Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker
Established June 1931
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, Box 4476, G.P.O. Sydney, N.S.W. 2001. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening from 7.30 pm at the Cahill Community Centre (Upper Hall), 34 Falcon Street, Crow's Nest. Enquiries concerning the Club should be referred to Ann Ravn, telephone 798-8607.
|Editor||Evelyn Walker, 158 Evans Street, Rozelle, 2039. Telephone 827-3695.|
|Business Manager||Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford, 2118. Telephone 871-1207.|
|Production Manager||Helen Gray. Telephone 86-6263.|
|Duplicator Operator||Phil Butt.|
|The Mistery Tour of Tuross||Ainslie Morris||2|
|Three Bagatelles||Bill Gamble||4|
|Easter's Comedy of Errors||Barbara Bruce||6|
|The Ballad of Pommie Frank||Anonymous||8|
|Lindesay - Barney - Maroon||Ray Kirkby||9|
|Social Notes for June||Jo Van Sommers||12|
|The April General Meeting||Barry Wallace||14|
|….Tomorrow “The Times”||Jim Brown||16|
|1983 Bushwalker Recipe No.3||16|
|Annual Subscriptions 1983||16|
|Eastwood Camping Centre||13|
The Mistery Tour Of Tuross.
by Ainslie Morris.
Wadbilliga National Park is a great place to go for an Easter trip. It may be a bit far for a weekend, as it is a five-and-a-half hour drive of about 400 km to the south of Sydney. It is rugged and trackless once you have left the plateau tops, which you do by steep 1,000 metre climbs. The creeks are followed predominantly by rock-hopping, with some short stretches of lovely grassy banks.
Our Donnie (Don Finch) programmed the walk as “Swamp Creek”, which I'm still looking for on my map. The real reason rumoured for Don not leading the trip is that he's still looking for it too. Maybe it's on the Numeralla map, which I did not invest in, but could be indispensable if you want to know where the walk starts. You soon move on to the Belowra map which shows the Tuross winding across from south-west to north.
Don had gone to a lot of trouble in working out a route and making arrangements with David and Jenny Robertson to park the cars on the farm just off the Numeralla Road off the Cooma Road. One car had been left at our destination 60 km to the north for the car swap.
Fourteen happy souls set off across the fields, picking mushrooms, puff balls and sundry fungi to grace our luncheon repast. Fearless Phil Butt, our leader replacement for Don, rounded us up and we plunged into the mist, thinking it would be a good place for lunch.
Two features of this trip are the fine views from the tops. The one at the beginning is the view of Tuross Falls and Gorge, the other at the end is the view from Big Badja. Of that, more later. Tuross Falls were, like a badly brought up child, heard but not seen. Through the gathering condensation we strained our eyes, and as the whirling mists parted briefly, exclamations of “That's water, that little gleaming bit”, reassured us all that we were looking at The View. A second vantage point later on gave us a good sighting of the lower falls.
Joan Rigby pointed out the location of the Gorge, which she had once taken a day to get through with lots of swims, so we skipped that bit.
No trails are marked on the map here, but they do exist for suitable vehicles, apparently for the purpose of providing access to the Falls. So if you are in the area an easy walk will take you thus far. We followed the track, and would have quite happily kept on doing so, albeit the wrong way, only Phil pointed firmly into the foggy scrub. It was wet, too.
We passed a couple of whopping boulders and took a ridge which leads towards the junction with Bumberry Creek. The final steep descent needed care, so we separated 20 metres apart to avoid the dangers of unstable rocks. A few tumbled, and so did two trees.
Our Friday camp site was one of those soggy lawyer-vine spots beside a small creek that you walk right past at 2 o'clock without saying, “This would make a lovely camp site”. And it rained, even during dinner.
Saturday and Sunday made up for all that mist and rain. They were cloudy but fine, and the rock-hopping was as it should be. All rocks were firm and correctly placed for people over 170 cm tall (that's 5'7“, which I'm not).
The Tuross is a lovely clear fast-flowing river. We crossed numerous times, upper leg deep. Peter Hislop and Joan took a swim in full dress and pack as a protest against the lack of compulsory swims on this walk. Fazeley, after many neatly executed crossings, would not come across at one point, so Fearless Phil picked her up, pack and all, and carried her. Only once, however, as there were sixty-four crossings all told. (Vic Gosbell counted fifty-eight, but he takes his navigation more seriously than I do.)
The beauty of the Tuross and Woila Creek lies largely in the rocks. Colours of cream and pink, apricot and deep grey, white or black-flecked, are a delight. Identifying the minerals and crystals gave the geologically inclined much to enjoy.
