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 door to the 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 P.O. Gladesville 2111. Telephone 809 4241.|
|Business Manager||Anita Doherty, 2 Marine Crescent, Hornsby Heights, 2077.|
|Production Manager||Helen Gray.|
|Printers||Kenn Clacher, Les Powell, Barrie Murdoch.|
In This Issue:
|While the Billy Boils||The Editor||2|
|Federation Notes||Jeffrey Bridger||2|
|Ettrema Remembered - Part One||Tom Wilhelm||3|
|N.P.W.S. To Be Axed?||The Editor||5|
|Obituary - Doreen Berry (“Tuggie”)||Grace Noble||6|
|Obituary - Jess Martin||Edna Gentle||6|
|Obituary - Marion Ellis||Edna Garrad||6|
|Obituary - Gordon Redmond||Alex Colley||7|
|Conservation News||Alex Colley||8|
|The Three Peaks (Mt.Cloudmaker, Mt.Paralyser & Mt.Guouogang)||Jan Mohandas||11|
|Necessity is….||Errol Sheedy||15|
|The September General Meeting||Barry Wallace||16|
|Canoe & Camping - Gladesville & Kogarah Bay||10|
|Blackheath Taxis & Tourist Services||13|
|Eastwood Camping Centre||14|
While The Billy Boils.
Some people think it doesn't matter if you do damage to the bush. “Oh, the bush soon recovers”, they say. This was true about 40 years ago, when only the hardy few went walking. Today, our bush is invaded every weekend by a growing army of outdoor enthusiasts.
On a recent walk we camped near some young wattles. The ground was strewn with dead ones, which made good tent poles. So I was amazed to see someone cutting down a live sapling. Why? “For a tent pole”. “What about these dead ones?” I asked, “they would be perfect”. Back I went to my tent, but a few minutes later saw the walker dragging away a felled sapling. “Oh, this is a different one, it was damaged and would have died”. The stump did indeed have a crack in it - well healed - and judging by the mass of green leaves on the tree, it was very healthy.
Why such a fuss over a wattle sapling? Arithmetic, thats why. This person must have done 40 walks with the club. If a living tree had been used each time, that would be the end of 40 trees. What if all walkers did the same? Multiply every walker in NSW by 10 years of walking you will get some idea of the damage which could result from a 'low impact' recreation. And this in National Parks - the very areas we are trying to preserve!
See you on the track….
By Jeffrey Bridger
A letter was received from the Forestry Commission stating that Diamond Creek (near Terania Creek) will be logged, but not in 1989.
Federation has taken out Sports Injury Insurance at a low rate. This will apply to SBW if we pay the small premium. At present, only CMW, Mount Druitt and Bankstown Clubs have participated.
From Tasmania we have been informed that henceforth campfires will not be permitted in Cradle Mountain National Park. This rule will eventually extend to all other parts of Tasmania. Walkers will now have to take their own fuel stoves.
There was a special meeting of Federation on 26th September to finalise details of the mechanics of Incorporation.
Regarding the Nature Conservation Council, The Federation will not give any statement of support for whoever is nominated as the “Green” candidate, as Federation feels it ought to remain apolitical.
Ettrema Remembered - Part 1.
The Start of the Affair.
by Tom Wilhelm
The first time I walked Ettrema is clear in my mind. It was the first bushwalk I did in Australia and took place on 20 and 21 of March 1971. It was led by Don Finch and Doone Wyborn. My then wife Linda and I were in the company of a large party, perhaps twenty plus. Among others in the group were Spiro, Jerry Zinzig, Alan Pike, some of the Grays (?) and others now unremembered.
It was a perfect weekend. Although I didn't realise it at the time, having only been in Australia for approximately one month, 1971 was a dry year and in an intensive year of walking (like twenty-six weekends) it never rained on us during the day. In retrospect that seems impossible, but I swear it is true.
We proceeded across the tops and descended into the sandstone slot that is Ettrema Creek (near grid lines 42 by 18 - Nerriga). It was another world, the tops sparse and depressing in a certain way, did not prepare you for the riotous beauty of a glorious canyon-bound creek. It quickly opens up to make for nice roomy walking, but that is my current knowledge. Back in 1971 it was a hard slog, much bush-bashing and crossing and recrossing before it 'opened up'. The experienced walkers disappeared into the distance and I and my young wife, struggled on. My high frame pack - good for the California Sierras - caught on every overhanging bit of greenery.
The natives, like the aborigines before them, were well set out and acclimatized to their tasks. They wore sandshoes (I was still wearing my necessary boots - soon to be abandoned and never, thank God, taken up again) and costumes, all the better to swim in, and swim and bomb they did. I couldn't quite believe it all, struggling along as I was, they were having the time of their lives swimming and diving - in their clothes! If I hadn't witnessed it I would not have believed it.
