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The Sydney Bushwalker.

Established June 1931.

A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers Incorporated, Box 4476 GPO, Sydney, 2001. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening from 7.45 pm* at the Ella Community Centre, 58a Dalhousie Street, Haberfield (next to Post Office). Prospective members and visitors are invited to visit the Club on any Wednesday.* To advertise in this magazine please contact the Business Manager.

* See page 18.

EditorPatrick James, PO Box 170, Kogarah, 2217. Telephone 588 2614.
Business ManagerAnita Doherty, 2 Marine Cres., Hornsby Heights, 2077. Telephone 476 6531.
Production ManagerHelen Gray - Telephone 86 8263.
TypistKath Brown.
IllustratorsMorag Ryder.
PrintersKenn Clacher & Morag Ryder.

September 1988

In This Issue:

Editorial 2
Letter to the EditorErrol Sheedy 3
Notes on “Pattern Test Walks”Kath Brown 3
'Short' Is'nt Always 'Easy'Morag Ryder 5
SBW In The Marquesas IslandsFrank Rigby 7
Social NotesIan Debert 9
What's In a Name? Whose Main Range?Jim Brown11
The RossoDot Butler12
“Kadaicha Man”Peter Dyce13
Fed. B.W. Clubs NSW - August MeetingSpiro Hajinakitas13
The Riddle of Aeroplane VH-MOX 15
The August General MeetingBarry Wallace16
Summer Walks ProgramJohn Porter17
Watagans Day Walk - 17 JulyMarie Ward17
Footnotes 18


Belvedere Taxis Blackheath 4
Canoe & Camping Gladesville10 & 11
Eastwood Camping Centre14

(Deadline for October issue - Articles 28th Sept, Notes 5th October) (Deadline for November issue - Articles 26 Oct. Notes 2nd November)


Test Walks.

From time to time the question of test walks crops up in Club affairs. My profound knowledge of human behaviour leads me to suspect that the vexatious question of test walks has been cropping up for about 61 years.

What are test walks and do we need them? Test walks are mentioned only once in our Constitution in Clause 5(d)iii where they are a requirement for membership. Nothing else is said, yet there is a constitutional requirement for test walks.

Of course most people reading this have undergone test walks or are related to such people or the Sydney Bushwalker has found its way into some waiting room or other. The SBW is a bushwalking club and it is reasonable to expect our prospective members to be fit enough to partake of the sport. Test walks therefore are simply walks which on completion indicate a certain level of fitness, ability and speed. If we had unlimited time most walks could be done by most people. Test walks also test a prospective member's determination to want to join the Club. Someone once said if a goal is too easily achieved it is not greatly valued. That takes care of why we have the test walks.

What is a test walk? One of the beauties of bushwalking is the great variety of the terrain, thus we have tracks and no tracks, grades which vary between horizontal and vertical, ground cover varying between open grassland and dense impenetrable scrub and ambient conditions varying between hot, cold, wet and dry. Really a test walk should incorporate all these plus be long enough to indicate fitness. Over the years certain walks always have been test walks because they always were; something like the chicken and the egg. However test walks vary with time. One walk by one leader is a test walk while the same walk by a different leader is not. A particular walk is no longer put on and thus is lost. Or simply the walks change with tracks being made where once there was just bush. The Committee changes and with it a change in emphasis occurs. All these can lead to a change in the degree of difficulty of test walks.

How can we have consistent test walks? Some years ago there were things called patterned test walks; these were a product of the 1930s and were in the Constitution of the time. In 1968 patterned test walks were revived briefly and then the idea died.

The notion of trying to quantify walks by distance and terrain is possible but I suspect difficult to apply. Perhaps the way to go is to review our history. Get all the past and present leaders of test walks to list and describe all the past and present test walks and assemble this information into a master list. So that the list would not be lost with the passage of time it could be published once a year (for example together with the membership list) and updated as necessary. Any new walks could be compared with the master list and if the comparison is favourable then we have a new test walk. In this way we will have continuity of walks, the maintenance of Club standards plus the discretion of the Committee to accept walks as test walks. There is a sub-committee looking into standing orders, I think this is just the job for them.

Letter To The Editor.

by Errol Sheedy

I would like to thank John Porter, Walks Secretary, who kindly phoned me to say that the Committee did not wish to accord Test Walk status to the two walks I offered to lead in the Royal National Park for the Winter Walks Program. As these two walks had been Test Walks in previous years, this information was somewhat of a surprise to me. It made me wonder what circumstances had caused this reclassification of the Test Walks I had designed for prospective members.

I would be most grateful if the Committee would outline the present guidelines for Test Walks so that I may understand the reasons for the decision re my walks, and also so that perhaps in the future I may again aspire to lead a Test Walk for the SBW.

Since this matter may be of more than passing interest to the members and prospective members who have accompanied me on what were once Test Walks I am asking the Editor to publish this in the Sydney Bushwalker.

