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 and Lay-Out||Kath Brown.|
|Printers||Kenn Clacher, Kay Chan, Barrie Murdoch, Margaret Niven and Les Powell.|
|A Cold Night in the Snowy Mountains||Peter Dyce||2|
|Conservation - Promises||Alex Colley||3|
|Pantoney's Crown - 30/5/93||George Mawer||4|
|Public Enemy Number One||Nan Bourke||5|
|Notice to Walks Leaders||Bill Holland||5|
|A Walk in the Winburndale Nature Reserve||Bill Holland||7|
|Social Notes||John Hogan||7|
|Peter Tressider in the Kimberleys||Maurice Smith||8|
|Tootie Creek||Tony Holgate||9|
|The June General Meeting||Barry Wallace||9|
|Confederation of B.W. Clubs - 15/6/93||Jim Callaway||11|
|So-so Snow, So What?||Ainslie Morris||13|
|Wait & Smile||Jim Brown||15|
|Important Notice - Subscription Overdue||The Committee||16|
|Eastwood Camping Centre||12|
A Cold Night In The Snowy Mountains.
It was the first month of winter. A companion and I decided to go trout fishing in the Snowy Mountains in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range near Kiandra. To get to our fishing spot involved a lengthy walk through rugged bush with some steep climbs and descents.
The first day we landed eleven fine trout which we carried back to our mountain cabin which was comfortably equipped with bunks, cooking facilities and hot shower. On the second day, by late afternoon we had caught sixteen fish; the limit was twenty and that was when the greed factor took over. Instead of being satisfied with an excellent catch I delayed departure so we could “Bag Out” with twenty fish.
Not only did we not catch another trout but the delay meant that we started our bushwalk back through the mountains with daylight fading fast.
The track was indistinct and soon I was using my flashlight. My rechargeable torch was very bright while it lasted but was soon flat. Before that happened we had already lost the track which had been obliterated by land slips, rock falls and uprooted trees. I realised our torch was failing so suggested to my companion that we discard our load of trout weighing over 20 kg so that we could walk faster. He readily agreed and with our load lightened we tried to find the track home without success. The torch was almost done, it was pitch dark with wombat holes, steep drops and rocks to trip us, so I decided the safest option was to stop and wait till dawn brought new light. For this we were ill prepared; except for a Gortex jacket each, and reasonably warm clothes, we had no tent, sleeping bags or food, for we were after all going to spend the night in our warm cosy cabin.
By then it was raining, dark and quite cold. Probably a couple of degrees below 0C, at about 5000 ft altitude. I tried to find dry kindling to no avail; it had been raining for a few days and everything was wet. I asked my fishing mate if he had any paper; he said “NO” though some hours later he remembered he had a toilet role in his pack.
I found a couple of paper tissues in a side pocket, luck was with us and after some 30 minutes of previous frustration trying to light a fire with wet kindling in the rain, I managed to start a small flame. This we carefully coaxed, blew and fanned into a sputtering fire. We huddled around this smoky fire for the next twelve hours; our fire produced more smoke than heat but was nevertheless a wonderful source of light and warmth in what was otherwise a most uncomfortable night sitting without shelter in open mountain bush in steady rain. Our Gortex jackets were a godsend, keeping us dry though not warm.
My companion who had pulled up his knees close to his chest in a foetal position for warmth dozed off a number of times; this resulted in his relaxing his limbs so that his boots starting smouldering in the fire. I had to shake him before his toes caught alight. Quite funny really, though at the time the humour in the situation escaped me. Eventually dawn arrived and with daylight we found the track home only a couple of kilometres from where we had spent a rather miserable night. We were too weary to start looking for our discarded trout and left them there for some lucky fox or dingo. We walked straight back to our cabin for a much needed hot shower and nap before our long drive back to Sydney.
A redeeming aspect was that our night-long huddle in the rain and cold without shelter seemed to pass quite quickly. It felt perhaps more like half the time. I put this down to the therapeutic magnetism of our little fire which induced a type of hypnotic, mesmerising trance-like feeling without which the night would have passed much more slowly. A few hours after our return to our cabin a heavy blizzard hit the mountains bringing high winds, snow and a temperature of -6°C.
I have drawn a number of conclusions from our experience. Of course one is always smarter after the event.