We were not the only slow ones in the party and our progress made it impossible to reach the junction of Jones Creek that afternoon - besides with all the swimming and bombing by the fit few…. - so we camped at a little pool beside a cliff. Sweet sleep never felt so good, after I made dinner for the little lady, who after all had had a harder time than I. Eighteen years later that campsite would fool me, waylay me as it were, but more of that later.
In the perfect morning that followed we moved on down to the junction with Jones Creek and prepared an assault on that flawless ribbon of life-giving water. The natives continued to cavort about in their underwear, needing little excuse to jump or dive into yet another pool - they couldn't seem to get enough of it. Not that I didn't have a few swims but taking off and on the Bloody Boots, put paid to quick entrances and exits at which the locals seemed so expert.
For those who don't know, Jones Creek is an exquisite granite staircase and ascends with a rapidity that, if you are into maps, takes the breath away. The only difficulties, overwhelmingly beautiful as it is, are the waterfalls. One after another, each one more beautiful than the next. They reach their height in a beautiful drop of some fifteen metres, that falls into a large pool. Speaking anachronistically for a moment, the other day when I was there, there was a ball of rainbow coming out from the centre of this great drop that can't be caught on film or words. Anyhow the natives in their usual casual style just proceeded to ascend the cliff on the right hand side of the fall, quite a breathtaking climb, while the rest of us poor mortals scrambled up through the bush on the left, where the exposure is not so great as to give the uninitiated premature grey hair.
At this point Jones Creek is well and truly vanquished, but to tell the truth I can not remember all the fine details of the 1971 ascent. We did reach the Ettrema Ridge road. Our intrepit and wonderful leaders had a surprise for us at this point. (I am glad to finally put this incident to print - as it seems to be all but forgotten in the minds of many of the participants - yet it is etched in my memory forever….). The road forked. Recalling that we had two leaders on this walk, and remembering because I say it that it was a joyous and happy, but very tired, group that were now treated to this event, will help you to comprehend it better.
At the fork, the leaders disagreed about which road was the correct one, and threw down the maps, so to speak, for anyone to comment or perhaps enlarge. We were mute. So after much heated altercation the leaders shouldered their packs and each took his respective way. Imagine the consternation this caused in the large tired delegation now sitting on the roadside, when suddenly you had to declare an unequivocal allegiance to the leader of your choice. Talk about consumer pressure. Well in the scramble that followed all of the happy bushwalkers made a quick choice and our party was now two. I think I followed Finch - honestly I can't remember - so off we went, approximately half our previous number.
I admit I was fooled, bamboozled, taken in, but in my defense so were the rest of our tired clump of bushwalkers, and none of us were prepared for the convergence of the two roads a few minutes later. Darkness was imminent but we had been taken in, and there were a few incredulous looks exchanged at that moment. Don and Doone made no comment. Why should they?
We were taken in and if we cared to, we knew it. We trudged on and reached the Sassafras Road sometime after nine o'clock. We gladly sat on the damp ground in the darkness while the obviously able leaders organised the cars to take us back to civilisation. So ended my first successful traverse of Ettrema - Jones.
The second traverse of Ettrema - Jones was in the company of the redoubtable Peter Harris. I did a number of walks with Peter down in the Ettrema region and I remember them with great affection. By this time I was a better (perhaps accomplished?) walker and made for Peter a good companion to explore the catchment of Ettrema Creek. Who else could put up with a walker who carried a torch that weighed almost 3 kilos! I was puzzled when I first saw it but after many a midnight walk along the Ettrema Plateau I came, through sheer necessity, to see its value and life-enhancing qualities. I eventually bought a larger torch myself, though never quite as large as Peter's.
The second traverse was easy, sometime in 1979 (?). I was by now fully acclimatised and found no real difficulty in negotiating all the obstacles of Ettrema and Jones Creeks, Boulder-hopping was by now a specialty of mine and besides I wore sandshoes and a costume (when needed) so, no trouble. We proceeded down into Ettrema and reached the junction of Jones by late afternoon. We made a comfortable camp on the point of the junction, beneath the towering walls of Thompsons Cliff.
I learned map reading and its values from Peter. When ascending Jones the only problem occurring at the big waterfall. We ascended the cliff on the right hand side of the waterfall, and just as we neared the top I went up over and Peter was just behind me, holding on to the big tree at the top. Just then the rocks he was standing on gave way, fortunately he had a firm grasp on the tree, and for the first time since I had known him he, without saying “Pardon the French”, gave fly to a real stream of oaths. I helped him up and we finished the difficulties of Jones Creek. We crossed over to the Ettrema Ridge Road without difficulty thanks to Peter's map work, and reached the Sassafras Road in the darkness, which seemed usual.
To be continued.
N.P.W.S. To Be Axed.
from The Editor
Not content with destroying our forests, the State Government wants to demolish the National Parks & Wildlife Service as well!
