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JUNE 2004 1045 Victoria Rd West Ryde 9858 5844

Come in and see one of the best lightweight and roomy bush walking tents currently available. It sleeps 3 and weighs in at only 2340 grams complete (with the mesh inner tent and pegs.) Or just 1260 grams fly, pole and pegs.


Price: $ 599.00 WEIGHT



Price: $ 169.00


620 g


Perfect for those who want a waterproof floor, but don't need full bug protection. FEATURES

Clips into Hex 3 canopy at 6 cor- ners

e Abrasion resistant Cordura centre

pole patch e 6000 mm waterproof floor

@ 4-inch bathtub design

HEX 3 NEST (No pole) Price: $259.00 WEIGHT

1080 g net + 90 g pegs (if you already have the shelter then you wont need to take 2 lots of pegs and keep the weight down)


The perfect companion to the Hex 3 shelter when you're heading into , mosquito or insect-laden adventures. Can be pitched separately when desert camping.


No-see-um mesh canopy

e Full length 2-way C-shaped door zipper Foam cone pole seat at apex Pole Only Pole Only

e Abrasion resistant Cordura centre pole patch

6000 mm waterproof floor

e 4-inch bathtub design Pole Only

Stow sack Price: $85.00 Weight 370 g

GOLITE HEX 3 or 4 SEASON SHELTER 3 or 4 season hiking or backpacking, winter camping, mountaineering 800 g canopy + 370 g pole + 90 g pegs and sack

This 4-season, extremely versatile, roomy 3-person, canopy-style shelter is bound to be- come your favourite all-year home-away-from-home. Unlike a tent, which essentially

requires you to use poles, inner tent with floor and fly whenever you pitch it, the Hex 3 is a component system: You can use just the canopy with or without a floor, or just the bug net inner tent, or the canopy with the bug net. And you can pitch the Hex (canopy or Nest) over a paddle on a canoe trip, or over a ski pole on a ski-tour. Or hang the canopy via its top loop from a branch or a line sus- pended between trees. You can dig a snow pit under it and increase the amount of usable space; you can pitch it over rocks; and you can put it up quickly by yourself in the nas- tiest weather. How's that for versatility.

Dual roof vents provide excellent air flow, and the sup- plied extra guy lines can be used to pitch the leeward side (the side facing away from the wind) well off the ground to increase ventilation. SiLite construction and the six- sided shape with extra stake-outs midway along each side add up to an incredibly wind-stable, weatherproof shelter. Functional details include reflective, adjustable guy points: the adjustability ensures a good, taut pitch, while the reflective strips simplify pitching the Hex in the dark (and mean that it's much easier to find your Hex when re- turning to camp after dusk - and Jess likely that you'll trip over a comer once you have…)

Available in Sun for people who want to be seen, and For- est for those who don't.

For even more versatility, there will be a new trekking pole extender that will enable you to leave the Hex 3 pole at home and use any standard trekking pole to pitch the Hex 3! Available soon


e SilLite silicone-impregnated rip stop nylon

Hexagonal shape sheds elements superbly

Adjustable aluminium centre pole (also available as a separate item)

Top loop

2 large roof vents

2-way door zipper

Reflective adjustable stake out loops 9 Y-stakes

Floorless design

4-season palace for 2 or home for 3 Stake sack, SilLite stow sack included

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


Theres Still One More Sccial Night in June:

lv] Wed 30 June Mid Winter Feast

The return of the annual Winter Feast. Come any time and bring a plate of food to share. From 6-30 pm

And Two Social Nights in July:

lv] Wed 14“ July Walks Grading Forum

The Committee wants your feedback about the new Walks Grading system. Come and tell us how it can be made better. 8pm.

[Vv] Wed 21* July Pack n Eat

Due to popular demand we have planned another How to Pack demonstration. 8pm

Look At Your Address Label ! If it shows Subs Overdue you should pay your 2004 subs promptly to continue your membership

Advertisers: Alpsport Front cover Eastwood Camping 9 Paddy Pallin Back cover Willis's Walkabouts 7

JUNE 2004 Issue No. 835


REGULAR FEATURES: 2 From the Committee Room 3 Message from President Maurice 3 Treasurers Report 4 Editor's Note 19 Odds and Ends 18 New Members Page 20 Social Notes CONSERVATION

5 Conservation Matters: Draft Plan of Management for Kosciuszko - Goodbye NPWS - Proposed development in Tasmanias National Park.

