Table of Contents
THE SYDNEY BUSH WALKER AUGUST, 1979
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers, Box 4476 G.P.O. Sydney, 2001. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening from 7.30pm at the Wireless Institute Building, 14 Atchison Street, St. Leonards. Enquiries concerning the Club should be referred to Marcia Shappert, Telephone 30-2028.
|EDITOR||Helen Gray, 209 Malton Road, Epping, 2121. Telephone 8676263|
|BUSINESS MANAGER||Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford, 2118. Telephone 871-1207.|
|DUPLICATOR OPERATOR||Bob Duncan, Telephone 869-2691.|
|The Quickness of the Sand||Jim Brown||2|
|The July General Meeting||Barry Wallace||5|
|Social Notes for September||Ailsa Hocking||7|
|Mountain Equipment Ad||8|
|Push-Biking||Steve & Wendy Hocking||10|
|S.B.W. Notice of Half-Yearly General Meeting||11|
|Paddy Pallin Foundation 1979 Grants||12|
|From Faulconbridge to Glenbrook||Wal Liddle||13|
|Despatch from Singapore||Alastair Battye||15|
|1st N.S.W. Rogaining Event||16|
|Bush Safety Awareness Part 2||Len Newland||19|
The Quickness of the Sand
by Jim Brown.
I would guess there are few people who haven't seen at least one film in which the baddie, stumbling into a bog or a quicksand, is finally engulfed. If the film is a light-hearted one, the villian sinks, the camera swings away, then returns, and there are a few bubbles on the surface, and his hat washes away slowly in the covering film of water.
Don't let this happen to you.
This item is inspired by the discovery that some of our local Bilie Mountain creeks - Glenbrook Creek for one - now have patches of quicksand.
Of course, we've had such spots in certain other local rivers, including the Capertee/Colo and MacDonald for a long time. Articles in early club magazines sometimes speak of them, and I have quite distinct recollections of sitting on a sun-warmed rock in the middle of a shallow stretch of the Colo near Boorai Creek in November 1958 and calling “directions” to the tail of the party which would ensure that they plunged into the same soft spot we had already negotiated.
Until lately, I had not struck similar conditions in the closer streams, like Glenbrook Creek, but in the first week in July I walked into a very soft spot only a hundred metros upstream from the Duckhole. I suspect the Glenbrook Creek quicksands are a product of the wild fires of November/December 1977, which wiped out much of the scrub binding the sandy soil: and the torrential rains during the first half of 1978 which swept masses of loose sand (mixed with a lot of fragments of charcoal) down into the creek beds.
I have formed the impression that these beds of quicksand are most likely to occur just upstream from trees that have fallen athwart the creeks, or above collections of large boulders. You seem less prone to encounter quicksands where there is an uninterrupted flow of water. However - that's not always true, and what's more the soft patches vary a great deal in consistency, and seem to be distributed in a rather random fashion. You can have one foot on firm sand with maybe only a couple of inches of water swilling over it and your other leg can sink up to the thigh in the porridge.
Now for the happier aspect. In my experience up to the present there does not appear to be any real danger to life in our local quicksands. All the bad patches I have encountered (mainly in the Colo or MacDonald systems) have been in very shallow water - anything from 5 or 6 cm up to Perhaps 20 - 25 cm (2 inches to 10 inches). And I've never sunk in deeper than the hip of both legs simultaneously. To that depth you can sink in a split second, but after that you don't move down any further.
So then, perhaps we can be reasonably sure that there's no great hazard. The real problem is that it is extremely exhausting drawing a leg out of the porridge. Indeed, if you're in to both hips, you may not be able to haul out either leg. Even if you keep on going in to about knee-depth the effort gets to be distressing. Plainly the worst thing to do is to become alarmed and spend all your energy trying to thrash your way out. However, if you can get a larger expanse of your body on the bed of the stream, you can ease yourself out without trouble.
Having sunk with both legs it's a salutary thing to pause briefly. Roll up the sleeves of any, shirt or jumper you're wearing: if you can, take them off altogether and throw them to a rook, a patch of dry sand, or the bank of the stream. If your. watch isn't waterproof, take it off too and if you can't throw it to safety, hold the strap between your teeth. Now lean forward. on your forearms and pull one of the submerged legs from the sand. Try kneeling and if it holds, haul out, the other leg. If the sand still seems very soft, Using the knee and lower leg as support, get down on your belly and worm your way out. It is unlikely that the quicksand will extend more than a couple of metres.
Now, I have said I've experienced quicksand only in shallow water. I don't know what happens when these soft patches are covered by three or four feet of water after a wet spell. Possibly the water would provide so much “lift” to a walker fording the stream that the feet would not sink in very far. Possibly- but I don't know for sure. I can only suggest that a party crossing a known “quicksand river” after a deal of rain does so very cautiously, testing the bottom with each step, and retreating if it is found that one leg seems to be going in too deeply. Then instead, try a crossing at a rocky place. A few years ago, after doing two days of a projected four day circular walk in the Northern Blue Mountains, I retreated over the same ground rather than put the matter to a test in the flooded Wirraba Creek, having noted how soft the sand bars. Frustrating, yes, but at least I'm able to tell the story. It may well have been a case of the quick (s)and the dead.
Alternatively, if you want to be sure that your hat doesn't go washing away down the river after the final “glug-glug-glug” well, don't wear a hat.
Entering Private Properties
The Committee is to hold a confidential list of property owners who allow the Club to enter their properties on walks. This information will enable details of how to contact an owner to be given to a leader once a walk involved is programmed. Also, it will allow us to acknowledge the support of property owners.
