Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker.
A monthly bulletin of natters 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 - tel 30. 2028.
|Editor||Neville Page. 14 Brucedale Ave, Epping. Telephone 86.3739.|
|Business Manager||Bill Burke. 3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford. Telephone 871.1207.|
|Duplicator Operators||Peter Scandrett, Owen Marks, George Gray.|
|The Old Buffers Tackle the Barrallier Mystery||Paddy Pallin||4|
|The July General Meeting||Dot Butler||8|
|Picnic Reunion Notice||10|
|Impressions of the Pennine Way||Peter Harris||12|
|More In Sorrow than in Anger - Where Have All The Prospectives Gone||Shirley Dean||15|
|Sou'West of the Sou'West - Part 3||Frank Rigby||16|
|Bushwalker Bob||Len Newland||19|
|Walks Notes||Len Newland||19|
|Notice of Half Yearly General Meeting||21|
|Federation Notes||Len Newland||22|
Being a conservationist, and aware of the frequent criticism of conservationists as a body of emotional although well-intentioned but irrational do-gooders, one attempts to retain one's calm and logic as much as possible in discussing environmental issues. On occasions however, one is overcome by a swelling tide of extreme anger at the absolute stupidity of mankind, resulting in violent and blasphemous outburst.
Such was the case last week when talking with a friend about a forthcoming trip to Newnes. Most bushwalkers have been to the Wolgen Valley at some time, and know it as a beautiful valley where once existed the mining works and township for the extraction and processing of oil shale. It is also a pleasant and relaxing place for family camping and the starting point for some interesting walks c1earby to Newnes itself, and halfway up the hill, are some disused railway tunnels which have always been worthwhile visiting to witness the beauty of countless glow worms residing there. In discussion with my friend last week he told me he had been advised that two despicable individuals with a motor bike had tied branches to the back of their machines, set them alight, and driven through the tunnels and thereby killed off most of the insect life (i.e. the glow worms). will probably take some years for the colony to regenerate. Unfortunately I have not yet had an opportunity to verify the story, so its truth cannot be vouched for. However, whether true or false, the story serves only to highlight the menace being presented by offroad machines and vehicles and their owners.
At our last monthly general meeting we discussed Federation's proposed policy on wilderness areas. Conservation Secretary Alex Colley pointed out that the policy made no mention of machines and their intrusion on nature, and proposed that our delegates raise the matter at the next Federation meeting. Policy should be that vehicles and machines be absolutely excluded from wilderness areas. But it is not an easy task. Trail bikes and four wheel drive vehicles (mini and maxi) are proliferating at a frightening rate. This is partly explained by the rapidly increasing pace of city life and the consequent desire to get away from the rat race. But we must beware that the increased use of offroad vehicles does not occur at the expense of the environment. An enquiry is under way regarding the use of off-road vehicles, and we as users of wilderness areas, should make our viewpoint known - individually as a club, collectively through Federation, and using whatever means and media are at our disposal. If we don't, we will witness further destruction and desecration of the lands and forests which are already so diminished.
In June this year we used, for the first time, the flannel flower design which appears on page one of this magazine. In that issue, we made on incomplete and incorrect reference to the artist. I wish now to complete the acknowledgement. The artist's name is Lenore Walker, freelance commercial artist, who is not a member of the Sydney Bush Walkers but who has kindly consented to our using her design. Thank you Lenore, for what we think is a beautiful piece of work.
Next Month's Goodies.
The A.B.C. may have the Goodies, but we can do even better than that. Next month we have for you:-
Intrepid adventurer, Spirodin Hajinakitas, otherwise known as Hon. Secretary, writing about the Blue Breaks.
Fresh from the northern tip of Australia comes news from our footloose philosopher, Owen Marks writing about life at Weipa and on Thursday Island.
Recently returned world wanderer Peter Harris, writing about “A journey into the Australian Alps”.
A Note to Authors: Do not assume from the above that the Editor no longer needs any articles. Nothing is on the plate for October. It takes a while to write an article; some have taken years, so start writing now. Remember, a good magazine depends on you.
The Old Buffers Tackle The Barrallier Mystery.
by Paddy Pallin.
For years I have wondered exactly where Barrallier got to in his attempt in 1802 to cross the mountains to the west of Sydney. I knew of Cambage's 1910 theory of where his route lay, and I well remember Ray Mitchell's (now Mr. Justice Else Mitchell) enquiries into the subject culminating in a paper read before the Royal Australian Historical Society in 1938. One day, I thought, I'll get a copy of Barrallier's notes from the Mitchell library, and look into it myself, but alas I never got around to it.
But when the Old Buffers were discussing where to spend a few days around Anzac Day the name Yerranderie cropped up and Ken said, “We ought to try and trace Barrallier's route while we are there.” In addition, unlike me, Ken did something about it, and in due course the postman delivered copies of Barrallier's Journal and Cambage's address to the R.A.H.S, together with an admonition that we study them and be ready for a verbal examination on arrival in camp! Paul followed suit with copies of Ray Mitchell's address to the R.H.A.S. in 1938.
