Table of Contents
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.
|Editor||Morag Ryder, Box 347 PO, Gladesville 2111. Telephone 809 4241.|
|Business Manager||Anita Doherty, 2 Marine Crescent, Hornsby Heights, 2077. Telephone 476 6531.|
|Production Manager||Helen Gray.|
|Printers||Kenn Clacher, Morag Ryder, Les Powell, Barrie Murdoch.|
In This Issue:
|While the Billy Boils||The Editor||2|
|Adventurer of the Year - Dot Butler||Alex Colley||3|
|Southwest Arm and Palona Creek Revisited||Peter Rossel||4|
|Anyone Can Be a Good Cook||Stuart Brooks||5|
|Lacey's Creek Revisited||Morag Ryder||8|
|The Whistling Kettle||Submitted by Barry Wallace||10|
|Mail Bag||Kath Brown||11|
|The June General Meeting||Barry Wallace||13|
|Doing the Bush-Skiers Glide||14|
|Eastwood Camping Centre||6|
|Belvedere Taxis - Blackheath||9|
|Canoe & Camping - Gladesville & Kogarah Bay||12|
While The Billy Boils.
Somebody asked me why I sometimes abbreviate contributions to the magazine, even though we are always so eager for stories about bushwalking. One reason is that condensing an article concentrates the action, giving a story greater impact.
The shorter an article, the better chance it has of being read. Anything over two pages is in danger of being 'skipped'.
The most important reason for keeping items short, is the amount of time spent by our volunteers in printing the magazine. Our present printer takes at least 15 minutes to produce one page, so a 14 page magazine takes about 3½ hours.
Add such things as covers, wrappers, walks programs etcetera … and our dedicated printers can quite often stand for 5 or 6 hours in a cold garage, struggling with a piece of machinery which knows more dirty tricks than a KGB agent. In view of all this, the best I can do is keep the magazine down to a reasonable size!
Hopefully, one day we will be able to afford a simpler and less temperamental machine. When that happens, I think our printers will celebrate with champagne!
See you on the track …
Off-Road Vehicle Policy.
In 1979 the State Pollution Control Commission held an Inquiry into the recreational use of off-road vehicles. This led to the passing of an Act in 1983 which provided for the designation of 'no access' areas and 'controlled access' areas. The Department of Lands has now formulated a draft policy to give effect to the Act. For 10 years since the Inquiry, ORV's have ranged freely over most of the Crown landscape.
The Federation of Bushwalkers, together with other leading conservation organisations, made a joint submission to the Inquiry. Its theme was that the use of ORV's “impinged on the welfare of others by spoiling their enjoyment of the natural environment and inflicting damage on that environment”. It described the environmentally objectionable features of ORV use such as noise, wilderness impairment and track damage, and pointed cut that closure of roads did not deny public access.
At the Inquiry, all the authorities concerned with land management gave evidence. None of them wanted ORV's on their land, but the Dept. of Lands said it would provide Crown lands for ORV use. When asked what sort of land it could make available, having regard to environmental protection, it could nominate only quarries and gravel pits! The Inquiry report was even more critical of ORV damage than were the conservation societies.
At the June general meeting, the Club approved a submission, prefaced by a claim that it had a more intimate knowledge of State Crown Lands, both before and after the intrusion of ORV's, than any other user group. It recommended that ORV's be excluded from:
- Wilderness areas, whether proclaimed as such or not.
- National parks, existing or proposed, except on public roads.
- All beaches.
The exclusion from wilderness areas is included in the Department's draft policy, and there is also provision for exclusion from areas the future use of which would be prejudiced.
Adventurer Of The Year.
by Alex Colley
On the 3rd June, Dot Butler received the 'Adventurer of the Year' award from the Australian Geographic Society. Before an appreciative audience of 172 guests at the Society's hall, Colin Putt - the first recipient of this award - presented Dot with a handsome gold medallion on which was inscribed “In recognition of her contribution to Australian bushwalking and mountaineering and encouragement of adventure among young people”.
Colin had already given a presentation of some of the highlights of Dot's amazingly adventurous life, mentioning that she had joined SBW at the age of 20, when the Blue Mountains were trackless and largely unmapped. In 1937 the first weekend 'Tiger' walk took place - 72 miles with 9,000 feet of climbing. It culminated with the first ascent of Carlon's Head, led by Dot. Among her many endeavours was helping to organise the Australian section of the New Zealand Alpine Club in 1957. For the next 25 years Dot led training courses in Australia and New Zealand, for young Australians.
