Table of Contents
THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER
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||Jan Roberts, 5 Sharland Av Chatswood 2067, Telephone 411 5517 (H) 9925 4000 (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 8pm at Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre, 16 Fitzroy Street, Kirribilli (near Milsons Point Railway Station). Visitors and prospective members are welcome any Wednesday.
|Public Officer||Fran Holland|
|Walks Secretary||Eddy Giacomel|
|Social Secretary||Jan Roberts|
|Membership Secretary||Barry Wallace|
|New Members Secretary||Miriam Kirwan|
|Conservation Secretary||Alex Colley|
|Magazine Editor||George Mawer|
|Committee Members||Morie Ward & Jennifer Trevor-Roberts|
|Delegates to Confederation||Ken Smith & Jim Callaway|
In This Issue
|3||Is It Time to Change the Magazine Cover||Peter Miller|
|4||Ettrema Creek Cheesecake||Maurice Smith|
|6||Walking at Deua||Jo Van Sommers|
|7||Suckers in The Bush||Roger Pierson|
|8||Hangliding in Tandem||Brian Holden|
|9||The May General Meeting||Barry Wallace|
|10||Walk in Kakadu||John Hogan|
|12||Our 70th Birthday Party||Peter Miller|
|13||New Members Notices & 'kneeded' River Cats|
|14||In Your Memories||Jim Brown|
|16||Six Foot Track Information||Jan Mohandas|
|Remote Area First Aid Course||Bill Holland|
|Eastwood Camping Centre||11|
Leadership Accreditation Is Coming
The following letter from ORCA (which is not an organisation for saving stranded whales) will give an introduction to possible future controls on our recreational activities.
ORCA - The Outdoor Recreation Council of Australia. National Outdoor Recreation Leadership Division, Advocacy Division, Services division
The Confederation of Bushwalking Clubs NSW Incorporated
Dear Maurice I am responding to your letter - forwarded to Stewart Lennox formally Executive Officer of NORLD. This letter outlines areas of concern the confederation has in regard to the NORLD project. Before I begin to address those concerns, and I thank you for raising them, I think it is important to bring you up to date on some recent changes to NORLD.
NORLD - (The National Outdoor Recreation Leadership Development Project), has evolved into a new organisation known as the Outdoor Recreation Council Of Australia. This was necessary for a number of reasons, not the least being that NORLD in its original form was a process, rather than an entity. The Outdoor Recreation Council of Australia (ORCA), expands from and builds upon the base established by NORLD, and in fact retains NORLD as a division within its structure. The Office of the Council has been relocated in Sydney - Stewart Lennox has returned to his previous position and I have been appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer. I won't attempt at this time to explain the structure of ORCA in any more detail though I would value the opportunity to do so at some later date.
The main NORLD project, (though it may become one of many), was the development of National Activity Standards, and I understand you have the latest copy of this document. This work continues under ORCA. You will notice that style and format vary throughout the document. Shortly, activity review groups will be invited to meet and participate in a validation of these standards, and I sincerely hope that Confederation will contribute to that process.
Pressure to develop National standards came from a number of areas, many of whom could be viewed as external or peripheral to the industry. I use the term “industry” advisedly.
It is not necessary to be a paid employee to be considered part of the industry. Our industry is recognised as having a huge volunteer base, including organisations such as the Confederation, Scouts, Guides and Church groups, which have relatively few, if any, paid employees. Whilst the call to develop standards come from both inside and outside the industry, the Outdoor Recreation Community consider it vital to have control over any such development. There was however, no peak outdoor recreation body to oversee this process. NORLD was established as a representational body from within the industry to coordinate this development. The NORLD board was formed and tasked to establish a nationwide Network, and through consultation, determine what the industry should become standard. Ignoring the push to develop standards was not an option. If the NORLD project had not been promoted, standards would still have been developed, but not in a coordinated fashion and probably without the input of practitioners in the field. This is one reason we have encouraged all groups to have input into the project. We hoped to promote ownership of the standards within the industry, and targeting existing organisations allowed easier dissemination of information and unified response.
You mention opposing views within the Confederation towards participation in standards development. I would encourage involvement by any organisation, in all matters that may effect the wider arena in which it exists. The Confederation represents a large number of people with a vast wealth of knowledge and experience. If the process of developing standards is denied access to such groups, the outcome must surely suffer. Such action also denies the opportunity, as you have mentioned, for groups to have input and thereby some element of influence in the direction the industry takes.
At this stage, I am unsure as to the extent it is likely that leadership standards will become mandatory for volunteer groups. You have identified this issue as a major concern of the Confederation, it is certainly a concern shared by many across the nation. I don't believe it will be a rule, law or whatever that volunteer organisations must abide by to exist, however, I can see in time, land management agencies stipulating leadership standards as a condition of entry for groups into controlled areas. I also believe this will be applied across the industry, to commercial and volunteer organisations alike. Land managers. have been amongst the leaders in pushing the industry towards standards. ORCA is committed to continuing discussions with these agencies as to the application of any control measures across industry groups. Recognised as the peak outdoor recreation body, advocacy for the industry is a major function of the council.
A commercial operator leading a group on a bushwalk, and a volunteer leading a group on a bushwalk perform the same function of leadership. They are leading for different reasons, and may have different outcomes, but they are performing the same function. I realise this as a general statement, but the fact that one is paid and the other is not does not change the role and consequent responsibility of a leader to a group.
Any leader, should therefore have a base knowledge and skill level appropriate to the activity they are leading. The standards development work that has been done so far, has been for the industry to decide what that level should be.
A priority of the activity standards project has been to establish a mechanism for RPL (recognition of prior learning) for those already operating in the industry. I can understand the apparent threat the development of standards may present. Your involvement in the process may help to develop a method of applying RPL to the particular needs of groups such as the Confederation. As a responsible organisation, I am sure you do not allow anyone to lead an activity without a certain level of experience. Member Clubs of the Confederation must have some current method of assessment, be it formal or informal. I am confident under RPL your leaders would meet or surpass most of the proposed standards. To this, your comments regarding the Confederation's view on the current bushwalking standards would be valuable.
