Table of Contents
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||Patrick James 5/2 Hardie Street Neutral Bay 2089 Telephone 9904 1515|
|Business Manager||Elizabeth Miller 1 The Babette, Castlecrag, 2068 Telephone 9958 7838|
|Production Manager||Frances Holland|
|Printers||Kenn Clacher, Tom Wenman, Barrie Murdoch, Margaret Niven & Les Powell|
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.
|Public Officer||Fran Holland|
|Walks Secretary||Bill Capon|
|Social Secretary||Peter Dalton|
|Membership Secretary||Barry Wallace|
|New Members Secretary||Jennifer Giacomel|
|Conservation Secretary||Bill Holland|
|Magazine Editor||Patrick James|
|Committee Members||Elwyn Morris & Louise Verdon|
|Delegates to Confederation||Jim Callaway & Ken Smith|
May 1998 Issue, No. 762:
|Letters and Announcements||2|
|Conquest of Le Mont du Pont by Bunny Black (Senior)||4|
|Short Notes, Position Vacant||7|
|Ode to-the Unknown Prospective by Andrew Vilder||9|
|Trek Nu Zilund by Frank Davis||11|
|April General Meeting by Barry Wallace||12|
|Footnotes by Patrick James||14|
|Instructions for Authors and Contributors|
P 3 Eastwood Camping Centre
P 8 Alpsports
P 13 Willis's Walkabouts
Back Cover Paddy Pallin
Letters and Announcements
Dear Mr Editor - You were good to me in my time of need; indeed you were one of the first to visit me in hospital. Therefore I hope you will feel justly rewarded by my sending you this article in response to (y)our need. It's not a big article mind, but lots of little bits added together can make a big bit.
In the general scale of things Errol Sheedy's daywalk from Waterfall to Heathcote on Sunday, 26 April could not be called remarkable, even if the day was quite perfect for such a walk - coolish but sunny - and the 12 people aboard were a good, friendly blend of prospectives and members.
The one factor which does make it remarkable is that Errol had in the group three members who were venturing on their first walk since various kinds of surgery. Geoff Macintosh has been out of sorts since a recent gall bladder removal, Maurice Smith had topped six months of great discomfort with an expensive arthroscopic vacuum clean of his ankle joint and I was enjoying the repair of my broken tibia and fibula.
It certainly felt good to be out in the bush again, enjoying its earthy scents and its rain refreshed sights; there's nothing like an enforced absence for making an experience all the more heartfelt.
At this point I would like to send a cheerio to two other members who I have heard are not well at the moment - Bill Capon and Gordon Lee. Under the circumstances I’ll refrain from making any cutting remarks, as of old, and instead declare that I hope you both make a quick return to vibrant health. You were discussed with affection on our walk.
So my thanks to Errol for leading us today. This trip was even more therapeutic than usual, but I bet it won't be long before I'm taking it all for granted again!
It has been brought to my attention that the March issue of your magazine stated that I, Cindy Holland, was the Club Archivist. Sir, you are barking up the wrong tree if you think that I will look after your old papers. Make no bones about it. I'll be dog-gone if I am expected to bury your old files. Fur will fly when my solicitors, Dogsbody & Co take out a restraining order on your club. Please scratch me from your list of office holders.
Oops, I could be in the doghouse over this error but I'm sure Cindy's bark is worse than her bite. We still need archivist, see Footnotes. Editor
I seek up to 6 companions for a trek in Western Nepal (Dolpo) leaving Sydney on November 5, 1998 and returning on December 8. The Dolpo is a rarely visited and relatively unspoiled area. The trek will take 23 days and will be of medium/easy grade with the highest pass at 5,200 meters. The cost including air fares will be approximately $A 3,500 - 4,000. Please contact me for details on 9439 1463 (home). Sev Sternhell
SIX FOOT TRACK : Saturday September 5
Katoomba to Jenolan Caves. Walk the historic Six Foot Track in one day. Stay at Jenolan Caves House on Saturday night. Join your friends for a group dinner that night. Walk starts at 6.30 a.m. sharp on Saturday from Explorers Tree. Must carry 2 litres (min.) of drinking water. Helpers very welcome, we need your support to help continue this tradition. Grade: Hard 46 km
Tony Crichton 9821 9597 (w) 9872 7195 (h)
SIX FOOT TRACK ACCOMMODATION Please book and pay deposit direct to Caves House Tel. (02) 6359 3322. Important: quote appropriate code below when booking.