In 1969, with a team of her mountaineering trainees, she was in the first all-Australian major mountaineering expedition to the Vilacabamba region of the Andes. Thereafter, Dot spent much of her time adventuring all over the world, and usually pioneering in areas which have since become more conventional places in which to walk or climb.
In 1970, she took a mountaineering expedition to Nepal, visited Russia, and cycled solo through Ireland, Spain and Cambodia. In 1972, a summer climb in the European Alps was followed by a winter crossing of the Jotunheimen Mountains in Norway. There followed climbing in the Sierra Nevada, the Grand Canyon, a canoe trip down the Yukon River (before it was 'discovered' by trekkers), where Dot and her companions were the only people in that whole vast area. Also pioneering walks in parts of Australia which have consequently become known and visited - the MacDonald Ranges, Kakadu, Daintree and the South Alligator River.
When Colin finished, Dot, wearing a beautiful long-sleeved dress of white wool and fashion shoes (1), replied that this year she hadn't done anything more adventurous than make mud bricks for her daughter's house! She then told of the great pleasure and satisfaction it had given her to spend so many years training young Australians for mountaineering.
As soon as the ceremony was over, Dot was set upon by reporters and photographers, while the other guests enjoyed a magnificent smorgasbord supper. Dot was interviewed by Channels 9 and 10, by 2BL, the ABC and the S.M.H. Radio stations in Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra interviewed her by phone. Even when she went to Coonabarabran, the Telegraph phoned her for an interview. On her return to Sydney, Channel 7 (in Victoria) flew her to Melbourne to be interviewed on the BUrt Newton Show.
Such is the price of fame. Only someone with Dot's stamina could stand it!
aUGUST 23 - 'Nepal' - slides by Alan Emmerton.
Snow, ice and breath-taking mountains, (please excuse the pun). What could be more appropriate entertainment for a winters night?
Southern Arm An Palona Creek Revisited.
by Peter Rossel
[Not all day walkers are wimps! Although some may cancel when the weather is inclement, Peter is obviously made of sterner stuff. It is also sobering to read how heavy rain can turn a 'pussy-foot' walk into something resembling a commando assault course. Editor.]
Like so many weekends before, rain had been pouring down all night and it was still raining steadily when I boarded the 8.06 am train at Central for Audley.
My previous visit to Audley had been with Maurie Bloom, when he led a group of SBWs from there via Southwest Arm and Palona Creek to Waterfall. It had been my first walk in the National Park and I was keen to retrace my steps.
Since my mind had been made up, I was not to be deterred by the appalling weather conditions. The train journey was rather dismal and I turned out to be the only foolhardy passenger to alight at Royal National Park station, where the SRA personnel considered me not worthy of their attention. Perhaps my odd assortment of rain gear, a far cry from the fashionable Gortex styles, put them off.
Audley Causeway was flooded, but a 4WD owner kindly offered to ferry me across. The illusion of dry feet rapidly dissolved as I set foot on the uphill Winifred Falls track. Water came pouring down the track, cutting a deep furrow in its destructive path. Large muddy puddles were negotiated on the flat and I soon slithered down the track towards the calls which, after some time, could be clearly heard in the distance.
The Falls offered a spectacular view of cascading, brown, foamy water. It was obvious the upstream trip would not be an easy stroll and would be rather time consuming. The best way, I figured, would be to follow the higher rock contours.
The rain had eased to a kind of drizzle, allowing me to discard my wet rain gear which had proved to be somewhat unprotective anyway. The struggle with mud, rock, bush and charcoal-burnt undergrowth could begin. Progress was slow but steady and I kept an eye on the angry creek below. The opposite bank seemed inviting and free of obstacles, but how to get there? Was the grass greener on the other side?
Finally a likely crossing was spotted and successfully negotiated after a partially failed balancing act, which left my lower half rather clammy. This side of the creek was not as “green” as I had hoped for and the struggle with rock, vegetation and other obstacles resumed. Previously dry creek formations provided now spectacular sideshows of tumbling water; not so enjoyable however, when our paths crossed.