Notes On "Pattern Test Walks".

by Kath Brown

1. When the Club became incorporated in 1987 a new Constitution was adopted, but until then all members were ruled by the old Constitution including prospective members applying for membership. In a 1945 copy of the old Constitution in my possession, and also in a copy dated 1967, the following paragraph appears (among others) under “Membership”:-

(e) In order to qualify for membership, the prospective member shall produce evidence to the Committee that he has satisfactorily accomplished two day walks and one week-end walk approximately equivalent to prescribed pattern walks in mileage, hours walked, and nature of country, and that such walks be done within the probationary period. Such walks shall be properly authenticated and approved by the Committee as test walks. The pattern walks shall be laid down by a General Meeting, and shall be alterable only by a three-quarters majority of members present at a General Meeting. Fourteen days notice of such proposed alteration shall be given to each member.

The new Constitution as from 1987 makes no mention of “pattern test walks”.

2. In the July 1968 General Meeting a revision of the “pattern test walks” was made and by a three-quarters majority the following were adopted as pattern test walks (as printed in the July issue of the magazine):-

“1. Full week-end.

(a) Kanangra Walls, Gabes Gap, Mt. Cloudmaker, Tiwilla Buttress, Stockyard Spur, Kowmung River, Gingra Trail, Kanangra Walls. 25 miles (40 km) 4,000 ft of climbing.

(b) Carlon's Farm, Carlon's Creek, Blackhorse Range, 'Playground of the Dingoes', Splendour Rock, Yellow Dog Ridge, Konangaroo Clearing, Cox's River, Iron Pot Mountain, Carlon's. 24 miles (39 km) 4,000 ft of climbing.

© Wog Wog Creek, Corang Trig, Bibbenluke Walls, Monolith Valley, Mt. Owen, Bibbenluke Walls, Corang River, The Gorge, Wog Wog Creek. 25 miles (40 km) Approx. 1,500 ft climbing with easy open country, walking and a reasonable amount of difficult sidling and creek walking.

II. Saturday afternoon / Sunday walks.

(a)* Blackheath, Govett's Leap, Blue Gum Forest, Grose River, Victoria Falls, Mt. Victoria. 15 miles (24 km) 2,300 ft of climbing. [Note - this distance would include walking from and to railway station. K. Brown]

(b) Carlon's Farm, Breakfast Creek, Cox's River, Knights Deck, Blackhorse Range, Carlons. 11 miles (18 km) 2,700 ft of climbing.

III. One day walks.

(a) Waterfall, Mt. Westmacott, Woronora Trig, Woronora River, Scouters Mountain, Woronora River, Sabugal Crossing, Engadine. 12 miles (20 km) 1,100 ft of climbing.

(b) Woodford, Upper Glenbrook Creek, Sassafras Gully, Numantia Creek, Linden. Rough creek walking in Upper Glenbrook Creek. 9 miles (15 km) 1,100 ft of climbing.

© Cowan, Cole Trig, Cliff Trig, Porto Bay, Brooklyn. 10 miles (16 km) 1,000 ft climbing, no tracks, low scrub.

* Original pattern walks as 'adopted at the Half-Yearly General Meeting, September 14, 1945'.

3. The new Constitution, however, only says under “Membership Qualifications” (a) iii.:- Satisfactorily accomplishes two test walks, each one day in duration, and one test walk of at least two days in duration involving such distance, time and terrain as approved by the Committee.

Belvedere Taxis Blackheath.

10 seater mini bus taxi. 047-87 8366.

Kanangra Boyd. Upper Blue Mountains. Six Foot Track.

Pick up anywhere for start or finish of your walk - by prior arrangement.

Share the fare - competitive rates.

'Short' Is'nt Always 'Easy'.

by Morag Ryder.

Hat Hill to Victoria Falls. Led by Geoff McIntosh. 16 Kilometres. June 4/5 1988.

It was pitch dark and drizzling when Diana Lynn picked me up at 5.45 on Saturday morning. As all sensible people were still in bed, it took us only 1½ hour to reach the railway crossing at Blackheath.

Presently Derek Wilson arrived with Brunny Niemeyer, but still no sign of Geoff. The 8am deadline came and went, and then suddenly we sighted him, parked by The Man From Snowy River statue*. His passenger was a prospective, a tall English lad called Neil.

The car shuffle at Mt. Victoria / Hat Hill took time and we were all thoroughly chilled as we marched up Hat Hill in the wind and drizzle. Down a spur to Hat Hill Creek, where the cliff lines were lovely but impassable. Back up again to take another bearing, then try again, sliding down through lots of mud and undergrowth.

By now the rain had stopped, and we admired the sun-dappled greenery as we followed Geoff along the creek and up a side gully to see the 'surprise' he had promised us for morning tea. This proved to be a tunnel in the cliff, through which the creek poured, into a small deep pool.

Having lit a fire on a sunny rock ledge, we enjoyed a latish morning tea. Then back to the main creek, up through the mud and wet bushes and along the ridge for views across the Grose Valley. Low cloud obliterated most of the views, so after a snack-stop, Geoff did some complicated navigation and we began the even more complicated descent into Crayfish Creek.

On one particularly steep section, Di had difficulty negotiating a rock slope, and Neil put down his pack in order to help her. The liberated pack promptly took off down hill in great bounds, finally disappearing into the canyon, with a heavy thud. There was a moment of silence, followed by a babble of comments, suggestions and hilarity. Our stalwart leader took a rope and lowered himself into the crevice, rescued the pack from the sandbank where it was embedded, and then began the more difficult task of climbing out. Easy enough to slide down on slimy, sloping rock, but getting up is another matter. Perched on an unfriendly mass of slippery stone, surrounded by deep water and sheer walls, it was some time before Geoff finally reappeared.

