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 at 8 pm at Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre, 16 Fitzroy Street, Kirribilli (near Milson's Point Railway Station). Visitors and prospective members are welcome any Wednesday. To advertise in this magazine please contact the Club Secretary.
|Editor||Judy O'Connor,. 43 Pine Street, Cammeray 2062. Telephone 929 8629|
|Production Manager||George Gray Telephone 876 6263|
|Printers||Kenn Clacher, Les Powell, Margaret Niven, Barrie Murdoch & Kay Chan|
|Two More Conservation Wins||Alex Colley||2|
|Clear, Cold and Kanangra||Bill Gamble||3|
|Cooking with Spices in the Bush||Jan Mohandas||4|
|Walking the Line||Jim Brown||5|
|Vale Paul Sharp||Ailsa Hocking||7|
|Obituary - A Tribute to Deny King||Hobart Walking Club Inc.||7|
|And It Rained for Forty Days & Forty Nights… April 1985||Hans Stichter||9|
|The May General Meeting||Barry Wallace||12|
|Social Program||Fran Holland||13|
|S.B.W. Concert - May 29th||Helen Gray||14|
|Paddy Pallin - the Leaders in Adventure||8|
|Eastwood Camping Centre||11|
Two More Conservation Wins.
by Alex Colley
After a trip to the Nattai valley in July last year Bill Holland reported the bulldozing of a track down to a recent clearing at the junction of the Nattai and Alum Rivers. This area is in the Water Board's catchment area and near the centre of the proposed Nattai National Park, which is part of the submission for World Heritage listing of the Blue Mountains.
The owner of the land, Mr Geoffrey Scharer, applied to the Wollondilly Shire Council for approval of extensive logging and a market garden. The resulting scar on the landscape would have been an intrusion into the wilderness and central to the view from vantage points above the valley. Approval might well have meant a “foot in the door” for further approvals giving access to all forests in the Nattai valley, which was first proposed as a national park by the National Parks and Primitive Areas Council in the early 1930s.
Representations were made to the Water Board and to the Hon Tim Moore, who wrote to the Council last week, refusing permission for the development because the Water Board and the Soil Conservation Service had advised him that it would result in “unacceptable impacts on water quality in the Nattai River”.
Another very notable success was achieved by the Friends of the Hacking River, when the Wollongong City Council, by 9 votes to 6, rejected a plan it had previously endorsed to add 2,000 homes to Helensburgh. Not only did Council reject the plan, but it decided to zone much of the land in the Hacking River catchment as environmentally protected. The Friends of the Hacking River are to be congratulated on their long and unrelenting campaign against the proposed development. They succeeded in organising 4,850 submissions against it. Had the development application gone ahead, pollution and siltation of the Hacking would have degraded the Royal National Park, the world's second oldest national park, much used by bushwalkers.
The saving of the Hacking and much of the Nattai valleys are two of four very significant gains achieved during the last year by campaigns initiated or supported by the SBW. The other gains were the addition of the Rio Park property to the Warrumbungles National Park and the successful opposition to the proposed “Barrallier Trail” from Mittagong to Katoomba.
Please add the following names to your List of Members:-
|Name||Address||Home phone||Business phone|
|Bennett, Mr Alaric||3FZ, HMAS Torrens, Garden Island, Sydney 2000||359 2131|
|Bore, Mrs Margaret||28 BLuegum Avenue, Ingleburn 2565||605 9368|
|Crichton, Mr Anthony||42 Abuklea Road, Epping 2121||86 1571||621 0011|
|McGregor, M/s Ellen||1 Patterson Street, Ermington 2115||638 2713||743 0333|
|McGregor, Mr Tony||1 Patterson Street, Ermington 2115||638 2713|
|Moore, Mr Barry||140 Alcoomie Street, Villawood 2163||728 2204||725 8212|
|Pike, Mr Joe||P.O.Box 172, Eastwood 2122||874 1725|
|Wingate, Mr Nigel||16/7 Lindsay Street, Neutral Bay 2089||909 8956|
|Gardner, Mr Dennis||8/4 Munro Street, McMahons Point 2060||955 4179||954 9011|
|McMahon, Mr Glenn||235 West Street, Cammeray 2062||955 8651|
|Cheesman, M/s Vicki (Vicki was previously a member and is re-admitted)||25/3 Good Street, Mays Hill 2145||635 1283||887 6337|
Clear, Cold and Kanangra.
by Bill Gamble
(First published November 1982)
A feature of Jim Vatiliotis' Kanangra walk on the weekend of 21/23 May 1982 was the fitness of the party and the capacity of fourteen persons to move together well at all times (and that in spite of injuries sustained earlier or en route by some members). Others may prefer to recall the clear, cold weather. The walk was listed in the Autumn Walks Program as:-
Kanangra - Crafts Wall - Page's Pinnacle - Gingra Creek - Compagnoni Pass - Ti-willa Plateau - Mount Cloudmaker - Crafts Wall - Kanangra. Maps: Kanangra 1:31680 Distance: 35 km. Medium/Hard.