About two hours after leaving the Falls, Crystal Pool was reached only to find the place, not surprisingly, totally deserted. After a quick lunch break, a careful shuffle across the creek and a short bush bash, Wise's Track appeared. Karani Track was next, and after further bush-bashing, Palona Creek's angry swollen flow could be heard.
I again kept on the high side as much as possible and soon spotted a good crossing point below. Then it was up again at the other side. When eventually I dropped down a bit towards the creek, I realised I had passed over the top of the cave, for suddenly the Limestone Cave track appeared under my feet. Lady Carrington Drive was now within easy reach.
The sun decided to lend its support in making the further stroll along the track as enjoyable as one could wish. Another three kilometres and the last obstacle, the swollen Hacking River, was spotted. This proved to be bigger than I had bargained for. After a brief reconnaissance along the bank I turned tail and made for the roadway with the intent of hitching a ride to Waterfall. A rather inglorious end to a challenging trip. But time was getting on and a train had to be caught.
A lift was soon arranged but a scenic detour via Otford and Helensburg was necessary to avoid the flooded causeway which once again blocked my approach to Waterfall.
At about 6.00 pm I “de-leeched” at Engadine Station and changed into a dry shirt for a comfortable homeward journey. The scratches on my hands and legs suggested I had met with a bunch of feral cats rather than some flooded creeks. Come to think of it, the name “Waterfall” seems quite appropriate, at least at this time of the year.
Anyone Can Be A Good Cook.
by Stuart Brooks
I am writing this in a cave. Outside, the rain is coming down at a hundred miles an hour - the wind is about the same. This is our third day, and tonight will be our fourth night, marooned by the deluge.
The first day of our planned five day walk went according to plan and we arrived here for lunch. But on our way down from the mountain above after a post lunch scramble, it started to rain and has not stopped since. We could have tried to splash back to the car at Newhaven Gap but our chance of crossing Camping Rock Creek after so much rain would have been remote. So we have stayed put.
A short distance along the cliff face from our cave is a large overhang extending for about 100 metres. A short dash through the driving rain and we can take off our streaming parkas and roam up and down at will in comparative dry. My mate has gone off to take photographs - so he says. I think he is simply sick of the sight of my face, for what could you photograph under these conditions?
After such a period, confined to a small cave, with little to do, meals become the focal points of the day. And your thoughts drift back to other meals and other cooks.
The best organised cook I have met was Frank Leyden. On a Leyden walk, you either walked in the inner sanctum, so to speak, or on the outskirts. The inner sanctum followed instructions as regards food to the letter - those on the outskirts did as they pleased about what they ate. Either way, you were guaranteed pristine campsites and trauma-free walks. For the inner sanctum, Frank brought his scientific training to his cooking.
His meals were precise, predictable and perfect. If you had been told to bring along 9 slices of bread, each 4 inches by 4 inches by 3/8 inch - that is just what you brought or else. Frank had an ingenious device of wire that cooked toast and cheese to perfection so long as the dimensions of the basic food components were correct. This precision flowed through all of Frank's meals, and walks, with predictably satisfactory results.
One of Frank's regular guided walks was the Kowmung at Christmas. This, of course, involved long swims and there were those who wanted to go along who lacked confidence in the water. For these, Frank conducted a sort of commando training in one of Sydney's coastal rock pools, prior to the walk. Full pack, fully clad, swim up and down the pool until Frank was satisfied you would make it. You can imagine the reaction of the locals. One of Frank's devices for the backward swimmer was the semi-inflated balloon under the shirt. This was not because Frank liked well-endowed persons, but, as a scientist, he knew all about Archimedes' Principle and flotation. Many an SBW member owes a lot to Frank for such attention to details and in particular, for a succession of perfect meals in the bush.
I guess I would have to rate Peter Price as one of the good cooks. From many meals we enjoyed together in the bush I can't remember what we ate but I can remember enjoying every one. Price had a pretty small repertoire of patheticly weak jokes. In these, there was invariably a seemingly innocent word or phrase that was laboriously developed to imply one of those five or six words that young mothers dread hearing from their 8-year old sons. In one of these jokes, as I recall, “coffee” was this innocent key word. One would only have to mention “coffee” to Price to have him collapse in mirth.
Abetted, indeed encouraged, by people such as Ron Knightley, every meal with Price became something of a circus. Under such conditions you would have eaten boiled bracken and enjoyed it. Yes, I reckon Price was one of the good cooks.