Eventually after $5 per car had been paid to Mr. Lang we established camp on the Tonalli River a mile or two west of Yerranderie. There were Ken, Paul, Reg, Edmund, Rex and I, and we discussed the problem and decided to have a look at the country from the top of Yerranderie Peak next day. Briefly, the mystery is as follows:-
23rd November 1802 - 4 p.m. Barrallier left the Nattai Wollondilly junction (after coming down the Nattai). 8 p.m. arrived at “my huts” (erected on a previous journey) “on the border of a large creek”.
24th November. Proceeded on journey which is described in somewhat confusing detail, and then “at 7 o'clock I arrived at the summit of another hill from where I noticed 3 openings, the first to the right towards N59° 30'W, the one in front of me which appeared very large was W from me, and the third S35°W. This discovery gave me a great deal of hope…”. Later in the log he states the distance covered until today is (apparently from Nattai Wol1ondilly junction otherwise the direction makes no sense) 570°W 7 miles S75°W 13 miles N76°W 2 miles S31°W 5 1/2 miles S36°W 1 3/4 miles. These total 29 1/4 miles traversed in excessively hot weather through “country full of brushes over hills which stood in all directions”, and this distance was covered in 1 day plus 4 hours!
25th November. Went through the “Western passage” which he says was a further 17 miles (after apparently resting from noon to 3 p.m. because of the heat).
26th November. 5 p.m. arrived at a large river “between two chains of high mountains which give only one part of its banks an accessible space”. He went north for one hour and arrived at the junction of a “rather large stream” where he camped.
27th November. He decided to follow up this stream which came from the West.
28th November. Found the going too hard and turned back.
The first attempt at figuring all this out was apparently made by Cambage who traced his journey as follows:-
23rd November. Left Nattai junction 4 p.m. Camped 8 p.m.
24th November. At noon passed South Peak (This is over 12 miles air distance from the junction and would call for about 18 miles walking distance, which would be a remarkable feat in such tangled confused country as Barrallier describes). The hill from which he took the bearings is identified by Cambage as Alum Hill.
25th November. Crossed Colong Creek (only 1 mile ahead) at noon. Went through what has been named in acknowledgement of Cambage's theory “Barralliers Pass”, and camped in Bindook Swamp.
26th November. Got to the Murruin Ranges, went down Waterfall Creek and reached the Kowmung 5 p.m. Went upstream “for more than an hour” and reached Christy's Creek which defeated him and he turned back on 28th. (Anyone who has traversed the Kowmung will know it takes considerably longer than “more than an hour” to go from Waterfall Creek to Christy's Creek.)
The glaring discrepancies in Cambage's theory would not be noticed in 1910 when maps were crude and very few people except stockmen had traversed the area, but by 1938 the area was becoming well known to many bushwalkers, and it was natural that someone would hunt around for another theory, and Ray Mitchell took up the problem.
Ray agreed that the final point of the journey was Christy's Creek but disagreed on the route by which Barrallier reached it. His theory was in short that the hill from which Barrallier took the bearings was not Alum Hill, but “the eminence at the foot of the large sandstone outcrop called the Peaks”(i.e. Yerranderie Peak) and that the three gaps mentioned were Kowmung Gap, Byrnes Gap and “Pulpit Rock” (probably Bull Island Gap).
This cuts out a lot of the weaknesses in Cambage's theory and certainly Byrnes Gap tallies closely with the description of the Gap through which the explorer went. Moreover the logical conclusion is that he reached the Koumung via Church Creek (or Cedar Creek) from which it would have been reasonably easy to reach Christy's Creek in “over an hour”.
Mitchell's theory cuts out a number of difficulties in Cambage's but itself poses new problems. Mitchell states “These are the openings to which reference is made in the journal, and their respective positions approximate to the bearings given by Barrallier”. In fact the bearings are as follows:-
Actual magnetic bearings from Peak Mine dump near Yerranderie under Bartlett Head (Yerranderie Peak):
|Bull Island Gap||21 1/2°|
|Byrnes Gap||334 1/2°||Included angle = 99 1/2°|
|Bull Island Gap||300 1/2°|
|Byrnes Gap||270°||Included angle = 85 1/2°|
The difference between the two outside bearings in Mitchell's case is 99 1/2° compared with 85 1/2° for Barrallier. But even more alarming is the actual difference in the bearings 81° in the case of Bull Island Gap and 67° in the case of Kowmung Gap. Byrnes Gap instead of being “west” is nearly North 334 1/2°. It is hard to believe that a competent surveyor would make such an error, and his map gives no hint of such a deviation. Well, we looked at maps, read and re-read the journal and historical papers and talked round the subject, but as Omar Khayam says “we ever came out of the door by which we entered in”. We decided to try and collect more facts by visiting significant places in the area.
