Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker.
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers, Box 4476, G.P.O. Sydney, N.S.W. 2001. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening from 7.30 p.m. at the Wireless Institute Building, 14 Atchison Street, St, Leonards.
Enquiries concerning the Club should be referred to Mrs. Marcia Shappert - telephone 30.2028.
|Editor||Neville Page, 14 Brucedale Ave, Epping. 2121, Telephone 86.3739.|
|Business Manager||Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford. Telephone 871.1207.|
|Duplication (this issue)||George Gray.|
|The S.B.W. India Trip Episode 2||Marcia Shappert||3|
|Vale - Dunc.||L.G. (Mouldy) Harrison||9|
|February General Meeting||Jim Brown||12|
|Dot Butler's Cartoon||15|
|Letter From Frank Leyden||16|
|Federation Notes||Jim Vatiliotis||19|
|Walks Notes||Bob Hodgson||19|
|S.B.W. Office Bearers 1976||22|
In my editorial last month I wrote about the Colong Committee, advising how bushwalker-shareholders in Blue Circle Cement could help the Committee by endorsing their takeover cheques and donating them to the group. This month I thought it appropriate to comment on how the Colong Committee will be spending that money. You may or may not have heard of the campaign to “Save the Border Ranges Rainforest”. The aim of the campaign, which is being mounted by the Colong Committee in conjunction with the Border Ranges Preservation Society, is to save the last substantial sub-tropical rainforest in this State, situated in the eastern Macpherson and Tweed Ranges, right on the New South Wales-Queensland border. The objective is to establish the “Border Ranges National Park” which, as envisaged by the Committee, would extend from Mount Lindesay to the Tweed Range, where it would adjoin the Lamington Park. At present the area is under control of the Forestry Commission, in the form of Roseberry and Wiangarie State Forests. The Club's Conservation Secretary, Mr, Alex Colley, who is a member of the Colong Committee, has written a comprehensive article on this subject for publication in the National Parks Journal (Oct/Nov 1975). The article has been reprinted and copies are available from Alex, or from the Colong Committee (whose address is 18 Argyle Street, Sydney). The basic aims of the campaign are summarized thus:
The Colong Committee calls upon the State Government to:
- Stop logging in Roseberry & Wiangarie Forests
- Revoke the State Forests and dedicate the whole of their area as a national park.
- Institute an open inquiry to:
- Recommend further extensions of the park
- Advise on wilderness preservation
- Devise assistance to logging interests affected
- Promote regional employment based on park usage.
It is always difficult to assess the merits of such a cause without first-hand knowledge of the area in question. For this reason the N.S.W. Federation of Bushwalking Clubs is chartering a bus to take interested bushwalkers to the Border Ranges area at Easter. If you're interested (and you should be) contact Joy Scott on telephone number 520-0750. See also the special notice in this magazine on page 11.
Don't be an armchair conservationist, when you can be an active and concerned conservationist.
One Month Without Husband And Children or The S.B.W. India Trip.
(Episode No. 2)
by Marcia Shappert.
Next stop, Khajuraho, with the temples famous for the erotic carvings. Actually, the erotic carvings make up only 10% of the carved temples, but of course that's the thing everyone looks for.
Khajuraho is nothing except the temples, miles from anywhere. Built mainly between 950 - 1100 A.D., there are 22 of the original 85 temples remaining. The temples are built in a series of 'hills', building up to a towering peak, symbolizing the Himalayas where the gods were supposed to reside. Some of the temples are over 125' tall, with every inch carved. The artists took the entire range of human activity as their subject, but dwelled most lovingly on females at their daily chores - washing their hair, writing letters, looking in mirrors, applying henna to their hair, playing with balls, singing, strumming instruments. There are delicate scenes of couples kissing and mothers with babies.
As we arrived in the late afternoon, we could only spend a short time exploring them before it got dark. They all looked lovely in the setting sun.
We could only get one room for the seven of us, but no matter there were four beds, so we pulled the mattresses off and three people got the floor. I'd. been having a hard time sleeping, but that night was terrible! There was always someone snoring (mainly Wayne) or coughing (mainly Len). The next morning I was shot!
We rented bikes to ride to the Eastern temples. On the way we saw a very old well with an ox plodding around the circumference.
We all loved the quietness of Khajuraho. Life goes on as it must have hundreds of years ago, with just the occasional improvement for the tourist. We also had an elephant ride here. What fun! While the elephant was sitting down we climbed on one leg, then used the looped tail for another step, then up on top. We had a ride back to the tourist bungalow even though we didn't want to go there. I had to send P.J. a postcard telling him about that. Not many of his friends' mums can boast to that! I was also wondering how Craig was managing. I hoped the children were being their usual busy selves. After all, this would have been the longest Craig had ever cared for them.