To be continued.
Eastwood Camping Centre.
From every State, Australian Made is great!
- QBB Butter Concentrate
- Beef Jerkey
- Wilderness Equipment Backpacks
- Goretex Clothing
- Cycle Panniers
* National Maps
- 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 Coastline Cop-Out.
Recently, the State Government used a large amount of taxpayers' money (and a considerable number of trees) to produce a P.R. leaflet on its guidelines to coastal development. This leaflet was a perfect example of political speeches - colourful, wordy and of very little significance.
The so-called guidelines contain more loopholes than a fishing net, and in essence absolve the Government of almost all responsibility for any future development/destruction of the coastline. In almost every case the final decision will rest with local councils who - as everyone knows - profit greatly from the inflated land values which result from massive development.
Due to a recent amendment to the Environmental Planning Assessment Act, both re-zoning and development approval is left to the councils; third parties (such as local residents) are denied the right of appeal to the court. In short, the State Government is making a vague pretence of 'protecting' our beaches and foreshores, while in fact allowing councils the final word on development.
In addition to this cheering news, sand miners are again preparing to assault our beaches. A recent newspaper article stated that “there is a feeling among sand-miners that the Greiner Government will be more supportive of sand-mining”. It also stated, “the Greiner Government has made it clear it believes there are 'too few' sand-mining operations in NSW”.
In March, 'Australmin' was granted permission to mine rutile and zircon around Newrybar, near Byron Bay. The project manager of Australmih believes that other companies will proceed with their own plans now that the first approval has been granted.
Thus in a few years time, a visit to the coast could well offer you a choice of two charming scenarios. A huge, glitzy tourist resort, or mining machinery at work.
Which would you prefer?
Federation Of Bushwalking Clubs N.S.W. - Notes from the June Meeting.
Tracks & Access:
On a suggestion by SBW delegates it was resolved to protest to the authorities over the excessive and garish trail markings along parts of the Centenary Track from Mittagong to Katoomba, particularly in the Nattai/ Wollondilly and Beloon Gap region.
In bad weather only 68 people from nine clubs were present for the Bush Dance in May, and the financial result was virtually a break even. The Federation Ball is set down for 22nd September at Petersham Town Hall - admission $8 and the theme for table settings is “The Greenhouse Effect”.
To avoid the necessity to make enquiries through the Environment Centre, Federation has obtained a telephone contact, (with answering device) at the home of the Secretary, Maureen Cavill (Tel. 548.1228).
A conference was held in Adelaide on 21/24 May, attended by two representatives of Federation. The hope is to promote the establishment of Leadership Training Courses in NSW, similar to those already operating in Victoria and Tasmania, while other States are also interested.
Lacey's Creek Re-Visited.
by Morag Ryder
Easter - 24/28 March 1989.
Leader - Bill Capon.
Other Masochists - Fazeley Read, Bob Milne, Ray Hookway, Chris Perry, Wayne Steel, Bob Younger, Geoff MacIntosh, Rod Webb & Morag Ryder.
With seven bodies squeezed into Rod's car, three bodies and most of the packs squeezed into Bill's, we set out for Batsch Camp. About 11.30 pm I crept into my sleeping bag, mentally preparing for an early start on Friday.
Leaving the cars near Yerranderie, we strolled under a cloudy sky and cross the Tonalli River. The rest of the party strolled up to Lacey's Gap - I crawled up, partly on hands and knees. Lunch with good views was interrupted by spatters of rain, so we departed for Lacey's Creek.
Having decided on 'Pass X' we spent the afternoon floundering down the creek, using any un-occupied hand to pull off leeches. By 5 pm we had an interesting campsite - a choice of smooth slope or soggy flat. The party divided equally on the issue, but decided to be friendly and all dine together.
Saturday passed in an un-interrupted flow of thigh-deep water, slippery rock and lawyer vine. The steady rain did help to wash off blood from the leeches. By 5 pm we again had a campsite; large, flat, and swarming with leeches. They were everywhere, I even found a couple in my sugar-bag.
With an early shower to get us going on Sunday, we continued to the rocky nose where the two arms of Lacey's meet. While slithering down this precipice, Chris decided to tie a trailing bootlace. The bootlace promptly shot down a hole, and Chris realised he had been trying to knot a baby snake.
