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The Sydney Bushwalker - May 1989

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 the Post Office). Prospective members and visitors are invited to visit the Club any Wednesday. To advertise in this magazine please contact the Business Manager.

EditorMorag RyderBox 347 PO, Gladesville 2111 Telephone 809 4241
Business ManagerAnita Doherty, 2 Marine Crescent, Hornsby Heights Telephone 476 6531 2077
Production 'Manager'Helen Gray telephone 86 6263
TypistKath Brown
IllustratorMorag Ryder
Printers Kenn Clacher, Morag Ryder, Les Powell, Barrie Murdoch
While the Billy BoilsThe Editor 2
Easter 1989Dot Butler2
Annual Subscriptions 19894
The Treasure of Discovery Cave Tom Wenman5
Conservation Report
Coolangubra - The BattlegroundJim Oxley8
Coolangubra - The StatisticsMorag Ryder8
60th Wedding Anniversary - May & Paddy Pallin 1988-1989 9
Christmas-New Year Walk in Wadbilliga National ParkDeborah Shapira 11
The April General Meeting Barry Wallace13
Vale, William (Jack) Cockerill 14
Mail BagReg Alder14
Scouts Stranded in Bush Cave (Daily Telegraph 3 April '89)Alec Field15
Federation of Bushwalking Clubs NSW - April
Social Notes
Eastwood Camping Centre
Canoe & Camping - Gladesville & Kogarah Bay
Belvedere Taxis - Blackheath

While the Billy Boils

I see that Kanangra Boyd National Park is to have a new plan of management. One of the greatest problems, is that of 'fire trails“. The main road to Kanangra Walls is fairly essential for anyone doing the usual walks in the area. But what of all the other old roads in the area? Impossible to prevent 4WD's using them, as these folk pride themselves in 'overcoming all obstacles' - and more!

Listening to the conversation of 4WD enthusiasts is fairly depressing. There are boasts of “crashing through the bush” when the road was too boggy, spending an afternoon “thrashing up and down sand dunes” until they were “pretty well demolished” and “belting over low scrub” to shorten a journey. The words 'demolish', 'flatten', 'belt' and 'tear' figure prominently in their speech. Why do such people feel that the only way to cope with our natural environment is to destroy/ damage everything in sight?

Anyone who can navigate need have no fear of wilderness. For a walker, the wilderness is 'home' - and who wants to damage their home? People with this urge for destructive violence have no place in our lovely and fragile national parks.

See you on the track …

Easter 1989

by Dot Butler

“Canopus” - Wheoh Peak - Buleamble - Dingo Creek Tops.

Exploratory trip in the Primitive Area of the Warrumbungles National Park.

I had just come back from a beaut work session at son Wade's 400 acre property on the western fall of the Warrumbungles, 19 kilometres from Coonabarabran. ' I happened to remark in the presence of John Porter, “I have been toying with the idea of a bushwalk in the primitive area of the Warrumbungles”. The next time I'm in the Clubroom our keen Walks Sec. tells me, “I've put you down on the Walks Program for Easter - maximum number of starters 500!” So that's how it came about.

Cars arrived at “Canopus” at all hours on Thursday night, following SBW signs on the Barradine Road and the Guinema dirt road turnoff (shortest travelling time 6 hours), and their occupants bedded down on the lawn under the full Easter moon. Apart from baby Leo announcing each new arrival with a startled wail and Michele being nibbled on the ear by a pet duck, all got a few hours sleep and were ready to be away into the mountains by 9am. There were 25 of us. (This included five little children, the plan being to drop them off at a neighbouring farm on the second day, but it didn't work out that way, as you shall see.)

We crossed round to the back of Wade's small mountain, then into another property whose owner might tactfully be referred to as “the man who is away” - vanished - wanted by the police for growing marijuana in a secret paddock among the hills. There were some trail-bike trails near the open paddocks and later wallaby trails through the Callitris pines and ironbarks. The weather had turned overcast which made for pleasant walking - this western country can be very hot in March.

The long line of walkers wound pleasantly on, with barefoot Wade and his three littlies at the front. Suddenly commotion 7 Jane had not noticed a knife-sharp spike of ironbark which gave her a savage jab in the shin. Everyone gathered around to see the awful wound with a white gleam of bone showing through the red. Five or more First Aid kits were hastily dragged out of packs and the wound treated with antibiotic powder, lint, etc and bound up. Then Don, as co-leader, President or what-have-you, despatched Carol and John to race back and bring their car as far as they could up the valley, then he called for a stretcher to be made - two eight-foot bearer poles with six sticks making a padded seat in the middle, and on this a not-too-vociferously protesting Jane was seated and her devoted team of 6 bearers (two at the back and one at the front, being relieved by the other three from time to time) bore her off down the mountainside to the nearest road in the valley.

