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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 Hines, 36 Lewis Street, Dee Why 2099, Telephone 982 2615 (H), 319 4666 (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

THE SYDNEY BUSH WALKERS INCORPORATED was founded in 1927. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening at 8 pm at Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre, 16 Fitzroy Street, Kirribilli (near Milsons POint Railway Station), Visitors and prospective members are Welcome any Wednesday.

President Greta James
Vice-President Ian Debert
Public OfficerFran Holland
Treasurer Tony Holgate
Secretary Spiro Hajinakitas
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

February 1996

In This Issue

Regular Features
6 From The Clubroom Jan Roberts
11 General Meeting NotesBarry Wallace
Trip Stories
13 The Sydney Water babies (Feb '71) An oldie, but a goody, and well worth reading againRay Hookway
5 A Few Days at CoolanaGeorge Mawer
2 Tim Coffey
5 Kath Brown
3 Be a Coolana Friend
A Christmas Wish ?
For the 'Computer literate'
7 First Aid Training
10 Personal Accident Insurance
13 The S & R Response Team


Alpsports 4
Willis's Walkabouts 7
Eastwood Camping Centre 9
Paddy Pallin 15

Tim Coffey

Tim died from a melanoma initiated cancer at the age of 79 on Sunday 7th January 1996.

Tim had been a member of the Club for almost 60 years and there was nothing he liked better than being out in the bush on extended overnight camps. An earlier lover of surf sun and sand, in the time when men were only allowed to bare their chests on some beaches, gave Tim the newfound freedom that many indulged in to excess as the dangers were then unknown. Coconut oil applied liberally by hand or spray was thought to provide adequate protection from the burning sun.

The “Tigers” soon enlisted Tim into their walking parties and many exploratory, tough walks, which have gone down into the annals of the Club, were undertaken. These were just right for Tim's spirit of adventure. One memorable “non walk” was a canoe trip down the Shoalhaven from Tallong to Nowra over the Christmas New Year period about 1942. The transportation of the canoes from Bomaderry creek to Nowra station was a push-over compared to carrying Watto weighing about 90 kg's and the lighter Nerius plus 10 days food down the newly constructed track around King Pin mountain. Many photographs were taken and these formed the basis for a scripted, two commentator, twin projector epic story of the trip. The story of the main trip was interspersed with segments showing the Club identities in situations they were unaware of. Tim at this time had just met his future wife, Gloria, and brought her specially into the Club to see the show from the front row of seats. Little did he know that a special segment had been made, with simulated scenes of him, as the foreman at his work paying too much attention to his all female staff Today it would have been a case of sexual harassment.

This did not prevent the marriage and Tim remained a loving caring husband until Gloria's death from a tumour. Tim himself was not without problems when he had a large section of his stomach removed because of excessive ulceration.

During the war at the time of a possible Japanese invasion, Tim as a member of the Civil Defence Corp, with other members of the Club, spent weekend reconnoitring possible evacuation routes for stock to be taken up from the coast to the Bundanoon area.

One memorable Club walk that created a lasting impression on Tim was over an Easter when it was to have terminated in the Brindabella valley. Upon arrival at the rendezvous for the bus, they were told that the bus was up at Piccadilly Circus and unable to come down the road because of its condition. A forced March to the top of the range after a particularly arduous walk was a test of stamina coupled with a very late return to Sydney to go almost immediately to work the next day.

House building and child rearing with many of us caused an interruption in our active participation of the Club activities and when this era passed Tim and I enjoyed many walks together from Canberra into Morton, Kosciusko and Namadgi National Parks. Tim's initiation back into the Club was to undertake the classic Kanangra-Katoomba walk. He became a regular attendee on walks and at the Club meetings.

A move to Gosford made for a change in his activities and Tim soon became active on weekday walks with a local group as well as joining in the activities of the local branch of the National Parks Association. In this he was a vice president and a member of its subcommittees. He carried out extensive modifications to his new home as well as joining in wood turning classes. An earlier operation did not finally stem the onset of the cancer which invaded his body and Tim remained active until the last few weeks when confirmation of the extent of the cancer was confirmed. Tim took this news stoically, put his affairs in order and remained at home until the last week. He led a very active life, was a friend and helper to many with a generosity of friendship and assistance which has little parallel.