The rest of the morning was occupied with a sidle so steep that crampons would have been useful. Filling our water bottles, we climbed away from the leeches onto a rocky headland for lunch. While we lounged on dry rocks and munched, Bill and Wayne went hunting for a way off the isolate and on to the main ridge. Aided by a piece of rope, a liberal application of mud, and encouraging cries from Bill, we went down and up.
With Bill/Wayne leading, we zig-zagged to our campsite. Flat, dry and a minimum of leeches. Also a minimum of water - incredible after all the rain. A deep descent revealed rock pools, so we were saved from death by dehydration (all the wine having already been consumed). Before dinner was over, the water shortage was solved - it was raining again.
Monday morning was so wet we decamped at 7 am with Bill/Wayne/Chris leading and breakfasted in an overhang. The late breakfast was followed by a late morning tea/lunch which was followed by by a late lunch-cum-something. There was talk of bolting for Tonalli River, but when we saw the view from the escarpment, everyone wanted to camp high. The water problem was again solved with a rock pool, and for the first time we camped without rain or leeches.
On Tuesday morning there was a blinding light in the sky - someone called it 'sunshine'. It dried our gear too, as we sat in a row on the edge of the cliff while Bill and Wayne displayed their love of danger, looking for a pass. With a mixture of coercion, desperation and cries of “It's not that bad!” we negotiated the crevice. Apparently Bill couldn't find any more assault courses for us, because we frolicked back to the cars amid flowers, sunshine, grassy meadows and all that sissy stuff.
All things considered, I'd call it a memorable walk.
August 25, Friday - Wilderness Society Dance - begins at 7.30 pm at the Ryde Civic Centre. Listen to 'Van Diemens Band' one of the really professional folk groups, and help the Society.
August 30 - Club Auction - with guest auctioneer Charlie Brown. Its on again folks, that grand annual event, the one and only club auction. Donate your superseded/superannuated gear and help to fill the club's kitty. Make a few bids yourself and enjoy the fun!
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.
The Whistling Kettle.
I knew a most superior camper
Whose methods were absurdly wrong
He did not live on tea and damper
But took a little stove along
At every place he chose to settle
He spread with gadgets, saving toil
He even had a whistling kettle
To warn him it was on the boil
Beneath the banksia and wattles
Boronia and coolibah
He scattered paper, cans and bottles
And parked his nasty little car
He camped, this sacreligeous stranger
(The moon was at the full that week)
Once, in a spot that teemed with danger
Beside a bunyip-haunted creek
He spread his junk, but did not plunder
Hoping to stay the weekend long
He watched the blood red sun go under
Across the silent billabong
He ate tinned food without demurring
He put the kettle on for tea
He did not see the water stirring
Out there beside the sunken tree
Then, for the day had made him swelter
And the night was hot and tense to spring
He donned a bathing suit in shelter
And left the firelights' friendly ring
He felt the water kiss and tingle
Then came the silence, none too soon
A ripple broke against the shingle
And dark with blood, it met the moon
Abandoned in the hush, the kettle
Screamed, as if it guessed its masters' plight
And loud it screamed, the lifeless metal
Far into the malicious night.
(Submitted by Barry Wallace)
From Kath Brown
You have asked in the April magazine “What's Wrong With Reunions?” My answer to that is “Nothing!” And “Do we still want Reunions?” The answer is “Yes”.
It would be good if more people were not only interested in attending reunions, but were also glad to help with the arrangements, particularly the singing and sketches round the campfire. And of course there are some fairly solid jobs of work, like clearing the weeds from the campsites and cutting wood for the big campfire, and for these the more workers there are, the easier it is for everyone. But the people who do go are happy to do these things as it is all part of one aspect of the Club's program that appeals to them.
The Sydney Bush Walkers is a club of members who all embrace one great love the bushland and the pleasures of walking in the bush. But in other respects, we have great diversity. We are of both sexes, of all ages (from eighteen to eighty), from different homes, with different freedoms or responsibilities. We Like different kinds of music, cinema, theatre, art and literature. We belong to different political parties, although I'm sure that we would all wish our political party to support the cause of conservation.