As they set off Finchy bowed low before Jane: “Hail, Great White Queen” and the carriers in the first flush of enthusiasm lifted their burden and sailed right over him. The patient survived, and two hours later she was safely in John's car and hurried off to Coonabarabran Hospital where she had 22 stitches put in - one for each member of the party and another for luck. John returned her to “Canopus” to sit by the fire with Wade's Margaret, and he also dropped off three of the little children who had been more anguished than Jane when they saw the blood. John and Carol then rejoined the other walkers.

It was now heavily overcast and spitting rain so we decided to camp where we were in a beautiful bit of open forest on Wheoh Creek. The creek was, of course, dry, but all our wineskins had been filled from the tank of Frank whose homestead John had passed on the way in. It rained on and off during the night and some in open-ended flies got a bit wet but next morning after breakfast we decided to climb Wheoh Peak (900 metres). Some had ideas just to go to the foot of the climb and then come back to the fire, but it turned out there was no foot - from the campsite the incline was up and up and UP! all the way.

We saw three feral pigs and a small flock of goats which rapidly disappeared. As we got higher long views were obtained of Crater Bluff and Belougerie away to the south in the tourist section of the National Park where there were undoubtedly hundreds of people, whereas we had the whole beautiful solitude of the primitive area to ourselves.

We spiralled half-way round to the back of the peak. At the final rock scramble Wade took up the safety rope. Half the party settled down among the rocks on the ridge to escape the wind, huddled up in parkas, and watched the other half one by one clamber up a small couloir, then through a bit of treed area to the top. When they returned the steep descent down the other side of the mountain commenced. There was some excitement descending into the now misted gullies, which looked almost like Kosciusko country. In effect we did a complete circuit to get back to camp.

This little excursion was supposed to take only a couple of morning hours, but it was 6.5 hours before we were back. It was now 3.30 and it hardly seemed worth packing up wet tents just to move on for an hour or so. Lunch turned into the evening meal and we stayed where we were. Rain didn't dampen spirits and we had a beaut stand-up sing-song by a big fire, leaders in song being Geof and Mike, and Michele with her unique little transister voice.

Sunday 9 am. Today we are supposed to be off to Dingo Tops, but rain and mist hid the views so we headed for a spring Wade knew of for the mid-day camp. We found a local farmer had protected it from pollution by feral pigs and goats by enclosing it inside a 6-strand wire fence. Outside this it ran into a dam half the size of an Olympic pool, which gave Rod and Wade ideas. While we huddled round the blazing logs and dug channels to divert the rainwater from coursing through the centre of our fire these two lunatics peeled off and dived into the orange clayey water, and what's more, said they enjoyed the swim.

I had been expecting it to be at least dry in the Western District, but No, and the rain continued to spit as we headed back to “Canopus” on the Monday. We inspected the vandalised deserted house of the drug peddler and had morning tea at his outside tables. “How far now?” asked Rod. “Not far,” said Wade, “My house paddock is next to this paddock.” What he didn't say was that a mountain range lay between. We climbed to the top, which is where Wade is building his observatory. The mounting for the 30cm telescope is already in position. Siding Springs has given him six sections of a dome which at present lie in the saddle between his two hills awaiting a labour gang to portage it up to the summit site. “We'll need a team of, say, ten strong men,” said Wade.

“Gee,” said Finchy, “let's put it on the Walks Program. Observatory Building weekend.” So watch your program, folks. Good fun guaranteed. Wade says he can throw in a night swim in the hot bore at “Milchomi” out in the Pilliga about 100km away. Camp there for the night and then head for home. But that would require a 3-day weekend.

After enthusing about the observatory site we sidled along a wallaby track and descended to see Wade's cave where he lived for five years after he came back from wintering in Antarctica. After he had married Margaret and had two children they still preferred to spend the nights in the cave, but when the third arrived they found it easier to stay put in the house. The house, by the way, is built of termite-proof logs from Wade's callitris forest, and ironbark sleeper offcuts from the wood dumps in the Pilliga Forest, and mud bricks - doors, windows and fittings donated by friends who had no further need for them.

Solar panels generate heat, light and power; rain fills the dams and tanks. The orchard and vegetable garden keep the family in fruit and vegetables; there is honey from the bees and milk from the goat. The whole place has sprung from the native earth and cost practically nothing. There is the key to happiness - SIMPLICITY.

