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THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER is the monthly bulletin of matters of interest to members of
The Sydney Bush Walkers Inc
PO Box 431 Milsons Point 1565. Editor: Bill Holland Production Manager: Frances Holland Printers: Kenn Clacher, Barrie Murdoch,
Tom Wenman Don Brooks Fran Holland
NEWS AND COMING EVENTS
2B ay! Six Foot Track in a Day !
Saturday 23 August sees this 46km Katoomba to Jenolan Caves SBW classic walk
Coolana Training Weekend:
12th, 13th July
Navigation, first aid and bushcraft training for new members in a bushiand setting.
Crossing of Blue Mountains
12th - 18th July Seven days retracing early exploration. Celebrating 190 anniversary of original crossing .
Coming Social Events:
16” July - Winter Warm-up
A walk and a huddle around stoves under the Harbour Bridge
20“ August - Indoor Rock Climbing
At the Climbfit Gym
This months magazine has been delayed by one week due to installing our new printer.
ADVERTISERS: Alpsport Front cover Eastwood Camping 9 Paddy Pallin Back cover Wildemess Transit 5
Willis's Walkabouts 7
JUNE 2003 Issue No. 823
Summary Of Contents: Index and Notices
Not the Presidents Report
Rosemary MacDougal is unable to contribute her normal report so your Editor has stepped in…
Treasurers Report: Maurice Smith gives an outline of the Club finances
Back from holidays your Editor states his view on current Club activities and seeks your opinion.
Skinny Dipping on Club Walks
The debate continues with letters for and against the rights of members to bare al.!
A plea for help from Caro - your Social Secretary
The Club Printer
Alex Colley and Kenn Clacher report on the printing machine - old and new
The Coolana Report
Don Finch reports on bush regeneration and other matters at Coolana, plus a plea for donations
David Trinder discusses the Intergrated Land and Water Access Plan for Sydney Harbour
The Walks Pages
Barry Wallace leads with his summary of walks for the month, Wayne Steele has a lengthy report on the Prince Regent walk in the Kimberley; Frank Davis reports on the Warrumbungies in April, Roger Treagus cycles part of the Great River Walk etc
Of Interest to New Members Advice on diagnosing and treating ankle injuries from Heike Krausse
Social Notes Caro reports on our social activities
Balance A contribution to creation theory
The Sydney Bushwalker: First Edition July 1931 Official publication of The Sydney Bush Walkers Inc. T he Sydney Bushwalker June 2003
The Sydney Bush Walkers Inc.
Our Club was formed in 1927 for the purpose of bringing bushwalkers together; enabling them to appreciate the great outdoors; establishing a regard for conservation and promoting social activities.
The Club's main activity is bushwalking but includes other activities such as _ cycling, canoeing and social events.
Our Walks Programme (published quarterly) features day walks on most Saturdays and Sundays, some mid week walks and overnight weekend walks.
Extended walks are organised in areas such as Lamington, Snowy Mountains etc as well as interstate.
Our meetings are held every third Wednesday evening at 8 pm at Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre, 16 Fitzroy Street, Kirribilli (near Milsons Point Railway Station).
Visitors and prospective members are welcome. General Enquiries: Phone 0500 500 729
SBW Website www.sbw.org.au Office Bearers
President: Rosemary MacDougal
Vice-President: Wilf Hilder
Public Officer: Maurice Smith
Treasurer: Maurice Smith
Secretary: Leigh McClintock
Walks Secretary: Peter Love
Social Secretary Caro Ryan
Membership Secretary Pam Morrison
New Members Secretary: Heike Krausse
Conservation Secretary: David Trinder Magazine Editor: Bill Holland Committee Member:
Barry Wallace Pam Irving Delegates to Confederation:
Jim Callaway Wilf Hilder Contact The Committee:
Members are welcome to contact the following officers with questions on Club management and other matters.
President : Rosemary MacDougal 9428 5668 (h) email@example.com Treasurer: Maurice Smith
9878 2958 (h) or firstname.lastname@example.org Members Secretary: Pam Morrison
0418 463 923 or at email@example.com
Vice President: Wilf Hilder 9587 8912 New Members Secretary. Heike Krausse
For prospective membership enquiries phone 9998 0587 and leave a message
Not the Presidents Report Somewhere in an overseas internet cafe I lost the Presidents email explaining why she would not be able to contribute her usual report this month. Rather than leave you uniformed as to the goings-on in Committee I have gathered together some information that should be of interest :
The Committee has approved the purchase of a new printing machine to be used for Club printing requirements and available for use by The Colong Foundation - cost $10,450
* The Conservation Secretary was asked to write to the Premier supporting the proposal that the Berowra Valley Recreation Park be upgraded to National Park status.
* He was also to write to the Tasmanian Government opposing the proposed Mania Island development.
The Club will buy an EPIRB emergency signalling device for use by leaders in remote areas.
* Our new Webmaster, John Bradham is to proceed with creating a new look website.
Treasurers Report - May 2003. Maurice Smith The annual subscription incoming flood has eased so that I have been able to draw breath again and head off into the bush with fellow club members.
Below is the summary of our funds movement for May.
Bank Balance 1* May $15,420 Membership subscriptions 2,738 Other 105 Total Receipts 2,843 Magazine postage 397 Coolana council rates 296 Ricoh printing machine 913 Total Payments 1,606 Bank Balance 31* May $16,656
Please send in your annual subscription payments and return the renewal notice form as well. Maurice Smith - Treasurer
Vale Enid Rigby 21/12/07 - 26/5/03 This month marked the passing of our oldest member - Enid Rigby aged 96 years. Enid and her late husband Alan were foundation members of the SBW, Alan having moved the motion that the club be formed way back in 1927.
Enid became an Honorary Life Member.
Enid Rigby passed away on 27” May and will be sadly missed by her sons Roger, Byron and Jeff as well as her many friends and club members.
The Sydney Bushwalker
June 2003 Page 3 |
The Clubs Contact Phone Number:
The Committee has experienced great difficulty in obtaining volunteers to handle phone enquiries from prospective members. Our roster system ensures that the phone answering is directed to different home phone numbers on a cyclic basis throughout the day ensuring that no one person is on call for more than limited time each day.
Personal phone contact is a great advantage in attracting new members to the Club but unless more volunteers come forward the service may have to be discontinued.
If you have some time available and would like to assist please contact Eddy Giacomel 9144 5095
A Call for Help !
Dear Sydney Bushwalkers,
I am a curator at Queensland Ait Gallery, researching a book on the artist Fiona Hall.
Her parents, both now deceased, met through Sydney Bushwalkers, probably in the early 1940s. Their names were William Holman Hall and Ruby Payne-Scott
Are you able to check the dates of their memberships for me and whether they were active on committees?
Many thanks, Julie Ewington 07 3840-7931 (work) Head of Australian Art Queensland Art Gallery
Contact The Editor: Copy for publishing in the SBW magazine should be received by the editor by the end of the first week of each month. Letters stating your viewpoint on matters of interest are most welcome. Please send your submission in by mail (preferably typed), on floppy disc, by fax or by
email addressed to The Editor Telephone: 9484 6636 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. au
Fax: 9980 5476 (phone 9484 6636 first)
Have You Changed Your Address?
If you have changed your address or phone number recently, please advise:
Members: Pam Morrison
Prospectives: Heike Krausse
The advice should be in writing directed to the Clubs postal address. This will ensure that our records show your current address and prevent delay in receiving the magazine each month.
Well, back on home soil again after a long break. George Mawer very capably managed the Editors role while I was away - thanks George!
Reading my great stack of mail including the May magazine and Winter Walks and Social Programmes brought home to me the changes in our Club affairs. The new Walks Secretary and Social Secretary have approached their tasks with great enthusiasm and this is apparent in the changes being made.
However, to me, it seems a pity that we are left with only one social night a month and I understand that the Social Programme is fully booked until May 2004. During the three months of Winter only one of the social nights will be in our Clubrooms - the Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre will a lonely place for bushwalkers wandering around looking for companionship. This is not to diminish the great activities planned by Caro but why cant we have a Clubroom night as well as an away activity each month?
