Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker
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 7:30 pm 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 Malian Road, Epping, 2121. Telephone 869 6263|
|BUSINESS MANAGER||Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford 2118. Telephone 871 1207|
|DUPLICATOR OPERATOR||Bob Duncan Telephone 869,2691|
|Lighten Your Pack and Enjoy Walking||Jim Vatiliotis||2|
|We Went to Press in '37 and All That||Brian Harvey||4|
|Letter to the Editor||Len Newland||7|
|Letter to the Editor||Frank Rigby||8|
|Eastwood camping Centre Ad||9|
|A Famous Walker of Yesteryear - Felix Mendelssohn - Part 4||Owen Marks||10|
|Letter to the Editor||Ray Hookway||12|
|Annual Re-union at “Coolana”, Kangaroo Valley||13|
|Mountain Equipment Ad||14|
|Preparing for the First Traverse of the Evans Range (New Zealand)||Peter Harris||15|
|Another Letter to the Editor||Kath Brown||18|
|The January General Meeting||Barry Wallace||19|
|Social Notes for March||Ailsa Hocking||20|
Lighten your Pack and Enjoy Walking
by Jim Vatiliotis
People often say that they would like to do weekend walks but they are not confident about carrying a heavy pack or they cannot do difficult walks for the same reason. Others carry a 14 kilogram (30 pound) pack for a weekend and say that they cannot reduce the weight.
Well, if you decide that a light pack while you are walking is more important than luxuries and fresh food around the campfire, you will be surprised at how much you can reduce the weight of your pack.
Last Easter after being asked by the leader to keep the weight to a minimum, I was able to get the weight down to 8,400 grams (18 1/2 pounds) for the four days. Since then I have been on quite a few weekend walks when my pack weighed 6,350 grams (14 pounds).
I started off by listing all the things which I thought were essential and then looking for the lightest equipment that I could find. These are the basic essentials:
|Tent and pegs||1.3||540|
|Plastic pillow (wineskin)||2||60|
|First aid, matches, miscellaneous||11||300|
|muesli, powdered milk||7||200|
|Dried-peas, instant potato||5||150|
|TOTAL GEAR AND FOOD||14.3||6460|
When you are carrying only 6350 grams (14 pounds) you don't need a frame pack or one of the elaborate frameless climbing packs. A large day pack or one of the cheap nylon packs from a disposal store will do. There is no point in carrying an extra 3 or 4 pounds for a frame pack.
I use a nylon tent fly with the ends cut and sewn in as doors. It is adequate but a two-man tent shared between two people is better and not much extra weight. A good quality heavy parka is essential even in summer. Proofed, nylon groundsheets are lighter than polythene and can be used as a cape.
Everyone has his own preference on food. but 4 pounds (1800 grams) should be adequate. On extended trips we work on less than two pounds (900 grams) per day and a weekend is only one breakfast, one dinner and two lanches. Fresh meat is not very heavy in itself but by the time you wrap it up, carry a frypan, billy lifters, etc. it is something like 550 grams (19 ozs). The freeze-dried dinner is only 100 grams (4 ozs).
A change of clothing is good after a walk but it is not essential. I have included a woollen pullover and heavy parka which should be enough for warmth. My experience is that in wet weather people do not change into their spare clothes even if they carry them.
When you go lightweight, you have to watch even the smallest item. You don't carry a knife, fork and spoon when, you only need a spoon. You don't carry even a cloth food bag unless it is absolutely necessary and you have to weigh out all your food. Neven throw something into your pack because it does not weigh much. It all adds up to a heavy pack.
As you can see you won't have any luxuries but think of the advantage of carrying only 6,350 grams (14 pounds) on a hard trip. On the second day you will be down to 4,540 grams (10 lbs) which is not much more than a day pack.
to Margaret and Hans Stichter on the birth of their first child, a son, Reece .
We went to press in '37 and all that
by Brian Harvey
If over-long, tedious and historical articles depress you, don't read this, but I was quite intrigued to read in the last Annual Report “that. there had been some problems with the duplicator”. Problems, forsooth, with that big electrically-operated, fully-automatic, variable-steed luxurious Rolls Royce of mimeographs! You can bung in 500 sheets of duplicting paper, set the machine to the exact number of imprints you want, then sit down for a yarn or write out a walks report, smoke a Benson & Hedges, consume a cold tinnie, visit the small room, make a 'phone call and came back and the job's done! I know, because I have operated identical equipment. Only I don't smoke.
