescue winch to pull the two men and the boy aboard.”
One puzzling item of the newspaper report is that when they realised they were lost the men decided to move downstream; this despite the fact that they knew they had parked their car and set up their tent on the plateau top. Could it be that they were following some “What to do when Lost” booklet? After all, if you go downstream you'll eventually land out on the seacoast - after three weeks or a month if you're lucky, and after beating your way through what is, actually, some of the Roughest Country in the State.
The little boy, Darren (aged 7), they say was terrific. At night he slept between his father and Michael and did the same as they did. He admitted that he didn't like the cold fish much and he spent a lot of time thinking of Mum and his little sister aged 4. I think it would be quite an idea to write to Bill Elliot (31) and Mike Bray (23) and invite them to join the Bushwalkers. After such a nerve-shattering experience they would need no further incentive to become expert bushmen.
Lightweight bushwalking and camp gear.
Lightweight tents for all conditions
All “Paddymade' tents are made with utmost care to stand up to rigorous conditions. They are supplied with nylon cords and have overlapped doors at both ends.
The Nadgee tent, of standard green Jarpara, is similar to the famous 'Era' model, but 7'6” in length (6 inches longer than the standard 3 man tent) and with zip doors. The De-Luxe Nadgee tent offers the bonus of Stormtite Japara and sewn in nylon floor; closed on one end with vent and hood cover, sewn-in mosquito net with zip opening, and zipped door closure. 7'6“ x 5' x 4'5”.
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.
Extra large bag with four external pockets and will carry about 40lbs of camp gear. Weight 2¼lbs.
Hooded bag. Extra well filled. Very compact. Approx 3¾lbs.
Super warm box quilted. Added leg room. Approx 4½lbs.
Half the weight and packed size of regular bags. 9“ x 5½” dia. 2lbs.
Everything for the bushwalker, from blankets and air mattresses, stretchers, boots, compasses, maps, books, stoves and lamps to cooking ware and freeze dried and dehydrated foods.
69 Liverpool St., Sydney. 26-2686, 61-7215.
Frank Taeker's phone number as been shown incorrectly for both of the two walks he is leading. The correct number is 690-444, Ext.551 (bus.)
by Marie B. Byles
Marion Lloyd is a most right-thinking person, that is, she thinks as I do, and I am earnestly looking forward to the next instalment of her article.
But what I want to know is whether we are better, except in a very small degree, than those tourists who carve their names on Ayres Rock or leave heaps of litter on all the trails up the Japan Alps.
Everything that bushwalkers take with them is processed from the destruction of the produce of the earth - animal, vegetable or mineral. Primitive man struck a balance with nature. He fished, hunted or gathered roots necessary for his sustenance, and he did not breed more than the fish, animals or wild plants. The aborigines of Australia were able to sustain life in an arid continent without destroying it or making it more arid. We are not. I do not suggest that primitive man had any more concern for the well-being of nature than we have but his lack of knowledge, experience and technology did not hurt nature. He was therefore incapable of injuring it. But we are. (The only objection to the set-up of primitive man was that Germain Greer might have had a more uphill task than she has today!)
In the days before tourism I used to camp alone at Kosciusko. I certainly did nature no harm, and no one could have told where I had camped. But what about my rucksack, my matches, aluminium containers, food and clothing, my tent and groundsheet? Everything was got by decreasing just a tiny bit the resources of earth. Furthermore my mere advent into the world had increased the world's population. When my family came to Australia in 1911, the children numbered three. Recently when one of those three sat down to Christmas dinner the number was twenty-two. I am told that our Sheila Binns is another who is a descendant of Nathanial Byles and thus has helped to swell the size of his genealogical tree! In China we read that they have the slogan, “Two children are all right, but one is better”. Gandhi said at least of India, “No children are best!” Moreover we cannot hope to keep Australia as a pleasure garden for the rest of the world that has none by that time, even if we took up China's slogans.
And what about all those lovely virgin peaks in New Zealand which I joyfully put in my rucksack? In addition to all the processed food and garments one expedition took an axe to cut wood for burning, and of course access routes were always made for others. We did not leave nature any better for despoiling virgin peaks, but worse.
Finally, all these things happened in the days before technology gave motor cars for all, with the result that you now go as far as the road and then walk, and then get the road lengthened so that you can walk further, and go on getting it lengthened until there is no place to walk further.