Also, whatever happened to Steve Harvey? We had planned to meet at the Varanasi Airport. When we couldn't find him, we assumed we would see him at Khajuraho. Now we were on our way to Agra, still wondering where he was.
Upon arrival in Agra, we found there were very few hotel rooms available, as there was a Jaycee Convention in progress. However, a Sikh cab-driver approached us and said a relative of his owned a hotel and he was sure there would be room for us. So the seven of us piled into his taxi. Neil, Denise and I were in the front with the driver. Every time he had to shift gears (which seemed all the time to me) his hand would just happen to brush against my leg. At first I didn't think anything of it. In a few moments, however, I realized what he was up to. I kept moving over towards Denise and Neil. Neil kept saying, “Marcia, move over and give me more room”. The ride finally ended in front of a funny little place in a terrible section of Agra, but true to the driver's word, it was close to the Taj Mahal. For some reason, the driver wanted Wayne's name. Thinking quickly, he pointed to the S.B.W. badge on his pack, and said his name was Sydney B. Walker. Later, we agreed if any of the girls needed a name for some reason it would be Sandra B. Walker.
There was a room for us of sorts. We went up winding stairs for about three flights, walked over the flat roof, climbed over a low wall and there was our room; a cement block box perched on the top of the roof. The windows were patterned cement blocks without glass. The room contained seven Indian beds and a small end table. We did have a lovely view of the Taj from the roof. On the main floor there were two Eastern toilets which didn't flush and a shower with very little water, but it only cost 3 Rs (30c) per night, so we decided the price was right.
We immediately walked over to see the Taj Mahal. We passed through narrow streets, dirty, with people everywhere, also dirty. Passing through the red sandstone wall which surrounds the Taj, we came upon lovely gardens and shops selling souvenirs. Then passing through another wall with lovely gates, we got our first full view of the Taj Mahal.
It was built between 1631 and 1653 as a monument to love to Mumtaz Mahal, who was the second wife to Shah Jahan. When he learned of her death, he vowed to build her the most extravagant monument the world had ever seen. He certainly succeeded. 'It took 20,000 labourers, masons, stone cutters and jewelers to complete the task. Marble was brought from one part of India, sandstone from another, semi-precious stones from all over Asia, Russia, Egypt, Baghdad and other places. The final product is a masterpiece of symmetry.'#
We walked around the Taj in awe. It really is a fantastic building. The inlay work of so many different colours is beautiful.
After an absolutely terrible meal at our hotel (we found out later they cook all meals on the roof over charcoal - no wonder it took so long) we walked back to the Taj to see it by the light of a full moon. If it was beautiful by day, it was more so in the moonlight - so serene and majestic. We just sat and looked and looked. For me, it was one of the highpoints of the trip. It certainly is one memory of India I'll always have.
The next day we rented bikes to see some of the other sights of Agra, which included snake charmers. We also cycled to the Red Fort, built in 1565. It was wonderful to roam around imagining the splendour it once was.
Somewhere along the line we got separated from Wayne and Heather, so after returning our bikes the rest of us decided to catch a horse cart to the bazaar. (By this time Louise had perfected her bargaining techniques and couldn't wait to do some deals.) While bargaining with the driver, who didn't speak English, another English-speaking driver arrived. His cart was filled with children and women, one of them pregnant. He insisted they get out so we could get in. When we refused to do so, he was quite upset. I suppose he figured he would make more money from us.
The next morning we took a train to Fatehpur Sikri. 'Only the tiny village of Sikri, home of some stonecutters, existed at the site when the Moghul emperor Akbar first came this way in 1568 to seek out the blessings of a mystic named Salim Chishti. Akbar was childless and badly wanted a son. Anyway, whatever the holy man put into those blessings seemed to work, and when Akbar's wife became pregnant, the emperor was so overjoyed he decided to build a fabulous city overlooking the village.'# However, this glorious city was only inhabited for 14 years before it was abandoned probably due to lack of water. It was fun to spend the night in a ghost town in the desert.
We spent the morning exploring the palace and fort (there's quite a few in India). We decided to have afternoon tea in the garden (we were staying in the government tourist bungalow in the palace grounds). As usual, a crowd of children joined us. Louise and I decided to sing to them. We got the kids in a circle and did “Here we go Round the Mulberry Bush”. They loved it, so did we.
While we were singing, two live chickens were carried past - our dinner for that night. We were called about seven to the dining roam. It was quite large, about 30' x 20', lit with one 15 watt bulb. There was almost enough silverware to go around, that is if you didn't mind eating with a spoon. I went to get my flashlight, but when we saw the grey chicken with pin feathers, we decided it was better to eat in the dark. I can honestly say it was the toughest chicken I had ever eaten. Denise and I fought with ours for a while, then decided to wrap it up and have it for breakfast. It didn't taste any better (and looked worse in daylight) but it did save us buying another meal.