The rest of the party were now quite willing to amble on - having spent their time lounging in the sun eating chocolate. Due to the unscheduled pack-rescue, we were running late, so after a couple of hours of wet-foot wanderings in the creek, the sun disappeared behind the cliff-tops and shadows filled the gully.

“We just have to climb up on this ledge”, said Geoff. The climb was actually up a slender tea tree, about as thick as my arm. Like overweight pandas trying to climb a bamboo stalk, we clutched the swaying tree, and with the minimum of dignity, managed to claw our way up onto the ledge.

* Possibly the plaque for Surveyor William Govett.

Up again, in the fading daylight, collect water from a small cascade, and carry it up to a long, narrow overhang. In the near-dark we collected wood and chose sleeping sites. One end had ferns and grass covering the floor. “So much softer than the rocks” I thought gleefully, spreading out my bag. When the fire was truly blazing, Geoff produced an enormous creamy cake, which we had to help him eat. Far too much for him poor fellow, and we should have hated to think of him having to carry it on Sunday. After the wine was drunk and all the goodies eaten, we drifted off to bed. Clouds drifted too over the stars. Rain was pattering on the leaves when I discovered why my end of the cave was carpeted. Large random drops dripped through cracks in the 'ceiling', necessitating a hasty search for spare plastic bags.

Waterproofed again, I snuggled into my cosy nest until the cracking of twigs announced that Geoff was lighting the breakfast fire.

Out into the drizzle, slipping and scrambling to the ridgetop, then plodding single file to observe some very misty views over Grose Valley. By this time we were all thoroughly caked in mud. Derek, who was walking behind Diana, watched with interest as rain washed rivulets of mud from her jacket down her legs. After a snack stop, Geoff began navigating down side gullies to find the pass which would take us through the cliff lines just above Victoria Falls. Up, down, and roundabout. The rain eased, and a bleary-eyed sun finally peered through the departing clouds. A nice dry overhang provided a spot for a lateish lunch, and the chance to dry our soggy gear.

“A quick descent to the creek”, we rejoiced. Alas for 'the best laid plans of mice and men'. The descent was steep, but not quick. Thanks to the rain, every grass tuft and bush on the near-vertical slope gave way when touched. The lower we went, the more luxuriant the lawyer vines and saw grass. Bushes and fern hid slimy, rotting logs which crumbled under our feet, leaving us knee-deep in the soggy mess.

Just when it seemed that the slope had indeed become vertical, we found ourselves nicely entangled in the scrub on the creek banks. Creek?, 'raging torrent' would be more accurate. Where Geoff had rock-hopped during his exploratory walk, there was now a metre or so of churning water. Neatly sandwiched between the treacherous creek and the lawyer vines, we spent an interesting half-hour reaching the cascades above Victoria Falls,

We had to descend in the watercourse itself, not normally difficult but now, with the swollen creek roaring past a few centimetres from our feet, the wet shale seemed decidedly inhospitable. Geoff made a handhold with his rope, for the danger of slipping was not imaginary. Diana did in fact slip, hitting her head, which caused her to turn as pale as I felt.

Creeping down past the thundering water for what seemed like ages, we finally reached the bottom, to recouperate with chocolate and staminade. Some of the party went down to look at Victoria Falls. I decided to wander up the tourist track with Diana, in the warm afternoon sunshine. Singing birds, butterflies and early flowers were everywhere. Even the mud had dried on my shorts.

SBW In The Marquesas Islands.

by Frank Rigby

“The Marquesas Islands” said my travel agent, “Where the devil are they?” I had to educate him before we could talk business.

Nuku Hiva, Hiva Oa, Ua Pou, Fatu Hiva, Ua Huku - the melodious, mysterious names of those islands had haunted me for years. Books like Thor Heyerdahl's “Fatu Hive, Herman Melville's “Typee” and Carl Suggs's “The Hidden Worlds of Polynesia” only served to heighten my longing to gaze upon their green and rugged landscapes. I used to study maps of the Pacific Ocean but there was little joy in that; my huge 123-page “Times Atlas of the World” devoted just 42 sq cms to the Marquesas Islands in an inset - it was obvious that these specks of land in the middle of an enormous ocean were of no consequence in world affairs.

That seemed good news in a way. It meant that the Marquesas, tucked away in a remote corner of French Polynesia, would be off the beaten track and unspoiled by a surfeit of modern civilisation or mass tourism. Not at all like Tahiti, for example, “The ultimate paradise of dusky maidens, blue lagoons and languorous living”, to quote one glossy brochure. Oh yes, but how strange they forgot to mention the artificiality, the unbelievable prices and the traffic jams of Papeete.

I finally made it in 1986. After five days of roughing it on an inter-island trading vessel out of Tahiti I was landed in the village of Atuona on Hiva Oa. Two weeks later I was rescued by a somewhat better ship, the “Aranui”, and managed to see something of the other islands in the group. It had been an interesting experience. But my final parting with the Marquesas was unforgettable; as the ship sailed away towards Tahiti the incredible spires of Ua Pow, reminiscent of a vast cathedral, glowed golden in the sunset. I knew then that I must go back.

