THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER is a monthly bulletin of matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers Inc, Box 4476 GPO Sydney 2001. To advertise in this magazine, please contact the Business Manager
|Editor:||George Mawer||42 Lincoln Road, Georges Hall 2198||Telephone 707 1343|
|Business Manager:||Joy Hynes||36 Lewis Street, Dee Why 2099||Telephone 982 2615 (H) 888 3144 (B)|
|Production Manager:||Fran Holland|
|Editorial Team:||George Mawer, Jan Roberts & Barbara Bruce|
|Printers:||Kenn Clacher, Tom Wenman, Barrie Murdoch, Margaret Niven & Les Powell|
|Clubroom Reporter:||Jan Roberts|
|Public Officer:||Fran Holland|
|Walks Secretary:||Eddy Giacomel|
|Social Secretary:||Jan Roberts|
|Membership Secretary:||Barry Wallace|
|New Members Secretary:||Bill Holland|
|Conservation Secretary:||Alex Colley|
|Magazine Editor:||George Mawer|
|Committee Members:||Morie Ward & Annie Maguire|
|Delegates to Confederation:||Ken Smith & Wilf Hilder; Jim Callaway|
2 From The Clubrooms Jan Roberts recounts some of the June Clubroom activities and lists some upcoming events
5 Notices Overdue subscriptions The passing of Marjory Croker Walk change Notice
6 Don't Compromise Safety A few words from Nan Bourke on packing to suit the walking conditions and covering the possibilities of accidents and the weather.
9 Notes on past and future Wilderness Rescue Practice Sessions - from Confederation representative Ken Smith
9 Mountain Poets Ray Hookway's submissions may stir you into writing something appropriate for this magazine
10 A Walk in the Snowy Mountains David Trinder takes us from Round Mountain to Round Mountain
13 The June General Meeting Barry Wallis as entertaining as ever
|8||Wollomi Land Sale|
|12||Eastwood Camping Centre|
It's well and truly winter time in Sydney and if you're like me, you'll add a couple of kilos at this time of the year. So blame the cooler weather for tucking into a little more nourishment than usual, or instead be creative and tell everyone you are adding a few extra kilos as “conditioning for the Six Foot Track and K to K in September”. Whether you intend to participate or not doesn't matter it makes for a great excuse.
Winter Solstice Feast - June 21st June 21st was the coldest June day in Sydney for 100 years, but that didn't deter approximately 50 members arriving at the clubroom rugged up against the chill and laden with goodies of every description. We tarted up the clubroom with red and green streamers and table cloths, carefully stuck together by many eager bands, while Angelika supervised the chopping of vast quantities of lemons and the de-casking of red wine for the hot Gluhwein. Prospectives and members ducked and weaved ,through the kitchen at the same time, bringing in their feast offerings while the resident caretaker replaced light bulbs from atop his ladder - chaos reigned supreme! By the end of the night 20 litre of Gluhwein had vanished, as had the huge amount of food.. Thanks to all the helpers and participators and especially to Angelika for her very popular beverage. Lots of people asked for the recipe on the night so here it is.
One lemon sliced up, 2 cinnamon sticks, a little water (about a cup) and 5 cloves… slowly saute together for about 10 minutes and then add 4 litres of red wine and heat through without boiling for 10 more minutes. Add sugar to taste pour into glass, sip carefully and you're in Europe!
Eco Adventures - June 28th
Don Rosenfeldt planned to present a video made in the Bartle Frere rainforest wilderness on the night, but in spite of bringing all his own gear along, and having presented it twice that week, the video refused to run. It was disappointing for all of us, but tire information was interesting and luckily John Hogan, having just returned from the trip he won to the Kakadu, had brought along his slides hot off the press. Don's slides covered many other Eco destinations, and as a result we were treated to slides from virtually all around Australia, including some excellent rainforest slides John had taken during our wonderful Easter Washpool trip. Thanks to Don and John…. maybe we'll make another time to see that video?
Climbing in the Argentinian Andes - August 16th
Don't forget SBW member Rob Pillars will be presenting his slides on the expedition made to climb Mt Aconcagua in February last year. If you enjoyed Warwick Paton's presentation on Makalu in May, then this is another breathtaking experience you can have from the warmth and safety of Kirribilli. Meet us for dinner first at the Maharajah Palace around 6.00 pm with a bottle of wine and then reconvene at the clubroom around the corner for an 8.00 pm start.