Description: Code Total Cost
Twin share room: DB SBTDBB $98.00 P.P (1)
Bunk Room: SBBDBB $78.00 P.P (2)
(1) Accomm. $48 Dinner $35 Breakfast $15
(2) Accomm. $28 Dinner $35 Breakfast $15
Conquest of le Mont du Pont
by Le vieux Lapin Noir
As Geoffrey Winthrop Young wrote: However well known the peak, or the line of ascent, no mountain story need ever repeat itself, or seem monotonous. Both mountain surface and the mountain climber vary from year to year, even from day to day.
The first ascent of Le Mont, made at night via the upper ridge route, was recorded by the then editor of The Sydney Bushwalker, Don Matthews, in the February 1962 issue. Don noted that “Most of our readers will have read of the Schmid Brothers, who climbed, amongst other things, the North Face of the Matterhorn. Recently we discovered a yellowing manuscript, its blue ink blackened with age. It claimed to be the writing of the brothers Boltschundt, who, we suppose are famous European climbers, and it describes a perilous alpine ascent. What a tale of adventure! What a battle against insuperable odds!”
A foreword describes the features of Le Mont as “An eternally frozen mountain of black ice rising straight from sea level. There are two ridge routes - the upper and the lower. In order to gain access to the upper route, two huge overhanging ice seracs must be by-passed. Exciting vertical chimney climbs are possible between these above two routes. The lower regions between North and South ends of the mountain are continually raked by fast-travelling horizontal missiles in the Chute. These missiles are all lethal. Gendarmes can present a serious problem to newcomers who approach it via the terraces.”
One of the Brothers Boltschundt gave this account of their ascent: A chill wind blew as we hurried along the route to the terrace, clad in the guise of normal people. Here we found ample supplies of quick-setting concrete. Being of uncontaminated principles we decided unanimously against the use of concrete steps as an artificial climbing aid; our honour and good name was at stake! Our plan was simple. Once on the terrace, we would hurry past the Southern Pillars and between valleys of fast-travelling horizontal missiles, we would leap up onto the ramp, pendulum above the overhang, and quickly gain a safe height.
This movement went off without a hitch. Although at any moment we expected to face the unpleasant situation of negotiating a gendarme or an alternative swift retreat. This latter obstacle was our main concern. Its appearance would mean abandoning the Summit attempt. Self preservation was top priority, as on all important expeditions! On the ramp our movements became sure and steady - one false step meant death or worse. There could not - there would not be a second attempt!
We did a delicate traverse on the other side of the ramp and commenced the vertical ascent of the 'flat-iron.' We had gained the top of the ridge. Here, the cold was unbearable. Our ice-picks were useless on this wicked-looking ice. Carefully we picked our way along the ridge - one false step would plunge us to the watery depths below. At last we stood on the top of the upper ridge. Success was almost ours! All that remained was the overhanging pinnacle.
I gazed down on my frozen fingers. Was it worth the sacrifice of these? I gritted my teeth, mentally fighting the cold. With a swift decisive movement I swallowed another P.K. and advanced. My companion anxiously watched as I made my way over the overhang. One finger, then two, slowly made a grip of the needle-like holds. Then a slip! Momentarily I dangled over space, but the jolt caught my trusty pair of “Police & Firemen's” and on the rebound I was catapulted to the top of the pinnacle. The traditional summit photograph was taken and my cup of joy flowed over as I gazed down on the lights of the little village below.
We were not daunted by the terms “extremists” or “Miserable gymnasts” - our thoughts turned then to men like Harrer, Aufschmiter. They too, had known similar moments. Suddenly my mind cleared as I gazed with pity at my poor companion. My own hands were living once more, but he was deliriously beating his fingers endeavouring to restore circulation. We had to get down, so I forcefully persuaded my companion to begin.
The ramp was attempted in a startling glissade - again our ice picks were of no avail. Near the bottom of the ramp I gazed upwards at one of the vertical pillars of the ridge. Exhilarated, I shot upwards hand over hand - only for practice. My companion stood on the terrace, obviously mentally and physically unbalanced. I retraced my steps - comradeship before solo climbs……Swinging on the icicles of the overhang I caught my trousers. As I pendulumed upside down suspended by my F.J.'s I experienced a nasty sensation. A movement out of the corner of my eye gave me the impression that I was swinging straight across to a gendarme. It was only our third valiant member who was holding the precious contents of the rucksacks against gale-force updrafts. “Oh cruel vision, how deceptive thou art in the cloak of night.”