Our campsites were smooth and grassy, Sunday night's on Walla Flats being well up Woila Creek on the Badja map. It made us think that Bluegum Forest may have looked like this fifty years ago. The Eucalyptus viminalis form a stand of straight gums in wide flats frequented by kangaroos. In the firelight their smooth trunks flickered softly.
We felt we were the only party to have been down here in a year, although probably several go through each year. Not having seen another party for four days led me to contemplate the meaning of “wilderness”. To me it is a place where I can be sure of seeing virtually no sign of European habitation: no fireplaces, no weeds, no stray cattle, no rabbits. Where the birds and goannas and wallabies live in harmony with the native vegetation, and I know they have been here, and this river has been rustling over these stones, for thousands of years past. And they are today, now, even though I'm not there to watch and enjoy. The wilderness needs no observer.
Enough philosophizing. We went up a tributary of Woila Creek, on Monday morning, and two of us had a very, very quick swim in a pool below a waterfall flowing over pink granite. We rested one of the party who was suffering from shock after a fall while we had an early lunch, then collected water for the walk out. Then we took three deep breaths and started up the 1,000 metre climb to Big Badja. It rained, and it was very steep for most of the five hour climb. Good navigation and a close-knit party brought us in good time to see the view from Badja, 1,362 metres a.s.l.
From Badja, we'd been told, could be seen Mt. Kosciusko and the sea. It was a mistery to me how, as we stood in yet more swirling mists. It was still raining, and blowing cold too.
It's a short walk from the road, so I might get back one fine day to see the view, the easy way.
One the other hand, the hard way was pretty good.
by Bill Gamble.
I had intended to walk for ten days on my third visit to Nelson Lakes National Park, New Zealand, in early March, 1983. My plan was to walk up the D'Urville Valley, cross into the Sabine Valley and, after spending some days in the upper basins, walk out around Lake Rotoroa by the same route as I had entered. In the event, I settled for five days - basically three day walks - and did other things which are outside the ambit of this article.
I then went to Arthurs Pass National Park for nine days of walking as part of the Autumn Walks Programme - this aspect will be the subject of a separate article in a later issue of the magazine.
If there is an underlying purpose to this article it is perhaps to suggest that visits to New Zealand to walk need not always involve extended walking carrying heavy packs all the way. Many areas containing magnificent scenery are well within reach of the day walker using a rental car to advantage.
Of the three walks recounted here, the most satisfying for me was the walk up Cedric Ridge to the Angelus Basin, a walk which had been thwarted by bad weather a year before (see article, “The Third Walk”, in the September, 1982 issue of the magazine). This did not detract from the interesting ground covered in the other two walks.
The marked track to Mt. Cedric which begins at the back of the Sabine Hut on the edge of Lake Rotoroa was just as steep as it had been a year before, and I felt it in the knees and a shortened breath as I climbed up through the beech forest; but this time the lightness of a day pack and the mildness of the day had me in a good mood and it belied the rapid rise of the Cedric Ridge. Within an hour the height began to stunt the beech and soon it became spindly and moss-covered. Many parts of the track came back in my memory of the previous year (which surprised me a little as I do not have a good recall of forest routes), then abruptly broke out into sunshine and snowgrass. Two hours had elapsed since leaving the hut. This time Lake Rotoroa was no grey eminence lost in layers of cloud: it lay below, a brilliant blue gem sharp and clear in the morning sunlight. Steadily, I walked up the ridge to Mt. Cedric, 5026 feet, and followed its rounded crest in a long arc towards the sharp ridge peaks beyond.
The point where Joy Hines, Ian Debert, John Newman and I had turned back in miserable conditions was apparent - a spur ridge rising from the direction of the Howard Track - and so too was the extremely exposed position of the Cedric Ridge. It was a lone, quiet walk, constantly punctuated by stops to take in the 360° views - to the north I could see as far as Tasman Bay. About midday I slipped over the sharp ridge into Angelus Basin - adjacent to Sunset Saddle and Hinapouri Tarn below. The landscape was familiar from a walk in 1978 when I had came across the saddle from Hopeless Creek, sidled around the tarn and sat out a day at Angelus Hut in thick cloud and heavy rain before walking out down Hobart Ridge to Park H.Q. at St. Arnaud. I could see Lake Angelus and the hut and just about the whole sweep of the alpine basin. It was time for lunch in the lee of the now cool breeze.