The Walks Programme is fine for the fit and able walkers but lacks walks attractive to our new members. Excluding the mid-week walks, there are only two easy grade walks in three months We encourage new members to try an easy walk as their first activity but it seems they may have to wait a long time.
We have many leaders, past and present, who should be willing to make an effort to encourage not only new members but perhaps some of our older members no longer able to perform their former feats of endurance. What do you think?
As well as the normal contributions this month magazine features more letters on that contentious subject, skinny dipping; a good spread of walks reports and an article on the replacement of the club printing machine.
Regarding printing, I look forward to the promised improvement in print quality and perhaps an ability to print photos more clearly. This month there are several pages printed using 10 point typeface instead of the usual 11 point. I would like to know how this is received and whether some of you have a preference for retaining the larger type.
The subject of the printing machine revived the idea of issuing the magazine by email, or by access to the web page. This idea rated very poorly in a survey three years ago, presumably some were adverse to a 2-3 megabytes magazine clogging up their email - also a screen displayed page is not as easily read as a printed page.
I welcome your ideas and opinions on this and other subjects. Bill Holland T he Sydney Bushwalker June 2003 |
DMX Letter To The Editor:
I write in support of the sentiments expressed by Caro in the April magazine and by Cathryn and Gail in the May edition, and add the following comments:
SBW has an aging population. None of us are getting any younger. What might have looked good in public many moons ago should now probably be kept for private viewings. The sight of naked oldies is not always pretty and is unlikely to impress people who are new to our club.
It is not just some new young members who are uncomfortable with the nude bathing aspect of SBW. Not-quite-as-young new members have also expressed similar sentiments.
SBW always needs new members. There is a low conversion rate of prospectives to full members (particularly it seems at present) so why should we alienate prospective new members due to a lack of consideration and discretion regarding nude bathing? No one is suggesting that nude bathing be stopped but if you want to bath nude please give consideration to the comments & ideas outlined by Caro. In particular nude bathing should be described to new members as optional, not as compulsory. Chris Dowling
MX Letter To The Editor:
I have watched the debate about skinny dipping with some amusement at ffirst, but after some thought, I decided I should email my twopence worth.
I am not sure how this issue has gained such weight recently, as I never experienced skinny dipping as a kind of club ritual or competitive activity. For me it has simply been the most natural thing you do when you're out in the bush. Others, however, may feel differently, especially if some bigmouth comes along and makes his personal preference of swimming naked appear as if it was the credo everyone else must accept, otherwise they join the “wuss” category!
So I guess the answer is a bit more acceptance on both sides. I. think, Cathryn Ollif, in the May magazine, hit the nail on the head: Just don't make a big issue out of it! If someone doesn't want to swim naked, don't ask them why and why not and wouldn't they perhaps change their mind! Just let them be the way they want to be. It's called respect for the other person.
Equally, if you feel uncomfortable with nude swimming, let the ones who enjoy it do so without making them feel as if they are some kind of
Skinny Dipping On Club Walks - The Debate Continues
depraved aberrant lot to beware of! If they are aware of the disapproval of the clothed bystanders, they may feel just as uncomfortable as the bystanders themselves. The end result is unnecessary disharmony, embarrassment and hostility. That's what nobody needs on a weekend away.
If your companions are friendly, tactful, discreet, respectful and tolerant, but you still feel uncomfortable about remaining clothed in the presence of nude people, or about being nude in the presence of others remaining clothed, maybe we should remember this one: “If some viewers are offended by this program, you may want to turn off or switch to another channel.”
Let's not be embarrassed about life, lets live it instead! Gerhard Ruhl
MX Seen One, Seen 'Em All
In response to Caro Ryan's recent article mentioning the 'Bushwalker's Cossie', I would like to add some thoughts from someone who has bushwalked in every state in Australia over the last thirty years. My experience has been that nude bathing is a common practice in most clubs I have been involved with.
Perhaps there are reasons why so many bushwalkers decide to bare all before entering the water.
When you are out walking you get rather sweaty and dirty. Summer trips often may involve swimming with packs. Walking in wet clothes can lead to chaffing, There may not be sufficient time to change into cossies, and where might one go to change discreetly when you are surrounded by cliffs and steep rock faces.
So I ask of Caro and other new members to see the reasons why on some walks nude bathing may be encountered. However I also agree with Caro that it may offend those who are not used to the idea. Perhaps leaders of walks should try to explain the reasons to newcomers, and perhaps try to segregate those who find nude bathing offensive from those who don't. Leaders need to be more diplomatic if new members are not to be put off.
However some of the solutions proposed by Caro such as moving around the corner, or dangling a wet cossie from your pack may not be practical either. Items dangling from packs often get caught on bushes and next time you put your pack down, the item is not there; and the comer might be either a long way away, difficult to negotiate or may not necessarily be out of sight such as swimming in a small lake in Tasmania.
If bushwalking was a religion, nude bathing a The Sydney Bushwalker
June 2003 Page 5 |
might be a ritual to some who feel their body and soul may be cleansed by the clean water. But often it is a necessity on some walks, so perhaps it could be listed as a hazard along with thick scrub, rough terrain and the like.
One final thought concerning the title of this article. One day I was walking along Erskine Creek in the Blue Mountains. It was a warm humid day, so I decided to stop and have a swim using my Bushwalker's Cossie' Just as I was leaving the pool to get dressed, some young ladies appeared out of the scrub. Oops, sorry about this' was my response to which one of the ladies replied 'seen one, seen em all'
We continued along the creek and about half an hour later we unintentionally surprised them swimming in their 'Bushwalker's Cossies' .My only response was 'seen one, seen 'em all' No one seemed to be too bothered about the afternoon's events, indeed we all saw the humorous side to it.
. oe? ~~. | Letter from Ian Debert CIR I could not resist replying to ~ oo the article by Caro Ryan.
As you know nude swimming has been a part of the history of the SBW since my father was Founding president, mostly on summer trips; though I have known some members to disrobe in winter.
I have over the years led many swimming trips and nudity has never been a problem as long as I (the leader) inform members and/or prospectives/visitors that some of the party swim nude (this should apply to all leaders).
I can understand how people feel towards it so they have the option of going on my walks or not. Nudity is not forced on them so if there is only one or two of us wishing to swim this way we use discretion.
Over the years I have found that most people I have met on my walks prefer to swim nude. If any feel uncomfortable they usually go on another trip - or not at all. The option is theirs ! I must confess that I was horrified that someone had told Caro Ryan that she must swim in the nude if she wished to join our Club - this is not correct !
Maintenance and Bush Regeneration
19“, 20” July: Help maintain Coolana and learn some bush regeneration techniques. As well, enjoy a pleasant and social weekend. (See Winter Walks Programme)
Just your friendly SBW Social Secretary here with a new idea for the club and potentially for you!
I'm on the lookout for some people who are keen to join the Social Team for the club (along the same lines as the New Members team).
The commitment is fairly minimum, but due to increasing demands in my job which includes travel (often at very short notice), I'm now not always going to be available on the 3rd Wed of each month to put the um on. My hope is that with 4 or so people on the team, we can take turns to co-ordinate the set up and introduce the social evenings.
There are some exciting events ahead in the social life of the club and it would be terrible if due to my job, the social plans for the club could potentially fall apart at the last minute. If you could help out in any way - it would be a HUGE help and be a great way to get more involved in the life of our great club.
Please let me know by return mail or if you've got any questions, give me a call on my mobile 0412 03 4071 and I'll be happy to answer them.
Hope to hear from you…
Thanks n' cheers Caro
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|Page 6 T he Sydney Bushwalker
The Club Printer
I printed the cover page of the Colong Bulletin, inserted the master copy of page 2 and started the printer. Out came a totally black page.
Had I done something stupid? The book of instructions was no help, so J called Chris, the mechanic. He soon found the trouble - a short in the complex works of the machine.
I was relieved that it was not my fault, but sorry to hear that it would cost some $3000 to repair. And if it were to be repaired spare parts would be unavailable, so our $3000 could well be wasted. Fortunately the Club had built up a replacement fund over the years which would probably be enough, with the benefit of a small trade-in, to buy a new one.