Well, Marion, what is your remedy, perhaps Sheila might help you formulate a reply? But frankly, I cannot see that bushwalkers and mountaineers are very much better than tourists who go to Ayres Rock.
by Jim Brown.
Of course, walking in the Blue Breaks country in January isn't logical. But, you see, the trips I really had in mind - Shoalhaven Gorge - an unknown stage on the Colo - just weren't a proposition because of all the wet. The Blue Breaks seemed to offer a compromise between ridge walking (too hot and dry) and rivers (too flooded). Provided one didn't hurry. Yes, that was the key: the trip would be done in slow tempo. How do I know it was larghetto? Well, the only music I could find that was slow enough to fit my pace was the larghetto movement from the Piano Concerto in B Flat Major, K 595, where the solitary piano notes fall as though the pianist is working it out as he goes along. So I traversed a large lump of the Southern Blue Mountains hissing Mozart's last piano concerto through my teeth.
Departure was from Kanangra Walls in the dawning light of Wednesday, January 30th. Then back about a mile along the road and south across the dew soaked Marrilman Heath, while “the bloody sun uprose”. I lost a little time finding the pass down of Mount Pindari as I'd never previously gone over the Colboyd Range, but was re-assured that the damp, ferny rift in the rocks was the way when I spotted the cairn near the top. From there oh it was the traditional piece of cake out along the saddles and sidlings which take one around the western faces of Mounts Bungin and Colboyd, thence steadily down along the ridge to Mt. Ardbanoo. All this was done at a sauntering pace, with pauses to peer down into the chasm of Christy's Creek or to eye off the ranges to the north by which I hoped to return several days later.
Just beyond Arabanoo I made my only considerable navigational boo-boo of the whole trip. Following an animal pad I slewed a bit far north at one of the several cliffy sections of the ridge. Too late, after losing so much height I was unwilling to scramble back up to the main ridge, I noted a rocky cone ahead of me beyond the ravine into which I was scrambling. Plainly it was Cambage Spire, and I was going to fetch up a mile or two up East Christy's Creek. Ah well, onward and downward, there's water at the bottom. The deviation proved pleasant enough once the steep foot of the ridge had been negotiated, and East Christy's was a pretty stream to amble along for about an hour and a half to lunch on the Kowmung.
A good restful time there, trying to make up my mind whether to assault the Bulga Range just opposite - it looked rather severe for climbing on a warm afternoon - or whether to seek a less steep ridge upstream. The Kowmung was flowing strongly but not difficult to cross and finally I opted for Bulga. Only 1400 ft. to climb, but I spent two hours over it with the afternoon sun very hot on my back, then another hour along the fairly level ridge top to emerge on the Water Board's highway along Scotts Main just after 5.0 p.m. This being the first day out the pack was dragging a bit, so I paused at the Butcher's Creek crossing for a meal from 5.50 to 7.20, then plodded through the quiet evening through Byrnes Gap and dawn to the Tonalli River below Yerranderie in the last glimmers of light.
During the night it occurred to me that the following day would be the Thursday after the Australia Day holiday - and it was on the same day 33 years previously I had first passed through Yerranderie on the sixth day of an eight-days solo jaunt from Wentworth Falls to Bowral. Of course, Yerranderie was still a going concern in 1941, and I had visited the store to buy a packet of Sao biscuits, a tin of beef, ½lb of cheese and two bottles of lemonade - which I remember I drank between West and East Yerranderie so they wouldn't get hot (or because I was).
Thursday's stage this time was to be another sort of sentimental journey, repeating a section of Lacy's Creek I had once before visited, leading a rather ill-starred trip in August 1950, when we found our progress reduced to a crawl by tangles of lawyer vine. However, another S.B.W. party covered the upper section of Lacy's Creek at Easter 1970, and as their accounts of the trip didn't indicate delay due to thorny vegetation, I was eager to have another look.
The morning promised another brilliant summer day as I passed at 7.0 a.m. through West Yerranderie, scaring away the wallabies grazing opposite the “Post Office”, and turning away north at the trail near the site of the Silver Mines Hotel. A little time was lost in picking a ridge down to the Tonalli River that wouldn't involve too much pushing through thick scrub, and it was 9.30 when I recrossed the river and started up the ridge which leads to the prominent rocky headland which identifies Lacy's Gap. Seventeen hundred feet steady climb to the pass, tempo larghetto - two hours to reach the cliff and skirt around to the pass which is a few hundred yards around to the west.
