Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker.
Established June 1931
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, Box 4476, G.P.O. Sydney, N.S.W. 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 the magazine please contact the Business Manager.
|Editor||George Mawer, 42 Lincoln Rd., Georges Hall 2198. Telephone 707 1343.|
|Business Manager||Joy Hynes, 36 Lewis St., Dee Why 2099 Telephone 982 2615 (h), 888 3144 (w).|
|Production Manager||Fran Holland. Telephone 484 6636.|
|Typist||Kath Brown. 103 Gipps St. Drummoyne 2047.|
|Printers||Kenn Clacher, Kay Chan, Barrie Murdoch, Margaret Niven and Les Powell.|
|A Traverse of the Denison, Spires & King William Ranges - February 1993||Ian Wolfe||2|
|The Blue Plastic Man||Morag Ryder||5|
|Annual Subscriptions 1993||5|
|Cox's River Rediscovered||Tom Wenman||6|
|The Annual General Meeting||Barry Wallace||9|
|All You Need to Know About Bushwalking||Paul Sharp||11|
|Confederation of Bushwalking Clubs N.S.W. March Meeting||Jim Callaway||12|
|New National Parks||Alex Colley||13|
|Advance Notice - South American Odyssey||Peter Christian||13|
|Wet Weather Walking||Morag Ryder||14|
|Eastwood Camping Centre||8|
A Traverse Of The Denison, Spires & King William Ranges.
Fourteen Days In South West Tasmania, February 1993.
by Ian Wolfe
The six of us rendezvoused at the Hobart YHA for the commencement of the trip. After a last evening meal of fresh food and a few drinks at a local pub we met the Invicta bus next morning for our journey into the South-West. We took the Scott's Peak Dam road and in due course were dropped off at the start of the Timm's Track north of Mount Anne.
This well-formed track (an ex road) winds its way through myrtle rainforest before debouching onto the Florentine River crossing. As the river was low and there were numerous logs there was no need to use the flying fox for the crossing. A small tiger snake on the far bank posed the only opposition.
We then joined the Rasselas Track for the journey north. This is a benched track and well graded, having been the main supply route for the old mining town of Adamsfield. Much of the route is composed of a corduroy path of logs as it passes over the button grass plains. This provides good views of the Thumbs, an imposing peak to the west.
Camp that night was beside the Gordon river just below the Big Bend. A swim in the early evening rounded off an auspicious start to the trip. On the morrow, after crossing the Gordon via the flying fox, we continued north up the Vale of Rasselas winding our way through tea tree, eucalypt and button grass to reach the old abandoned farm of Gordonvale situated in a clearing in the rain-forest. The collapsed ruins of the farm buildings and some rusting machinery bore mute testament to what must have been a very isolated domicile surrounded by the wilderness.
After continuing along the plains we gradually climbed up to the west before leaving the valley via a ridge comprised of glacial moraine. The track brought us to the magnificent locale of the Lake Rhona for afternoon tea. The lake nestles in a great cirque of towering cliff faces carved by the ice eons ago. The conglomerate has been weathered and washed to produce a 400 m white quartz beach complete with sand dunes (and yes, the ghost of Lake Pedder does whistle in the wind). Needless to say, we were soon swimming in the lake and exploring the surrounds before retiring for the night.
The following day was spent having a day trip traversing the southern portion of the Denison Range. Diamond Lake and Surprise Lake were both visited and proved lovely spots for lunch and swims. Both are the product of glacial action and are bounded by moraine dykes.
The Great Dome and Reid's Peak were ascended to enjoy extended views in all directions. To the south past the Mount Anne massive we followed the jagged rim of the Arthurs to pick out the fang of Federation Peak rearing against the sky. To the south-west Lake Gordon's basins filled the vista whilst to the west the Spires Range revealed our intermediary destination. Far to the north stretched the King William Range (KWR) to mark the eventual terminus of our trek.
So there laid out before us in the clear mountain air, from one vantage point, was the totality of our 14 day sojourn. The trip was to comprise 3 days of day trips, 8 full days and 3 half days of walking. In order to keep the weight down we had limited ourselves to between 700 and 800 gms of food per person per day. This yielded total pack weights of between 20 and 25 kg per person dependant on total body weight (you can efficiently carry a maximum of a quarter to one third of your total body mass dependant on fitness levels). By the use of tracks and day trips the walk had been structured to leave the off-track walking to the second half of the trip when the pack weight had been considerably reduced.
