Table of Contents
THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER is a monthly bulletin of matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers Inc; PO Box 431 Milsons Point, 1565.
To advertise in this magazine, please contact the Business Manager.
|Editor||Ray Hookway Telephone 9411 1873|
|Business Manager||Elizabeth Miller,1 The Babette, Castlecrag, 2068 Telephone 9958 7838|
|Production Manager||Frances Holland|
|Printers||Kenn Clacher, Barrie Murdoch, Margaret Niven, Les Powell, Tom Wenman|
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||Elwyn Morris|
|Membership Secretary||Barry Wallace|
|New Members Secretary||Frank Grennan|
|Conservation Secretary||Bill Holland|
|Magazine Editor||Ray Hookway|
|Committee Members||Anthony Crichton & Spiro Hajinakitas|
|Delegates to Confederation||Jim Callaway & Wilf Hilder|
JULY 1999 Issue No. 776
|2.||The May General Meeting reported by Barry: Wallace|
|4.||The SBW Concert. Review reported by Elwyn Morris|
|4.||New Coolana Motions for The August Meeting by Geoff Dowsett|
|5.||The Best Way to Burn Bridges by Barbara Bruce|
|6.||The Great Illawarra Escarpment Walk by Roger Treagus|
|9.||A Traditional (Wet) Easter In The Apsley Wilderness by Paul McCann|
|11.||Climbing Mt, Kilimanjaro by Jan Szarek (conclusion)|
|13.||The Essential SBW Dictionary by Andrew Vilder|
|14.||Bushwalkers Beware The Fundis,letter by Peter Stitt & Garth Coulter|
Alpsport front cover
Eastwood Camping Centre7
Ecotrek : 9
Bogong Jack Adventures
Paddy Pallin back cover
U Relax 4 We'll Drive12
Willis's Walkabouts 3
The May General Meeting
reported by Barry Wallace
The meeting began a little before 20.15, when your scribe arrived. Apologies had already come and gone and new members Matthew Howle, Pamela Irving and Michelle Mandler had already been called to be welcomed in the usual way. The minutes of both the February and April general meeting were read and received as true and correct with no matters arising. The only correspondence, apart from the usual commercial entreaties, was a questionnaire on septic tanks from Nowra council, relating to Coolana no doubt.
The treasurer reported that we began with a balance of $15,525, received income of $1,503, and disbursed $1,332.
Maureen Carter presented the walks reports in Bill Capon’s absence. We began with Geoff Dowsett’s extended walk in Tasmania over the period 15 to 25 April, for which there were no details.
Morrie Ward led a party of 7 on his Barrington Tops walk over the weekend of 16, 17, 18 April. Conditions were free of rain but high water in the streams caused a retreat to the near impenetrable scrub along the banks. Meanwhile, having press-ganged various prospectives at the Coolana Training Weekend into carrying an apparent miscellany of items down the hill to the river flats, Bill Holland and Patrick James then proceeded, before their astonished gaze, to assemble a stout wooden table from the items. It is reported to be useful for the spreading of maps. Last heard from, they were working out a roster of who was to carry the item on walks involving difficult navigation. There was no mention of an encore.
Errol Sheedy had the party of 16 on his Waterfall to Heathcote Sunday walk enjoying a spot of swimming on a day of glorious weather. Craig Austin reported a full day for the 8 starters on his Sunday walk in the Wollemi.
Ian Rannard’s mid week walk attracted a party of 7 on a perfect day.
The Anzac weekend saw Paul McCann with no starters on his Guy Fawkes River National Park trip. Bill Capon had 14 on what was described as a good walk for his Ettrema highlights walk over the same weekend. Nigel Weaver reported 11 on his Gardens of Stone trip. Ken Cheng had 10 on his Saturday walk from Springwood to Glenbrook and the fate of Ralph Penglis’ Sunday walk is unclear.
The midweek walk that week saw Bill Holland leading a party of 4 on his Berowra to Mount Ku-ring-gai trip in overcast conditions on what was described as a doddle by some observer in the crowd.