A quick retreat across the chute and I had joined my companions. An hour later and we were sipping brew in a little known cafe. Intoxicated with success we fixed our steely gaze on the proprietor and thawed our frozen hands on the steaming jug as we sang “The Mountaineering Song.”
A second ascent was accomplished, via the upper ridge route, by the intrepid Mademoiselle Anglais in 1932. From the summit she had an unimpeded view of an historic spectacle. On that day the missiles had been diverted from the chute. A ribbon was stretched across it. Gendarmes, soldats and cavalerie were lined up on the approach to the ribbon and next it stood a tall gentleman clasping a pair of scissors. As he was about to cut the ribbon a gallant captain galloped up, sword in hand, and slashed it apart. He was escorted away by the gendarmes.
Another successful ascent was reported by Lyre Bird in The Sydney Bushwalker: Garth Coulter and Peter Stitt organised the transport and our expedition set out. We journeyed ever towards the north. At one of the native encampments we surprised some animals of the genus Felis scavenging amongst the native middens. We marvelled at their apparent tameness but did not disturb them. Small, rodent-like animals were also in evidence.
As our party proceeded, sudden rain sheeted down, but except that it made us slightly uneasy about our prospects, it failed to dampen our determination.
Leaving behind us at last the mundane traffic and somewhat squalid dwellings of the natives, we wound through the foothills and established base camp in a grassy area among trees. To the west, between us and a great drop-away into space, was a rounded hill supporting some magnificent specimens of giant Ficus, their broad, glossy green leaves making a dense canopy over the thick branches, contoured strangely like human limbs and torsos.
On the east we were sheltered by a great white wall, practically vertical. To the north soared our objective flanked by two great symmetrical bastions of granite.
Canada may have its Rockies; Switzerland may have its Alps; these mountains, cold remote and antiseptic, are all inland, far removed from the wild tang of the ocean whose salt is the very blood of all Sydneysiders. As we gazed at our Heart's Desire we felt that here, for us, was the answer to the mountaineer's dream - a magnificent challenge, its feet actually bathed by the bottle-green waters of the Pacific while its summit soared above us into the night - mysterious depths of ocean below, and equally mysterious heights of sky above, not to mention great chunks of mysterious mystery all the way up to the summit, and the same again, no doubt, down the other side. As Snow Brown I think it was, so aptly put it on a previous occasion, “The mysteriousness of it sorta gets you in.”
Almost always, when mountaineering, before the climbing actually begins, you find yourself obliged to plug for miles up a glacier flanked with rather monotonous grey mounds of lateral moraine. The moist air beaded our hair and eyebrows with tiny white droplets as we plugged along the curved sweep, the walls on either side shining with a grey metallic gleam. And so to the base of the climb.
“Forward! Onward! and Upward!” cried Colin Putt. “When danger threatens and adventure calls only the pedestrian fool would fail to heed. Excelsior! It's all yours; I'll wait for you down here.”
So Pete and Garth and Nobby and I hitched up our pants and tucked our whatnots into our underbelows respectively and prepared to climb the first obstacle. Suddenly, with the thunderous roar of an avalanche, a hissing screaming death from the darkness bore down towards us. A great blast of wind engulfed us, our ears were filled with a deafening clatter, then the noise gradually diminished as this harbinger of death disappeared into some dark crevasse or underground cave.
We peered into the murk of night, as black as the backside of the moon, listening intently for any further hint of danger, then took our courage in both hands and made swift individual dashes over the avalanche chute to relative safety.
Now the climbing really began. We surmounted the first obstacle with some difficulty - real toe and finger work of a spiky unpleasant nature, but once surmounted we found ourselves on a veritable stairway, wet and slippery, but nevertheless a stairway. This led us to the first terrace, so to speak.
I realised the two other occasions I had been on this climb. One with Geoff Wagg and Ross Wyborn, the latter unsuitably clad in dancing pumps - Geoff and I had waylaid him for a brief workout to improve his dancing steps. He was at great pains to keep his foot wear free of scratches, but didn't succeed. “Serves him right” said Colin, “I have no patience with bushwalkers who go around masquerading as citizens.” With which sentiments all, including Rosso, concurred.