(This is a classic example of just how easily things can and do go wrong. Be aware, Be prepared. ED.)
Conservation - Promises.
by Alex Colley
In 1991 the Hon. Ros Kelly signed the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity which Commits Australia to identify and monitor components of biological diversity and establish and manage protected areas. In December last year Mr. Fahey signed the National Forest Policy which commits all the states (except Tasmania, which cherishes the right to pulp, mince and export its forests) to assess forests and wilderness for conservation values, as a matter of high priority and to avoid activities that may affect such areas until assessments are complete. Logging of old growth forests and wilderness areas should therefore cease immediately. It hasn't.
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Environment Recreation and the Arts Report on the role of protected areas in the maintenance of biodiversity seeks to establish a system of “core protected areas” over a period of 6-8 years. Unless the U.N. Convention and the National Forest Policy are implemented many of these areas will have been lost long before then. A long period of search to identify them is unnecessary. Most of them are already well known to the bushwalkers, who have sought them out for over 60 years. The authorities would save much time, money and effort if they merely asked the bushwalking clubs where they are.
Pantoney's Crown -Saturday 30/05/93.
Leader: Carol Lubbers. Starters: Fifteen of the best.
This was a one day walk from a base camp on a small holiday farm, nestled in a little vale off the Capertee Valley road. A pretty place, plenty of everything except water. Carol had us up at first light with the noise of a spoon on a billy. Then going from tent to tent making sure that no one went back to sleep. It was cold and because of the demand for an early start there was no morning fire.
We were away by 7:00 and drove about 4 km to the starting point, then walked south along a little used fire-trail for about 4 km and down a steep slope to a dry creek bed which we followed downstream a little and then turned up Coco creek. Coco creek was rough and boulder strewn with obvious signs of carrying lots of water in the past. It must be quite spectacular when it's a raging torrent.
At the place where we were to leave the creek Carol stopped to regroup and I climbed up the ridge a little and off to one side for a short time and then returned to the path and waited for the party. I waited and waited and eventually walked back far enough to find that they had gone. Blast! should have left my pack on the path. Too late, better hurry and try to catch up I thought. But it was all uphill and by the time they stopped and I caught up, 20 minutes were lost. Sorry Carol.
Pantoney's Crown is a Mesa. A flat topped island mountain with sheer 40 m escarpment all around with only a few breaks. Then a long slope, down to the foothills. Where they waited for me was at the start of the long steep slope. We slogged up the slope and it seemed to get steeper as we went. Then as we gained height the views started to open up, making a good excuse for frequent stops to catch my breath. Negotiating the break in the escarpment was interesting but we were all soon on the top and at a cliff edge lookout where Carol declared a photo stop. The day was warm and fairly clear and with still a little mist in some of the distant valleys. The area around Pantoney's is rugged and spectacular stuff. Lubo was there with his Nikon and tripod and no doubt got some good pictures. We had a long lunch break, some napping some snapping, then all too soon it was time to go.
Carol led us to a seemingly impossible small break in the cliff which she entered and then vanished into a little tunnel which, when I followed curved around and down to a way that took us to the base of the escarpment. Very tricky. It must have taken a lot of finding. From there “It was all down hill” as they say, until we reached Coco Creek which we followed upstream for a about l km, and then the long slog up up up to our home bound fire trail. We were back at camp well before dark where with a nice fire and some of the small luxuries one can take to a car camp we finished the day very pleasantly. The night was dry and starry.
A very pleasant and rewarding day Carol, thanks from us all.
Stop Press - Alteration to Walks Program.
Wilf Hilder's “Great West Walk, Stage 12,13” will now be held on 14/15 August instead of 7/8 August.
Public Enemy Number One.
by Nan Bourke
You've heard of Ned Kelly and a guy named Capone,
For lawless behaviour their names are well known,
But a criminal much worse than either of these,
A villain the law should be eager to seize,
To question, imprison and into court drag,
Is the man who invented the cheap plastic bag!
His brainchild's seen blowing down roads and down lanes,
Festooning the fences and blocking the drains,
It threatens the beasts, both domestic and wild,
And may tragically stifle the life of a child.
If you save them, you've more than you ever could use,
If you burn them, the ozone your sure to abuse,
They're useless as compost, they fill up the tip,
And as garbage the dogs find them easy to rip.