I hope the information I have provided answers more questions than it creates! The development of activity standards is continuing, and the participation of the Confederation is I believe, both appropriate and of mutual benefit. It would seem a waste not to call upon the considerable expertise and the established network of the Confederation.
I would certainly appreciate the opportunity to explain in further detail the structure and function of the Outdoor Recreation Council of Australia, and in doing so perhaps work towards a closer relationship with the Confederation. Please contact me on 99234275 if I can be of further assistance.
I look forward to your response
Regards Robert Ridley
Chief Executive Officer
Is It Time To Update The Look Of Our Magazine?
by Peter Miller
I have thought for some time that the club should update the look of the magazine. This is not meant as a criticism of the magazine or of the hard work that so many people have put into it but a wish for the club to take advantage of the latest computer technology and make our magazine one that represents us in the 1990s and beyond.
As the magazine covers are due for reprinting I suggest this is the time ask the members if they want to change the artwork, content, paper and general presentation of the magazine. We reprint the covers once every several years and I feel that it is time for a change and respectfully suggest the following steps be taken:
1. Ask the members if they think there is merit in changing the present format.
2. Ask for suggestions on artwork for the cover (we could change it radically or incorporate the present design, or part, of it into a new design. Why not incorporate our very attractive club emblem, the flannel flower into the design?)
3. I will willingly collate replies from members on this matter and present the committee with the information as well as get quotes for a variety of new covers, types of paper, colours etc.
4. We have available to us modern, printing techniques that allow for full colour or spot colour covers and I suggest that we investigate all possible alternatives before the present supply of yellow covers is exhausted.
5 We could have a wrap around cover which is more presentable than the present open backed cover system and each cover could be printed with a rectangular hole cut in it to expose the date (and other information) printed on the front page. This would obviate the need for the present rather unsatisfactory system of stamping the date on each cover by hand.
6. We should look at the possibility of improving the standard of paper as the present paper does not give good quality type, photos or graphics.
7. I have computer facilities at home (Macintosh computer, laser printer, scanner and desk top publishing software) that will enable me to prepare the artwork, free, if the club decides to go ahead with the changes I suggest.
I would like to thank the club members who have contributed the time and effort to keep the magazine going all these years. I sincerely believe that it is time for a new look magazine and I hope by publishing this letter a healthy debate on the future of the magazine will be generated.
Peter Miller 456 5326 (Home).
The reason why this subject has surfaced at this time is that we are about to run out of covers. The cover can't be printed on our own printer because it has too much black It requires an industrial printer. Also for reasons of economy, the covers are produced in large numbers.
The picture on the front cover is from a drawing produced by Alan Rigby, artist and prominent SBW member who was involved with saving the Bluegurn Forest back in the thirties. The cover has remained unchanged since about 1932. Ed
Ettrema Creek Cheesecake
by Maurice Smith
Several of the last walks that I have led for the club have been on Ettrema Creek (in Morton National Park). On the first, in November last year, rain forced us out of Myall Creek and up onto Myall Ridge. On the second, earlier this year, we couldn't locate Jingles Pass when coming up from Ettrema Creek.
The weekend of May 11, 12 saw a group of 9 from the club start from Quiera Clearing, cross Myall Creek and have lunch at the top of Jingles Pass. After descending through the Pass and making our way down the ridge we were pleasantly surprised to find Ettrema Creek flowing well but not in flood conditions. That had been my main concern after the previous weekend's deluge. In quite a few places on the Creek banks flood debris was evident. Now that I have down through Jingles Pass it will be very easy to find if ever I have to come up through it. Wonderful how hindsight is so effective.
Although the water was rather cool one of our group rather bravely had a swim in the Creek. After arriving at the camp site on the junction of Jones and Ettrema Creeks at quite a reasonable hour we made ourselves at home. Another member of the group even managed to keep his feet dry for the entire walk along the Creek to the campsite. No mean feat indeed. After the happy hour nibbles the group sat around the bush television cooking and talking about all manner of topics, as is usual.
Sunday morning started off with a mid thigh wade across the Creek as we progressed further downstream. Many crossings of the creek were undertaken, at one point on the river stones we found a dead, one metre long, tiger snake with a rather fat mid section. Our guess was that it had been caught in the flood shortly after eating. There was even a suggestion that we should perform an autopsy to find out what it last meal had been. However, time didn't permit this. The carrion eaters had yet to commence dining on it. As progress was made down the Creek the beauty of the Creek also increased.
At the bottom of Transportation Spur we filled our water bottles for the rest of the day. The slog up the Spur was punctuated by a few breather and drink stops. After lunch we made our way through the break in the cliffline at Pardon Point for further superb views. Then ensued about three kilometres of walking on a compass bearing back to the road, emerging from the horrible scrub slightly damp after a ten minute shower of rain. Then followed a walk along the fire trail for half an hour arriving back at the cars at 4.45pm.
Oh yes, I suppose you are wondering about the why the report is titled Ettrema Creek Cheesecake. Well, when we arrived at our campsite on Saturday afternoon Chris Miller made up a lemon cheesecake from a packet mix. We felt obliged to help him eat it for dessert. It was as delicious, as it was unexpected.
Group members were Jose Aguirre (prospective), Rosemary MacDougall, Chris Miller, Dennis Morgan, Geoff Oxley, Diana Richards (prospective), Merrilyn Sach, Sheila Speter and your scribe Maurice Smith (leader)
Walking at Deua - a Woila Creek Wander
By Jo Van Sommers
It was twelve or more since I had been to the Deua National Park, as I had come to believe the area was too difficult for me. But when Tony Holgate offered a medium walk in the area, only 45K in four days with promises of “ferns, river flats, swamp wallabies, kangaroos, maybe a platypus” it all sounded delightful and the time to return.