In late 1987 the first Wilderness Act in Australia passed through the NSW Parliament. It allowed the N.P.W.S. to enter into agreements with other land management agencies to protect areas under their control. A group called the Land Conservation Council of NSW, which contains a considerable number of development interests, has now asked the State Government to have the N.P.W.S. absorbed into a division of the Ministry of the Environment. It also insists that the Service be self-funding, which would put severe financial strain on the Service's operations.
The Land Conservation Council also wants all the National Park Advisory Councils abolished. The Minister for Environment has already sacked all those on the Advisory Councils, and there are fears that they will be replaced with people opposed to National Parks. The LCC wants all National Parks to be under the control of Local Boards of Management. Such fragmentation would make professional and uniform management of parks impossible.
The head of the N.P.W.S. has recently been dismissed for 'wasting' $6m. (How can you 'waste' money on conservation?) Once our National Parks fall into the hands of people with strong development interests you can rest assured that the needs of mere bushwalkers will be pushed down to the very bottom of the list.
Appealing to the Minister for Environment is useless. If he wants to keep his job he has no option but to remain silent and tread the Party line.
The Nattai needs you.
The deadline for our walks programme is the end of October, so if you were considering putting on a river-walk this summer, make it on the Nattai. Mining companies are agitating for exploration leases in the Nattai area, and we are trying to have it declared a national park. To convince the powers that be of its conservation value, we need to demonstrate that it is being frequently used for recreation. The Nattai is a beautiful river - help us to keep it that way.
[ Cartoon of guru walking with spikey backpack ]
… And I thought that sleeping on stones was tough!
(Thanks to Ray Hookway for this one).
Obituary - Doreen Berry ("Tuggie").
by Grace Noble
Our dear friend Tuggie acquired this nickname from a film character, “Tugboat Annie”, who was also short and chunky and given to witty backchat with her fellows.
We were frequent companions as walkers - tending to chug along in the rear - “rabbits” among the “tigers”, and as way-out actors in bushwalker plays. In those days, we had a real stage, in a real theatre, once a year, in the city; and of course, camp-fire skits were our delight. Tuggie's turn of wit was somewhat sardonic, very Australian, and often directed against herself; “might get up there with the aid of God and two policemen” when sighting a particularly nasty-looking climb.
Her deeply felt love of and identification with the Australian bush may have stemmed from being a “First Fleeter”; a female forebear was transported at the age of nine for “stealing another girl's pinafore”; so you may not find it surprising that she delighted in being “agin the government”.
I didn't see quite so much of her after she married Maurie Berry (a one-time Club President) and moved to the central coast, but we kept close in touch by phone for many a long year.
Tuggie died in her home on August 30th, and so - a fond farewell to a rollicking “Good Companion”.
Obituary - Jess Martin.
by Edna Gentle
Jessie Martin passed away on 14th September 1989.
Jess became a member of the Sydney Bush Walkers in the early 1930's. She was an active walker for many years and counted, amongst her great number of friends, the “Tigers” with whom she was closely associated. Jess was a very efficient Assistant Secretary of the S.B.W. for a long period of time and kept in touch with our “Boys” who were in the armed forces during World War II. She also did a great deal of work in connection with producing the magazine. Later, her services to the Club were rewarded when she had bestowed upon her Honorary Membership of the S.B.W.
Jess will be remembered by the young and no so young as a keen conservationist and by her sincere, friendly nature and her witty quips.
On ridge, creek, crag or leafy pad, her spirit will remain with us.
Obituary - Marion Ellis.
by Edna Garrad
Marion and Harry Ellis were experienced walkers and campers when they joined the Club in the 1930's. Harry was an engineer in the Railways. He worked shifts and then had five days off, and this was when they did their walking. They became very knowledgable about the Blue Mountains.
Harry was an excellent navigator and I had some exceptionally good annual holiday trips with them in the Victorian Alps and Tasmania. They continued to be active walkers until 1959 when involved in a tragic accident whilst motoring in New Zealand. Harry was killed and Marion sustained severe head and other injuries. Upon her recovery (the sight of one eye was permanently affected) she took young men student boarders for a few years as she seemed to need someone to look after and she liked the company. She returned to work and was still working part-time at the time of her death at the age of 86.
She was on a motor tour with her daughter Marie, when she suffered a severe heart attack and died two weeks later.
Marion described herself as a compulsive saver and this, together with generous bonuses from her employers, enabled her to have several trips to England and the Continent with various friends, including Sheila Binns. We had a very enjoyable tour of Canada and the western United States together.
Marion had a strong character, was very independent, sometimes exasperating, and to me a very good friend. She never ceased to love the bush.
Obituary - Gordon Redmond.
by Alex Colley
Gordon Redmond, who died recently, joined the Club in 1961, became Treasurer in 1962, and with a break of two years held office continuously. He was Treasurer for 7 years and two years later became Auditor and then a Trustee. He brought a wealth of accounting and business experience to the task and simplified and clarified our accounts, ensuring that they soundly reflected our financial position.