I am presently compiling the list and would welcome any information.
- 1. Name of a country
- 8. One of the Simian group
- 9. Where lions resort to opium Icelandic tales
- 12. A mountain range
- 14. A Maori villager's father
- 15. Relation
- 16. It is elementary!
- 17. Mountain near Troy
- 19. Uncommon in the smallest republic Napoleon'ever attacked
- 21. Russian pre-communist village community
- 22. Son of the god Mercury (reversed to sleep)
- 23. A mixed up dream is ready
- 26. Preposition
- 27. Musical term (known to hernia sufferers)
- 29. Expression of surprise
- 31. Goes with God
- 32. A moustache with no pitch, gives no cadence
- 1. First sentence ever spoken to Eve in Paradise - the ultimate in palindromes
- 2. A short work
- 3. “_” and oppression starveth in thine eyes“ - Shakespeare
- 4. Often with ends
- 5. The meadow is about a drink
- 6. Rio Tin in Spain for inhalation
- 7. Roman copper coin
- 11. Dried vegetable
- 13. A drain is all upset at the bottom
- 16. An insect about a colour
- 18. Appendages
- 20. Phylum porifera
- 24. A large book scrambled
- 25. A 4 letter oath
- 28. 31 across less a car
- 30. A third of Santa Claus's call
The July General Meeting
by Barry Wallace.
The meeting began at 20:26 with about 30 members present and El President in the chair.
New members were exclusively male. Keith Crosby was welcomed in absentia but Alan Doherty, Lionel Eastwood, Finn Simmelhag and Tom Yardley answered the call to receive badge and constitution in the usual way.
The minutes of the previous meeting were read and received without bloodshed- Ho hum!
Correspondence comprised a letter from F.B.W. indicating poor attendance at the 1979 re-union and suggesting that future re-unions be cancelled if more support is not forthcoming, a letter from Mr. Paul Landa, N.S.W. Minister for Planning and the Environment,referring to our previous letter to the Minister for Mining and Development concerning the Ettrema area and indicating that although a S.P.C.C. public enquiry will not be held, Government bodies will check on any application for right of way in the area. There was also a letter from the Minister, Mr. Mulodk, advising that the matters raised were being investigated. We also received a letter from a group planning an expedition to Annapurna inviting contributions and people to join. Letters were sent to our new members and to F.B.W.. regarding the Club's rescission of our motion opposing closure of the Kanangra Road. Business arising brought a donation of $25.00 to the Annapurna group, and an agreement that magazines from other clubs will be placed in the clubroom for perusal by interested parties prior to their consignment to the ink-black depths of archival storage. The Club also decided to write to the F.B.W. indicating that we support the idea of discontinuing annual F.B.W. re-unions.
The Treasurer's report indicated that we started the month with $1683.43 in kitty, spent $211.74, earned or otherwise acquired $597.60 and ended up with $2069.29.
Then it was on on at a maddening pace to the Walks Report. Fittingly enough Ian Debert started the ball rolling with an account of his June long weekend trip to Colong Station with a party of 26. They had fine weather and returned to the cars at around 15:15 on Monday. Bob Hodgson had 11 people on a quite spectacular traverse of the Wolgan escarpment the same weekend. They reported some problems with the supply of water, but felt compensated in some measure by the magnificent views. Gordon Lee's Barrington trip attracted 6 starters and will be proposed as a test walk. The day walk, on Sunday 17th, saw Hans Beck lead 26 people on a rather hurried Glenbrook Creek trip. The following weekend saw the cancellation of Bob Younger's Budawangs trip because of fuel problems. Roy Braithwaite led 26 starters out to Cole Trig on Sunday 24th; and Vic Lewin's Grose Valley trip the same day saw 12 people battling a partly scrubby course in the Upper Grose.
John Redfern managed to overcome fuel shortages and led a party of 14 bods on the Bonnum Pic, Wollondilly River circuit in good weather. Unfortunately they did not manage to find any platypi on either ridge or river. Of the three day walks, Paul Mawhinney's trip from Waterfall had the numbers with 22 starters, Sheila Binns' almost parallel walk attracted 17 people, and the rock climbing/abseiling instructional, under Gordon Lee, was extended into a two-day event with 12 people attending on each day. We don't know whether they were the same people both days.
The following weekend, July 6-7-8 had Jim Lang and three women (we were assured one of them was a prospective) on a completely revised walk from Katoomba to Mt Solitary and out to Wentworth Falls via Kedumba Creek. John Noble had 22 people on a fairly strenuous day walk (14 km route, 500 m rise and fall) out from Hornsby, and Ian Debert reported 20 starters on his Upper Grose ramble the same day to complete the Walks Report.
Federation Report brought news that the Barrier Ranges Club has been re-formed, S. & R. have carried out exercises with a helicopter provided by a well known Sydney electronics business man. The F.B.W. Ball 'will be held on 5th October, 19:00 to 23:59, with two bands. Tickets $6.00 per head. Bendethra Station is up for sale. We have received legal opinion that the writs taken out by a Mr. Doyle appear unlikely to succeed. Mr. Landa has indicated that the act will be examined with the aim of providing greater protection for submissions in future. Federation is in the process of re-writing its own constitution!?
Business arising brought a motion that we write opposing proposed dams on the Gordon and Franklin Rivers in Tasmania and write to N.P.W.S. expressing our concern at the use of trail vehicles in National Parks.