After breakfast, while the others caught up with washing, letter-writing, napping, etc. Wayne and I walked over to the mosque. 'The white marble mausoleum contains the tomb of the holy man who first brought Akbar to this remote place. Delicate, lace-like carved, marble screens and chambers of mother-of-pearl and sandalwood house the man's remains. Coloured threads flutter from the marble screens, tied by pilgrims (usually childless women) from all over India who hope a visit to the mausoleum will bring them luck.'#
There were very few people there just then. Two Indian musicians were playing their instruments, reflected in the pool in front of the mosque. It gave me a very special feeling and I sat for a long time and just soaked in the relaxed atmosphere. I've often thought of that quiet time since returning to the hustle and bustle of Sydney life.
Too soon we had to catch the bus back to Agra. The tiny ghost town holds many wonderful (some, anyway) memories for us.
Arriving at the Clarks Hotel, where we had to catch the bus to the airport, we were hot and dusty. The pool looked so inviting. We quickly changed into our swimming suits. I took a running leap into the pool. It was the coldest water I had ever been in. What a shock to the system! But so refreshing. We all had great fun, swimming and splashing. We noticed quite a few people came to sit around the pool. As soon as we got out, they all disappeared again. I guess they just came to see the nuts in the cold water. It felt so good to be clean again. While we didn't have any clean clothes to put on, just a change felt good.
We arrived at the Agra Airport the necessary one hour before departure time. The security checks between Indian airports are stiffer than the international ones. We were all given body checks - they were looking for knives. Once they even made me open up my tube of lipstick!
We usually spent the hour catching up on our diaries or writing post cards. This was also a good time to catch up on mending. Euchre was becoming a popular card game among us, so we used our waiting time to get in a few hands.
Our plane arrived to take us to Delhi. Again we were left to wonder about Steve.
# “India on $5 and $10 a Day” by Jan Aaron. An Arthur Frommer Publication.
Lightweight bushwalking and camping 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 4'6“.
This 'shaped' rucksack is excellent for children. Useful day pack. Weight 14ozs.
A single pocket, shaped rucksack. Suitable for overnight camping. Weight 1 1/2 lbs.
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Extra large bag with four external pockets and will carry about 40 lbs of camp gear. Weight 2 1/4 lbs.
Hooded bag. Extra well filled. Very compact. Approx 3 3/4 lbs.
Super warm box quilted. Added leg room. Approx 4 1/2 lbs.
Half the weight and packed size of regular bags. 9” x 5 1/4“` dia. 2 lbs.
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.
Vale - Dunc.
by L.G. (“Mouldy”) Harrison.
On the 7th February, 76 years after Winifred Eva Duncombe was born, she peacefully passed away at Hornsby Hospital.
Dunc was a legend in The Sydney Bushwalkers. Almost from the beginning she was an active member, and from her early childhood days in the country, was quite at home in the bush. She was a good walker, a good camper, a splendid bush-woman, and full of ingenuity.
Two things quickly come to mind. One when she was walking alongside the Nattai River in the early 1930's. A wild duck paddled peacefully by. Its leisurely gait was interrupted when Dunc suddenly placed her hat over it. Her food group that evening enjoyed a delicious wild duck stew.
On another occasion when camping in the Blue Mountains after several weeks of almost continuous rain, the sloping camp-site had a thin sheet of water undulating its way to lower levels. Dunc was the camp cook, and in no time she had made a raft of sticks, 2-ft long and about 1” round. Across this was laid another raft of sticks, and then in the middle a small teepee of tiny fine dry sticks was built, and the smoke came up through the neck of Dunc's groundsheet as she crouched over the beginnings of a fire. In a very short time it was warmly blazing and she was able to cook the evening meal.
On one trip down the Kowmung River, Dunc's boys said they would love a sponge cake, and three of them donated their breakfast egg towards it. She produced the sponge cake for them, cooked in aluminium plates sat on hot stones propped up against the fire. The butter and jam ration for several days went in a few moments on it.
Dunc was a woman of infinite resourcefulness and tremendous patience. She was never idle. I recall a train trip of several hours, and Dunc had not arranged for anything to do, so at the last moment she purchased a ball of string and did some macrame work, knotting all the while in the train.
In later years she would knit a fair-isle sweater of intricate pattern while watching T.V. Last year, the Dungalla Club had a hobby exhibition, and Dunc showed samples of embroidery from pictures of wild flowers and tiny birds to dinner cloths, beautifully embroidered. Many of her friends have table mats with superb Norwegian wild flowers embroidered on them.