However, to make a point, I must take the more “youthful” members of our Club back to the closing days of 1937 when the Club made history by the purchase of our first very own duplicating machine, to turn out magazines in exactly the same style as this issue in your hand. When I use the expression “youthful members”, I mean anyone under 58, because anyone that age could not possibly have been a member. Mathematicians please check. Come what may, it is a toss-up whether our first attempt was the 1937 December or November issue, as the cover says it's the former and the editorial page avers it the latter. There is no question that it was No.369 which is correct.
It was the incumbent Magazine Business Manager, Bill Mullins, who daringly suggested this Great Leap Forward and that we should produce a monthly bulletin in substitution of a bi-monthly commercially-produced version. This same William is none other than the Mr. J. W. Mullins whose name we-frequently hear mentioned in the media as the Secretary Of the Meat and Allied Trades Federation, when there is a meat shortage, strike or rise in prices. It may also be of interest that he became the proud father of twins but whether that had any connection with our publication is difficult to say, but it could be researched, and is at least a warning to magazine staff. Note well, anybody offering for election!
The first outside cover is identical to that of today, except that it had no advertisements. It was designed by our late Club Member, Alan Rigby, a Foundation Member of both The Mountain Trails Club (1914) and the S.B.W; (1927), he being a commercial artist and photographer of note. The printing plate today is as good as new and I estimate has turned out some 130,000 covers, which, in the earlier times, appeared in rotation in the more attractive colours of green, buff, blue, brown and orange-red! Up to the close of 1979, 530 magazines have been presented to readers (they are no longer numbered) and involving, I calculate, 38/40 million words! As well at a walking and talking club, we seem to have been very literary minded; it is to be regretted some members have never seized a biro or typewriter during their club association. But they are good talkers!
But we were disaussing duplicating machines in the opening paragraph. I recall that this first machine cost £7 ($14) and I'd reckon it was at least third-hand, and looking back, would guess £7 was its value in scrap metal. It was named “The Remington Rapid Rotary”, or “R.R.R.” of meat pie fame, the Railway Refreshment Rooms. As you shall read, it was really not the fault of the duplicator that it was not “Rapid”, though the magazine staff did rotate around it. There was room for improvdment in the design, however. To explain the “problem”. Duplicator stencils are a bit of a mystery to some folk. Basically, a stencil consists of a rectangular sheet of very high-grade thin but strong tissue paper (not to be confused with rolls of that description, please), and this tissue is coated on either side with a waxen film. The stencil is placed in a typewriter, the ribbon of which has been removed or rendered inoperative. When the typing keys are pressed, the bare metal type-faces, that is, the lettering, strikes the stencil, displacing the wax only where it hits, thus leaving an impression of the lettering which easily can be read by holding it to the light, when you are then actually reading through the thin opaque paper. The operative printing unit of a duplicator is a partly-perforated sealed rotating meta/ drum which contains the printing ink, and over this drum is affixed a layer of thin flannel which, by capillary action, absorbs ink via the perforated holes. The stencil is clipped on over the flannel and when the drum is rotated, paper automatically is fed into a compressed space between the stencil and a rubber roller (somewhat like the old-fashioned. laundry mangle) and the ink, which had soaked through the lettering only, is transferred to the paper leaving an imprint of the desired wording. A very simple operation, especially on a modern machine.
But to return to our maligned “R.R.R.”. This had an inking drum which was about ONE-THIRD OPEN, the idea being that just sufficient ink for the “run” in hand was squirted therein from a collapsible tube. True, there WAS an ink-spreading device for an even broadcast over the perforated area, but this gave up the ghost early in the piece so we had to resort to walloping the ink around by means of a flat one-inch paint-brush. A truly scientific display of manual dexterity, guaranteed to blacken all your fingers. We should have been entitled to dirt-money but it was all in the interests of bush-walking and the Great Word.
Our present Club Member, Hector Carruthers, at that period worked with John Fairfax & Son and was thereby able to obtain some “very cheap” paper, the same being off-cuts from the big rolls from which were produced the now-defunct “Sydney Mail” magazine - this paper resembling that of the “Women's Weekly” - flabby, slightly glazed and practically non-absorbent! That is, the paper, not the women. This material when fed into the duplicator adhered to the sticky suction of the printing ink, so that some unfortunate bods, in rotation, had to stand in front of the monster, and, by seizing two corners, peel the paper off the drum and place it on a sheet of 12“ square pre-cut newspaper, over which another 12 x 12 was interleaved until the “run” was completed for each page. It would be accurate to allege this process was labour-intensive as there was one turn of the crank-handle, pause, peel off, and then another turn, pause, etc. The reader will agree this was a problem. We were turning out about 90 copies in all at that time - some pages being a faint impression, others mid-night dark, some a rich compound of both, together with off-sets and finger and thumb prints worthy of CIB standard. These could have been regarded as autographed first editions. The mag. was selling for 3d (20) per copy. Of course, after drying for a week, the heaps of imprints had to be de-interleaved and stapled into the covers.