General Business, on the other hand, produced our previous meeting's deferred business to haunt us, and this time there was no escapes It appears that the Federal Government is being urged to review a number of environmental protection acts with a view to watering down their authority and effect. The Australian Mining Industry Council (A.M.I.C.) has called for changes to the acts to facilitate the granting of exploration and mining leases. The acts concerned are:- The National Heritage Act, Environmental Impact Statement Act, Great Barrier Reef Act and the Aboriginal Land Rights Act. The A.C.F. has requested donations and participation to resist this move. The Club has decided to'write to the P.M. (Air Mail of course) and Senator Webster expressing our concern at such moves.
Announcements brought news that Denny King (King of Melaleuca Inlet) had recently visited Sydney and been entertained by some of his many friends within the Club. There was also a rather plaintive request that we seek out a replacement “for the table of the Membership Secretary which is broken down” or something like that.
So on that wistful note the meeting closed at 21:44, and I have writer's cramp.
Social Notes for September
by Ailsa Hocking.
|Wednesday 19.||September is Spring, and the month when the bush is resplendent with hundreds of different wildflowers.Mr. Cooper, from the Society for Growing Australian Plants will came and talk to us about many of these flowers, and how to identify them. He may even bring along some specimens to look at. And if you are interested in growing Australian native plants in your garden, he can probably give you information about what grows best and where.|
|Wednesday 26.||As part of the ongoing safety awareness programme, Fergus Bell, of S. & R., will come and talk about Search and Rescue - the most common types of accidents, how they are handled by S. & R. and how to avoid them.|
The proceeds of the auction held recently at the Club came to $67.95. Of this, $34.50, which was the reserve price for Peter. Harris' camping equipment, is donated by him to the Ettrema fund. The balance of $33.45 will go to the Coolana Fund.
by Steve and Wendy Hocking.
10pm, Friday night and we arrived at the now defunct Bell Railway Station. Martin Bes and Leon Vella had arrived at Central minutes before the train pulled out, and although Peter Levander had been sighted he did not make the train. Tony Marshall's bike (which had been consigned from Sydney) was nowhere to be seen.
With spirits dampened by the cold Mountain (frizzle and the uncertainty of the whereabouts of Tony's bike, we decided to spend the night in Bell Station waiting room, rocked to sleep by the roar of passing freight trains.
Saturday morning, 6.20, and we flagged down a train heading back to Mount Victoria in an effort to locate the missing bike. Mount Victoria staff knew nothing about a bike, but several phone calls and an hour later it was located - still at Central. So after breakfast, Tony headed back to Sydney and we rode back to Bell along a sealed road, as skies cleared ahead. At Bell we crossed the line to the dirt track and the planned start of the trip. Half a mile later a familiar face was seen at the wheel of the first car we passed. Peter Levander, complete with fold-up bike in the back seat, had. arrived. After a few minutes of bike assembly he was ready and our numbers were back to 5.
The road followed the main Western Line to Newnes Junction. From there we headed north, following the abandoned railway line which was used earlier this century to haul shale oil from Newnes. Fish-tailing our way through sandy patches, we rode through undulating country to the Newnes Afforestation Camp. From here the cycling became easier as we actually rode along the graded rail line - evidenced by the occasional steel spike and the corrugations caused by sleepers still under the road. Past Deane's Siding (now only an embankment and some sleepers) the road began its descent down the ridge and through several cuttings.
After the first tunnel we had lunch on a rocky outcrop overlooking the valley before the Glow-worm Tunnel. From lunch the road descended in an engineering masterpiece to the valley below. Here we had to carry the bikes over several wash-aways (who needs roads?). Through the Glowworm Tunnel and the road wound its way around the cliff line into the Wolgan Valley, offering spectacular views of the country below. Rockfalls and erosion of the old line made this part of the trip very slow, but enjoyable. Finally we made it into the valley after only two punctures (both Leon's) and one slow leak. An easy ride to Newnes, past the pub, across the river and into camp just before dark.
Sunday morning and repairs began in brilliant sunshine. With chains cleaned, screws tightened and punctures mended, we rode further along the track through what is left of the shale workings and the railway - a fascinating place to poke around. Nature is doing a good job of resuming her land, making it hard to imagine Newnes in its hey-day.
Giving ourselves plenty of time, we set off along the valley at about 10.30 for a very pleasant two hours of cycling to the foot of the climb out, where we had lunch. Even the fittest of us were forced to give in to this hill, which climbs very quickly out of the Wolgan Valley and would be a test for any cyclist, especially when fully laden. However, we were rewarded for our long walk by the spectacular view back down the valley.
Then it was easy riding over tolling hills back to Wallerawang along a sealed road. A P.T.C. mixup forced us to ride on to Lithgow along a very busy highway. Fortunately we all arrived in one piece and after grabbing a bite to eat we settled down for the train trip back to Sydney.
A most interesting and enjoyable weekend, with the bikes enabling us to cover a great variety of countryside.
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am enquiring about your walking club, as I haven't seen one.
All the time I have been playing golf I've only used the ordinary clubs, which I carry in a bag over my shoulder, or push in a buggy.
So you can see that a walking club can save me a lot of hard work, especially the driver, as they say you have walking drivers.
What a lark it's going to be, strolling round the golf course followed by walking clubs.
Would you please quote me a price for two walking drivers and six walking irons.
Jimbeeme Golf Club.
S.B.W. Notice of Half-Yearly General Meeting
THE SYDNEY BUSH WALKERS.
- (Founded -1927) - -
Box: 4476 G.P.O.Sydney 2001.
NOTICE IS HEREGIVEN: That the Half-Yearly General Meeting of the Sydney Bush Walkers will be held on Wednesday 12th September, 1979 at the Wireless Institute of Australia, 14 Atchinson -Street, St. Leonards at 8 pm.