The old dance floor cave at Kanangra was cold and draughty for Friday's overnight bivvy. There was no cheery fire to welcome and warm members of the party as they arrived from Sydney, just dark, huddled shapes in sleeping bags glad to have some protection from the bitter wind. Others tented adjacent to the new carpark by the pluviometer or at Boyd Crossing campsite. Charlie and Margaret Brown probably had the best idea by staying in Katoomba and driving in around 8.00 am ready to go. Other members not already mentioned and ready to go were:- John Redfern, Bill Capon, John Newman, Bob Milne, Steve Carratt, Paul Davies, Geof and Fiona Wagg, Steve and Wendy Hodgman, Bill Gamble.
Saturday morning, in the half-light under the overhang of the cave, party members slowly gathered around the fire. Too many cold fingers and toes put paid to ideas of lingering and at 8.30 am the party moved out into the sunlight towards Page's Pinnacle. The pace to the north end of Crafts Wall was cracking and not unexpected in the chill air. A short walk out to Page's Pinnacle and a break gave the opportunity to climb the south pinnacle for fine views eastwards. The plunge to Gingra Creek which followed can be described as hell-bent down a well-defined ridge of fairly open forest beneath the canopy. We deserved and took a long lunch in the sun at the confluence of Gabes and Gingra Creeks. Bill Capon ambled in about five minutes after everyone else, claiming an injured leg and/or knee.
The walk down Gingra Creek was brisk. Initially, there was some hesitation in picking up the remains of the Cedar Track (an old logging road fast disappearing as nature reclaims Man's destructive handiwork). Deep pools in a gorge shortly below the confluence of the creeks suggested pleasant watering holes on summer walks. As the valley opened to provide modest flats in places, the track faded and we relied on cattle tracks or simply walking down the creek bed. Soon after 3.00 pm we reached our campsite just short of the Kowmung River.
The campsite did not yield as many level tent sites as first thought and there was some shuffling about to find suitable spaces on the generally sloping ground. Geof and his daughter Fiona settled for a bivvy under the stars on a soft ground cover of gathered fern. Steve Carratt bivvied alongside the fire, adding wood as necessary during the night for additional warmth. Others were spread about under tents or flies.
When cooking commenced soon after 4.30 pm, in fading light, there were groans of protest that the night would be interminable as a result. It wasn't. There were too many interesting things to eat, drink and talk about. Water flasks were emptied of murky fluids, ostensibly to make room for Sunday's dry walk, biscuits were passed around and, to cap it all, Jim quietly prepared a cheesecake to satisfy the sweet-tooths in the party. Conversation covered many bushwalking opinions and experiences. From such mundane topics as the maintenance of tracks (the letter in the March '82 Federation Newsletter on the removal of cairns and markers drew some comment and mixed views) to Charlie Brown, who can rest on his laurels after giving an outrageous account of charcoal sandwiches as a surefire remedy for an upset stomach. For bushwalking quackery, it must be a prescription without equal. Sometime after 10.00 pm, we left the fire to Steve.
Our leader talked of a 7.30 am start on Sunday, and by 7.45 am we were away. Shortly after 6.00 am, Steve had stoked the fire and everyone awoke to all the warmth necessary to face a freezing dawn and heat for cooking breakfast. Ice was tapped out of mugs and white-covered tents shaken. A whole day's walking with no prospect of water ensured that everyone drew their needs from Gingra Creek (alt. 800 feet) before commencing the uphill plod to Campagnoni Pass and Ti-Willa Plateau (alt. 3200 feet). There were no desperate thirsts.
At a dry morning tea on a well-worn vantage point by the top of the pass, we rested in the warm sun and enjoyed the sweeping views from Narrow Neck in the north to Scott's Main Range in the south-east. Jim said we came up from Gingra Creek about 25% faster than he had expected. We had moved off from our campsite, crossed the creek, and walked straight into a steep climb up a spur ridge to the cliff line of the plateau. The direction was clear as the ridge left little choice of route. The buttress was steep and covered in thick bush, but the rock outcrops in front of the cliffs were a good indicator and confirmation of route. Once the cliff face was reached it was just a matter of scrambling northwards around the base until we reached the spikes of Compagnoni Pass. Our party passed without hesitation. So quickly in fact that John Redfern and Bill Gamble were left standing talking at the rear. John was lamenting a punctured wine skin of water which had soaked his pack and expressing some annoyance at muscular stiffness which was holding him back.