There were no details for Wayne Steele’s Budawangs walk over the weekend of 30 April, 1, and 2 May. Maureen Carter’s Saturday walk in the Royal out from Waterfall attracted 14 starters despite threatening weather at the start and wet conditions underfoot. Patrick James’ Sunday walk to the water supply dams in the Royal attracted a crowd of 11 on a fairish day with poor navigation and a plethora of superlatives in the reporting. Anne Maguire reported a party of 21 enjoying a lovely day on her walk to Fortress Ridge in the Blue Mountains.
Wilf Hilder led the mid week walk on the Thursday from Rockdale Station to Tempe Station with a cast of 14.
The following weekend, 7, 8, 9 May saw a total dearth of details for both programmed overnight walks, with Oliver Crawford’s Wollemi walk and Phil Newman’s walk out from Carlons Farm both drawing complete blanks. The day walks fared a little better with Tony Marshall cancelling his Sunday car swap trip from Wentworth Falls to Katoomba and Nigel Weaver leading a party of 17 on a late start for his Cogra Bay to Wondabyne walk in fine conditions with good views along the way.
There were no details for Ian Rannard’s mid week walk out from Glenbrook on the Tuesday. All of which brought the walks reports for the month to a close.
In the absence of the conservation secretary there was no conservation report.
Confederation report indicated that confederation is seeking a training officer.
The president reported the following details to the meeting. The committee is grappling with the problem of securing a replacement lens for the club’s projector, more suited to the dimensions of the meeting room than the present one. It only looked simple. A letter from the Hon solicitor on competency standards is under review. The cases for taking out insurance for both Public Liability and Personal Accident under the Confederation’s scheme are being prepared.
There was no general business so announcements followed and the meeting closed at around 2057.
My humble apologies to Sheila Binns for misspelling her name in the June magazine, not once but twice. Sorry Sheila. Ed.
Birthday Party Reminder
Members are reminded of the 90th birthday celebration being held for Alex Colley at his home, 7 Terrigal Avenue, Turramurra on Sunday August 1st at 12 noon.
See the June magazine for full details.
Confederation Bush Dance
Another date to mark on your 1999 social calendar The 1999 Bushwalkers Confederation Bush Dance will be held in the Petersham Town Hall on September 17th
SBW Concert Review
by Elwyn Morris
Those fortunate enough to be at this year’s SBW Concert on June 30th, including regular concert-goers Dot and Alex, were treated to an evening of first-rate entertainment. Arranged in cabaret-style, variety was the order of the day.
The concert began with Owen Marks’ beautiful piano rendition of Dr Morris Green’s ‘Country Dance’ (l695-1755), followed by the appropriately titled, for the SBW, Handel’s ‘Where ‘ere you walk’,and ‘Return to Sorrento’ sung by George Carter accompanied by Owen on the piano. David Trinder then regaled us with a perfectly delivered, amusing Australian bush ballad, Patterson’s ‘A Bush Christening’.
Staying with the Australian bush theme, the talented John Poleson on the piano accordion, and his sons Mark on the Irish drum, and Chris on the guitar and harmonica, entertained us with Australian and American bluegrass ballads with John switching to the banjo.
The mood was then changed again completely by Owen and his sister Adrienne playing a lovely classical piece for four hands by Diabelli (Beethoven’s publisher).
A ten-minute interval was followed by Tom Wenman singing first the tuneful ‘Desert Song’ and then the haunting ‘September song’. David Trinder then amused us with Banjo Patterson’s ‘Mulga Bill’s Bicycle’ before Owen Marks returned to play three George Shearing favourites. Two Neapolitan songs were then sung by George Carter followed by one of the evening’s highlights, his dramatic rendition of ‘Vesti la giubba’ from Leoncallo’s ‘I Pagliacci’.
The final item and the other highlight of the evening was John Poleson’s amusing and entertaining Magic Act.
Our thanks to all of the artists who worked so hard to give us such a very entertaining evening.