From the gap it was a little over an hour along the ridge bearing E.N.E. to the top of Amphitheatre Pass (reference Burragorang 293912) and about ¾ hour down the rift into Lacy's Creek, for a midday rest-up at 1.30 p.m. Over lunch I came to the conclusion that the densely-grown banks were “out”, but the vegetation was much lighter higher up the slope, and when I resumed at 3.0 p.m. I remained anything from 50 to 150 feet above the stream on the south side. Progress here was fair if not fast, but after about an hour a steep crumbling slope drove me back to the creekside, and I now came to a new conclusion.
The upper part of Lacy's Creek descends quite gradually, and even after the liberal January rains, the stream was only a few inches in depth, running crisply over a sand and pebble floor between a forest containing many tree ferns and pale slender smooth-boled trees shining in the afternoon sunlight. I took to the stream bed and for another two hours splashed along, startling the red-and-blue yabbies. This is undoubtedly the way to do Lacy's Creek, and if my progress was little more than a mile an hour, it was relatively effortless, and at 6.30 p.m. I came to the big north bend at The Prow and shortly afterwards scrambled down beside the waterfalls where Lacy's drops several hundred feet very rapidly.
I am convinced that I cut back to the creek too soon after skirting the cascades on the west bank, as the going down in the floor of the valley remained slow and difficult until I finally halted for the night at 7.45 at the first possible campsite, still several hundred yards short of the junction of the North arm of Lacy's Creek.
The account in the magazine of the Easter '70 trip told me that the party took between 3 and 3½ hours to cover the 2½ miles along North Lacy's Creek to the exit ridge at 314948, so I guessed it would take me most of the following morning. It did. Turning into North Lacy's at 7.30 a.m. it was 11.45 before I identified the creek junction and the foot of the spur. North Lacy's has no especial difficulties. The banks are less densely clothed with scrub than those of the main stream, but the creek descends more rapidly and the rock-hopping is simply slow work. My rate of advance proved to be little better than 1000 yards per hour - barely tempo larghetto.
The climb out, commenced at 1.0 p.m., proved mercifully short, as the rain forest on the ridge was mighty tangled. At the top of the slope the cliffy area was easily outflanked on the northern face and access to the plateau gained at about contour 2000'. The ridge continued to rise, bringing me to a fine vantage point on a ring contour 2450 ft. just after 2.0 p.m. This place commands a far-ranging view, especially north and west, and looks directly down some 1500 ft. into Green Wattle Creek. The way was now almost east along the rim overlooking Green Wattle and another hour brought me to one of the most remarkable formations in the Blue Breaks.
Maps show an almost unbroken cliff line along the eastern side of the gorge of Green Wattle Creek, but at reference 321959, just to the west of the name “The Clear Hills”, there is a bay or indentation where all the contour lines can be counted. This marks a volcanic intrusion, an inclined chute several hundred yards across and grown with luxuriant grasses, which breaks right through the cliff line. It is a gloriously easy pass, except that its western slopes (the side on which I entered) are heavily grown with nettles. Below the volcanic stuff are steep, typically barren sandstone slopes down to Green Wattle Creek, where I arrived at 4.45 to spend a half hour or so sitting in the only really warm stream I had encountered. Then upstream, mostly paddling in the creek or walking along its abandoned courses, to a pleasant campsite below Green Wattle Break, arriving about 6.45 p.m.
This was almost the end of that part of the walk which demanded any navigational care. Departing before 7.0 on the Saturday morning, the climb up into the Break took just under an hour: the descent into Butchers Creek roughly another hour, and after a brief spell I was crawling at my familiar funereal march pace up the Big Stringybark Range, which deposited me on the Water Board Road along Scotts Main Range at 10.45 a.m. It took only another hour to pass the site of Bran Jan House and drop down the road to the Kowmung, where the weirs and gauging stations of the Water Board were all new intrusions since I'd been thereabouts perhaps ten years previously.