Ti-Willa Plateau is neither flat nor open walking, and when the trees give way to scrub the undergrowth is of the type to scratch and tear legs and arms until they feel raw. One is left with an impression of an undulating ridge rather than a plateau, long and fairly narrow instead of wide. Just as it is shown on the map. In close file, Jim's party crossed the plateau and re-entered the tree line for the slog up the ridge to Mount Cloudmaker (3819 feet). Slowly, the markings of a route became visible. We stopped briefly at the cairn atop Cloudmaker, saw no merit in having lunch without a decent view, and dropped down the other side for about 5-6 minutes to a place which offered fine panoramas north into Kanangra Creek and south to Kanangra Walls. Our long ridge walk out lay before us, but that did not detract from a pleasant break in warm, calm conditions. Almost soporific.
The afternoon session was to many in the party the familiar ridge route from Mount Cloudmaker down Rumble, Roar, Rack and Rip to Mount Stormbreaker; then, in succession, Mount High and Mighty, Gabes Gap, Mount Barry, Crafts Wall and Kanangra Walls to finish at the carpark shortly after 4.30 pm. It was no headlong rush - there was time for rest in Gabes Cap and at the north end of Crafts Wall in the late afternoon sun - but there again the pace was hardly leisurely when the party was on the move. Even coming off High and Mighty, forgetting to drop off the east side of the rock outcrop, and Charlie Brown walked headlong into a good-sized tree branch at Crafts Wall which stunned him briefly.
Kanangra Walls lay golden in the setting sun as we walked up the steps to the old carpark, and that is not a bad time to be there completing a good walk. But it was not a time to linger. The chill of evening and the gathering darkness soon had us moving off homewards. For some members, a fitting conclusion to the weekend may well have been over the hot chocolate at Aroneys in Katoomba, or pizza in the restaurant next door.
Cooking With Spices In The Bush.
By Jan Mohandas
Bored with your usual bush tucker?
For your next base camp or bludge walk try something that will make your fellow walkers drool with envy!
Dhal (Red Lentels).
Ingredients (for one person):
- 1/2 Cup red lentils
- 1 Small onion, finely cut or granules
- 1 Clove garlic, finely cut or granules
- Small piece of fresh ginger, finely cut
- 1/8 Teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 Teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 Teaspoon coriander
- 1/8 teaspoon chilli
- 25 Grams tomato paste
- 1 tomato (not too ripe)
- 1 Tablespoon oil
- 1.5 cups water
- Heat oil, fry ginger, garlic and onion until light brown
- Cool a bit and mix the spices
- Add lentils, tomato and tomato puree or tomato powder and water
- Cover and simmer until lentil cooked (about 15 mins)
Vegetables, such as green beans, broccoli, green peas or brussel sprouts can be mixed with lentils and cooked.
Walking The Line.
by Jim Brown
Some forty to fifty years ago one of the tests used by Police to determine whether a person they had detained was “under the influence” (oh, yes, alcohol, of course) was a requirement that he walk along a straight line drown on the floor of the Police Station. I suppose you could say it was a sort of “test walk”, although hardly of the nature that bush walkers associate with that term.
There were many occasions when I “walked the line” - but not the one on the Police Station floor. My “line” was a railway line and I was there either because it was a convenient way to get back to a station (NO, NOT a Police Station), or because I had railroading photography in mind.
No, railway lines aren't straight, of course, but their curvature is quite gentle compared with the weaving course of the arrested toss-pots. In fact at that time the tightest curves on the State Rail network were of 4- or 5-chains radius - can you imagine an arc taken out of the circumference of a circle with a diameter of 200 metres and a circumference of about 630 metres? These were the tightest bends, and found only on a few hilly stretches, like the Richmond-Kurrajong extension, or the Tarana-Oberon Branch, both of which went out of operation years ago. On the Main lines the curves were much more gradual, the most severe that comes to mind being a bend on the Illawarra Line, south of Helensburgh, with a radius of 9 -chains - say a segment out of a circle 360 metres in diameter.