Deua N.P. is a long drive from Sydney to Braidwood, then 74K of mostly gravel road south to the starting point. Jim and I, being members of the newly leisured classes, set off in the afternoon and arrived about 7. We made camp by the side of the road and had a pleasant dinner by moonlight. But where was everybody? The site had been hard to find, it was true, since the guidepost indicating the fire trail turnoff had been sawn off near ground level.
Eventually, we went to bed, leaving the fire, glowing to indicate our presence. When the wind got up in the night and we saw it was 3 a m., we doused it. Next morning we ate a chilly breakfast in the penetrating wind with a hint of snow and were quite relieved to see a convoy of cars arrive - everyone else had stayed overnight, Braidwood. This is the new breed of Sydney Bush Walkers?
We set off on the Big Badja logging trail, nicely overgrown but still passable to 4.W.Ds, and detoured to the rocky summit of Big Badja (1363m). We crouched behind the cairn to enjoy the view and avoid the wind, which threatened to blow us out horizontally like a string of flags had we lifted our heads. Ominous billows of wildfire smoke filled the distant valleys below us, but fortunately we saw, no more of this. Back on the trail, we passed through good regrowth forest along the ridge of the Kybean Range before dropping down through the swampy ground to have lunch amongst the scribbly-gums. Pressing on, we covered a lot of ground at a steady pace, but the light was getting low by the time we reached the junction with Falcon Road - bulldozed aggressively to provide passing lanes for Fords, it seemed - and still a long way to go.
We covered this jarring section at a great rate for six Ks. then dropped off a steep ridge to avoid private land at Woila Creek. This ridge was very kind to us, as it led straight and true to the river flats a long way below and allowed us to find an excellent camp in the last of the light. Next morning in this delightful spot we saw a pair of Scarlet Robins in the leaf litter and fallen branches of the large stand of Sydney Blue Gums we had camped in, while gangs of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos screeched in the River She-oaks lining the creek. Another screech came from Pat, the only person brave enough to try an early morning swim: and another! This time from Suzanne, recording her personal best performance as first person packed and ready.
Tony had promised us two easy days if we made it to Woila Creek on the first day (not that there was anywhere else to camp along the way) so off we went at a very civilized hour with light hearts and joyful step. There are inholdings of private land along the creek and a few cows eyed us with astonishment.
Jim thought they were wondering why we were so foolish as to move away from such a perfect place. A placid wombat eyed us contemptuously from outside his hillside burrow - he knew where it was best to stay. The water was clear, the banks wide, the day warm, so what more natural for late April than a swim? Everybody in! A little more gentle walking, then it was lunch, just a little more, a great campsite under the Casuarinas along the creek. This is a Holgate walk? Where's the excoriation of the flesh? The hurling of the body against a wall of unyielding scrub? The leeches that carry you off? Tony swears he is a new bloke, interested in subtle campfire cookery and leisurely appreciation of nature.
The third day was more of the same - beautiful weather, lovely unspoiled creek, easy crossings, good swimming. I even had time to birdwatch.
The lunch-spot was so pleasant we decided to make it the campsite as well - not, as it was to turn out, the right decision. A serious discussion took place about the appropriate time to start Happy Hour. The time set, 4pm, limited the time for scouting forays which several people undertook, but no-one picked up the fact that we were not were we thought we were. All unaware of the retribution for our sloth awaiting us on the morrow, we enjoyed our leisurely dinner, watched the moon through the trees and wondered why we hadn't seen a platypus yet. The platypus was Jan's idea, she'd convinced Tony it was necessary to “sell” the walk to get a good crowd.
Early start next morning, the start of pay-back day. At least we were all well-rested. Erith had a gut-feeling about which ridge we should be taking, but we moved off by compass in almost the opposite direction (what's that about always trusting the compass?). There was a missing creek junction as well, but we had camped by a dry creekbed, the water levels were lower than remembered, so maybe the dry bed was it …
Our ridge started nicely through a forest of Brown Barrel and brilliant bushes of aptly named Sunshine Wattle but soon became steep rocky and nasty. The views were spectacular though. Hang on! What is this I see before me? Those deeps, those chasms, holes and craggy trees - who shifted Mother Woila? You guessed - wrong ridge. Back down again. Three hours after leaving camp we start again on the other side of the creek. The real ridge is an all day climb in its own right. It is remarkable for the succession of forest types you pass through as elevation is gained; first Stringybarks and Silvertop Ash, then Eucalyptus ribida and finally Snow Gum. Plenty of time to reflect on this as we toil upwards.
We have a quick lunch, looking across at Mother Woila and still lower than we had been in the early morning. The party moved well, but we lost the sun early behind the hill we Were climbing and darkness crept upon us with still a long way to go. The moon sulked behind the clouds but we saved the torches for as long as possible. Keeping the party close together, Tony moved us along over piles of rocks, through the only thick scrub of the whole trip, another rock scramble by torchlight, another climb, until with sight of relief we hit the fire-trail. A brisk gallop got us back to the cars at 7.45, thus completing an “enjoyable” “medium grade” walk of nearly twelve hours. John was heard to remark that next time he wouldn't smuggle that heavy extra skillet into his pack.
At Braidwood most of us stopped for an excellent meal at “Torpy's” and opted for a communal apartment to spend what was left of the night, with the wage-slaves departing early next morning for the drive home. Jim and I went via Canberra, the Turner exhibition and lunch with Margaret Conley, a happy end to a good trip. All it needed was a little redistribution about the middle, to balance the easy days and the hard ones.
(P.S. Here's your platypus Jo… from the typist, guess who!)
Leeches - 'Suckers From The Bush'
One of the friendliest creatures that you are likely to meet in the moist bush at this time of year is the leach. They are so friendly, in fact, that they will crawl all over your body in their quest for your blood.