The Wildlife Information and Rescue Service is totally funded and operated by individual carers and devoted to saving our native birds and animals. Maureen Naccachian will talk about the valuable work this group do in the community and will bring along a 'patient' for us to meet.
SBW at Vinegar Hill Woolshed - Saturday, 26th of August
Still a few spots left for this great night out. At $28.00 per head for a hearty 3 course meal and all the Australian bush dancing and singalongs you can handle, this will be one not to be missed. For those joining us at Rouse Hill, the balance for your meal is due for payment to Jan Roberts on the 12th of August. All enquiries and further details (02) 411 5517.
To all members/subscribers.
Please check your magazine address label.
If the marking:“ SUBSCRIPTION OVERDUE 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 during the past two weeks please ignore this notice.
* If you paid earlier please contact the treasurer at once to sort out the problems with our records or the postal system. If you have not paid to date and wish to:
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b) continue to receive the Club magazine
* Please mail your subscription at once. If your subscription does not reach the treasurer within two 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.
The Sydney Bushwalkers inc.
This notice does not apply to those organisations who receive complimentary, exchange or legal deposit copies of the magazine.
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Advertisements in the Sydney Bushwalker reach many people interested in bushwalking and associated activities and pursuits. For your assistance, our magazine Manager Joy Hines can be contacted on:
Business Telephone: (02) 888 3144
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Rates are as listed:
|Issues||Full Page||Half Page||Quarter Page||Eighth Page|
We have received a letter from L.G. 'Mouldy' Harrison dated 19th June advising of the death of Marjory Croker, wife of Richard Croker, long serving past member of the Club. Richard Croker was a one time Secretary of The Sydney Bush Walkers. Richard and Marjory moved to England in the late 1970s. They returned to Australia about 1980 and Richard died in 1981. Marjory in 1983 moved back to England to be with her daughters, Diana and Caroline. She returned to Australia in 1993. She died on 30th May this year. Richard was a keen and active walker and much respected by members.
('Mouldy' Harrison was present as Best Man at Richard and Marjorie's wedding in 1939.)
Kenn Clacher's walk scheduled for August 12/13 is now deferred to the following weekend 7 August 19/20.
Expressions of Interest Please
From Members interested in participating in an extended walk in the Snowy Mountains “High Country” over the coming Christmas - New Year period. Probably about 60k or so in 7 days. This will be a medium grade pleasure trip in a beautiful area. George Mawer 707-1343.
I am concerned that the article in the June Sydney Bushwalker,- “Lighten your 'Pack (and enjoy walking)” is not qualified in any way, implying that this basic list of equipment is suitable for all seasons and in all areas. While agreeing that the lightest possible pack makes for more enjoyable walking, I think it is unwise to carry this to such lengths as to compromise safety. I have been snowed on during a day walk on Mt Torbreck, not far from Melbourne, early in December and was very cold - because I had no long trousers and inadequate footwear. I also spent three days of wind, fog and pouring rain in SW Tasmania one January when in spite of parkas and over trousers we were wet through and would have been very uncomfortable indeed if we had not been carrying spare dry clothes to change into at the end of the day. (We had to put our wet things on again each morning). The following is my list of gear and weights, compared with Jim's and also some explanatory notes. It is interesting that, although my choice of food for a weekend was, somewhat different, it came to exactly the same weight of 4lbs 1 oz (1870 grams)
|Item||Jim V grams||Nan B grams|
|Tent and Pegs||540||1130*|
|Map & Compass||170||170|
|Silk Inner Bag||150|
|Spare Clothes: Thermals T&B, Wool Shirt,Wool Trousers,Wool Socks||1110*|
|Balaclava and Gloves||180|
|Swiss Knife on lanyard||60*|
|Bottle & Water||1100*|
|Stove - optimus with Shellite||780|
|Totals||6460 grams||14445 grams|
|6.46 kg||14.50 kg|
|14 ¼lb||31 ¾lb|
The underlined items are those necessary in summer or winter, but they almost cancel out (assuming that you carry some water, not a full litre, in winter) at 2 lb (909 grams) so the total pack weight can be reduced to about 29 3/4 lb or 13.5 kg for summer or winter.