A steep ascent from the cirque next morning had us on our way for the half day stage to the north Denisons. This was a classic Tassie ridge walk in and out of the gendarmes along the way. An ascent of Bond's Crag again provided extended views as well as a bird's eye view of the next campsite at Lake Mallana. This was a beautiful little lake hanging on the edge of a high plateau. This included a very scenic rim with a keyhole view down to Lake Murray far below. An afternoon of lazy scrambling around the ridges as well as an exploration of the curious double moraine wall of Lake Wugata completed the day.
The following morning brought mist for the first time and obscured the descending ridge to the west we had to take to reach Lake Curly. So out with the map and compass and down into the fog we strode to pick up the track through the densely wooded growth. We eventually debouched onto the button grass and proceeded to traverse the undulating country picking out the easiest routes through the vegetation as we went.
A long walk across Badger Flat and then through Curly Gap brought us at last to Lake Curly. This is a big lake set in a long valley with the towering quartz walls of Mount Curly as the southern boundary. The small quartz beach fronted some sheltered camp-sites in the scoparia and provided yet again an ideal swimming spot.
The weather changed overnight to bring mist and light rain next day. This nearly led us to abort the planned day trip but fortunately we decided to take pot luck and to climb onto the rim in any case. Fortune smiled upon our optimism to produce a tremendous day in fine weather.
First Conical Mountain was climbed to enjoy the breathtaking views. Then Shining Mountain seduced us down into the adjoining saddle to gain the summit. This provided close range views for the first time of the Spires from the Southern Cone through the White Pyramid, The Camel, The Flame and onto the High Rocky Innes.
Then it was around the rim to climb up a steep gully to Mount Curly itself. Quartz is lovely rock to climb on as its abrasiveness gives great traction and we certainly needed it as we climbed along the extended knife edge on top of this fantastic peak. A marvellous day trip was concluded later that night with the full moon bathing the lake and Mount Curly in its magical glow.
On the morrow we ascended Perambulator Ridge, sidled past Windy Lake before descending the ridges to Reverend Creek for lunch. Camp was made here and a half rest day declared. Another day trip followed next day. First up Reverend Creek to attain a convenient moraine ridge complete with a very nice track to climb up to the Spires Range.
To reward our labour was a lovely little lake called “The Font”. Being Sunday we all dutifully stripped off and re-christened ourselves. The Font has hanging over it a great towering cliff. This is comprised of a cross section of folded sedimentation layers placed on the vertical by some gargantuan process in the past. As part of the sedimentation is a deep orange colour whilst the rest is a light grey the extremely apt name of “The Flame” has been applied to this peak.
An ascent via a gully and some steep scrambling enabled us to attain the summit. This provided great views in all directions. To the southwest, was the line of our approach march marked by the Denisons and Mount Curly. To the north-east our future route down the Gell River to the King William Range (KWR), whilst to the north-west stretched out the wild valley of the Denison River with the jagged Prince of Wales Range beyond. Further to the north the great quartz monolith of Frenchmans Cap completed the panorama. The only adverse point was that the wind was trying its hardest to blow us off the range! This cancelled our planned mini-traverse of the Spires and we sought solace in another immersion in the Font.
This day in effect marked the apogee of our trip and henceforth we were “walking out”.
To be continued…
The Blue Plastic Man.
by Morag Ryder
He is the greatest traveller Australia's ever seen
No matter where you go, he's already been
From Jagungal to Guougang and out to Mount Pritchard
At Cary's Peak and Gingra Creek, he's left his calling card
Little bits of -
From Deadhorse Gap to Frenchmans Cap and on the Crosscut Saw
On Ti Willa or Mother Woila and even Mount Baw Baw
When you're standing up on Tyan Pic or on The Viking high
All scattered on the ground, you'll see the evidence lie Little bits of -
He must be getting tattered now, all the bits he's left behind
Hung on every twig and bush, but he doesn't seem to mind
For still he travels everywhere, up every hill and creek
Down the great Shoalhaven, or on Yerranderie Peak Leaving little bits of -
One day we'll travel to the moon, explore the craters there
Bianchini, Piccolomini and Copernicus so fair
He'll still be just ahead of you, wherever you may turn
No footprints in the dust, but you'll know he's been and gone
By the little bits of -
Annual Subscriptions 1993.
The following annual subscriptions were decided at the Annual General Meeting held on Wednesday, 10th March 1993:-
- Single Member $30
- Household $48
- Non-active Member $9
- Non-active Member plus Magazine $21
- Magazine subscription only $12
Your subscription is now due and should be paid as soon as possible to The Treasurer, The Sydney Bush-Walkers Inc, Box 4476 GPO, Sydney 2001. Please send a cheque or a bank cheque, NOT money order as these cannot be paid into the Club's bank account.