- Welcome to new members
- Minutes of the General Meeting held on Wednesday, 8th August, 1979
- Treasurer's Report
- Federation Report
- Walks Report
- Coolana Management Committee Report
- Determination of the venue of the 1980 Annual Reunion and election of Convenor(s)
- Constitutional Amendments (No notices have been received. by the Secretary as to proposed Constitutional Amendments as at 8/8/79)
- General Business
- Announcements (a) Walks (b) Social
(Sgd.) SHEILA BINNS
Paddy Pallin Foundation 1979 Grants
In all 39 applications were received this year for grants. The committee consisting of Mr. Wilf Hilder (Kosciusko Huts Association), Mr. Tim Lamble, Mr. Bruce Vote (N.S.W. Federation of Bushwalking Clubs), Mr. Col Watson (National Parks Association) and Mr. Robert Pallin (Trustee for Paddy Pallin Foundation) restated their intention of supporting projects that were likely to produce the most good for the most people.
Successful applicants were-
(1) The Budawang Committee - $1000 is granted as a loan to ensure the publication of the book “Pigeon House and Beyond”. This brings to $2,800 the total loan available from the foundation for this project ($1,800 was granted in 1978). All profits from the sale of the book after repayment of loans will go into a fund to aid publication of conservation literature.
(2) The Colo Committee - (a) $200 is granted to enable publication of the study “Wilderness and Power” - the case against a power - station on Newnes Plateau and suggested alternatives. (b) $400.00 is granted for a study of the Forestry/National Park conflict in the Colo/Hunter Wilderness. This committee has been doing extremely valuable work to preserve this area close to Sydney and so important a wilderness area close to a major city.
(3) Mr. Martin Curtis $25. Mr. Curtis is mainly after information etc. which is being supplied by Paddy Pallin Pty. Ltd.
(4) The Colong Committee - $500 is granted to this committee doing valuable work in the Border Ranges area and other key areas. This grant will enable the committee to have its office at the Total Environment Centre manned during the year.
(5) South West Tasmania Committee of N.S.W. - A grant in the form of an unsecured loan of $500 is made to this organisation to make a film in conjunction with the Australian Film and T.V. School. It is hoped this film will show people who have not been to the South West of Tasmania why it is important to preserve this area free of roads and dams.
(6) The Tasmanian Wilderness Society - $1,500 is granted to this society to continue its work in Tasmania. It is intended to mainly cover the cost of a project officer for 40 weeks at $40. Mr.Ian Cartle is doing this important work for this small amount and needs every conservationist's support.
(7) Federation of Bushwalking Clubs (N.S.W.) - A total of $800 has been allocated to cover: (a) Production of a “Walk in a National Park” programme - $500. (b) Production of member club lists for general circulation - $200. ( c) Search and Rescue instruction leaflets $100. This organisation acts on behalf of all bushwalkers in N.S.W. and not only club members.
(8) Rozelle Ramblers: Balmain Uniting Church Missions - $75 worth of vouchers for hire of equipment for introductory walking trips for young people of the Balmain area.
The total amount granted for 1979 was $5,000. Applications for 1980 will close 29th February 1980. The amount available will be announced towards the end of 1979. Any enquiries should be forwarded to:- R. B. Pallin, Paddy Pallin Foundation, -C/- 69 Liverpool Street, Sydney, Phone (02) 26-2685. 2000.
From Faulconbridge to Glenbrook with that rugged explorer Hans Beck
by Wal Liddle.
We arrived, 31 of us, at Faulconbridge station at 10 o'clock on Sunday morning, 17th June, with overcast skies overhead. With the sun peeping through Hans lined us up in a circle and the introductions began, but with so many people, who could remember so many names! Hans remarked he did not know he was so popular.
Preliminaries over, we set out down the track, with Hans reminding the laggards that it was a long walk and he wished to complete the trek before darkness descended. It soon became apparent that people set their own pace and the party stretched out over a long distance, with the leaders saying to wait 10 minutes at the rest stops for the tail-enders to catch up.
The weather turned out to be unseasonally warm, except at the bottom of Sassafras Gully and Glenbrook Creek where the coldness of winter could be felt. At the turn-off to Martin's Lookout we met a large party of “boy grubs” or “grouts” who together with our party made the track look like Pitt Street on a Saturday morning or Flemington Saleyards on market day. Some way past the turn-off to Martin's Lookout (Long Route) we had lunch at a beautiful sandy spot in the creek bed. Although our leader (shades of Jim Jones) would only let us have three-quarters of an hour for lunch, we made the most of it and enjoyed ourselves. Five of the party dropped out at this point, including Jim and Kath Brown, but the rest of us vowed to go on.
Little did we know what lay ahead of us - wild tigers, elephants? No, nothing so mundane! What we struck on our trackless journey on both sides of the creek were slippery wet boulders, wet water and even wetter bushes. In some parts of Glenbrook Creek, at this time of the year, the sun never penetrates, leaving the overnight rain and dew on the bushes, which never dry out. Woe the intrepid explorer who attempts such a journey! Hans realised this, not long after he wet his pants literally but not figuratively (you work that one out).
I then became leader by reason of his evil design (hiss, hiss!) but also I did not want to complete the walk in the dark. So I pushed on into the wilds, fearing man nor beast, admiring the scenery, “blue pools”, girls 'n all. Needless to say we made good time except sometimes when Scotty and myself stopped, we thought we were last because the rest of the party could not be seen or heard. But after about 20 minutes, sure enough “Stanley”' would meet “Livingstone” and onwards we would push.
Well, about 4 o'clock I was admiring some more scenery at a sandy bend in the river (a girl on a towel), when Victor Llewin said we had gone past the “getting out of the creek” point.