* PACK I know this is excessive, but I am still carrying a Paddy Pallin Kameruka frame pack because it is comfortable and not Worn out. However we have a Paddy Pallin 4 pocket frameless pack which weighs 3 lb, which is probably more realistic. Even my day pack weighs 1 lb 11 ozs (770 gm), so I think a pack weighing 1 lb (455 grams) would not stand up to rough rocks and thick scrub for long and would probably not be waterproof.
* SLEEPING BAG This is my winter bag.
* TENT AND PEGS AND POLES If you are above the treeline, you will need aluminium tent poles or a modem tunnel or dome tent with floor and flexible frame. The best way to save weight on tents is to share.
* GROUND SHEET I have found lightweight nylon groundsheets are easily damaged. Mine is vinyl.
* WINESKIN WATERBAG I use my spare clothes (and other odds and ends) as a pillow. Wineskins are hard to carry full if you have to go any distance for water. An old fashioned Paddy Pallin waterbag is better.
* FIRST AID My first aid (in a waterproof plastic box) contains the following:
Lambswool and foot powder (for feet) Bandaids and sticking plaster
Pain killers: Panadol, Panadeine, Panadine forte, Allergy cream for insect bites
MAC Antiseptic cream for burns, cuts etc. Scissors, tweezers, needles and thread.
Bandages: 1 triangular, 1 elastic, I roller. Although it is impossible for a party to carry enough equipment and/or remedies for a major accident, if everybody has 1 triangular bandage you can splint a broken leg. Most injuries will be blisters, cuts, burns and inset bites. Some people are strongly allergic to insect bites but may not know this until it happens, which is why I carry cream. My strong painkillers came in useful recently where a member of the party fell and badly bruised his ribs. Perhaps the leader is carrying a party First Aid Kit, in which case you only need your personal remedies for feet etc., but if everybody wrongly assumes this is so you could be in trouble.
* SWISS KNIFE Certainly not necessary for eating, but if you have to carry out emergency repairs on some piece of equipment you won't find a spoon much use.
WATERBOTTLE In Victoria in summer (and even in autumn) water is often scarce, so carrying water is a necessity. * STOVE Above the treeline there is seldom any firewood, Also many of our national parks now require walkers to use stoves to protect the environment. Pouring rain is another reason. Sharing reduces the weight.
* SLEEPING MAT The environment is also one reason for carrying a sleeping mat. It's no longer acceptable to cut fern for insulation, and you'll spend a miserable night in the Victorian Alps if you have only a ground sheet between you and the wet, cold ground.
* SCRUB GLOVES Not necessary on every trip of course, but if you're leading an off track walk through head high hakea scrub in the Grampians you'll be glad of them.
* SUNSCREEN This is a new necessity with the hole in the ozone layer (perhaps more so down here than in NSW). I find the MISCELLANEOUS item, which probably covers tooth paste, etc, etc, rather light. In summer I carry insect repellent, not just for comfort, but because mosquitoes can carry Ross River Fever and Murray River encephalitis. So if you are coming down to Victoria, or visiting Tasmania or New Zealand, please make sure you have adequate gear rather than aiming for some theoretical “ideal” pack weight. If you are fit you will still enjoy your walking. As I type this (at 10.30 a m., 10/7/95) it is 3° outside, raining, blowing and probably snowing on Mt William, which is visible from our living room windows!
Magnificent natural 98 acres two hours drive northwest of Sydney surrounded by Yengo National Park. This property takes up one complete private valley, enclosed by lovely sandstone escarpments.
Includes 3 acre spring & creek-fed lake stocked with native fish (murray cod and perch). A lined colorbond dwelling with quality Australian wood stove.
Varied flora (includes rainforest)….and fauna.
Phone owner: Chris
(02) 289 9560 B/hrs
(02) 534 5972 A/hrs
On the 1st and 2nd of April over 100 people attended a practice at Camp Courts Scout camp, Waterfall. The weekend was an instructional training exercise on various aspects of our operation designed to give participants an increased understanding of what they may be called on to do.
This is in line with our practice recently of having an instructional weekend in March, navigation practice at the June exercise and an exercise putting together all these skills in October.