I had intended a good rest by the river before making the assault on the long but gradually graded Gingra Ridge trail. Instead, driven frantic by hordes of sticky flies, I confined my stop to an hour and was away about 1.0 p.m. on a sultry but overcast afternoon. To complete the account of times taken - possibly setting a new record for a long-drawn-out ascent of Gingra - I passed Fourth Top at 3.30, Hughes Top at 4.50, First Top at 5.45, and paused for half an hour at the first water in the coal seam cave at South Kanangra at 6.50 to 7.20. By this time a strong south-west wind was piping and the atmosphere was almost fresh. In fact I half hoped I would make my final approach to the cars at Kanangra at a somewhat more impressive pace than I had achieved most of the way. Ah, well - going over the tops I believe I did get up to an adagio tempo, but in the final pull up to the car park it was a case of one… foot… after… the… other… in dead slow time. Anyway, no one was there to see, in the failing light of 8.25 p.m.
If you are…
Buying or hiring. Hiring or buying.
Walking… Camping… Climbing… Canoeing… Walking… Camping… Climbing… Canoeing…
Think of Mountain Equipment.
17 Alexander Street, Crow's Nest. 2065. (On the corner of Falcon Street) Telephone 439-3454.
Fairydown sleeping bags, high load packs (weight 3-lb. 10-oz.) and all other things you could possibly need.
Map: Morrisset 1“ mile. Map references, entry gate 317022, campsite 309040.
All retired and ex-members of Clubs are invited to attend and meet old friends.
How to Get There - From Sydney.
Drive north along the Calga Expressway, past the Oak Est. turn left at Upper Mangrove sign and proceed to the Springs Road (sign posted). Turn right and continue through to “Yarramalong”, continue up the valley to a junction, take the right hand fork (Ravensdale), follow to the gate. Turn left after the gate and across the creek and drive upstream to the campsite.
Black and yellow F.B.W. signs will mark route.
Programme will include tent erecting, billy boiling and plain and fancy damper and bush brownie cake competitions. All competition cooking to be performed on the site. A forum will be held to permit members to air their views on Federation, so bring along your ideas for discussion. A meeting of Walks Secretaries will also be held during the weekend. A campfire and sing-song will be held on Saturday evening. Clubs and groups are requested to arrange short entertainment items for the campfire.
Supper will be provided. A small donation to defray the cost of the supper will be requested on signing the Reunion Log book. See Jan Wouters.
Members are requested to refrain from the consumption of alcoholic beverages at the campfire before supper is served.
No bottles, tins, etc. to be thrown into the Campfire.
Please leave Campsite clean - Please carry out all tins and bottles or put them in the trailer provided. The site is private property loaned to the Federation by Mr. Anderson.
ORGANISING COMMITTEE: Warwick Daniels (te1.29-8331(B)), Jan Wouters, Gordon Edgecombe (tel.84-3404 (H)).
The following office-bearers and committee members were elected at the S.B.W. Annual General Meeting held on Wednesday, 13th March9 1974:-
|Vice-Presidents||Bob Younger*, Spiro Ketas*|
|Assistant Secretary||Margaret Richards*|
|Walks Secretary||Bob Hodgson*|
|Social Secretary||Owen Marks*|
|Membership Secretary||Margaret Reid*|
|Committee Members||Rosemary Edmunds*, Diana Lynn*, Frank Taeker*, Alistair Battye*|
|Federation Delegates||Spiro Ketas*, Frank Malloy*, Mike Short, Evelyn Welker|
|Substitution Federation Delegates||Owen Marks, Craig Shappert|
|Conservation Secretary||Alex Colley|
|Literary Editor||Spiro Ketas|
|Magazine Business Manager||Bill Burke|
|Duplicator Operator||Frank Tacker|
|Keeper of Maps & Timetables||John Holly|
|Equipment Hire||Frank Taeker|
|Search & Rescue Contacts||Elsie Bruggy, Heather White, Christa Younger|
|Trustees||Heather White, Bill Burke, Gordon Redmond|
|Management Committee “Coolana” - Kangaroo Valley property||Dot Butler, Owen Marks, Spiro Ketas, George Gray, Bill Gillam|
* Indicates member of the Committee.
by Wilf Hilder.