And so it came to pass. Letters written to Joan in 1986 had aroused her interest; a slide showing for a few SBW friends had excited Helen Gray. A party was in the making. Fibre research, enquiries, problems - a ship that sailed to the Marquesas only once a month, a tiny air service that operated only once a week (and, they said, be sure to avoid the two months-long busy season in French Polynesia), all with the constraints of a 30-days return excursion fare to Tahiti (cheap, but avoid the high seasons, they said, because the fare goes up!). And how do you get from one island to another? (That's your problem, they said.) And what was it all going to cost? Goodness knows. For a while my life seemed to consist of drafting itinerary charts, calculating costs, writing letters, making phone calls and worrying the life out of my travel agent. I remember that period of preparation vividly, especially the geography involved with Tamworth, Sydney and Papeete lying at the points of a vast triangle.

Almost at the last minute Barbara Bruce was able to join the party and we were four, an all SBW team including three ex-Presidents.

On May 21st 1988 Joan, Helen, Barbara and I boarded the “Aranui” at Papeete as “local passengers”, “local” because that's the way the Polynesians travel, the budget way. We were provided with a mattress on a covered deck and meals on our plates at the kitchen door. We were also provided with free entertainment because the deck was crowded with Polynesians whose natural inclination was to sing beautifully to a guitar or to just have fun, that is when they were not sleeping which seemed to be most of the time. Of course, one was forever tripping over prostrate bodies and a young baby insisted on wetting itself just near Helen's head. A lady whose badge of office was a huge bunch of keys kept some semblance of order, except for the toilets which were never in order. Some people might have called our voyage a social experience.

Sailing across a sea the colour of Reckitt's Blue in the balmy tropics started to relax us and when we made our first landfall at Takapoto, an atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago, we felt we had found the fabled South Seas at last. Two days on and we were gazing in awe at our first Marquesan landscape, the amazing spires of Ua Pou playing hide and seek amid stormy clouds. It was not the tranquil sunset panorama that had reposed in my mind for two years; but I was suitably reminded that here was an oceanic climate subject to rapid changes of weather and sudden tropical downpours. At least, I reflected as I stood on Aranui's deck clad only in shorts and shirt, we would never suffer from cold; no, never, not unless we were to stand on the summit of Dave, Ua Pou's highest peak at 1203 metres. And that was not at all likely since Dave thrust vertically into the sky for what seemed half its total height!

[ Map - The Marquesas Islands. Tahiti is about 6000 kms N.W. of Sydney. ]

My plan called for a week at Ua Pou as our second and final port of call in the Marquesas. In the meantime Aranui bore us on to our first island, Nuku Hiva, 48 kilometres to the north. And on the way we competed with the Marquesans by singing Australian and bushwalking songs for a young American couple and anyone else who would listen. It may well have been the first time that the strains of “Who'd Be a Walker” echoed off a Marquesan coast!

Despite the weather the entry into Taiohae Bay was impressive. Later on, when blue skies prevailed, Joan remarked that Tennyson must have come to this place to write “The Lotus Eaters”. When the clouds lifted occasionally a huge amphitheatre of mountains was was revealed. The predominant colour was the bright green of tropical foliage but here and there brawn cliffs, culminating in the peak of Muake at 864 metres, gave relief. Numerous razor spurs and narrow valleys dissected the amphitheatre and down these valleys raced kibg skebder waterfakks. Clustered around the head of the bay and meandering up into the lower hills, the village of Taiohae, the largest in the Marquesas group, looked suitably South Sea-ist at a distance. (Don't be misled by that word “largest”, it's purely relative. The population at Taiohae would be no more than 1000 and indeed Nuku Hiva can boast no more than 1800 souls out of a total of about 7000 for the six inhabited islands.)

The bay itself is spacious and, in fine weather, beautiful to behold. I counted fifteen yachts at anchor for the Marquesas group is the first landfall for yachts after the 3-4 weeks crossing from Mexico or Panama. Anyone in Taiohae will hear lots of Yachties' stories if they care to listen.

After five days of shipboard life it was a relief to leave the Aranui but we soon encountered a new set of problems. For starters the rain was coming down in buckets; one local lady told us that it had been raining for ten days! The few small hotels and pensions were booked out because the Aranui and the plane from Tahiti had arrived on the same day. There was nowhere to camp except on the school sports grounds and they were sodden anyway.

Our collective French in a place where English is rare was found wanting although Barbara was rapidly recovering her schooldays expertise. At the Gendarmerie I was told that the horse / walking tracks marked on my map were now overgrown - twenty years ago people used them, mais oui, but nowadays the locals all travelled in 4WD vehicles on the roads. So much for my $10 up-to-date topographical map purchased in Papeete! This is Polynesia, I reflected! As a last resort Joan had found an open-sided shelter shed with table and benches down by the wharf in which we planned to spend the night; at least it was dry even if somewhat public. All in all I felt that our introduction to Paradise had been less than idyllic.

But our fortunes were about to take a turn for the better. Remember the Yachties? God bless them, they're such nice people, just like bushwalkers. Earlier in the day Helen had struck up an instant friendship with an American called Sparky and now Sparky came to the rescue. Barbara and Helen would sleep aboard his yacht and Joan and I would go to another boat owned by his Canadian friends since space was limited. Poor Sparky, he had to do all the rowing of bods and packs in a tiny dinghy. Ah yes, how the pleasant memories return to me - drinks in the cosy cabin, stimulating conversations in English, tales of ocean crossings and a comfortable bed on the divans.