On a most pleasant walk in the very damp high country near Tanjil Bren recently, the talk amongst the group turned to leaches. Why? Because we were all being hounded by this friendly little sucker from the bush. But no one knew a great deal about leaches and I was no exception.
So, if you would like, to learn a little more about leaches, as I did with a few minutes of research, read on.
Leaches are first cousins of the earth worm. They belong to the phylum ANNELIDA (the roundworms) and to the class HIRUDINEA (Latin for leach).
World wide there are about 300 species of leach, distinguished by their worm-like shape and a sucker at each end. Most are aquatic but a few have moved onto the land.
In the bush, leaches stand erect on their rear sucker and wait for you (the suckee) to venture along. Once it sees you (yes, they have one to four sets of eyes), it silently drops onto you. It finds a nice soft spot on your skin and attaches by its front sucker.
Sets of saw like tiny teeth hack into your tissue. Into the wound goes some saliva containing hirudin, an anticoagulant, which ensures that the leach has a good feed. Incidentally, no diseases are known to be passed to man by leaches.
At about this time you, or one of your co-walkers, are liable to notice the little parasite on your skin. You, or they, proceed to pour salt or methylated spirit onto it, or attempt to set fire to it with a match, in order to disengage it from you. If you are not too repulsed by the beasty, now is the time for a closer look at it.
Each leech has 34 segments to its body, no more and no less. Each animal has a fully functional set of both female and male reproductive apparatus, but must be fertilised by a mate. Eggs are laid in a cocoon and hatch as miniature adults.
The leech has no special internal breathing organs; gas transfer in and out takes place through the wet skin. If conditions become too dry, the leech survives in suspended animation under a stone or buried in the ground until the next rain. Even bushfires can be survived in this way.
The leech has inflatable storage bladders for its blood meal and, when it is filled, it is much larger than in its starved state.
One last gem of information to finish this gory story. Once a particular leech has had its blood meal from you, it can live for a year or more before it feels hungry and has another urge to treat you as a sucker again.
Waverley (Victoria) Bushwalking Club
Hangliding In Tandem
by Brian Holden
The preceding apprehension is replaced by a sort of numbness as I am strapped into my jacket. Is this really happening to me? As the pilot checks over the glider and my gear, he moves as in a kind of shadow as my mind has sought refuge in some nether-world. I hear him say “whatever you do, do not touch this bar” and my silent response is that I would rather die than touch that bar - which I suppose is what he Was implying would happen to both of us if I did grab a hold of it in panic.
Then suddenly the pilot says ready, now go! With my mind gone into retirement, my body runs about 4 metres and instantly I become aware that the grass has gone and there is 100 metres of space between me and the ground. I again ask myself “Is this really happening to me?”
After about 3 seconds my thinking changes tack. The fabric and aluminium are now all that matters. My whole world revolves around the structure a metre above, In these first few seconds the pilot doesn't matter as, if the structure goes, we both go. The pilot then gives his first instruction and my mind changes tack again. I now realise that he does really matter. Suddenly he is my hero, my guru, my mother, my everything.
He tells me to unlatch the trapeze bar from its velcro attachment on my chest, drop it down and get my feet on top of it. But it only drops to knee level. With one hand grasping the pilot's neck and probably threatening to cut off his circulation, I get one foot on the bar. While trying to erase the awareness of what was now 200 metres of space between me and the ground, I hear him tell me to push down on the bar. For some reason I have to push very hard and as soon as I do this, I hang horizontal. It occurs to me that he has been in that position since we took off. What he was doing as we went into space was a blur. The parameters of my zone of perspective was the ground and the tenuous unit of my poor fragile body and the structure above my head - with nothing else occupying that zone. I can easily get my other foot on the bar. Now I feel happier.
“This thing is really going to stay up” I say to myself. “It is a controlled situation”. Pulse rate normal. My pilot asks me how I feel and I tell him that I could be sitting in my lounge room for all the fear I felt. He then asks me to try to relax a bit as the wobble in my legs was unsettling him. Even though I saw my pilot hook me up and take several seconds checking the connections when we launched, all I wanted to do was hang onto him. It took me some time to become convinced that the hook from between my shoulder blades and the glider was really there and would carry all my weight. The more conscious I became of the reality of the hook, the more I let myself hang as a dead weight off it.
The wobble had just left when I became aware of a genuine danger. There were about 8 gliders up, so I diplomatically suggested to the pilot that he should keep a sharp eye out - to which he assured me that he was constantly aware of the location of all gliders in our area. One passed about 40 metres away and the turbulence we felt was surprising. Collisions probably never happen as that would require both pilots not to be concentrating and the manoeuvrability of a hang glider probably cannot be matched.
He asked me if I was prepared for a sudden drop. My response was that I had paid $110 to get up, so I wanted the works. A dream I once had had me hurtling down in a lift with a broken cable. The sudden drop experience happens so fast I, thankfully, did not relive the dream. It was over before I realised it was happening. I was all confidence now.
I had also paid $25 to have 5 photos taken. One was to have my head in it which required my head and his head to be as far apart as possible. With me almost tipping the glider over to the left, his hand came off the control bar as he appeared to get into an awful contortion to get me at a photograph-able distance. My newfound confidence vanished as for a moment I felt we were in crashable mode. For all his efforts the picture turned out to be a dud.
After 45 minutes I was getting a bit bored as only the pilot has the bird feel envied by man for thousands of years. One has to go up alone for the real experience. It was the historical significance of joining the birds that interested me more than the views or the dare. In a way the hang glider can be seen as being of more historical significance than the aeroplane. It rates with the aqualung which allows man to experience the world of the fish. I can easily understand why piloting a glider can become an addiction but just going along for the ride could not. I was glad when he announced that I should prepare for landing.