Satisfied that I had closed the gap, I walked back the way I had come, light of foot and hands mostly in pockets. Easy graft on a fine day, but in bad weather, as I well knew, something else indeed. The bushline reached, I took the plunge and descended steadily to find that it took only 50 minutes to drop the 3000 feet to Sabine Hut. The late afternoon by the lakeside was warm, humid and full of sandflies. It was pleasant enough to go for a swim out from the jetty near the hut. The water was cool and refreshing but not cold. I tried without success to elude the hordes of sandflies which followed me out into the lake. Swimming underwater gave only a brief respite.
There was no peace from the sandflies until dusk and then the mosquitos returned to take the night shift. Add a plentiful supply of mice in the hut and the stickiness of Dimp and the ingredients for an uncomfortable night were in place.
The next day I went on another day walk to the tops, this time to Mt. Misery, 5252 feet, at the head of the Mahanga Range which separates the Sabine from the D'Urville, after walking for about an hour to reach the start of the ridge track. The pattern was much the same as the previous day (i.e. a steady, though not as steep, climb through forest to the bushline) but which revealed a sharp ridge quite unlike that to Mt. Cedric. The alpine basin adjacent to Mt. Misery had a stark beauty of its own. The wind was chilly and the cloud cut off the tops of nearby mountain peaks. I had lunch in a bivy with fine views across the Sabine Valley to Mt. Cedric. The return was as predictable as the sandflies, although this time I forded the Sabine River to save about 45 minutes of walking back to the hut via a bridge upstream. I even repeated my swimming routine and suffered the sandflies to dusk and the mosquitos and mice through the night.
The following day I walked out around the lakeside track in 5 1/2 hours of walking in which clouds of sandflies allowed me no rest to enjoy Lake Rotoroa and the forest. After a short break in Golden Bay, I returned to the park at Lake Rotoiti to walk along the St. Arnaud Ridge.
Having, figuratively, dragged the readers of this article up to the tops twice, I would not like to omit a brief description of the third day walk which may be described as deceptive.
It is so easy to walk from the park shelter at Kerr Bay (5 minutes walk from Park H.Q.) up an excellent track through the forest of beech and birds (some club members may comment upon the general quietness of the N.Z. bush but here I encountered a forest of birds). I emerged 2500 feet above the lake to look down on my rental car now a dot by the shelter far below. I walked on upwards into the chill and stiff breeze. The steepness of the climb up the spur to the St. Arnaud Ridge kept me warm, but as soon as I put my head over the sharp ridge an icy blast had me groping for jersey, parka, balaclava and mittens.
Tarns and snow drifts of the upper basins stood in contrast to the clearly apparent habitation below of St. Arnaud township. Putting my back to civilisation and looking into the upper basins and the mountain ranges beyond I could have been a hundred miles from anywhere. I wandered along this wintry ridge for some time, occasionally enveloped in wispy cloud, stopped to take photographs and to have a snack; and, then, almost without thought, I turned around and walked slowly back the way I had come. Within an hour of reaching the bushline winter had become a mild autumn day at the lake's edge. And the sandflies reminded me that I was indeed down from the tops.
(Map refs; Nelson Lakes N.P., NZMS 164, 3rd or later editions; St. Arnaud, NZMS 1, 833, inch to the mile series)
Easter's Comedy Of Errors.
by Barbara Bruce.
Can you judge a walk by its beginnings? That's an interesting question, Actually our beginnings weren't unusually bad - just the normal puzzling when expected participants don't appear by the appointed hour of departure. But they did eventually appear, and for some hours everything went very happily and quite according to plan.
Bill Capon led a party consisting of Margaret Conolly, new member Lyn McDonald, Ray Turton, Bob Milne, Spiro Hajinakitas, Victor Lewin, Gordan Lee, Bill Holland and myself.
Our plan was to leave two cars at each of Quiera Clearing and Taleangela Clearing, head across to the top of Taleangela Creek, proceed downstream through Dungeon Canyon with its potentially interesting sidles if it rained, and then camp on grassy flats at the junction with Ettrema Creek.
The weather was overcast but everything was proceeding well until about 10 minutes after lunch on the Friday. Then came my moment of “glory”. I enjoy rockhopping and I had been thoroughly indulging myself up until the point where I had to determine in an instant whether I'd be able to jump across a 1.4 m stretch of water to a rock and join Spiro or whether to change my route. Fate decided it all for me, as my right ankle did a beautiful twist on some smaller rocks. I don't know which thought predominated, but it was probably the one of agony. Fortunately the others were close by and in no time at all, while still writhing, I was given the full first-aid bit and told it would probably be better if I continued walking. I did - not wanting to act the martyr - but only after being divested of most of my pack's weight. A few minutes later, though, delayed shock in the form of nausea set in - just as we were about to tackle the first “interesting” sidle. Needless to say I did survive owing to the excellent support and encouragement given by the others of the party, but the next day was spent wearing a groove in a log at our base camp (how fortunate there was to be one!) as hard walking was out.