On this occasion we found ourselves trapped at the beginning of the summit sweep by an impassable obstacle which would have necessitated an unjustifiably risky traverse over a great space filled with nothingness, or, alternatively, a return to the base of the climb and the choosing of another route, which time did not permit if Rosso's social life was to remain unshattered, so we called it a glorious failure and postponed our attempt.
On the other occasion our party had done a complete traverse and come down the northern arrete. Snow was ecstatic. “Gee, Colin would like this,” he burbled happily, “No filthy vegetation. This is about the first climb I've been on where there's been no waste rabbit food to clutter up the prospect!”
Here we were again. The lie of the terrain now necessitated a bit of extremely steep upward progression, dark and windy and exposed, then the long sweep to the summit began.
How can one best describe that glorious ascent? The sense of depth and space all around us, accentuated by the moonless night so that we felt that if we stepped either to right or left of the narrow arrete we were on, we should surely be walking on air.
At one place a dark rectangular obstacle caused us some concern. We thought it wisest to detour out on the grey slabs, fingers scrabbling over a scattering of nobbly handholds. It is strange how the mind, in times of stress, turns to extraneous subjects, as if unwilling to acknowledge the existence of the obstacle confronting it - I distinctly remember at this stage Pete and Nobby were engrossed in a discussion on electronic eyes, to which Garth lent an attentive ear.
There were no further obstacles as we followed the beautiful curve and sweep to the summit. “Gee, this is crack on,” cried Garth enthusiastically. Although there was no moon, there was sufficient light from the stars to give visibility. “Gee, this is colossal,” said Garth. “This is mighty!” Away to the east the ocean stretched, dark and mysterious. Below us the flat area gleamed and shone with unearthly radiance. “Gee, this is bang-on!” said Garth. Some people do burble when they're happy - cant hold their beans.
The photographers wished and mourned for their cameras. They would not mind waiting round for a lengthy time exposure, either - the resulting picture would offset frost-bitten ears and fingers caused by loitering around in the rarefied atmosphere at that height. However, they had no cameras, and after admiring the view below us a while longer we commenced the descent, noting below at least four avalanche troughs, two of which we would have to cross on the return route.
Eventually we dropped down to the avalanche chutes and dashed swiftly across without being overwhelmed with black ruin. Then the long plug back along the glacier bed.
We had a wash and a drink at a spring bubbling up under a rocky overhang, and sighted one lone native who might have been hostile. Then back to base camp and a great welcome by Colin and the waiting others.
“So you weren't copped” said Putto. “It wasn't an electric eye,” explained Pete, “It was a hot water system.” What a curious thing for him to say. What the Hell are they talking about?
Another ascent was accomplished by Dot Butler, escorted by the chief ranger, in 1994. She then ascended the southern outlier of the mountain, a matter of no difficulty to a mountaineer of her experience, and accompanied by Peter Tresseder, accomplished the first descent of this precipitous feature. She was welcomed by a large crowd of villagers, including gendarmes.
So much for the past. If a proposal by the Young Presidents Association is accepted the Mont du Pont will be as easy to climb as Everest or the Matterhorn and much safer. For $100 climbers will be equipped with waterproof jump-suits connected by harness to a handrail and have guides walking at the front and rear of each group!
General Meetings: New Format
Our president has initiated a new format for the general meetings; shorter, interesting and user friendly. Plenty of opportunity to socalise, talk about walks or what-ever, have a cup of cheer, nibble a biscuit or chew someone's ear, (alternatively chew a biscuit and nibble an ear). You can come to a meeting and enjoy yourself, plan your next walks, catch up on Club friends. The more people who come along the better it gets; the better it gets the more people come along. You had better come along.
POSITION VACANT The position of Club archivist is open, in the best EEO tradition, to young or old, female or male, with or without experience. Our records go back to 1927. Some have been carefully arranged, most have not. Most are in the equivalent of large shoe boxes. The records need to be sorted, into date order and subject, culled and the rubbish removed and maintained and presented in a manner consistent with modern archival practice. This position requires someone with some knowledge of SBW history, however there are plenty of Club elders who can fill in the gaps.
Rare sighting in suburban Frenchs Forest.