Reg Alder

Be a Coolana Friend

We are co-operating with the “Water Board” in their routine weed eradication program in the Shoalhaven district. This involves making access easier along the Coolana river flats. We have had one working bee and plan to have three more in the next few weeks. There is some hard yakka involved, good company, cleared paths to the river for swimming and perhaps a social gathering at the Valley pub afterwards. If you can join us on any of these planned dates, please ring George Mawer (02) 707 1343 or Helen Gray (044) 641 724.

Dates Mon and Tues 12 and 13 February
Mon and Tues 19 and 20 February
Mon and Tues 26 and 27 February

What do we do? We slash and stamp tracks on an established grid through the rubbish, clear fallen wood then widen and improve with a brush cutter. A considerable part of this was done at the beginning of the month. The less energetic may help with seed removal and systematic weeding in our bush areas, or just enjoy Coolana.

What do we need? Six to eight people for track work; chainsaw and brush cutter owners particularly welcome but brush cutters will be hired. Bring bush saws, heavy duty gloves, slashers and secateurs if you have them. Boots, gaiters and long trousers are recommended, protective goggles may be useful.

Why come? Coolana is beautiful but the weeds, having taken over the flats, are now invading the bushland. This is a one off chance to reduce the threat and try to recover our river access. It is not a cure but should give us a chance for partial and easier control.

Computer Literate Volunteers Required.

I have taken on the task of producing a computerised index of all Sydney Bushwalker magazines and would welcome assistance from computer-literate club members with access to the Ashton Tate data base Program “Dbase DIII or Dbase IV” or any fully, compatible equivalent.

Reading the early magazines as the index is compiled has proved most interesting and I am sure any keen bushwalker would also enjoy the task.

Volunteers with limited time who could compile only one or two years information would be most welcome. I can be contacted on 411 1873 and if not home a message can be left on my answering machine.

Ray Hookway

Walks Secretaries Christmas Wish

T'was on the eve of Christmas around midnight I recall as I gazed towards the heavens a star, I thought, did fall

It sped along, it neared the ground it turned and came my way but wait, a few reindeer and a bearded man on a sleigh

I had long since stopped believing but this has changed my mind I quickly lied that I'd been good I hoped a present he would find

Said he “You've placed no order No gift have I for you but tell me what you'd desire and I'll see what I can do”

I told him what was on my mind said he “you need not a gift simply a lesson in 'enticement' nudge nudge get my drift

“While the thoughts that dwell in others' minds can to us be only a guess an abrupt request may yield a 'no' where gentle tact can extract a 'yes'” We talked for a while and then he left it was his special night I shall never forget his parting words as he vanished from my sight

“You've done it before me lad and if I had to bet or wager me last Norwegian krone you'll fill the Walks Program yet!”

Eddy Giacomel - January 1996


Aboriginal for 'Happy Meeting Place'

And a happy meeting place it is -

I recently spent three days (three glorious days) with five other Club members at our beautiful Coolana property doing a little clearing and weeding interspersed with quite a bit of swimming and chatting and socialising. (And not so much as one live Tick the whole time.)

'Coolana' for those who haven't been there, is our 50 ha bushland property in the Kangaroo Valley about 2 1/2 hours south from Sydney. (You can go via Berry on the coast or via Mittagong.) It's a lovely piece of natural bushland, a declared 'Nature Reserve', with a great variety of plants, shrubs and trees and the birds, insects, possums and wombats and things that you'd expect in such a place. It's on the south west side of the Kangaroo River, about 50 metres wide, and with virtually zero flow because it backs up from Tallowa Dam. The river water is cool and clean and great for swimming. Road access is by a good bitumen road right to our gate, then a dirt track for about 100m to a car park clearing well out of sight of the road, then a 10 to 15 minute walk down to the big shelter shed where there is clean cold water on tap. There is a big log fireplace inside the shed and a brick construction cooking fireplace outside.

There is a clean pit toilet with tap water nearby at the top camping flat, above the shelter shed, and we've cleared a large grassy area a few minutes walk down from the shelter shed for tent camping. This area is closer to the river and there is an abundance of firewood nearby. Again there is plenty of light shade provided by groves of large wattle trees.

We've cleared a nice little sandy beach in a quiet river cove, and just above it a reasonably large grassy patch where there is plenty of tree shade. Access is by a wide cleared pathway all the way down from the shelter shed. Then we've cut a grid pattern of wide walkways at 20 metre spacing all over the river flats.