So ended the first day of our Marquesan adventure.

To be continued.

Social Notes.

by Ian Debert

On 24th August the program was “Nature Care & Natural Health” by Bill Pearson. What a pity only 16 people came along to learn a little basic massage. Those who did attend enjoyed an interesting evening on a subject which goes hand in hand with bushwalking - oh to be able to relieve those aching muscles after a strenuous walk. Dot, Michelle and Beverley all experienced the magic touch of Bill's hands and judging from their smiles it really was “magic”.

31st August - A small number of members were entertained by “The Moonshine Band”. They sang and played a good selection of old music - thanks Gordon and Len. I wonder how many bushwalking clubs have their own band?

Social nights in October: 19th - “Those Feet are made for Walking” with Susan Elfert, podiatrist. As bushwalkers, we naturally must be vitally interested in our feet - we would not go far without them. Come along and find out how to take correct care of your feet, how they function under difficult conditions and the best shoes to put them in. (Dinner before the meeting is at “El Carlo” Ramsay Road, not “Il Tevere”, be there at 6.30 pm)

26th - “The Scrub Bashers” - our very own vocal group. Join us on this evening and be delightfully entertained with folk songs and bush ballads. We should support our own singers, so come along and enjoy yourselves.

Canoe & Camping.

265 Victoria Road, Gladesville, 2111. Phone (02) 817 5590. Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9-6, Thurs. 9-8, Sat. 9-4. (Parking at rear off Pittwater Road).

A large range of lightweight, quality, bushwalking & camping gear:

  • Lightweight food for backpackers and canoeists
  • Cold weather protection clothing and raingear
  • Maps, books and leaflets
  • Information service for canoeists and walkers
  • Knives
  • Compasses
  • Survival gear

We stock the largest range of canoeing gear in N.S.W.

Quality touring craft of all types. High quality, performance competition craft.

  • A huge range of paddles for all types of canoeing
  • Wetsuits
  • Surf skis
  • All types of spray covers
  • Wide range of jackets & cags
  • Face masks
  • Footwear
  • Many types of buoyancy & life vests
  • Helmets

What's In A Name?

by Jim Brown

Whose Main Range?

Now, suppose you tell me - Who was Scott, and where did he get his “Main” Range from?

If you're way up on the Gangerangs or on Ti-Willa and you look south and east across the depths of the Kowmung, the eye leaps straight over that puny and level ridge “Scott's Main” and feasts on the wildly dissected Broken Rock Range with its three high, cliffy prominences - Axe Head, Green Wattle Mountain and Broken Rock itself. An outlier from Broken Rock (the Black Coola Plateau) hides the view of almost anything further east, but through the Blue Breaks you can glimpse the other high plateaux of Bimlow and Tonalli Tablelands. Unless you deliberately look for it, you simply don't see this “Main” Range. Moreover, I've never been able to find out anything about this character Scott whose name it bears.

In the old Blue Mountains / Burragorang Tourist Map (half-inch to the mile) which was the only useful chart of the area for bush walkers until the mid-1960s, Myles Dunphy gave it two names “Scott's Main” but alternatively “Kiaramba Ridge”. In the latest edition of that map in my possession (now almost as tattered and dissected as the Blue Breaks) it still appears as “Scott's Main Range (or Kiaramba Ridge)”, but the later C.M.A. maps eliminatd the secondary name, which is now preserved only for “Kiaramba Creek” (and Spring) a little way north of the Denis Range.

A pity, I feel. Even if it isn't much of a range from a walker's viewpoint, and even if it does have a Water Board service road along its fairly even length, there is some promise of romance in a name like “Kiaramba”, but how can you work up any enthusiasm over “Scott's Main”? Oh, well, at least that's an easy name to remember.

But, in any case, why “Main”? Was Scott a geographer or a local inhabitant who persuaded himself it was a main dividing range instead of a piker hill of about 300 metres forming a watershed between the Kowmung and Butchers (Black Hollow) Creek? Until we find out who Scott was and why he (or someone on his behalf) deemed it a “Main” Range, this name goes down as an unsolved mystery.

[Perhaps other keen historians/geographers amongst us could look into Mr/Ms Scott and the “main”. What happened to the “other” as opposed to the “main”? Maybe members living in the Blue Mountains could check with the local Historical Society. EDITOR]

News News.

It is with pleasure that we announce the opening of Canoe & Camping's new store on 15th August at 226 Prince's Highway, Kogarah Bay, 2217. Phone (02) 546 5455.

The trading hours for both stores will be:- Mon-Fri 9 - 5.30 pm, Thurs 9 - 7pm, Saturday 9 - 4pm.

As most will be aware, their prices are most competitive while their service and expertise is unequalled.

[ Cartoon: Lest We Forget - 1969-1988. Rosso. “I don't care what you say about me when I've gone, so long as you talk about me.” ]

The Rosso.

by Dot Butler

The Rosso is an animal with appetite collosso,
Of height and size monstrosso and energy preposso,
He likes to spend his campfire time consuming sizzled sauso
And joining others of his kind in getting rather wasso*
We want to wish him all the best for all the years that follo;
In health and wealth and happiness may he always wallo.
May he travel right around the globe like an enterprising swallo,
And never, never may his food reposito be hollo.