First we decided to climb Yerranderie Peak and look the area over. We busily took bearings and then admired the view picking out significant landmarks. Then we made the interesting descent to Coal Seam Gap, and thence back to camp.
Next day we climbed Mt. Colong where I had an assignment to put a new visitors' book into the trig cairn on behalf of the Kameruka Club. I wasn't quite prepared for the 15ft. cairn of very neatly finished stone - too neatly for my fancy - not enough toe holds. However the book was duly signed and placed in position. We descended to the causeway from which if Cambage's theory were correct Barrallier got the view of “a plain as vast as the eye could reach”. He estimated the ground before him was “hardly less than l mile lower than the sugarloaf summit”. Mt. Colong is only 3454ft. No such plain was visible and certainly not 5,000ft. below us.
We looked at Roaring Wind Point from which (per Cambage theory) the explorer “heard a noise resembling the roaring of the waves when breaking upon the rocks of the shore”.
Next day we went to Alum Hill from which he (per Cambage) saw the three passages or gaps. If we had had no doubts before, this would have scotched the whole theory. Cambage could never have stood on Alum Hill as we did. His gaps must have been theorised from maps because there is absolutely no gap whatsoever visible and nothing to make an explorer think a way through was possible.
Although we queried Mitchell's selection of viewpoint we felt that his suggestion that Byrnes Gap was used was correct. Barrallier's description fits it well “…. the passage formed by a perpendicular cut in the mountain the profiles of which, north and south were of immense height (a little hyperbole) and presented to the eye a majestic aspect”.
We therefore decided to visit the gap to see what we could see. First of all we decided to look for the cave “large enough to contain 20 men”. For a couple of hours we searched but had no success, but were convinced after pushing through scrub and climbing over rocks that Barrallier would have done well to cover 8 to 10 miles a day, which is what he would have done to reach here in the time he took.
After lunch we decided to climb Axehead Mt. as Barrallier must have done if he came this way. From here he saw “at a distance (of) 40 miles a range of mountains much higher than those we had passed… From where I was I could not detect any obstacle right to the foot of these large mountains”. When we got to the top we could certainly see the high mountain range in the distance, but the Kowmung Valley was clearly to be seen; the day, however, was especially clear whereas when our explorer was there, they had had heavy rain and a southerly wind was blowing. The scramble up this mountain was the most rewarding of all we had done to date from a scenic point of view. From the rocky top we had a magnificent cycloramic view under perfect condition of visibility. Just below us was the spectacular Bull Island Gap and the cliffs of the Tonalli Range terminating in the dramatic Tonalli Peak. To the east was Lake Burragorang, and beyond were the walls shining in the afternoon sun, west were the ranges beyond the Kowmung, and to the south the many peaks of the Yerranderie area. A great spectacle.
Next day I disgraced myself and led the party to Mt. Moore instead of to Mt. Meier where we hoped to go through “Barrallier's Pass” (Cambage theory). However it was very pleasant on Mt. Moore when we found a tiny tarn surrounded by the greenest of green velvet moss, and so they forgive me!
Well, what did we discover? Our positive findings were mainly negative, if that's not too Irish. I decided that Barrallier may have been a good surveyor (he made an excellent map of the Hunter River) but he was a poor bushman and explorer. He set off on this trip on 22nd November and on the 24th when he had just passed a mountain he had nearly climbed on a previous trip (probably Tonalli Mountain), he found his “provisions were reduced to a small quantity of flour and some pickled pork”. Luckily one of his soldiers shot a 12 lb. eel.
He mentions passing several streams, but never says in which direction these were flowing, and when he followed a stream he does not say whether he was going up or downstream.
Even allowing for the rough country he was passing through his estimate of distances was wildly out, and as will be seen from examples quoted he vastly over-estimated heights. On a later journey he estimated Bonum Pic to be 1 1/4 miles high.
Since returning from this trip the problem has exercised my mind, and I have had the maps laid out on a table and studied them from time to time, and I think I have the solution to the puzzle which very nearly gives the right answers. It works out on the maps, but does it work out on the ground? Another trip to Yerranderie is called for.
The July General Meeting.
by Dot Butler.
With your usual reporter Jim Brown in bed with the 'flu and step-in man Spiro away skiing, it fell to my lot to take notes of the meeting. Just two hours back from the sub-equatorial heat of Arnhem Land I shivered so much in the unaccustomed cold that, despite wall heaters going at full blast, my notes are barely transcribable. However I will do my best.
Though rain spattered on the tin roof and an icy wind howled outside twenty-five stalwarts gathered by 8.30 and our charming President Helen Gray declared the meeting open, with apologies from Spiro who was much better occupied (and more suitably clad than I, we hope) on the snowy slopes of Perisher.
Three new members were welcomed: Jill Houghton, David Sowden and Michael Ryan.
Minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed and as there was no business arising we passed on to Correspondence In, which covered acceptances from Jess Martin and Edna Garrad of their Honorary Membership for sterling services rendered to the Club over many years. An acknowledgement was also received from the MacDonnell Ranges Committee of our donation of $50 to aid their work for the projected National Park.