We started a slow spiral down towards the beach. I saw a glider pilot seem to ram into the sand below and my pilot assured me that our landing would be more skilful than that. He told me to get out of the stirrup and let my legs hang. The launch and the spiral down are the highlights for the passenger as in between the passenger feels a bit like luggage. As we got about 3 metres from the sand it seemed to be racing by under my feet at a great rate. Then the pilot tilted back and we were standing on the sand as if some giant hand had simply placed us there.
I had been watching gliders from Bald Hill pass over my roof at Stanwell Park for years and promised myself that one day I would give it a go. I got the push I needed when a friend of mine was given a prepaid glide as a birthday present. So I made an open booking as it is difficult to pick a day when the wind is right. I am sure many arrive only to have to go home again due to' winds being too light or blowing out to sea. I was home when my pilot rang me three days after I had made the open booking and asked me to meet him at Bald Hill in 10 minutes.
I thought $110 for 45 minutes was fairly easy money for him but about 45 minutes is spent in preparation and another 45 minutes packing up for the trip from the beach up to the top again. Commercial gliders are replaced every two years - and they cost about $5000. Then there are all those times when the wind is not right and their business lies idle. Was it worth the money? Yes. Would I go up again? No. I would recommend para gliding rather than hang gliding. The passenger appears to be in a more comfortable seated position and has a wider view. They can also go up in lighter winds so there is less chance of a wasted trip down to Bald Hill.
The muscular tension the novice feels when hang gliding is probably due to using muscles in an unusual way rather than anxiety. One has the same experience when snow skiing for the first time hangliding and para gliding is an almost totally controlled situation - which driving to and from the site of the glide is not. Accidents are very rare now that learners have to be enrolled in a recognised course with the object of gaining a licence. About 2 years ago a glider dropped into the sea off Stanwell Park. The pilot was lucky somebody saw it happen and she was duly rescued.
Lamington National Park walks from 7th to 15th September 1996
Several camp sites have been booked in Jan Mohandas's name. Participants should contact the ranger at the Lamington National Park, Green Mountains (Tel 075 440634, office hours 1.00- 3.30pm) and arrange to pay and obtain permits to camp near O'Reilleys. The cost is $3 per night per person. The permits must be attached to a post at every campsite for the ranger to see. The camp sites are big enough to hold 2 or 3 small tents or one large tent. Facilities are available nearby including hot showers. Gas stoves, lights, folding tables and chairs are worthwhile taking.
Jan Mohandas has planned to reach the camping area near O'Reilleys on Saturday, 7th September morning and depart on the following Saturday, 14th September afternoon to go to camp near Mt Warning in order to do that climb on Sunday morning before heading for Sydney. Further details can be obtained from Jan Mohandas.
The May 1996 General Meeting
by Barry Wallis
If you were there before 2015 you might have seen the president call the 20 or so members present to order and begin the meeting. There were also apologies from Michelle Powel and Bill and Fran Holland and new member Lucy Moore was welcomed into membership in the usual way.
The minutes of the April general meeting were read and received. The only matter arising was a note that NPWS, South Metropolitan Area are undertaking a review of toilet facilities in parks under their control. It is unclear whether that is related in any way to our letter regarding Werrong Beach.
Correspondence covered letters out from Alex Colley as Conservation Secretary to NPWS, in from NPWS acknowledging our letters, in from Newcastle Bushwalkers asking for information on procedures for care of abseiling equipment, in from Elwyn Morris commenting on grading problems for programmed walks and a notice regarding the Forest Parks countdown.
The treasurer reported that we acquired income of $6,509, spent a measly $611 and closed with a balance of $8,927.
Greg Bridge's Saturday walk out from Canons Farm on 13 April led off the report of the walks for the month on a weekend populated entirely by day walks. There were 13 on the walk, which went to program. Morag Ryder's scheduled walk to Grand Canyon the same day was cancelled. Sunday saw no report for both David Trinder's Mount Solitary walk and Sandy Johnson's Kuring-Gai Chase trip. Geoff Dowsett reported 20 on his Greenwich to Hunters Hill Heritage tour on a delightful day.
The weekend of 20, 21 April was similarly bereft of weekend walks. Peter Kaye led 20 on a car shuffle based trip from Wentworth Falls to Katoomba on the Saturday. They ended the walk at about 1700 in a beautiful sunset. There was no report of Frank Sandor's Middle Harbour walk the same day. Ron Watters led a party of 22 on his walk in the Megalong on the Sunday in conditions that turned out to be warmer and dryer than expected.
May General Meeting
There was mention of Roger Brown on a flying visit from the U.K. and prospective named Lucy Sullivan. Lucy is a readmitted full member. There seems to be some confusion there. Maurie Bloom's cycling trip on the Sunday went but there were no details. Eddie Giacomel led 16 on his Sunday walk in the Megalong Valley.
Anzac Weekend saw the return of weekend walks to the program. Jim Rivers led a party Of 7, on his Morton NP walk. The diligent among you will have read the account that appeared in the previous magazine. For those who didn't, or the condensed book lovers out there, the walk was severely rerouted due to certain car problems of an inverse nature. The weather was good however. Tony Holgate had 9 on his walk in the Deua NP. They enjoyed it all so much they stayed out Sunday evening as well. John Hogan sort of combined his Kanangra walk with Paul McCann's Oxley Wild Rivers NP trip. There were 5 on the trip and John provided an extensive report. Editor please note! Nancye Alderson conducted a party of 7 on her Saturday walk around the vestiges of the greater Hydro Majestic Complex and Geoff Dowsett led a host of 31 on his walk in the Wattagans on Sunday.