New Coolana motions for August General Meeting
Geoff Dowsett has advised the General SBW Committee that he will put forward the following two motions for action at the August general meeting
That the Sydney Bushwalkers Inc. agree in principle to not entering into a Voluntary Conservation Agreement (VCA), with the National Parks and Wildlife Service for the total area of the club property in the Kangaroo Valley known as Coolana, but that in the event that the members agree, as a result of the forthcoming postal ballot, to a VCA contract with the NP&WLS, that a portion of the property, not less than one hectare in size, be left out of such an agreement for the possible future construction of a dwelling so maintaining the market value and saleability of Coolana.
That an ongoing Coolana Committee be established by a process of the general committee electing nominated candidates to:
(1) Meet quarterly while ever the club owns the property. (2) Assess ideas and suggestions from members of the Coolana committee and the club generally in the current use and the future of the property. (3) Update and inform the club on issues affecting the property and other club assets
It should be noted that a Coolana maintenance committee already exists. It was formed when the property was bought and its members are chosen by ballot at each annual general meeting. Refer to page 2 of the March magazine for the names of the present maintenance committee members. Ed.
The Best Way to Burn Bridges
by Barbara Bruce
Five bridges in one day. A creative concept, I thought, I’d like to do it.
There were ten of us then on an autumn day that was clear, unseasonably warm, but with a refreshing breeze - Susan and Donna Anderson, Greg Bridge, Tracey Bullock, Lee Delbridge, Helen Jones, Chris Sonter, John Steinhoff and Hillary Williams - ready to “burn” five Sydney bridges during a walk led by Judy Jones and Coleen Hodder.
We started early from the Queen Victoria Building in Market Street, just as the first of the Saturday crowds was surfacing from the underground railway. In no time at all we were over the Pyrmont Bridge at Darling Harbour and stepping briskly through the modernised back blocks of Ultimo. I discovered Ultimo/Pyrmont is now a more effective amalgam of residence and industry, with here and there a park or open space giving a feeling of freedom.
We emerged from Pyrmont near the Fish Markets and accessed the newly named Anzac Bridge. Joggers and cyclists arriving from the opposite direction made sure we did not take up more than our share of the lane!
From Anzac to Iron Cove Bridge it was necessary to walk beside busy Victoria Road, but once at Drummoyne our leaders diverted us through tranquil streets until we climbed Gladesville Bridge. Here we took a pause to admire Sydney Harbour from a less usual vantage point.
After “burning” Gladesville, we were guided by our leaders through the leafy streets of Hunters Hill and Woolwich. After passing through Kelly’s Bush at Woolwich we ferried across the 200 metres of water to Greenwich where, back on track, we meandered alternately beside sparkling water and bitumen road, enjoying the autumnal suburban spectacles on show in Sydney. Mid afternoon we had reached the stairs of a fitting finale: Sydney Harbour bridge.
Although some participants had dropped out, at 3.30pm the remainder were sipping liquid refreshments on the rooftop garden of the Glenmore Hotel in The Rocks, at which time the walk and the day received our unanimous stamp of approval. It had been a good leg stretch, too.
MARRAMARRA National Park Walk Cancellation
Zol Bodlay advises that his programmed August 7th walk in MarraMarra has been cancelled due to his absence from Sydney.
Hinchinbrook Island Walk Jacqui Calandra advises that there are still four places available on her Hinchinbrook Island walk which was notified too late forthe current program. Dates: September 1st- 6th 1999 Phone: (02) 9476 6538 Fax: (02) 9476 6549 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Possible Sassafras/Nerriga Road Closure.
Members planning walks in the Sassafrass Nerriga area between late September and late October 1999 should check with the Nowra roads authorities. The company putting in the high pressure natural gas pipeline have applied to close the road at that time, to facilitate installation work.