6 Plastic Bags A report from Pamela Irving

10 News from Coolana Details of bush regeneration and other happenings from Don Finch


7,8 A Proposal for Standardising the Walks Program Ron Watters has a suggestion for identifying appropriate walks grading


11. Walk Notes: Barry Wallaces summary of recent waiks

12,13 NZ Walkscrawl fan Wolfe plus eleven others in NZ

14,15 Colorado Backcountry 2004 First part of Kenn Clacher's skiing adventures in Colorado

16 You Dont Need a Rope to Get Down Byles Pass Jim Percys walk to the Pinnacles

The Sydney Bushwalker: First Edition July 1931 Official publication of The Sydney Bush Walkers Inc.

[Page 2

T he Sydney Bushwalker

June 2004

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 on Wednesday evenings (see Social Programme) at Kiurnbilli 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 Office Bearers

President: Maurice Smith Vice-President: Rosemary MacDougal Treasurer: Tony Marshall Secretary: Leigh McClintock Walks Secretary: Peter Love Social Secretary Caro Ryan Membership Secretary Ron Watters

New Members Secretary: Grace Martinez Conservation Secretary: Pamela Irving

Magazine Editor: Bill Holland Committee Member:

Barry Wallace Heike Krausse Delegates to Confederation:

Jum Callaway - vacant -

Contact The Committee:

Members are welcome to contact the following officers on Club matters:

President : Maurice Smith

9587 6325 (h)

Vice President : Rosemary MacDougal

9428 5668 (h) Secretary: Leigh McClintock 8920 2388 (h)

Treasurer Tony Marshall

9713 6985 (h) Members Secretary: Ron Watters 0419617491

New Members Secretary. Grace Martinez 0405 473 029 (m)

From The Committee Room - June A report on proceedings at the Management Committee meeting on 2”* June 2004

= Ron Watters and Grace Martinez will examine ways of increasing the numbers of Prospective Members into full membership. Grace and Ron may co-opt other members to assist as they see necessary.

= Arrangements are being made for new membership application forms to be available on the website. Date of implementation will be announced when arrangements are completed Changes to the timing of New Members briefing sessions was discussed with the object - of giving the New Members Team the opportunity to attend social functions as well as giving new members the opportunity meet club members

“ The Conservation Secretary, Pamela Irving,

will study the Kosciusko Draft Plan of

Management and recommend a Club position

to the Committee.

Pamela also reported on other conservation

matters including letters sent on behalf of the

Club, World Environment Day and a request

from NPWS to report on bicycle riders sighted

in national parks restricted areas.

President Maurice reported on planning for the

Walks Grading Forum to be held in the

Clubrooms on 14” July.

The Committee discussed issues relating to the

establishment of a Members Only area on the

web site.

Some of the issues relating to possible

electronic distribution of the magazine were

also discussed.

It was resolved that decisions relating to both

of the above items be deferred pending the

outcome of a survey of members, the details of which will be shortly released by the Web-Site sub-committee.

“A further draft of the Qualifying Walks Assessment Criteria used by the Committee is to be prepared to determine whether walks should be classified as Qualifying Walks. The final statement, when adopted, will be published for the benefit of prospective members, leaders and aspiring leaders

= Longer term issues a discussion paper on Leader development is being prepared.

Passing of Vince Foskitt Many members will remember Vince Foskitt who walked with the Club in the 1980/90s. Vince passed away after an illness on 16” March.

The Sydney Busbwalker

June 2004 Page 3

Message from President Maurice:

As I am settling into my role as President it is indeed heartening to receive impromptu feedback from members of all varieties about our wonderful club and about the members who willingly give up so much of their personal time to make our club such a wonderful club.

I could go on in this vein for hours, but I won't. However, one shining example I will refer to is the group of people that all our new members meet, which is the New Members Team. This team, headed by a very enthusiastic Grace Martinez, is there in the club room twice every month. The team make sure that our potential members know about the type of walks that our club offer. The enthusiasm of Graces team ensures that we have a continuing stream of prospective members. Grace, together with Ron Watters are the core members of a new sub- committee that we have created to consider how to improve the rate of converting prospective members to full members of the club. This is a complex issue and there are no easy answers. Over the clubs history many hours of thought have gone into this topic. So if you have an active interest in this matter, contact Grace or Ron to discuss the matter.