“But what can we do” I hear you all cry,
“They bag it in plastic, whatever we buy!”
Well, I say to you, if you really do care,
For uncluttered water and plastic free air,
Next time that you shop, take a bag or a box,
Load everything in it, meat, vegies or sox!
When you say, “No bags, please” Folks may think you are funny,
But the shopkeepers know that you're saving them money,
And YOU'LL know your saving a thing of more worth,
Our own lovely landscape, our corner of Earth.
Notice To Walks Leaders.
The Spring Walks programme is now open. Spring offers the best weather and longer daylight hours for those glorious weekend walks and delightful day trips. The Club is always seeking new leaders, walks in new areas or new walks in old areas so put your thinking cap on.
I can receive entries from leaders up until the end of this month (July). To obtain your preferred weekend please advise me as soon as possible by either; Tel 484 6636 (h) 925 3309 (b) or fax 925 3341 (marked to my attention).
It will also be of interest to note that we aim to include instructional activities on our programme such as; rock scrambling, abseiling and skiing. Instructionals for new members (and a chance for old members to renew skills) will cover navigation, first aid and bushcraft.
If you can assist with any of these, please advise me as soon as possible.
A Walk In The Winburndale Nature Reserve.
22/23rd MAY 1993
by Bill Holland
Intended Route: Winburndale Fire Trail - Big Flat Fire Trail - Dry Arm Creek Clear Creek - Middle Arm Creek - Yinburndale Trig - Dam - Fire Trail
Party: Bill Holland, Peter Miller:, Peter Kaye, Peter Caldwell, Jacqui Calandra, Barrie Wallace, Lynn Jones, Margaret and Laurie Bore, Fusai Dargan, Lubo Huane, Ian Debert, Joy Hynes, Greg Lovell
Winburndale Nature Reserve is a large area of bushland near Sunny Corner, between Lithgow and Bathurst. It includes the surrounds of Winburndale Dam (restricted area) and is bordered by the Turon River near Portland. The area was well known in bygone years for goldmining.
The area was declared a nature reserve in 1967 and with ongoing additions now approximates 9,400 hectares. It is dedicated to conservation and scientific research - recreational use is not encouraged. Bushwalking is acceptable but groups of more than four people should advise NPWS Bathurst in advance.
Brushtailed wallabies and koalas have been sighted in the area and lyrebirds are numerous. However, we failed to sight what is claimed to be the rarest butterfly in NSW - the Yetholme Copper Butterfly.
Our walk in the southern section - steep ridges and timbered valleys - did not go according to plan. Light but persistent rain deterrred us from testing the slippery rocks of the unexplored Dry Arm Creek on Saturday afternoon. Heavier overnight rain stopped us from exiting via Middle Arm Creek on Sunday.
So we kept to fire trails all the way. Rather pleasant apart from going up and down 400 metres at a time. The weekend seemed to be full of firetrials, some hard, some overgrown, all very slippery with small rocks and gravel. There were excellent views across the plain to Bathurst as we descended to Winburndale Dam.
The promised wild flowers never eventuated; hopefully they will emerge in time for the next walk in this area later this year (Spring Program).
by John Hogan
Can you believe Kath Brown is about to turn 80? Well, she is, and we have the opportunity to help her celebrate this wonderful occasion on August 11th, following a brief General Meeting. The Club will supply refreshments, so please come along and show your support for this fabulous lady who does so much valuable work for our Club. If any of our older members require transport or wish to send messages to Kath, please contact Fran Holland on 484 6636.
The following week, August 18th, Jan Mohandas was to have given us a demonstration on cooking with spices, but unfortunately due to other commitments Jan has postponed this until later in the year. Instead we will have the pleasure of the company of Spiro Hajinakitas, Tony Holgate and David Rostron showing us slides of their recent trip to Mount Barney and the Macpherson Ranges.
August 25th - Finally, as advertised in last month's magazine, there has been a change of topic for Dot Butler's talk. Dot will now show slides with entertaining commentary on a 400-mile Canoe Trip she did some years ago down the Yukon River. Judging by what she has told me about this wilderness experience, this is a night not to miss.
Please mark 3rd September on your calender as the night of the Confederation's Bush Dance at Petersham Town Hall. We would love to have a big table this year, so give Denise Shaw a call on 922 6093 and book your spot.