The actual production work was carried out in the kitchen section of our old club-rooms at 5 Hamilton Street, City, Where we were sub-tenants of The Royal Life-Saving Society. They were nearly called upon. However, this all proved very unsatisfactory as the noise disturbed general meetings and social evenings, whilst many members made pests of themselves by poking about with a view to obtaining a preview of stories, etc and generally getting in the way of the stalwarts of that day. The publication staff consisted of Marie Byles as Editor, Business Manager Bill Mullin, Dorothy Butler, Clare Kinsella, Kath McKay, Flo Allsworth (McKinnon), Brian Harvey, Johnnie Wood and Bill Piggott.
In order to stabilise production and sales, Bill Mullins announced that members could become annual subscribers for just 3/- (30c), their copy would be inscribed with their name and held in the club-room to be picked up at their convenience, or better still, posted home for an additional (10d). As a special inducement, the posted copies would be in the hands of the recipients one week earlier than they were available in the club-room either as reserved copies or as cash sales. It should be of interest that the rate for second-class mail matter was one penny for up to four ounces (113 g). The Good Old Days! But to further complicate the matter, the subs expired one year after payment so that somebody-or-other's sub was coming up for renewal on each month of the year, which to say the least was nerve-wracking. However, after a couple of years and several nervous-breakdowns, all the mag. subs. were made to expire with the receipt of the January issue, bringing them into line with the general annual sub. - but, mark you, to be paid quite separately to thw Business Manager. Everything was designed to be a problem. However, as far back as October of 1937 it was suggested at the monthly meeting that the mag. sub. be included in a slightly increased club annual subscription, but a jaundiced eye was cast on such an innovative proposal - the more recent decision to include the magazine in the annual sub. was by no means a Great New Thought, but it was a step in the right direction.
This “crook” paper was printed on one side only - Heavens, that was quite enough - but there was plenty of it at the “cheap rate” and spoilt material was of little regard, and there was plenty of that.
This first collectors' item edition was of 12 pages and had just one advertiser - none other than Paddy Pallin, whose shop and factory were located at 327 George Street, near Martin Plaza (only to be burnt out on a Christmas Eve some years later). There was the same old guff - Federation Report, news of members doings on and off the track, an invitation by “Mouldy” Harrison to join in at a pre-Christmas Dinner at the “Chicken Inn” restaurant near Wynyard, at which he guaranteed a genuine six-course meal for 4/6d (45c): a party of eight off to the South Island of New Zealand per the S.S. “Awatea” - no planes in those days - the outstanding performance by our greatest walker, Gordon Smith, covering 107.8 miles in 24 hours on a Centennial Park track. At the same time, in a 30 miles scratch race, Dorothy Butler came third, the winner being declared as BEN (sic)' Hall, a misprint for our Bill Hall, a great walker but never as far as we know, a bush-ranger! And that's how we went to press in 1937!
Letter to the Editor
from Len Newland
By now I have become accustomed to a certain stretching of truth in Owen Marks' writings in the Magazine, and having a slight historical interest in the contents of the Bible, I decided to check his statembnt in the November issue that “According to the Bible, II Kings 21:199 it wasn't David but an obscure soldier named. Elhanan who killed Goliath”. The following is the result of my check.
II Kings 21:19 deals with the reign of Amon, one of David's successors, and has nothing to do with David or his activities. The reference should actually have been to II Samuel 21:19. The anomaly here arise because “II Samuel” is called the second book of the kings, While “II Kings” is called the fourth book of the kings, for some strange reason.
II Samuel 21:19, however, refers to a later war between the Israelis and the people of Gath, and reads, “And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, a Bethlehemite, slew the brother of Goliath the Gittite ….”, and it turns out that this man was a son of the original Goliath (21:22).
To find the story of David and the Goliath, reference must be made to I Samuel, chapters 14-17. The oligarchic government of the Judges having failed, Saul became king of Israel ad thus inherited the various wars of the time. One enemy was the Philistines, the ostensible cause of friction being the ownership of the ark, which the Philistines deposited in the city of Gath. Saul, however, was not up to the job, and in an argument with Samuel (presumably high priest), was told ”…. the Lord hath rejected thee from being king over Israel“ (15:26). Nevertheless, he seems to have ruled for come considerable time following this.
David enters the picture in this way: “And the Lord said unto Samuel I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons” (16:1). The son concerned wa David (16:12), and Saul was manipulated into enlisting David on his military staff (16:21) in a junior capacity.