However, before Grace and her team get to talk to these potential new members, how do these people get to know about the club? Our new members learn about us via one of two ways, firstly, word of mouth advertising and primarily by the clubs internet web-site. So have you seen the internet web-site lately, if not check it out at Once again, members of the club are responsible for this web-site. This is especially true for our web- master, John Bradnam, who has made our internet site really sing.

Club members will shortly be invited to respond to a survey about the material they would like to see on the web-site, so watch out for details of the survey that will be announced in next months magazine. In keeping with the increasing advance of technology, we are also looking at the many issues involved with possibly using electronic distribution of the clubs magazine to those members who would like to receive it that way. By the time that the analysis of the web-site survey is available we should be in a position to consider further assess whether both the demand for electronic distribution of the magazine is desired by members and how the technical issues might be addressed.

The recent controversy about filming in the area of the Mount Hay fire-trail and the NSW Governments subsequent legislative action to permit that filming should be a reminder, that we hardly needed to have, that we need to be continually alert to protect the national parks that we know and love.

Thats it from me for this month. I hope to see you on the track in the near future. Maurice Smith

Treasurers Report - May By Maurice Smith filling in for * Tony Marshall

ye The following is my report on the clubs finances which are in a

healthy state. Set out below are the figures for


Bank Balance 1 May $12,605 Income Received:

Membership fees 2,711

Expenses Paid: Internet domain name renewal 110

Magazine postage 443 Other 18 Total Payments 571

Bank Balance 31 May $14,745

Members, thank you for your prompt payment of your annual subscriptions.

ITS BACK! NEXT WEEK The SBW Mid-Winter Feast

Wednesday 30 June

The return of the annual Winter Feast From 6-30pm in the clubrooms

Come any time after 6-30 pm and bring a plate of food to share. _Pnzes for the most unusual and _ most delicious winter dish. Hot gluhwein and cheese fondue. Wear your winter walking gear and bring along your cold winter walk photos, slides or a CD of your digital photos

[Page 4

T he Sydney Bushwalker

June 2004 |

EPIRB ~ Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon

iB 1 SBW has purchased an TIED EPIRB for use by club

members, in particular walks leaders.

The GME Electrophone MT310 is a self contained radio transmitter, which transmits an internationally recognised distress signal on the aviation emergency frequencies for a minimum of 48 hours. These frequencies are monitored not only by commercial and military aircraft but also by the COSPAS/SARSAT. satellite systems. Weight 185g The Club Secretary, Leigh McClintock will manage the EPIRB. So if you would like to take the EPIRB for a walk give Leigh a mng on 8920 2386 and arrange to collect it.

Copy for publishmg 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: Fax: 99805476 (phone 9484 6636 first)

SEW Waike Grading Forurn 44 July 2004, 7:30pm: Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre Caruments on the careent crasling modes or prapesal for an atternative wat be recetved

hag RowiWutsers dsee Page 2p tay Site fens

ea we

Editors Note:

C Its a rather crowded issue this month with <j an enlarged section on Conservation; a


i> interesting walks reports and the

normal features. It is pleasing to see that walks reports are coming in and many photos being submitted - evidence of the growing use of digital cameras.

Whilst we report the opinions and recommendations of other conservation bodies in the magazine it should be kept in mind that SBW has developed a reputation over decades as being a bushwalking club with a strongly developed and independent approach to conservation. Our Conservation Secretary Pamela Irving comments on issues and writes letters etc on behalf of the Club.

But your own opinions matter. When you feel strongly about a conservation issue write a letter, make a phone call or simply offer to assist in bringing the matter to public attention.

This is why the new section Conservation Matters raises issues that are important and warrant your individual submissions

You will see this month in the sections From the Committee Room and in President Maurices report that the Committee will shortly be sending you a web-site survey form to determine (amongst other matters) whether there is enough demand to warrant electronic distribution of the magazine.

Personally, I am not in favour of electronic distribution replacing the mailed copy each month. There are several reasons but the main one is that reading detailed pages from a personal computer screen is tiring and the content cannot be readily absorbed. This is why newspaper items are very much reduced in content when shown on newspaper websites. Previous to being Editor I read the magazine at bed-time or in front of a fire in the lounge room. I cannot imagine balancing my bulky computer on my lap and like many do not have a laptop.