|5-6-7 April||Alan Pike gets the April walks rolling with this intrepid Cedar Creek and Mt. Solitary trip. Some scrambling on Walls Pass into Cedar Creek, with some rock-hopping down the creek to a good ridge onto Korrowall. The pass on the Buttress is very exposed - but the views are world beaters. Some mild exposure on the descent of Solitary to Ruined Castle. Good tracks back to the vehicles.|
|5-6-7 April||A Wolgan test walk with Rod Peters. Glorious scenery down in the most scenic canyon in N.S.W. (with lush campsites laid on). Could be a bit scrubby up Dean Creek but good going through Constance Gorge and down to the ruins of Mt. Wolgan Railway Station complete with rolling stock. Please book early for this trip.|
|Sunday 7th||Meryl Watman is your guide on this popular Heathcote area walk from Waterfall. Good tracks all the way except on the Morella Karong part of the trip. Very pleasant scenery and company. Special excursion rail tickets to Waterfall.|
|Easter: 11 -15 April||NOT ON PROGRAMME! An additional walk in the Snowy Mts. has been arranged by David Rostron. Munyang Power Station - Whites Hut - Schlink Pass - Gungartan Peak - Tin Hut - Brassy Range - Mt. Jagungal (sacred mountain of the Alps) - Grey Mare Hut - Valentines Falls - Schlink Hilton (pub mit no beer) - Dicky Coopers Bogong (affectionately known as D.C.B.) - Rolling Grounds - Mt. Tate - Guthega. Distance about 77 kilometres (48 m.) with a lot of hill climbing. Grading:- Hard. Tel.No.451-7943.|
|Easter: 11 -15 April||Bob Younger is leading this interesting test walk down ye Kowmung from Bats Camp at Bindook. Easy going on good tracks down Lannigans Creek to beautiful Kowmung River. Grassy banks and lush campsites to Church Creek - with a steep climb up Mt. Armour. Good tracks back to the vehicles with another climb out of Lannigans Creek to Bats Camp. Please book early for this trip.|
|Easter: 11 -15 April||Uncle Joe Marton carries the flag to the 'Bungles. From a base camp day walks will be arranged to take in all the magnificent graded tracks that go to the scenic highlights of this tremendous area. Please book early to make the transport arrangements as smooth as possible.|
|19-20-21 April||Tony Denham's test walk is going by the 6 p m. train (1800 hours EST or 700 hours Greenwich Mean Time). Good tracks all the way with a lush campsite at Bluegum. Steep climb up Govetts with spectacular views.|
|19-20-21 April||“Old Father Cox keeps rolling along, down to the mighty sea”, so they say. Hans Beck is leading a test trip to see O.F.Cox down the Six Foot Track, over Mini Mini Saddle and down Little River, with an interesting climb up Galong Creek to Carlons. First rate scenery on this historic walking tour, with some rock-hopping in the creeks.|
|Sunday 21||This sabatical stroll set down as a test walk is captained by Wilf Hilder (who I can safely say, hasn't done the trip previously). Wilf's map reading instruction may be put to good use especially if he gets lost and earns a large slice of humble pie. Very early start from Sydney and starting time at Carrington Falls will be around 8.00 hrs. Quite a bit of rock-hopping in the Kangaroo River above Yeola with some easy going downstream - steep climb with scrub up Odbonas Butter Track Pass.|
|Sunday 21||No, it's not a misprint! Uncle David is leading this Heathcote Creek walk, in person. Good tracks all the way except from Mt. Westmacott to Myuna Creek. Very pleasant scenery on this medium walk. Special excursion rail tickets to Waterfall.|
|Anzac Day Thursday 25||What a good way to put in a day - Solitary in a day with Uncle Joe Marton! Early start on this great walk please bring your tiger shoes. Tracks all the way with some scrambling onto Mt. Solitary. Excellent scenery with an unusual range of vegetation.|
|Thursday 25||Uncle Sam Hinde (no relation to that 3rd rate T.V. commercial) leads this easy walk to Marley from Bundeena. Excellent tracks and Aboriginal relics on this ever popular walk. Train to Cronulla - special excursion ticket and very pleasant ferry ride across Port Hacking to Bundeena.|
|26-27-28 April||Base camp at George and Helen Gray's land at Woodhill Gap (near Kangaroo Valley). Children and their parents are especially welcome on this base camp which includes swimming and short walks from camp. Helen Gray is your leader and organiser - please ring her now and let her know you're coming.|
|27-28 April||Saturday morning start on this day and a half ramble around Mt.Wilson with our Glad - Gladys Roberts. Beautiful autumn leaves and lavish gardens surrounded by virgin bush. Base camp on the mountain.|
|Sunday 28||Uncle Bill Hall winds up our April walks with a classic test walk from Waterfall to Loftus. Good tracks for about half the distance with new maps available of Otford and Port Hacking for you to follows the walk on. Special excursion rail tickets to Waterfall.|
|26-27-28 April||Uncle Jim Vatiliotis is your genial guide on this Budawang test walk starting from Clyde River, and taking in Talaterang and Pigeon House. Could be scrubby on Talaterang, but the scenery is magnificent. Spectacular lookout on Pigeon House. Please book early - Budawang walks are popular.|
Candid off-the-cuff comments department:- This completes my two years term as Walks Secretary. I am resigning only because I feel that no one should hold this office for more than two years. Some ten years ago I also held the office for two years. Any walks secretary who is worth his or her salt should be running out of ideas after two years. Without new ideas and new blood the programme stagnates - after 47 years, S.B.W. as a walking club cannot afford to run stagnant programmes.