The Treasurer reported an increase in our working funds from $1,576.97 to a closing balance of $1,664.53.
Jim Vatiliotis gave a very full Federation Report. Much of his information is included in the Federation Newsletter which was enclosed in your July magazine so there is no need to reiterate it here. Additional news is that there were two rescues, one at Kanangra and one in the Budawangs (two boys). It appears that too many searchers turned out, Federation will try to make some arrangement whereby each Club Search & Rescue contact man will be given a target which it will not be necessary to exceed. An S. & R. Practice was announced for the forthcoming week-end at Mountain Lagoon and it is hoped that some S.B.W.s attended. As regards Camping Permits in National Parks, Federation will try to arrange with the National Parks & Wildlife Service for permission and permit number to be obtained by phone, thus obviating the need for the leader to go in to headquarters to pick it up. The N.P.W.L.S. will not be making any purchase of land at Yadborough. For publicity purposes, pamphlets on Bushwalking may be published.
Federation Ball (Fancy Dress) will be held on 17th September at Chatswood. In addition to a pop band they will also get the Bush Band if possible. Tickets available at the Club Room.
And now we pass to Walks Reports. On the June Holiday week-end Bob Younger led 10 in the Bat's Camp/Yerranderie/Mt.Colong region. Map and compass work was demonstrated to the one prospective, presumably by the 9 members, so he had better be good when he comes up for his map-reading test. Mr. Lang will allow cars through his property for a fee of $5 per car.
The same week-end Helen Gray's Base Camp in the Budawangs attracted 44 people. (During the telling of this report, suggested accompanying music: muted oboes in a plaintive minor key.) To begin with it rained. They couldn't find the camping cave. The cave they did find was very small with a floor at 45° slope. There were day walks which involved progress down a very scrubby scratchy creek. On the credit side, there were fireworks each night. Debit or credit (? - we can't decide which) four didn't turn up but the leader found them on the last day. And on departure Jill's car had to be pushed to get it started. Ah well, as Paddy's ad. says, “It's the tough ones you remember.”
Two Sunday walks on 13th (Mary Braithwaite to Cowan Creek/Berowra and Ray Carter to Burning Palms/Waterfall) reported a good range of wildflowers. On June 18/19/20 Barry Wallace's Wine & Cheese Walk down the Cox attracted 12 Sydney Belly Worshippers. They camped from lunch time Saturday till lunch time Sunday (you should never exert yourself on a full stomach!) and even a bit of rain didn't dampen the festive cheer.
The two Sunday walks - Meryl Watman's in the Waterfall area and Kath Brown's to Burning Palms were as usual - “Nothing happened” but all enjoyed themselves. June 25/6/7 Dave Rostron reported a pretty rough trip in the Newnes area while Victor Lewin's Sunday assault of The Fortress brought out 20 Stormtroopers.
July 2/3/4 Hans Beck's party of 5 to Blue Gum experienced very, very cold weather (it had snowed a few days earlier). Permits must be obtained from the Blackheath Ranger Station and a report is required after the party comes out. Hans reported on the defacing “improvements” in the Forest. (Let us stand and have two minutes silence for the passing of the old Blue Gum Forest!)
Pat McBride's ski trip in the Twynham/Watson's Crags high country changed its route. The 7 members (1 prospective) camped in the snow, 8“ fell on Saturday night. Tigers all. In warmer climate Margaret Reid led 37 to Cowan/Berowra Creek with a walk through the very pleasant Muogamarra Reserve as an encore.
July 9/10/11 found Ray Hookway's party base-camped at Airly with day trips to Patoney's Crown and Tyan Pic. David Cotton reported the trip tremendous, with mysterious great sheets of plastic lying around. (Has someone been trying to tie up Tyan Pic?)
Let Neil Brown's Mystery Trip remain a mystery. Why spoil a good story? (Neil found himself down to lead a trip before he knew where it was going, which shows the persuasive powers of the Walks Secretary.) En route they had (not scroggin stops) oyster stops! Tony Marshall had 9 (at least at the start - another mystery!) on his Blue Gum Forest trip.
And now back to earth and General Business. It was pointed out that at the September Half-Yearly Meeting we will be discussing the Club's 50th Anniversary and ways to celebrate it (other than getting drunk). We will confer with the Dungallas, they being the pioneers of the Club.
Peter Miller, alias the Stone Horse, announced that there were 5 to the pre-General Meeting dinner and the next will be held at the Stoned Crow at Crows Nest.
The meeting terminated at 9.05 giving everyone time, as Jim Brown had advocated the previous July, to go home and prepare their Income Tax returns.
Saturday 11th September.
This is the historic date for a combined get-together of the Dungalla Club and the Sydney Bush Walkers. The Dungallas, as everyone knows, are the early members of our Club, and a great opportunity is being offered for the swopping of old and new stories. Bring any interesting photographs you may have of our walking country.