But there could be an argument in favour of old copies being placed on the website in an archives section, adequately referenced to aid searching. Or past issues could be made available on a CD and issued to members on request.

What do you think? Please respond to the survey and, as usual, your Editor welcomes any feedback. Lets hear what you think by writing a Letter to the Editor.

Bill Holland The Sydney Bushwalker

June 2004

Page 5 |


Message from Pamela:

As Conservation Secretary I have written

letters/emails to Bob Carr objecting to:

e the six year cloud seeding trial in Kosciuszko National Park,

e ski resort development in Kosciuszko NP without public comment and review,

e the proposed filming in the Wilderness area of the Grose Valley, and

e the legislation the Labor Govt pushed through Parliament this week allowing such filming to go ahead in the future.

Pamela Irving

Proposed Development in a National Park - Tasmania

Melbourne property developer David Marriner will build a $15 million tourist complex in one of Tasmania's treasured national parks.

Cockle Creek, in Tasmania's south-eastern tip, is an isolated area rich in beaches and ancient Aboriginal shell middens, that is popular with campers and bushwalkers.

Mr Marriner's company Stage Designs is leasing land at Cockle Creek East, inside the 600,000-hectare South-West National Park. Most of this park, but not Cockle Creek East, is in the 1.38-million hectare wilderness world heritage area. Stage Designs plans to build a main lodge, 60 cabins, boatsheds, a jetty and an access road at Cockle Creek.

“It is obviously a gateway to that wildemess corndor,” Mr Marriner said. The area was isolated but still accessible, he said, with “lovely beaches”. Tasmania's recent revival has meant booming tourist numbers and burgeoning development proposals. But apart from a handful of small commercial huts and standing camps, no new tourist project has been built inside a national park. They have been either just outside a park, or redevelopments of existing facilities. Melbourne Age 6/6/04

Goodbye NPWS?

In the June/July issue of the National Parks Journal NPAs Executive officer Andrew Cox expresses concern at an unexpected tum of events. NPWS has been absorbed into a new agency - Department of Conservation and Environment - together with EPA, Botanical Gardens and Resource NSW.

Whilst this appears to strengthen the voice of environment within the government there have been major cuts in the May budget with environment suffering a chop of $39 million and a loss of 350 jobs.

Draft Plan of Management for Kosciuszko National Park Released for Comment! After two years of consultation involving government departments, a Community Forum and an Independent Scientific Committee the new plan has been released for public comment. The National Parks Association, Colong Foundation for Wilderness and _ other conservation bodies have expressed concer stating that Kosciuszko is under threat. They urge all people who want this magnificent park protected as wilderness to write to the Premier and suggest that the following concerns should be stated: = Kosciuszko National Park should be managed for nature conservation “ All wilderness areas in this park should be protected

= Commercial development and real estate speculation should cease

= Resorts must decrease their impacts and be phased out on expiry of their leases

= Future developments should take place outside the National Park

” High impact activities such as off-road four wheel drives, trail biking and horse riding should be excluded due to damage they cause

“ All feral animals, including feral horses, should be removed from the park using the most effective and humane methods.

The Draft of Management is available on the

NPWS website

with downloads and extracts available for printing.

SBW Conservation Secretary, Pamela Irving, will study the Kosciusko Draft Plan of Management and recommend a Club position to the Committee.

Letter to the Editor Where Were You Last Saturday?

su For many years I have read members excellent reports about their wonderful walking experiences in Tasmanias national parks and wilderness areas.

When last months magazine advertised a free concert for Saturday 5 June under the heading: Stand up for Tasmanias Forests on World Environment Day 2004 I was sure our members would be out in force to support the protest against destroying old growth forests for woodchips and seek protection for the remaining areas.

It was a great concert with inspiring speakers and musical performers, but, as far as I could see, there were only five SBW members in the crowded Sydney Town Hall - or did I miss seeing you ? Frances Holland | Page 6 T he Sydney Bushwalker

June 2004

Plastic Bag Pollution

Six billion plastic bags are used in Australia each year. Two billion in NSW alone. They then find their way into landfill, built-up areas, the bush, waterways and the ocean, where they reside for up to 1000 years. Twenty seven million tonnes of marine life are killed by the effects of human-caused pollution each year, much of it from plastic bags.