My mind went back to the early days of the magazine when Jean Harvey came to my flat at Kirmibilli to cut the stencils and the magazine was printed by Brian Harvey on a manually operated Gestetner machine in the clubroom. Later it was
printed in Phil Butts flat at Clontarf.
This printing machine (our second one I think} was replaced by an offset printer which resided in my garage. Operating the machine was too much for amateurs, but fortunately Stan Madden, a professional printer, did the printing while it lasted.
It was Morag Ryder who persuaded the Club in 1991 to acquire an up-to-date machine. Fortunately ex-President Bob Hodgson, ace salesman, was able to obtain for us a $2,000 discount on the sale price. The new machine transferred the master copies to a very fine stencil which reproduced it as well as the old offset printer and it could be operated by amateurs.
Members should appreciate the work of our worthy printers. The cost of having the last magazine and walks programme professionally printed was $1117. Over the 12 years life of the old printer the Club saved over $100,000. Club annual subscriptions would have to be raised some $20 to cover this cost
Extracts From Kenn Clachers Report to Committee:
The club has always printed its magazine, The Sydney Bushwalker, rather than have it printed by commercial printers. The existing printer was purchased some twelve or more years ago and has given good service at low cost, with some sacrifice of quality in the final product. In particular, it does not reproduce photographs well. This has nevertheless been simply overcome on occasions by having the relevant page or pages printed commercially.
For the past few years, it has been increasingly difficult to persuade the original vendor to service the printer and to obtain spare parts. The printer recently suffered a fault that the serviceman says is irreparable. Options for the club to carry out its future printing include;
* buy a new printer
* abandon printing in-house and have the magazine, walks program and sundry documents printed commercially
Various sensitivities were also considered to determine the impact of changes in the main assumptions on the
relative costs of the options, including;
* purchasing a different, cheaper copy printer, with a three-month delay in delivery
* purchasing a photocopier
* reducing the number of pages through reducing font size or the amount of content in order to reduce the cost of printing the magazine
Photocopying machines were considered as a replacement of the copy printer, which is a duplicating machine. A |.
photocopying machine that would copy 50 pages per minute (less than 2 the speed of a copy printer) would cost 2%
times as much to purchase, and over twice as much to run (excluding paper costs). The only advantage of a
photocopier over a copy printer of which I am aware is better quality.
Quality of Printing
The difference in quality of material printed by copy printers and photocopiers mainly manifests itself in poor
reproduction of photographs and advertisements on the current copy printer. This has been overcome on occasions
in the past by photocopying those pages of the magazine which contain photographs.
It appears that there has been a revolution on the capabilities of copy printers in the 12 or more years since the club purchased its present printer, not unlike the revolution in computers. As a result, quality of printing of contemporary machines is much superior to the clubs current machine.
For many years, the club has permitted the Colong Foundation to print the Colong Bulletin on the clubs printer. The Colong Foundation has reimbursed to the club the estimated cost of paper, ink and masters that it uses. The club in tur bas made a donation to the Foundation equivalent to these costs. If the club no longer has a printer, the Colong Foundation would incur printing costs of its Bulletin of around $4,000 annually, compared to the few hundred dollars it notionally pays to the club (and receives back by way of donation) at present.
The club would recoup its investment in the recommended printer (JP 5500) within a period of 14 months, Conclusion From a cost standpoint, the clubs printing costs would be significantly lower if it purchases a Ricoh JP 5500 copy printer and continues to do all its printing in-house, rather than outsourcing, for all reasonable future circumstances.
The Sydney Bushwalker June 2003 Page 7 |
Report for June 2003 = Don Finch gs Over Anzac weekend Joan was again weeding and found a
small patch of noogoora burr. If somebody could search the eastern flat for noogoora burr and report result that would be helpful. Brian, Spiro and George spent some time mowing cobblers pegs on the western end of the camping flat. It is acknowledged that mowing alone will not eradicate this weed and we are trying to develop an overall plan involving spraying and hand weeding and when to do it. In the mean time mowing is confined to the western end of the camping flat from the start of the enclosure. The mowing of a two meter wide track along the length of the eastern flat would allow access to a heavily weed infested area, any volunteers!
The Shoalhaven Council Privet control officer Ester Nyers and her team have spent a day on privet with more to be done soon. Ester was met at Coolana by Shirley, Gretel and Hilary who spent some time hand weeding. Gretel reports that the weed pit is in need of burning weather permitting.
On an earlier visit Bill had noted that a wallaby had been trapped inside a small wired off area which had been erected to protect some small wattles. The wallaby ate the wattles and was lucky to be found and released by Bill. *
* I arrived at Coolana on a Saturday morning to discover a wallaby (or small kangaroo) trapped in the wire enclosure. It had jumped in but there was not enough room to jump out. The ground had been eaten bare and the animal was bleeding where it had cut itself in a frenzied effort to escape ………………. Editor
An Appeal For More Funds - For Coolana
Dot Butler, and others, started the Coolana Fund over thirty years ago when Council rates were much lower than they are today. It would be great if we could add to these funds to ensure that Coolana does not become a burden to the Club. Your donation to The Coolana Fund would be welcome and used for the purpose for which it was donated.
Watarrka. to other area f fave explored its cenbal Susivaka Gives you tae expercencet a
EVERY major hagital - and ari sites as well High ranges. desert dunes, riverine, gorge O u r tri Ds g O to county and culture. This trip has all a tim one walk (seus can 8nd a report one of aur cients wrore d f | adour last pears Waldirha walk on our wedsire 3 WoO N er U ie aces West Macdonnells. Deeg, rugged gorges,
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Conservation Report - Sharing Sydney Harbour
Before white man arrived in this country Sydney harbour was a meandering set of deep water bays, rivers, sandy beaches and harbours draining the surrounding headlands, hills and plains of the Sydney basin. Over the past two hundred years Sydney has grown from a colony with a few simple buildings into a city of four million people with concentrated commercial and residential development surrounding its magnificent harbour. The addition of a good quality man made city to a beautiful natural harbour has provided one of the finest cities in the world. The random pattern of waterways provides many kilometres of waterfront for the people of Sydney to enjoy. The function of large parts of the waterways is changing from commercial enterprise that required access for watercraft to residential and recreational uses. Sydney harbour belongs to the people who enjoy it for recreation on it or around it, those who live near it, those look at it and to those who dont look at it but know that it is part of their city. Many of our club walks and bike rides are on harbour foreshores because they are good environments.
Over the past several years Planning NSW and the Waterways Authority have been working together to improve public access to the harbour. The improvements identified in this
Integrated Land and Water Access Plan are based on a vision of enhancing the recreational enjoyment of Sydney Harbour and its tributaries for the people of Sydney and visitors the city. The draft plan contains numerous opportunities to improve access to and along the foreshores and waterways for walkers, cyclists, kayaks, canoes and other boats. The governance of Sydney Harbour is a complex of overlapping jurisdictions involving the Executive Officer and the Sydney Harbour Secretariat based at PlanningNSW nineteen local councils, and several state bodies.
Currently around 60% of the 230 kilometres of Sydney Harbour and its tributaries foreshores are public accessible. Demand for greater access is expected to increase in line with increases in tourism and population. Outcomes of the plan will include an increase in foreshore accessibility from 60% to 72% of the foreshore, equivalent to 28 kilometres of new walking tracks and cycleways, public domain areas such as parks, reserves and intertidal zones.
Community groups, executive bodies and individuals can have a say in the future in Sydney Harbour. For further information go to www.planning.nsw.gov.awharbour or the sharing Sydney Harbour Infoline on 1300 363 506.