The Great Illawarra Escarpment Walk
A Perspective Part 1, by Roger Treagus
You have seen the picture(s) now read the story. Wilf described this walk, illustrated with magic lantern slides, at the club rooms on June 23rd. Ed
Wilf Hilder led this 18 month long multi-staged walk from Sydney to the Shoalhaven, starting in February 1997 and finishing in August 1998. In reporting this saga I hasten to add that I was there for most but not for all of the events I describe. To give as complete an account as possible I have drawn on the descriptions of others for those days when I was playing truant.
When I recall the walk many scenes flash through my mind, such as:
Steering a compass course across a misty Barren Grounds. The full moon rising out of a sparkling sea above the crimson coke ovens of Coalcliff Colliery. Wilf in heavy negotiation with the Wollongong Station Master over a recalcitrant timetable. Being stuck in a black hole of lantana at Mars Pass with night falling. The excitement of re-discovering Caloola Pass, and the final push down slippery fire trails in heavy rain to a flooded Shoalhaven. It was eventful and hugely entertaining and seemed to go on forever.
Wilf described the project as presenting more challenges than he ever encountered in any of his other serial walks. The main problem was in walking a concept rather than a tried and true track. Concepts are long on imagination and short on detail. It was Wilf's vision to provide the detail by walking the entire route and showing that a Great Illawarra Walk was practicable and could be linked to the Two Rivers Walk on to the Clyde.
Credit also goes to Russell Evans from the Illawarra Bushwalking Club who provided the concept and a likely route on paper plus some ground reconnaissance that helped.
But like the early explorers looking for the inland sea, some of our ‘concept’ route was unwalked, a black blotch on the map signifying ‘unknown’. This meant that we frequently had to go searching for indistinct pads, missing passes and overgrown bridle tracks. Come to think of it, this is also what made it so interesting - you never knew for sure where you might end up for the night. The ‘concept’ had both the support of several local councils and of their overconfident cartographers.
Wilf had walked the route in the 1960s and had uncovered a whole swag of passes through the cliff line between Coalcliff and Sublime Point. Some of these passes could not be found again on this walk. Missed passes was one of the themes for the walk as it turned out, but I get ahead of myself.
To begin at the beginning, the Club Rooms, the traditional start of earlier multi stage walks, the Great North and Great South Walks. Stage 1 started with a brisk walk over the Bridge and a ferry ride to Watson’s Bay from the Quay. From thereon the strategy was simple, turn right and walk south along the coast or the adjacent escarpment and if an estuary intervened, jump! Fortunately the only ‘jump’ was at Botany Bay when the following stage started at Kurnell. The Bundeena to Otford Section was cancelled due to bad weather. It turned out that this was the only section not walked (if countless previous walks in this section don't count).
The first Stage south of the Royal started at Otford and followed the ridge of the Illawarra Escarpment initially via the Wodi Wodi track and the newly constructed Illawarra Escarpment Track. This was the first weekend stage and the Saturday night camp was simply spectacular, sited on the cliff edge above the red glow of the coke ovens of Coalcliff with a full moon coming out of a calm sea into a cloudless night - one of those magic moments bushwalkers always remember. Pity I missed it because I actually joined the walk for the first time on the next morning by catching up to the fast moving group at Sublime Point.
South of Bulli Tops the route led away from the roar of the highway to Rixons Pass, our access to Woonona Railway Station. The approach to Rixons was along a wonderful old bridle track with its impressive stonemasonry designed to keep a grade, in difficult country, that a bullock train could negotiate. The day was capped off when we helped ourselves to a collection of old maps of the area that someone had thrown out for a council clean up.
The pattern of the Weekend Stages as far as Kiama was to catch the 6:44am Dapto train from Central, get off at the appropriate station for that stage, ascend the escarpment at the nearest pass and regain the coastal plain and the train line further south on the Sunday afternoon through another convenient pass. This arrangement had three problems. Firstly the further south we went the further the escarpment diverged from the train line which meant more complicated public transport arrangements to arrive at a reasonable start point for walking. Secondly, we were reliant on conveniently placed passes - some did not give up their secrets easily.