Cox's River Rediscovered.
by Tom Wenman
(First published in the SBW Magazine in December 1982, it is timely to re-print this story in this April issue as the Confederation of Walking Clubs is planning a 45th Anniversary observance of the unveiling at Splendour Rock of a plaque in memory of those former bushwalkers who did not return from active service in Work War 2. The Confederation gathering is to be held on April 24-25 to mark Anzac Day.
In his story Tom enthuses over the view from Splendour Rock, and it does command a vast panorama of the mountains and valleys which were the birthplace and nursery of the bush walking movement in the Sydney region. This was the reason for its selection as the site of the memorial plaque, which was unveiled at a ceremony attended by more than 140 walkers on Anzac Day 1948. Jim Brown.)
Bill Capon's walk beginning at Carlon's Farm and following the traditional route via the Blackhorse Range, Mob's Soak and Splendour Rock to the Cox, and back via Breakfast Creek, seemed the ideal way to resume bushwalking after an enforced absence of several months. So it was, with some pleasurable anticipation of the delight of reacquaintance with that wonderful area which starts with the hills running down to the Cox River, that I joined his walk.
The start is certainly easy of access; with the prelude of a pleasant and fast early Saturday morning drive to Carlon's Farm, which on this occasion, in view of the inclement weather during the preceding week, enabled me to make a fairly late decision to go.
Some eleven walkers joined Bill and we set off through Carlon's Farm for the descent via Carlon's Creek to Breakfast Creek and the foot of the Blackhorse Range. On the way clematis in profusion and heavy with small white flowers provided a happy contrast to the nettles in the creek. The climb up the Blackhorse Range certainly blows the cobwebs out of the system and at the same time gives some delightful glimpses of Carlon's Head on the one side, and the ranges towards and beyond the Cox on the other. The boronias were quite delightful towards the summit of the range and subsequently, after some rest and recuperation for blown lungs and tired limbs, the summit ridge provided a variety of bush flowers; yellow pea, wild iris and creek rose amongst many which I could not name.
Mob's Soak cave always provides water, and a salutary reminder of the messiness of humans, and it ran true to form on this occasion, with, surprisingly, somewhat less water than might otherwise have been expected.
Splendour Rock fulfilled its designation with unsurpassed views of all that beautiful country to the west, which bushwalkers hold so dear. Cloudmaker reigned supreme over the nearer ranges, whilst the distant ridges and features of the Blue Breaks reminded experienced walkers of past trips and provided newer recruits with some idea of the wonderful country to be explored.
A personal delight is always the views which are afforded of the Cox's River from somewhere near the top of Yellow Pup. The final plunge down to the river is a last test of knees and thighs, duly rewarded by the smooth grassy banks of the river hereabouts. We were surprised to see the small forest of casuarinas, about six feet high, which covered the once bare stoney beach which ran down to the river.
Saturday night camp was established on Kanangra Creek with cool, clean water to drink and Gordon was suitably horrified when someone enquired if it should be boiled. Some gesture of elegance was established by our leader who, after a refreshing bathe, neatly groomed and casually dressed for dinner, produced glass, bottle (of claret) and candle and thus dined with his chosen companion. Wine in fact flourished in several directions and was followed by several ports which were passed round. A delightful evening, warm with the promise of summer and pleasant conservation around a well prepared fire.
Some slight but pleasantly ineffectual rain during the night was nice to hear on the tent.
Bill Gamble, who had joined us in the course of Saturday, confused the party by a rather early start on Sunday morning for his return to Katoomba. The rest were somewhat relieved to find that the leader had a more leisurely program which saw us eventually depart around 9 o'clock.
The wind had got up a bit during the night and continued in gusts to stir the casuarinas with a soft whistle through the pine needles. These lofty trees are so much a part of the Cox River, and they suffer so terribly from undermined roots. Some clouds boasted rain which however in the event fell fleetingly and without much purpose. After the initial feet wetting ceremony, crossing the Cox was not much of a problem - the banks were clean and well grass-covered and provided good walking. There was great evidence Of young casuarina growth all along the river.
No other parties were encountered save some desperate remnants of the VIIth Cavalry, who, after viewing us from across the river, apparently decided we were not hostile and passed among us, throwing the odd shoe. We stopped for lunch shortly after one on one of the pleasantly grassy areas bordering the river in warm sunshine, but with a gusty wind which lowered the temperature a little.