During the war years, Dunc was actively engaged with correspondence with members of the walking fraternity who were on active service. Interesting informative letters were sent out to all members of the Services, together with photographs of bushwalking interest. It was thought that this would be the most practical contribution the S.B.W. could make to their members and those of other clubs during the war years. Dunc spent hundreds of hours on this worthwhile project.
Dunc was born near Bundarra, N.S.W. At an early stage her father died, and she was brought up by her mother, a marvellous person. Due to the inaccessibility of her home, she was only able to go to school for six months. Nevertheless, with her ability to quickly grasp the essence of a problem, she at one stage did all the costing for an important division of I.C.I. When her original boss was arranging amalgamation of his company with I.C.I., she spent the whole of each business day for one week filling shorthand notebooks, which were taken away and transcribed by other girls. Mr. Higgs would only dictate to her. So clear were her shorthand outlines, that one of her jobs was to train I.C.I. girls to read each other's shorthand notes. She ran a number of schemes for I.C.I., and on one occasion was sent to Melbourne for two weeks to advise and then install her system in the Melbourne office.
Dunc's love of the outdoors and growing things was always present. The Sydney Bushwalkers gave her a social contact that had been missing from “the girl from the bush”. Not only did she go on walks and recite for hours round the campfire, but attended the concerts run by the S.B.W. In those days, she was the wardrobe mistress and made many of the props.
She kept a remarkable record of her doings, and this was consolidated in “The Wanderings of Winifred”. Into this she put vivid descriptions of the route, the happenings, and sometimes, as on the trip she took to Western Australia with Jean and Tom Moppett, free-hand drawings of the wild flowers she saw. Around this she typed her story. This detailed collection of early bushwalker history is a most valuable document, and it is hoped that it will eventually go to the Mitchell Library, or some similar archives, where it can be enjoyed by future generations.
Dunc was a great reader, and in her home at Turramurra she had walls lined with books, all of which she had read and could discuss in detail. During her days with I.C.I. she frequently read to the other girls in the lunch-hour, and on three separate occasions read out to them the whole of “Gone With The Wind”. I have sat on the beach at Era under a shady tree in the Christmas holidays and have listened to Dunc's clear melodious voice reading from an important historical novel.
Dunc moved from Rockdale to Turramurra many years ago, where she had purchased a flat paspalum-covered piece of ground. It wasn't many years before her substantial brick home was surrounded with a lovely garden filled with trees and shrubs. She had an uncanny sense of selecting beautiful flowers and finding somewhere to plant them in her garden. She not only liked the plants but knew a great deal about their habits. Luculia is a lovely shrub with big clusters of soft pink flowers and a heavenly scent. She tried it in three different spots and finally decided to “turn her back on it”, so she never dug around it or fertilised or hosed it. This was exactly what the plant needed, and she grew it to perfection. Other tender plants that needed regular watering and attention she grew equally well. In the springtime, her collection of small-flowered Kurume Azalias were a delight. Nearby was the heavily scented rhododendron, fragrantisima, and her tall trees of camellia reticulata. Later the cherries and lilacs would come into bloom and then the American iris which she grew from seed. For many years, she used to take up to three and four dozen posies at a time of fragrant pastel blooms to a city florist. These paid her train fares. In later years, any spare money was spent on a particularly lovely plant she had seen.
Dunc had many friends, and in her later years when she wasn't quite as active, one used to go regularly and cut her lawn, another would organise a working bee in the garden, others would come and drive her on shopping expeditions, and others would take her to social gatherings. Dunc was always grateful for the slightest kindness and consideration shown to her. She was one of the stalwarts who helped to establish the Sydney Bushwalkers on a solid basis and encouraged the high standards which they set.
She was not religious in an orthodox way, but had a down-to-earth philosophy which was simple and direct. It helped her in her final year when the cancer which had recently been discovered became more active. Even in her last hours she said with her face full of smiles “I'll see you again.”
The passing of Dunkie will be a great loss to the older members of the S.B.W., to the River Canoe Club and to all those walkers who were active in the 30's and 40's. All who knew her will affectionately remember her as a fine hearty forceful personality, who was filled with kindness and understanding.
It is significant that for her final service held at the Northern Suburbs Crematorium on the 12th February 1976 all the seats were filled and friends stood round the back and sides of the chapel to pay a last salute to a warm and dear friend.
Easter Trip To Border Ranges.
The N.S.W. Federation of Bushwalking Clubs has chartered a bus to go to Wiangarie/Levers Plateau on the N.S.W. Queensland border at Easter.
This area is the subject of a major conservation issue (see Editorial page 2).
The rainforest plateaux and gullies of the border ranges have much to offer the bushwalker: spectacular waterfalls; Antarctic Beech forests and Hoop Pine forests; panoramic views over the head of the lush Tweed River Valley from the volcanic rim that Wiangarie Plateau shares with Lamington National Park.