From the Clubroom - Peter Tressider in the Kimberleys.
by Maurice Smith
The Club meeting on the evening of 16 June saw a standing room only audience to witness the undoubted skills of Peter Tressider. Peter appeared in the guise of an intense mild mannered, conservatively besuited, bespectacled, tall and slim presenter who reminded me of Clark Kent alias Superman.
The scene which greeted me on arrival was the large number of seats already taken by members and the “high tech” audio-visual equipment which Peter used for his presentation.
The presentation featured Peter's trip of August last year when he and three companions spent 5 weeks travelling 450 km by walking and paddling in inflatable dinghies in the Isdell and Charnley Rivers in the Kimberley area of West Australia. The slides gave us views of areas rarely, if ever, visited and photographed by non-Aboriginal Australians.
How do I do justice to the wonderful quality of the many slides shown or the audio tracks which accompanied the presentation. The audio tracks delightfully enhanced the feeling of the ancient aboriginal presence which Peter felt throughout the trip. While I am sure we have all seen, in person or by slide presentation, the Kimberley region, nonetheless the slides had a freshness and appeal which captivated the audience of members who have seen it all before (the been there, done that response).
Included in the many slides shown were those of aboriginal rock paintings, river gorges, dry river beds, crocodiles (freshies and salties), heat, harsh environment, large Boab trees, head-high cane grass, the five very long Isdell gorges, mud flats, lack of drinking water, water holes, lily pads, great walking companions.
Peter, I enjoyed the presentation, and I am sure that every other member of the attentive audience did likewise. Thank you for coming along to the Club. I look forward to your next visit, which I hope will be soon.
by Tony Holgate
Red cliff lines
break from ragged cover.
Squared, stylised blocks
round in strange places,
while under some overhangs
lives a different rock,
soft and honeycombed.
A surreal pattern of colour
from pale clean yellow
to a random mosaic
of lichen and moss
at times almost black
and red; the great lines of red.
From afar the red dominates
as though nature has painted
its own history of fire.
We visit, we observe,
we revere, we pass.
This earth goes on
aging and growing.
From the ridgetops
we barely know
one millennium from another.
The June General Meeting.
by Barry Wallace
It was around 2020 when the President, in the chair, called the 16 or so members present to order and got things under way. There were apologies from Denise Shaw and Fran Holland. Of new members there was a dearth, but one there was “a stripling on a small and weedy beast”. I'm not sure I can say that about Margaret Sheens even if she was a new member from time before who had not previously been able to attend a general meeting. 'Tennyrate she was welcomed into membership.
The Minutes of the previous general meeting were read and received with the only matter arising being mention that the proposed Kirribilli Centre coffee shop is intended to operate on weekends only and is therefore of no immediate interest to the Club.
Correspondence brought letters from:- The Total Environment Centre regarding a proposed committee on toxic chemicals, the World Heritage Committee for the Blue Mountains and a press release from John Coulter of the Australian Democrats.
The Treasurer's Report was next with advice that we earned income of $3,765, spent $632 and closed with a balance of $7,500 in round figures.
The Walks Report commenced at the weekend of 14,15,16 May with Les Powell reporting brilliant weather for the 6 persons who went along on his Shoalhaven River below Tallowa Dam trip. He also reported this section of the river as having become weedy and overgrown. There was no report of Bob Hodgson's semi-exploratory walk in the Wollemi Wilderness. Ken Smith led a party of 3 through strong winds on a somewhat modified day walk in the Royal. It seems the bridge at Audley is now closed and this forced some changes to the proposed route. Greg Bridge's car shuffle from Evans Lookout to Victoria Falls went, led by Dick Weston, with a party of 10 enjoying a good day. Jo Van Sommers, not far away at Hazelbrook/Lawson, reported cold conditions but a pleasant day for the party of 20 who came on her walk.
The weekend of 21,22,23 May saw the cancellation of Bill Capon's Morton N.P. walk. Bill Holland's Winburndale N.P. walk saw the party of 14 enduring generally cold conditions and some rain over the Saturday afternoon, Sunday morning period. This walk was mainly restricted to the firetrails in the area due to the aforesaid wet conditions. Bill believes the area has promise for between seasons walking and will schedule more exploratory trips to try to evaluate this. There were no details of Stephen Ellis's day walk on the Cox River but Morag Ryder reported fine cool conditions and an enjoyable day for the 9 starters on her Blackheath to Blackheath via Junction Rock walk.