One mid April morning Ray and I awoke to melodic sounds. Taking a peek out of the window we discovered to our delight and amazement a lyre bird scratching around on the lawn and in the garden. We've seen it again but as yet have not had a photo opportunity. Deirdre Kidd.
Lots of strange things happen in Frenchs Forest. This is one of them Ed.
Ode to the Unknown Prospective
by Andrew Vilder
I'm fit and I am able,
Declared the prospective loud
I'll make it in a single bound
Up that mountain in the cloud
I've done aerobics classes
Spent six months at the gym
I've jogged all over 'round the place
But now bushwalking is my whim!
When asked about his gumboots
He answered with a smile
“My grandpa used to wear them,
So they've lasted quite a while”
Then off he went at rapid pace
And jumped into the lead
The problem was, he had no map
Nor could a compass read
They called his name for hours
Fearing he was lost
And thinking what a rescue
By helicopter cost
So imagine their surprise
To find him at the camp
Saying “I took a little short-cut,
For it was far too long a tramp”
“And now let me show you
Those who have your doubts
That I can make a cooking fire
Just like I used to in the Scouts”
He gathered sticks and gathered leaves
And built a tower tall
But try as he might, he couldn't get
The stuff to light at all!
“I think it is your method,
That really lets you down
Those leaves will burn much better
Once they have turned brown”
So told him another member
As she fired up her metho range
“Come over here, and cook on this-
it won't taste half as strange!
Eight tin cans to the Kowmung
Is what the prospective brought
To what they might weigh on his back
He never gave a thought
Still it must be said, his dinner there
Was by all accounts a treat:
Lobster, prawns and shish kebab,
And Big Sister pud' for sweet …
His tent was huge,
To say the least
More fit to be a fair marquee
Or to show a circus beast
“They told me at the Disposal,
That it would take three …
People just to put it up,,
He informed them all with glee.
But that tent was old and leaky,
The roof was full of holes
And he never got the damn thing up,
For he didn't bring the poles!
His Dolphin torch began fading
As the sun went down
“Should have checked that battery”,
He muttered with a frown
His airbed went down with a hiss,
In the middle of the night
He thought it might have been a snake
It gave him such a fright!
But a certain female member
Took pity on our friend
And that prospective's troubles
Came to a pleasant end.
“You can share my Macpac tent,
For a place to lay your head
But tomorrow when the sun comes up
You bring me breakfast, warm in bed!”
That was her thoughtful offer
Which he could not refute
And when he came to think of it
He found her rather cute
So in the morning sunlight
All was good and well
Though that walk up to the ridge
Would give the prospective hell
How far is the kiosk?
The prospective vainly asks
'Cause they're getting kind of empty,
My plastic drinking flasks
And what is that gooey brown stuff
Running down his back?
Don't panic, it's just chocolate
That's melted in his pack!
“in my time, he said, I've shovelled coal
And I've washed down ten ton trucks
But never have I felt so tired
For paying thirty bucks!”
Stumbling into the carpark
He found his hallowed Merc
With lights left on and battery flat
'Way out the back of Bourke
The leader growled as he towed him out
With his Land Cruiser strong
“I don't think we'll see this bloke again,
But then, I could be wrong…”
Later at the Cafe
The prospective said happily
“To thank you all, for helping out-
The milkshakes are on me!”
“When your test walks are over,
And you've become a tiger cub
A bloke like you,” the leader said
“Will be an asset to our Club!
What's more, we'll let you shout again
Only next time at the pub!”
Soon we will have a new barbeque at Coolana. Watch this space for details as they unfold. The mowing, weeding, burning, clearing, and planting continues. Joan has all manner of plans for weed control. The river flats of Coolana look beautiful and are a delightful place to camp on.
Our supply of gardening tool still is rather skimpy and we could use any number of cast-offs. With the return of the rain the burning-off season has been opened and the fallen timber can be burnt and the land cleared. All are welcome to the Coolana maintenance weekends: for details see the Walks Program.
For Coolana details contact Coolana's Chief Green Thumb: Joan Rigby (02) 6247 2035.
Trek Nu Zilund
by Frank Davis
Te Rua-o-te-moko, the pit of the tattooing, is the Maori name for Fiordland. The origins of the name are lost but it is possible the Maori equated the glacial gouges that formed the fiords with the marks etched into the Maori face by the tattooer's chisel. It is a name that evokes thoughts of pain and drama. So writes Barry Brailsford in Greenstone Trails.