That was the end of the trip, except that a nurse and myself with David Rutherford and some others nearly finished up under a train when we were crossing the tracks at Glenbrook. Still, Rosemary knew all about transfusions and Nina looked a kindly soul if one finished up in hospital.
We all adjourned to the local cafe where we had coffee, milk shakes, hamburgers, Chiko rolls - you name it, we had it. We all caught the 5.35 train back to Central and reckoned it had been a wow of a trip. THANKS, HANS.
Hans had some discussions with a couple of new members who lightly complained about the lack of trips and leaders that weekend. Hans said, “The Club is made up of members and not the Secretary and Executive alone. We need more leaders to lead more walks”.
So I have decided to lead a future walk! God help you and me! See the next programme!
–“Remember that the S.B.W. Song Group, the “Scrub-Bashers”, will now be performing on August 29th. Camp along for an evening of folk songs and blue-grass
MOUNTAIN EQUIPMENT PTY. LTD.
Last month this magazine printed an old advertisement, which gave only one address for Mountain Equipment, The Editor apologises for this error. Mountain Equipment Pty.Ltd is at TWO addresses:- 17 Falcon St., Crows Net and 62 Clarence Street, Sydney.
DOROTHY LAWRY has contacted the Editor to point out that she was NOT the first bushwalker to introduce the Colo River to the Club; in fact she has never been down it (See last month's magazine - Book Review - “The Colo Wilderness”.) Dorothy has a few firsts to her credit, so the mistake is inexcusable! See next month's magazine for an article from Dorothy.
DESPATCH: From our Resident Correspondent in Singapore in mid-June, with sweat running off him, and the tropic night outside
by Alastair Battye.
This place is different to Sydney: 'Firstly, there's not much of it. Secondly, to go bushwalking you don't have to travel far, about 10 minutes by car is all. Thirdly, the bushwalking is no good!
Having made these statements I had better expand a bit. Bushwalking here is not a popular sport, it's done in jungle and. it's hot. In the middle of the island is a reserve of about 200 acres, on a hill. It's somewhat logged and slightly quarried jungle, but it's mostly there. No arguments here about whether rain forest should be exploited or reserved. The government decrees and that's that. But by and large the government decrees wisely and it's good. No pressure groups to manipulate thing, anyway.
But the jungle on the hill is there. Lots of tracks through it and getting round them does constitute exercise. But a competent walker, at the expense of a lot of sweat it's true, can “do” the forest in a day easily. No pack needed, just a water bottle. Still, it's no good really. It smells wrong and it looks wrong and the spirit is not there.
It took me several hours of walking to work out what was amiss. Then it struck me. The smell was hot and dank, but no eucalyptus or turpentine or wet rocks. And the few people you pass on the tracks are furtive and give the impression they feel they shouldn't be there.
But it is a different environment and needs more study. I must do it. And I will.
Rock-hopping and abseiling just do not exist, even as possibilities. Neither is there any li-loing down rivers. One look at the Singapore river puts such ideas out of the mind of even a dedicated li-loer.
Perhaps Malaysia with its vaster forest areas will offer more. But Malaysia has communists who shoot in the northern jungles and tigers wot eat in the southern jungles. Life here is rugged. Still, there is always snorkelling around the coral reefs, but you mind the stonefish and sea urchins, and clams. Don't know what the sharks are like - yet.
So what else is there to do for a frustrated bushwalker. Well, if you like eating you can eat. That here is a natural pastime and the variety of foods and cooking is truly immense. Whatever you like to eat and howsoever yeu may like it cooked, somewhere in Singapore you'll find it. Swiss, French, Pekinese, Mongolian, even American yule cooking is here. The latter, interestingly, is not popular.
There's swimming. The beaches are beautiful. All on reclaimed land. Carefully planted out and very well done - but artificial. The South China Sea water is a bit murky too; or maybe it's the proximity of the harbour.
Then there's bicycling. Considering the situation with Singapore traffic, bicycling is definitely a lethal sport/exercise. I guess here it could be equated with hang gliding - - at Bankstown.
The list is shortening. I exclude from it things like tennis and squash and football and such. I seek soul stretching pursuits. How about skiing. Well, not really, although one is, I guess, handy to the Himalayas and all and ski-touring there would have to be something. Did I mention the word “lethal” before?
So sailing. Or if you're so inclined, yachting. Now, for the yatties of the Sydney busbies, that's a possibility. I've heard fearsome tales of cruising races up the east coast Malaysia islands at night, with no navigation aids, not even useful charts, and squalls coming up. That sounds like a soul stretching, high risk pastime to get into. I haven't yet, but will, and it will form the subject of a later despatch. If I survive to tell of it.
You may ask, “Why am I here?” Did you? Never mind, it's a good question. I ask it if you don't. I have no good answer. Maybe bush- walkers are crazy restless souls condemned to wander hither and yon in unrequited torment. And they leave comfortable homes to do it voluntarily.
1st N.S.W. Rogaining Event
Organised by UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES BUSHWALKING & MOUNTAINEERING CLUB
Rogaining is basically marathon orienteering. Competitors have up to 24 hours, noon Saturday to noon Sunday, to visit as many checkpoints as possible. Darkness is not a problem as there will be a full moon. There are 30 to 40 checkpoints spread over most of a 1:25,000 map. The chances of reaching all of them are very slight, and the team that scores most points wins. Rogaining is a bushwalking event - it is a sport that combines the bushwalking skills of a route selection, navigation, fitness and stamina, and the athlete who knows a little navigation and no bush- craft will not do well.