Margaret, Lyn and Bill H. were merry company while Bill C. and his tough group were charging towards Bundundah Creek on their overnight trip. At home at our camp I was left well stocked up while the other three took an afternoon stroll to Puckett's Pass. Although dull, the weather was warm and pleasant: good for walking.
“Happy Hour” for us started at 4.30 and we were well into a singalong by 8.30 that evening. It was marvellous.
On Sunday morning we set off innocently believing we were following leader Bill's instructions. Despite a few observations that were at odds with our instructions, we noted that the creek was flowing north! When we sensed that something must have been amiss after all, it is amazing how we convinced ourselves that we knew where we were according to the map. It transpired we weren't even on the map we were carrying! Nevertheless we were glad to have seen this pretty creek with its inviting waterholes and majestic waterfall which alone checked our further progress.
Returning three quarters the way back along the creek until finding a campsite, Bill and I set up camp while Lyn and Marg continued downstream in the hope of meeting up with the other six. Soon the two girls returned with Gordon, who scornfully told us we were in CINCH Creek, not Ettrema at all! So did we want to stay here or come back to the base camp and join Bob, Ray, Victor and Gordon? The answer was obvious; we'd have to go that way in the morning regardless. In the meantime, unaware of events, Bill and Spiro raced up Ettrema Creek to Transportation Spur where we should have been already, by rights. No doubt they'd be a bit perturbed.
Around Sunday night's campfire, Gordon, Bob, Ray and Victor related stories of an early start, a dangerous ledge with 100 m straight drop - but excellent navigation! The whys and wherefores of our wrong turn were discussed at great length, so was what happened next a surprise, or not?
Concerned for Bill and Spiro who had sped to Transportation Spur the evening before, Gordon and Bill broke camp at daylight in order to alert them to our whereabouts.
After a leisurely breakfast Bob and we three females set off up Ettrema Creek and soon came across Bill and Spiro, who had been concerned and were returning to see what was happening. However, at that stage they had not seen Gordon or Bill.
Lunchtime saw all at the Spur except Gordon and Bill - they arrived somewhat later. Far be it from me to say that for two hours they had run north, instead of south, along Ettrema Creek. So much for our protracted discussions the night before.
One could be excused for thinking all hassles would now be over. Except that we soon discovered two distinct groups of opinion as to which ridge actually was Transportation Spur. After a good deal of map reading and argument, one was finally settled on. Then, all together again at last, we set off in the gently falling rain which had held off for the last three days.
Three hours later saw the party emerge onto the road which led to a set of cars in either direction, so the party divided yet again. You wouldn't think anything else could possibly happen, but perhaps predictably, it did. Bill had had to leave his pack on the side of the road when he was driven to pick up his car, but he couldn't see it for looking on his return to collect it. We thought it likely that he just couldn't see it in the dark, but not so. A farmer, it appears, saw it in passing, and picked it up thinking it had been lost. Bill eventually retrieved it the following day.
The Ballad Of Pommie Frank.
Now you've heard the saga of Canada Gem and the valleys in Bundundah Creek,
But now a ballad I know you'll love - of Nadgee for a week.
When we gathered down by Wonboyn Lake, where the mountains fall to the sea,
There were seven of us and Canada Gem, and Pommie Frank and me.
Oh, Gemma's caught a funnel-web and a snake that's six feet four,
And Auntie Helen's plucking ticks and bull-joes by the score.
“That's fifty-three,” she says to Pommie Frank, who with his camera clicks
All those 'orrible funnel-webs, the snakes, the ants and ticks.
And our little sunburnt bodies are all blistered red and raw,
But Pommie Frank jumps up and down and cries out “GIVE ME MORE!”
“I just gotta record the animals, the insects and the plants,
An' if you don't collect me more I'll stuff some bull-joes up your pants.
I wanna photograph the nasties, and the flies and all the mozzies,
So if you don't collect me more, this funnel-web will be in your cozzies!”
Well, under threats and grumbling we ran off into the wood
To collect as many insects and nasties as we could,
Kathleen found a tiger-leech which stretched from tree to tree,
But not a soul ever found my spoon - emblazened with a whopping 'B'!
“I love 'em all:! yelled Pommie Frank, “I gotta record the animals!”