Gordon was a good walker. He led many program walks, and in parties with other Club members a few years back, covered a good deal of country that was new or little known to the S.B.W.
In 1988 Gordon was made an Honorary Member in recognition of his many years of service to the Club. Gordon believed that participation in Club affairs brings its own reward.
Wilderness Calendars For 1990.
From Alex Colley
Henry Gold's wilderness calendars, complete with 13 beautiful colour photographs, phases of the moon, and spaced date tabulations to enable noting of engagements; are now available, costing $9-00. I will be bringing them into the Clubroom. Also sets of 10 Henry Gold post cards, which make excellent Christmas Cards, Cost - $10-00.
St. Johns First Aid Course.
The Federation of Bushwalkers has organised a first aid course, to be held at the Marrickville Police Rescue Headquarters on 28/29 October. Reduced price of $40 for members.
Contact Jeff Bridger or John Porter.
by Alex Colley - Hon. Conservation Secretary.
Planting Trees is not the Answer.
Both the Federal Government and the Liberal Party have proclaimed their commitment to large scale conservation. Mr. Hawke plans the planting of a billion trees and Mr. Peacock acknowledged that “the world is losing wilderness areas and natural forests at an alarming rate” and promised a register of national wilderness worthy of World Heritage listing and a national reafforestation program. Mr. Hawke committed his government to annual expenditure of $50 million on conservation, a little below the yearly cost of the sports program.
$50 million wouldn't plant many trees. It costs the Forestry Commission about $7.50 to plant, protect and look after a plantation tree until it has a reasonable chance of survival. Mr. Peacock doesn't specify the number of trees. Neither side is prepared to halt woodchipping and pulping, though it is probable that the number of trees knocked down for these purposes will far exceed those planted and grown. There would be a great net gain in tree growth at a much lower cost if woodchipping and pulping were restricted to genuine forest waste and the people no longer required in these industries employed in plantations on cleared land.
Word from the Minister.
The Hon. Tim Moore has been kept busy answering letters from the S.B.W. and the Colong Foundation. A matter of significance to the S.B.W. is that his stationery is a light green reproduction of the Blue Gum Forest. His replies include the following:-
Oxley Wild Rivers National Park.
“A greater part of the privately held leasehold lands within the park are presently available for purchase by the NPWS. It is my intention that negotiation for the purchase of properties should continue and be finalised as expeditiously as possible.”
Since the above was written another 25,000 ha. of land has been acquired, in addition to the 30,000 ha. Kunderang property acquired earlier in the year.
[ Map of Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. ]
Lost World Wilderness Nomination.
“Action will be taken to consider the proposal and make the necessary contact with the Queensland Government. If the Director (NPWS) identifies the New South Wales part of the area nominated as wilderness (the catchment of Grady's Creek) then the Plan of Management can be amended accordingly and the area declared as wilderness.”
“The Minister for Minerals and Energy, the Hon. Neil Pickard, has strong objections to the park proposal because of its coal mining potential. However, The Director of NPWS has advised me that the Service is currently formalising its proposal in the area and following this will be seeking comments from other land use authorities.”
Our proposal for addition of this 4,000 ha. property to the Warrumbungles National Park was not acceptable because “Due to the status of the land, its addition to the Park, if found suitable in regard to nature conservation values would be at a cost to the NPWS budget allocation for land acquisition. This situation arises as the proceeds from confiscated property under the Crimes (Confiscation of Profits) Act 1988 funds the work of the Victims Compensation Tribunal.”
Anyway, it was worth a try.
In an attempt to save 509 ha. of land with a 5 km frontage to Durras Lake from development, Friends of Durras are trying to raise $1 million to buy the property. The land has little rural value. It is zoned rural, and the price can be justified only if the purchaser expects to obtain development consent. This would be contrary to the Government's coastal guidelines, which require urban and tourist development to be limited to areas adjacent to existing cities and towns. A firm commitment to adhere to the guidelines, together with a permanent conservation order, would reduce the price of the land to its rural value, but this will not be done.
Further information is available from Friends of Durras, P.O. Box 174, Batemans Bay 2536.
To David McIntosh and Janet Waterhouse who were married on the 30th of September. Our warmest wishes to both of you. May your marriage be like a delightful bushwalk - all sunshine and flowers, with no hard slog!
On a camping trip in the Widden Valley last holiday weekend Judy McMillan and Colin Barnes announced their engagement. They hope to be married before Christmas. Another bushwalker romance! Best wishes from us all.
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 Three Peaks (Mt. Cloudmaker, Mt. Paralyser and Mt. Guouogang).
From Katoomba in 48 hours with Ian Rannard (11/12/13 August 1989).