Next comes the battle with the Philistines: picture the Philistines arrayed on one side (17:1), the Israelis, led by Saul, on the other (17:2). Then from the Philistine ranks steps ”…. Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span“ (17:4), which I think is around 8'9” subtract the height of a helmet, and you still have a very respectable enemy. This man proposed that the issue be settled by single combat between himself and a champion of Israel (17:8-9), and somehow contrived to throw, enough of a fright into Saul and company to delay battle by forty days (17:16).
During all this, David had been on leave, and only arrived on the scene because his father had sent him with provisions for his brothers (17:18). He arrived just as battle was finally joined (17:20), However, the Israelis fled when Goliath again made his challenge (17:23). David expressed disgust at the Israelis for this (17:26), and was jeered at in return (17:28). David then made his offer to Saul to tackle Goliath (17:32) and backed it with a history of successful defense of his sheep against lions and bears (17:36). He declined the use of armour and all the mod cans on the basis of not having been trained in their use (17:39).
The contestants now approached each other (17:41) and cursed and threatened each other (17:43-7). Interestingly, Goliath restricted himself to feeding David to the buzzards, but David promised to slaughter the entire nation of Philistines - a premonition of subsequent blood lust. David opened the attack, and managed on his first attempt to knock down Goliath with the famous slung stone (17349). He then ran to Goliath, and killed him with his own sword (17:51), and cutting off his head, took it eventually to Jerusalem. Meanwhile, the Philistines fled, with the Israelis in slaughtering pursuit (17:52) normal procedure in a route in those days.
This settled David's career. He made friends with Saul's son, Jonathan, and was promoted to high official rank (18:5), His fame soon aroused Saul's jealousy (18:8), but this did not matter, because in due course, David became king. Saul committed suicide during yet another war with the Philistines (31:4), and David won the throne in civil war after two more years against Saul's son Ish-bosheth (II Samuel chapter 2).
If the priest in the coach quoted by Owen Marks believed the statement that David didn't kill Goliath, I can only suggest that he did not refer to the King James Bible.
Letter to the Editor
I really did appreciate Rosemary Edmunds' critique (Letters, January issue) of my brilliant fantasy “The Hell of Hinchinbrook” (December issue). It's gratifying to know that at least one person has read and appreciated the output of one's literary labours. It's also reassuring to find that “The Sydney Bushwalker” is capable of carrying, in consecutive issues at that, two bits of nonsense designed to give readers a hearty laugh. Well done, Rosemary, and let's hear more from you in our magazine.
P.S. Rosemary didn't actually say my article was “brilliant”, but only “interesting”. Of course, English people are always conservative, so pardon the liberty. F.R.
A Famous Walker of Yesteryear - Felix Mendelssohn - Part 4
by Owen Marks
Before leaving Regensberg, Mendelssohn decided to Visit the tomb of St. Emmeran and it was there that he met a friendly Italian, enroute to England to take up a musical post in Birmingham, and he was taking in the sights of Bavaria on the way. Uncle Felix asked him to accompany him to Amberg (35 miles approx.) and thus it happened that the two set off bright and early for Bergfeld, where Michael Da Costa, exhausted, refused to go any further and so at the inn they had to stay the night. (I have checked in Groves Musical Encyclopedia and such a man, by a miracle, existed and what's more finished up being knighted by Queen Victoria. Mendelssohn said that Da Costa was of Jewish extraction, but Groves doesn't mention this fact. If any one out there in the Wide World can let me know if Da Costa was Jewish I would be grateful because it would prove that Felix's diary is fairly accurate. Incidentally I have never heard of him or his music. 0.M.)
Next morning in the rain they set off for Amberg, but it took them all day because of shoe problems and Michael Da Costa being a pain in the neck. At Amberg which Uncle Felix declared “is the most enchanting town in the kingdom, and possibly of all the German States”, they spent a whole day exploring the city walls, the Palatine Palaces and the Halls of the Knights of Malta; even going to the neighbouring countryside to see the kaolin hills from which Amberg Porcelain is made, and one piece of which he took home in his canvas pack.
Bidding farewell to his friend next day, he set out alone for the wooded mountaineous region that follows the Czech border. (On the map it's called the Upper Palatine Forest.) “Here for the first time I began to feel ill at ease on being on my own, there being few villages and I had to carry enough food for two days in case the peasants refuse to open the door to strangers. Along the roads were long oval ended boards slightly longer than a man's body, stuck into the ground with a name, a date, and a prayer on it. The local custom is to place the dead on it before burial and later to set it up on the roads as a reminder to all. I was always wary of the occasional person sitting in the shadow, not knowing if it was a sorrowing relative or a Gypsy to worry me. All around is a terrible silence and the dark woods with shrines on the trees to give encouragemeht to the traveller. Although the locals spoke Slavic, I knew that here in this region lived the soul of Germany.” (This last jotting shows how his mind worked. To us Australians it would remind us of surf boards in the cool forests with not a thought of Erl Kings lurking hither and thither.)