If you have a canoe you can drive to a launching place just across the river at 'Bendeela' and paddle across to Coolana. The Kangaroo River runs into Tallowa Dam and is very popular for canoeing and I believe there are fish in the dam (trout 1 think). In the nearby Kangaroo Valley Village (7km away) there are a few stores and cafes, a bread shop and a pub and several old wares shops to browse through if you like that sort of thing. Canoes can be hired at the village.

If you like you can indulge in a little bushwalking There are some good short walks around our property and if you want to go further afield, the Morton National Park is nearby for day walks. There are plenty of interesting rock formations on Coolana if you want to practice rock climbing or scrambling. There are some very nice nature walks with a wide variety of trees and shrubs to identify and plenty of birds for the keen birdwatcher. We even have a couple of cool rain forested creeks. Wonderful stuff.

A few quiet days at Coolana will definitely recharge your batteries, get you closer to nature, lower your heart rate and give you back some of that zing. It's a good place for the whole family and your kids should enjoy it too.

What will it cost? $100 per day per head with double rates at weekends and holidays would be cheap but to Club members with their family and/or friends it's free. Yes - free of charge with no obligations whatsoever (other than you leave it clean and tidy). You don't need to book as yet but nevertheless please treat your trip to Coolana as you would any other bushwalk and leave details with someone and check in when you return.

Talk it over with your family and friends and fellow Club members and arrange to spend a few days there soon. You'll love it.

George Mawer

From The Clubroom

By Jan Roberts

Improvising First Aid in the Bush (or 110 uses for pantyhose!) - January 24

Emergency First aid took on a whole new meaning after John Hogan's presentation during January. Far from being an 'all fact and no fun' night, John, with the assistance of numerous pairs of pantyhose and fruit, managed to both inform and entertain us.

A number of SBW members acted as patients throughout the demonstration, with complaints ranging from broken collar bones to being fully unconscious. John demonstrated how to use pantyhose to strap up arms and restrict limb movements, and with the addition of an orange, even how to rescue a drowning person! We marvelled at his ingenuity.

Finally, having covered just about any calamity that could befall the hapless bushwalker, John demonstrated (with assistance from Eddy and a new prospective who hopefully will return someday to the clubroom), how to transport an injured walker in a backpack.

Thanks John for giving us all a lot of good reasons not to throw away our laddered pantyhose ever again, and for some very effective methods of applying first aid.

Christmas Walks - Slide Night - January 31

Ian Wolfe was first to the projector, and took us to South Western Tasmania and the Precipitous Bluff (PB) region to relive his trip there last year. The party of seven it seemed experienced extraordinarily good weather for most of the walk, and Ian's slides (courtesy of Armidale based member, Paul McCann) were breathtaking in the extreme.

From the craggy acropolis of the top of PB to the unpolluted sandy beaches of the Southern Ocean, our trip with Ian was stunning.

John Hogan was next, and started with his walk over the Australia Day weekend to Morton National Park and Mt Talaterang led by Jim Rivers. The Castle and Byangee walls in particular were clearer than many of the trips SBW walkers have experienced in the past, and many of us could pick out favourite spots along the route. John's Christmas walk was not forgotten however, and we were treated next to scenes from Maurie Bloom's Cross Cut Saw Christmas walk in the Southern Alps. The walk went well with perfect weather we were told but water was the big problem. Many of the party fell ill with stomach problems caused by drinking polluted water during the walk. A sad sign of the times.

'Desert' as she described it was the final course for the night, with Christine Sullivan serving up a slice of the 'Big Apple'.

From the skyscrapers of Manhattan to the pigeons at Times Square, this final presentation provided an interesting contrast to the previous two 'bushy' walks.

Thanks to Ian, John and Christine for taking the time to share their Christmas walks with us at SBW. Thanks also to Peter Miller who travelled south a second time with his prints of David Trinder and Carol Lubbers post Christmas week in the Snowys.


Footwear from the Experts! - February 28th Ione Dean has had to cancel her presentation but in its place we have Vaughan Scott coming to talk to us from 'The Athlete's Foot'. For those members who enjoyed Allan Donnelley's talk on bush walking and care of the lower limb last year, this night will provide a great follow up. Vaughan (a foot technologist) will be discussing the various types of walking shoes available, fabrics, features, etc., and will provide examples of each for discussion during the night.