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| Page 10
T he Sydney Bushwalker
THE WALKS PAGES
Walks Notes - 10 April to 4” May 2003 As indicated last month the supply of walks reports dried up late in March. Reports received for the walks after this period are covered here. Wilf Hilder led a party of 6 on bis midweek walk titled Sydney Spider Web No. 6 on Thursday the 3 of April. They encountered sections of obscured track and wet scrub due to the occasional light shower of rain. The showers cleared after lunch and the party is reported to have enjoyed the walk. The 5 of April saw Gail Crichton with a party of 12 out on her Saturday walk from The Golden Stairs to Ruined Castle. Conditions were perfect for walking and despite some incipient lameness that overcame one of the walkers along the way all finished well and retired to a local watering hole for dinner. Wilfs Saturday walk, the Great River walk Stage U was cancelled due to train delays that made connections with the ferry impossible. Nigel Weaver was out on the Sunday with a party of 15 on his Alison Point to Little Wobby walk in Brisbane Waters area. They report that the tracks around the National Fitness camp are indistinct due to the lack of use since the camp closed. The 7 starters on Maurice Smiths Sunday walk out from Carlons Farm put in a good full day, starting at 0830 and finishing back at the cars at 1800: Weather conditions were excellent with the usual superb views and fierce nettles in Carlons Creek.
Bill Holland led the midweek walk along the North Arm walking track on Tuesday the 8“ with a party of 4, The track is old but the views are good.
The real walks reports for the period commence here, with a cancellation. Patrick James walk out from Hawkesbury River station on Saturday 12” April to some of the old railway dams was cancelled due to park closures. Tony Crichton had 17 walkers on his Otford to Bundeena trip that day despite the train guard who told them the train did not stop at Otford. The weather was generally sunny, with just one cloudburst to show who was really in charge. The patty of 4 on David Trinders Sunday cycle from Meadowbank to Botany Bay and return set a fast pace in good weather. The pedestrians, or at least 16 of them, were out with Ron Watters on his walk from Carrington Falls in Buderoo National Park that day. Conditions were fine, with a competitive leech count throughout the day which ended at the cars at 1640, except for 10 stayers who dined at the Mittagong Chinese restaurant. Errol Sheedy had 6 other pedestrians on his trip into the Royal from Bundeena. I am puzzled by his remark that the views at Jibbon were embracing. Is this some scandal we should know about?
The following weekend was Easter. It appears that Maurice Smith re-routed his programmed Snowy Mountains trip to somewhere in the Blue Mountains National Park. There were 6 in the party, they encountered, or expected to encounter, scree slopes, slippery rocks, stinging nettles and a fair share of bush-bashing, but that is all we know. Kenn Clacher the party of 4 on his trip in Deua National Park either
travelling fast or taking it easy. They finished walking at 1400 hours on the first three days and at 1600 on the last day. Carol Lubbers walks from a base camp at Longridge property had a total of 12 plus 1 in varying combinations on the different days. Ian Rennard had two day walks scheduled. The Good Friday trip had a party of 16 on a route from Lewisham to East Balmain in showery conditions. The Easter Monday trip has 21 Starters travelling through the Royal from Waterfall to Bundeena. Conditions started out overcast and improved to a beautiful golden sunset at the end. The views were good and the bush is looking healthy and vigorous following recent rains.
Tailgating Easter came Anzac day this year. Bill Capon had a trip in Morton National Park over that weekend. Kenn Clacher led the overflow group of 5 in good conditions with some rain on the 27“. The report indicates long days, early starts and late finishes, which is after all the traditional way of such things. Bill led the B team of 8 walkers over a similar route with hazards such as wet and greasy creek beds. His report of the trip looks as if it traveled in an outer pocket of the pack. Leigh McClintoch led a party of 11] on a trip to the Budawangs over the same period, and Mark Patteson seems to have led an unspecified number on his trip to Mount Canoblas SRA for a pair of base camp day walks. The weather was fine with a cool breeze and the creeks were predominantly dry. For day walks, Patrick James led a Saturday walk from Mount Victoria to Mount York in the Blue Mountains with a party of 6 finishing early at round 1500 hours. Sunday saw Maurice Smith leading a party of 10 on his trip out from Glenbrook to Lapstone Station and the Bluff.
May 3, 4 had Jim Percy with a party of 7 on his weekend trip out from Lawson in the Blue Mountains. Weather conditions were generally kind with just a lite rain over Sunday night with the Monday remaining cloudy but fine. Three of the prospectives had retired early on the first day along a fire trail due to an illness, so missed out on the character building second night out, occasioned as it was by the denser than expected scrub. Jim will, or possibly has, prepared a detailed report for the walk covering the positive outcomes of the experience. Rosemary MacDougal had the party of 7 on her trip out from Wog Wog car park in Morton National Park enjoying challenging conditions with thick overhead scrub in some sections. Pam Morrison also led a trip that weekend, in Yengo National Park. There was a party of 8, with a good walk in good weather. Patrick James led a Saturday walk that weekend, visiting points of hydrological interest around Waterfall, Heathcote and Loftus. The party of 7 all escaped collision with a number of kamikaze bicycle riders on the tracks around Loftus. Frank Grennan led a Sunday walk out from Carlons Farm with a party of 17 in beautiful sunny weather. The grass seeds along the streams were a notable feature
The few walks remaining for this period will be covered next month.
Barry Wallace The Sydney Bushwalker
June 2003 Page 11 |
S.B.W. Prince Regent River Walk Kimberley Western Australia
12 June to 25 June 2002
Supported with enthusiasm and confidence following the 1999 walk to the Mitchell River in the Kimberley area, another walk was required to visit the lovely and remote area of the Kimberley. | However, this time a more wildemess experience was necessary than that of the Mitchell River. The Mitchell River area, although attractive, was disappointing because the wilderness experience was interrupted by overhead tourist flights or by meeting commercial
bushwalking tour groups. Accordingly, it was.
decided to find a remote area in which to do a 10 day walk and so the upper reaches of the Prince Regent river was selected. This area is located in the SW portion of the Kimberley. It was near the mouth of this river that an American woman was taken by a crocodile in 1986.
The Prince Regent River area is relatively difficult to access and is not often visited by walkers. So it came about that four members, and one ex- member (now living in Canberra), of the Sydney Bush Walkers Club did a ten day walk to this marvellous area. The number of walkers in the group is limited to multiples of which a light aircraft and four wheel transport can economically accommodate. It was initially my intention to take 10 walkers but as I was not familiar with the area and did not know how interesting or hard it may be, it was decided to treat the walk as an exploratory and limit the group number to five.
The walkers were; Marella Hogan, Patrick McBride, Bob Miine, Tony Marshall, Wayne Steele. My companions are all competent bushwalkers and. could navigate and be relied upon to respond appropriately to any problems.
Our packs weighed in at about 17 kgs each which included 5.4 kgs for communal equipment and communal food such as dinners and breakfasts. Lunches and nibbles were individually catered for. Of course no long trip is complete without the rum and Jemon barley for the evening hot toddy. We did not take tents, but did take summer range sleeping covers and mosquito nets. The weight also consisted of quite a bit of reading material which, on the last trip, was found necessary during the midday period when walking in the heat was not pleasant. We carried an EPIRB.
Getting to the start of the walk was a bit laborious but does reflect on the remoteness of the region. The transport consisted of a large jet aircraft from Sydney to Darwin; a smaller regional twin propeller aircraft from Darwin to Kununurra; a single propeller light aircraft from Kununurra to a dirt airstrip and a 100 km four wheel drive from airstrip to walk start point.
The four wheel drive access was via a very rough track which was used originally to drive cattle to the coast. The first 50km took lhour, but the second 50km took a bum numbing 3.5 hours. The four wheel drive track was barely recognisable when it was going through the flat country with either standing 2 metres high spear grass or the burnt
stubble remains of the grass and trees from the recent and annual fires.
The walk started from a portion of the track where it was flat and featureless and no different from any other part of the track. The takeoff location was chosen as being due south of the head waters of a prominent creek which flowed to the Prince Regent river. It was a little disconcerting to see the four wheel drive leave and we five standing in the middle of generally featureless terrain surrounded by lightly wooded eucalyptus trees, palm trees and 1.5-2.0 metres tall spear grass and a long way from any form of civilisation. The nearest homestead was 100km away, and even that homestead was considered remote from well travelled roads. _I just hoped that my directions to be picked up in ten days time at a specific location along this track would not be misunderstood nor forgotten.
Our first priority was get to a tributary of Pitta Creek, which flows to the Prince Regent River, and determine whether the finding of water was going to be a problem or not. The walk across the plateau to the creek was through open grassland with some sparsely separated trees and shrubs with little shelter from the sun. Fortunately a recent fire had destroyed most of the dry spear grass but had left us with walking over rock and through ashy and dusty conditions. On reaching the Pitta Creek, not only was water was found surprisingly early but we were delighted to find large reaches of water in which we could swim. There was no signs of fresh water crocodiles.