Naturally, the permitted speed of trains negotiating such curves was severely restricted, being about 25 m.p.h. (40 km/h) on a 9-chain curve, increasing to 36 or 40 m.p.h. on the 12- and 14-chain curves that were common on all mountainous sections of line. The reason is pretty obvious - in addition to the delay and disruption to timetables caused by derailments resulting from excessive speed around curves, there was the messy business of re-railing vehicles and repairing damage to both track and rolling stock. In addition Rail officials were required to investigate and report on derailments, and this could be a tedious and time-consuming task. I was once told by a “reliable source” that in the days when we still had trams in Sydney streets, wily old Traffic Inspectors always carried a broken bit of fishplate in their trucks, and from time to time would hit it with an axe to produce a “bright” dent: if no other reason for a derailment could be detected, the bit of steel plate could be produced as evidence that the wheel-flange of a tram had hit the “obstruction” on the line.
The lack of curvature on the line trodden by the drunkards may have dismayed them, but I never had any problems with bends in the railway. Other factors, such as embankments, and particularly cuttings or tunnels, could be awkward, however, and over the years I evolved systems designed to minimise the hazards and induce greater peace of mind. In case you should ever find it expedient or necessary to “walk the line”, these are my rules:-
Rule 1 - On lines with two tracks, walk on the right-hand track. This is the same principle as walking on a road when there's no footpath - you face the oncoming traffic. If you have to walk a single-line railway, well, the best of British good luck to you.
Rule 2 - If you need to pass through cuttings, try to ensure the party is well spread out in groups of no more than two or three people. There isn't much room between the cutting wall and the train if your party does have to scuttle off the line into the gutters, and packs can take up a bit of that space. Remember, too, that the rails may be 4 ft 8 1/2 inch (about 143 cm) apart, but the width of rolling stock may be up to almost 10 ft (say 260 cm) at the floor level of the vehicles - an overhang of 75 cm each side of the rails.
Rule 3 - Walk quietly, discourage noisy chatter and keep on listening for approaching trains. If you do hear one - GET RIGHT OFF BOTH TRACKS. The rationale for this is that the noise of an “Up” train may mask the sound of another on the “Down” line. (In Rail parlance, “up” is travelling towards the capital city, and “down” going away from the city, but knowing that won't help you if you don't see or hear the approaching train.) Keep in mind that a train running at 80 km/h may take several hundred metres to stop, even if the driver does see you and makes a “full emergency brake application”.
I should like to be able to say that, having formulated these basic rules and having imparted them to any in my company, I have had a tranquil career when “walking the line”. Poppycock! - one experience will suffice.
On a day, walk I led in the Brisbane Water National Park, we came out on the “down” track of the busy Northern Line just outside the southern portal of the long (1.75 km) Woy Woy tunnel, with about 2 km to walk along the line to Wondabyne, almost half of it through cuttings. There were 38 people in my party, so I clambered down the ladder on to the line, paused, signalled for silence and listened. All clear, so I summoned the party to follow. (Actually I could see right through the tunnel and there was nothing in it.) As each group came down the ladder I counselled them; over and over again, in the bare bones of my “rules”, then sent them off in extended formation and watched the tail come down.
One of the last down slipped on a damp sandstone ledge, fell a couple of metres and ended sprawled on the track. We picked him up, dusted him down, found he was only slightly bruised and shaken, and then followed the main party. As my little group of three emerged from the first cutting we could see the party ahead - half of them walking on the “up” line (probably because the “down” line had recently been re-ballasted, and the new blue-metal was sharp and uncomfortable underfoot). All the party had coalesced into groups of seven or eight, and they were talking volubly. There was no possibility of overtaking them to restore “order”, so we followed on the alert for south-bound “up” trains, and ready to yell loudly.
Happily no trains passed and 38 bodies, complete with 76 arms and 76 legs reached and overcrowded the tiny Wondabyne platform. Next day, looking at the extra grey hairs in my skull as I shaved, I murmured, like the legendary Raven - “Nevermore except when I'm on my own”.
Well, all right, I've had a couple of scares even on my own, the one I remember best being in the Carlos Gap Tunnel on the single-track Mudgee Line, north of the town of Capertee. I'd gone there to photograph some of the final days of steam-train operation on the switch-back bit of line near Brogans Creek, where it skirts below huge sandstone cliffs, while out across Capertee Valley the eastern skyline includes Tyan Pic, Coricudgy and the other basalt tops: I was part-way through Carlos Gap tunnel when I heard the splutter of a motorised fettlers' trolley outside the north end, and dived into one of the refuges which are provided at intervals of about 50 metres in tunnel walls. I believe the three men on the trike never even suspected my presence.
There's not much else I can tell you about “walking the line”. Except “It's illegal.” “It's potentially deadly.” - and “Be careful.”
(In Reply to Errol Sheedy)
by Jim Brown
This Sheedy bloke's got to be nuts!