NOTE: The “Observatory Building” weekend has been put on the Walks Program for the June long weekend, see Finchy.

Annual Subscriptions 1969

The following-annual subscriptions were decided at the Annual General Meeting held on Wednesday, 8th March 1989:-

Single active member $25
Household $40
Non-active member $ 6
Non-active member plus magazine $18
Magazine subscription only $12

The Club's present constitution states that members who are unfinancial as at 30th June are no longer considered members - the Treasurer would like to receive your subscriptions as soon as possible. (See also Page 16)

The Treasure of Discovery Cave

17-19 February 1989 -by Tom Wenman

Leader: Bob Younger.

I had heard of the cave, along with tales of places with strange sounding names nearby. The area, I did not know. So curiosity and a desire to head for the bush, found me on Bob Younger's walk to Blayden's Pass/Danjera Creek.

The long line of cars waiting by the side of Braidwood Road seemed to indicate a car rally rather than a bushwalking rendezvous. However, Bob was there to meet us, not far from the bridge of Tianjara Creek.

Having assembled most of his twenty followers, Bob led the way off the main road and along a fire trail. It was a spritely performance, with the tail lights of his car soon disappearing around, up and over bends, hills and nasty pieces of rock. The executive limousine in which I was travelling bumped, clanged, brushed and scooped its way after Bob as fast as Bill Holland could make it.

Our leader, after turning on to a narrow track, finally stopped and announced, “There's plenty of room to camp here”. We disembarked, spread various types of awnings, erected a few tents, and soon twenty or so walkers were all sleeping soundly.

Morning came fair, with greetings among the many old friends and newer acquaintances being introduced. A short walk along the fire trail and we soon emerged on to a rocky promontory which gave splendid views of the country and almost all of our route for the weekend. Below us, the wooded slopes slid down to Boolijah Creek, and to our left a ridge climbed out of the junction of Boolijah and Danjera Creeks. Our route, however, followed the cleft of Danjera Creek, which we would eventually leave to climb to the plateau on the far side, and then to our destination - Discovery Cave.

No need for tents, Bob had said, and those who knew the location or trusted Bob, had omitted that item from their packs. But first, we had to descend the cliffs. Bob led the way down a series of very deep, dark, narrow cracks in the sandstone cliff, in places just wide enough to permit us to move sideways dragging our packs behind, or pushing them in front.

With some mutual assistance, the party manoeuvred itself through the passage ways. A cry from Fazeley, “Stop that immediately!” provoked some ribald comments. However, it was an escaping pack to which she referred. I know, it was mine.

We emerged from the cliff and out into an open, grazed forest which bordered Boolijah Ceeek. At the junction with Danjera Creek, we had a leisurely morning tea and availed ourselves of a swim in the cool waters of the creek. “Ah, who would not rather be here than anywhere else,” I thought, as I relaxed on the banks of the creek - irrespective of what Discovery Cave might reveal.

We proceeded up the delightful Danjera Creek, but before too much energy had been expended, we paused for a swim in a large, clear rock pool. Resuming our progress, we encountered another irresistible pool into which the water, cascading down a sloping rock face, provided a somewhat uncertain slippery dip for Fazeley's two nephews.

Lunch time was declared and we spread ourselves out amongst the shaded rocks overlooking the pool. Following lunch we left the creek, heading up the ridge which, the leader observed, was a bit steep, but should go. Well, it did go, after a certain amount of investigation had been carried out to ascend or bypass some steep cliff faces. Eventually we defaulted to an easier but still steep, earth ramp and gained the cliffs of the plateau opposite those we had left that morning.

The view was superb. Being unwilling to add my map and compass to the proliferation of navigational equipment being waved around, I enquired of Don Finch what I was looking at.

“You're looking to the north,” he explained, “Look, there's Kangaroo VAlley, and 'round to the right there's Cambewarra, and over there - that would be Mount Scanzi.”

Trees and hills shimmered in the hazy distance, where every now and then an object caught and returned the sun's brightness. After savouring the scene for a while, we bestirred ourselves to cover the remaining distance to Discovery Cave. Before we headed into the surrounding bush, it was decided that the two prospective members, Karen and Patrick should navigate the remaining section. Under Bob's guidance and with help from Maurie Bloom and Don, they led us close to our objective, which we reached by concealed and narrow descent between rocks.

Certainly it was a magnificent cave, or rather overhang, with rounded overhanging ledges reaching further and further out to the top lip, which I hazard was some fifty feet above us.

Sleeping places were selected and water collected from a nearby stream, mostly overgrown with ti-tree and wattle. However, it had a small pool, so that a swim could be taken. “Happy Hour” could not long be delayed and wine (of both colours), hot rum with lemon and barley and assorted nibbles were soon being passed round.