Some of us on the 139th Milford Track Guided Walk of the 97/98 season would have cause to ponder 'thoughts of pain and drama' before the week was out.
Nominated as a six day 'experience', the walk, or trek, occupies only three days. Day 1 involves getting to Te Anau Travelodge for the 'pre-walk cocktail function'. On Day 2 there is a pre-walk briefing and a wait for the bus to Te Anau Downs. Here we take a ferry across Lake Te Anau to the walk start. A wide smooth path leads through mossy beech rainforest, for a whole 1.6km, to reach Glade House, set in a flat grassy clearing.
After settling in we walked to the site of a 'tree avalanche'. Beech trees have a surface matting root mass and if a combination of high winds and water logged ground causes one to topple, a down slope domino effect can denude an extensive area. The avalanche we visited occurred in 1988 and still there is little regrowth on the stony slope.
Over the last two days in which we had effectively covered only 1.6km of our 54km journey the weather had been deteriorating. The 1.6 km was to be the only distance we covered in fine weather.
After dinner the Lodge Manager, Les, told us where we would find our prepared lunch for what the 'track notes' admitted would be 'the first day of real trekking'. His advice — 'pick up your snack - put your snack in your pack - put your pack on your back - put your boots on the track - and go'. It was O.K. for him, he stayed in the lodge. We started our walk in rain on a track resembling a small creek after heavy overnight rain.
Day 3 begins with a swing bridge crossing of the Clinton River. After the rain the Clinton is wide, wild and swift with cascades tumbling over cascades in a frantic rush to the lake. Over the bridge a forest of drenched, moss laden beech trees awaits. I would not have been surprised to see Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings' cast of characters emerge from among the gnarled trunks in this dark forest.
The music of the rampaging Clinton waxes and wanes as the track approaches and leaves its banks. A surfeit of waterfalls plummet down grey walls on both sides of the track, most of them un-named as they are transient but Hirere Falls is named and is impressive.
A side track loops out to Hidden Lake and a swimming hole which is a plunge pool of falls in which torrents collide and mix as they plunge causing overlapping waves that leap from the rock face.
Soon Pompolona Lodge is reached. To be greeted with coffee, hot shower, drying room, wine served with a wonderful meal and a comfortable bed after being wet all day absolutely justifies the choice of 'Guided Walk' over 'Independent Walk'.
Day 4 Overnight snow has mantled peaks on both hands, a smorgasbord of waterfalls tumble down sombre, grey rock faces, the trail leads through moss draped beech to the upper reaches of the Clinton River.
The climb to Mackinnon Pass entails a series of zig-zags which become shorter and steeper and emerge above the treeline. A monument to Quintin Mackinnon stands on Low Pass, the approach is made in rain, hail, snow and winds gusting to 70 knots (125 kph).
Views on both sides are dramatic and impressive, would be more so if eyes were not squinting in the stinging frigid wind. Patches of hail and snow blanket the track, buffeting winds make walking a straight line impossible.
Pass Hut is a welcome respite for lunch but the stop is brief as we are wet and cold. A steep, rocky descent through more mossy beech, past Dudley and Lindsay Falls leads to the warmth and comfort of Quintin Lodge. This must wait though as a side trip to Sutherland Falls beckons. The immense volume of water falling generates such a wind that you must lean into, the noise and flying spray is awe inspiring.
Day 5 Last day of the trek and, as they say, it's all down hill from here. Indeed it is, the descent is some 240m in the first 5km. It is still wet, rivers and creeks cascade wildly towards the sea. Mountain peaks still wear their mantle of snow. Mackay Falls is spectacular with its torrents bouncing from huge moss covered boulders. The track flattens and finishes as a stroll into Sandfly Point to take the ferry across Milford Sound to Mitre Peak Lodge.
Day 6 Weather so bad our planned cruise of Milford Sound is impossible. My flight is grounded and I must make my return, by road, to Queenstown to prepare for the Greenstone Valley - Routeburn Walk. This walk has not been comfortable, I have been wet and cold but every step of the way has been exciting. The scenery, even in the adverse conditions was magnificent.