(* the worse for Wassail)


To all Ross Wyborn's friends.

The red-headed Wozziborn of fame and fable will be returning to Australia for a holiday, after 19 years abroad, having become the Paddy Pallin of Canada. A barbecue will be held on Saturday 8th October, from 4 pm to ??? at Dot Butler's place, 30 Boundary Road, Wahroonga (phone 489 2208). Or contact Donny Finch (85 2067) or better still, just turn up with your own meat and grog, plate and eating irons.

"Kadaicha Man."

by Peter Dyce

My attempt at revenge occurred in the Northern Territory. My son Danny, his friend Lisa and I had driven from Sydney on a Barramundi Fishing Trip.

Our first camp was at Alice Springs where we climbed Ayers Rock*, then crossed the Tanami Desert, finally arriving in Darwin via the Kimberleys. We were very tired, it was late at night and I decided to camp under a tree and not bother with a tent. I lay down on a ground sheet and went to sleep. In the morning I woke to find every single item of my gear had been taken during the night; my pack, camera, cash, credit cards, fishing gear, all gone. All I had left was a pair of shorts and my groundsheet. I walked over to where Danny and Lisa were asleep in their tent and noticed all my gear carefully stowed in their tent. I was both relieved and angry and said to Danny, “I'll get you for this before the trip is over”.

We had caught a few Barramundi at Kakadu National Park when I conceived my plan of revenge. I decided to catch a small crocodile and put it into Danny's tent while he slept. The problem was how not to frighten Lisa. I caught a small croc, put him in a wet bag, and keeping this secret, suggested to Lisa that she changed tents that night. She looked at me suspiciously and politely declined.

I decided nevertheless to proceed with my plan. The croc was small and could not do too much damage. Unfortunately, somebody saw me with the croc, Lisa told Danny about changing tents and he suspected what was about to happen. So every night Danny and Lisa barricaded their tent. In great heat and humidity they lay sweltering, their tent fully zipped up with no air or breeze to cool them.

I could not carry out my plan so returned my croc, alive and well to his native habitat, not telling Danny, of course. He continued to sweat in his tent for the remaining nights we camped at Kakadu and my feelings for revenge were satisfied.

Federation of Bushwalking Clubs NSW.

Report August Meeting.

by Spiro Hajinakitas

A letter from Vanguard Insurance Company with a $500 donation towards S & R. Also a letter from the Minister for the Environment re tougher penalties for aboriginal art vandalism.

National Sports Exhibition - Volunteers urgently required to man stall, particularly on Wed/Thurs/Fri, i.e. 12/13/14 October and others for 15/16 October. Also good bushwalking slides urgently required. Volunteers wanted to help paint backdrop mural.

Tracks & Access - Snowy Mountain Authority is responsible for upgrading road to Dargels. It is reported that the road from The Vines to Styles Creek has a number of very big trees and branches blocking it and walkers should allow more time to negotiate same.

A motion was carried “that Federation sends an Annual Report to all Member Clubs”. This would include a Financial Report.

Sutherland Club presented a donation of $20 to S & R.

Insurance - After some discussion it was decided in principle that a special meeting of Clubs be held (date to be fixed) in order to discuss insurance and incorporation. Clubs to bring information of their own experiences. NCC has been doing preparatory work for months and may be in a position (at a later date) to offer a blanket cover.

Treasurer - elected at the Annual General Meeting in July - Rosemary Maxwell.

Eastwood Camping Centre.

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  • Rossi Boots
  • Flinders Baby Carriers


  • Outgear Backpacks Accessories
  • Feathertop Wool Shirts
  • Giant Trees Dried meals


  • Sleeping Bags - J & H, Mont, Romans
  • Rainwear - Mont, J & H, Superior
  • Day Packs - High Tops, Summit Gear
  • Bonwick Caving Ladders
  • Holeproof Undies 4 Socks
  • Trailblazer Hats
  • DB Canyon bags


  • Blundstone Boots

3 Trelawney St (PO Box 131) Eastwood NSW 2122.

Phone us today & say “G'Day”.


The Riddle Of Aeroplane VH-MDX.

Book your place on teh bus - $10.00 per head. Leave the car at home. Travel in comfort.

Barrington Tops S & R Practice - 8/9 October '88.

On 9th August, 1981, a light plane disappeared in stormy weather below Mt. Allyn. Some extensive searching has been done in the past but several high probability areas remain unsearched.

Search and Rescue has participated in some of the past searches and many bushwalkers are keen to return to solve the “Riddle of VH-MDX”.

Day searching only - no overnight searching - in areas not previously searched. No driving. Meet bushwalkers from other clubs. Get a group together from your Club.

What a bonus to the bushwalking movement if we can find it!

We need keen bushwalkers who are members of a Federation Club and over 18 years old.

Bus departs north side of Strathfield Station 7.30pm on Friday 7th October. Pick up from Hornsby Station can be arranged.

Contact: Keith Marshall. Phone 622 0049.

Remember - travel safely - travel on our bus!

Base camp: Carrabolla 1:25,000. Grid reference 574405.