Date: October 6th and 7th., 1979.
Wollombi- southwest of Cessnock on the road from Peats Ridge. The event will start and finish at Wollombi Hall at the centre of the village. The surrounding country is a picturesque mixture of narrow, level grassy valleys and meandering ridge systems. Relative relief is a maximum- of 200 m. There are only a few roads or tracks, but also very few patches of bad scrub. In other words, it is ideal walking country.
The organisers will provide buses from Sydney to the site if there is sufficient demand. We cannot over-emphasise the desirability of using this service, and the foolhardiness of trying to drive back to Sydney immediately after 24 hours on your feet. The fare of $10 is comparable with the real cost of car travel. One bus service will depart from Central Station on Saturday morning, meet on the covered roadway outside the north doors of the main booking office at 7.30 am. This bus will also pick up from the west entrance to Hornsby station at about 8.20 am. Another bus or mini-bus, if demand warrants, will depart at midnight Friday from the Federation Ball at Balmain Town Hall. Bus transport is uneconomic to organise unless the buses are full. Passengers will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis according to receipt of entry forms, and late applicants may miss out. Competitors who insist on using private cars should be at Wollombi by 10.30 am Saturday. The Hall will be available from about 8 pm Friday night.
Rogaining equipment is the same as for a long hard day walk; small pack; waterproof jacket; pullover; possible jeans for the odd bit of scrub and/or cold weather; a water bottle (important - no natural potable water); light high energy food (chocolate, scroggin, etc.); matches; a reliable torch with spare batteries and globe; basic first-aid kit (bandaids for blisters, at least!); compass; something to protect your map for 24 hours of hard use; pen. To set off with T-shirt, running shorts, running shoes, map,compass and nothing else is asking for trouble.
Gear to be left at the Hall for when you return:- sleeping gear; eating gear; change of clothes.
A small part of Wollombi Hall will be available for sleeping for those arriving on Friday night, and for rest during the event. There will also be -a few large tents on some gravelly ground adjacent to the Hall. Bring a lilo - even if you don't plan to sleep you may find you need to!
Throughout the night the following food will be available at the Hall: Coleslaw, baked potatoes, Vogel's bread, margarine, peanut butter, vegemite, jam, tea, coffee, cocoa, milk, sugar, fruit, cordial, breakfast cereals. A BBQ, hotplate will be available for steak, chops and sausages. Bring your own meat and we will cook it whenever you want it. Bring your own plate, mug and cutlery. Bring your own lunch for both days, and your sweets, chocolate, scroggin, etc. (Basically we are providing all food for the duration of the event itself, except meat and what you choose to eat while out on the course.)
FEES: Event - $6.00. This includes the map and the above food. Bus transport - $10.00 Optional, but strongly recommended.
Some Rules and Other Information
1. Teams must consist of 2, 3 or 4 people. For safety reasons, individual competitors are not permitted, and a team whose members. separate beyond shouting distance will be disqualified. Competitors may drop out of their team provided that at no stage is an individual left alone on the course.
2. There will be men's, women's and mixed divisions. In the mixed division at least one man and one woman in each team must finish. Minimum age: 16 years.
3.The starting order will be chosen by ballot, and teams will start at short intervals commencing at about noon Saturday. Each team will have 15-30 mins to study the master map before their 24 hours begins.
4. A total of 1 hour out of the 24 must be spent at the Hall as a compulsory rest. Teams returning to the Hall should make sure that their times of arrival and departure are recorded.
5. Teams must respect farmland - leave gates as found, avoid disturbing stock, do 'not trample crops, keep away from houses late at night, etc
6. The major fire trails will be patrolled by vehicles from time to time to provide assistance to any team which is having difficulty.
ENTRY: Fill in the necessary form and send it, together with your fees to - ROGAINING, BOX 129 THE UNION, UNIVERSITY OF N.S.W. KENSINGTON- 2033. (S.B.W. Membership Secretary, John Redfern, has a supply of the necessary forms.) Entries received after Friday, September 7th, are highly unlikely to be allocated places in the buses. Entries received after Friday, September 21st, will not be accepted at all. We will not prevent such late applicants from attempting the course if they wish, but they cannot be provided with map or food. Please get your entry in EARLY!
The origin and meaning of the name “rogaining” is obscure, but rumour is that it has Scandinavian roots, and has implications of long-endured suffering! Why do we want you to try it? It's one of those things like much of bush walking, or ski touring and snow-camping; or mountaineering. To most of those who haven't tried it the pleasure we get is impossible to explain.
Some will say that competition is anathema to the spirit of bushwalking. Perhaps, but the competition with other teams is only a surprisingly small part of it. Mostly you are challenging yourself, and the feat of moving steadily over,all terrain for 24 hours, night and day, constantly solving tricky navigational problems, is quite a challenge. Whether you win or any sort of reasonable performance in an event of this magnitude is a source of great satisfaction.
In all its facets, rogaining is a unique experience. Whether it is walking through paddocks or natural bush;whether by day or by the bright light of the full moon; whether you are sharing your teamwork or sharing experiences with other teams in the Hall later; whether you walk a leisurely 20 km or a hard 100 km, it is 24 hours of challenge and enjoyment and an enduring satisfaction of achievement.
Bush Safety Awareness: Part 2- The eyes have it
by Len Newland.
Three wise men saw an owl. The first said it was an owl. The second said, “Nay”. The third …. never mind - the point is not how you interpret what you see, but whether you can see at all. I am sure all bushwalkers appreciate what they see (“beautiful valley and river scenery”), but how many of us are aware that danger to eyesight exists in the bush? Some experienced members I asked had not heard of eye accidents in the bush. Nevertheless they happen. The point was brought home smartly to me early in my bushwalking career when my glasses were neatly removed, by a large bush, and caused me five minutes' delay finding them again. The location was on a small slope in dense scrub, so there was no great difficulty.