SUBSCRIPTIONS for 1998/99
The subscriptions remain the same as for last year and are now due.
single members $35
household membership $58
Non-active member $12
Non-active member + magazine $25
magazine subscription only $12
You may pay at the Clubrooms (cash or cheque) or by mail (cheque, bank cheque or money order), cheques etc. made out to Sydney Bushwalkers Inc. Payment by mail to the Treasurer, Sydney Bushwalkers Inc. GPO Box 4476 Sydney 2001
Include with your payment by mail the following details:
• membership type,
• name(s) of member(s) covered by this subscription,
• if changed, telephone numbers, mailing address + post code,
If you changed your family name during the year please tell us both names (old name & new name) to assist in identification of your membership record.
April 1998 General Meeting.
by Barry Wallace
The meeting began at around 2007 with some 16 or so members present at the time. The President, presiding, called for order, apologies, and new members, in that sequence. The only apology was for Denise Shaw and there were no new members for welcome this month.
The minutes of the February general meeting were read and received with no matters arising.
Correspondence included a letter from NPWS in response to our expression of concern at access problems in the Sydney Harbour National Park. The letter indicated that NPWS will endeavour to retain access around Middle Head. There was a letter of reassurances from a Patrick Holland, adviser to the NSW Minister for the Environment, a postcard from Ian and Joy Debert from somewhere in Tasmania, a copy of the Kanangra Boyd National Park plan of management and a copy of the Blue Mountains National Park plan of management. Outgoing correspondence included letters from Bill Holland as conservation secretary regarding: access around Sydney Harbour National Park, feral pig numbers in Kanangra Boyd and the question of recently noted helicopter landing clearings along the Colo River
The treasurer was able to advise the meeting that we started the month with a dyslexic $677, earned or otherwise acquired income of $2,598 and closed with $2,814 in the kitty.
The walks reports were next, under the baton of Bill Capon, the new walks secretary, and under the new regime of shorter pithier (no that’s not a lisp) more entertaining walks reports. We began at the weekend of 14, 15 March with13 students acquiring qualifications at the St. Johns first aid instruction weekend at Bill and Fran Holland’s place. Morrie Ward led a party of 10 on his visit to the highest point in the Blue Mountains. Conditions were reported to be cool and misty on Mount Guouogang, which probably spoilt whatever view there may have been. Either Wilf Hilder’s stages 13 and 14 of the Great Illawarra Walk did not go, or the report of it was so compressed that your scribe missed it. Ken Smith reported a party of six on his Saturday walk out from Glenbrook in hot conditions. They also retrieved some red tape from a tree along the way, but whether this was a left over from an orienteering event or some more obscure, and certainly more clandestine, activity we know not. The editor will probably publish whatever unlikely explanation you care to write up, so go for it; but don’t tell him where you got the idea. Don Brook’s Sunday walk from Chatswood, along the Great North Walk to Hunters Hill, saw the field of 14 starters on the Saturday evening reduced to 6 at the starting gate on Sunday due to overnight inclemency. The weather fined up later in the day for the remainder.
The mid-week walk went on Tuesday with Bill Holland leading a party of nine.
The weekend of 21, 22 March had Ken Smith leading a party of three through hot conditions on his Glenbrook to Woodford walk. Rosemary MacDougall’s Saturday walk from Waterfall to Heathcote went, but no other details were available to the meeting. Roger Treagus postponed his Sunday Ku-ring-gai Chase walk. Ken Cheng’s Waterfall to Otford Sunday walk went unreported.
Ian Rennard had seven on the Tuesday midweek walk in the Balmain Birchgrove area.
Tom Wenman reported a party of five and a dry Kowmung River for his walk over the 27, 28, 29 March. Patrick James’ bird watching foray at Coolana that same weekend has been extensively reported in an earlier magazine. The details are 11 starters and 40 varieties of birds. Bill Capon’s Saturday walk out from Carlons went, under the baton of Tony Marshal, with nine walkers and some problems with scale. Wilf Hilder’s walk to the Georges River on the Saturday went with a party of nine and one swim. Carole Beales’ Sunday walk from Pierces Pass to Bluegum and return attracted a party of 20 on an enjoyable day.
April 4, 5 saw 2.5 bodies at the Coolana working bee. Conditions were very dry. Alan Wells’ Saturday start walk out from Carlons had two starters and no other details. Eddy’s Saturday walk in the same area went led by Marella Hogan, but there were no other details. Bill Holland’s Saturday walk in Lane Cove National Park saw a party of 10 and no details. Maureen Carter cancelled her Sunday trip from Glenbrook, and there were no details for Bill Hope’s Colo River walk the same day. All of which brought the walks reports for the month to an end.