The temperatures during the walk were generally 15C at night and early morning but rising rapidly when the sun rose. The temperature from about
_10.00am to 5.00pm was from about 28C to 34C.
Although the actual daily air temperatures were not excessive we found that walking in the midday sun was hot and uncomfortable. Accordingly, we soon settled into a daily routine of; Marella (the firebug) would light the fire at 5.00am (still dark), start breakfast at 5:30am (first light), walking by 7:30am, stop at shelter and pool by 11:00am and laze around, read, and explore until afternoon when we would continue to walk for a few more hours and search for a camp site. In the evening there was only 45 minutes twilight and it would be dark by 5.45pm. After Marella lit the fire (@mobody else would dare), rum and lemon barley would be distributed then one or two would take turns in cooking the communal evening dinner whilst the others lazed around. The meals were excellent, filling and varied, everyone took pride in producing something exotic and different for each night. We carried water during the day, the quantity depended on where we were, but on the alluvial plains we would carry about 4 litres. The most we carried was 8 litres.
We were aware that there are salt water and fresh water crocodiles in the area and my experience in the Mitchell River area showed that they can be found in unexpected areas well above the waterfalls, and so |Page 12
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we were continually watching for signs on the banks or in the long pools. We were not particularly concerned with finding freshies in our drinking water, but because of the large pools and the fact that there were no major cascades between us and the sea we were conscious that there may also be salties in the dark pools.
Our first camp was located on a relatively smooth rock ledge along the Pitta creek next to a long reach. We were able to sit on the flat rock terraces and look at the beautiful tall white eucalyptus trees, paper bark trees and pandanus palms which grew at the edges of the shadowed pool and note the contrast with the heat haze rising from the weathered sandstone rock outcrops and grass lands just beyond. As with all the remaining campsites, sunset and sunrise were the best times to witness the attractive colour changes on the cliffs, rock sentinels and in the water reflections. Other than small birds there was almost no wildlife to be seen. However, after being settled for a few hours, Tony noted a snake moving along his sleeping bag and disappearing into a rock crevice which was a few inches from where his head would be. Declaring that he felt uncomfortable knowing that a snake was so close to his head, Tony moved to a higher ledge.
Each night we would sleep under the stairs. We had carried mosquito netting but we were fortune in that we encountered almost no mosquitoes or flies and so bed was the ground sheet on the softest selected stone slab with a light covering against the 15C night. From this horizontal position one could spend all night gazing at cloudless night sky with the innumerable stars, including our planetary companions of Mercury, Venus, and Mars. We were rewarded nightly with a display from meteorites entering the earths atmosphere. Bob had brought with him star maps of the night sky, and so many hours were spent identifying the various constellations and planets.
A notable aspect of the nights is that they were totally silent. There was no wind to stir the trees and no small animals rustling in the dry grass. It was quite eerie to hear nothing but your own heat beat.
We then travelled along Pitta Creek to the waterfall and water cascades where Pitta Creek starts to become a steep sided gorge. Until this drop Pitta Creek is a rocky creek with occasional long reaches with trees and high grasses along the rocky and/or sandy banks. The pools were abundant with a fish which were later identified as locally named sooty grunters. They were very curious of our presence and we could easily have had fish for dinner each night. Patrick improved our collective knowledge of the plants by identifying the various flowers and plants by species and genus. At regular intervals, Patrick would collect diatom samples from the selected pools for later study and identification. The Pitta Creek gorge runs for about 12 kilometres where it reaches the Prince Regent River. The deep and dark pools walls are enclosed by high vertical red sandstone cliffs which contrasts magnifically against the cloudless blue sky. It was our intention to travel down this gorge to the Prince Regent River but we reconsidered our plan, primarily because we thought
the going would be too slow if we had to swim and scramble over block-ups for a large portion of this distance. Another consideration was that as Bob and I approached the first deep and dark pool we saw a crocodile slowly sink below the surface. We were unable to determine if it was a freshy or salty but basically we did not fancy swimming through potentially 12 kilometres of deep and dark pools with unknowns below us.
As an alternative we travelled southeast away from the gorge along a creek which also flowed into Pitta Creek gorge. It was our intention to meet the Prince Regent River upstream from our earlier goal. This creek was totally different in character from Pitta Creek, with much more vegetation, shorter, though thick cane grass, groves of pandanus trees and flowing water. Each side of the creek had low but steep sandstone cliffs with numerous shallow caves and overhangs. It was in one of these overhangs that Marella found our first and last (in the lowlands) aboriginal painting. For this, she earned an extra ration of rum that evening. We camped that night in the creek on granite rock slabs in a delightful remnant rainforest where the stream split into many channels which encircled each of our sleeping and eating platforms.
The gorge opened up and we climbed to the rocky plains to shortcut the various creek bends. From high vantage points we could see mumerous rock outcroppings and large grassy plains. The alluvial plains did not bave much water but we were fortunate in finding water in occasional deep bends in the creek. The two hour lunch break was spent in a dry rock creek continually moving to keep with the shade of the sparse tree cover. This country was ruggedly magnificent with highly dissected sandstone rocks which left beautifully shaped tors, sentinels and gullies.
The plains as noted earlier, are very lightly covered with eucalyptus trees and heavily covered with spear grass and mild spinifex. The walking is generally rough and slow going and care must be taken because of the broken rocks and hidden tree stumps in the grasses. When we crossed small creeks we generally would find water and occasionally a pool in which to swim and cool down. These pools were surrounded by groves of pandanus trees. The isolation was reinforced by the fact that all one could - see to the horizon in all directions was the continuation of rugged sandstone outcroppings.
Of these many outcroppings, we could see in the distance one which was called Mt. Agnes. This was named by Brockman who was one of the first European explorers in the area in about 1904. His diaries record that when he climbed the mountain (only 200 metres above the surrounding land) he noted a standing white rock, (1.2 metres high) which is not indigenous to the local rocks, with smaller rocks surrounding its base and which was obviously not a natural feature. When he asked his aboriginal guide of its significance, the guide replied that it has always been there and was not installed by the aboriginals. Brockman climbed this mountain and erected a cairn at the top. The Sydney Bushwalker
June 2003 Page 13 |
On crossing the plains and reaching the escarpment we were getting short of water and were delighted to find that a narrow canyon, which we had been trying to reach, was a perfect place for our camp. Initially we were a little concerned, for the smooth rock creek bed above the canyon did not have any water, but within the canyon there was plenty of water, wood and shade, and, as a result of the annual fleods, was complete with many terraces of smooth rock ledges on which we could spread our gear and which made for perfect sleeping platforms. At one end of the canyon was a large dry waterfall which must be quite impressive during the wet season. It was calming to sit in the shade at the edge of the dry waterfall with a rum and lemon barley in the hand and look out over the rock filled plain to the valley of the Prince Regent river valley. We named this gorge Big Bang Gorge
It must be explained that as the maps did not name creeks or gorges it was necessary for us to identify lunch spots, camp spots, gorges etc, with specific names so that we could clearly communicate these areas in our conversations. It was intentional that we did not immediately allocate a random name to a location but waited until the name for the location became significant. This made it easier for all of us to remember the names. As an example, this gorge, which was to become a focal point, was finally named by consensus Big Bang Gorge as a result of Marella's fire lighting activities.
All the flat rock ledges which we encountered during the walk have obvious prehistoric ripple marks formed in the shallow seas when the rock was still sand or mud. In was on one of these ripply ledges under which Bob was laying out his nest for the night Patrick spotted a line of clearly identifiable dinosaur prints in the rock. By the time flour and water had been spread across the rock to get a good contrast for photographs of these prehistoric footprints the bed location was unusable. Bob moved. to another ledge.