I can say this without “ifs” or “buts”:
For my toes are not bent
Where in sandshoes I went,
Though I could use a new set of guts…
(Oh, and if anyone has a cheap set of re-treaded lungs, they could perhaps be useful.)
Good walking, Errol mate -
Vale Paul Sharp.
by Ailsa Hocking
Long standing members of the Club will be saddened to hear of the death of Paul Sharp. Paul died on April 9th, 1991, at the age of 61, after a courageous battle against a long illness. Paul was a committed conservationist with a strong sense of social justice, and was politically active in the fledgling environmental movements of the 1960s. He was Deputy National Leader of the Australia Party for a period, a member of ZPG, and the prestigious Club of Rome. So strongly held were his conservationist ideals, that he resigned his job as managing director of a large public company when the Board asked him to cease his conservation activities. He was a man of extraordinary intellect, and great gentleness of manner.
Paul had a deep love of the bush and of wilderness. He was most active in SBW during the 1960s and early 70s, doing many exploratory walks in the Budawangs, the Colo wilderness and the Snowy Mountains. Paul continued to be an active walker throughout the 1970s and up to the mid 1980s. His favourite places were always the wilder areas of the Budawangs and the Snowy Mountains. He was happiest when he was sitting boiling a billy over a fire in a camping cave in the Budawangs, at the end of a good day's walk. When active weekend walking was no longer possible, Paul took up day walking and birdwatching as a way of keeping in touch with the bush and his beloved wilderness. Birdwatching trips took him as far afield as the Kimberleys and Mitchell Plateau, Alice Springs to Perth via the Great Victoria Desert, Cape York, Kangaroo Island, Kakadu, Kinchega, the Flinders Ranges, to name a few.
Paul was deeply loved and respected by his many friends. He will be sadly missed.
Obituary - A Tribute To Deny King.
We are all greatly saddened by the death on Sunday 12 May of the Club's Honorary Associate member, Deny (Charles Denison) King, of “Melaleuca”, Port Davey.
Deny's first introduction to Port Davey was in 1930 when he and his father, Charles G. King, made two trips to Mount Mackenzie to investigate gold deposits there. Deny began tin mining operations in 1945 after war service in New Guinea, and started building his home, “Melaleuca”, on a bank of Moth Creek.
Deny was very strong and resourceful. He constructed the air-strip and two huts for walkers. From early 1946 he compiled daily weather reports. An outpost radio service was established in the early fifties, enabling daily weather reports and emergency contact. Deny married Margaret Cadell in 1949 and made the wedding ring from gold that he panned on his mining lease. She died in 1967.
Many will remember Deny for his hospitality and help in ferrying them across Bathurst Channel or to the Old River, using the “Melaleuca” or “Blue Boat”. He was a keen botanist and artist and befriended innumerable bushwalkers and other visitors.
We extend Our condolences to his daughters, Janet and Mary. His cheery welcome will be sadly missed. A vital spark has gone out of the South-West.
Jessie Luckman & Arthur Knight
Hobart Walking Club Inc.
And It Rained For Forty Days & Forty Nights....
24,25,26,27,28th April 1985
by Hans Stichter (First published July 1985)
Members of the Party:
Barbara Bruce, Bill Holland, Ray Hookway,Peter Miller (Leader), Fran Longfoot, Jim Percy, Adrienne Schilling, Hans Stichter, Jo Van Sommers, Barry Wallace.
9.00 am: I had just made a phone call to the Water Board at Headworks, Guildford, to find out the level of the Kowmung River when the reply came, “Why would you want to go down there?” I ignored that question as he further replied, “0.5 m above normal river level as at 8.00 am 23.4.85, at Cedar Ford crossing.”
Despite steady rain since Monday morning I thought that the weather must surely break soon, and that it couldn't possibly continue to rain for the whole Of the extended Anzac weekend trip. A further call to Peter Miller to confirm transport arrangements for that night also revealed that Peter was about to pull out additional maps, just in case the trip had to be re-routed due to inclement weather conditions.
Bill, Peter and Fran arrived approximately 7.00 pm to pick me up and take me into the grey wet yonder. A stopover at Aroneys with the usual ordering of snacks revealed that Peter had already pondered on alternative walks that could be done from Kanangra, subject to river level/wet conditions and the general feeling of the party.
We arrived at Boyd Crossing approximately 11.00 pm with Barry and his passengers arriving immediately behind. Our car load decided to erect tents without any undue delay, whilst Barry and his passengers headed for the warmth and dryness of the Dance Floor cave at Kanangra. The sound of heavy rain on the walls of my japara tent soon sent me to sleep, only to awaken to the bright lights and sound of another vehicle arriving approximately an hour later. This was to herald the arrival of Jim and his passengers.