Don't miss this opportunity to update your footwear knowledge, and be better prepared for walking in '96!

Senior First Aid Course

Another residential first aid course will be held on the weekend of 16th/ 17th March. This will be a qualifying course for the St. John's Senior First Aid Certificate with instruction given by club member, Allan Donnelly, an accredited St. Johns instructor.

To lighten the work load we will have short walks around the area and a happy hour followed by a barbecue on Saturday evening.

The cost ($58) is a substantial saving on the normal price for this course. Numbers will be limited so please book early and enclose a deposit of $20-00.

Remote Area First Aid Course

This is a more advanced course for those who have a current senior First Aid Certificate. It is particularly suitable for bushwalking with emphasis on practical first aid in circumstances where medical assistance is not readily available.

This course will be held on 22nd/23rdJune. It also will be a weekend residential course with instruction provided by an accredited, St. Johns instructor. The cost is $65.00 and a deposit of $20.00 is required with your booking.

We expect strong demand for this course and with numbers limited early bookings are advisable. Phone me on 484 6636

Kath Brown

Last month, SBW lost one of its hardest working members, and a dear friend. After a short illness, and a long healthy life, Kath Brown died on January 16th 1996.

Kathleen Hardy was a prospective in 1947. Her first walks were those that started on Saturday afternoons. (Kath, a bank employee, worked Saturday mornings- as many people did then). Prior to one of these walks, it was suggested that Kath ring one of the party, Jim Brown, to ask if she and a friend could share his tent. Kath and Jim found that they shared similar goals and were soon organising SBW one and a half day walks to areas they wished to see. In March 1949 they married, and continued bushwalking until the birth of their daughter Christine five years later.

Kath's walking activities were limited for the next few years, but not her interest in SBW. The family was seen at every reunion. (At age 20 Chris boasted that she'd been to 21 reunions!) When Chris was eight, Kath was doing one day walks with Chris in tow. Kath walked regularly and for well over a decade went on numerous Sunday walks as well as leading two walks every program, always test walks. The help she gave to hundreds of prospectives was invaluable, to them and to SBW.

Kath's interest in, and work for, the Club is well known. She attended all general meetings, firmly steering business in the right direction (often needed when emotional issues arose). Behind the scenes she was a tower of strength. To those of us who were secretaries she gave much appreciated help and advice, and the many magazine editors were even more grateful. For 22 years she not only typed the magazine on difficult stencils, she also inserted notices when due, arranged the layouts, researched background material, and for some years organised the collating in her home.

Kath always modestly dismissed her contributions to the Club, but at the same time noticed the work of others. She, with Jim, was responsible for nominating a number of Honorary members and promoted the category of Honorary Active. When two members were given this honour in 1987, NEVER were two members more deserving.

In her last weeks, Kath said to me how lucky she was to have had such a healthy and happy life, how fortunate she was to have Jim and Chris, and how she was pleased that her end was to be quick. Her positive outlook, facing death, was inspiring. At her own request, Kath's funeral was private, with old friends Christa and Bob Younger representing SBW.

Kath - apart from all your work, you were a dear friend to many of us. We shall miss you very much. To Jim, Christine and Geoff, and their children Alex, Ross and Sian, Sydney Bushwalkers extends its deepest sympathy.

Helen Gray

Personal Accident Insurance Cover

The bushwalkers' Personal Accident Insurance cover is now obtainable through the Club's Secretary, Spiro Hajinakitas. This cover which is obtained by Sydney Bushwalkers through The Confederation of Bushwalking Clubs NSW provides a good accident cover for Club members.

The total cost is currently $2.65 per year (or any part of a year) or about 5 cents per week.

Bushwarkers are notorious for having deep pockets and short arms, however, this cover has to be considered very good value.

Briefly, this is what the insurance cover provides. It covers each member personally when you are involved in just about any activity approved by any club that is affiliated with the Confederation of Bushwalking Clubs. This means that you are covered even if you go on a walk with another affiliated club. The cover operates for activities within Australia. Cover outside Australia can also be obtained on request. If you are a member of another club affiliated with Confederation and that club has taken out personal accident insurance cover for all its members, then there is no need to also insure yourself again through Sydney Bush Walkers.