Dinner consumed, we lingered at our ease around the fire while the conversation flowed over a wide variety of topics. It was bushwalking campfire camaraderie at its best. Presently a song was suggested and songs and poems were passed around the fire until late into the night. When our memories had been temporarily exhausted, the last members quit the silence and the softly glowing fire for their sleeping places.

As I lay in my sleeping bag and looked up at the great curving area of cave, the full moon illuminated it, throwing shadows of trees against the back wall and high up the overhang - giving an impression of a buttressed cathedral wall with the roof and building only half complete, terminating at the central ridge of the nave.

The 'Treasure' of Discovery Cave was now complete. The companionship, music and poetry was now replaced by the cool, clear stillness of moonlight and moon shadow creating its own gentle symmetry.

A leisurely start to Sunday enabled some of us to slip away and view the 'Passage of Time' an intriguing series of rocky fissures, providing a labyrinth of passageways, some of which descended into dark and secret depths. As much as we would have liked; we were unable to explore this remarkable and romantically named place, as the remainder of the party were waiting to depart. Some scrub bashing now ensued, although it was not of a very vindictive nature, and we were provided with cooler conditions than the previous day, with overcast skies, some wind and at times light rain.

We lunched on the edge of the plateau, enjoying once again some extensive views, and then dropped off the side of a ridge, sidling along through luxurious ferns until reaching the foot of the nose. Descending once more to the tranquil junction of Boolijah and Danjera Creeks, we had afternoon tea and a pleasant swim. All that was left now was the ascent of the far slope and the scramble up through the narrow rocky passageways of Blayden's Pass.

Led by Jan Mohandas, the party did this at something of a sprint, then paused at the top to relax and review our route of the weekend. Thanks were given to Bob for a delightful weekend and once again the fire trail echoed to the 'rev' of engines as the party departed homewards.

Conservation Report

Coolangubra - The Battleground

by Jim Oxley

Is there a difference between those who gave freely in 1931 to save the Blue Gum Forest and those who are prepared to risk life, limb and freedom to save the South East Forests in 1989?

In 1931 one man was easily persuaded. In 1989 defenders of Tantawangalo, Coolangubra and Egan Peaks must deal with a supine federal government, an unco-operative state government and a rapacious multi-national. These cannot be bought - certainly not with $1000 - and can bludgeon opposition.

When I arrived at Reedy Creek camp for a four-day stay, I was met with an open friendliness based on more than a common purpose. I was accepted as a friend and emissary of support from a distant place, dispelling any feeling of isolation.

Actions by opponents of 'clear felling' must involve breaking laws, for those laws have been created by government experts to entrap opponents. Imprisonment and/or fines seem inevitable to those who confront these unjust laws. Those laws drawn up by the Forestry Commission might not reflect the views of the majority of people who are aware of the real situation. As ordinary methods of opposition have seen to have been exhausted, the following methods are used to stop or slow woodchipping 'progress' and they incur a variety of penalties.

  1. A stroll in Coolangubra State Forest (now a 'prohibited area') .. a civil offence - trespass.
  2. Holding a demonstration in the precincts of a woodchip mill .. trespass.
  3. Prussiking onto a high platform in a tree .. a crime - willful damage to a tree. (Too bad about the chainsaws!)
  4. Three people attaching themselves to a forest road by a 'Bletcher' device, awaiting the arrival of a timber jinker (and later, the police), .. a crime, willful damage to a road.

The last two manouvers result in convictions and criminal records. Such is their love for the forest that these young people will readily make sacrifices for it.

As I left the scene, a thought occurred. What would happen if a government declared the Budawangs a 'prohibited area' and allowed a foreign company to turn it into a desert? The pulp mills have voracious gullets and governments have great power.

Coolangubra - The Statistics

The South-eastern forests are fast disappearing before the onslaught of chainsaws and bulldozers in the name of economics, although the operation is so unprofitable for Australia that even the 'Financial Review' commented on it.

As the major shareholder is a Japanese company, substantial profits will be repatriated to Japan. For turning 850,000 tonnes of timber into woodchips, they will make a profit conservatively estimated at $37 million, benefiting from Australia's cheap timber. How cheap? A maximum of A$43 per tonne compared with a world average of A$87 per tonne.

Logging contractors are paid about $26 per tonne for felling, barking, loading and transporting. Mill costs are estimated to be about $3 per tonne and the Forestry Commission receives royalties between $14 and $17 per tonne, for roadbuilding and management.