The next day we climbed down the escarpment in very hot, dry and rough conditions and walked along the dry creek bed towards the Prince Regent River which was about 8 km away and 300 metres drop. The creek was generally dry and would run flat for a distance and then drop over a number of dry low water cascades. The rock formation and small canyons were an explorers delight. Although the drops were of relatively low height they were all impressive as a result of the attractive rock ledges and rock formations in the vicinity, there was something different around every corner. Evidence of the wet season water levels can be gauged by the remains of timber in unbelievable high ledges. The falls and canyon must be very spectacular in the wet season.
At the last small dry waterfall before the grassy plains, Tony observed, as he readied his camera, that just 4 metres directly below us, in a deep but not very large pool, was a fresh water crocodile sunning himself. This was the only water until the Prince Regent River which was 3 km away. When we climbed down into the narrow canyon and stood
beside the same pool, there was no sign of the crocodile. If we had not seen it we would not have been aware that he was in this relatively small pool. Anyway, as I was quite hot and dirty and needed a swim, and the pool had plenty of sooty grunters swimming around, I surmised that the crocodile must be well fed and wouldnt mind if I shared his pool for a while. Ive still got all my appendages.
After a hot walk through the grasses we finally reached the Prince Regent River. It was not obviously flowing but had very long reaches of deep water with sandy banks and large white gum trees on the banks. Not far from the river were high vertical cliff walls of dark sandstone with broken rock boulders at its base. At this point we were cautious of salt water crocodiles for, although we were many kilometres from the sea there were no significant barriers along the river.
We walked along the banks of the deep pools trying to find a dry crossing until a cliff face forced us to concede that we had to cross the river to the other side. More for emotional well-being than practical safety we found a spot which was chest deep and we could see the sandy bottom and the sooty grunters where we could wade across with our packs on our heads. We all made it across without being eaten, but Marella was decidedly unimpressed when she realised that she would be last across and she had remembered stories where the smart crocodiles watch and determine the prey activity pattern before striking. Marella was much more cheerful after a num and lemon barley drink.
Our camp site for two nights was on a sandy bank of the Prince Regent River and near a very shallow part of a long reach. We did not sleep close to the waters edge. Someone later observed, but not confirmed, that they had found what they believe was a crocodile nest along the sandy bank.
A day trip was to follow a very narrow 8 km gorge which ran from the PR River to the northwest. As the gorge was so narrow we were protected from the sun and it was a pleasant experience to scramble over fallen rocks and along side lovely rock pools while having magnificent red coloured sheer cliffs towering overhead. It was in this gorge that we found a magnificent waterfall (about 200 metres) in unbelievably attractive and perfect surroundings that looked like it was made for a Tarzan movie. What was also interesting is that, even though a significant amount of water was falling, it was not flowing from the creek bed above. The large amount of water was flowing through a rock strata layer just below the surface. Marella climbed behind the waterfall and declared that she was the Fairy of the Waterfall The writer makes no comment on this.
On our return the sun was directly over the gorge and some of the pools which previously looked dark and foreboding were now sunlit and inviting. Swimming was required in the lovely rock pools and under the overhanging pandanus trees.
Leaving the Prince Regent River campsite we were able to avoid crossing the rivers deep reaches by crossing over rocks upstream and climbing over a ridge and down into our exit valley. We retraced our [Page 14
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path along the dry creek bed until the freshwater crocodile pool was reached. Here, instead of climbing the waterfall and returning along the dry gorge we decided to return to Big Bang Gorge via another route. This turned out to be a very narrow gorge (regularly 5 metres wide), full of pandanus trees and many pools and flowing water and which gradually climbed to the escarpment.. Totally different from the dry gorge that we came down but less than 1 km apart and parallel.
We overmighted in familiar and comfortable sutroundings of our Big Bang Gorge.
As we were now only two sleeps from the completion of the walk and everyone was in good humour, and as we had not used up our extra safety day, Bob suggested a high camp on top of Mt Agnes which was only 5 km away. This was agreed, but all water for lunch, dinner, breakfast had to be carried from near our camp to the top. This we did in the relative cool (but still hot) of the morning, with 8 litres of water each, and reached the summit at 10.00am. The explorer Brockmans white rock and his rock cairn on the summit were found.
The summit does not cover much area and is very broken with rock tors and ledges with soft spinifex in between. It was on the various lumps of rock that each person found enough space to jay their sleeping gear and took care not to roll over during the night. We had excellent 360 degrees view of the country to the far horizon. The country looked so desolate that it was hard to imagine that the terrain consisted of water filled gulleys and pleasant campsites. We spent the day reading and relaxing is separate patches of moving shade until the relative cool of the afternoon. There were some scattered clouds in the west and we witnessed the long lasting and magnificent colours of the sunset. There was a full moon so even in the night we could see the ghostly monochrome shapes of the land below us whilst laying in our bags.. Patrick and I awoke to see the setting of the full moon at 3. 15am.
The next day we spent casually walking south through the head high grasses of the sandy plains of the Pearson River catchment. The travelling was easy but the creek was basically dry. We did not want to camp on the dry sandy river flats and were relieved to find some high rocky outcrops on which we climbed and found rocky ledges on which to sleep and admire the view of the country.
On the last day we continued south until we crossed the 4 wheel drive track where we found our driver waiting for us. It was on the return journey with the 4 wheel drive that we stopped often to observe and photograph numerous and excellent examples of aboriginal rock art.
This walk was especially satisfying for, unlike the touristy Mitchell river and Mitchell falls of the north we all felt that we were in a real wilderness where few walkers have been before. The relief of the land was much more accentuated and there was a greater variety in the vegetation and land structure. Water was plentiful and one could easily catch fish for food. Navigation was not difficult due to the distinctive rock outcrops and cliffs. I can only imagine on the
mmany more fascinating sights that remain to be discovered, and will certainly be returning to this area in 2004.
Of course, one of satisfying aspects of these extended walks is that we are able to use the skills learnt through bushwalking, such as, light weight packing, navigation, walking in difficult terrain, and having trust in your companions skills, to venture into wilderness areas for many days and experience many varied sights and emotions.
The total cost for the walk including all transport, accommodation, food etc was $1,900 per person. The major cost which is included in this total is the air transport which amounted to $1,500 per person.
Advance Notice Of Extended Walks In Western Australia September -October 2003
September 15 to 22” (six days walking)
Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin 140 kms. September 25“ to Oct 5” (nine days walking) Bibbulmun Track Northcliffe to Walpole 142 kms. October 5“ to 14” (eight days walking) Bibbulmun Track Walpole to Denmark 125 kms. October 14“ to 20” (five days walking) Bibbulmun Track Denmark to Albany 90 kms. The walks feature coastal scenery, wildflowers, Indian Ocean sunsets, tall Karri forests and wildflowers
We also plan to hire a car in Albany after the last walk for a few days for day walks in the Stirling Ranges and Fitzgerald River National Parks.
The starting and finishing points for all the walks can be accessed by Westrail coaches from Perth. The dates include a day either side for travel to and from Perth.
More details will be included in the Spring walks program.
Contact: Paul McCann 67726156 after 6 pm
Weekend Walking Gear for Hire The club now has a small pool of weekend walking equipment available for hire. The rates
for weekly hire are:
Weekend pack: $15
Sleeping bag: $15
(For hygiene reasons you must provide and use your own sleeping bag liner)
Sleeping mat: $5
Ground sheet: $2
Complete kit $50
Equivalent refundable deposit required. Contact: Geoff McIntosh 9419 4619
The Sydney Bushwalker
June 2003 Page 15 |
Some twenty-five years or so ago I spent ANZAC weekend in the bungles. We camped at Blackman Camp. me. When the ice in our Esky melted we placed it outside the tent at night. Next moring the contents were effectively re-chilled; liquids were solid and frozen blades of grass snapped underfoot on the way to the distant loo.
We walked the Grand High tops, admiring the Breadknife as we passed, and on another day we tackled Belougery Split Rock.
I wasnt really a walker/camper, more a conscript from SCUBA Diving -a pursuit in which you aim to do as much as possible as slowly as possible (within reason) with as little effort as possible in order to extend your air supply as long as possible -which is not always possible, but you try if you get my drift.
I guess all that is my excuse to say I found the exertion engendered some heavy, though not emotional, breathing, but the scenery was, as they say, worth the effort .