Meeting Place: The Kuring-Gai Wildflower Garden, Mona Vale Road, St. Ives.
Time: The gates open at 10 a.m., so any time after that.
Cars: A parking fee is charged if cars are brought into the grounds.
Eating Facilities: Camp fires are not allowed, but cups of tea may be obtained from a kiosk, or a barbecue may be rented. You can always bring a Thermos of course.
Leaders: Helen Gray - telephone 86-6263. Ray Kirkby - telephone 95-4936.
How To Get There: [Diagram included.]
This is a particularly good year for wildflowers. There are a number of walks of varying distance in the park. Let us have a good roll-up. The older members have many interesting tales to tell of the “old days”.
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Impressions Of The Pennine Way.
by Peter Harris.
This is a critical article on walking in England. Those of you with noble English birth will no doubt defend your “delightful moors” and “interesting peat bogs” and be proud of your “national parks”. And those of you who have heard about the “lovely walks” along the long-distance footpaths will have, at some time or another, expressed some interest in undertaking one or two of these “delightful” walks. The solution is a simple one - Don't bother!
Actually I've almost finished walking along the 270 mile Pennine Way - and each wakening morning brings renewed promise to evacuate at the next village. Well, after almost 6 months of non-stop walking through Tasmania, New Zealand, Nepal, India and now England, my pack is so affixed upon my back that I elected to walk the Pennine Way “heavy”. Even with such a handicap, and almost senile after so much walking, and getting as fat as a pig, the Pennine Way becomes a simple slog. Always there is a cairn ahead, or a road going on for miles, or stone walls beside the “track”. But always a cairn.
I'm glad it's nearly over. To think that anyone actually would consider walking the entire length of England, from Lands End to John O'Groats, defies imagination. When I was asked my opinion of the Pennine Way, by a very interested Englishman, I baffled him with place-names by replying that it would be like walking 270 miles around Carlons Farm. Actually Carlons Farm is too good for the Pennine Way. More accurate would be 270 miles, in ever increasing concentric circles, around the pig-sty at Carlons. But then it's really not misty or rainy for weeks on end up at Carlons, and there are a few trees to stop the chill wind. And there really isn't any packed campgrounds with screaming kids coming inside your tent when you're dressing, nor dogs sniffing your porridge which you've thoughtlessly left to cool outside the tent. And the pigeons at Carlons don't fly away with your socks and underpants which you have again thoughtlessly hung outside the tent on a guyrope - which really is an absurd appendage of tent equipment. If cars don't run over it and knock down your tent - the kids will. There are one or two more notable features along the route - well I suppose there's really only one - Malham Cove, in the Yorkshire Dales “national park”. Believe it or not, but the crest of the park is the head of a sheep!
If you feel inclined to see a waterfall which you'd normally by-pass if it was in New Zealand, you can pay 4 p. to the innkeeper of the Green Dragon Hotel, and pass through the reception counter and out the back to England's highest waterfall (above ground), Hardraw Force (90 ft.). For added thrills you can walk behind the fall on the right hand side and emerge on the left (or vice versa).
Sheep counting is a popular way to pass time (and deter myopia) whilst walking. There is also bull-dodging in the fields, and leaping over sloppy heaps of fly-ridden prairie cakes through the meadows. The ultimate in excitement is to leap six consecutive mounds, leap-frog a bull, then “slalom” through at least 20 sheep before the next stile. For this amazing feat score 20 points. If it is raining heavily, or if the bull has a ring in his nose, double the score.
The scenery is really nothing to write home about, hence this article is not really a constructive one. Wainwright's Pennine Way Companion is quite useful - take some coloured pencils and you can colour in the sketches whilst you're holed-up in a cave somewhere waiting for the snow to stop.
There is no escape anywhere from people, all out to “enjoy” the English countryside. Gird up your loins as they have never been girded up before because the Pennine Way is a penance for sins.
There must be something good about the Pennine Ways you say? There is. At frequent intervals, like about three times a day, you can drown your sorrows and obliterate the memory of that last mile, with a pint or two of ale from one of England's quaint pubs. And English pubs ARE better than Aussie pubs. Well, I can't think of anymore to write. There wasn't much to write about anyway.
When you “do” the Pennine Way, have a happy time. Take lots of money for beer. You won't see me there - I've had enough.
(or Belly Worshippers, to borrow a term from Dot Butler)
Dinner before the September General Meeting will be at
Abdul's Lebanese Restaurant
It is on the corner of Cleveland Street and Elizabeth Street, City. Meet at 6.00 p.m. We need more girls as so far only Helen Rowan has graced these dinners with her presence.
Suggestions wanted for other cheap and interesting places to eat.
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More In Sorrow Than In Anger...
Where have all the prospectives gone?
by Ms. Dean.
June 11, 12, 13, 14. Bat's Camp - Barrallier Pass - Colong Station - Tonalli Gap - Yerranderie - Mt. Colong - Colong Caves - Bat's Camp.