As conditions were not favourable on awakening, we all headed for the Kanangra car park with the intention of having breakfast in the cave with Barry, Ray and Adrienne. However, on starting off, we were soon confronted by three “not so amused” persons heading in our direction. It appears that on arriving late at Kanangra the previous night, there was some difficulty in locating the exact route down to the Dance Floor cave. This was not due to the incompetence of the three in question, but due to “restoration?” work being carried out by the NP&WS. By the time the new pathway had been located, they had already spent some considerable time in heavy rain and muddy conditions.
A quick breakfast at the cars soon saw the party of ten moving off for the Coal Seam Cave, where we were to meet three other walkers huddled around a warm glowing fire. Our party soon settled in for a long stay with the conversation centring around predicting the weather. To me it was obvious - we should take it “one cave at a time”.
It was to be an extended stop and we moved off soon after having had lunch at the cave. The mist just began to lift in the valleys in front of us as we headed down Gingra Ridge for the turn-off point to Cambage Spire. We would camp that evening on the Kowmung River just upstream from its junction with Christie's Creek. The weather conditions would determine what the party would be doing on the next day.
Persistent and heavy rain during the night caused Christie's Creek to come up a little, whilst the Kowmung still remained no problem in regards to crossing it. However, it was doubtful that the weather would break for some time if at all today. With the extended trip not yet halfway through, the group decided that they would stay put until the following morning. Today's activities would consist of drinking bottomless cups of various teas, discussions on an endless number of topics, and for those energetic enough, a short walk up the Kowmung to Church Creek, in the afternoon.
It was just before lunch that we met the first of two parties of walkers, both consisting of two male members in each party. The first party, both members approximately 25-30 years of age, were completely saturated to the skin, in what can only be described as unsuitable bush walking clothes and equipment, i.e. denim jeans, long ex-army trousers, waist length nylon parkas and cotton 'T' shirts. All of this was saturated with water, with only a flimsy plastic undersized cape to protect them from the heavy downpours that they had been experiencing since leaving Boyd River crossing on Thursday morning.
When questioned about their route plan, their reply was “Katoomba via Kowmung River, Cox's River, Narrowneck, by Sunday lunch time”. Any experienced walker would realise that this would be a demanding trip under normal walking conditions, and yet these two persons had no idea of how long it would take to walk the Kowmung, where their present location was on the Kowmung, and the fact that they were facing a compulsory swim further downstream from our campsite if they were to keep following the river. They took Peter and Barry's advice that they would be better off Heading up to the Scott's Main Range Road and than following it to its end and dropping off at Mount Cookem, thus enabling them to make better time. Perhaps they would have been wiser to return to Kanangra, as was also suggested to them.
The second party we met in the afternoon, as Barry, Ray and I were enjoying a cup of coffee around the campfire. How experience shows through with walkers, even from a great distance! These two fellows were obviously not new to walking. After the introductory handshake and offering of coffee and use of the fire, we discussed where they had been and where they were heading. They also took the opportunity to have afternoon tea, consisting of salami and biscuits, and it wasn't long before they were soon off walking up the ridge to Cambage Spire.
At this stage our energetic party of seven arrived back at the campfire. With intermittent showers most of the day, we had kept the fire burning continuously as it would have been an unenviable task to relight the fire when we would have needed it for dinner. Discussion around the fire that night revealed concensus that if the elusive sunny weather we had been waiting for did not appear, it would be best if we headed back to Kanangra Walls, and put the trip down to experience.
It is interesting to note that with persistent rain, the longer it continues to rain, the deeper the water penetrates into one's gear and equipment, no matter how hard one tries to prevent this. We had been unlucky, for up to now we had not had any sunshine to “dry out” since starting off on Wednesday night.
“And it rained for 40 days and 40 nights”…. as the story goes. Last night and particularly this morning was to be no exception.
“Forget the fire - let's have a cold breakfast and be off by 8.00 am,” was the order. Three and half hours later saw us at the Coal Seam Cave, consuming bacon and eggs, toast and honey and other such items that we had missed out on at breakfast time.
Once again we met some other walkers who were ready to tackle the elements and the mountains. We were pleased it was them and not us. A quick dash to the cars with a change of clothing saw us heading off to Katoomba for that cup of hot chocolate at Aroney's.
Despite unpleasant walking conditions the members of the party had had many humorous moments shared around the campfires. There was little walking done over the three days, but once again the party proved that it is not so much where you walk, but who you walk with that makes the trip.