“At dusk I was nowhere near a village and had to ask at a small cottage for accommodation. The old lady was blind with three sons younger than myself; two had only one leg and the other had no arms. Thy cursed Napoleon at every breath and yet at Regensberg where the terrible battle took place there is hardly any reminder. I was directed to the Dukes Folly, built like a windmill from Holland, and exhausted I was made very welcome by the gatekeeper, although no food was offered.”
Next day he was off for Trostau but it seems he was given a ride with Gypsies because he states “that after saying goodbye to the Romanis, I was too early to spend the night where I had planned and so made my way to Wunsiede which I saw on a tree was one hour away across the valley.” (Even today in off-beaten areas of Germany and Austria the walking track signs are often in hours, and it is quite feasible that main roads were the same in the early 19th century.)
Approaching Wunsiede I had to cross over a small stream near the Officers Encampment (?) when I perceived a chicken, naked, running around the banks wearing a blue knitted coat in place of feathers. Near the square were more of them, some in green, others in various colours made from small oddments and one noble rooster was proudly wearing the colours of Napoleon, and at the inn where I stayed I heard how it came to pass from the landlord whose chickens they were; for it seamed that his wife one morning awoke to find all the chickens in the barn apparently dead, and after plucking, left them in the wash-house, but by afternoon they were running around. They had been eating fermented wheat or barley, and were only drunk, but all the village women rallied around and knitted one over-coat each I thought this a delightful story and the landlord told me next morning that the pillows that I had slept on were from the same chickens.“
The next day was warm and here at Unterroslau he had a swim; and I mention it because it is the first time that this has happened. Usually when hot and dusty and suffering, he would make for the nearest tavern and sit under a tree. Just after this he met five chimney sweeps in black uniforms with red kerchiefs, with shiny top hats and having many long brooms and “they all laughed at my high German accent and I refused to accompany them downstream”. Before reaching Black Creek he helped stop a galloping horse and was duly thanked by the local Collector and thus that night he was offered dinner and accommodation in Hof, a town on the Saale River.
Suddenly he realized or decided that he should try and get home on the Sunday, so he took the very early coach to Zeist (about 50 miles on a modern map) and got there late “after a very rough day and not much ale”. “At Zeist I decided to see Herr Fahr about my new pianoforte and was delighted at the lapis lazuli inlay but was displeased with the hinged candelabra attached but declined to say anything to him because I had not paid him for his music stand that Aunt Rachel ordered.”
Suddenly the diary stops, only because I presume the next night he was home in Leipzig 21 miles away. Thus rather abruptly and with no climax ends my grandmother's writings and there is no doUbt there is nothing more to write.
Such was Felix Mendelssohn's diary. And here is a lesson for all. When going on a trip don't fail to take a journal and plenty of will power to make you keep a daily account of the doings. What is commonplace and dull can be of interest to your descendants and strangers too. Let's face it. What Uncle Felix did was nothing; just walking along roads and rivers, letting what might befall, fall. Obviously the roads must have been swarming with walkers although horses would be for those with money. (In nearly every story of a hundred years back there were always cobblers sitting in market places as indispensible as the blacksmith.)
I have been asked if it is all true. I assume that it is, my grand-mother having no imagination at all although some of those place names etc. I can't find out, or for that matter references to people and events that are not possible to verify. I asked a number of questions in the previous episode and I have received a phone call from Ken Ellis in North Queensland to say that La Fenice is the Opera House in Venezia (I looked all over the maps of France in vain!!), and a letter from Reg Alder of Canberra informing me that where the barge was stuck, there is a village called Ried 22 kms from Ingolstadt. (Someone reads all this rubbish in the Great Out There.)
Thus ends Famous Walkers of Yesteryear. I hope that it has been not too boring and once again I must thank the Editress for publishing this.
Letter to the Editor
Just received my copy of the January Bushwalker, and I believe I can help Owen solve the riddle of the Watteau (page 9, 3rd paragraph).
At the Thursday Island Library is a book on the Complete Works of Watteau and before the pub closed last night I borrowed it and have worked out the riddle, although it could raise more problems.
1. There is NO painting called “Embarkation from Cythera”,but rather “Embarkation for Cythera”, which in itself is not important, although every critic assumes that the title is meant to be “for” and not “from”, because Cythera is the Island of Love and all the paintings (yes, there is more than ones) show statues of Venus smiling on lovers hand in hand with cherubim hovering in the shadows, and the boats ready for departure have a bed under fluted drapes and all that sort of thing. Obviously we are already ON the Island of Love.