However, the same type of scrub exists next to decent drops, and in that situation there could be real bother - apart from the possibility of falling off while retrieving the spectacles, it is also the case that the eyes take a few moments to adjust to not seeing through glasses, and this period of changing perspective represents a period when a false step can easily be taken, leading to an injury, Thus, if glasses are suddenly missing, the wearer should immediately stop to let the eyes readjust before conducting the necessary search.
The second danger is the possibility of material contacting the eye. Looking at the ceilings of caves is an open invitation to sandy particles to jump at eyeballs. Also moving material, such as from a bush shaken by a walker or animal at a higher level than yourself, is ready to enter the eyes of anyone looking up at it. Material entering the eyes in this way can be extremely irritating, particularly if it is allowed to remain for any length of time, and should in any case be removed as soon as possible - if not by a member of the party at the time, then by a nurse or doctor on your return. If the material does irritate, then your efficiency in looking where you're going is impaired, and the false step danger mentioned above is again present, whether you wear glasses or not. Try not to look up at such shaking bushes and cave ceilings where a lot of sand is present on the floor.
A related, but worse, danger is that of material penetrating the eye. This can happen particularly when a branch is pushed out of his way by the walker in front and is suddenly released as he passes it. If you are too close, this branch can strike you quite sharply. Glasses are no protection here. One member told me of the case of another walker whose glasses simply served to point the splinter straight into his eye, by virtue of the shape of the open space between the brow ridge and the top of the spectacles. The victim had to seek medical attention. There are two practices which should both be observed to help avoid this sort of danger. (a) Keep well separated from the walker in front of you. (b) Use our arms to protect your face from face-level branches whether they are moving or not. My informant on this accident told inc she always keeps one arm across her face. I take this one step further - as branches are normally approximately horizontal rather than vertical, I find that keeping both forearms vertical, and held in front of and to either side of the face keeps me out of trouble.
Bush does not have to be moving to be dangerous. On one of my walks, a member bent down in semi-darkness to his pack, which was lying at the base of a tree. A small hard projection on the tree trunk missed his eye by no more than half an inch, and broke the skin on his cheek. He does not wear glasses. Many walkers would have made no more of the incident but this party spent the next two hours in discussing what we would have done if the projection had not missed his eye. Discussion of bush dangers and accidents helps other individuals to be more wary and therefore safer, and should be indulged in. Walkers should be particularly careful about moving in darkness, as small projections of the above type abound in the bush. Often they are overhead, while we mostly look down at our feet. Overhead logs and thick branches are often overlooked as a danger to the eyesight. Even I was not aware of this one, until gathering information for this article, when one member told me of the worst eye accident of all. It seems that the walker concerned was watching his feet (typical of prospective members particularly), and ran into an overhead heavy branch, which struck him on the forehead (not the eyes at all). Immediate result was a headache, and he completed the walk. Within a short period afterwards, he became totally blind. It appears that the optic nerves were affected by the impact, and I understand he was fortunate enough to have his sight restored after some years. To avoid this type of situation (this result would admittedly be rare, but as this example shows, it is possible), keep an eye on what is overhead as well as what is on the ground. Particularly remember that the prospective members on your walk are prone to be watching their feet, so where there is ducking to be done, take it easy.
To summarise, danger to eyesight exists in the bush. To reduce the danger, stop if your glasses disappear, avoid looking directly up, don't walk too close to the person in front, ward off scrub and branches with both forearms if possible (not with your hands; they are smaller and offer less-protection), be wary of small projections, and watch out for overhead branches.
I would like your opinions on the edges of cliffs, viewpoints, etc. by the September General Meeting. I would also like to hear from a few more people.
Three wise men saw an owl. They saw it.
Note from Kath Brown (typist).
Further to the above. On my very first walk a small insect flew into my eye. It was taken out all right, but left the eye very sore. From that time on, I always have some eye drops (small plastic container) in my first aid pack to soothe a sore eye which,although not dangerous, can be very uncomfortable.
The Sydney Bushwalkers Spring Walks Programme- September
CLUB ROOMS: 14 Atchison St., St. Leonards Wireless Institute Building.
POSTAL ADDRESS Box 4476 G.P.O. Sydney.2002
ENQUIRIES REGARDING THE CLUB: Marcia:Shappert Tel. 302028.