The Commission states that 5000 hectares of natural regrowth will reach age 30 each year. This equals approx 450,000 tonnes of wood. Half of this will be thinned and passed to chip mills. By 2013, those 225,000 tonnes will be virtually the only pulpwood in the management area. Only a small amount of timber will come from other sources.

Therefore, an absolute maximum of 350,000 tonnes of pulpwood will be available annually. Yet the current export licence guarantees the mill 530,000 tonnes each year from Eden alone. If total pulpwood supplies fall below 600,000 the mill will probably close.

It is painfully clear that large scale woodchipping has a limited life and most of the profit leaves Australia. Not only as cash, but as very cheap raw materials which are processed and then re-imported at many times the export price.

We are razing our forests to provide others with quick profits. By returning to saw-logging we could avoid importing building timber which costs Australia millions every year. If trees are to be chipped, then paper and chipboard should be made in Australia. This would provide more jobs and contribute significantly to reducing our crushing foreign debt.


Kanangra Boyd

The Club was invited to make a submission to the Kanangra Boyd National Park Plan of Management, and a letter has been sent recommending the following:-

  • No tracks are to be open for private vehicle access within the park. Park headquarters to be outside the entrance to the park.
  • No permanent structures for overnight accommodation allowed in the park, and a minimum of buildings.
  • Acquisition of Kanangaroo Clearing and inholdings in the Bindook area.
  • Exclusion of helicopters except for rescue or fire. lighting purposes.
  • Fire breaks to be established outside the park, not within it.
  • Opposition to the erection of obtrusive structures visible from within the park.
  • An active program to eradicate feral animals, including campaigns to increase public awareness of the devastation caused by these predators.
  • An ongoing program to minimise water pollution of the park's river systems, particularly Coxs River and Kedumba Creek.
  • Implementation of ongoing weed infestation eradication programs.

60th Wedding Anniversary

We were delighted, to hear that May and Paddy Pallin had their 60th wedding anniversary on the 11th of this month.

Equally delighted to hear that Paddy is back home from hospital, well in time for the celebrations.

Our warmest congratulations to you, May and Paddy - it must be all that fresh air and exercise which keeps you so young!

1988-1989 Christmas-New Year walk in Wadbilliga National Park

Story & Illustrations by Deborah Shapira

Leaders: Carol Bruce & John Porter
Tea Maker & Fire Bug: Les Powell
Wombat Wrestler: Greta Davis
Converted Cross-country Skiier: Chris Perry
Diarist & Sometime Water-Skiier: Deb Shapira

Monday 26th December

The drive south was punctuated by meetings with Snowy Mountains trippers in Goulburn and Cooma all indulging in last minute junk food binges. After Cooma we went to Bemboka and then to Yankee's Gap where Greta's car was left. The entire party plus packs drove off to Two River Plain. We arrived at Tuross River after an adventure crossing the flooded bridge over the Kydra River and set up camp on soft grass and near several convenient woodpiles left by recent floods.

Tuesday 27th December

After the early morning cup of tea courtesy of Les we prepared to set off on The Adventure. From Tuross River we walked along a fire trail which would lead us through the park boundary. Eventually we were to reach a 1300m altitude, complete with semi-alpine vegetation. On the way we sighted two echidnas and several wallabies. After lunch we began to descend to the Brag River, a feat which took three and a half hours with almost impenetrable scrub at the top. We camped at the bottom on river stones.

Wednesday 28th December

We began rockhopping downstream at about 8am. Progress was slowish due to crossings being a bit treacherous. Made an early camp due to the availability of an attractive campsite whose landlord, a very large lace moniter, did not seem to mind. A few spots of rain caused us to have raingear on hand.

Thursday 29th December

We had a good rest although Greta awoke with an interesting set of bruises on her legs which we decided she'd received from camping next to a wombat hole. It was slightly easier going that day although crossing remained exciting. Eventually we adopted the “pairing off” method to make crossing safer. It was now apparent that there was a lot more flowing water than was expected. We camped in another attractive place beyond the beautiful junction at Green's Creek. I'm coming back here, I thought to myself.