The stormy weather and heavy rain of the June Holiday Weekend caused problems for the SBW parties. We hope to publish details in a later magazine. ED.
The May General Meeting.
by Barry Wallace
The meeting began at around 2023 with 20 or so Members present and the President in the chair. Michele Powell, already on the way to Kakadu, sent her apologies. Helen Gray occupied Michelle's place as Secretary. The only other apology was from Jim Callaway.
New member Alaric Bennett was welcomed into member6hip with badge, constitution and applause.
The Minutes of the previous general meeting were read and received, with the only matter arising being the question of our membership of Confederation and the insurances provided by this committee are still obtaining details in order to evaluate.
Correspondence was comprised of letters from Morag Ryder, Don Andrews, Oliver Crawford, from Confederation regarding membership fees, together with outgoing letters to our new member and our insurers.
The Treasurer's Report indicated that we received income of $2,423 and spent $2,021. The Treasurer also presented a budget fOr the coming year. Most items are similar to last year's, with an overall deficit of $517. Stocks of cloth badges, T-shirts and books are to be checked.
The Walks Report began with Bill Capon's Morton N.P. walk over the weekend of 12,13,14 April. There were 5 starters and the fact that two of them were non-smokers seems to have somehow been related to the fact that Bill awoke with a headache on the Sunday morning. The walk did go, but not quite to program. Ian Debert's Saturday start Macarthurs Flat walk had 7 starters, good weather and rather cold waters. Nancye Alderson led a party of 6 on her Saturday ramble from Blackheath to Medlow Bath, finishing the trip with afternoon tea at the Hydro Majestic. Alan Mewett had 11 on his Winmalee area Sunday walk, conducted under threat of rain. The party emerged from the scrub at the end of the walk only to find that Alan and Geoff Bradley, deeply engrossed in a discussion of Brahms Fourth and the art of celestial navigation, had managed to emerge at some other, completely different, location. They all got together eventually, with just a couple of red faces. There was no report of Judy Mehaffey's Bulli Pass Scenic R6serve walk.
April 19,20,21 saw Jan Mohandas leading a party of 19 through perfect weather on his Cloudmaker, Paralyser, Kanangra gallop. David McIntosh led 5 on a slightly modified Wollongambe Wilderness part exploratory walk that same weekend. George Mawer's Heathcote N.P. walk went, but no other details are available. Kay Chan led 25 on her Blue Gum walk in fine, mild weather to be out by 1600.
Over the weekend of 25,26,27,28 April Kenn Clacher led a party of 8 on a walk in the Blue Breaks. The party is reported to have varied in number somewhat during the walk, but most of them ended up completing the walk. There was also an un-programmed cycling tour in Canberra, guided by Maurie Bloom. The party of 11 are reported to have enjoyed such a sociable good time that there are plans to do it again next year. Carol Lubber's 26,27,28 April Blayden's Pass trip had 16 starters experiencing some bad weather and discovering more “passages of time”. Greta James's Blue Gum walk went, but there are no details available. Errol Sheedy's Waterfall to Heathcote day walk attracted 7 starters in lovely autumn weather. Creeks were repOrted as very dry.
Ian Debert's Kangaroo Valley canoe trip had 3 canoes, 6 people and a 5-star campsite and was reported as most pleasant. There was no report of Tom Wenman's Cox's River weekend trip but the Rock Scrambling Instructional was quite successful with 10 attending, and Jim Percy had a party of 20 on his Lawson Ridge ramble.
Conservation Report brought good news on two items. It appears that the development plans for logging and establishing a market garden on the Nattai put forward by Mr Scharer have been opposed by both the Water Board and Soil Conservation authorities, and are now not likely to proceed. The opponents of the Helensburgh housing estate development appear to have successfully put a stop to the project. In consideration of assistance provided by SBW in production of the Colong Bulletin free copies are available to members in the clubroom.
Confederation Report indicated that F.B.W. Reunion has been cancelled due to lack of support, and that a bequest of $5,000 has been received from the estate of the late Paddy Pallin.
General Business brought advice that the S.B.W. Reunion will also celebrate Dot Butler's birthday. There will also be an Instructional / Working Bee two weekends prior to the reunion.
The meeting closed at 2136.
by Fran Holland
Our meetings are attracting good attendances and we should see this continue with the social program planned for the latter part of this month and for July. On 26th June we have a talk by Dr Ian Younger on “The Effect of Sun on Skin”. July has three very special nights. The Club Debate, the mid-winter feast and the visit to the Sydney Observatory, on the 31st. I already have some suggested subjects for the debate but would welcome your ideas.