The Cox presents a number of different aspects along its course; tumbling rapids, smooth broad reaches of gliding water, shallow sandy runs, variously contained by sharp rocky cliffs with fig trees' tortuous roots clinging to rocky ledges and crevices, towering ridges rising forbiddingly from bends in the river, at times park-like areas with tall casuarinas and gums spaciously placed.
It's always something of a surprise to eventually encounter the pile of dry stones which mark the entry of Breakfast Creek into the Cox. Indeed the creek itself provides a ruggedness which is belied by its common association, winding through some steep gorges.
The party became somewhat spread out at this stage, and the galloping leaders disappeared ahead. All was redeemed however when rounding a bend in the creek the main party was greeted with ready boiling billies and freshly made tea.
The final ascent from Carlon's Creek provided a fitting end to the walk with bell birds, crimson rosellas and king parrots providing a colourful, noisy and at times melodious distraction from the tired bodies and aching limbs.
The Annual General Meeting.
by Barry Wallace
There were 36 members present at the meeting, and the mob out in the kitchen, when the President called it all to order and got things underway at around 2014. Apologies were received from a host, the names of which were too many for your humble scribe. New members Brett Arnold and Bob Horder were welcomed into membership. Bob, it should be noted, became a member some moons ago but has been unable to attend a meeting until now.
The Minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting (1992) were read and received with no matters arising. Correspondence was comprised of little save circulars and advertisements.
The Annual Report was taken as read and accepted with no matters arising. The Annual Financial Statement as audited was taken as read. The Treasurer presented a budget estimate for 1993 and answered a few questions in this connection.
A motion was passed to determine the Annual Subscriptions for 1993.
The election of Office Bearers for the coming year then commenced and the results were published in the March magazine.
The Treasurer's monthly Report indicated that we received income of $3,388, spent $1,325 and closed with a balance of $2,014.
The Walks Report began at the weekend of 12,13,14 February with Greta James reporting a party of 12 plus 1 superstitious individual on her Constance Gorge trip. Ian Debert's Newport to Dee Why trip saw a party of 12 enjoying the swimming along the way on an overcast and warm day. There were even more at the barbecue that followed, but we don't have the figures. Greg Bridge had 8 on his walk in the Grose Vale area, enjoying fine weather conditions. Wilf Hilder had 9 on Stage 3 of the Great Western Walk, and there was no report for Peter Christian's Looking Glass Canyon trip. Perhaps they paused for a moment of narcissistic reflection and are there yet.
Kenn Clacher reported a good time for the party of 5 who attended his Kanangra Walls abseiling trip over the weekend of 19,20,21 February, but Morrie Ward, leading a party of 17 in the same area, reported that the Saturday overnight rain persisted into Sunday and forced a truncation of the intended route to avoid the slippery rocks in the bed of Christy's Creek. Of the day walks, Errol Sheedy had the party of 8 on his Waterfall to Heathcote trip trudging through the showers and taking teas and lunch under overhangs to avoid the wet. Alan Mewett and his party of 24 sweltered through the mud and intermittent showers in Patonga Creek under a woolly cloud blanket.
The weekend of 27,28,28 February saw Greg Bridge cancel his Morton National Park base camp weekend trip, and Tom Wenman postponed his Cox's River day walk. Peter Miller's ladies only mapping instructional in Kanuka Brook went to program with a school of 5.
Wayne Steel was out there doing it again over the weekend of 5,6,7 March with a trip in the Budawangs. The party of 13 enjoyed what Wayne described as a good hard walk, with rain. There were tales of Wayne having a damp night up on top of Mount Tarn, having been lured there by an early evening spell of fine moonlit conditions. Ian Debert's team of 9 were joined in their passage down the Six Foot Track to the river by some 300 marathon runners. They could stand the dust, and the haze of liniment, for Saturday morning but the rain on Sunday drove them home earlier than scheduled. There was no report of Peter Christian's Davies Canyon trip, but the other day walks were conducted in overcast but fine weather with Zol Bodlay reporting 9 starters for his Faulconbridge to Blaxland walk, and Brian Holden 'biking' it with a party of 7 around Picton and The Oaks for a pleasant day despite the fact that most of the route lay along main roads rather than the byways.
Conservation Report was next, with news that the Road Transport Authority has responded to Alex's letter re pollution of the Nattai, pointing out that there is no turbidity entering the Nattai River from the sedimentation control works installed around the Mittagong bypass roadworks. It seems that a New Areas Bill drafted in part by the National Parks Association will be presented to State Parliament in the near future. Indications are that the government will effectively give the green light to mining which will disrupt the Mount Airly area.