The weekend of May 3, 4, 5 saw Tom Wenman and Ken Smith cancel their Kanangra to Katoomba walks on what turned out to be a wet weekend following a wet week. Ken hitched a ride with Tom out to The Golden Stairs and set off with a party reduced to 4 to do a walk of some sort at 2230 on the Friday evening. On Saturday they passed through Mobbs Soak, briefly visiting a school group who were attempting to dry out in the cave, and went out to Splendour Rock. On Sunday they went down Yellow Pup ridge to the river which they found to be in flood. At about there they called it a day, and returned to Katoomba. Dennis Morgan and Shiela Speter cancelled their hot air balloon trip due to weather conditions and Peter Miller had already postponed his Berowra walk to go on the hot air balloon trip. Maureen Carter led a party of 7 on her Romp in the Royal on the Saturday. It turned out to be a long, wet day with leeches aplenty. Don Brooks had 12 on his Sunday walk out from Woodford in similar conditions. They rerouted the trip to avoid Wilsons Glen and lunched early in a cave to avoid the unpleasantness of lumbar trickles while masticating. Margaret Read cancelled her Brisbane Waters NP trip the same day.
Conservation report indicated that the forest peace process is still in progress. It's all getting down to the fate of the high conservation value forest areas, left in the “too hard” basket until last. The NSW government is assessing a further eight wilderness areas. The meeting unanimously agreed to write to the government supporting their actions on wilderness areas. There was a report from the body of the meeting of a horseriding party setting out into the park from Kanangra Walls on Easter Friday morning.
Confederation report indicated that stories of vandalism at Bluegum have been exaggerated. It appears the damage was confined to the area near the Acacia Flat camping area. Confederation are to establish a home page on the internet. There have been further protests about the number of cattle being encountered on the Kowrnung River. There is a possibility that NPWS will request that park users provide advance notice of:
(a)Abseiling parties of more than 10 persons and, (b) Walking parties of more than 20 persons.
General business saw advice that Peter Miller has agreed to act as convenor for the 70th anniversary celebrations. Peter is open to ideas from all corners so don't hold back and complain later.
After that it was just a matter of the announcements and the meeting closed at 2131.
Walk in Kakadu
by John Hogan
The good news is that by the time you read this report I will probably be working as a tour guide in Cairns! I am very excited about the prospects as I will be primarily working with a company who specialises in adventure tours - perfect!
However this means that the trip had booked on in Kakadu will be out of the question. So rather than pass it up altogether I would prefer to offer it to another member at a discount.
The trip commences on July 14 and runs for 2 weeks.
The first week takes in Barramundi Gorge. This is one of the few Kakadu creeks which flows all year around. There is an area of rain forest and several large pools and waterfalls.
The second week you will do Graveside, and Surprise. This combines the magic of spectacular views with sparkling falls and a visit to a gorge which you are unable to visit on any other trip.
The trip is being conducted by Willis's Walkabouts and 4 other SBW members are booked on the walk.
If you are interested please contact me through my brother, Brian on 757 3715 or 725 1890 or contact Jo Robertson on 9922 2648.
We will be 70 years young in 1997
Next year the Sydney Bushwalkers celebrates its seventieth birthday and now is the time to start planning for the big event.
A committee is being formed and volunteers are required to make up a group of about six who will take up the task of making the celebrations a big success.
If you would like to be on the committee please ring on the number shown below.
If you have way suggestions as to what form the celebrations should take please ring. Don't wait until the last minute and say we should have done this or that instead of that or this - the committee needs your input as soon as possible so please ring NOW.
Some of the ideas that may have to be considered are listed here and could help to jog your brain for other suggestions. They are not listed in any order of importance but are just ideas at this stage.
Dinner dance (where - what kind of music?)
Commemorative walk (where to, how far, should it be 70 kms?)
Longest time as members (do we still have any foundation members still alive?)
Update of the 60 anniversary book.
Contact with ex members who might like to attend the celebrations.
How do we estimate numbers for the various events?
What are members willing to pay for a dinner dance?
All ideas are welcome.
Please ring Peter Miller on 456 5326 (home after 7pm or at weekends)
New Members Admitted First Quarter 1996
|Name||Address||Home Phone||Bus Phone|
|Mr Nuri Chorvat||85 Dumfries Ave Mt Ousley 2519||(042) 296746||(042) 757850|
|Mr William Midson||1/67 Ryde Rd Hunters Hill 2110||817 1974||9926 8182|
|Mr Chris Miller||PO Box 1615 Crows Nest||2065 9955 1547||9901 1533|
|Mr Paul Veltman||16 Fern St Randwick 2031||664 2929||248 4126|
Due to one of those types of errors that have been made possible by the use of computers (incorrect file selected for formatting and printing) the list of members produced at the end of last year did not include changes made during December. The following members admitted during December should have been included. My thanks to Jan Roberts for pointing out the omission.
|Name||Address||Ph. Home||Ph. Bus|
|Ms Margaret Carey||21 Warrowa Ave West Pymble 2073||449 8733||9955 0777|
|Mrs Maree Davidson||9 Kink St Turramurra 2074||449 2378||449 8844|
|Mr lain Davidson||GPO Box 1360 Sydney 2001||449 2378||449 8844|
|Ms Susan Garland||12/271 Sailors Bay Rd Northbridge 2063||9969 3153||321 1153|
|Ms Penelope Morse||1/390 Miller St Cammeray 2060||9958 8891||9934 3433|
|Mr David Peet||105 Ocean St Narrabeen 2101||9964 9061||9995 7878|
|Mr John Pozniac||9 Bath St Thirroul 2515||(042) 9912 2701||(042) 240 5277|
|Mr Hal Pratt||19/345 Victoria P1 Drummoyne 2047||675 179||675 179|
|Mrs Kate Raffle||19/345 Victoria Pi Drummoyne 2047||815 075||694 5601|
|Mr Bill Raffle||6/120 Blues Point Rd Mcmahons Point 2060||815 075||335 7482|
|Ms Debbie Tong||9922 4084||869 2200|
Barry Wallace Hon. Membership Sec.
WEEKEND WALK CHANGE
BLUE MOUNTAINS BLUDGE TRIP AUGUST 17/18 changed to AUGUST 23,24,25. Since this weekend clashes with two others - Jan Roberts' winery tour and weed clearing at Coolana - it will be postponed to the following weekend, and start on Friday evening. It could be combined with Morag's Glenbrook walk on Saturday 24th and Geoff's Narrow Neck one on Saturday 25th, for those not wanting to do mine - Elwyn Morris.