Maps: Carrabolla 1:25,000. Barrington Tops 1:25,000/

Police and other Volunteer Rescue Association Squads may be present.

Saturday night base camp. What to bring:

  • gear and food as per normal weekend bushwalk
  • long trousers and gardening gloves

Who to contact:

  • Keith Maxwell 622 0049 Director
  • Peter Treseder 489 4182 Asst. Director
  • John Tonitto 528 6174 Secretary

At 7.39 pm on 9th August, 1981, radio contact was lost with a light plane - Cessna type 210, call sign VH-MDX. It was en route from the Gold Coast to Sydney following an inland flight corridor that took it over Barrington Tops rather than via a (safer) coastal corridor.

Wind was gusting up to 100 kph and about 30 cm of rain had fallen. The plane suffered a number of engine and navigational aid problems just before its disappearance. Radar sightings, just before 7.39 pm and subsequent investigation, including extensive land searches have considerably narrowed down the possible search areas.

The August General Meeting.

by Barry Wallace

The meeting began at around 2011 with some 15 or so members present and the President in the chair. There were apologies from Margaret Reid, Jim Oxley, Debora Shapira, Don Finch and Wendy Aliano. New members Maria Czerniecki, Sue Josephson, Chris Cutherbert and Peter Caldwell were called for welcome with only Peter Caldwell failing to answer the call. His absence was redeemed to some extent by the appearance of Bert Carter who had attained membership some while ago, but had been unable to attend a meeting to receive his badge.

The minutes of last month's meeting were read and received, with only the question of the brushcutter being noted as an item in matters outstanding.

Correspondence was next, with the receipt of minutes of the FBW July meeting, a letter from Mike and Ainslie presently on tour in the United Kingdom, brochures on the Hume and Hovell track from the NSW Department of Lands, an enquiry from Mt. Druitt Bushwalking Club asking for details of our path to incorporation, and presumably letters outgoing to our new members.

The Treasurer's Report, more than somewhat hampered by the absence of the Treasurer, revealed only that our income for the year to date was $12,327 and our expenditure on a similar basis was $5,252.

The Walks Report began with Carol Bruce's Pipeline Pass jaunt over the weekend of 15,16,17 July. The 12 starters enjoyed beautiful weather but the walk was truncated somewhat due to the limitations of the 20 metre contour intervals on the maps they were using. Greta Davis' Wild Dogs trip that same weekend was cancelled, as was David McIntosh's cross-country ski trip. Of the day walks, Margaret Reid reported a party of 18 on her very easy Hazelbrook area stroll and Morrie Ward had 13 starters with some early rain and later fine conditions on his Wattagan Mountains trip.

The following weekend, 22,23,24 July saw the FBW S & R exercise held in the Budawangs. Alan Mewett's Wondabyne to Wondabyne via Oxide Ridge walk went, but the Walks Secretary had left Alan's written report at home … curses, we may never know whether they were on time but we do know there were 23 of them.

The weekend of 29,30,31 July saw Kenn Clacher and a party of 6 taking advantage of the extra day (1 August) of the bank holiday weekend, together with the simply perfect weather that accompanied it, on his Mt. Yengo gallop. I had no idea there was so much blurred scrub along those ridges! Les Powell reported 5 starters on his Nattai River walk but they were forced to shorten the route slightly and so missed the joys of Rocky Waterholes Creek. Gordon Lee's two instructional walks were cancelled but Jan Mohandas had 5 people enjoying fine conditions on his Shoalhaven River trip and Bill Holland's Grosvenor Track walk, led by Don Finch, had some 24 or 28 participants depending on when you counted them. Ian Wolfe's extended ski touring trip went over the week of 29 July to 7 August after a delay of one week to get better snow conditions.

The following weekend brought an abrupt return to winter conditions as Carol Bruce and her band of 10 braved the sleet, snow and high winds on her Point Nicholson walk. Gordon Lee had double booked the weekend so his rubbish clearing trip to Dex Creek was cancelled. Probably just as well given the conditions. George Mawer's Banks Range trip went, led by Carol Lubbers. There were 15 people, and numerous occurrences of the name of Banks in the topography. David McIntosh's Table Top Mountain ski tour had a party of 4 but the weather was very bleak and cold.

The Federation Report is covered elsewhere in the magazine.

Conservation Report followed with news that there are various moves to “use” national parks emerging under the new State Government, and the Forestry Commission is still seeking to avoid the need to prepare E.I.S. for forestry activities. The unresolved query re the possible closure of the Cathedral of Ferns camping ground at Mt. Wilson was raised and a follow-up letter will be sent to the Department of Lands.

General Business brought news that the Club's investments are now being formally vested in SBW Inc. After that it was just a matter of the announcements and the meeting closed at 2111.

Summer Walks Program.

by John Porter, Walks Secretary.

The Summer Walks Program is now open. It encompasses the months of December 1988, January 1989 and February 1989. Any member of the Club who would like to lead a walk or summer activity, such as li-loing, canyoning, abseiling, caving, push-bike riding, swimming (beach or river), or just enjoying the outdoors, should note that the closure date of the program is the 28th October 1988. Help and assistance is available to anyone who would like to lead a walk and is not sure how to go about it.

New leaders are always welcome. Remember that the Club is only as strong as its Walks Program. If you cannot make it to the Club to give me your walk, post it to me at the Club address, P.O. Box 4476, Sydney, 2001.