Friday 30th December

It was a warm day, such that we were able to have a great swim complete with spa at lunch. We had made friends with a wombat who after a few moments of shyness turned around to pose for photographs. The side of the river after lunch was steep and closed in, causing a fair bit of scrambling to slow our progress. When we came upon a large pool our leaders, after investigating the situation, decided we should camp on the beach. John became a bachelor that night as Carol became involved with Jeffrey Archer. (Who is Jeffrey Archer? - ED)

Saturday 31st December

The morning's walk to Yankee's Creek was hard work through scrub, steep walls and about 500% humidity. We had lunch at the junction of this “creek” which resembled a thundering torrent of water. At lunch Carol forgot her mug. The only reason I mention this, is because her brother on a lilo trip a month later retrieved it for her! All this meant at the time was a slight inconvenience to her at the imminent New Year's Eve celebrations complete with various beverages and other assorted goodies. Big black ugly clouds were looming as we made our way upstream. In what appears to be turning into an annual event, Carol tried to step on a death adder, and then having missed that one, tried to step on a second one, also unsuccessfully. There was now a heavy thunderstorm in progress to add to all this drama so we made camp in a lovely grassy area and in between downpours had a very enjoyable New Year's Eve at 9pm BWT (Bushwalker Time).

Sunday 1st January '89

Upstream again - however this creek was defying all the laws and was getting fuller and faster flowing as we progressed. Crossings now required cajolery; coercion and bribery - at one stage, I, clinging desperately onto the handline, tried to step on top of a cascade, an act which the others thought rather hilarious. Eventually, we found the road to Yankee's Gap. Such a sight - all these hardened seasoned bushwalkers jumping up and down with excitement to see a road!

Monday 2nd January

A ten kilometre road bash in intermittent sunshine to reach Greta's car into which we all piled to drive to the other car. The ride home was interrupted by obligatory pigouts in Cooma and Berrima. Altogether a memorable and fun walk.

Next month: Read how the Crazy Scots conquered Centre Pass on the Dusky Sound Track, New Zealand!

The April General Meeting

by Barry Wallace

The meeting began at 2015 with the President in the chair and some 25 or so members present. There were apologies from Carol Bruce, Wendy Aliano and Alan Mewett.

There were no new members to welcome, so we proceeded to read and receive the Minutes of the A.G.M. There were no matters arising.

Correspondence brought a letter from The Wilderness Society, advising of a forthcoming bush dance, from F.B.W. enclosing minutes of their latest meeting and notes on a recent discussion with N.P.W.S., from a Mr. Harry Hill thanking us for the donation toward his preparation of a book on the Hume and Hovell Track, from Canoe and Camping requestion copies of the Club magazine for sale in their shops, and from F.B.W. providing notice of an extra-ordinary meeting being called to further discuss incorporation. There were also two outgoing letters, to Mr. Tim Moore requesting that the Government consider adding a recently resumed area of land in the Coonabarabran area to the Warrumbungles National Park and to N.P.W.S. regarding their draft Plan of Management for the Kanangra Boyd National Park.

The Treasurer's Report indicated that we spent $580.46, received $3,706.00 and closed with a balance of $4,427.78.

The Walks Report was next, opening with a report on the Reunion at Coolana over the weekend of 10,11,12 March. There were reported to have been around 50 people and 4000 ticks present and a generally quiet and pleasant time was had by all. The day walk that weekend, led by Jan Mohandas, is reported to have gone, but there was no report.

The following weekend, 17,18,19 March saw Oliver Crawford leading a group of 6 hardy souls through wet weather on his Wollangambe walk. Bob King reported 4 on his Crikey Canyon walk, suffering at the mercy of bad weather and un-mapped fire trails. The Rock Scrambling Instructional was cancelled, but the Abseiling Instructional went ahead with substitute leaders and 7 participants who reported a pleasant time and fine weather. Alan Mewett's Valley of The Waters day trip had showery weather, spectacular waterfalls swollen by recent rains, numerous leeches (with or without panty-hose) and 11 starters. There was no report of Ralph Penglis' foreshores track walk and no report of Jim Percy's swim across Lake Eckersley walk, although someone was fairly sure it did go.

The Easter weekend saw reports of Bill Capon's Katoomba to Mittagong trip (rerouted to explore the Tonali Tableland from Yerranderie) with 10-starters and 2 days of rain, Dot Butler's (masquerading for walks program purposes as John Porter and Carol Bruce) Warrumbungles walk with a cast of 23, including some locals and one rather nasty gash-with-a-stick type injury; Wendy Aliano's Kosciusko walk with 9 starters, cool but fine weather and no leeches or ticks, and Alan Doherty's Blue Breaks walk with 14 walkers, some rain, no leeches, no ticks. There were no day walks scheduled for that weekend.

The weekend of March 31, April 1,2 saw John Porter's abseiling trip to Kanangra cancelled and Peter Miller's Mapping Instructional deferred to some fine weekend. Maurie Bloom cancelled his Minnamurra Falls bike trip due to a lack of suitable padle-wheel bikes, and Ralph Penglis' Otford to Bundeena walk was cancelled due to Ralph's late return from hilidys. Ian Debert's Marathon Meal walk went to program, although due to the strenuous nature of the event large numbers of people only joined as the walk proceeded and were not able to complete the entire course(s).