Earlier this year Bob Carr announced that the NSW Government was prepared to act independently unless the Commonwealth Governments efforts to reduce plastic bag use in Australia could actually be seen to produce substantial results.

Whats happening now?

1. The Environment Protection and Heritage Council (Commonwealth, State and Territory ministers) have agreed to phase out light weight carry bags containing high density polyethylene within five years. The EPHC has commissioned work to develop an Australian standard for degradable plastic bags.

2. On 29th March this year, the Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage (Dr David Kemp) and Clean Up Australias Chairman and Founder (lan Kieran) launched the Say No to Plastic Bags Campaign.

3. The Australian Retailers Association Code of Practice for the Management of Plastic Shopping Bags aims to reduce use by 25% by the end of 2004, and by 50% by the end of 2005. A progress report from the Association is due at the end of June this year. In 2003, the major supermarkets had cut plastic bag use by 12%.

4. The NSW Government and the Department of Environment and Conservation are actively working to reduce plastic bag usage. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) action requires producers to reduce the environmental impact of their products across the entire life cycle of the product. Government and industry and community are working together to introduce the EPR scheme.

However one wonders at the genuineness of the

supermarkets commitment. I usually shop at

Woolworths and even when carrying my own

bags Im never asked if I want plastic. Without a

second thought the check-out person starts

loading into the plastic bags.

Pamela Irving

Coles at Lane Cove has scored a huge black mark. The Sydney Moming Herald recently reported that a customer had left her groceries for home-delivery, together with a number of canvas carry bags. Coles staff had packed the groceries in plastic bags, placed them in the canvas bags, and tied the handles together using more plastic bags. As a consequence, the environmentally aware shopper ended up with twice as many plastic bags as she would have scored if she hadnt brought her own bags. The mind boggles at the standard of training in environmental issues give to Coles staff, given that they are currently having a promotion of their own bright green carry bags.

I rang the Customer Relations offices of both Coles and Woolworths. Both assured me that staff are given training concerning their policy on plastic bags. I recounted the above to them. Woolworths staff are instructed to only ask customers using the Express lanes whether they want a plastic bag, the logic being that as they only have a small number of items, a bag isnt necessary. The only instruction given to those on the main checkouts is to pack more efficiently. If supermarket staff were required to always ask customers if they have their own bags, that would be a first step in educating both the public and those on the check-outs.

Common sense would dictate that a blanket ban or at least a levy on plastic bags would solve the problem overnight. Seeing this hasnt/wont happen, one assumes the packaging industry has a fair amount of political clout.

Self-regulation has never been spectacularly successful, either with individuals or business/industry. Successful campaigns are those with a penalty attached, eg speeding, seat belts, helmets, industrial pollution. Why is the plastic bag issue seen to be different?

One bright light this week was the television report on Oyster Bay in NSW which has banned plastic bags in retail outlets with the support of the retail sector. There are now 100 towns in Australia which have initiated similar banning of plastic bags in their communities.

Bob Carr has taken the first realistic step. We can now watch for the second…

Pamela Irving Sources: Websites of the Department of Environment and Conservation, Clean Up Australia, Dept of Environment and Heritage, Greenpeace | The Sydney Bushwalker June 2004 Page 7

A Proposal for Standardising the Walks Program Ron Watters

A Walks Grading Forum is being held in July. On that occasion the grading system being trialled in the Winter Program will be discussed along with other grading systems. To stimulate thought and discussion my views and system follow. Preface One of the problems with any grading system is determining what grade a walk should be given. The single grade, while it can be difficult to calculate, is preferable to a multiple grading system because it is simple to read and understand by the membership. Traditionally this grade has been based on one or more of the following components: distance covered, altitude gained, terrain covered, hours walked and fitness. This system's downfall is that it is very subjective. While no one would argue that the Kanangra to Katoomba walk is a hard day walk or the Three Peaks walk is a hard overnight walk, these walks tend to push other hard walks down to a medium grade. This situation is exacerbated when leaders do not supplement their walk with a prose description setting out the challenges to be encountered. Intending walkers, particularly prospectives, do not always understand this. Proposal This new proposal is in three sections: 1. More grades . By introducing a grading system from 1 to 9, more scope is available to define hard walks that aren't as hard as the K2K or 3-Peaks walk. It is suggested that grades 1 to 3 are non-qualifying easy walks, grades 4 to 6 are qualifying medium walks and grades 7 to 9 are hard walks. At the leaders discretion a prospective member demonstrating relevant experience may participate in walks 7 to 9 and have the walk counted as a qualifying walk. However if we replace the current system of easy, medium and hard with bands of numbers representing expected conditions we could end up having the same argument about numbers instead of words. A grading system involving a string of numbers is likely to be perceived as complex. The system now being trialled on the Winter Program has not adequately addressed the problem of obtaining sufficient gradation within the medium and hard categories 2. Separate grades for day and overnight walks Day walks and overnight walks differ in that overnight walks generally require heavier packs. It is therefore recommended that both day and overnight walks each have their own grading system. 3. Standardised walks for each grade Because one leaders concept of what they may feel as hard differs from how another leader may describe the same walk, it is proposed that a standard set of walks be described for each grade. These walks should be “well known” to all or most leaders. The following tables list walks in-and-around the Sydney area. There is no reason why walks in other National Parks can't be included as well. (Continued next page)