By Jan Mohandas
Friday, 11th: Ian Rannard (leader), Bob King and I started this walk at the turn off to Narrow Neck Road from Cliff Drive at 8.00 pm. We travelled to Katoomba in my car which was left about 2 Km away near some new houses. A cold spell had hit the mountains and it was freezing as we walked along the road, each carrying about 8 kg. Arrived at Golden Stairs by 8.15 pm. The moon was kind to us and shone brightly between scattered clouds. Ian advised us to ration our efforts during this night stroll to Cox River and conserve our strength for the gruelling two days ahead. With occasional use of torchlight we reached the end of Narrow Neck road by 10.30 pm. By torchlight we went down the side track to Taro's ladders and reached the bottom by 11.00 pm.
Down from the open areas, we felt warm and it was quite pleasant to walk up Mt. Debert and then down to Medlow gap by 11.30 pm. Occasional moonlight shone through the trees, and we felt warm at least part of the way. The temperature dropped rapidly as we went down and it was freezing cold and dark at 1.00 am near the Cox. We looked for flat, but rock free spots to settle for the night. Ian and Bob had tentflys and I took a gortex bivvy bag. We were soon inside our sleeping bags but I was very hungry and thirsty. Since Cox's water is suspect, we each carried about a litre of water. I ate the carrot cake which I had brought for Saturday morning tea and had some water. After the 5 hour walk, it took a while to go to sleep. It was an extremely cold night. I lay there, about 10 metres from the Cox, listening to the water flowing fast over the rocks. I had about 4 hours sleep that night.
Saturday, 12th: Woke at 6.15 am. Bright and sunny but still freezing, there was ice on the bivvy bag. I packed and wandered off to see Ian and Bob. Ian had finished breakfast, while in his sleeping bag, Bob was just waking up. My breakfast of wheatbix, milk powder and cold water was so cold that it was difficult to eat it quickly, but we managed to leave at 7.00 am.
The Cox was flowing strongly and about 15 metres wide where I planned to cross. At first it was only knee deep but my bare feet went numb in that ice cold water. After half way I realized that the river was about hip deep on the other side. I held my shoes and socks up and walked across getting my clothes wet, because I didn't want to go back and try again. I took off my clothes, squeezed out as much water as possible, dressed and walked upstream. Seeing me getting wet, Ian and Bob went 100 metres upstream and found a crossing point which was only knee deep. We went about 3.0 km along the Cox and found Bunggalooloo Creek was flowing well. We had a good drink and carried half a litre of water to drink on the way up to Dex Creek. Ian constantly reminded us to keep our efforts just below our best. The idea was to walk steadily with occasional, short breaks. I hoped my clothes would soon dry in the sunshine as we went up Kooriecone ridge at a comfortable pace.
I was glad my clothes were dry when we reached the top of Gentle's pass at 10.15 am because the weather suddenly changed. Cold winds blew, dark clouds appeared and it looked as though it was about to rain. Luckily that didn't happen and we sidled to the right to escape from the wind and had a 15 minute tea break. I had a drink of water with the carrot cake planned for Sunday and some scroggin made from dates, cashews, pecans, apricot and coconut squares and banana chips. We left at 10.30 am and reached Dex Creek at 11.30 am.
At this point Bob decided to pull out and return to Katoomba as one of his heels was giving him severe pain. At that stage he was struggling a little and he wanted to prevent the injury getting worse. It was a wise and courageous decision.
We talked Bob into continuing to Kanangra Creek wherefrom he could walk downstream to Konangaroo clearing and up Yellow pup track back to Katoomba. Ian had sent us instructions about this walk, which included the fact that each one should be able to navigate the way back, if anyone decided to pull out at any stage. We spent only 10 minutes at Dex Creek. I was starving and ate a handful of scroggin on our way up to Mt. Cloudmaker. We got to the top at 12.10 pm and left after filling in the log book. The first of the three peaks was done and only 2 more to go. Ian and I reached Mt. Stormbreaker at 12.45 pm. Ian was hungry and had dry bananas, figs and scroggin. We left at 1.00 pm for Thunder bend. Bob was slowing down a little due to the discomfort in his heel. We took the correct turn off the main ridge, and reached Thunder bend at 2.10 pm. We had lunch and plenty of water from Kanangra Creek and left at 2.30 pm leaving Bob behind, after arranging to meet him at the new Thai Restaurant in Katoomba.
The Mt. Paralyser climb was very steep, especially the first half. I took Ian's advice and walked up steadily without ever trying to rush to the top. On the way up, the views towards Mt. Cloudmaker, Mt. Marooba Karoo and beyond were splendid. Mt. Paralyser trig at 4.15 pm, but no views. After filling in the log book, we had some scroggin and water. It was pleasant there with the evening sun coming through the treetops. Temperature was comfortable and we departed at 4.30 pm. We were both feeling quite happy that we had done two of the three peaks. After picking the correct ridge, we went down to Whalania Creek and accurately took the turn off for the campsite below Nooroo Buttress. That steep descent would make many walkers apprehensive. For about 100 metres it was very steep with loose rocks and Ian was moving very fast. I descended with some caution and at 6.00 pm we reached Whalania Creek, about 100 metres short of the campsite.