There was no report of Joe Marton's mid-week walk from/to Springwood but the following weekend, April 7,8,9 saw Kenn Clacher leading a party of 5 on his Wollemi abseiling trip. They had some problems with navigation and reported the waterfalls as exceedingly wet. George Walton re-routed his walk to Mount Cloudmaker to avoid swollen creeks and the 8 starters were greatly comforted by being able to shelter in the 100 Man cave. Jan Mohandas' Saturday sprint down the Six-Foot Track was deferred, watch next month. Of the day walks, there was no report of Hans Stichter's Benowie Track walk but Wendy Aliano's Wolgan Valley walk had a party of 9 encountering showery conditions in the late afternoon - to conclude the Walks Report. A selection of slides taken on recent walks was screened immediately following the reports.

There was a Federation Report, it should be covered elsewhere in the magazine.

General Business brought news that Carol Bruce has resigned the position of Social Secretary, due to other commitments, and is replaced by Dot Butler. Careful, Dot, no beer and meat pies, now. The meeting passed a motion to the effect that our delegates to F.B.W. move to the effect that the organisation deplore the proliferation of track markers, particularly in the vicinity of Beloon Pass and explore the possibility of removing the marker line which now appears to extend from Mittagong to Katoomba.

And then it was just a matter of the announcements, and it was all over for another month.

Mail Bag

From Reg Alder, one of our long-standing members, came a letter commenting on Don Finch's article, in which he made reference to K126 shoes. Reg said:-

“The sole will be seen to be quite thin and of a hard rubber, their wearing quality will substantiate this. Because of this hardness the tread depends for its grip on making an impression in the surface trodden on or of the surface being of sufficient roughness to indent the sole. Since once being committed to complete a walk and there can be no guarantee of there always being fine weather, walking across a smooth wet surface can be as dangerous as walking on ice. In rock-hopping, sand can be picked up on the sole and unless the foot can be placed squarely on a rock surface a slip is inevitable.

The tread has no indented surface across the width of the shoe and the wedges present a flat surface. Walking across or climbing on a surface which slopes to the side is particularly dangerous as the shoes offer no grip at all on a smooth, wet or sandy surface.”

(Pity that Dunlop cannot put Volley treads on a KT26 sole the combination would make a near-perfect bushwalking shoe. EDITOR)

Vale, William (Jack) Cockerill

In the first week of April we lost one of our foundation members, Jack Cockerill, who died in his 88th year. He joined the Mountain Trails Club in 1917, and later the S.B.W. This cheerful and energetic man is commemorated by “Cockerills Lookout”, a point on the Moola Range, overlooking the Upper Kowmung. Thanks to Jeff Rigby for sending this information to The Bushwalker.


What would you do if your campfire 'got away' from you? Would you know how to extinguish it without water? How to prevent a major bushfire starting? What not to do.. where not to go? If you don't, come along on Wednesday 31st May and learn all the do's and don'ts from Ben Esgate. Ben has a swag of slides on bushfires and an even bigger swag of knowledge from years of fighting fires in the Blue Mountains. Learn what every bushwalker should know, but very few do!

Scouts stranded in Bush Cave

- by Alec Field - Daily Telegraph, 3 April '89

Seven scouts - one with an ankle injury - huddled in a cave last night as torrential rain raised swollen creeks in a south coast ravine. The scouts, four days overdue on a 60 km trek through rugged country, were stranded by flash floods.

All aged 15 to 17 and from Canberra, they were found yesterday below cliffs at Mount Talaterang, north west of Milton, by searchers with the N.S.W. Federation of Bushwalking Clubs. More than 50 bushwalkers joined the search after helicopters were grounded by bad weather.

The search breakthrough came yesterday when the bushwalkers found a log entry in a book at a bush campsite near Mount Talaterang. Three bushwalkers trekked to cliffs above the Talaterang Falls and their calls were heard by the stranded scouts in the ravine.

The bushwalkers set up a shelter in a cave beneath the cliffs. Late yesterday, another bushwalking team established a base radio station above the ravine to provide contact with the group for a rescue attempt today. “There was absolutely no chance of getting them out by helicopter today so we've decided to walk them out tomorrow or bring in helicopters if weather conditions improve,” Mr Roach said.

Heavy rains have deluged the area during the past three days and creeks rose by 1 metre in less than 24 hours to 2 pm yesterday.

(For the first time, bushwalkers with S & R have been acknowledged by the press! ED.)