“You've got the lot,” said Auntie Helen. “This park ain't got no camels,
An' we haven't seen no elephants, and the tiger is asleep,
An' all those nasties we've collected are not for you to keep!”
“So how's about you put them back, like a nice little English lad,
Or the ranger will accost you as a vandal and a cad.
The hippo says he's busy, and the giraffe has a very bad back
From spendin' far too long with his lady in the sack!”
“We couldn't find an anaconda, nor a greater sloth,”
Cried Canada Gem as she unrolled a marmot from a cloth.
“An' the tawny frogmouth ain't all well, he's sufferin' from heatstroke too,
But he gave me some suggestions about what to do to you!”
Well, Pommie Frank just clicked away, he'd finished thirty rolls
When up came Susan herding in a family of spotted moles.
“Mama says can she have them back when you've finished, please,
'Cause little Freddie isn't well, and bucklin' at the knees.”
A koala and a meadow mouse were followed by a chimpanzee.
“Now line up, boys,” urged Pommie Frank, “An' smile when I count to three.”
The American beaver and a sarus crane performed a kinda dance,
And Pommie Frank, he dressed the cheetah in a pair of footie pants.
Well, this went on for days and days till we collapsed upon the beach,
Littered with empty Kodak rolls, and fixing drums and bleach.
“I've finished now,” yelled Pommie Frank. “The photography work is done,
Oh, boy, am I so happy, and it's all been jolly fun.”
Well, on the beach where the sun does bleach the rocks to shining white,
And if you're very careful and keep yourself from sight,
You'll see a gathering of animals round an old developing tank
All doubled-up in hysterics when they talk of Pommie Frank.
Lindsay - Barney - Maroon.
by Ray Kirkby.
(Several people have commented on the very readable articles produced by the late Ray Kirkby for this and other magazines, and all who knew him will agree that their style reflects Ray's warm personality and sense of humour., This article was first published in “The Bushwalker” - an annual published by the Federation of Bushwalking Clubs - in 1945, and clearly shows the different forms of transport and yet the same zest for walking that we feel today. Editor.)
Soon after crossing the Queensland border, on the first occasion on which I went to Brisbane via Kyogle, I saw on the left three mountains of such height and with such spectacular outlines that excitement bubbled in me like gas in a soda syphon. I fondly thought that the whole of Brisbane must make them their rendezvous, the object of their ambitions and dreams - but found the task of discovering their identity quite formidable. Eventually they were established as the enthralling trinity - Lindesay, Barney and Maroon. That unexpected skyline like the graph of a gambler's income was indelible on my brain, and at last came Easter, the apparently minimum time needed for an effective visit.
Lindesay, at least, must be familiar to anyone who has travelled the inland road to Brisbane as the highway crosses the saddle immediately below its ramparts and then runs more or less parallel to Barney and Maroon, though at a greater distance. Theoretically the State border follows the top of Lindesay, but the sheer cliffs make the rabbit-proof fence unnecessary and impassible here, so it has been placed around the base of the mountain. After leaving Lindesay the border runs south of Barney and Maroon, which are an offshoot of the Macpherson Range and wholly in Queensland.
Being only about sixty miles from Brisbane and on a main road, this area would appear to be fairly accessible, yet, on the contrary, the only transport known to me at the time was the Lismore bus. This, fortunately, left Brisbane on Friday and returned on Monday, which was unexpectedly convenient, though the loss of two half days irked us considerably. However, we went to Beaudesert on Thursday night, hoping that we might by chance secure some transport early next morning, but our luck was out. Even when the bus arrived there was no room, but we responded with alacrity to the driver's suggestion that we ride on the roof. I would strongly recommend this as a mode of travelling to all as it provides an uninterrupted and undistorted view of the country and is more comfortable than the crowded interior. Fine weather would be desirable and one should guard against overhanging trees such as the one which swept off my glasses, though, fortunately, into the hands of one of my companions.
It was not long before the mountains came into sight in the reverse order to which we hoped to climb them - first Maroon giving confirmation of one of the two facts we knew about the country. This detail was that, although almost surrounded by cliffs, on one ridge “a horse could be ridden almost to the top”; there, sure enough, was the long, easy ridge sweeping to the summit. Then through a gap in the hills, with mouths simultaneously opened in awe and pleasure, we saw the jagged peaks of Barney. The appearance of Lindesay amply reinforced its reputation for difficulty, soaring to 4,000 feet like a tremendous, impregnable fort. The bus wound up Palen Creek then commenced the tortuous climb to the border. We scanned Lindesay's cliffs and speculated on where the supposed way up might be but eventually decided that the two faces so far revealed to us were unscaleable.