In Apnil this year I retumed to Warrumbungle National Park. We were a party of nine with representatives from four walking clubs -NP A, Ramblers, Bush and SBW- no order of ascendancyor descendancy' intended or implied.
We stayed in the Warrumbungle Mountains Motel- 9km from Coona. With heater, electric blanket, gas stove and no frozen-grass walk to the en suite loo it was a far cry from Blackman Camp of long ago -believe me.
In the interval between these two visits I had walked and camped and become more aware of the 'flavour of the busb- its flora and fauna and the many fascinating landforms.
On Monday we took the Grand High Tops walk, with a detour to the Breadknife, returning via Point Wilderness and West Spirey Creek. Views from the top are truly magnificent, and can be a little overpowering in their immensity Prominent features are solidified lava plugs that cooled in the various vents of a shield volcano that was active seventeen million years ago. The Breadknife is an impossibly thin dyke left isolated by subsequent erosion.
Peter Fox writes, in the Warrumbungke National Park Guide Book'…from the Grand High Tops. ..it is difficult to imagine that this area was once covered by a huge volcano. Thirteen million
years of rain, wind and ice have eaten away at the structure, stripping off successive layers of ash and lava to expose the volcanos inner workings; and in so doing has created the dramatic landscape of today's Warrumbungle Range.
Peter's book is wonderfully informative and a great read even if you don't do the walks.
On Tuesday we walked some of the minor walks such as Gurianawa Nature Walk at the .Visitor Centre, Wambelong Nature Walk to Blackman Camp and the Burbie Canyon Walk, with a flying visit to Siding Spring Observatory just before closing time.
Next day we tackled the big one, Mount Exmouth. Though this is the highest point in the Park it is not a technical walk -just a steady uphill slog. There can be a tendency to rush to reach the peak but care should be taken to explore the whole journey. It was almost by accident that one of the group spotted what was in many ways the highlight of the day. At the base of the mountain, and quite close to Burbie Track was an extensive rock scree supporting a stand of superb Xanthorrhoea. Their normally-present skirt of old leaves was absent, leaving the tyre-blackened trunks stark against the red-brown of the shattered rock background. We came off the mountain with time left to take in the Arch but missed the nearby Cathedral.
Thursday, our last day, was Belougery Split Rock's turn to be bagged. I think this is technically a more difficult ascent than Exmouth, while the spectacle from the top is, as ever, worth the effort.
There are some magnificent photographs in Peter's book -and on display at the Visitor Centre, and though photography can't capture the magic of being there it is a thrill and a privilege to attempt to capture just a little of that magic.
PS. A Historic Photo display at the Visitor Centre featured a young Dot Butler, barefoot of course, rock climbing in the Park.
Blue Mountains NP s-.17 May
Leader: Mark Patteson
.The group of 8 had fine weather for the walk from Govett's Leap via Pulpit Rock and Perry's Lookdown to Victoria Falls .
There was Victor a good volume of water coming over the top of Victoria Falls. -Leeches were a minor issue for some along the way.
Essential Trivia: Discussed on Nigel Weaver's recent Maroubra to La Perouse walk.. Botany Bay: The minimum distance at the Heads is 1100 metres between Henry Head and Inscription Point. Sydney Harbour: The minimum distance at the Heads is 1450 metres between South Head and Quarantine Head
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T he Sydney Bushwalker
The Great River Bicycle Trip Stage 10
ay Leader: Roger Treagus
s On 18“ May a group of 10 walkers a cum cyclists set out from chong i Wentworth Falls railway station saa” S*“heading for Glenbrook by way of the Ingar, Bedford Creek, Murphys Glen and Woodford-The Oaks Fire Trails, a distance of 47km. The pedal power was provided by Heike, Vicki, Tony, Tu, Beth, Richard, Tony 2 and 13 y o Ellie; The machines were mainly mountain bikes or hybrids. It is a comment on todays equipment standards that all but one had front suspension.
Stage 10 in the Great River Walk series retums us to the Nepean River after diverting west of the Wollondilly to avoid the forbidden lands of Lake Burragorang on the slow but relentless march downstream towards the mouth. It had been pouring rain for a week in Sydney but the mountains had scored little of this. Consequently the trails were quite dry and the sodden stream of mud hitting the neck from the fast rotating tyres failed to eventuate.
It was a wonderful feeling to have a breeze through the hair (or beard in my case) with cool woodlands whizzing by and no effort spend in pedalling as we rocketed downhill. A fast running Bedford Creek was reached by morning tea time.
It never seems natural to push a bike uphill. Some tried to pedal the steep bits uphill. This seems more energy intensive than simply walking the bike. Lunch was spent in Woodford which is where the really popular mountain bike trip starts with the downhill rush to The Oaks, The lronbarks and Glenbook Creek. But the ups and down to start with tested the humour a bit and yours truly, not used to the rigours of a bike over such distances slowed to below the granny gear.
The afternoon high speed run down the mountain was a delight as the sun poked out for the first time. The Glenbook causeway was under water but this did not deter the avid cyclists to forged through. The day was complete with a long milkshake and some pavlova at the Glenbrook shops.
Expression of Interest Required
Two Weeks Holiday in New Zealand
Parents and Teenagers walk in the Summer school holidays 2003 / 2004. Milford, Routebum and the Rees Dart Tracks. Staying in Queenstown YHA (approx. $25/P/night) SBW is a member of YHA
Contact: Peter Love 9948 6238
Mid - Week Walking Group:
There is a group of members with time , available to participate in mid-week
A, activities. If you have time during
# the week or can take leave from
work please join us.
# New England Area 5 days in a Mountain Chalet Our booking for the cottage at Banksia Point near Armidale has been deferred to 27 - 31* October. Come and join us in walking in the New England National Park during the day returning to a roaring log fire at night.
Here are the mid-week scheduled activities, for more details please refer to the Winter Walks programmes
Tues 24” June: Cape Bailey Coastal Walk: Explore sand dunes, cliffside and heathland Thurs 3“ July: Great North Walk Link Manly to Bantry Bay
First stage of new link
Tues 15” July: Blue Mtns NP
Pierces Pass - Blue Gum Forest
Very scenic approach to Grose River
Tues 29“ July: Bouddi NP
Mt Bouddi - Little Beach - Maitland Bay A wonderful section of scenic coastline
Would you like to suggest or lead a midweek activity ? The Spring Walks Programme is now being prepared and Peter Love would welcome an extra walk or two or three.
Phone Bill Holland on 9484 6636 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Coolana Training Weekend: The next new members traming weekend will be held on 12” and 13 July at Coolana on the beautiful Kangaroo River.
This weekend offers an opportunity to gain practical experience in navigation, first aid and bush craft. It also is a very sociable weekend where you can meet other newcomers and gain from the experience of older members.
Tents are optional as there is a shelter shed on site. The campsite is only 15 minutes from the cars.
See the Winter Walks programme for more details and contact numbers.
Please send your Walk Reports (participation forms) promptly to:
The Walks Secretary - The Sydney Bush Walkers Inc. Box 431 Milsons Point NSW 1565
The Sydney Bushwalker
June 2003 Page 17
OF INTEREST TO NEW MEMBERS Heike Krausse
Hello from Heike
There are many possible accidents that can occur when out walking; most are minor in nature, cuts scratches, bruises that come with the territory…. Basically if out in the wilds and wanting to experience the wilderness dont expect to come home unscathed.
One of the more serious of minor accidents is a sprain, or twisted ankle, very easily done as I can testify as having one initially from stepping inadvertently in a hole I went on to repeat the experience every walk thereafter for no good reason whatsoever. One second cruising along happily next an ignominious crumpled heap blocking the path, usually casting loud, grumpy aspersions on a higher power.
A sprain is an injury to the ligaments near a jomt most frequently occurring at the ankle. Ligaments are strong cords of tissue that hold joints together, connecting adjacent bones. A spram is a wrenching, stretching, twisting or tearing force affecting these cords. It can be minor where the ligaments are only stretched or severe where they are actually torn.