2. There are two paintings of the one scene. One in the Louvre and the other in the Charlottenberg Palace, Berlin (and possibly the one Mendelssohn saw was another). Variations ….. The Louvre one has 11 cherubs, 8 couples, 2 bargees, a boy and a dog, whilst the Berlin one has 52 Cherubs, 12 couples and only a dog. Now Owen's Uncle Felix saw one nearer the Berlin version with its warm autumn colours (the Paris version is in my opinion dull and insipid) than to the Louvre copy. But in neither one can a horse be seen, although in the Paris one a part of the ship's super- structure does have a carved Satyr holding up the curtain, whereas in the Berlin one there is a sphinx on the prow. All very allegorical and quite weird, I must say.
3. I will hazard a guess that what Mendelssohn saw was only a copy of the Berlin work and not a genuine Watteau. Maybe the horse he saw was a part of the ship's ornamentation or something or other. I must confess that I had never heard of Watteau and after reading it last night and poring over it, I feel like an authority. All the paintings are unreal and I wouldn't want one if it was
Also enjoyed all the other articles. An excellent issue and I for one will never be able to camp in a cave again without conjuring up the magic that a humble fire can bring.
Regards to all my friends in Sydney.
The Annual Re-union. "Coolana", Kangaraoo Valley - March 15th & 16th
The S.B.W. Annual Re-union is once again to be held at “Coolana”, in the Kangaaroo Valley.
All members and prospective members are most welcome, also past members and their families.
For those unfamiliar with “Coolana” here are a few details:-
Cars are left on the side of our access road and from here it is a walk Of a few hundred metres down the hill. There is water laid on to the shelter hut which provides sleeping space for only about 20, so bring your tent. There are flat camp sites in a clearing above the hut, and also down on the grassy river flats, if you don't mind the walk uphill for the camp-fire on Saturday night. Supper at the camp-fire is provided by the Club. On Sunday morning there will be a Damper Competition (bring some S.R. flour). There will be singing and music at the camp-fire, but sketches or other entertainment will be welcome. Start thinking!
The drive from Sydney via. Mittagong, takes 2 1/2 - 3 hours, mostly through lovely scenery. For further details, or if you require transport, contact Helen Gray on 86 6263. Also please let Helen know if you have an empty seat in your car.
Preparing for the First Traverse of the Evans Range (New Zealand)
by Peter Harris
Man has always been fascinated by the challenge of the unknown. The exploration of unknown wilderness or unchartered sea have caused some Men terrible hardships; tales of great courage and endurance have filtered down to us from the past.
Today, little of the earth remains unknown. The vast tracks of wilderness have been mostly explored and mapped. Little true exploration remain, except for possibly the great Arctic and Antarctic areas. Only small isolated pockets of land remain within the domain of the true explorer, where the often hostile and unfamiliar environment still caters for the great challenge of Man pitting his strength against the elements, in order that he can build up a true picture of the world in which he lives.
The challenge and conquest of that environment, plus the barrier of altitude in a new dimension were sufficient justification for a February 1980 attempt to make a first attempt at traversing the hostile Evans Range.
Located in south-west Fiordland National Park, New Zealand, aerial photos define the tortuous traverse along the crest of a huge sawtooth range flanking the southern abutment of Dusky Sound, extending east from Perpendicular Peak to west at Mt. Sparrman which overlooks Cascade Cove. A myriad of lofty crags, pinnacles and mountains dominates the skyline, like tall church steeples.
Total ascent exceeds 52,000 feet; descent is a similar 52,000 feet; the total is four times the height of Mt. Everest. Rainfall on the west coast was reported at 400 inches per year, but recent studies show, that it does measure up to 600 inches per year inland for 10 kilometres. Rock and snow techniques may have to be applied.
The range has been previously traversed only as far as Lumaluma Creek, on a geological survey, and reports indicate that any slope over 45° is a swamp. The great possibility of wet campsites exist. By comparison, access to the range is relatively simple by way of Pillars Pass and the Heath Mountains, crossing the Dark Cloud Range to collect a pre-positioned food dump at Lake Mike. Exit is only possible via either boat or amphibian plane charter. We chose the latter, conscious that extended inclement weather may leave us stranded for a long period at Cascade Cove.
The party comprises four experienced persons. Being equally aware of the hostile environment, plus the need to carry full climbing (and snow) equipment for three weeks, plus food with only one available food drop, has presented considerable problems in terms of type of equipMent, and extent of equipment.
In addition, the possible dire consequences of rock-climbing, abseiling, or belaying on snow or ice with a very heavy pack (i.e. 80-100 lbs each) has made it very necessary to ensure that ALL equipment is not only necessary, but 100% useful and functional.
Food, as a food party group, is based on 2 lb per person per day, principally comprising proteins and carbohydrates.