The cover operates from the time you leave home until you return home at the end of the activity. So you are covered while you are travelling to and from the activity. There is a restriction about the use of chartered aircraft.

The cover operates for just about every type of activity that the Club does. Thus, the activities of bushwalking, camping, cross country skiing (not downhill skiing), bicycle touring, canyoning. abseiling, rogaining, liloing, social activities and a few other activities are covered.

The cover does not apply to solo activities. The cover does not require that the activities be conducted in any particular manner. Impromptu, off program activities can be approved retrospectively by the Club committee.

The cover provides for death and permanent disablement benefits. Since Confederation introduced this scheme there have been no claims of this type.

-For bushwalkers the main benefit is the cover for costs that Medicare doesn't allow, such as physiotherapy, ambulance transport, loss of income and so on. Most of the claims that are notified to Confederation's insurer are for broken limbs. Usually there will be physiotherapy required in the course of treatment for a broken limb, Medicare doesn't cover such costs, although if you are a private health fund member this type of medical cost may be covered.

In the event of an accident the insurer is to be notified within 30 days.

The insurance year ends on 30 August. Personal accident cover can be taken out at any time during the insurance year, however, there is no pro rata payment arrangement.

Campfires, bushfires and walkers.

from NPWS newsletter summer '95/96

The Australian bush is a very fragile environment that can easily be destroyed by people being careless or thoughtless. Bushfires starting from walkers' campfires can be devastating, particularly during the hot summer months. When out in the bush, treat fire with caution and whenever possible avoid lighting fires.

* Don't light a fire if you have any doubts whether it is allowed or not. There are fire restrictions in most national parks and nature reserves and no fires can be lit on total fire ban days. Don't light fires on hot windy days.

* Always carry a fuel stove when camping. Fuel stoves are more efficient, quicker to light and cleaner than wood fires. Fuel stoves have a minimum impact on the environment.

* Some areas, such as above 1700 metres in Kosciusko National Park, are fuel stove areas only. Camp fires are not allowed in these areas and fines will be issued to people who light fires. Check with the park or district officer before visiting an area. * Keep fires small (under one metre in area) and under control. Don't use rocks to build a wall around the fire as this disturbs the habitat of many small creatures. * Use only dead fallen wood. Dead standing trees are often home to wildlife. Collect small pieces of wood that don't need to be chopped. Logs are often habitat for animals. * Put out the fire before you leave an area. Pour water on the fire to put it out. Before leaving check the ground underneath the fire - if it is warm the fire is not out.

The January 1996 General Meeting.

Barry Wallace

Approximately 20 members had found their way into the hall by 2030 so the president opened the meeting with an official dong and cough. There were apologies for Don Brooks, Alex Colley and Dot Butler.

There were no new members for welcome so we went on to the minutes, of the previous meeting. These were read and received with no matters arising.

Correspondence was next. We received a letter from Morrie Ward thanking us for the flowers sent during his recent stay in hospital and from Jim Brown thanking us for the flowers sent to Kath who is also in hospital. There was a letter from Marion Lloyd offering materials from the club's past. We also received a further letter from the NSW Department of Mineral Resources assuring us that although there has been damage to Bungonia Gorge due to the nearby mining activities it is expected that new techniques will prevent this in future. They also indicated that the company concerned, Blue Circle Southern Cement is willing to discuss the matter with us should we wish. A letter from Confederation provided information on the cover provided by their personal accident insurance policy. We received a letter from Dot Butler thanking us for participation in the extended search for Wade. Two letters went out to Margaret Butler indicating our support and concern and providing donations from the club, and from individual members. Margaret has also written to us expressing her thanks. We have written to Dick Smith thanking him for his generous support for the search activities.

The treasurer's report was next, with the news that we started the month with a balance of $1,750 and closed with $1,369.

The walks report was not preceded by statistics this time. Perhaps the strain of collation, calculation and analysis is beginning to take its toll. This is wrong, I hear you cry, the walks report should at least tell us where we have been, how far we have come and who we really are. How are we to face the new millennium without getting in touch with our true selves, or at least just metaphorically holding hands with whomever we have become. It won't do Eddie!