Bus Fare: $23.00 return.
Enquiries: Contact Joy Scott, 4 Electra Road, Heathcote. Telephone 520-0750. If you wish to go please book by 1st April (not 12th March as stated in the Newsletter). Places may be available even up to 14th. April.
The February General Meeting.
by Jim Brown.
The night was wet. Come to think of it, a lot of days and nights in February, 1976, were wet, but that didn't prevent a normal meeting roll-up of thirty-odd members, including the latest two, Denise Bergin and Harry Winn.
Minutes of January were confirmed and didn't bring any follow up, except for Dot Butler's wish that we hadn't rendered the N.Z. Trampers as Tararoa. She was assured it was typed “ua” and only mispronounced. Correspondence included an invitation to participate in the American/Australian celebrations of the bicentenary of the U.S.A.; a letter of gratitude from the teacher in charge of the group of youngsters who camped at Coolana in the summer school holidays and advice from Marie Byles that she proposed to make a donation towards the shelter on our Kangaroo Valley land.
It is to be expected that the working funds will fall towards the close of the Club year - all outgoings and little income - and it was so in January when the balance went from $1541 to $1392. The Treasurer's statement was followed by a Federation bulletin, but the delegate spoke so softly that we recorded not a word; happily it was all in last month's magazine anyway.
In this way we came quite early to the account of walks over the past month, commencing with Oliver Crawford's trip into the Budawangs on 16-18 January, a week later than originally planned. It was a small party of 3, possibly because of wet conditions during the week, but things improved on Saturday. The cave where they intended to camp Saturday night was “full of leeches”, and after bagging the Castle on Sunday they were back to the cars at Yadboro at 4.0 p.m. Over the same weekend Bob Hodgson decided Davies Canyon might be over-moist and transferred to the Kalang Falls nearer Kanangra, returning via Thurat Spires in a trip that included a good number of abseils. Sunday was spent on a trip into Whalania Chasm.
Barbara Evans was known to have taken her Blue Gum trip on January 17/18, but no details were available, while the Sunday walk out West Head way was led by Barry Zieren, with a company of 26. A fine day with a deal of swimming was enjoyed.
On the holiday weekend 23-26 January, Helen Gray's party gathered at Coolana, after a dubious start because of the extremely wet conditions which finally eased on the Sunday. It was recorded that most of the group “just sat around” and progress on the hut was carried on by a devoted few. On the Sunday Joe Marton went down Walls Pass and up Cedar Creek; only 8 people present, others probably having been discouraged by the miserable days before. Hans Beck who reported the trip said the rope brought by Joe helped on the steep sections below the actua1 pass.
Alastair Battye had his one- or two-day (take your pick) jaunt into Wollongambe Creek on 30th January - 1st February weekend. The original 18 on Saturday dwindled to 10 for Sunday's stage, and there was some trouble with punctured li-los. The exit from the Wollongambe is now clearly marked and the rain resumed as the party climbed back to Mt. Wilson. Of John Redfern's day walk in Dharug National Park on let February Hans Beck reported about 22 people and humid conditions, numerous leeches and heavy afternoon rain. Of the Mount Hay trip set down for the same weekend, it was said there had been only one starter proposing to come and the leader leagued himself with a party from another club going into the same general region.
The last weekend reported - 6/8th February, included Frank Taeker's journey to the Budawangs with 12 people. The Sassafras road was found very muddy, but the side road to Newhaven Gap proved passable. A fine wildflower crop was found on Tarn Mountain and after calling on Mt. Owen the return was made via the Sally Creek area, keeping high to avoid the swamps. Alan Pike's proposed trip was cancelled and it was not known if the caving trip to Wyanbean had actually gone. At Marley, Elaine Brown and party of 12 had a leisurely weekend, being joined by a few Sunday day-walkers.
There was one item of general business which brought a deal of discussion - a suggestion from the Committee that the club might consider an outing to which older club members and the Dungalla Club group might be specially invited. The specification called for some place not too remote, or involving much walking and preferably access to public transport. A variety of spots were suggested, ranging from Centennial Park to Lane Cove Park and Lilyvale to Kuring-gai Wild Flower Garden. Finally on a motion by Gordon Broome it was agreed to have such an outing about September and for the locale and details to be examined by the incoming Committee.
As the meeting moved towards closure, questions were asked about the planning for our own Reunion to which Spiro the convenor responded in a “she'll be right” mood, saying nothing much had been done but it was all under control.
Attention was drawn to stacks of unwashed coffee cups left lying all over the Clubroom after the last slide evening and members were asked to show more consideration. Finally Bob Younger recorded that a very large party of walkers had been present that day to pay final respects to the late Win Duncombe.
16, 17, 18, 19th. April.