So it is not surprising that we have different responses to the various walks and social events that the Club offers. Some strong walkers only like to go on hard walks and find in the challenge of long distances, big climbs, rough scrub in the company of other like-minded Club members that in this way the Club fulfills their bushwalking needs. Others prefer easy day walks perhaps they find weekend packs too heavy, the time away from home too long or they are no longer strong enough to cope with any harder walks, but still, find great enjoyment in being in the bush and getting their exercise on the track. There are, of course, many other grades of walks between the very hard or the very easy, and many Club members enjoy all kinds.
Then the social side of the Club the meetings, the slide nights, the lectures, the auction, the get-togethers in the clubroom to talk to their friends and meet other members. Some members enjoy this, others have other things to do. Some members who have busy working lives and perhaps also do various jobs for the Club, can only manage to foregather with other Club members out in the bush. To each his own response to what the Club offers.
When you think of it, 200 members in the clubroom would be too many they wouldn't fit in. On a hard walk, if 50 came along it would degenerate into a crawl and have to be short-circuited. If 100 members attend a day walk they would be spread over several kilometres of track. And this applies to a certain extent to the Reunion.
However, Coolana, being a very large area, could accommodate 100 or 200 members in the different areas of bush from the hillsides to the river flats, and it would be very good if more members felt like attending. Those who don't probably have good reasons for not going. And if only fifty attend, at least those 50 have a happy, enjoyable weekend with their bushwalking friends. So, yes, we do still want the Reunions.
Honorary membership for Bill Burke.
In June, the Committee decided to offer Bill Burke honorary membership, in recognition of the many years of service which he has given to the club. Bill has been pleased to accept - more details in next month's magazine.
A new arrival!
Brian and Helen Goldstraw have announced the birth of their first baby. A son, named Geoffrey Eric, was born on 25th June. Congratulations to the happy parents from all of us!
George Mawer is leading a 3-day walk from Kanangra to Katoomba, via Gangarang & the Wild Dogs. Easy/medium. Phone 707.1343 (H) OR 774.0500 (W) (…. be mad to miss it!)
Canoe & Camping.
265 Victoria Road, Gladesville, 2111. Phone (02) 817 5590. Hours: Mon-Fri 9-6, Thurs 9-7, Sat 9-4. (Parking at rear off Pittwater Road).
226 Princes Highway, Kogarah Bay, 2217. Phone (02) 546 5455. Hours: Mon-Fri 9-5.30, Thurs 9-7, Sat - 9-4.
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
- 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
- Surf skis
- All types of spray covers
- Wide range of jackets & cags
- Face masks
- Many types of buoyancy & life vests
The June General Meeting.
by Barry Wallace
The meeting began at 2017 with the Vice-President in the chair and around 25 or so members present. There were apologies from Carol Bruce, John Porter, Don Finch and Geoff Bridger.
There were no new members to welcome, so we went ahead with the reading and receiving of the Minutes of the previous meeting. The only matters arising were a mention of the return of our wandering screen, thanks to the diligence of the caretaker, and a remark that we have received no response to our query regarding restrictions of access in the Forestry Areas of South-East NSW.
The matter of Correspondence saw letters received from Federation regarding public liability insurance, from Tim Moore, Minister for the Environment, advising that he has received our letter regarding the resumed property in the Coonabarabran area and that the matter will be given further consideration. There was also a letter from the Chief Secretary's Department requesting documentation related to our status as an incorporated body, from The Wilderness Society advising of their fund raising activities and also providing details of proposed actions on the conservation of the S.E. Forests. A letter from the S. E. Forest Alliance gave information on non-violent protest and passive resistance techniques.
Outgoing correspondence was comprised of a letter to the Chief Secretary's Department, presumably forwarding the requested documentation, and a letter to the Premier asking about the curious degree of restriction placed on our access into the S.E. Forests.
Business arising saw a move to review the F.B.W. proposed Public Liability insurance policy.
The Treasurer's Report came next, with advice that we spent $552.97, acquired $3,426.00 and closed with a balance of $3,105.47.
The Walks Report began at the weekend of 12,13,14 May with Carol Bruce and her party of 6 abandoning the programmed walk to Glen Davis Trig and scattering to the various points of the compass in an attempt to find more clement weather. Parkes and Cooma were mentioned. Bill Capon's trip to Tims Gully and Wine Glass Tor was made of sterner stuff, although it's not clear if Bill was. The trip was led by Ian Wolfe, with a party of 6 enjoying an historical ramble in fine weather. David Mcintosh's walk from Batsh Camp to Yerranderie and return was cancelled for a number of complicated reasons. Wendy Lipiatt's day pushbike trip from Waterfall station was led by Michele Morgan, with the 5 starters reporting a fine, pleasant ride.