I am deeply grateful to our retiring president for his help in many ways and I am even more indebted to the small handful of typists who have laboured into the wee small hours to type the programmes and walks notes. It is my fervent wish that you will support the incoming Walks Secretary even better than you have supported me.
by Elaine Brown.
April 17th - Map Reading Training night by Wilf Hilder and helped by Carl Bock. Here is a chance to have some personal tuition by these two very experienced bushwalkers. If you have any questions which I know a lot of us have when it comes to map reading, tame along with a map (1:63,360) and your Silva compass, and ask these two experienced members. A Canadian film on Orienteering in the terrain will be screened during the night.
On April 24th, Fran Christie will give her talk and slide showing on China. I think we have visited nearly every country in the world with slides from members but never China, so this should prove a very interesting evening.
Also at the Annual General Meeting the Amount of Annual Subscriptions was determined as follows:-
Full Members $7.00 p.a.
Married Couples $9.00 p.a.
Full-time Students $4.00 p.a.
Members are reminded that these fees are due and payable.
Subscriptions of Non-Active Members wiU be determined by the Committee and advised next month.
by Frances Colley.
(Frances has just returned from a nine week tour, with her friend Mary Brennan, of Europe starting with the Scandinavian countries. Here are some extracts from her letters home.)
Oslo - 1/12/73: This afternoon we went out to see Kon Tiki raft, which is on exhibition. Caught the bus from town and driver told us where to get off. Then we had about ¾mile walk through houses to the exhibition. Very beautiful - like walking through a series of giant Christmas cards. Large two-storey houses, many painted white, set amongst silver birches and blue spruces on quite large blocks of land. Some houses had moorings on edge of water. It is so very true that you do see so much more on foot - we find we are walking nearly everywhere.
It is light in this part of the world only from about 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Then completely dark. We had dinner at about 4.30 p.m. The town is dead - seems to be no night life at all and this is Saturday night. Mary and I find the darkness hard to get used to, but find that about 5 p.m. we are exhausted, at any rate.
There is obviously not such strict control over town planning in Oslo as in Stockholm - very narrow higgledy-piggledy streets. Most surfaces just cobblestones covered with tar, worn away in many places with cobblestones underneath. Town has trams and quite a few buses. Like Sydney, streets are being constantly ripped up - barricades everywhere. We didn't see any in Stockholm. We are staying behind the Royal Palace. This stands on a hill overlooking the town. To get to town we have to walk through beautiful grounds of the palace - a large park - all covered with snow. They cover all paths here with sand to prevent slipping on the ice.
Oslo - 2/12/73: Caught lovely little two-carriage train up a 2000 ft hill at back of Oslo (called Tryvann Hills). We went up with all the langlaufers - there is a lot of it done here - shops selling gear everywhere. Apparently too early in winter for any downhill skiing lift-tows to be working. They strap their skis onto special racks on outside of train. You pay conductor inside the train - red leather seats and huge glass windows.
The view from the top was spectacular - lovely pine covered snowy hills. Very much like Australian Alps in shape of terrain and number of trees. We were to have gone to top of Tryvannstarnet (a tower) to have views of 11,600 sq. miles, but this was closed as they were working on it. Obviously this is one of the main recreational areas of Oslo. Many people walking or langlaufing - area covered with marked ski trails. We went for a walk in the forest - Mary has trouble on the ice with her leather soled boots and fell over several times. We soon learnt that I had to hang on to her in dangerous sections.
Bergen 5/12/73: At tourist information we found out we could have train trip to Flam which is a town on a beautiful fjord a few hours from Oslo. With Eurail passes this won't cost us anything. The next day we will leave Bergen for Stanargen by hydrofoil - a 4 hour journey, and catch the train from there back to Oslo around the southern part of Norway.