Equipment Lists are always interesting to muse over, so here is ours for the Evans Range; supplemented with the appropriate comments:-
1. That Which Is Considered as GROUP EQUIPMENT.
- Snow-Tents - couldn't find anything commercially manufactured to suit envisaged wind and wet of Fiordland. Poles to be fibreglass because of frequent electrical storms in that area. Redesigned an existing snow-tent, and sub-contracted alterations to our specifications. Long pegs.
- Ordered List ItemStoves - shellite (2 litres per person) - 2 stoves
- Meta tablets
- Eating utensils and equipment - universal size
- Billies (2 x 2 pint)
- Water bags (nylon fabric)
- Repair kit = boots, equipment, basic clothing
- First Aid kit - (basic treatments, includes antibiotics, antihystamines, cardiovascular agents)
- Rope - 2 x 9mm, 150 feet
- Scouring pads
- Torch, globes and batteries
- Screw-gate karabiners
- U.V. Screening cream - water repellent
- Flares (2 - for emergency)
- Tape, slings, and harnesses
- Assorted chocknuts
- Pitons and piton hammer
- Prussik cord
- Cards - desirable but not necessary
- Basic fishing equipment. To be used at Cascade Cove in the event of delay of exit and shortage of food.
(Note 1) Crampons and Ice Axes were not considered necessary, but this view may change upon receipt of weather information at the last moment.
(Note 2). FOOD is also considered as Group Equipment, but has not been itemised in this article.
2. That Which is Considered INDIVIDUAL EQUIPMENT
(subject to variation according to individual preferences)
- Sleeping bag - Grade 1 superdown
- Silk inner sheet
- Outer bivvy bag
- Rucksack mountaineering style
- Sandfly veil
- Gautex or oilskin jacket
- Hat standard army style
- Water bottle
- Toilet paper
- Toiletries (toothpaste, brush and comb)
- Photographic equipment
- Map/compass/aerial photos/notes
- Notebook and biros
- Lightweight towel
- Insect repellent - massive quantities
- Overpants gautex or dry japara
- Boots mountaineering style
- Snow gaiters
- Silk head cover
- Rubber 'slurp' tube
- Snow goggles
- Dachstein gloves and overgloves
- Canyon bag
- Rucksack overbag
- Snow seal
3. That Which is Considered DESIRABLE CLOTHING.
(excluding those items already mentioned in 2. above)
- Woollen or thick cotton panty hose
- Woollen longjohns
- Woollen breeches
- Woollen underwear
- Woollen shirt
- Woollen jumper/s
- Woollen socks
- Light cotton shirt
- Light cotton underwear
- Short trousers
- Possible change of shoes (i.e. sandshoes or similar)
Letter to the Editor
from Kath Brown.
Dear Madam Editor,
Over the last few years I have been rather disappointed to find that comparatively few stories about walking trips, especially club programmed trips, are published in this magazine. As bushwalking trips are the main purpose of the club's existence, and as the avowed reason for the magazine is to present to club members “matters of interest to the Sydney Bushwalkers”, I feel there should be more news about our club's actual walking trips.
We do have a full and interesting magazine, and of course quite a number of trip stories are presented, but these are often private trips or overseas ones. And yet our club walking programme is large, and members and prospectives are well represented on most of them. For instance, the holiday weekend in January which had four programmed trips, attracted 78 people on them, and although the occasional weekend trip fails for lack of starters, most of them go and are well attended.
The trouble seems to be that a trip “story” needs a peg to hang on, a focal point, and also someone with writing ability to make it good reading. We are fortunate in having quite a number of members who can do this, but somehow they just don't get round to it, or at least not often enough.
So I have a suggestion to make, which I hope will be regarded by the club as a constructive one, and worth investigating. It is that we should have a Walks Reporter, either appointed by the Editor or committee or elected at the A.G.M., who would have a regular article in the magazine each month, reporting on the various walking trips done. Depending on the wishes of the Editor or of the Reporter, these could be short and factual, longer and approached from the more personal angle, could cover all trips, or only those that are more interesting (day walks tend to be pretty routine). In addition to the programmed walks, private trips that covered new ground or had any other interest for the club as a whole could be included.
This Walks Reporter would not cover the same ground as the Walks Secretary who already has the onerous job of compiling and producing the Walks Programme, and whose notes describe coming trips, while the Walks Reporter would write up trips that had already taken place.
I think club members generally would be vey interested in such regular reports, and would gain from the information given of times, terrain, attractions or difficulties of the various areas and the walks done in them.
The January General Meeting
by Barry Wallace
The meeting began at 2015 with Len Newland in the chair, apologies from Fazeley (across the Tasman) and about 30 members present.