|Aug. 31||NTH BUDAWANGS - Wog Wog Stn - Monolith Valley - the Castle - Return 35 km MEDIUM Good open plateau walking, sensational views from the Castle over Byangee Walls, Mt. Pidgeon House to the coast. LEADER: GORDON LEE 6426448 (H)|
|1,2 0||PUSH BIKE TRIP - DHARUG NAT. PARK Enjoy the scenery of the old convict road. whilst leisurely pedalling on your bike. A light truck will most probably transport the-bikes. TRADER: STEVE & WENDY HODGMAN- 1574582 (H)|
|Aug 31-Sept 1-2||ROYAL NATIONAL PARK: Lilyvale Garramarra Farm - Curra Moors - Wattamolla - Bundeena 17 km MEDIUM Map: Royal Nat. Park Train: 8.45 (C) LEADER: MERYL WATMAN 5701831 (H) (before 8.00 p m.)|
|2 0||GROSE VALLEY:Mt Hay Rd. - the Pinnacles - Mt. Stead - Lockley's Pylon - Dufaur Head - Upper Walford Walls - Rocky Points Ravine - Lycon Rill Ck - the Pinnacles Kt. Hary Rd 18 km MEDIUM Map: Katoomba/ Another invigorating day test walk in the beautiful Grose Valley - excellent valley, cliff and wooded ridges scenery LEADER: IAN DEBERT 6461569 (H) (7-9 p.m.)|
|7,8,9 ++||RED ROCKS: Newnes - Mt Dawson - Red Rocks - Newnes. Lots of short ups and -H- downs - may have to carry water - breathtaking distant scenery as well as spectacular rock formations. 25 km MED/HARD Map: Glen Alice LEADER: BOB HODGSON 9496175 (H)|
|7,8,9||MT. YENGO Macdonnell River 25 km MEDIUM LEADER: BRIAN HART 723447 (B)|
|9||ROYAL NATIONAL PARK: Waterfall - Ulbola Falls– Royal National Park Station 12 km -EASY -Map:' Port Hacking LEADER: SHEILA BINNS 789 1854|
|9 0||COWAN: Jerusalem Bay - Elenora Bluff - Cowan 14 km MED/HARD Train:8.45 (C) Tickets to Cowan LEADER: ROY BRAITHWAITE 445211 (H)|
|15/16||WONDABYNE: Brooklyn - 9.30 am ferry to Patonga Etymalong Swamp to dam - Dillons Crater - Bob's Farm - Mt Wondabyne - Staples Lookout - Wondabyne Station 28 km MED/EASY Map: Hawkesbury River LEADER: WAL LIDDLE 4521172 (H) 2401 X402 (B) Waratahs and wildflowers - beautiful views of Hawkesbury River, Broken Bay, Brisbane Waters and Gosford|
|15,16 0||KANANGRA LEADER: GORDON LEE 6426448 (B)|
|16||ROYAL NAT. PARK: Helensburgh - Burgh Track - Bola Heights - Couranga Track 7. Waterfall 14 km MED/EASY Map: Otford. 1:25000. Train -8.45:(c ) Tickets to Helensburgh -LEADER:JIM BROWN 812675 (H).|
|17/18,19,20 Drones Walk||WONDABYNE: Piles Creek - Popran Creek Dharuk National Park - Wiseman's Ferry 70 km MEDIUM. Train: 9.20 am from Sydney or 9.54 Hornsby. Return to Windsor by bus from Wiseman's Ferry. LEADER: ALEX COLLEY 44,2707 (H).|
|21,22,23 0||GROSE VALLEY: Bell Station - Hartley Vale - Surveyor's Ck - Grose River -Blue Gum -Jnt Rock- Govett's Leap - Blackheath 28 km MEDIUM Maps: Mt Wilson & Katoomba Train: 6.00 p m. (C) LEADER: VIC LEWIN 504096(H)|
|23 0||LILYVALE: Lilyvale to Bundeena - Coastal track via Era, Garie Beach, Wattamolla MEDIUM 22km Train: 8.45 (C) Tickets to Lilyvale LEADER: ROY BRAITHWAITE 445211 (H).|
|23||WISEMAN'S FERRY: Mystery trip Private transport LEADER:LEN NEWLAND 432419 (B)|
|LONG WEEK-END 8 HOUR DAY.|
|Sept 28,29,30 & Oct 1||KANANGRA: Cloudmaker - Ti-Willa Plateau - Kuwmung River - Rainbow Bluff - Root's Ridge - Kanangra 38 km MEDIUM Map: Yerranderie LEADER: LAURIE QUAKEN 407 0288 (H)|
|Sept 28,29,30 & Oct 1||DANJERA: Blaydon's Pass - Boolyah Ck - Danjera amphitheatre - Dryera Pass - Bundundah Ck Danjera Plateau - Blaydon's Pass 40 km MEDIUM Map: Sassafras 1.25000 A good 3 day test walk south west of Nowra LEADER: PETER HARRIS 888 7316 (H)|
|Sept 28,29,30 & Oct 1 ++||BARRINGTON/MT ROYAL RANGE: Carabolla - Paterson Divide - Mt Royals Carabolla 64 km Harder than Test Walk standard Nth West of Maitland. Escape the heat and tension of the city in some glorious high altitude country LEADER: GORDON LEE 642 6448 (H)|
|Sunday 30||HEATHCOTE: Karla Pool - Uloola Falls - Uloola Brook - Kangaroo Ck - Head of Navigation - Engadine 15 km MEDIUM Map: Pt Hacking LEADER: PAUL MAWHINNEY 3445439 between 7.00 & 9.30 p m. Train: 8.20 (E)|
1. 0 indicates a Test Walk. ++ indicates harder than a Test Walk
2. All train times are from Central Station E=Electric C=Country
3. All walks without transport details are private transport - contact leader for details - vehicles are not expected to wait more than 15 minutes after pick-up time.
|PRESIDENT||FAZELEY READ||909 3671 (H)|
|SECRETARY||SHEILA BINNS||7891854 (H)|
|WALKS SECRETARY||SPIRO HAJINAKITAS||3571381 (H)|
|SOCIAL SECRETARY||AILSA HOCKING||887 8498 (B) 560-9081 (H)|
|MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY||JOHN REDFERN||808 1702 (H)|
|SEARCH & RESCUE CONTACTS||DON FINCH||47 2251 (H)|
|RAY HOOKWAY||4111873 (H)|
KEEP THE BUSH 'CLEAN AND GREEN - PUT YOUR FIRE OUT.
Sept 22-23 ROCK CLIMBING INSTRUCTIONAL: Full details from Gordon Lee 642 6448 (H)