We needed torches to reach the campsite, climbing over logs to cross the fast flowing creek. We had managed to cross Kanangra Creek without getting our feet wet, balancing on rocks. When I saw the wet slippery rocks in Whalania Creek, I just walked through. Ian tried his luck balancing on rocks and fell in receiving minor shocks to knee and elbow. By 6.10 pm we found spots for bivvy bag and tentfly and soon had a fire going, although the wood didn't produce much heat. It was now very cold, and we stayed close to the fire. Two billys were soon boiling, I had some pea and ham soup, which made me feel warm and comfortable. For a quick dinner, I had only peas and Deb potato. Ian had Alliance lamb with vegetables and rice, followed by stewed apples. He tried to dry both his socks near the fire and ended up burning one from toe to ankle. After cups of tea, we went to bed at 9.00 pm. Both of us slept very well that night.
Sunday, 13th: As I got out of my sleeping bag at 6.30 am, Ian called for help from inside his tentfly. I went over and found that he had tied himself tight inside his sleeping bag, and couldn't untie the knot. Had I not been there to rescue him from his predicament, he probably would have had to chew his way out. Another ice cold breakfast and away at 7.00 am up Noroo gable. The morning was very cold and it took almost 30 minutes before I felt warm.
It was a very interesting ridge and at several locations we enjoyed the spectacular views towards Mt. Paralyser, Mt. Cloudmaker and beyond. That ridge had broad areas, narrow rocky sections, rock scrambles, sheltered saddles and finally thick scrub at the top. Ian protected his legs with nylon trousers and my poor legs got the full brunt of the thick scrub, with excrutiating pain. We went to the left side and walked through an easy open area and found a track to the trig. We reached Mt. Guouogang trig, the third Peak, at 9.15 am. Ian filled in the log book and after a drink and some scroggin we left at 9.30 am. The correct ridge to Mt. Bullagowar was picked and we walked along enjoying that marvellous mountain country. It was sheer, ultimate joy; I felt really at home. At 10.30 am we stopped for a tea break with more scroggin and Whalania Creek water. The temperature was now quite comfortable.
Having picked the side ridges correctly, we walked into Konangaroo clearing at 12.15 pm. Lunch was on the eastern bank of Kanangara Creek where I drank the rest of my Whalania Creek water. Before we left at 12.40 pm, I took half a litre of water from Kanangara Creek. There were plastic bags and other unsightly things lying around where we had lunch and so I didn't wish to drink that water unless I had to.
We crossed the Cox at start of Yellow pup track. The Cox was flowing strongly and there was a lot of water. We crossed near the rapids and discovered that wasn't a wise thing to do as the current was too strong. Ian managed to cross without much trouble and I was doing fine until I suddenly made one slip and fe11 right in, but managed to avoid drinking the dreaded Cox's water. After crossing the river without further mishap, I had to strip and squeeze water from my clothes for the second time when crossing the Cox. I also had wet shoes and socks to go up Yellow pup.
At 1.10 pm we left the Cox and began the climb. The sun was shining, it was comfortably warm and I didn't mind the wet clothes. At least the sun helped me feel my clothes were getting less damp. Top of Yellow pup at 2.20 pm. We moved fast from there, only stopping for 10 minutes around 3.30 pm for more scroggin. The sun disappeared behind thick clouds as we started again. When we reached the white dog fire trail, light showers came down. At Medlow gap by 4.30 pm, and the sun started to come back again. Gentle plod up Mt. Debert with the evening sun shining through. At the saddle before Taro's ladders, we stopped to admire the beautiful views towards Lake Burragorang in the red glow of the evening sun. At the bottom of Taro's ladders by 5.00 pm and on the Narrow Neck road by 5.15 pm.
With only about 12 Km to go the souls of my feet felt a bit tender on the rocky road, but the rest of my body was feeling fine. The temperature fell rapidly and it became very cold indeed. At 5.45 pm we reached the stream and stopped for 15 minutes for a good drink and some scroggin. I hadn't had a drink since leaving Kanangara Creek about 5 hours ago. The moon was shining brightly by now and we reached Golden Stairs at 7.30 pm; the end of Narrow neck road by 7.50 pm.
I thanked Ian for his excellent leadership, his navigational skill and above all for his companionship. We changed at my car and went to the Thai Restaurant. Arriving at 8.40 pm, a sign on the door said “Closed” and we could not see Bob. We were both desperate for something warm to drink, so we went to Papa Dino's and had hot pumpkin soup and garlic bread which made us both feel very comfortable. We returned to the Thai Restaurant and found Bob inside, just finishing his meal.