About midday we alighted at the border and received an immediate warm welcome from the gatekeeper. I was relying an him for information but, to my horror, I discovered that he had been on the job only six months and had literally not been from his home more than one hundred yards in that time as he had no relief for his duty of opening the gate. Nevertheless, he gave us some very useful data, mostly gleaned from the few who had attempted the climb during his stay. We ambitiously planned to attempt the mountain that afternoon but Mr. Sanders showed admirable sense in realising the need for economy of time by immediately lighting the primus for tea. Briefly, we stepped off the bus, met Mr. Sanders, discussed the climb, had lunched and been invited to stay at the gatehouse and had commenced the climb in exactly one hour.
The way took us first along the border fence through the most beautiful glade country I have ever seen - bright, vigorous gums and long, incredibly green grass, even the light conspiring to impart an aura and softness like a caress. Then, after a mile or so through jungle, we burst into open forest once again where the ascent began up the jungle-clad sides to the foot of the cliffs.
Surely the steeliest nerves must falter before the unknown, formidable climb! Though those cliffs lured and challenged, they caused more than a momentary fluttering of my heart, but, fortunately, one of the party, even if affected, showed neither alarm nor hesitation. One spot was distinctly hair-raising and here, on the return trip, we started down the wrong way, causing me to claim honestly that, rather than continue, I would, if need be remain on top for the rest of my days.
The top of the mountain is disappointing as it is covered with dense jungle so one must get out to the cliffs to see the views. However, we were fortunate in having good visibility, a rare occurrence, so our eyes eagerly took in the large tracts of glorious country in both States seen by us for the first time. Though Lindesay is just over 4,000 ft we could quite clearly see the greetings of Mr. Sanders and some guests 2,500 ft below. The mountain is considered to be something of a climb and the tree, supposed to be right on top, is covered with names in lead and other metals in a manner which filled us with abhorrence. On arriving back at the gatehouse we found that our host had dined early in order to give us carte blanche in the kitchen and we ate heartily - not a little elated that the climb, which we thought might entail days, had been accomplished in an afternoon.
To climb Mt. Barney in a day, which was our next objective, required some thought as we had no leads as to the way up and the climb itself was at least 3,500 feet from the foot to the top with quite a few miles to cover to arrive even at the base. That was why we left Lindesay at 9 pm and walked down the road, pausing occasionally to look at the unique mountain now tamed and benevolent in the bright moonlight.
Has any other walker been mistaken for “an escaped convict”? I am sure that the hungry look and the stubbly beard, the conventional idea of such a person, have not been wanting on many an occasion. Our discoverer had some justification for his views on account of the closeness of the Palen Creek Prison Farm as we approached Barney next morning by way of Barney View. He was a very burly gentleman an a very small horse and reminded me of Sancho Panza.
Hitherto, from Lindesay, we had seen only the very steep forest-clad sides of Barney, but now we were staggered by the rock faces and the immensity of the eastern side of this 4,400 ft peak - or, rather, series of peaks, which makes it so fascinating. As we approached we debated the most promising looking ridge on the main peak and came to our decision, but discovered later that the mountain is usually climbed by way of the gully between the highest and next highest peak.
The tent was pitched beside the Logan River with the summit of Barney just showing over the tree-tops, but it was 11.30 am before we were able to scuttle off to begin the climb up the mountain slopes rising straight from the river. As we rose towards the rock walls the vegetation became thinner and the ridge more spectacular until, at one point, it was only about three feet wide and overhanging a tremendous gulch formed by the ridges and the main mass of the mountain.
From the summit the view was stupendous but the feature which most excited me was the great chasms between the various peaks. Any one of these peaks alone would have been worth the effort and yet we looked down for probably 1,000 ft onto some of these rocky masses which might well be unscaleable. It was four o'clock before we reached the top despite unremitting toil and lack of mistakes, and our reward was ten minutes of clear sky. Then a mist rapidly moved over the mountain and visibility was only partial. We could not have been more fortunate than to have this short period of uninterrupted view followed by the entrancing mystery and change of mist in high places.
As return in the dark by the way we came was out of the question, we chose the shortest negotiable way down the side to reach the river just at dusk, and then two hours' slow progress in the moonlight elapsed before we made our camp. The climbing of Barney was one of the most satisfying and exciting experiences of my life and I enjoyed it better than Lindesay even if the latter is a more difficult though shorter task. On Barney we had to find our own way to the top; on Lindesay the track is obvious even if it leaves no alternative. Those who have followed tracks and have also planned an assault on a mountain with only experience, keenness of eye and brain and physical endurance to pit against waywardness of weather, time and difficulty will appreciate the added exhilaration and the deeper satisfaction.