Detailed Confederation Notes appeared in last month's magazine, so we will not attempt to cover those matters here.
General Business brought selection of the venue for and timing of the Re-union. Coolana - 23/24 October. It also saw passage of a motion which will cause these matters to be determined at the half-yearly general meeting in future. After the announcements and a series of thank-you messages from the chair the meeting closed at 2146.
Leave the traffic, telephones and stress of the city behind. Join us on one of our two longest Kakadu wilderness expeditions. Swim in beautiful pools by day, relax around a campfire at night and wake up to the call of the birds.
Kakadu Circle No. 2: May 9-30.
This extended version of our Kakadu Circle trip allows us to spend two nights at a number of camp sites so that we can take a full day to explore nearby Aboriginal art sites. People without a strong interest in aboriginal art can use the extra time for bird watching - or just relaxing and enjoying the wilderness.
Kakadu Super Circle No 2: June 12-July 4.
Our longest Kakadu trip. It combines the best features of our Kakadu Circle and Twin to Jim Jim Circle routes. You see a variety of landscapes and aboriginal art sites. Despite the distance, there is always time for a swim in one of the numerous pools which line the route.
Both trips finish with a sunset wetlands cruise at Yellow Waters and a night at Cooinda. Both allow you to make flight connections on the final day.
12 Carrington Street Millner NT 0810. Phone (089) 85 2134. Fax: (089) 85 2355.
All You Need To Know About Bushwalking.
by Paul Sharp (First published February 1985)
I set out below, from my vast experience of bushwalking, a few simple facts that will surely help the less experienced, the blind, and the lame, more fully to enjoy that most spiritual and uplifting of all men's (sorry, dears, person) activities.
- 75% of all journeys, in either direction, are UP hill.
- However much you eat from it, the pack gets heavier rather than lighter.
- The map is wrong.
- There is (always) a magnetic anomaly (maybe ironstone) in the area that causes the compass to be misleading.
- The last pair of boots was more comfortable.
- The job of the leader is to be way out in front, to prove that he is the leader.
- The best camping spot is a little further on.
- Halfway through the journey back it is “only about five minutes to the cars”.
- An easy descent to, crossing of, and ascent from, Pigeon House Gorge exists, and is easy to find.
- The “Beers for bushwalkers Association” actually exists.
- Women are better walkers than men.
- It's only now that this heavy storm has set in that the tent has suddenly sprung a leak.
- It doesn't mater if you can't find the exact ridge where the trail is indicated. One ridge is as good as another.
- My boots are waterproof.
- Leeches won't attack you if you are smoking.
- Lung cancer is good for you.
- Waterproof matches are.
- It's easy to light a fire in the heaviest rain.
- The pass used to be here last time I came.
- Men are better walkers than women.
- Bushwalking is relaxing, and good for you.
- Dot is an orthodox conservative.
- Inflatable mattresses are just as good when they are punctured.
- I like walking in this heavy fog - it's a good test of navigation.
- A competent bushwalker can always find his way from the sun.
- “The bush is not a rubbish dump”.
- This river never floods.
- Members of S.B.W. don't get lost.
Confederation Of Bushwalking Clubs N.S.W. Meeting - March 1993.
by Jim Callaway
N.P.W.S. Blue Mountains advisory Committee
Confederation had made a nomination for this Committee to the Minister for the Environment. The nominee was not appointed to this Committee. The Confederation had sent a letter to the Minister questioning that there was no bushwalking representative on this Committee. The Minister replied that he considers that there is bushwalking representation as there is a member of Central West N.P.A. and there are other members who have been walks leaders.
Confederation would like to know from each member club the importance of cycling in each club's activities so that cycling could be added as an activity in Confederation's Insurance Policy.
Nepean Bushwalking & Outdoor Club
This club has been accepted as a member club of the Confederation.
Business arising. N.P.A. is now a financial member of the Confederation.
Search & Rescue
The meeting approved the purchase of a photocopier ($810) and punches (30 @ $6.50 each) for the Rogaining event.
Concrete Sleeper Plant
Ametex & Rocklea have plans for a factory at Willowvale in the headwaters of the Nattai River.
Hacking River Catchment Committee
Bob Cavill (Sutherland) was nominated by Confederation, and the Minister for the Environment had appointed Bob to this Committee last year, but there has not been a meeting of this Committee. A request was made that the Secretary write to the Minister asking “If this Committee is ever going to function”.