Logan's Ridge - Rum Jungle - Barrabool Peak - Barney Gorge - Lower Portals. Grade Medium, 20km.
This is a classic trip in southern Queensland. If you are interested contact Patrick McBride. Telephone 51.0341 (B)
Dot Butler's Cartoon Page.
[Picture of two bushwalkers in the desert, with the first pointing to signs on a tree saying 'Arab money', 'Timor horror', 'Cabinet spill', 'Pollution worsens“ and 'Starvation in India'.]
“Look! Look! Civilization at last!!”
A Letter From Frank Leyden.
I've been tripping since mid-August in Northern England, Scotland and Ireland. It's now 2nd October and I'm in the Hostel at Crohy Head, Donegal. I started at Rowerdennan Y.H. on Loch Lomond and climbed Ben Lomond, then did some high walking in the beautiful Trossachs, then the spectacular Alps of Arrochar from the new hostel at Ardgarten. From Crianlarich I climbed Ben More and visited Oban on the way to Glencoe.
At Glen Nevis I joined up with an Ashdown Rambler and we climbed Ben Nevis 4406', highest in the British Isles. Climbed through cloud and mist to sunshine on top. Scenery a bit like Watson's Crags at Kosci. All mountains in these parts are climbed almost from sea-level and the worst encumbrance is the weather with 100 inches per annum and only 35° from the North Pole. “Alpine conditions” start also at sea-level.
Visited the famous Torridon Alps and Loch Maree and the highest waterfall in Scotland 375' Glomach Falls near Dornie. Drove all around Skye and visited the Cuillins. Used the frequent bad weather to visit old castles, folk museums and towns. Came down via Inverness and Perth and spent some time in lovely Edinburgh for the Annual Festival. From there to the Roman Wall, Yorkshire Dales, Pennine Way and city of Durham, then York. What a lot of old ruined abbeys, monastries and historical items in these parts.
Visited Beamish, near Newcastle-on-Tyne, and inspected the newly-built “Rocket” and other ancient railway relics. From York I motor-way-ed. to Pennmanmawr Youth Hostel on the North Wales coast - a very scenic area. Inspected again the lovely Llanberis Valley and Pass in perfect weather then ferried car plus self to Dublin, Ireland. Here I spent a week inspecting the wonderful museums, galleries, libraries and churches. Early medieval collections like the Book of Kells and others, and the Museum of Antiquities have much that is not found elsewhere, and probably much that is known of pre-history are these astonishing artefacts from the Irish peat bogs.
Besides, the food in Ireland - meat, cakes, bread, fruit and vegs - much better and cheaper than in England. Ireland is extremely friendly, quiet and peaceful and you wave to everyone of the odd few you pass during the day, and everyone is very helpful. The hostels are fine and they have many new ones fully and modernly equipped and wonderfully sited and even sign-posted on the roads.
From Dublin I travelled south through the Wicklow Mountains to the haunted hostel at Aghavannagh. I was the only one in about 30 rooms of the ancient military barracks and there were lots of “boomps in the night”. Powerscourt Falls and Glendaloch ruins - really ancient and spooky. The pubs at night with their old Irish folk music to add to the tang of the Guinness.
I crossed to the West Coast to Ball Hill Youth Hostel near Donegal Town, then travelled a very scenic coastal route out to the hostel at Carrick and scrambled around Slieve League Mountain where the cliffs drop 1900 ft. sheer into the Atlantic, (16-11-75). Inspected the Caves of Maghera near Ardara, which are a bit like Fraser Park, but more cavernous and with higher cliffs. Great sweeps of white sandy beaches and surf reminded me of Wilson's Promontory.
Drove north via Gweedore and Mt. Errigal to Poisoned Glen and on to Milford and Bunnaton Hostel on Lough Swilly, then Fanad Head and back down to Sligo via Letterkenny and on to Curran Hostel and the famous Achill Island where there was some of the biggest and most colourful coastal scenery I have ever seen. Then drove south via the pilgrimage mountain of Croagh Patrick to the scenic “7-Pins of Connemara” mountains, with views of the hundreds of the Lakes of Connemara, then on to Galway and Limerick to some more mountaineering in McGillycuddy's Reeks at Killarney.
As the song says - “There is beauty everywhere”. Explored three of the famous peninsulas of Dingle, Kerry and Beara with lots of interesting Youth Hostels, Shrines, Nature Reserves, Fishing Villages and the kind of scenery one sees in paintings and thinks “must be exaggerated”, but it isn't. The sun breaks through the scudding clouds in odd patches here and there and constantly changes, throwing out the greenest of greens of the grass, then the blue heather, the red of the wild fushsias, the orange of the autumn bracken, the white cliffs or grey scree slopes against the endless silver of the lakes.