In 48 hours, Ian and I had walked 85 Km with 4500 metres ascent and descent, including up and down the three 1000 metre peaks. Five hours walking on Friday, 11 hours on Saturday and 13 hours on Sunday.
Kakadu - Part 2.
As Jan Mohandas has given us the report on his Three Peaks epic this month, he has not finished the second part of his story on the Kakadu trip. The gods and lazer-printers being willing, we should have it for November.
Blackheath Taxis & Tourist Services.
10 & 18 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.
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”.
Necessity Is ....
by Errol Sheedy
There is in our Club a likely chap
Whose learning has scarcely any gap.
Yes, Paul is of course a bright young lad -
A Committee seat he's even had.
(To improve the human condition
Has forever been his ambition.)
He studied the problem walkers meet
When leeches often attack their feet.
So he sat and pondered very hard,
Then sprayed his footsies with Aerogard!
Hoping by this ingenious ploy
To deter those crawlies that annoy.
And so upon the next bush outing,
For those sly leeches he went scouting.
The acid test was near the Hacking,
Just where there were no leeches lacking.
Those nasty wormsies attacked his boots -
Recoiled! from them as from old cheroots.
“Eureka! Success at last!” he cried,
As their rout he joyfully espied.
“Cop that, you lot!” he gladly intoned
As they met their match, sat up and groaned.
Paul told his friends of his marvellous find:
They were in awe of his mighty mind.
Word of his method spread far and wide,
And on a school outing it was tried.
The bait was simple and deceptive
Two hundred warm feet were effective.
As a decoy they worked very well,
Till leeches reached the Aerogard smell.
And of all those feet most odorous
But one boy had a bite onerous.
While most shoes were by leeches assailed
The protection had not really failed.
He from whose skin they did not retreat
Was a lad who hadn't sprayed his feet!
Let him learn his lesson, the ninny:
Next time, to spray, a 1à Mawhinney.
The September General Meeting.
by Barry Wallace
The meeting began at 2011 with the President presiding and some 25 or so members more or less present. There was an apology for Alex Colley but he spoilt the effect by turning up a minute or so later. New member Neil Tuffley was called for welcome but was not present at the time. Bill Burke was present, however, so, although he is no new chum, he was called forward to be presented with his certificate of Honorary Active Membership, and gave a brief word of appreciation in return.
The Minutes of the previous meeting were read and received. The only matter arising was the request that F.B.W. be allowed to hold their next Reunion at Coolana. The motion was put and carried. Is this a subtle ploy to increase S.B.W. attendance?
Correspondence included a letter from N.P.W.S. regarding walking in NSW alpine areas (this has been passed to the Editor, so watch these pages), a letter informing us of the Formation of “Friends of Durras Lake” a conservation body, a copy of the minutes of F.B.W.'s July meeting, a notice from A.N.U. of a coming conference on “The State of Our Rivers”, from the Paddy Pallin Foundation inviting applications for funding, from an organisation called the Nattai Foundation with attached pamphlet, a copy of the annual report of The Perpetual Trustees Ltd, a note of a Total Environment Centre course on how to get elected to local government, and last but not least, a letter to our new member advising him of election to membership. The correspondence was accepted.
The Treasurer was next, with advice that we spent $247.10, acquired income of $3,484.00 and with a balance of $2,106.70 in the cheque account at the end of last month. We were also regaled with tales of financial splendour, investments paying interest, investments maturing, bank balances rising; but it all turned out to be a softening up for the proposed expenditure of $7,000 in October on a duplicating machine to replace our infernal tabletop offset printer.
The Walks Report began with the weekend of 11,12,13 August with Ian Rennard leading 3 starters, only 2 of whom turned out to be finishers, on his Three Peaks jaunt. Hans Stichter's Narrowneck to Nellie's Glen car shuffle went to program with 13 or so starters finishing at the cars at 13.30. Chris Sonter had 14 on his Ku-Ring-Gai Chase walk, one of whom is reported to have distinguished himself by losing his wife somewhere before the beginning of the track.
Over the weekend of 18,19,20 August Bill Capon cancelled his Wog-Wog hard exploratory walk due to a lack of starters but Don Finch reported a party of 12 on his Capertee River ramble which was described as pleasant. Of the day walks, Judy Mehaffey led a party of 20 on her Illawarra Escarpment walk, although they had to re-route the trip slightly due to the presence of trail bikes in one area, and Narelle Lovell led 16 on her Grand Canyon walk, which went to program.
The snows had come at last for Kenn Clacher and his party of 6 over the weekend of 25,26,27 August, and it was still snowing as 5 of the 6 members of the party followed Kenn up to Guthega Village and out to the untracked wastes. The other member was struggling to overhaul some other party as they powered away to Guthega Trig, cursing Kenn Clacher the while for not waiting for him. Kenn's party all got it together eventually and camped a very snowy night up around Pounds Creek before retracing their trail of white rice back to the cars the next day. Jan Mohandas, not to be outdone, led his party of 10 up to Ti-Willa Plateau in deteriorating weather, and they too encountered snow as they struggled homeward across Kanangra Tops on Sunday afternoon. Errol Sheedy led 15 on his Bundeena to Audley day walk, and Alan Mewett reported a party of 14 on his slightly-modified-due-to-recent-surgery Cowan to Brooklyn trip. You could tell Alan was off his stoke a bit, he didn't report the times for the walk.