Thirdly, is there any easy way of getting up at 4 on a Saturday morning to catch the red eye special from Central? The next Stage continued the progress south via Brokers Nose, Mt Kiera, O'Briens Gap, the Mt Kembla Ring Track and Kembla Grange station. This section held many surprises. Brokers Nose was one of those truly impressive lookouts that no one visits. At the old Mt Kiera Scout camp we walked through magnificent rainforest stands including some red cedar (Toona Australis) much sought after by loggers of old. The cedars were untouched, along with the rainforest barely 5km from the 'Gong, NSW's third biggest city. That says something for the nature of the terrain and for the moves to preserve the escarpment.
The Saturday of the next stage saw us climbing Mt Kembla from Unanderra Station, a bigger effort than it looked from the bottom. The party noted the significant contribution to the environment that the electricity people had provided, in these parts, in festooning the lookouts with high tension towers. Two hours walk led to Avon Gap where another engineering marvel, the Unanderra to Moss Vale railway line, passed through, a very scenic line and frequented by the weekend Cockatoo steam train patronised by tourists and steam loco nuts.
The end of that Stage saw some drama as Mars Pass deteriorated into Lantana City. An overnight in this jumble was a distinct possibility until mercifully, open country was reached as the dark was descending. This commenced a pattern of dramas associated with virtually all of the remaining passes that were on our route right through to the Kangaroo Valley.
(To be concluded next month)
A Traditional (Wet) Easter in the Apsley Wilderness
by Paul McCann.
Easter is always a time for traditions. For a bushwalker a traditional Easter Sunday usually involves a visit to your tent from the Easter bunny (or Bilby), with the freshly fallen rain on the ground and on your tent. Well this Easter certainly lived up to tradition with the rain falling over most of the weekend and the fun of unpacking a wet tent after the walk.
I had a total of sixteen names on the list for the walk (more than I expected). However given the distance from Sydney I expected a few people would have second thoughts closer to the walk. Also my being in Victoria on another walk probably made contacting me somewhat more difficult. Anyhow whatever the reason I finished up with a total of eight in the party.
We all met at Walcha on Good Friday morning and drove to Table Top property at the end of the Winterbourne Road. It was still raining when we arrived and Joanne had forgotten her raincoat so I made one from a garbage bag that did the job. The property owner's wife took pity and offered her a somewhat heavy raincoat that after much persuasion was accepted by Joanne. My original plan was to go via The Cocks Comb to the Macleay River, but due to the atmospheric conditions not being favorable for views I decided to do the walk in reverse hoping for better weather on Monday. We headed southeast following a compass bearing through what was formerly the Winterbourne State Forest and is now part of the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. The understorey is mostly open with only a few thick bands of scrub particularly near the creeks. There were lots of interesting fungi in the forest and we also observed lots of native slugs that live in the leaf litter and only emerge during wet periods. We eventually emerged onto a fire trail that we followed along the Narrow Neck Ridge to a place sign posted as 'The End'. The rain eased to drizzle as we descended down a ridge to Reedy Creek approximately 800 metres from the Apsley River. The drizzle had stopped by the time we were setting up camp and it held off for the evening.
We managed to get a fire going after several attempts and much persuading. A pleasant evening followed with the soft sound of the creek making for a pleasant night’s sleep.
Next morning we followed Reedy Creek downstream to the Apsley River. On reaching the Apsley River we soon discovered that crossing it would be very difficult as the river had risen overnight. After discussing the options we decided that proceeding down the river was not a good idea as the current was too fast to cross safely. So we decided to walk up Reedy Creek to a point where we could exit via a ridge which would take us close to The Cocks Comb if the weather cleared. The creek is very pretty with ferns, figs and dry rainforest shrubs growing alongside the creek. There were numerous small pools and the water temperature was quite pleasant for a dip. Some of the group decided to have a dip at lunch time. The cloud started to break up in the middle of the day and the sun appeared in the early afternoon. We thought we had seen the last of the rain but were to be proved wrong later in the day. We followed the creek up to where a side creek joins. The grassy flats were starting to get a bit sloping for camping so we decided to stop for the day. We made several alternative plans for the next day depending on the weather. 1 found a lovely rock pool in the creek near camp where the creek has eroded a small depression in the bedrock about the size of a large bath tub.