I explored Cork and the southern cities as well as Tipperary and Kilkenny and came back the east coast to Dublin.
Back in England I drove to Manchester to meet my ski-sing friends from Castlecrag - Richard and Trude Raubitschen and then drove down the Pembrokeshire coast of Wales before getting back to Sussex 500 slides and four new re-tread tyres and 5000 miles later over three months. The 50 or so Youth Hostels and the people of all nations including many Australians in them were marvellous, friendly, helpful and a pleasure to meet.
Frank's address in England:- F. M. Leyden, 52 Shelley Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex. RH19 LSY. England.
The Sydney Bushwalker is YOUR magazine, so use it - for trip announcement, want ads, for sale ads etc. Also please don't forget we need lots of articles, poems, cartoons etc. to make it a publication that's really worthwhile.
Last date for copy for the April issue is Wednesday 14/4/76.
Box 553 P.O., Christchurch, New Zealand
For the cheapest gear in Australasia:
We have a prompt mail order service to Australian customers - Free postage on all orders. Below is a list of some of the gear we stock - prices quoted in New Zealand dollars (NZ $1 = A $0.83). We prefer payment by bank draft in New Zealand currency.
|Typhoon Oilskin parkas - Standard model||21.00|
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|Cagoules, neoprene coated nylon||18.40|
|Zip parkas, neoprene coated nylon||23.00|
|Long woollen socks||4.50|
|Short woollen socks||2.75|
|Jumpers, 100% natural black greasy wool||20.00|
|Jumpers, pure wool, fairaisle patterns||19.00|
|Balaclavas, pure wool||2.40|
|Hats, pure wool, fairaisle patterns||2.75|
|Light woollen shirts, check patterns||9.50|
|Ranger, heavy wool shirts, check patterns||14.50|
|Mountaineer, heavy wool shirts, checks and tartans||17.00|
|Trousers, woollen tweed||14.50|
|Day sacs from||15.00|
|K-2 double wall tents||94.00|
|K-2 Special medium rucksacks||65.00|
|K-2 Special large rucksacks||66.00|
|K-2 Standard medium rucksacks||61.50|
|K-2 Standard large rucksacks||63.00|
|K-2 Intermediate rucksacks||47.50|
|K-2 Junior rucksacks||35.00|
|K-2 Aarn I climbing & ski-touring pack||50.00|
|K-2 Aarn II pack||44.50|
|Wintest nylon tents from||37.00|
|Everest sleeping bags from||77.00|
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|Twenty Below sleeping bags from||61.50|
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And much more… Write for a price list (Address above)
by Jim Vatiliotis.
The Federation Reunion will be held at North Era on 4th and 5th April. Camping permits will be available from Federation officers at the camp site.
A trip to the Border Ranges area, near the Queensland border, is being organised for Easter. A bus has been chartered at a cost of $23 per person. Details of walks have not been worked out but it is anticipated that there will be small groups doing a variety of walks. Details from Mrs. Joy Scott, phone 520-0750.
The Paddy Pallin Foundation is making $5,000 available to promote “Rucksack Sports” - bushwalking, canoeing and ski-touring. Applications for grants close on 1st May, so put your thinking caps on and come up with some suggestions on how we could use some of this money.
The Total Environmental Centre is preparing a map of the Blue Mountains area showing developments that affect bushwalking areas.
Federation is asking for clubs' views on shelter huts in the Snowy Mountains. Should we support building, or rebuilding of existing huts? Reference was made to the Windy Creek Hut which was destroyed recently and some groups are seeking permission to rebuild the hut.
There was some discussion on what Federation should be doing to promote bushwalking. It was generally agreed that we should encourage people who are already bushwalkers to join clubs. However there was no agreement on promoting bushwalking with a view to increasing the number of bushwalkers and it was decided to refer this to clubs for their comments. Two opposing points of view were put forward. Some delegates argued that increasing the number of bushwalkers could destroy wilderness areas through over use, while others felt that if we increased our numbers we would have more political pressure for creating National Parks.
Walks Notes For April, 1976.
by Bob Hodgson.