Next morning we turned our steps towards Maroon, which now to us, on the crest of the wave, had become an object almost of scorn. Its 3,100 ft seemed paltry and many a joke we had about driving our coach and mix up that one gradual ridge. Local authority directed us to the opposite side of the mountain, the top of which was covered in a mist which refused to clear. It was most pleasant having to carry our packs only from base camp to base camp though we had economised in weight but for our little foibles. About the third day we discovered that one of the party, who had a complex about cleaning his teeth, had brought with him four tooth brushes - one for each day!
Most of the mountain was still well wrapped in mist as we started up a likely-looking ridge which ended, however, in steep, dangerous cliffs. Our potential suicide scaled these but did not know whether he was on top and could go no further. The mist showed no signs of lifting so we retreated with our tails between our legs. Next day we discovered that Kay had reached the top of an isolated peak from which the main mass of the mountain looked unattainable.
Our only chance of climbing Maroon seemed to have escaped us, but Monday was so clear and we so piqued by our failure that we decided upon attempting a dash to the top this time with further directions, though we had to catch the bus miles away at 2 pm. Once again we had to fall back before overhanging and perpendicular cliffs but, after much sidling, we found a narrow, difficult gap which led to the plateau-like top. This plateau is formed of a light-coloured rock having the appearance of a cooled lava flow, Maroon being described in one book as “one huge block of rhyolite”, which may have considerable meaning to geologists. Many of the creeks in the region of these three mountains are so mineral as to be quite undrinkable.
We had attained our object, but with an hour to go we were six miles as the crow flies from the main road and the bus, on top of a 3,000 ft mountain. How to get home was now the urgent problem.
On the road traffic was nil with the exception of one truck, which advanced us nine miles to the township of Rathdowney where the prospect was still most gloomy. Then I remembered that the interstate line is only about a mile from this township and hoped that goods trains might be frequent. Unfortunately they do not stop at the local siding, but the man in charge was willing to ring further up the line and do his best for us. He phoned and, behold, a train was just about to leave but, through some difficulty, we could not be advised whether the driver was willing to pull up for us or not, but we waited expectantly. In ten minutes the friendly (we hoped) polyphemous eye loomed into sight, growing quickly brighter until the engine thundered by with unabated speed. We groaned, we fumed, we cursed. But we had not reckoned on the length of the train - listen to that joyous screeching of the brakes!
Social Notes For June.
by Jo Van Sommers.
15th June - Ros and Bob Duncan are showing their slides of Colorado.
22nd June - The Scrub Bashers play and sing country music. Dinner before the meeting at Phuong Vietnamese Restaurant, 87 Willoughby Road, Crow's Nest at 6.30 pm. Reasonable - B.Y.O.
29th June - Mid-Winter Feast. Socialize with your fellow Club members at mid-winter as well as at Xmas Party time. Club supplies the drinks but bring a plate of party food.
The winners of the photographic competition held on 27th April are:
Overseas - No.1 Frank Taeker - No.2 Frank Taeker - No.3 Barbara Bruce.
Candid - No.1 Peter Hislop - No.2 Jim Percy - No.3 Keith Docherty.
Landscape - No.1 Keith Docherty - No.2 Peter Hislop - No.3 Frank Woodgate.
The April General Meeting.
by Barry Wallace.
The meeting began at around 2005 hours with 25 or so members present and the President in the chair.
New member John Riddell was welcomed with badge, constitution and applause.
The Minutes were read, and after a minor amendment, received with no business arising. Correspondence comprised letters to the new member, to Jim Brown, to Mr. and Mrs. Paddy Pallin inviting them to accept Honorary Membership of the Club, and from Geoff Rigby advising of a forthcoming exhibition of paintings.
The Treasurer's Report brought news that we began the month with $2110.00, received income of $959.79, spent $755.67 and ended up with $2314.12.
All of which brought us to the heady stuff of the Walks Report. The first report was for the weekend of 11,12,13 March 1983. The Reunion at Coolana saw a slightly smaller number of attendees than in recent past years. Most people camped on the river flats and the campfire was also held there, avoiding the recently burnt-out upper reaches of the block. Brian Bolton led a party of 24 people on his Sunday walk that same weekend. Although the trip was programmed for Royal National Park, the park was closed so they all ended up at Werrong Beach.