The 15, 16, 17 December saw Kenn Clacher engaging in nonelastic bungy jumping at Kanangra with a party of 7 for the descent of Kalang Falls on the Saturday and 5 enjoying Wallara canyon on Sunday. There was no report of Wilf Hilder's stage 4 of the Port Jackson saga or of Alan Well's Bell Creek lilo trip on the Saturday. Peter Miller's Wondabyne to Girrakool and return walk on the Sunday had a party of 10 and was reported as routine. Errol Sheedy had 11 on his Cronulla to Bundeena walk which went to program in fine conditions with some swims for the brave.

December 23 saw Alan Donnelley reporting Hole In The Wall canyon as a great trip with four abseils for the party of 4 who ventured on the trip that day. Jim Calloway's walk from Helensburgh to Otford on December 26 had a party of 7, at least some of whom succumbed to the dreaded wetting by larger than expected waves along the way.

The extended walks over Christmas attracted large numbers. Morrie Blume had 17 on his walk in the Victorian high country. Conditions were hotter, and the walk tougher than anticipated. So much so that the decision was made to split the party over the last days of the trip to provide an out for the rabbits that involved a shorter and easier route. They even moved New Years Eve forward a day for the purpose. The tigers went on to rendezvous with the transport and re-direct it to collect the rest of the party.

Jim Rivers had 6 on his Morton National Park trip over 26 to 31 December. Here too they truncated the walk somewhat due to problems with covering their ground. George Walton's trip in the north section of the Snowys over the same period had 11 starters, around 50% of whom were navigators, and went to program, plus or minus a bit here and there.

George Mawer led a party of 20 over the period 26 December to 1 January in much the same area as George, though never the twain did meet. The weather was fine and warm, up to New years Eve that is, when the deluge arrived. The continuing inclemency persuaded the party to opt for a more direct exit route than originally planned. Ian Rennard's trip from the Cobberras to Tredbo had 16 starters and fine weather for most of the way. They ran into the same conditions as George's party at New Year and reached the same conclusion that a rapid exit was warranted.

Tony Holgate's Tuross River walk was cancelled when Tony did his back in in Tasmania a week or so earlier. David Trinder led a come as you please stay at a lodge in Smiggin Holes over the period 4 to 11 January with a cast that varied from 10 to 8 over that time. continued on P12

Be a Coolana Friend

We are co-operating with the “Water Board” in their routine weed eradication program in the Shoalhaven district. This involves making access easier along the Coolana river flats. We have had one working bee and plan to have three more in the next few weeks. There is some hard yakka involved, good company, cleared paths to the river for swimming and perhaps a social gathering at the Valley pub afterwards. If you can join us on any of these planned dates, please ring George Mawer (02) 707 1343 or Helen Gray (044) 641 724.

Dates Mon and Tues 12 and 13 February
Mon and Tues 19 and 20 February
Mon and Tues 26 and 27 February

What do we do? We slash and stamp tracks on an established grid through the rubbish, clear fallen wood then widen and improve with a brush cutter. A considerable part of this was done at the beginning of the month. The less energetic may help with seed removal and systematic weeding in our bush areas, or just enjoy Coolana.

What do we need? Six to eight people for track work; chainsaw and brush cutter owners particularly welcome but brush cutters will be hired. Bring bush saws, heavy duty gloves, slashers and secateurs if you have them. Boots, gaiters and long trousers are recommended, protective goggles may be useful.

Why come? Coolana is beautiful but the weeds, having taken over the flats, are now invading the bushland. This is a one off chance to reduce the threat and try to recover our river access. It is not a cure but should give us a chance for partial and easier control.

Joan Rigby (06) 247 2035

General meeting notes

continued from P 11

They stayed amused by doing day walks to various locations around the area. Geoff Dowsed cancelled his South West Tasmania trip scheduled for the same time.

The weekend of 5, 6, 7, January saw a no report for Ian Wolfe's lilo trip in the Wollongambe. Maureen Carter reported numbers falling from a peak of 26 down to 9 as the weather varied across a wide range of conditions in the days leading up to her walk on the Sunday. Margaret Read had 3 on her family walk out from Blackheath the same day. They reported light rain and fog in the morning clearing to a sunny afternoon to conclude the walks reports for yet another month.

There being no Alex there was no Conservation report.

Confederation report indicated. that the 'Sydney Water Corporation Limited regulations have been regazetted, this time in an amended form that permits camping in the National Parks areas. Confederation have written to the appropriate body regarding intrusions into Ettrema Creek by 4 Wheel Drive vehicles. The proposal for a Mount Hay wilderness area has been generally supported by other bodies and Confederation will proceed with it.