Special Announcement To Walks Leaders.

I am compiling a list of substitute leaders who are willing to lead walks at short notice on those occasions when a leader who has a programmed walk cannot lead it due to illness or other commitments. The procedure will be for the leader to try to arrange his/her alternative leader if possible. Otherwise contact me and I will arrange a suitable alternative leader for the trip.

If any member would like to go on the list as a substitute leader, please contact me.

Watagans Day Walk - 17 July.

by Morrie Ward

After early morning drizzle the sun burst forth as twelve members and one prospective set out from Heatons Lookout. Most of the morning's walking was through Warm Temperate Rainforest with many gigantic Blue Gums penetrating the forest canopy.

Morning tea was taken in a nice sunny spot at the top of a large waterfall. Several people had a confrontation with Stinging Trees, but a short spray with Stingose worked wonders.

After lunch we walked for a short time along an old logging track through forest dominated by Bangalow and Cabbage palms and more giant Blue Gums. The next one kilometre took one and a half hours and several in the group found the going tough. We plunged into dense Sub-Tropicat Rainforest and followed a creek with numerous small waterfalls down a steep gully. At one stage it was suggested that the un-named creek be named “Ward's Folly”, but when we emerged for afternoon tea at a clearing complete with table and chairs, all was forgiven. The only complaint was that the scones, jam and cream had not arrived.

From here we moved up Gap Creek, scrambling over large moss and fern covered boulders until our exit point at the forty-metre-high Gap Creek Falls.

With darkness coming on fast about half the group had gathered at the Bangalow Picnic area. It was decided that the three drivers (Ian Debert, Kenn Clacher and Marie Ward) would take the short cut with a quick scramble up a ridge to the top of Monkey Mountain and back to the cars. Jan Mohandas and Alan Mewett then led the remainder of the party along a fire trail until they met up with the cars.

We all enjoyed a meal at Freemans Waterhole before returning to Sydney.

Important Notice - Clubroom Closed.

Yes, on Wednesday 28th September and Wednesday 5th October the Clubroom will be closed.

Discuss your holiday weekend trip with the leader by phone!

The Committee Meeting will be held in a private home.


With winter being nearly over we can revert from being a semi-ski club to a bushwalking club.

Since October '86 Peter Rossel has been off the track due to persistent leg pains. As a result of a recent hip replacement he could be back amongst the “easy walkers” later this year but doubts the “Kowmung and Beyond” will see him for some time.

Last month a pre-publication sheet for “Fitzroy Falls and Beyond” was included in the magazine. This is published by the Budawang Committee, a voluntary conservation organisation who promote conservation by providing a deeper understanding and appreciation of an area. This book, due to be released in November, and its companion book “Pigeon House and Beyond” would make excellent presents. “Fitzroy Falls and Beyond” contains 353 pages with 164 colour plates, 35 black and white plates and 18 sketches. Excellent value. The pre-publication price (until end October) is $36. Orders can be coordinated through Helen Gray (86 6263) for delivery at the Club and so save the $3 postage charge.

Sternhells made of sterner stuff, no weak bones for young Peter, his bones don't break like Sev's. On a Colo walk Peter sprained his ankle badly and hopped, with Neil's support, his way out, up some 300 metres in about 4 hours. Interestingly with the boot on the other foot figuratively and literally Peter was the perfect patient and followed the medical advice given.

Another Niven to join the Club? Besides Margaret, Bob and Jeff already being members we may have one more; Cindy has just completed one test walk and is ready for the rest.

Judy Mac has traded in her tassels for some bear bells. Judy is off soon to walk in the northwest of the U.S. where there are plenty of grizzly bears and black bears. Apparently one wears bells on one's person to announce one's presence to all, including the bears. The bears on hearing the bells then move off the path. Sounds neat. We must get Judy to demonstrate the bells and talk about her exploits on her return.

This month, and I hope we're on time, there is a clean-up at Coolana plus an outing on the Saturday night, 24th, to the Woolaway Woolshed. This is 20 minutes walk from Coolana which means that should you wish to drink with your meal you can without the worry of drinking and driving. The three course dinner is $25 a head with music and dancing thrown in.

The Coolana clean-up is an opportunity for all members to help look after our real estate. For the newer members come along and make yourself at home. Coolana is in the Kangaroo Valley about 90 minutes by road south of Sydney. The property is large and you can camp where you like. There's plenty of water, a river to swim in and a place to park the car. The clean-up will be weeding and slashing, simple gardening jobs but on a scale which requires plenty of willing helpers. You won't be overworked but you will make a contribution to the Club. Contact Ian Debert 982 2615.

And at long last Bruce Dunn's favourite recipe for wholemeal fruit slice gets printed, or actually reprinted since it first appeared in the Australian Women's Weekly in April 1981: sent in by a reader. Here goes. One cup each of wholemeal SR flour, raw sugar, coconut, mixed fruit and milk plus 6 finely chopped dried apricots and a pinch of salt. Mix the lot together, throw into a greased paper lined tin, and bake 45 minutes in a moderately slow oven. Cool, cut and eat. Bruce served this on one weekend trip and I found it to be delicious, or was I hungry?

198809.txt · Last modified: 2019/04/15 12:48 by tyreless

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