Everyone whoa has taken part has enjoyed our African trips so much that we cant resist offering more.

South Africa with light-packs, B weeks begnsing eatty September 2064

oe + Namibia and South Africa, P 3 Wildfawers anc widite i walks uw to g days bea ray aitares April 2OO5

Ins avid Coase

. ; i Southern Africa has some of the hest bushwaiking i The natural wor Idand tealis in the world, We cant do them all, but we

VO Sacer: Eck act i ys . e oe

j SGCIRRE TORK art i will do some of ihe bear. Hf the fall trip is tao

i Walks anc more walks: lang, you can do parts. 3 9,

Ask for the trip moves and our free CD.

i www. :

Williss Wiaikabouts 42 Car.

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rington St Miliner NT 08 89S

| Page 8

T he Sydney Bushwalker June 2004

A Proposal for Standardising the Walks Program (continued from previous page)

Day Walk Benchmarks Grade | Walk ] Spit to Manly 2 Otford to Burning Palms via Palm Jungle, return by cliff top track 3 Pierces Pass to Blue Gum Forest and return 4 Valley of Waters, Empress Falls, Vera Falls, Hippocrene Falls, Slacks stairs, Wentworth Falls. Otford to Bundeena in 8 hours or longer 5 Carlons Farm to Splendour Rock and return, Golden Stairs to Mt Solitary (East Col) and return Otford to Bundeena in 7 to 8 hours 6 Mt Hay Rd, DuFaurs Head, Blue Gum Forrest, Junction Rock, Rodriguez Pass, Grand Canyon, Neates Glen 7 Kings Tableland, Kedumba River, East Col, Golden Stairs Otford to Bundeena in 5 to 6 hours 8 Lockleys Pylon to Perrys Lookdown and return 9 Kanangra to Katoomba in a day, 6 foot track in a day Bundeena to Otford and return in a day Weekend Walk Bench marks Grade Walk i Megalong road, Coxs river and return 2 Deep pass camp with walks Otford to Bundeena camping at Curracurrong 3 Mt Victoria Lookout, Acacia Flats, Junction Rock, Rodriguez Pass, Grand Canyon, Neates Glen Newnes to Mt Dawson and return 4 Kanangra Walls to Orange Bluff via Roots Ridge and return via Brumby Ridge Six foot track camping at Alum Creek 5 Carlons Farm, Blackhorse Ridge, Mobbs Soak, Mt Yellow Dog, Kanangra Creek, Coxs River, Breakfas Creek, Carlons Farm 6 Kanangra Walls, Cambage Spire, Kowmung River, Colboyd Range, Kanangra Walls 7 Kanangra to Katoomba via Mt Cloudmaker and Mt Yellow Dog 8 Kanangra Rd, Mt Paralyser, Whalania Ck, Nooroo Buttress, Mt Guouogang, Kanangra Rd 9 The Three Peaks Using the proposed system

In submitting walks, leaders measure their walk against the benchmark and propose a number accordingly. In addition, the walk is described in words setting out the following elements:

Element of walk Notes

Terrain Rock hopping, Off track, Thick scrub, Wet feet, Compulsory swimming, Exposure, Fire Trail, etc

Distance Km - This can be a very deceiving measurement and it is recommended that it is not included.