There were no items of general business, so after an extended costumed recitation by Eddie in support of contributions to the walks programme, the meeting closed at about 2127.

S&R Response Team

The interest shown by many members has been most encouraging. We already have 18 walkers registered and are now in a much better position to respond quickly to a call out.

If you are thinking of registering, please keep in mind that most alarms are raised on a Monday morning. ( She / He / They didn't come out on the Sunday night ). If Bushwalker S & R are to be involved, SBW will be notified early Monday to get a team on standby for departure on the Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

This means that you have to be available on weekdays. Possibly Wednesday through Sunday. Ask yourself “Do I have a better than 50% chance of being available”. If yes, register - we need you!

Training? - Yes there will be.

George Mawer phone/fax 707 1343.

The Sydney Water Babies.

Ray Hookway (Reprinted from February 1971 Bushwalker)

The trip was advertised as a bludge trip thus leaving myself open to charges of false advertising.

On the Wednesday night at the club several people declined saying “January is too hot for the Budawangs”. Poor deluded fools!

Thirteen gullible people signed on, but Owen Marks due either to second sight or superstition, classified by him as incipient influenza, made a last minute cancellation and so on the Friday night twelve people found themselves in 3 cars edging through the fog on Mt Ousley. The light rain that fell all the way to Sassafras was a foretaste of things to come.

The Tomerong-Braidwood road was a greasy, sliding, slithering, quagmire and rumblings of discontent began to be heard from the back seat. Remarks such as “where is the nearest pub?” and “I wonder what the weather is like on Pebbly Beach?”

The bad weather appeared to have set in so I hurriedly shepherded the party into Major Sturgess' barn and barricaded the door with a large log. After a good nights sleep broken only by the scuffling of some large mice we woke to steady rain and a misty landscape.

We breakfasted in the barn and set off down the road to Tanderra Camp. The road was very muddy and as the rain appeared to become a permanent feature of the weekend we left the cars at the top of a particularly bad hill and set off, thus adding an extra ten miles to the round trip. Brian Griffith carried an umbrella which remained open for most of the weekend.

'The road from the Red Ground turn-off to the last creek before Styles creek is badly overgrown with large Broom-like weed and it was a very wet party which slushed its way to Styles creek pausing briefly to feed the leeches at the above creek.

The view across the valley was not reassuring. The thick fog completely obscured Mt Houghton and Hoddles Castle appeared only occasionally through the swirling mist and falling rain.

We slushed our way across the valley over a beautiful carpet of large Christmas Bells and up the slope of Mt Houghton. Skirting Houghton the first incident of the weekend occurred, I slipped and a sharp burnt stake penetrated the heel of the palm of my left hand. Fearing that the more rebellious members of the party might use this incident as an excuse to abandon the walk I bravely hid my agony and we pressed on.

We paused at the Fusiliers Cave to dry out, eat a leisurely lunch, and to decide whether to push on over Mt Tarn which was shrouded in fog, or to camp at the cave till morning on the off chance that the mist may clear.

At 3.50pm we set off across Mt Tarn steering by compass through the mist, again walking over carpets of large Christmas bells. I counted up to 12 bells on one stalk.

The mist and the rain stayed with us till we reached Mt Cole just before 6pm and set up camp in the cave on the southern end of Cole where a large waterfall thundered down into a normal trickling creek.

We spent a dry and warm night and awoke to more mist and rain.

After breakfast six of us set out to complete the first stage of the walk leaving five white ants and Max Crisp who was experiencing trouble from an old knee injury, to nurse the fire and to sip their private morale restorer. The rain during the night had been steady and heavy and the whole length of Mt Cole was a series of thundering waterfalls and cascades, several of which could only be negotiated by passing under them. John Campbell insisted on testing all with his head.

The three camping caves on the western side of Mt Cole were all dry and stocked with wood and each would have accommodated our party.

The floor of the small tree fern filled gully between Mt Cole and Mt Donjon was under ten inches of water and presented a lovely sight in the eerie light.