Most people would have left the practice with increased knowledge of our bush searching requirements, Excellent training on helicopter safety and winching requirements was provided by Doug, a crewman on the NPWS helicopter, and afterward everyone had an opportunity to experience being winched in a real “horse collar” courtesy of our rock squad who rigged up an artificial helicopter of about fifteen person power.
We received some criticism of “too much talking”. Whilst we can try to eliminate unnecessary talk, unfortunately this type training is necessary occasionally to maintain all participants knowledge of our operation. Remember, our group is a member of the VRA and, when called on to provide our services we must be able to do so in a professional manner. To this our field skills must be augmented with a working knowledge Of search procedures.
See you in October to put your skills to the test Steve Irvin - Field Officer.
This exercise: will be held in the Newnes State Forest on the 14th and 15th October, 1995. The aim of the weekend will be to practice navigation and other search skills in realistic mode. Walkers need to come prepared to camp out overnight, however, it is possible that two one day exercises will be arranged.
The field officers will be seeking attendance numbers from the contacts to enable planning for proposed exercises over the two day period.
Contact is via Steve Erwin 828-8412 W or Mike Merrett 523-6632 H.
(submitted by Ray Hookway) Reprinted from January 1973 English 'Rockhopper' magazine with minor changes to make it locally relevant
Poets have always found inspiration in mountains and I have found references to mountains and walkers in the works of all major poets. William Blake for instance wrote -
Tyger, Tyger, burning bright
On the ridge this hour of night
What immortal hand or power
Got ye here this bloomin' hour?
Wordsworth, famed for his first ascent of Poets' Corner, penned the famous lines -
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er hill and trees
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host of Sydney Bushies fluttering in the breeze
And as they passed I heard them say
“Does anybody know the way?”
Then there was Robbie Burns, the well known Scottish poet and climber and his 'Ode to a reluctant climber.'
Ye sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie,
What a panics in thy breastie
Why do you shout at me so testie?
I've tied the rope around your chestie
And let you dangle. there, to restie
Another time I'll think it bestie
To leave ye in your tent to festie.
Finally was it not Robert Browning who wrote -
Oh, to be out camping, now that spring is here
And whosoever wakes whilst camping, finds some morning unaware
That the raging stream and the freshening breeze
Have dispersed their tents round:the jagged trees
And the kookaburra laughing on a high gum bough.
Out camping now.
My apologies to the aforementioned poets if I have not translated them correctly.
As she decided on a small grassy field with clover flowers for her first nights camp site, Morag said “This is as good as a Hilton, but it has a better view”. After the drive to Round Mountain, a three hour walk was a good introduction to this six day trip. The first hour of fire trails was necessary to learn the new body balance, heavy packs had doubled the weight of the top one third of their bodies, they were top heavy, and looked like Ninja Turtles.
They walked as far as the Tumut River, crossed it, then turned left along the river and were introduced to walking in trackless vegetation. Beside the river there was irregular array of granite rocks and snow grass. The snow grass has fine cylindrical blades, coming out of the ground like a horses tail and it forms a lump under foot. Most of the ground, though, was covered with low hard bushes and the ground underneath was irregular and hidden, secret streams sometimes formed a leg length below the normal surface. When the foot goes down it may land at any angle and at any depth. To quote ,Banjo Paterson writing about this area.
“The wild hop scrub grew thickly, and the hidden- ground was full
Of wombat holes. and any slip was death.”
Walking was slow and they stopped at a pleasant campsite beside the river. At night the moonless sky exposed the stars brightly, and to quote again from the same source,
Where the air is clear as crystal, and the bright stars fairly blaze
At midnight in the cold and frosty sky”
They were wondering how the conditions and the company would pan out, but to the well prepared SBW walker, any conditions are not a problem. Whether they can weather the weather and conditions is not the question, they are out there for adventure and to experience uncorrupted alpine wilderness.
Day 2 was an exploratory of Doubtful Creek, Doubtful Gap and Clear Hill, good vegetation but hard work and on return in the fire trail after a short days walk the Ninja Turtles were exhausted and made camp. In the morning. one who had gone to bed early and slept well was heard to say, “Did anybody notice whether it got dark last night?”