|2, 3, 4||Christine Kirkby at last has succeeded at getting this walk into the programme. Lots of good open walking up on Barrington Tops with tracks and spectacular views everywhere.|
|3, 4||Don't forget the Federation Re-union which will be held at North Era (see Federation Notes above).|
|3, 4||George Gray has a working bee at Coolana planned for this weekend to put a few more finishing touches, like walls and fireplaces, to the instant hut that sprung up over the S.B.W. Re-union weekend.|
|Sunday 4||Ruth Woods, along with an anonymous assistant leader will be guiding you to see some of the rock carvings on the ridge tops around Spencer. As you know these types of carvings only appear where the best views are to be found.|
|9,10,11||Alastair Battye is leading this choice quality walk from Carlons straight to Splendour Rock. What more can be said, we all know how beautiful this area is and that it is well within most people's capabilities to complete this walk.|
|10,11||A Saturday start with Hans Beck in an equally well-known walking area, with picture postcard views everywhere. Mt. Solitary is the target, in the reverse direction to the normal.|
|Sunday 11||Bill Hall is back in the programme with a continuation of his excellent Royal National Park walks. This one, from Waterfall to Otford, takes you down the little known Frews Creek, with later track walking through some of the broad scenic aspects of the park.|
|Sunday 11||Spectacular country with easy walking conditions is Victor Lewin's formula for today. The Grand Canyon and the Grose Valley will be the objects of admiration.|
|16-19||Victor Lewin and his mob of intrepid followers will be out to circumnavigate the Northern Budawngs, so if you have not been there or if you're longing to return, here is your big opportunity to join in with Victor.|
|16-19||For those that respond to the lure of the Snowy Mountains, David Rostron is your leader. Those magical names such as Blue Lake, the Rolling Grounds and the Brassy Mountains will be springing to life under your feet. This is the ideal time to walk the Snowy.|
|16-19||Helen Gray is going to have another attempt at this idyllic base camp trip on Barrington Tops. Her last attempt ended at Glen Davis after snow and rain forced the postponement of the Barrington trip. Entrance to the Barrington Tops will be from the west instead of the usual slog up the Corker. The base camp will not be at the cars, so families attending should pack light.|
|23-26||Victor Lewin again, this time a base camp at Yadboro Flat with day trips to Pigeon House, The Castle and Castle Gap - a repeat performance of his previous efforts but of course much improved.|
|23-26||David Rostron is busy again also, but this time a complete change of venue. David is hoping to make a little extra time for a side trip deep into the Blue Breaks from his planned hard walk, so better pack your fire-proof sandshoes!|
|April 30, May 1, 2||Victor Lewin has scouted out the old Engineers Track down to the Grose from Hartley Vale, so the going will be considerably easier than reported by some preceding parties on this Grose test walk.|
|April 30, May 1, 2||After being bullied into leading someone else's walk in the Red Rocks area, Bob Younger has decided the region should be revisited as a test walk. Magnificent views but don't forget your water bottle - a dry camp Saturday night.|
|Sunday 2||Jim Brown is the man to follow on this loop trip in the Royal National Park. Frews Creek again, but an easy track back to Waterfall. The National Park at its best.|
Social Notes For April.
by Spiro Hajinakitas.
The first social night in April is the Members' Slide Night, so bring out those treasured slides of yours to be shown to an appreciative audience. Date, 21st April.
The second night is Paddy Pallin's slide night, which will be changed from South America to some other more recent trip of his. Date, 28th April.
Lamington National Park. May school holidays.
Victor Lewin will be leading a trip to Lamington National Park during the May School holidays, from 8th. to 23rd. May. Walks include Lost World - 3 days, Mt Gipps, Stinson - 3 days, day walks, climb Mount Barney. Contact Victor Lewin, Telephone 50-4096.
This year the Federation Reunion will be held at North Era. The date is April 3rd and 4th. Events include campfire, damper baking (bring some flour), billy boiling, tent pitching, yarning and swimming.
Firewood is scarce at North Era so either bring a choofer, or collect some firewood on the way in. Also bring tent poles. For further details see Federation Newsletter number 3, or contact one of the Club Federation delegates.
S.B.W. Office Bearers - 1976.
The following office-bearers and committee members were elected at the S.B.W. Annual General meeting held on Wednesday, 10th March, 1976:-
|Vice-Presidents||Gordon Broome#, Alistair Batty#|
|Assistant Secretary||Sheila Bins#|
|Walks Secretary||Len Newland#|
|Social Secretary||Ian Stephens#|
|Membership Secretary||Fazeley Read#|
|Committee Members||Margaret Reid#, Helen Rowen#, Neil Brown#, Hans Stichter#|
|Federation Delegates||Len Newland#, Stephen Harvey#, Owen Marks, Neville Page|
|Substitution Federation Delegate||Hans Stichter|
|Conservation Secretary||Alex Colley|
|Magazine Editor||Neville Page|
|Magazine Business Manager||Bill Burke|
|Duplicator Operator||Peter Scandrett|
|Assistant Duplicator Operators||Owen Marks, George Gray|
|Keeper of Maps & Timetables||John Holly|
|Equipment Hire||Stephen Harvey|
|Search & Rescue Contacts||Don Finch, Ray Hookway, Marcia Shappert|
|Trustees||Heather White, Bill Burke, Gordon Redmond|
|Coolana Management Committee||Dot Butler, George Gray, Barry Wallace, Bill Burke, Peter Scandrett|
# Indicates members of the Committee.