Present: Bob Younger (leader), Michael Faulkner, Jim Vatiliotis, Frank Rigby, Rosemary Edmonds, Gem Gagne, Helen Rowan, Fay Smith, Joan Rigby, Shirley Dean.
The decision as to which walk to go on at the Queen's Birthday weekend was relatively simple. The walk to Wog Wog Mountain with Helen Gray gathered families, relations, children together at a base camp with all its attendant atmosphere and I'd worn that hat at Easter.
So putting on the hat of mature experienced bushwalker, I decided to test that role on the walk to Yerranderie. Also the symbol beside the walk on the programme intrigued me - was it a composite of the female/male symbol gone wrong (what were the bushwalkers coming to); however on enquiry it was explained as meaning a test walk, and that I know is something entirely different. I thought by wearing my mature/experienced hat it would mean that if there were any difficulties on the walk there would be eager, willing prospectives to help me on my way. But that theory had to be discarded early Saturday morning when all the party assembled at Bat's Camp - 4 men (including 1 prospective), 6 women. So I put on my Liberated Women's hat and with hindsight and afterthought, have decided that I'll wear it whenever I go walking.
As I have not been walking on official trips for some time it was interesting watching the dynamics of the group, male and female, coping with the leader. Nearly everybody had their own maps, compasses; nearly everyone thoroughly checked all navigational decisions, nearly everyone had a voice in making decisions as to which way to go, nearly everyone decided on the camp site, where to light the fire, etc. Very democratic indeed. In fact if I'd realised how much times had changed from the old authoritarian leadership days of the 50's I'd have brought my own compass and map as well.
The party did allow the leader to express at least one of his preferences. Not getting his feet wet meant that we circled the swamp near Bat's Camp so as to need some careful navigational expertise by all to finally pick up the track about 1/2 mile from Rocky Point. Not getting his feet wet meant that we climbed high into Tonalli's Gap and picked up the telephone line 1/4 mile from it. Not getting his feet wet meant some of the party accompanied him over Yerranderie Peak instead of taking the track down to the road and crossing some very small creeks. All very tolerant.
The highlights of the trip were the fine, sunny, windless days, the clear, full-moon nights. The camp fire at Colong Station at which all cooked/ate/talked together and those most affected by the light of the moon, walking to the top of the cleared land and looking back over to Barrallier's Pass. The radiance of the moonlit sky in the early hours of Monday morning and the side trip to Chiddy Obelisk later in the morning - a fine piece of rock the other side of the Kowmung Gap.
On Monday afternoon an amusing rationalising discussion took place. Earlier in the month a two-day walk over the same route was led by Bill Burke and 17 others. As the Queen's Birthday trip was programmed similarly, was it in essence the same:- if one counted the side trip to Chiddy Obelisk as an extra half-day and the fact that as everybody knows democracy takes longer to organise than a dictatorship? Was it one of those Ø trips? I know how I voted - how would you?
The Sou'West Of The Sou'West - Part 3.
by Frank Rigby.
(The last episode ended in an emergency camp on a side spur of the South-West Cape Range, with Joan and I giving thanks for the end of some quite nasty weather.)
Day 7 (now reckoned by the campsites) dawns with lots of promise in the cool air washed clean by the deluge of Day 6. Anxious to put the length of the range behind us before Huey can play his next trick, we are early away. Along the treeless tops with the west coast below on our right and the south coast starting to show on our left, for we are approaching the very corner of Tasmania. We pass one of our rock shelters of the previous day - yesterday it was a haven, today it does not rate a second glance. By mid-afternoon we are standing in the brilliant sunshine near the trig on Mt. Karamu, gazing in awe at all that surrounds us.
Surely this must be one of the grandest vantage points anywhere. Karamu is not high, only 439 metres, and yet it is commanding. Just by turning around through full circle, a panorama of infinite variety and beauty unfolds in all directions. But I cannot help facing the South-West Cape, rocky, fascinating and yes - inviting, thrusting out into the ocean, the last land this side of Antarctica. From a broad low saddle at the base of Karamu, the Cape rises to a summit at 240 metres, the great slabs on the western side plunging at a steep angle straight into the sea. Beyond the summit the promontory falls away unseen, but by previous accounts we know that one must abseil to reach the end. It is difficult to wrest the eyes from this challenging feature, even for the view up the west coast - Window Pane Bay now in the middle distance, then Port Davey and beyond; inland the mountains, plains and patches of forest, the soft hues of the Tasmanian wilderness. But it is the other coast that is especially striking, that succession of bays and rocky headlands; and is that South Cape on the horizon? If so, we are seeing the length of the Tasmanian south coast at one glance.
To the Cape or not, that is the question now. We have been told the return trip from Karamu takes five hours. This means an exposed camp somewhere down there in the saddle, and although the weather is fine now we are longing for security after certain recent experiences. Besides, we have lost a day etc., etc. We opt instead for Wilson Bight, our first bay on the south coast. It is perhaps a cowardly, layman's decision, but at least there's something left for next time. Our campsite, just off the beach beside a small stream, is suitable compensation.