Conservation report indicated that a meeting with National Parks and Wildlife Service is scheduled for the coming Thursday.
Confederation report revealed that a move for the training officer to attend a four-day ORCA conference at the Fairmont Resort had failed to gather support at the meeting.
The call for General Business brought the usual rush of announcements, but no General Business. The call for announcements brought no General Business and no announcements, so the president closed the meeting, at 2057.
SBW SONG BOOK
The official “SBW Song Book” has been printed and is available to members at a cost of $5-00. Now you can sing around the campfire - no longer lost for words! There have been earlier songbooks, but this version has old songs (from 1930/40 etc.) and new songs (1960/70 etc.). Price $5.00 (available in the Clubrooms or mailed if you include $1.00 for postage).
NAME, ADDRESS & PHONE NUMBER CHANGES: Changes to name, address or phone numbers should be sent ASAP to Membership Secretary: Barry Wallace.
by Patrick James
This month a happy Mother's day, Polish National day and Norwegian National day to all. My call for contributions last month, or whinge if you want to be accurate, has brought forth some activity. There are lots of budding authors out there waiting to pick up the pen.
Wanted. Some one to research and then write articles on the rock carvings at Woy Woy and at Glenbrook Creek. The Woy Woy carvings are of Egyptian hieroglyphics carved into the sandstone walls of a crevasse near Woy Woy. Perhaps the carvings when translated have a real meaning. We should be able to find someone who can translate the hieroglyphics. Were they, as the story goes, carved by two servicemen returned from the first world war? Or are they simply mindless graffiti.
The second carvings, at Glenbrook Creek, are of the 43rd Psalm neatly written into sandstone.
It would be interesting for someone with time and an investigative flair to research these carvings and determine the who, the when and the why of them. I'm sure leads can be found from the older members and ex-members of SBW and walking clubs in the Woy Woy and Blue mountains areas.
Stephen Doggett who wrote “Ticks! Foes or Friends?” in the January edition of The Sydney Bushwalker has advised that the Department of Medical Entomology now has a web site that deals with ticks, mosquitos and insect transmitted diseases, the site has facts sheets
The address of the web site is http://www-personal.usyd.edu.au./~sdoccett/medical_entomology.htm.
Social Calendar: May 20: Kenn Clacher and Ian Wolfe Skiing the Haute Route in Switzerland, the risks, thrills and spills of life in the fast lane! Skiing off piste, glaciers and from the bottom of a crevasse looking up!
Social Calendar: May 27: from the Australian Museum we have Dr Pat Hutchings' son et lumière of underwater swimming worms and blood sucking leeches. Everything you need to know about these attractive residents of the great outdoors. A delightful lantern show of high protein, alternative bush food.
Instructions for Authors and Contributors.
All are invited to write for The Sydney Bushwalker: members, prospective members and non- members. The topics normally should have some bearing on bushwalking in its widest sense; walking in any country of the world, any item of bushwalking gear. The articles may be long or short, happy or sad, fact or fiction. If fiction you had better say so because we are a gullible lot. Sometimes topics are suggested in the magazine. If you want to follow up on such a suggestion, ring me and say so. It would not do to have 50 or 100 people all writing about the territory making habits of the wombat.
DEADLINES FOR COPY. Generally the deadlines for articles in the first Wednesday of each month. For short notes the deadline is the second Wednesday of each month. Sometimes these deadlines are early, as when the editor goes on holiday or the printers have their annual picnic or when Christmas comes along. Other than when Christmas is on, you don't know when an early deadlines will happen so all you can do is write early.
FORMAT. Each magazine, on average, takes the equivalent of one day walk to prepare. That a lot of time when I could be watching TV or reading or even bushwalking. To make the job easier send you contributions, long or short, on a 3.5 inch floppy disk, directly to the Editor: 5/2 Hardie St., Neutral Bay 2089. The disk need only to be wrapped in a sheet of paper, put in an ordinary envelope with a 45 cent stamp on it and, hey presto, I get it and as quick as a flash, you're in print. I know some of you don't have access to a computer to write on, that OK, but a delay in publishing may result. If your disk was written on a Mac, say so on the disk and I'll get it translated into PC. You can also send copy to me on the Internet at: email@example.com.