Carol Lubbers led a party of around 14 on her base camp with two day walks in the Airley area over the weekend of 28,29,30 May. The walks were good and the weather was great. Jim Percy's day and a half walk around Wentworth Creek had a party of two and no other details. Zol Bodlay led a party of 18 (reduced to 17 when one starter pulled out along the way) on his Saturday day walk from Mount Kuring-gai to Cowan along the Benowie Track in fine weather. Errol Sheedy re-routed his Bundeena to Waterfall walk to become a Kirrawee to Temptation Creek trip due to ferry-re-scheduling. The party of 12 had some problems with a prospective who became separated from the group. It all ended in a welter of phone calls after the walk was completed.
Over the weekend of 5,6 June Bill Holland led a party of 8 on a slightly re-routed (they found an easier way folks!) version of his Mountain Lagoon, Colo River walk through overcast but fine conditions. Wilf, in his series of Great Western Walks, stage 7 it was, had the party of 14 enjoying a beautiful day with a detour via the wreck of an old Wirraway aircraft. The Tony Maynes / Kay Chan co-production of 4 combined rock-hop refreshment-stall-crawl from Stanwell Park to Werrong went, with a complement of 12 and few other details.
There was also a report of David Rostron's ex-program trip in Queensland with a party of 10. How David managed to combine water shortage problems, rain, serious rock scrambling, rock climbing, strong to gale-force winds, drizzle, fog, stitched up singlet arm-holes and a general absence of wilderness all in the one trip is a mystery to us all. Not only that but it ended the Walks Report.
Conservation Report was next. We learned that the NPA Bill will be deferred until the August session of State Parliament. The Blue Mountains City Council supports the proposal to include the Gardens of Stone area in the Blue Mountains N.P. A recent article in the Financial Review discussed the plan for the NPWS to develop ways of exploiting National Parks for financial returns. This led to a discussion of the plan to lease Bantry Bay to SCEGGS for 361 days per year to the exclusion of all others.
Confederation have held discussions with some sub-group of the Sporting Shooters Association. There was a recent call out to search for two trail bike riders in the Shoalhaven area. It seems they had run out of petrol. NPA will take up Confederation insurance for a limited number of their members. The equation for this looks more like a zero-sum every time it gets a mention.
General Business brought a motion that we review the process of inducting prospective members. This in turn saw passage of a motion that we program intructional nights at the clubrooms concurrent with committee meetings.
There was also a proposal that we re-introduce the compulsory requirement for prospectives to attend at least one instructional weekend, but this did not get up.
Because of rapidly rising postage costs committee have decided to discontinue the process of mailing out copies of “The Bushwalker” (the Confederation magazine) with our own magazine. After the announcements the meeting closed at 2138.
Confederation Of Bushwalking Clubs N.S.W. - Monthly Meeting 15.6.93.
by Jim Callaway
After apologies, the Minutes of the previous meeting were accepted.
Correspondence: A letter was received from Brian Saunders (NPA). Brian disputes NPWS's claim that 25,000 go bush camping in Royal and Heathcote National Parks annually. He is calling for volunteers to help him conduct a survey of the number of people who go bush camping in the two National Parks. There was some discussion as to what should be Conferation's policy as there was some threat by NPWS to ban bush camping because of the destruction caused by campers. It was decided that a request be made to member clubs to forward their views on bush camping to Confederation. Tony Parr (Sutherland) volunteered to review the clubs' views so that Confederation will be able to form a consensus of clubs' ideas when the draft Plan of Management for the two Parks is released for comment.
Treasurer: Confederation's wealth prior to the meeting was:-
|General - Cheque account||$ 1534.86|
|General - Saving Investment||$17,558.41|
|S.& R. - Cheque account||$288.95|
|S. & R. - Savings Investment||$12,109.79|
Insurance: The position of Insurance Officer will be added to Office Bearers to be considered at the Annual General Meeting to be held on Saturday, 21st August at Burwood RSL. The Insurance Policy, besides covering the normal Public Liability negligence, has a special “Member to Member” negligence cover.
Member Club Affiliation Fees 93/94 Year: These fees were set for the next Confederation Year and includes Public Liability Insurance.