The water was clear and not too cold so I had a quick bathe. After setting up camp the drizzle rolled in from the east and turned into rain later in the evening. Showers continued through the night and into the next day. A visit from the Easter bunny (or Bilby) during the night delivered some Easter eggs.
Since we were unlikely to get a view from The Cocks Comb we decided to ascend via a shorter ridge back to the cars. If the weather was to clear later in the day we still had the option of a longer detour to The Cocks Comb. However as we ascended the ridge the showers increased in frequency and eventually the rain set in. We decided to head for the cars and drive to a dry bed for the night. We emerged from the ridge onto the fire trail and followed it for about one kilometre to where we had joined it on Friday. We retraced our compass bearing back to the cars and after changing into dry clothes headed back to Walcha. Tony and Jan decided to head to Tamworth and stay in a motel, while the rest of the group headed for Armidale. The locals headed home while the visitors stayed at my house for the night. Next morning we went to Dangars Gorge for a quick look before heading home.
Despite the weather everyone enjoyed themselves and saw lots of interesting things. Oxley-Wild Rivers National Park offers enjoyable, walking with very little scrub and there is always a view from most of the ridges if the atmospheric conditions allow. Most of the park is in a rain shadow area. The easterly winds blow moisture in from the sea and most of the rain falls on the escarpment areas to the east as the air rises over the escarpment. The rainfall decreases to the west of the escarpment over the Macleay and Apsley gorges. However very strong high pressure systems accompanied by other factors such as upper air disturbances and low pressure systems nearby, produce more, widespread rain which can reach inland as far as Moree and beyond. In those circumstances one can expect rain over a much larger area. Generally if is raining in Armidale then it will most likely be raining in the Macleay and Apsley gorges, which was certainly the case over Easter. The weather map showed rainfall over most of New South Wales on Easter Sunday.
I hope to do the original walk as planned next Easter if the weather is suitable. Watch the walks program for more details.
Participants: SBW, Paul McCann (leader), Tony Holgate, Jan Roberts. The Wilderness Society (Sydney). Ian Ball, Michelle Ball, Joanne Braithwaite (visitor from Brisbane) The Inverell Bushwalking Club Jack Patton, Doug Hatfield.
Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro
by Jan Szarek Final part of Jan’s African Odyssey
The sixth and the last day of trekking was a relaxed descent to Mandara Hut, and to the park gates where the walk ended.
It is extremely important that one acclimatizes by walking slowly and it is really slow up to Kibo Hut at 4700 m. The recommended speed is about 1.5 to 2 km per hour. Taking into account the fact that the track is really gentle and smooth, and rises steadily, it is slow. During the final climb from Kibo Hut the recommended speed is about 0.5 km per hour, or 150 vertical metres per hour. This is like taking 1½ hrs to climb the Golden Staircase in the Blue Mountains. People who think they are strong and capable of walking fast usually pay a high price.
On our trip we were accompanied by a Dutch family consisting of the parents in their mid-fifties, and three children in their early twenties. They walked quite fast up to Kibo hut but on the final ascent they were not seen anywhere. When we met them the next day in Horombo Hut and asked the father what had happened, he explained that they had started climbing one hour early and had missed us. This was impossible. We were the first at the top and did not see them. If they were before us we would have seen them on their way down as there is only one way. I think that they felt so bad that they did not even try the final climb but simply descended the next day.
Diamox is a drug that eases the effect of altitude by diluting the blood. The drug has side effects, causing some people to faint. Some people consider that the use of this drug is not honourable, that it is like taking drugs in sport. Many others treat the drug as normal medication and its use is widespread, particularly by young people who think, (probably correctly), that after short time their body will overcome the side effects. In one group of twenty high school boys from England, every one was taking Diamox provided by their teacher. The boys explained that it would be embarrassing if any one of them did not finish the climb successfully, because on the school excursions in the last two years, all the boys had been successful.