August 31, September 1,2,3,4 saw George Mawer leading a party of 8 from Kanangra to Katoomba on a walk in cold and windy conditions with good views. Oliver Crawford's September 1,2,3,4 walk in Wollemi N.P. went, but the only firm detail is that it went September 1,2,3. There was also no report of Hans Stichter's Glenbrook to Lapstone day walk. Bill Holland had 17 starters suffering overgrown tracks and fine weather on his Mountain Lagoon, Colo River trip.
September 8,9,10 was all a trifle confused but it went something like this: Les Powell, who planned to go on George Walton's trip to Kanangra Creek, diverted to Geoff Bradley's Carlons-to-Mobbs Soak in-support-of-the-Mohandas-sprinters walk when George's trip failed to attract any starters, and just possibly a leader. However Geoff Bradley was unavailable to lead his walk that weekend so Les (remember Les?) took over the leadership of the party of around 3 to 5 people. That was all very well, but when he entrusted the “making of tea” for the Mohandas Sprinters to one of these members while he, Les, went to check the view from Splendour Rock it all came unstuck. Thus are the mighty fallen. It seemed Les returned to find nothing done and had only just managed to get a fire going when the thirsty hordes descended upon him…. and departed tea-less.
Jan Mohandas led his team of 16 cross-country sprinters from Kanangra to Katoomba (well actually the cars were at The Golden Stairs but who would quibble, after all they did miss out on tea at Mobbs Soak). George Mayer led a party of 11 around Mount Banks area on a trip that went to program. Amen brother!
That brought the Walks Report to an end, and as all you lot have steadfastly failed to swamp the Walks Secretary with slides of recent, or any, walks, we were spared the post-Walks Report slide show for this month.
At this stage some sharp-eyed type noticed that Neil Tuffley was present amongst us so he was called forth and welcomed to membership.
There was a Federation Report, it is probably covered elsewhere in the magazine.
The Social Report dealt with past splendours and coming attractions. The Conservation Report will appear in the magazine so is not covered here.
General Business brought the sad news that in recent times Gordon Redmond, Marion Ellis and Doreen Berry have all passed away. Man of you will know these people and will have walked with them in times past.
The meeting closed at 2110.
Bungle Bungle & Keep River National Parks - Jan Mohandas.
Two of Australia's most exciting parks make this a slide evening to remember. Note that date:- November 29.
Attention Day Walkers.
Change of walk - October 29th. Alan Mewett's walk has been changed to Kuring-gai N.P. Cowan - Jeruselem Bay - Campbells Crater - Campbells Creek - Porto Ridge - Peak Hill - Brooklyn. 15Km medium. Map, Cowan.
Ring leader for train time: 498.3028 (home)
Come dancing at 'Coolana' - Nov. 4/5.
Come in the afternoon to swim and relax on our property. Then dance the night away with a bush band..
Contact Ian Debert on 982.2615 (H)
Gallop of the year!
On September 9th fine cool weather brought out 16 SBW sprinters for Jan Mohandas Kanangra to Katoomba Day Walk. Starting at 6 am, they reached Cloudmaker in three hours and the Cox in another three hours. Most of the party reached Katoomba around 7.15 pm, with Bill Capon somewhat earlier. This was because Bill started running on the Narrow Neck road - and the others couldn't catch him! You can look forward to reading the full report soon.
The world's coldest walk.
During 120 days, starting from November 1989, Reinhold Messner (44) plans to cross the Antarctic continent - without dogs or any other technical support. He will be accompanied by German Polar explorer, Arved Fuchs. They will even pull the sledge with their equipment. In mid March they hope to finish the 3500 km trek, across the 'frozen continent'. An exciting new book will be the fruit.
(From the New Zealand Alpine Club Bulletin, via Dot Butler)
In other lands...
Bavaria's Environmental Minister, Alfred Dick, is asking people no to yodel in the Bavarian Alps. “Yodelling,” he says, “is harmful to the environment and is scaring the timid goats and driving Golden Eagles, Blackcock and other rare birds to extinction.” (Actually, it's not the yodelling he objects to, but rather the attempts.)
Change of telephone number.
Keith Docherty now has a new business number - 905 5985.
Kenn Clacher cannot be reached on the home phone number shown in the Membership List. Use his business number until further notified.
Bhopal, (India) a personal experience - Nov. 22nd.
Tom Hayllar of the Explorers Club was in India at the time of the Bhopal tragedy. Come and hear what the newspapers didn't tell you.