Federation of Bushwalking Clubs NSW

- Notes taken at April meeting.

A special meeting was held at National Trust Centre to discuss incorporation and insurance. The main decisions were:-

  • The Draft Constitution was adopted, with some amendments, the main points amended oeing listed below.
  • Having agreed on the Constitution, it was resolved to proceed with an application for Incorporation.
  • It was agreed that Public Liability Insurance be undertaken. A policy offered by Insurance Exchange of Australia, with Norwich Insurance was agreed to, the premium in the initial year to be 50 cents per member covered.
  • A further insurance policy offering some degree of Personal Accident Insurance from the same company was held in abeyance for further consideration. Such a policy would involve an additional premium of $1.50 per member (total $2 for two insurance cover). The offer from the insurer will be circulated to all Clubs, which will be required to indicate if they desire the additional Personal Accident policy.

The more significant amendments to the Draft Constitution were:-

  1. The term “Federation” will be changed to “Confederation” (this because the word “federation” implies an Australia-wide body).
  2. The “Objects” clause altered to include provision to “Maintain a Search & Rescue Organisation” which will be affiliated with other volunteer rescue bodies.
  3. The category “Associate Membership” to be discontinued. All Clubs to be full members of the Confederation.
  4. A proposal that the number of delegates be variable, depending on the size of the Club, was held over for further discussion. It was suggested the ratio be 1 delegate up to 50 members; 2 for 51/100 members; 3 for 101/150 members, and 4 delegates for clubs with over 150 members.
  5. General Meetings of the Confederation to be held monthly or as determined by a General Meeting.

It is expected that the process of Incorporation will involve a period of at least three months, which should give time for Clubs to decide on the Insurance Policies.

Social Notes

by Dot Butler

Wednesday, 21st June - Keith Muir, Project Officer of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness, will give us a slide presentation they have prepared to explain the case for a Nattai National Park. This area should be reserved for lightweight bushwalking, meaning US, so come along and give encouragement.

Wednesday, 28th June - A great night when Col Putt and Dr Graham Budd will co-operate in showing their wonderful adventure to Heard Island in the refurbished lobster fishing boat 'Patenella', taking a climbing party to climb the virgin active volcano “Big Ben”. A colour film, with sound, taken by the B.B.C. is part of the treat.


  • N.P.W.S. advise that there is a new marked walking track down to the Colo. Take the Bell Road to Mountain Lagoon and follow the fire trail that goes to Condor Trig. Take the lower branch to Mailes Ridge. The walking track leads down Mailes Ridge near Merco Trig. There is a good campsite at the bottom. A 4WD vehicle is recommended for the fire trail. Mountain Lagoon map, 1:25,000.
  • Happy 80th Birthday to L.G. (“Mouldy”) Harrison! In April, seven octogenarians and two septugenarians helped “Mouldy” to celebrate his birthday at the home of Mrs Ray Page, on Jamberoo Mountain. Present were May and Paddy Pallin, Freda Ashley, Frank Duncan and Edna Garrard. The youngest person at the party was well over 50! Ray Page is also a longtime Honorary Member of S.B.W.
  • Ray Page was given recognition by Kiama Municipal Council when she was made “Australia Day Citizen” this year. At a ceremony in Jamberoo township the Mayor of Kiama told the overflowing hall (which included about 12 S.B.W.s) how Ray had been a conservationist all - her life and “trod gently on the earth”. Ray responded with typical modesty by turning attention away from herself, recalling how the people of Jamberoo had unselfishly fought bush fires and saved her home.
  • Janet Waterhouse and David McIntosh were officially engaged in January, but have finally plucked up enough courage to announce it to the rest of the S.B.W. tribe! Congratulations David, it couldn't happen to a nicer guy. The wedding will take place “some time before Christmas”. Our best wishes to both of you - and if you hold the reception at Coolana, we can ALL come! (P.S. David's new phone number is 85 5343)
  • Non-active members who are now Active Members again:- Tom Wilhelm, George Lauder and Temora Fleet. There were no new members this month.

Subscription Owing

If the annotation SUBS OWING appeared at the top of your address label, our records indicate that your subscriptions are unpaid. If you have paid in the last two weeks, please disregard this notice. If you have not yet paid your subscription, please attend to this as a matter of urgency. Persons unfinancial by the General Meeting in June will receive no further magazines and will be crossed off the Membership List early in July.

Members who may for various reasons be crossed off, may apply to the Committee for re-instatement.

See Page 4 of this issue of the magazine for full details of the rates.

198905.txt · Last modified: 2017/04/04 08:04 by sbw

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