Tracks & Access
Maurice Smith (Sutherland) was appointed as the new Tracks & Access Officer.
Blue Mountains Community Workshop
From the last workshop held at the District Office N.P.W.S. the “Friends of Blue Gum” was formed.
Varney Bridge - Royal National Park
This bridge is the wooden bridge across the Hacking River at Audley upstream from the concrete causeway. It is intended to renew the wooden decking on this bridge between April and October. This work will stop a crossing of the Hacking upstream of the Kangaroo Creek junction at Audley.
Anzac Day Service
Confederation is holding a service at Splendour Rock. Those who are unable to walk in the full distance are requested to meet at Megalong Crossing at 10.30 hours so that arrangements can be made for transport to Medlow Gap.
New National Parks.
by Alex Colley
The National Parks and Wildlife (New Areas and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, prepared by the National Parks Association and moved by Dr. Macdonald, is now before State Parliament. It seeks to create some of the 20 parks promised by the ALP at the 1987 election and requires the National Parks and Wildlife Service to investigate some of the Association's proposals. The legislation would protect many of the last refuges of biodiversity and endangered species, such as Ben Hall's Gap. In view of Australia's signature of the UN Biodiversity Convention, which commits us to establish and manage components of biological diversity, and the State's signature of the National Forest Policy, which commits NSW to preserve forests and wilderness with conservation values, the Bill should be passed.
What remains unmined of the “Gardens of Stone” (headwaters of The Wolgan and Capertee Rivers) is included in the Bill as an area for investigation. The Colong Foundation is seeking an amendment which would create “Gardens of Stone” park, consisting of a section extending from Mount Genowlan, through the Pantoney's Crown Nature Reserve and along the Capertee-Wolgan divide to Wollemi National Park. If accepted it will ensure that this remnant of the scenic “pagoda” country is preserved from the depredations of the miners.
Advance Notice - South American Odyssey.
Approximately December 1993 - January 1994.
Leader: Peter Christian.
A comprehensive journey with an extensive itinerary. In conjunction with Russell Willis of Willis's Walkabouts who has considerable expertise and local knowledge in this area, plus fluency in Spanish.
Note: This trip will be approximately 20-25% cheaper than other similar commercially operated ventures.
Duration: Minimum 4 1/2 weeks. Maximum 5 1/2 weeks.
Contact time: Please ring only before May 20 (8-9.30pm) or between June 15-21 (8-9.30pm) or short letter by June 21.
Wet Weather Walking.
by Morag Ryder
In the Annual:Report the Walks Secretary, Bill Holland, commented that recently, walkers have cancelled weekend walks if the weather looked like rain.
In times past walkers went out, no matter what the weather. Despite having only cape-groundsheets or oiled japara rain jackets. Their shelters were fly sheets, or a prized Golden Tan japara tent.
Now we have all manner of breathable waterproof fabrics, framed tents with 'seam-sealed tub floors' - and still the walkers cancel!
Have we all become a nation of wimps - so sugary sweet that we might dissolve in the wet? Or could it be that all the sales-talk hasn't quite convinced us of the effectiveness of these high priced, high tech goodies?
Provided your gear does keep you dry, walking in the wet can be exciting. Everything becomes more adventurous, and how the adrenalin flows! Creeks become a challenge, navigation more critical, and a simple rock scramble makes you feel positively intrepid.
One of the most enjoyable walks I can remember, was down Bonnum Pic Creek when it poured all weekend. Perhaps the rain made us all slightly mad, but I have never heard so many jokes and stories, or laughed so much on any other walk. And yes, we DID have fires. We built them under an awning, until they were so big not even the rain could extinguish them.
Wilderness seems wilder and more dramatic in the wet. The flare and crackle of lightning over Clyde River; rain and wind driving me up Gordon Smith Pass with low cloud boiling up from Kanangra Gorge, like a witches cauldron. Of these things are great memories made - I've enjoyed all the wet walks I've done, both with the club and by myself.
Let the wimps stay at home and cringe; they'll never know what they have missed. The melodrama of a thunderstorm over Burragorang, the magic of a rainbow over Pigeon House. And ah, the bliss of dry shoes and socks when you get back to the cars!!
Social Notes For May.
19 May - “Top End” slides - Jo Hynes & Margaret Niven.
26 May - Hawaiian Slides - Peter Miller.
Dinner before meeting 19th May at Thai Restaurant (upstairs) in Fitzroy Street, a few doors from the club.