- Metropolitan Clubs - $3.25 per member
- Country Clubs - $3.00 per member
Optional Accident Insurance for all members of a member club will be $2.50 per member.
There was some discussion over NPA's Membership of Confederation as it appears they pay only $3.00 per member for Public Liability and Accident Assurance.
Hacking River Catchment Committee: Although there has been appointments made by the Minister for the Environment this Committee is unable to have a meeting because no funds have been allocated for the Committee to function.
So-So Snow, So What?
by Ainslie Morris
(First published in the magazine, October 1982)
A week of cross-country ski-touring had been a wish of mine since a few day trips four or five years ago. The dream was realised when Jo Van Sommers asked me to join a small group led by Jim Percy from 21st to 28th August. The party of five was completed by my son of 19, Anton Gillezeau and Barrie Murdoch.
Inspiration was gained from Craig Austin's beautiful slide show of sunsets on the Snowys, and David Rostron's advice on gear. Although packing food is similar to that for a week of walking, I found I had to bring a considerable amount of survival clothing, and gear such as a bivvy bag. Anton and I also need6d to hire a snow tent and two sleeping bags from Norski, where we hired two pairs of skis and boots (at a total cost of $132). Barrie hired his skis from Paddy Pallin's at Jindabyne, and as they were metal-edged fish-scale he was very happy with them.
Barrie met us at Sawpit Creek camping area after a week of downhill skiing, which gave him the edge on us as evidenced by some nice telemarks displayed on our practice slope above Perisher on Sunday morning. We felt ready to set off at lunchtime, and started our foot slog from Guthega Power Station up the road for 2 kilometers to make our first camp on snow grass. As we were only at 1,400-metres we were pleased to see a few patches of snow.
On Monday we took the Horse Camp turnoff and the aqueduct track on the west side of Munyang River. It had patchy snow along it, so it was skis on, skis off, right up to Schlink Pass, where the snow cover was consistent. We became very proficient over the following days at clicking bindings into place as we stepped back on to a patch of snow for a brief slide. As Anton said, you had to watch out for the snow between the grass and bushes in case you slipped!
This made it slow going after our second camp at the weather station at 1,739 metres, this time on snow. A groundsheet is essential to prevent wet edges to sleeping bags. It was here that Barrie was sick, so the Tuesday was made more difficult for him by lack of snow along the Valentine's Fire Trail. We settled into Valentine Hut early with a brisk breeze outside. By the way, if you see a flannel flower glinting on a rock in Valentine Falls, it's the membership badge on Jim's hat which a gust whipped off and, of course, it went straight into the fast-flowing creek.
We made our usual 10 o'clock start to avoid the hard, crusty snow of early morning, all a bit bleary-eyed after listening half the night to the squealing, shouting, fighting rats of Valentine's. With some amusement we had read the sign printed on the cupboard “Beware the fire and the rat”. The rat? Did the writer run out of ink before adding the essential “s”? Over a hole was printed “Fearless The Rat”, a character doubtless well-known to veteran ski-tourers in the club. Jim shone his torch in Fearless' face, staring wrathfully, and Fearless twitched his/her whiskers and stared right back.
Now off the Mount Kosciusko 1:50,000 sheet and heading north on the Khancoban sheet, and after only about 15 km it was Wednesday. However, with Barrie much better as well as the'Snow'cover, we felt we could still make Mount Jagungal if we added a day to make it six and a half days out. Although another party had advised us that the best snow in the mountains was on the Grey Mare Range, we decided on a quicker route east to Mawson's Hut.
A group of lads beat us to the hut by a few minutes, so we headed off after lunch north to Tarn Bluff, and weren't sorry to make camp here for two nights. Have you seen how the moon lights up the snow-covered ranges? I could believe the story of skiing down Jagungal by moonlight - its Peak looked so bright in the distance.
Yet another perfect day of sunshine on Thursday gave us an easy day trip, ten kilometres return to Mount Jagungal, 2040 metres high. Did I say easy? Plodded up and tumbled down but all worth the great views across to Kosciusko, north to the soft blue of Round Mountain, and far away the white peaks of the Victorian Alps.