Day 3 was a productive day, firstly on a fire trail past O'Keefes hut, last year's shelter from the snow and rain, to the rain gauge, where they left the track for an ascent of Mount Jagungal at 2060 m. From Mount Jagungal, a whole new field is opened up towards the south; the Main Range in the distance, enormous and with snow drifts.
At the same time in the SBW Maurie Bloom group, Barbara broke her arm and they were going through communication traumas in the same area, but by coincidence, did not make contact.
Every square metre of this vast alpine area has been landscaped with manicured lawns of soft snow, grass, grey granite rocks, and large areas of flowering bushes. Amongst the snow grass are yellow buttercups, white, yellow or purple daisies, orange pea and many other wildflowers. In some places there are tiny plants a few centimetres high with flowers a few millimetres wide and they might be one in twenty different varieties in a square metre. In moister areas there are large thick sponges of Sphagnum Moss mixed with trees, snow grass and other plants. Fascination is often expressed with the ubiquitous snow gums because of their twisted, multicoloured structures, obvious age and chequered histories, and the remains of dead trees and bushes, which may be still standing or lying as logs on the ground. The cycle of many years of snow and summer have turned them almost white and their low sheen texture makes them appear to be metallic silver, but they still have grotesque sculptural shapes. It has been landscaped by nature, and these scenes are the ones that landscapers try to copy. Each day Dick was able to point out the planet Venus in the day.
Day 3 ended at Tarn Bluff, a good place for a rest day, and day 4 was a rest day. It was a day to repair, sleep, wash body and clothing, and explore and record Tarn Bluff. Maurice, Bob and Dick took a part day walk to Valentine Falls.
On days 5 they were moving again and freshly. they lunched at Grey Mare Hut, then stumbled up a hill behind the hut eastwards to the Strombo fire trail, which they followed as far as the 'B' in Strombo Range (on the map). Then the Ninja Turtles followed the Bullhead Creek to Pretty Plain Hut. This was New Year's eve and happy hour extended until after midnight (with watches turned forward three hours). The group was joined by a Victorian female walker, 'Val', who was going to introduce rum and lemon barley to Victoria. Recitations were made of Banjo Paterson and other poems including Keith's “Pete the Piddling Pup” and some limericks and Bob read some Yukon stories.
On day 6 they were fit enough, and followed Hell Hole Creek past Mount Toolong and put in some more heavy bush bashing. The camp site was in a small dry clearing above Ogilives Creek. It was surrounded by the black and white remains of Snow gums that had been burnt by bush fire twenty or so years ago. The timber is hard and brittle and has weathered many years. At the base twenty year old new growth of Snowgums and other varieties were full of colour, a range of bright greens and the new tips were orange and red, they were in stark contrast with the uncoloured skeletons above.
After two hours of walking on day 7 they found the remains of Cool Plains Hut, that had been burnt down in the last two years. Sasha found an old brown bottle bottom that had a strange character that he thought might be a Chinese character, so he asked Japanese Masumi whether she could recognise it. She said it Was an English “A”. After passing Cool Plain and Round Mountain this six day walk ended at the cars. The walk could have been covered in a couple of days on fire trails which criss-cross the area and are always close but beauty of the country can only be fully appreciated off tracks.
From the pallet of available weather and conditions for this time of year which varies from clear and hot through dull and rainy to a blizzard with snow, Maurice chose clear hot days for every day for us. He had to work to keep it that way. On day 7, his concentration slipped and going across Cool Plain the weather turned quite dull and cool. Maurice you will have to try harder next time. Of course, insects like the same weather and they came out in abundance. There was a continuous swarm of flies around each person: they varied from 747 March Flies to jet fighter flies. At a rest stop part walk up Mount Jagungal, Dick was seen to slap his leg and say “thirty three”. This indicated that he was counting his daily March Fly kill. After another two days his total was 462. Well done Dick. You the playing your part in causing the extinction of March flies in certain places. There were mosquitoes mixed in the swarm and some times ants swarming on the ground and legs. At rivers and streams the Ninja Turtles fed dead and disabled flies to small trout, the record fly kill in one slap was seven and they were thrown to the fish.