Any: unexpected twisting or flexion (usually when the foot rolls outwards over the ankle) by walking on uneven surfaces, stepping off edges onto another level, sudden changes in direction whilst travelling at speed, or over-strenuous exercise (all common traits of a bushwalk) can cause a sprain …losing balance on high heels can too (although not so common on a bushwalk…)
Previous injury, weak lower leg muscles, abnormal gait can also contribute.
Symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising, decrease in mobility of the joint and possible spasm of the surrounding muscles. You could experience tingling if a nerve bas been affected. The usual treatment is to R.I.C.E the affected joint. Rest, avoid extra movement. Ice, apply via a pack of frozen peas or cold compress to reduce the swelling and pain. Compress with an elasticised bandage for reduction of swelling and support, Elevate, raise and support. Seek attention from a Doctor/Casualty Dept if after 24 hours the pain is still intense, the swelling not subsiding or getting worse, if you cannot weight-bear on the ankle or it is obviously deformed.
Now if out bush all this can be a little academic, as rest, ice (hah!!) and elevation are luxuries not afforded if you and all the party are to get out before dark/supplies run out. Crutches dont linger on trees either (how handy are you
with a penknife?). 've walked plenty on my sprained ankle and perhaps it wasnt the best for quick healing and thats probably why I kept re- spraining it but I reckon the swelling was less and the pain resolved much quicker with getting up and onward. A shoulder to lean on, walking stick (titanium or cut from the closest tree) will help keep some of the weight off for the walk out and of course you all have an elastic bandage in your 1* aid kits! Once home all the RICE factors apply but as one Physio informed me that using crutches or over- supporting with elastic bandages for a sprain can be one of the worst things as the joint needs to retain memory of movement and strength. The exercise she gave me was to stand one legged on the affected foot whilst cleaning my teeth with my eyes shut. A doddle says I…… believe me…dont stand too far from the basin for emergency rebalancing!!!
However, it can often be very difficult to ascertain how bad a sprain is or if in fact the ankle is also fractured. If in doubt assume a fracture.
If you get up and onward on a fracture you can cause some serious damage and complications. Some signs of fractures are, loss of function/range of normal movement or abnormal range of movement (goes where has never been before, ie: greater range of normal movement, be alert for any sound or feeling of bone against bone…dont seek out this symptom but if noticed while examining joint movement its not a good sign), any deformity of the joint, pain on wriggling of toes, pain on weight- bearing, tenderness over bony areas and marked discolouration/bruising indicating a larger loss of blood into the area.
In the end the patient in collaboration with the leader must be the one to decide as to what course of action they want to follow out there in bush from choices limited as they may be and being mindful also to the safety of the group as a whole. An independent other should be witness to the decision taken.
I very strongly suggest if Bushwalking is your activity of choice that you sign up for the next 1* aid course advertised in this magazine, run by St Johns Ambulance Australia but with a bushwalking focus. As out there you become your own Doctor, Nurse, Physio etc…
Please Welcome On Your Next Walk:
Chris Gordon, Joan Worsoe, Roger Martin, Ted Nixon, Lionel Sonntag, Peter OFarrell, Rosine Bates.
Dont Forget - New Members Coolana Training Weekend - 12“, 13 July [Page 18 T he Sydney Bushwalker June _2003 SOCIAL NOTES Hi guys, - = Balance:
May saw a great turnout for the showing of The Edge movie at the clubrooms. There was an enthusiastic 32 people there who enjoyed serve upon serve of popcom, reclined in beanbags and it was great to see quite a few prospectives there. Welcome guys! Thanks to Tony Manes and Vicky Garamy for making it happen.
By the time you read this newsletter, we would have held the first of our Wine _n Walks evenings in June. Already (11 June) we have quite a few booked in and again, its great to see some new members joining us too!
Looking to the future, we have the cosy Winter Warm-up happening im July. To translate for you, this is basically a camp cooking demo… in the outdoors! We'll walk from the Clubrooms across the Harbour Bridge and set up make shift camp on the grass on the South side under the arch. From there, we'll watch demos of entrees, mains, desserts AND the famous Spiro Coffee!
Further ahead, in August were doing indoor rock-climbing at St Leonards. Why not give it a go? Ill need bookings for this one guys, so please Jet me know by calling me on 0412 304 071 or by email at
Please take a minute to think about the advert on Page 5 of this newsletter, regarding joming the great Social team would be great to have you along!
Take care see you on the track!
Cheers Caro Ryan
A Note For Those Who Know The Carters Hideaway Cottage At Berrara
HELP - we are currently putting together a web site (with most of the work being done for us) and desperately need a name for our holiday house. We presently have called it Peacehaven - but too many friends have laughed (as David did) and pointed out that so many funeral homes and old peoples homes are called that!
So back to the cyberspace drawing board. All suggestions will be considered (except Berrara Bootcamp, Martin & Kate) and we will provide a free weekend with a bottle of champagne in the fridge for the winner - David & I will argue about the best name.
Please note - we cannot subsidise air fares for those in UK!
Thanks in advance for your creative thoughts. Maureen Carter email@example.com
Once upon a time in the : \ Kingdom of Heaven, God went wa=i=y missing for six days.
Eventually, Michael the Archangel found him, resting on the seventh day. He inquired of God, “Where have you been?”
God sighed a deep sigh of satisfaction and proudly pointed downwards through the clouds, “Look Michael, look what I've made.” Archangel Michael looked puzzled and said, “What is it?
“It's a planet, replied God, “and I've put LIFE on it. I'm going to call it Earth and it's going to be a great place of balance”.
“Balance?” inquired Michael, still confused.
God explained, pointing to different parts of Earth. “For example, Northern Europe will be a place of great opportunity and wealth while Southern Europe is going to be poor; the Middle East over there will be a hot spot.” “Over there I've placed a continent of white people and over there is a continent of black people” God continued, pointing to different countries. “And over there, I call this place America. North America will be rich and powerful and cold, while South America will be poor, and hot and friendly. And the little spot in the middle is Central America which is a Hot spot. Can you see the balance?”
“Yes” said the Archangel, impressed by Gods work, then he pointed to the southern ocean area, “What's down there?”
“Ah” said God. “Those two islands are New Zealand, the most glorious place on Earth. There are beautiful mountains, rainforests, rivers, streams and an exquisite coast line. The people are good looking, intelligent and humorous and they're going to be found travelling the world. They'll be extremely sociable, hard-working and high-achieving, and they will be known throughout the world as diplomats and carriers of peace. I'm also going to give them super- human, undefeatable, strong in character citizens who will be admired and feared by all who come across them”.
Michael gasped in wonder and admiration but then exclaimed, “You said there will be BALANCE!”
God replied wisely. “Wait until you see the buggers I'm putting next to them”
We have to use with skill what simple equipment we can
if you really want to get the best
out of what you carry with you,
Carry on our backs to achieve shelter, prepare food and have a night's rest?
Paddy Pailin, 1900-1991
then move up to Black Diamond, exclusive to Paddy Pallin.
< Black Diamond
Black Diamond Moonlight Headtorch: Constantly frustrated with replacing your torch battery? Then the Moonlight is for you. With 4 ultra bright, energy efficient LED bulbs, it provides 70 hours of constant light. It weighs a mere 90g (without batteries) so you'll hardly know you're
carrying it. Ideal for night walking, cooking and reading.
Black Biamond Contour Trekking Pole: Trekking poles dont just
improve your balance and reduce the strain on your lower limbs; they help re-distribute the load to your upper limbs as well, meaning you can keep going for longer. The Contour, featured, is ideal for comfort over long periods of walking with an ergonomic 15 degree correction angie in the upper shaft and soft dual density hand grip. It also features a unique NEW adjustment system,
making these the most easily adjusted poles on the market.
Black Siamond Betamid Tent: When you want to go ultra-light or you need extra storage space, the Betamid has you covered. This compact, floorless tent will go anywhere and pitches using a pair of trekking poles! Weighing in at a fraction over ikg, it sleeps two and stands strong
\ against the elements. (Optional, detachable tub floor is also available.)
Store locations: Sydney: 507 Kent Street Miranda: 527 Kingsway * Parramatta: 74 Macquarie Street Katoomba: 166 Katoomba Street
Also in Canberra and Jindabyne Website: www.paddypallin.com.au
Mail order: 1800 805 398