The reading of minutes of the December meeting passed without incident and correspondence brought a mixed bag. There was a letter from N.P.W.S. advising that they had no plans to incorporate the Newnes ruins area into a national park, a letter from the National Trust acknowledging receipt of our letter re the Marie Byles bequest, letters from two N.S.W. government departments in response to our protests over a bulldozed road on the Ettrema plateau (A: not our department, and anyway it would be impossible to work out who cut the track, B: our responsibility; we know who did it, and have warned that action will be taken if they do it again) a circular from a bus rental firm, a letter from F.B.W. advising that a new brochure on bushwalking is now available, a letter from F.B.W. advising that they are revising their constitution, and last but not least, a letter from an American lady who wants to walk from Cape York to Victoria, and would like information. I believe Wilf Hilder is to be asked if he would like to answer that one.
The Treasurer's Report indicated a starting balance Of $1574.71, income of $255.25, expenditure of $234.50, to give a closing balance of $1595.46.
Federation Report brought news of an upcoming S. & R. training weekend from 21-23 March, Federation Re-union for the weekend 15-16 March, postcards are available for use in registering one's protest over proposed dams in the South-West of Tasmania, and F.B.W. need a new editor for their newsletter.
The Walks Report began with news of a cancellation. Jim Brown had been forced to cancel his Royal National Park ramble programmed for 15-16 December. Peter Miller fared better on his Wollangambe Canyon trip on the 16th with 20 starters enjoying the place a day or so before the bushfires ripped through. Ian Debert's Lilyvale trip the same day reported 21 starters and some navigation problems (sic). A trip scheduled for 23rd December in Brisbane Waters National Park with Fazeley Read in charge was cancelled.
Gordon Lee's Snowy Mountains classic over the Christmas/New Year break attracted a varying number of people (13 -4 +1) with weather varying from fine to wet. An unprogrammed trip into the Brogo River attracted 10 starters in charge of Brian Hart. The December 30th trip out from Waterfall with Paul Mawhinney saw two starters somewhat plagued by bushfires.
The New Year saw the all singing-all dancing Belinda McIenzie - Ian Debert “Back to Nature” weekend on the Colo with 13 starters and no details. Bob Younger's somewhat more staid walk in the Royal National Park over 5-6th January had three starters reporting problems with possums and rubbish bins (always a bad combination) at Deer Pool. The Sunday walk in care of Margaret Reid attracted four people who successfully evaded possums, but did have problems with trains, although not in the rubbish bin. Peter Sargent's walk the same day was cancelled, or who knows what mischief they may have cane to. The following weekend, 11,12,13 January saw cancellation of Tony Denham's Grose River walk. Nancy Alderson was somewhat more successful with 29 starters on her day trip Historical Walk around Woodford. Neil Brown turned his slightly rainy Heathcote trip over to Ann, but we don't know how many people went out to get wet and conclude the Walks Report.
General Business brought a motion that we write to John and Heather White, members whose property at Mt. Tomah was severely damaged by recent bushfires, to express our condolences and offer help in the way of a working bee. This was carried unanimously.
On a matter of reports of sheep grazing in the Kosciusko National Park it was decided to write to N.P.W.S. asking what acCtion was contemplated.
Then it was just a matter of announcements, and it was all over for another month at 2112.
Heathcote National Park Advisory Committee
The Club has heard of a likelihood that one or more vacancies could occur on the Advisory Committee of the Heathcote National Park, Arrangements have been made to submit the name of member Jim Callaway, but the Secretary would appreciate advice of any other member who would be prepared to serve on the Advisory Committee if a nomination were accepted by the Director of the National Parks & Wildlife Service.
Social Notes for March
by Ailsa Hocking
Club Slide Competition
This is the last notice!!! In case you've lost/thrown-away-your-November magazine, here-are-the details again:-
Three sections: 1. Australian landscape.
2. Overseas landscape and/or people.
3. “That Bushwalking Feeling” (includes candid shots of your fellow walkers!)
There is a limit of 15 slides per person. Please hand your slides to me or John Redfern on or before the Annual General Meeting - March 12th.
Wednesday March 19th: Tasmanian Slide Night
With slides by Bob Hodgson, Craig Austin, Pat McBride and Spiro Hajinakitas.
Come and experience the magic of Tasmania's famous National Parks and wilderness areas, in winter and summer. You'll wish you'd gone there last summer too - to places like Frenchman's Cap, Lake St. Clair, Cradle Mountain, the Western Arthurs, Denison Spires and the King William Range.
Wednesday, March 26th: Club Slide Competition
Grand-showing at which the judge (Henry Gold) will announce the winners, and comment on them and the other entries. The cream of the Club's photographic talent will be on display.