One wonders why so many people climb Mount Kilimanjaro if hardly any one enjoys it. The answer is that most people do it for their ego. Climbing the highest mountain in Africa, and one of the best known in the world provides them with a sense of achievement and proves that they are strong. Many people, who, due to altitude sickness or other illness, are not able to reach the top of the mountain. They feel deeply disappointed and their ego is hurt. Some people resort to lying to preserve their dignity, like the father of Dutch family. Other people, like the English schoolboys, resort to the use of Diamox to avoid self perceived embarrassment.
Jean's daughter, Lisa McMullen and Jean's son Martin have requested us to pass on the appreciation of all members of Jean's family to all of Jean's friends and fellow walkers for their kind thoughts and support following the tragic loss of their mother. They also wish to thank them for helping to enrich their mother's full and happy life.
Greg Bridge seriously ill
Our sincere best wishes are extended to Greg Bridge, who recently became seriously ill whilst on holidays in Townsville. Greg wishes to thank all of those people who have written or sent flowers and regrets that he will not be able to respond individually to them for their thoughtfulness.
A request by the Special Coolana Committee for input from club members.
The special Coolana committee has made a request for input from individual club members regarding the future of our Kangaroo Valley property. Interested members should write to the SBW secretary. Please note the new SBW box number. If you would like your views published please address your letter to the editor.
Vale Bill Hall
We regret to advise that Bill Hall, a former long time member died in Wollongong on July 2 aged 87. Our sincere condolences are extended to Fiona, Peter, Jeannie and Marion.
A request for better patronage of club overnight walks
Bill Capon, our walks secretary, is disappointed at the poor patronage shown for some club overnight walks, and he is making a request for better attendance. He is saddened that leaders are researching, planning and programming, interesting walks in areas other than the regularly walked traditional Blue Mountain and Budawang areas, and then are finding that their walks are being poorly attended.
Bill believes that this may be partially due to newer members not being familiar with the proposed walk areas and he is disappointed that these members are missing out on new walking experiences. He suggests that newer members consult the walks leaders and obtain more information than can be printed in the program.
The Essential SBW Dictionary
by Andrew Vilder
A humorous look at some commonly used words in the Club.
Andrew has compiled a list of commonly used bushwalker terms to assist new walkers. Some are printed below and if they prove helpful, more will be printed at a later date. Ed
billy can: h. a water-filled receptacle for cinders and ash. Sometimes used for cooking. billy stick n. thin piece of wood which disappears immediately it is laid upon the ground. (refer :kindling) bonox: n. a male Bovril. compass: n. a type of donkey. (see also: jackass) coolana: n. the opposite of a Thermos: daypack n. an over the shoulder, nylon carrying device usually containing a Coolana of drink, sandwiches and sometimes a tent (depending on the leader.) DEO: abb. Deputy executive officer (usually shouted by walkers who have mislaid the leader) distance: n. the horizontal component of a bushwalk, as opposed to the vertical component, the grunt. (distance x grunt one bushwalk) flannel-flower: n. a shy, retiring person who wears long pyjamas: (see also: wallflower, shrinking violet) flu: n mysterious non-specific illness afflicting bushwalkers on evening before rainy weekends.: Often transmitted by telephone. gaiter: n. South American crocodile. Gatorade: n. croc repellent. hill: n. immovable obstruction between a campsite and a carpark Jacaranda: p.n.. (Aborig.) Tall mountain in northern Snowy region, often misspelt as Jagungal kindling: n. (myth.) a small dry piece of dry wood readily found near a campsite. Kowmung: n. a hairy creature akin to the yowie said to inhabit Kanangra gorges, K2K:-n. a rugged cereal taking about eleven hours to digest. Not to be confused with Special K, or KT26 — a sneaker. leader: n. a type of question disallowed in court. noodles: n. DNA gone wrong, office bearers: n. pl. located under the Oki joists and floorboards. Prospective: n. mobile device used to transport tin cans over long distances. Six Foot Track n. what remains after you shift a billiard table. skin: n.(1). a violent person with shaven head.(2). old wine-cask liner used to imbue water with an alcoholic flavour. skinfull: n. happy-hour. volley: n. (NZ) a depression in the landscape between two hills Wombat: n. nocturnally active mobile concrete block, also called a sump-thumper.