Over the weekend of 18,19,20 March Gordon Lee had 6 people on his Kanangra Walls, Kowmung River, Gingra Creek trip, which he described as O.K. Bob Hodgson had 7 members on a leisurely but rather wet walk in the Wollangambe area, and John Newman reported 6 members, 3 prospectives and rain, rain, rain, but enjoyable. Reports of Peter Christian's Royal National Park day walk were vague, but the final consensus appears to be that the walk did not go.
Over the period from 18 to 26 March Bill Gamble led a party of 4 in very good weather in New Zealand. It seems there will be/was (choose one) a full report in the magazine.
Over the weekend of 25,26,27 March Ian Debert led a party of 16 on his weekend ramble on the Shoalhaven. The river was in some measure of flood at first, but this abated over the weekend. There was no report of walks by George Mauer and Rudy Dezelin, but Kath Brown reported 14 people on her Heathcote area day walk. The walk was pleasant but the beach at Lake Eckersley is apparently covered in black mud.
Over the Easter weekend the actuality somewhat denies the abundance of walks programmed. Walks by Gordon Lee, Jim Laing and Tony Denham did not go. Of those that did, Don Finch's Tuross River, Woila Creek attracted 14 starters, was led by Phil Butt and Joan Rigby and passed through some most pleasant country. Bill Capon had around 10 starters on his Ettrema Creek - the easy way - walk. We are advised that there will be/was an article in the magazine on this one too.
Gordon Lee's April 9th and 10th abseiling and rockclimbing instructional days were attended, sort of, despite a bit of mis-programming (which won't happen, again), but we never did find out the exact numbers. Frank Woodgate's walk in the Blue Labyrinth attracted 2 members and one prospective. There was some swimming and the walk was O.K. Peter Christian returned to the lists with a vengeance; with 32 people on his Engadine to Heathcote day walk, which also ended the Walks Report.
The Federation Report was next, with news that the Tasmanian Wilderness Society is planning a vigil at the dam site. Club members are urged to write to their politicians urging that the construction works be halted. The search and rescue group have an S. & R. exercise on Barrington Tops planned for the weekend of 29,30 April - 1st May and the F.B.W. Ball will be held at the end of September.
Of General Business there was none. There was an announcement of the debt incurred by the Tasmanian Wilderness Society during the recent election campaign and the usual walks announcements. And then the President closed the meeting at 2043.
If you intend to be at home on June 18 why not -
Come To A Latin-American Party!
An evening of traditional Latin-American music, singing and dancing, together with traditional food, and a brief look at Amnesty International's concern about South America.
For $5 you can join the party and enjoy free wine and hot and cold drinks and nibbles.
Delicious empanadas and Spanish cakes will be available at modest cost.
- Date: Saturday, June 18.
- Time: 7.30 pm.
- Place: La Pena, 585b King Street, Newtown.
(A door on the right hand side going from Broadway, between Wells and Darley Streets - upstairs hall)
Massage for those stiff limbs and sore backs (Swedish Certificate). Appointments 4 - 9 pm, Mondays and Tuesdays at Lane Cove. Half hour treatment - $10.
Ainslie Morris. Phone 428-3178.
....Tomorrow "The Times".
by Jim Brown.
Further to my comments in the April edition of the magazine, I can now report that S.B.W. domination of the Letters page in the “S.M. Herald” goes on undiminished.
John Noble has confessed to me that he had an earlier letter published in the Herald. This was probably early in February, about the time of the savage bush fires. He made the point that newspaper accounts of fires just “breaking out” is so much codswallop - almost all of them have been caused, directly or indirectly, by humans.
Then, late in April, came Elwyn Morris' letter about the Fats (spelling is correct) of Life, warning us that butter and similar greasy substances are almost as treacherous as Kedumba Creek water. To Elwyn goes our Award or Oscar, or Logie, depicting a parrot holding an umbrella overhead, which of course represents Polly Unsaturated.
1983 Bushwalker Recipe No. 3.
by Evelyn Walker.
- 100 grams ground almonds or hazelnuts per person
- Small spoon diced onions
- Small spoon finely chopped cheese
- Pinch herbs
- Little water
Fry onions and add other ingredients to warm thoroughly and melt cheese. That's it - delicious!
To adapt for home consumption, multiply by 8, add an egg and enough water to bind, fill an oiled loaf tin and bake in moderate oven until lightly browned.
Annual Subscriptions 1983.
The subscriptions decided upon at the A.G.M. on 9th March and by committee are as follows:-
- Single member $10
- Married couple $13
- Full-time student $8
- Non-active member $3
- Non-active member with magazine posted $8