It is nearly time to prepare the social program for September-November. If you have any ideas on speakers or subjects please give me a call or see me in the clubrooms.
|July 3rd||Committee Meeting.|
|July 10th||General Meeting - plus slides of walks in areas on current programme.|
|July 17th||Club Debate - Enter your 3 member team now. Dinner at Thai Restaurant, Fitzroy Street, a few doors down from the club, (upstairs).|
|July 24th||Midwinter Feast - Bring food, club will provide liquid refreshments.|
|July 31st||Sydney Observatory - Demonstration and Star Gazing. Meet 8.15pm at Watsons Road, The Rocks. Observatory charge is $2.50 per person, $1.50 for Pensioners and $6.00 family. They would like to know numbers so please advise Fran Holland 484 6636 by 30th July if coming. The club room will be open for you to talk about walks past, Present and future etc. if you don't want to star gaze.|
S.B.W. Concert - May 29th.
by Helen Gray
Once again our “Culture Night” proved that a bushwalker can have more than just a good pair of legs. To “a capacity crowd” - like Pavarotti the night before in a different venue - our singers, instrumentalists, dancer and poet gave us a memorable evening.
The folk group, who now perform under the name “Coolana”, gave us two brackets of numbers with a variety of voice and instrument combinations: Ailsa Hocking (vocal, guitar, piano); Bob Hodgson (vocal and mouth organ); and singers Tom Wenman and Gordon Lee. Rosslyn and Bob Duncan sang a duet together as well as solos, and Mike Reynolds gave us four songs. Dot Butler recited two poems “Nostalgia…. looking back…. the stage I'm at,” said Dot, but her faultless memory and clear voice contradicted her implication that she might be getting old. (Though, when unexpectedly called upon to recite again later in the evening, managed to get to “I'll ne'er Forget….” and then - genuinely! - her memory failed, much to her own amusement.)
Then there was Lisanne Beck, a lovely and lithe prospective who proved her fitness by doing the most energetic and expressive modern dances, which delighted us all. Guitarist Jim Rivers, who admitted to severe nervousness, none the less played lovely works by Tarragon, Bach and Villa Lobos. Claudia Douglas, a most beautiful cellist, with Owen Marks on the piano, played duets by such as Handel and Faure. Absolutely lovely! Thanks to Bev Foulds who accompanied Rosslyn's “Oh, My Beloved Father” at short notice.
The evening was slightly cut short by lack of time and I particularly regret that Owen Marks missed out on playing a second (“my best”) solo. However, Owen's accompanying throughout the evening was a joy to listen to as he jumped from Mozart to Flanders and Swann with his usual flair and humour. (An extra thanks, Owen, for all your travelling as you raced around the countryside to rehearse with Claudia at Woodford! - and the far-scattered singers.)
Some of Grace Noble's water colour sketches from a walk in Nepal were displayed. As one voice from the hall was heard to comment “I hardly had the strength to breathe, let alone do a sketch!”
Thanks to all those talented performers. The evening was a joy.
The Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service has just released a new draft plan of management for Kakadu. Under the proposed plan, the Sydney Bushwalking Club Kakadu trip done in May this year could not have been done as It was.
The new plan would ban all private use of helicopters within the park. During the past year, the park service used approximately 200 hours of helicopter flying time in comparison to the general public's 12 1/2. The proposed ban would have little effect on total use of helicopters in Kakadu.
Most of the private helicopter use has been during the wet season or at other times when vehicular tracks are closed due to unforeseen circumstances as was the case with the SBW trip. Completely banning private helicopter use would make much of the park inaccessible during the wet season when it is at its spectacular best. It would mean that a road closure could make a previously scheduled trip much more difficult or even make it impossible.
Please help maintain public access to the good bushwalking areas In Kakadu during the wet season. Write and say that you do not believe that helicopter use should be banned during the months of December through April or when roads are closed due to unforseen circumstances, it doesn't have to be a long letter, just a brief statement such as, “I do not believe that the use of helicopters for recreational purposes should be banned in Kakadu.”
Submissions should be sent to: The Director of National Parks and Wildlife, GPO Box 636, Canberra ACT 2601. You can also obtain copies of the draft plan by sending $10 to this address.
Willis's Walkabouts will be making a detailed submission to the ANPWS and would be happy to send a copy to anyone who sends a request along with a stamped, addressed business size envelope. Your voice can help keep Kakadu's walking areas open to all bushwalkers, not just a super fit elite.
12 Carrington Street, Millner NT 0810. Phone (089) 852134.