Congratulations to Masumi, who is a visitor and whose only previous bushwalking experience was one day walk, she handled this tough, long walk with strength and perseverance. We hope she takes home good memories of this country. Thanks go to George Mawer for organising the trip, and to Maurice Smith who took over when George became ill and ably led the walk. The other walkers were Carol Lubbers, Morag Rydler. Masumi, Bob Horder, Oliver Crawford, Keith Perry, Brian Bolton. Sasha Litvak, Dick Weston, David Trinder.
What's this? The President with an injured hand? But wait, that's not contusions and bandages, it's a large icing sugar dusted almond and custard pastry she's holding in her right hand, while dexterously removing icing sugar from cheeks and nose with a paper napkin. Ah yes, and there's the styrofoam cup of coffee.
The Membership slowly accumulated until at 2010. Pastry and coffee all gone, the President called the 18 or so members to order and commenced proceedings. The call for apologies brought forth a single response and that for Maureen Carter. The minutes of the April general meeting were read and received, with no matters arising. There was passing mention that the company that had been seeking to establish, a mushroom fertiliser plant in the Wollongambe catchment has decided, to withdraw the proposal. Someone else thought they were going to establish in Mudgee, Correspondence was limited to incoming commercial entreaties and outgoing letters to two new members.
The treasurer's report was next. It seems we acquired income of $5,759 and closed the Month with a balance of $6,642.
Welcoming the new members was next, with Bill Smallwood, Gail and John Siccardi, Ted Kelly and Weimar Teng called, but only the first four responding.
Eddie was going to be late so Bill Holland presented the walks reports in his stead. We began at the weekend of 12, 13, 14 May with Greta's Kanangra area walk leading off with a party of 13 and rain on Saturday evening. Ken Smith's Saturday day walk had 15 starters and was described as a good trip. Tony Maynes led a group of 26 on his Mount Hay to Neates Glen car swap; trip on the Sunday and Frank Sander led 24 on his trip in the wilds of the Northern Suburbs. Oddly enough they managed to stay on bushland almost all the way.
The weekend of 20, 21, 22 May saw Eddie Giacomel leading his Saturday morning start trip to Tootie Creek and the Colo. We were a little short on details, for this one, but a usually reliable source indicated that the written report Eddie had submitted was safely at home at Bill's place. Morag Ryder had the 20 starters on her Heathcote to Bundeena Saturday walk moving to jig time by the look of it. They caught the 1600 ferry. Yes Virginia, I know, that's not so early at this time of year but I think it's more interesting putting it that way. John Hogan's two day cycling trip in the Southern Highlands only went on the Sunday due to logistic difficulties exacerbated by certain failures in train schedules in that part of the world. Nevertheless the 7 riders enjoyed a pleasant trip. Bill Holland's Sunday walk in Kuringai Chase attracted 26 starters.
Bill Holland was out there doing it again the following weekend 26, 27, 28 May. The 8 walkers on his Bungonia area walk enjoyed a pleasant enough trip but were appalled at the damage being done to Bungonia Creek by limestone quarrying operations on the northern wall of the lower gorge. It seems huge boulders and other spoils are being dumped down the bank into the creek. Paul Knight ended up as the undisputed leader of the party of 12 who turned up for his and Marion's scheduled Saturday walk from Blackheath to Leura. Morrie Ward had the 34 walkers on his Watagan Mountains Sunday walk resupplied by 4WD for a lunch including in methode champagnoise wine, mud cake, sparklers, and other luxuries. The walk happened to coincide with Morrie's birthday. Ken Smith had no such fripperies on his trip in the Glenbrook area but the party of 8 enjoyed the walk in any case.
David Rostron's extended walk in the Northern Flinders ranges attracted a party of 8. They were surprised to encounter a member of Span doing a solo walk in the same area. Water supplies were more than adequate due to rain that fell just two weeks before they had to decide on the area, and perhaps for that reason bird life was prolific. The party were not so keen on the high winds that prevailed during most days and overnight temperatures were considerably warmer than expected. They had a car problem on the way back to Adelaide when a large rock punctured the fuel tank. This, together with the discovery that hire car insurance only applies while the vehicle is on sealed roads, tended to take the shines off things a little.