Letter to the editor
Bushwalkers Beware The Fundis
This is a reply to Henry Gold's letter published in the April issue of the Sydney Bushwalker.
The terms “fundi” and “reals” evolved in Germany to distinguish the fundamentalist zealots from the realists in the Green movement. It has emerged in our press in recent weeks in describing the Democrat factions split over the GST.
About four years ago in these pages, Ron Knightley neatly outlined the potential consequences of the SBW not taking amore reasoned approach to conservation matters; in other words, the consequences of being perceived to have joined the fundis. We believe that Ron's comments are still valid. Now to Henry's letter. The two miscreants referred to by Henry are Garth Coulter and Peter Stitt. We must correct errors in Henry's letter and put the record straight.
Rather than having a poor showing, the Outdoor Recreation Party achieved a seat in the upper house with its representative being first of the minor parties to gain a quota after the allocation of the two major parties' votes. The party is not a front of the Public Lands Users Alliance, nor of any other party or group, and never has been. It was established three years ago to seek to represent people interested in outdoor recreation namely, recreation vehicle drivers, horse and pony riders, fishing people, mountain bike riders, trail bike riders, skiers and snow board riders and bushwalkers - to seek to have a fair and proper allocation of appropriate public lands for all recreational interests. Its members had been frustrated over a long period of time in trying,to negotiate with politicians and the National Parks and Wildlife Service to have their recreational interests considered, let alone recognised and implemented. Accordingly, it was decided that the only hope of having these needs satisfied, was to go political.
In seeking its objective, the party is not “vehemently anti wilderness and pro-development in national parks, including mining and logging.” The party members do not wish to extend their activities into all national parks and wilderness areas, as the letter implies. They fully recognise the need to preserve. important conservation and wilderness areas. In fact, all the party members we know are conservation minded and have, a genuine love for the bush. However, we do believe that the reservation of the large areas which have now been dedicated to parks and wilderness and the restrictions which have been placed on entry to them, effectively deprives the the general public from gaining access. Too much of the natural areas of NSW has been locked up to all but small parties of eight experienced walkers - a minuscule proportion of the state population. We dread the possibility of more restrictions such as compulsory paid guides.
We totally reject the statement attributed to Noel Plumb, claiming that we want unrestricted access to all areas. This would be as abhorrent to us as it is to members of SBW.
The last paragraph in Henry's letter clearly shows fundi overtones. The statement that Kosciusko snowfields have been concreted over beggars belief the ski resorts and slopes patronised by the 400,000 skiers in this state occupy less than 2 % of the total park and are largely concrete free. The ski resorts occupy about 0.06% of the combined area of all the NSW national parks and yet skiers contribute, over the four winter months, two thirds of all the gate revenue. How much do bushwalkers contribute to moneys collected by the NP WS, for the upkeep of the parks system?
Putting actions where our mouths are, one of us is an accredited and active bush regenerator and is also providing engineering advice to the NP WS on a voluntary basis, The other is the president of an active Land Care group operating in a national park. From this perspective we are quietly amused at the debate over Coolana, the effort required to recruit volunteers to maintain it and the proposal for a road extension to give better access for members.
We strongly urge the club to become active in fostering a national park by undertaking maintenance works, particularly track maintenance. If each NSW bushwalking club undertook to responsibility for the care and maintenance of particular areas, much of the needless erosion damage caused from walking would be avoided. Let us follow the precedents set in Europe and the USA. We recognise that for this to happen, attitudes will have to change within the service (particularly within the day labour force) but at least we now have a voice in parliament who can assist in promoting these ideas.
Lastly, we are disappointed that Henry did not check his facts with us or any other party member before he rushed into print. Signed Peter Stitt, Garth Coulter.