From Wilson Bight to Cox Bight, our start and finish point, is a mere nine miles as the crow flies. But we are not crows (although on occasions it would have been handy) and not in such a hurry, so it takes us four days, including a rest day at Ketchem Bay. The route is a wee bit tricky, slow in parts but interesting, and the rewards are many. Behind each bay is a strip of dense bush and if you find the cut track through to the beach you are home and hosed; if not, you are in trouble, like our approach to Ketchem Bay. Try as we might, we could not discover the track (no markings) and so set about bashing our own (no machete). After one hour in time, 200 yards in distance and a plethora of nasty words (no long pants) we reach our destination. (I must confess it was Joan who had the hard yakka because on this occasion she was wearing the pants, no metaphors intended.) The unmarked routes from bay to bay across the intervening hills follow the clear leads for the forest is to be shunned like the devil, but a couple of compulsory creek crossings would test even the tigers. Although this part of the coast is not often walked, there are cut campsites at Wilson Bight, Ketchem Bay, Hidden Bay and New Harbour, and all very welcome too. Ketchem Bay is a little gem of a place.
The precious days pass and prospect gradually gives way to retrospect. In the outside world '75 gives way to '76, a non-event when all that matters is sunlight and landscape, fitness and a feeling of belonging, a satisfied appetite and a sound night's sleep. On Day 11 I stand again on the crest of New Harbour Range, the very same spot on which I had stood five years before when this trip was first conceived. Far below on the eastern side, rank upon rank of rollers march endlessly towards the long curving beaches of Cox Bight. And those tiny moving specks on the beach must surely be human beings!
It is incredible that this part of Tasmania is not even in the South-West National Park. Every member of the State Parliament ought to have his nose rubbed in its natural beauty before he is paid a cent of his salary. Perhaps only then will the Australians of the 21st century be able to enjoy what I have enjoyed in the 20th.
(Maps: Old River and South-West Cape, 1:100,000)
P.S. Many thanks to Phil Butt for the valuable information passed on to me as the result of his own experiences in this gem of wilderness.
Lightweight bushwalking and camp gear.
Don't be lumbered with a winter bag in summer.
Our new 'Superlight' summer weight bags are nearly half the packed size and weight (2 lbs) of our regular sleeping bags. Nylon covering, superdown filled. Packs into 9” length x 5 1/2“ dia. Can also be used during winter as an “inner-bag”.
Pillow flap, hooded bag. Well filled. Compact, warm and lightweight. Excellent for warmer summer nights and times when carrying weight can be reduced. Approx 3 1/4 lbs.
Superwarm hooded bag made for cold sleepers and high altitudes. 'Box quilted' with no 'through' stitching. All bags can be fitted with zippers and draught resisting overlaps. Approx 4 1/2 lbs.
This 'shaped' rucksack is excellent for children. Useful day pack. Weight 14 ozs.
A single pocket, shaped rucksack. Suitable for overnight camping. Weight 1 1/2 lbs.
Have sewn-in curved bottom for extra comfort in carrying. Will hold 30 lbs. 2 pocket model 1 1/4 lbs. 3 pocket model 1 1/2 lbs.
Is an extra large bag with four external pockets and will carry about 40 lbs of camp gear. Weight 2 1/2 lbs.
One, two or three man. From 2 1/2 to 3 3/4 lbs. Choice of three cloths. Supplied with nylon cords and overlapped doors. No walls.
Two, three or four man. From 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 lbs. Choice of three cloths. Supplied with nylon cords and overlapped doors.
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.
Paddy Pallin 69 Liverpool St., Sydney. 26-2686, 61-7215.
[Cartoon of waratah at base of cliff in distance, with bushwalker spreadeagled beside. In foreground, one bushwalker talking to another.]
”… and then he said, 'I can see the season's first warata-a-a-ah!'“
by Len Newland. Phone 43-2419 (B)
Walks for September.