May 19,20,21 saw Wendy Aliano's Yalwal trip cancelled and Les Powell's Uni Rover Trail walk met a similar fate. Wayne Steele's Byangee Walls traverse had a party of 9, at least two of whom said they didn't want to talk about it, and then (as is usually the way of these things did. Paul Mawhinney's Heathcote to Engadine day walk had a party of 9, some of whom detached themselves from the trip at various intermediate locations and all of whom were male.
Kenn Clacher led a party of 8 on a somewhat re-routed version of his Galloping Jim's Route walk in the Budawangs over the weekend of 26,27,28 May, but of George Walton's and Hans Stichter's walks that same weekend there were no reports. Errol Sheedy's day walk from Heathcote to Engadine had 14 starters suffering the wet tracks, and indeed four of them dropped out along the way.
Oliver Crawford's extended weekend Wollongambe traverse trip over the weekend 1,2,3,4,5 June did not go. Jim Oxley's Kanangra area trip over the weekend of 2,3,4 June also did not go. There was no report of Greta Davis' Campfire Creek day walk, but Paul Mawhinney led a party, estimated to be 4 people, on his Engadine to Heathcote trip on the Sunday.
The Queen's Birthday weekend of 9,10,11,12 saw slightly better conditions. Dot Butler's “Weekend with the Stars” trip saw a party of around 10 dodging the showers and copping it sweet in the bath at Wade's place (Stalag Canopus) to sort of mess around with many kilograms of observatory building materials, which were variously heavy or awkwardly shaped, and a steep hilltop. It was probably good training for anyone who plans to do a bit of that sort of thing. Bob King's Colo walk was cancelled and although Jim Callaway's Royal National Park station to Waterfall day walk is reported to have gone there were no details.
There was no Federation Report - it probably isn't covered elsewhere in the magazine.
Conservation Report indicated that the Lands Department has released a draft Crown Lands Off-Road Vehicle Policy for public comment. Our Conservation Secretary presented a draft submission to the meeting for discussion. Opinion was favourable, and Alex will lodge the submission on our behalf before the deadline.
Of general business there was none, so after the announcements the chairman closed the meeting, at 2124.
Doing The Bush-Skiers Glide.
I love to go ski-touring
But I think it is a swiz
It makes me so exhausted
I always end like this….
There are many ways of covering the ground when ski-touring, and the 'glide' is one of the most efficient. Borrowed from cross-country racing, it can increase speed without pain or strain. But it does take practice.
With each stride, the skier pushes forward on to the front ski and balances while the ski glides. If you are properly balanced, this glide becomes a rest. Without balance, the glide becomes wobbly, as the body constantly adjusts for the swaying. The 'glide' then becomes short and tiring.
Practice first at home. Put on a pair of smooth nylon socks and stand on a smooth surface, such as the kitchen floor. Lift one leg and stretch it in front of you. Repeat with the other leg. No wobbles? then on to the next stage. Push one foot in front of you, put your weight on it, and slide forward. Repeat with the other foot. At first it seems impossible. I fell over repeatedly for the first 10 minutes. But patience will be rewarded; and you will soon get the rhythm and balance of the push/glide motion.
Kitchens are usually rather small, and it's hard to find long, smooth surfaced corridor. I sneaked into the local hospital at the end of visiting time. As the last stragglers departed, I whipped off my shoes and 'glided' down a long corridor, under the startled gaze of a nurse and an elderly patient!
Find a gentle slope and practice lifting one ski as you go down. Ski as far as possible while standing on one leg. Try skiing without stocks, swinging your arms to amplify the rhythm. Now put on your pack and do some serious practice. In rough or difficult conditions you will have to shorten your stride or even revert to the 'bush-skiers plod', but there are so many places where 'gliding' can save both time and energy or at least let you catch your breath!
July 26 - Mid winter feast - plus "Bushwalking" by the A.B.C.
Bring your 'cold weather speciality', and feast while you watch this A.B.C. show. You may or may not agree with their view of bushwalking - come and judge for yourself.