IGNORED BY THE RIVER CAT
Anyone counting on any river cat at the end of a walk, be warned that when it is 'full' i e. has the maximum number of passengers allowed on it, it flashes right past all the wharves it's supposed to stop at e.g. Gladesville. Neither the timetables nor ferry inquiries warn you about this.
- Elwyn Morris
- by Elwyn Morris On twisting my knee and making it worse on an 'easy' SBW walk on the eroded, log-strewn Kuring-gai to Apple Tree Bay track, I went to the much-recommended North Sydney Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Centre. There I was told (for $70, with $35 back) by a GP specialising in such injuries, that it was probably a cartilage injury. If anti-inflammatories didn't work within ten days, I may need an arthroscopy costing $1,600.
By sheer luck I was referred by my GP to an older orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in knees, Dr N Thomson at Lane Cove. He said it definitely wasn't cartilage, but bruising of the ligament and bone. An arthroscopy at my age could result after 13 or 18 months in a permanent knee problem. It was always a last resort. His main prescription was swimming - and no bushwalking for some months.
In Your Memories
by Jim Brown
Your memories? Oh, yes, for they are almost all that is left to some worn out old bushwalkers like myself. At least in my case they are rich and rewarding memories.
In the S.M. Herald of Saturday, 20th April, there was an article complete with a large photograph of President Tony Holgate spread-eagled -over a jutting boulder in a newly discovered canyon around Mount Coricudgy.
“Coricudgy” - the name rang a bell in my memories. Mount Coricudgy, 1256 imetres, is one of those volcanic residuals that dot the northern Blue Mountains. It stands at an interesting elbow in the Great Dividing Range, about 35 - 40 km by bush road east of Rylstone. Water draining off Coricudgy towards the north-west, north and north-east flows into the Hunter system. The drainage towards south and south-east goes into Wollomi Creek, thence to the Colo and Hawkesbury Catchment, while streams flowing from Coricudgy towards west and south-west enter the Cudgegong River and so ultimately to the Macquarie and inland to the Murray Darling Rivers.
I was first introduced to the region during a “walk on the wild side” organised by Alex Colley back in June 1953. “We” included the late Ray Kirkby, Ira Butler, Alex and myself - I was “the boy” of the party at 35 years of age. Starting at Putty, just off the Windsor-Singleton road, we went up onto the Hunter range, which separates the Hunter River system from waters draining to the Colo-Hawkesbury. Topping this divide at Mount Kinderun, we headed west along a devious ridge that led to Monundilla, thence south-west to the Kekeelbon Peaks and on to Corigudgy, itself on the Great Dividing Range.
Looking out from the shoulders of Corigudgy, where a sawmill was still operating but closed down a few years later, we saw a wild and wonderful landscape of ridges and valleys, some farm land and a number of abrupt hill-tops crowned with conical rocky peaks. I knew instantly I would have to come back and rub my nose on it.
Our 1953 trip continued south to Gosper's Mountain. (then, usually called “Uratera”) and out along a rather obscure ridge with a rough stock trail in some places to reach Mount Wirraba, then down into Wollemi Creek and so back to Putty. The whole trip took about a week, but because Q.E.II had her Coronation at that time, we needed only four days leave from our work places.
Over a spread of some 25 years I did come back and prowl around the area first sighted from Coricudgy. Some of these walks I can still recall fairly precisely with the aid of the modern 1:25000 maps now available. Others, I'm afraid, are a bit fuzzy in my memory, but it doesn't stop me conjuring up snippets of the more spectacular spots. Sometimes I find I can make erroneous assumptions - such as when I saw the recent “Herald” story about the newly found ravine and because it referred to “Coricudgy” ( the journalist spelled it “Corucudgi”) I assumed it was in the headwaters of Coricudgy Creek, flowing west and north-west to Widdin Brook and so to the Hunter. Only after talking on the phone to Tony did I discover it is one of the valleys south-east of the mountain, and goes out to Wollemi Creek. This explains why I had no inkling of its existence - I had walked in parts of north-west flowing creek, but not at all in its south-eastern valleys.
There is one jaunt in the region covered by a written account in our magazines (in 1964), so I can recreate that readily enough. I started on Nullo Mountain where I left my wheels before dropping into Never Never Creek, passing over some farmland, going over the saddle between two of the abrupt cone shaped hills, Mt Kelgoola and Mt Miderulla, to pick up the earth road coming out from Rylstone and leading up onto Coricudgy.
Arriving near nightfall on a stinking hot evening, I had a rather disturbed night. Waking about midnight I looked out through the top of my little tent at a series of red eyes - sundry bushfires at distances I couldn't assess. In the morning heavy cloud and a little drizzle reducing the fires to a smoky environment. I was working by the only map of the area I could find - the Singleton “Strategic” map on a scale of 1:250,000 - one tenth the scale of present maps and about 4 miles to the inch.
My intended way was to the north and north-east to the companion peak of Coriaday - another of the dramatic cone tops. I kept on finding bits of trail - probably a relic of the sawmills activity, but finally made it to Coriaday - a disappointment - too much vegetation around the summit to take any photographs of the immense blue vista out towards the Hunter valley.
Now what I wanted to do was find a way out along the ridge and down into Widdin Brook. On the eastern side of Coriaday I was lured by another of these elusive old trails, which led out to a cliffline looking down into Blackwater Creek .. but it looked highly doubtful that I could get down into that stream, and if I did I would be a long way upstream from Widdin. I doubled back to spend another troubled night on the shoulder of Coriaday wondering how to get out.