We headed for Tin Hut on Friday, on sparse snow in Valentine's Creek and deep drifts on the Brassy Mountains. After nearly two weeks of brilliant sunshine, the snow was melting so fast that where we had skied out to Jagungal in the morning, we returned hours later to see our tracks end abruptly on dry grass. But up here on the Brassys the snow cover gave us good skiing, and Jo and Anton had to chip through thick ice to get water in Finn's Creek.
Undaunted by memories of Fearless, we settled into Tin Hut for our last night. Our extra night out gave Barrie's surplus Deb potato an unexpected popularity. His nuts were popular too, as a faint nibbly gnawing after candles out suggested that we'd been followed. Jo read the hut Visitors Book out to us next morning. Other parties had had a canvas pack chewed through, a snow tent eaten into holes, and had even pulled out of the hut and camped nearby. Wildlife it is, though, and apart from animal tracks in the snow and birds, bush rats were the only wildlife we encountered.
Off to our usual late start on Saturday on rapidly softening crusty snow up Gungartan for a great view north to Jagungal, southwest to the Main Range all white, and south to nearby Disappointment Ridge, all clothed in green. So after some discussion we wended through the trees down to Gungartan Pass for some fun slides. After Schlink Pass we expected to run out of snow, but by taking the aqueduct track on the eastern side of the Munyang we had so-so snow to within a kilometre or two of the Power Station.
So, no Snow? So what! It was a great week of a new sport, bush-touring. Or is it ski-walking? Anyway, we weren't long loafing.
There are some Changes for,the Social Program in August. Check with the Social Note's on Pages 7 and 8. And don't forget the Confederation Bush Dance to be held on 3rd September. Casual dress, BYO food and drink, pay at door. Denise Shaw is arranging the Club party - phone her on 922 6093.
Wait & Smile.
by Jim Brown
Well said, Tony, in your verse “Wait a While” (June magazine). Of course, the thorny tangled Lawyer Vine we often encounter in coastal and Blue Mountain gullies, has the alternative old bushman's name “Wait a While”.
I have horrible recollections that on my first descent of Clear Hill in January 1940, I found a rough sign above Taro's Ladders saying “Ladders Unsafe - take Wallaby Track to Medlow Gap and Carlons”. I diverted via what I later knew was called “Duncan's Pass” (after our early member Frank Duncan), somewhere mislaid the thin thread of track and finished up severely lacerated by Lawyer Vines before scratching back on to Medlow Gap to pick up the Black Dog track to Cox's River.
I remember, too, an exploratory walk down Lacy's Creek in the Southern Blue Mountains in 1950 (all right, I was the clown that “led” it). One of our tougher members, Kevin Ardill, slipped on a crumbling talus slope and may have tumbled quite a way if he hadn't been snagged by a tangle of lawyer vine, from which we extricated him, very scratched but otherwise undamaged;.
Yes, Tony, I can understand, the galahs laughing at us caught in lawyer vine. After all, the botanical name for the monster is “Smilax Australis”. So we should cry too - “Smile as they rip your hide”.
Bushwalk Kakadu: Close Focus.
Kakadu is much more than an inspiring landscape with many deep gorges and beautiful waterfalls. It is also a subtle place where many of nature's masterpieces are seen only by those who walk through at a leisurely pace with a keen eye and a sense of wonder.
Take your time. Enjoy a swim and look at the butterflies. Observe the small birds. Have a break and watch the small lizards. Relax around a camp fire. Soak up your surroundings while your guide prepares you a three course meal.
12 Carrington Street, Millner NT 0810. Phone (089) 85 2134 Fax: (089) 85 2355.
To all members/subscribers.
Please check your magazine address label. If the marking;
appears on your label it means that our records indicate that to date we have not received your subscription which became due and payable in March this year.
If you have paid in the last two weeks please ignore this notice.
If you paid earlier please contact the treasurer at once to sort out the problem with our records or the postal system.
If you have not paid to date and wish to:
(a) Continue your membership and/or
(b) Continue to receive the club magazine.
Please mail your subscription at once. If your subscription does not reach the treasurer within 2 weeks you will receive no further mailings from the club and in due course your name will be removed from the membership/subscribers list without further notice.
In the event that for some reason you are unable to respond to this notice and are removed from membership and/or the mailing list you may at any time apply in writing to the club committee for reinstatement.
The committee and treasurer, Sydney Bushwalkers inc.