|3,4,5||Broger's Creek - Mt. Ulrich - Budaroo - Gerringong Falls - Broger's Creek. Leader is Brian Hart, but you will have to contact Fazely Read at the club or on 90-1081. South Coast surroundings.|
|Sunday 5||Hawkesbury River - Rocky Ponds - Wondabyne Trig - Myron Brook - Wondabyne with Jim Brown. Mainly track. Plenty of wildflowers. A busy day.|
|Sunday 19||Govett's Leap - Pulpit Rock - Hat Hill - Anvil Rock - Perry's Lookdown - Bluegum Forest - Junction Rock - Govott's Leap. A good test walk with all that spectacular Blue Mountains scenery, including Bluegum while it still stands. See Vic. Lewin.|
|24,25,26||Carlon's Farm - Carlon's Creek - Blackhorse Ridge - Wombat Parade - Merimerigal - Splendour Rock - Blue Pup - Cox's River - Tinpot Track - Carlon's Farm. This is a very popular area within the club, on the rugged western side of the Blue Mountains. Fazely Read leads.|
|September 11||Dorothy Butler and Ray Kirkby are your contacts for a delightful day in Ku-Ring-gai Wildflower Garden. Details elsewhere.|
|17,18,19||Airly. Saturday - Airly Turret and the Diamond Mine. Sunday - Airly Shale Mining ruins and Black Mountain. David Cotton, who is leader and therefore biased, declares that this is an Extra Good Trip. It's full of historical interest, too.|
|5||Tony Denham loads a walk on this day, but details are not to hand at this writing. (I now hear Bundeena - Otford).|
|12||Waterfall - Morey Track - Myuna Creek - Woronora Trig - Heathcote Creek - Heathcote. David Ingram leads this walk in the unique south coast bush.|
|19||Hornsby - Tunk's Creek. John Noble leads. I know nothing of the area either. Why not go there and find out?|
|26||Tahmoor Barge River - Mermaid Pool - Pot Holes Crossing - Wirrimbirra Sanctuary - Bargo. John Holly leads this walk on tracks along creeks down the cliff to Mermaid Pool, and the walk includes two wild life sanctuaries.|
|26||Mt. Colah - Calna Creek - Berowra Creek - Lyrebird Creek - Mt. Ku-Ring-Gai. Neil Brown follows up his recent “Mystery Trip” with another walk in the area. The last one was reported to be excellent.|
The Sydney Bushwalkers (Founded 1927).
Box 4476 G.P.O.Sydney, 2001.
Notice is hereby given:
That the Half-Yearly General Meeting of the Sydney Bush Walkers will be held on Wednesday, 8th September, 1976, at the Wireless Institute of Australia, 14 Atchinson Street, St, Leonards at 8.00 p.m.
- Welcome to new members.
- Minutes of the General Meeting held on Wednesday, 11th August, 1976.
- Treasurer's Report.
- Federation Report.
- Walks Report.
- Determination of the venue of the 1977 Annual Re-Union and election of Convenor(s).
- Discussion of Motion foreshadowed at the July General Meeting by Kath Brown, the motion being:- “That members be invited to bring forward ideas and suggestions to the Half-Yearly General Meeting as to how the Club may best celebrate its 50th Birthday in 1977”.
- Constitutional Amendments. (No notices have been received by the Secretary as to proposed Constitutional Amendments as at 11/8/76).
- General Business.
- Announcements: (a) Walks. (b) Social.
(Sgd.) Spiro Hajinakitas. Hon. Secretary.
by Len Newland.
Now that the Federation Newsletter is included with the Club Magazine the bulk of what was formerly included in this article is now appearing in that Newsletter.
However, I think that there are one or two points worth noting here.
The current problem with incursions into the Bluegum/Grose area is of course, the requirement of entry permits. A new problem has cropped up however, to wit, that on a number of occasions the N.P.W.S. has run out of permits to issue. Federation are currently approaching N.P.W.S. with a view to making arrangements by telephone, using a permit number obtained thereby.
Some discussion has arisen over the N.P.A.'s idea of producing a sketch map of part of the western Blue Mountains. Arguments included: that such efforts would lead to increased usage of the area, which in turn would lead to degragation of the wilderness characteristics, and that map sales, on the other hand, could be used as a point in increasing public and official awareness of the usage of the area as wilderness.
“Cyalume” lighting has been reported as satisfactory emergency lighting in the caving situation.
The recent Search and Rescue practice was a success. Further details should appear in the Newsletter.
Federation are preparing a Wilderness Use policy. This is for two purposes: (1) As a guide to Federation in their dealings on wilderness usage questions; (2) As a voluntary guide for those using the wilderness. The five points dealt with in the policy are: (1) Garbage disposal and hygiene; (2) Construction and use of navigational aids; (3) Construction and use of permanent shelters; (4) Use of resources; (5) Flora, fauna and geology. It is stressed that these points are by no means exhaustive. Suggestions are wanted from members regarding additional points and opinions on any or all of the points considered.
Now, the Annual General Meeting held on July 20th. Annual reports appeared in Vol.1 No.8 of the Newsletter, and reading between the lines, Federation feel that, while no major achievements occurred during the year, they are somewhat better organised than previously. The elections were held and the results will no doubt appear in Vol.1 No.9 (included I hope with this issue). It should be noted however, that out of approximately 15 positions, only one was contested. Members will recall that last year Federation was in trouble, because the old committee stood down and a number of positions had no candidates. Since committees normally stand for about two years, the same problem will probably come up again next year, even though all went smoothly this year. Finally, some dates:-
|Federation Ball||17th September 1976||September 16th 1977|
|S. & R. Demonstration||October 16/17th 1976||October 15/16th 1977|
|Re-Union||March 26/27th 1977|
|S. & R. Practice||July 16/17th 1977|