Morrie Ward was out again, over the weekend, of 2, 3, 4 June with a party of 6 on his “great views” tour of Paralyser and Gouagang Fog and, mist reduced the views somewhat, but they were spared the rain. The party was reported as fast. Sasha Litvak's walk from Pierces Pass to Perrys Lookdown was postponed due to the leader's absence overseas. Alan Mewett led a party of 12 on his Saturday walk in Kuringai Chase. They had overcast and threatening weather most of the day but there was only one shower and that when they were ensconced under an overhang for Morning tea. The lace monitor failed to appear at lunchtime, due no doubt to the cooler conditions, but there were wildflowers and various birds including one remarkably friendly magpie family. Maureen Carter had 16 or 18 on her Sunday walk in the Royal depending on when you counted. There were murmurings about no Devonshire Tea but the Gymea Lilies were reported to be spectacular in recovery from the bushfire. There was no report of Brian Holden“s cycling trip from The Oaks near Picton.
The Queen's Birthday Weekend saw Ian Rennard presiding over trip marked by numerical uncertainties in the Myall Lakes National Park. It seems people dropped in and out over the weekend as they were able or fancied. The campsite was relocated to Mungo Brush due to the water supply at chosen spot had suffered a brush with vandals.
Tony Holgate led a party of 5 on his Wollemi Wanderings walk. Things started well with some 40 minutes of track walking before harsh reality intervened. Saturday was hot, the water in the Colo was cold, and the scrub - nobody wanted to talk about. They had some rain over Saturday night, but this cleared by morning and after some problems with Barrakee Pass all was going well, until they came across the 40 metre cliff in Pinchgut Creek. This so slowed progress that the majority of the party were not going to be able to get out on Monday night. Morrie Ward and Ken Clacher volunteered to play iron men and made their way out to Morrie's car by around 2220. They used the mobile phone to advise concerned parties who may not yet have known enough to be concerned. Morrie also went back the following day to retrieve the Wanderers as they emerged from some of the ruggedest country in the state” as the papers usually say.
When Bill Holland first began receiving calls about an overdue party he thought it referred to Tony's party. It soon emerged however, that there was another, unreported SBW party out there in the wilds of the upper reaches of Widden Brook who were also overdue. Ric King appears to have been at least the notional head of the Committee of five who were separately and severally responsible for the variables of the walk. After enduring Storms on Saturday afternoon they thought the worst was over. At least that's how it seemed until they realised late on Sunday that what they had taken to be Razorback Creek was some other stream. They retraced their steps but ranout of time. When they emerged onto the nearest available fire trail they came across a departing 4WD Party who had room for one in the vehicle. Fazeley was chosen as passenger and eventually returned home by train from Newcastle. On the way out she contacted Ray Hookway who drove up from Sydney to transport the rest of the party back to their cars.
Jim River's walk from Quiera Clearing in the Budawangs went, but there were no details available to the meeting. Alan Doherty had 14 on his Widden Valley base camp. Of the day walks, Errol Sheedy led 20 on his Sunday walk from Waterfall to Engadine and Ken Smith had 8 or 5, depending on when you counted them, enjoying uncommonly clear views up and down the coast on his Monday walk from Heathcote to Otford.
Conservation report indicated that the complaint about damage to Bungonia Gorge was significant, given that the area concerned is either part of, or borders on, a State Recreation Area and a Geological Heritage Site (?). The Jenolan Caves Trust has sent us a copy of the plans for future development options for the Caves area. Alex will review these and advise the next meeting.
Confederation report brought mention of the installation of new signs at the boundaries of the Warragarnba Storage Exclusion Area. You will probably have noticed that Confederation is seeking details of the earlier agreement between The Board and The Federation of Bushwalking Clubs of NSW regarding permitted access through the Exclusion Area along traditional walking routes or the modifications to them caused by inundation by the stored waters. If you know details of the agreement please contact Confederation, Enquiries have continued into the closure of sections of the Benowie track near the firing range at Hornsby. The meeting with the director of NPWS ended up being a meeting with the deputy director, There are reports of the release of material into creeks around the site of Clarence Colliery. The NSW EPA has been asked to investigate and to ensure that colliery waste retention storages in the area are meeting their performance specifications.
General Business saw mention of the coming upgrading of the Royal NP coastal track. It seems some federal government moneys are involved and there is a suspicion that the upgrading may be targeted at future use by the international tourist industry.
Then came the announcements and the President closed the meeting with a near miss on the gong at 2128.