Next day I looked at my wretchedly inadequate map and began to grope my solitary path along a sprawling trackless ridge leading at first north and then a shadewWest of north. Fortunately the vegetation wasn't too thick, so I made reasonable progress despite heatwave conditions. About 11.00 there was a dramatic view west over the Widdin Valley. I went to photograph it and found the film in the camera had buckled in the heat and couldn't be advanced. (Later, when I tried to clear the stoppage with the open camera in my sleeping bag and at night) the overheated film snapped and I lost the lot.
At least my ridge treated me decently, led to a small cliff I could out-flank, down into a creek with ample clean water, dense tree shade, and only one hour leisurely march down to the main stream of Widdin Brook, upstream of the last, occupied property. I camped that night several miles up Widdin, at a place where I thought I could see a possible, outlet on the western (Nullo) side.
On the last morning of this venture I went up a good ridge to a cliffline, decided it was a “no-go”with my totally missing capacity for rock-climbing, but then saw the parallel “Hool-'em-boy” Creek, which brought me without effort onto a saddle, not far from the south-west shoulders of Nullo Mountain. I was home in Sydney that night to find that my four days in the wild had recorded maximum temperatures (in Sydney) ranging from 28C to 39C. What it was east of Mudgee can only guess.
Half a dozen times since I have been tempted back to this marvellous wild place, including two walks to the scenic crown of Mount Pomany. At least once, on a vantage point overlooking a densely forested valley on a hot day, I was aware of a strong pine fragrance in the almost still air. Did I smell the recently, discovered “Wollomi Pine” - or was it just one of our other native conifers, some of which favour rain forest habitat? Obviously I'll never go back to those places.
Some seven or eight years ago, following a year in which the Club's walks programs had featured quite a handsome collection of trips in the Colo River area, I wrote a sketch to be played at the Reunion camp-fire, called it “Colorific” and included the words (to be sung to the tune of “Red River Valley”) - You'll remember the wild Colo Valley You'll remember that you battled on You'll remember the scrub and the sallee When a lot of your memories are gone… In your memories one day you will reassure When you walked out Culoul in the rain. For the rough ones can give us strange pleasure And you'll wish you could do it again.
(“Walked out Culcoul” – The Culoul Range, leading west from the Singleton road, was one of the more commonly used routes into the Colo Gorge)
I allocated the “remember” song to a valued friend, and one of my “Club daughters”. I knew she had walked out Culoul in the rain on one Friday night start, as I had done but in daylight some years before. I thought her clear, pleasant voice may convey the trace of poignancy I'd felt when setting down the words. Barbara Bruce did it perfectly.
So, all you people coming to join us, don't be too dismayed if you strike a few rough trips. The day might come when you treasure that “walk on the wild side” and wish you could do it again.
A Winter Reminder
Exposure (climatic hypothermia)
Hypothermia is the condition associated with lowered body core temperature, following subjection of the body to climatic conditions which cause severe chilling of the body surface (exposure). The body core is the brain, heart, lungs; these organs cannot function (and you die) if their temperature falls too low. Hypothermia, like shock, is far easier to prevent than to treat. Death as a result of hypothermia is not an accident.
Prevention of exposure
This depends on sound planning, adequate training, appropriate clothing, appropriate equipment and thorough. preparation before the trip.
Be prepared for bad weather conditions whatever the length of the trip, and pack accordingly. You must take waterproof and windproof outer clothing, and woollen clothes, mittens and balaclava. You should be aware of the need to put on extra clothing when necessary. Ideally, when clothed for extremes of cold in wet and windy conditions, only the face should be exposed. Remember that up to one third of the body's total heat loss can be through an unprotected head.
Be prepared to make camp early in bad weather, or if lost or benighted. Do not try to push on. Exhaustion can be fatal. It is time to stop when any member of your party is seriously fatigued. Each party member should carry an emergency groundsheet or bivvy bag - it could save their life.
Six Foot Track Walk on 31st August 1996
Jan Mohandas has been able to organise one night accommodation at the Jenolan house for the walkers and helpers on 31st August 1996. It is different from the previous occasions and will cost only $23 per person per night in rooms with 4 or 6 beds. This backpacker type accommodation at the Gatehouse in Jenolan House Complex is quite adequate. However this accommodation will only be available if the booking is done before 30th June 1996. Those who are interested should immediately contact the Jenolan House (Tel: 063 59 3304; fax 063 59 3227) and book and pay. The group booking has been done in the name of Sydney Bushwalkers.
With regard to the group dinner, those who are interested should contact Jan in order to organise that and the cost would be $35.00 per person. There is now a bistro opened for coffee, other drinks and meals. It is also quite good and for this no booking is necessary, Those who like to enjoy the delightful breakfast can now do so without booking.
From The Clubrooms
Jan Roberts tenders her apologies to her many avid readers for this months omission.
I believe it's due to heavy pressure being applied by persons with more clout than me. Ed
REMOTE AREA FIRST AID COURSE
There was so much interest in this advanced first aid course that we have scheduled two courses for this year. The first will be held in late June (bookings closed) but we still have vacancies for the second course scheduled for 24th/25th August.
Remote area first aid is a more advanced course for those who already 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. It will be conducted as a weekend residential course with instruction conducted by Allen Donnelly, an accredited St Johns instructor. The cost is $65 and a deposit of $20 will be required with the booking.
As numbers for the August course will be limited, early bookings are advisable. Phone me on 484 6636. Bill Holland
Hymn Of Hate
Oh, how I hate the race of packs!
I'd like to hit mine with an axe.
I'd like to bust it right in two,
Or beat it till it's black and blue!
I'd like to fling it in the sea,
Or jump upon it savagely!
How dare it sit and mock at me,
Knowing that it must carried be?
How dare it grin, with beastly bulge,
And naught but ribald mirth divulge?
And does it feed upon the air,
That it grows daily heavier?
Or slyly suck my puny strength,
And take my breath, and leave but length?
Just watch it try to break my neck.
Using me as a landing-deck!
Pompous pincushion! Loathsome lump!
I vow you ne'er again I'll hump
Grace Edgecombe - SBW July 1938