We entered Monolith Valley by a slightly different route than normal. Walking up the slight saddle alongside the Seven Gods Pinnacles before dropping down into the tunnel to the rain forest, we bore slightly left and climbed higher to follow a grassy slope skirting the rock on the eastern side of the tunnel and joined the Monolith Valley track on the eastern side of the rain forest. The track appears well used but may not be known to some club members.

Monolith Valley presented a magnificent but unusual sight with the monoliths wreathed in mist, and water cascading down every crevice, a big change from the last time I saw it bathed in the light of a full moon.

Visibility at Mt Boorang was down to 50 feet so I grudgingly dropped climbing the Castle from the walk and headed for the camping cave in the gully on the western side of Mt Owen.

The creek through the gully was over two feet deep. The low cave on the right in the first gully was dry and stocked with wood but the area in front was ten inches under water.

The overhangs in the main gully were a disaster area (I had planned to camp there!) The picture was made more depressing by the large heap of old cans and bottles left by previous visitors.

We headed back to our camp via the Natural Arch and the Tunnel, with a side trip to inspect the cave on the Northern side of Mt Donjon, this is approached from the valley between Donjon and Cole. This cave was also dry but from bitter experience it is a miserable place when the wind is blowing from the north.

The rain had been falling steadily all morning and the thoughts of the three drivers had been dwelling on the state of the Sassafras road so after lunch we decided to head back and camp at Styles cave. This would ensure that we had several hours of daylight to dig out the cars on Monday if necessary.

The walk back was uneventful until we reached Yarrabee Brook below Mt Hoddle. The brook was running a banker. We scouted up and down for a place to cross but the water was running fast and deep and to step off the bank was to step in up to your waist.

Eventually Max got across and a rickety bridge was constructed from several logs. The bridge gave a shaky crossing collapsing finally as Brian Griffith, the tail end charlie, stepped off onto the bank.

We pushed on, Adding the valley high on the side of Mt Hoddle to avoid the lake that we knew must be in the valley floor.

Several Kangaroos were flushed and they looked most puzzled at the sight of our waterlogged party as we squelched our way across the valley.

We continued around the valley till we met the fire trail from Mt Quilty and followed it to Styles creek. Two further creek crossings on this road were running high and fast making crossing extremely difficult. Styles creek was also high and running fast, the force of the water being great enough to sweep you off your feet. Geoff Mattingley after testing the firmness of the far bank with a large stone, attempted to leap across from one shallow spot to another but the bank collapsed under him and he disappeared under the water, surfaced and grabbed some bushes a few yards downstream on the same side of the creek.

We finally proceeded up the valley on the eastern side of Quilty's Mountain for about 1/4 mile and crossed the creek using a large dead tree and climbed up to the Quilty cliff line.

Styles cave consists of two overhangs about 60 yards apart, the southern one being adjacent to a very large slab of rock which has slid down off the face of the mountain leaving a large white patch visible from the valley floor. There were small waterfalls at each cave. As the floor of each cave is very rocky and each would only sleep 6 or 7 we split up for the night.

At about 6pm the rain stopped and next morning by about 8.30am the clouds had cleared and the trees and scrub appeared already dry. The air was clear and clean and the views of Tarn, Houghton and Hoddle were magnificent.

The long walk back to the cars passed without incident and we lunched at the cars at about one o'clock. No troubles were experienced with the road and we proceeded to Tianjarra Creek to wash up and to inspect the falls which were spectacular with the run off from the continuous rain.

Two further incidents highlighted the trip, Geoff left his Rollei camera at the lunch spot and his wallet at Nowra hospital where we went to get treatment for my hand. Both were recovered and after a 'wet' dinner in Nowra we proceeded home without further incident. Despite, or possibly because of, the weather I enjoyed the walk as I suspect all other participants did despite their frequent cries of “sh-o-c-k-ing”,”the leader is a liar“ and similar remarks. To see the Budawangs under such spectacular conditions was certainly worth the minor discomfort of a little water. It also taught me several lessons.

1.All bushwalkers should have anti-tetanus injections.

2.The creeks and streams in the area should not be taken too lightly.

3 Compass bearings of area landmarks should be checked when the visibility is good not when it is zero.

4.You should not rely on finding dry caves when the weather is bad unless you have been there in similar conditions.

But the main lesson was that the Budawangs is good walking country even in bad weather and that I'll be going back frequently.

199602.txt · Last modified: 2020/04/05 20:00 by ljclarke6

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