Ascents Vertical height in meters. This should only include the major climb Should be expressed as 1x300m, 2x500m etc

Hazards expected Slippery rocks, Possible exposure, Swimming with packs, etc

Any special skills or equipment required Gaiters recommended, Gloves, Lilo etc

The estimated walking time Exclusive of breaks

Level of fitness required Low, moderate, high, very high

The scenic highlights Waterfalls, Views from escarpment etc

Prospective Members Perspective

A prospective member does not have to know the details of the route of the Benchmark walks. All they have to know is that qualifying walks are 4,5 and 6. that anthing above 6 is more testing and 9 very difficult. Below 4 they will know that the walks get easier. If they have completed a 3 they know that 4 will be slightly more taxing.

The future benefits Over time a record of walks gradings will be built up. These can be placed on the SBW web site under leaders resources and can be accessed by any leader putting a walk on the program Ron Watters Whether it's bush walking, mountaineering, cross-country skiing, trek- king or travel, a pack is your best friend or worst enemy. Why? Because you depend on the agility and comfort that your pack provides.

The Mont Moto-Active adjustable har- ness system is deceptively simple, fast to adjust and easy to fit. Available in three sizes and featuring inter- changeable harness compo- nents, a truly best fit is possible, and best fit means a truly comfortable carry.

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oa wart Sli . stays. 4 OM | . * Dualaluminium Something Better. frame-stays adjusted


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June 2004 |

News from Coolana

S24, = : % FSR

During the month of May quite a bit happened at Coolana. Here is the prcis:

The SCA tree planting again dominated activities with Gretel and Hilary putting in some hard days early in the month planting out 44 ground cover plants on the river flat slope close to the river. They found over night that some animal would eat even the unpalatable ground covers. This meant putting guards up for all of the plants and carrying the star posts to site and driving them in with the cylindrical driver. (Just as well girls can do anything, even older ones) The new trees required some weeding of Turkey Rhubarb and Cobblers Pegs, which had thrived in the disturbed and watered ground.

Bill and Gerry went down earlier in the month to mow weeds and clear timber.

The May programmed Coolana maintenance weekend attracted four starters, Wilf, Gretel and Don went down early Friday for a three-day weekend and Spiro came on Friday night for a busy day Saturday.



Gretel weeded and watered the SCA plants, hand weeded parts of the flat as she went and wheel barrowed piles of weeds removed by Wilf to the fire pit. The trees are growing well. Wilf cleared and marked several tracks, assisted Gretel with fixing tree guards and removed weeds from the slope on the western end of the flat, a long hard job with more to do. Spiro cleared access ways on the eastern bank of

Don Finch

the creek and carried star posts and guards over to the eastern side of the creek. He also spent several hours wheel barrowing weeds removed by Wilf to the fire pit.

Don supplied a new double-ended pin for the sump buster picked up a lock from KV RFS Captain and sign-painted the sump buster. Fitted a strain wire to the front gate hinge post. Supplied 25L ULP into shed. Repaired brush cutter, pot full of oil, sump over full. Repaired mower #1 by cleaning spark plug this will need to be done again from time to time. Only 20 plants from Milton nursery surviving on the eastern flat from the 87 planted at the Reunion Cleared access ways on eastern side of creek. Went to Nowra for chainsaw parts. Carried star posts to eastern side of creek. Lit fire pit to burn weeds. Prepared 30 planting sites on eastern side of creek along river bank, cleared access to each site mattocked planting pads, drove in 60 star posts, fitted 26 guards and delivered 5 plastic PJ drums of water to site ready for planting by the ladies when possible. Saw wombats lyre birds, wallabies and put out the fire pit with water arrived home with 2 ticks at 8PM Sunday

Material for another 25 tree guards and 25 small wooden stakes for the ground covers has been purchased from Ali Stakes at Riverstone.

Are You Able to Help?

To keep in front of the cobblers pegs we need a mowing roster and to fill a roster we need more volunteers. The plan is to try and get three teams of two or three people and each team to go down to mow once every three months. It would invoive mowing for one day of 4 hours mowing. If you would like to help, and we really need some help, please contact Don Finch or 9452 3749 (A).

The composting toilet project rolls on and has been given a big boost with two very generous donations sent to the club one of $2000 and one of $1000.

A big thank to these donors from SBW Inc., the Coolana Committee and those at the coal face. Thanks for your support and encouragement.

Coolana Maintenance and Bush Regeneration 3% 4” July Join us for a pleasant weekend of light work and socialising around the camp fire.

No need to phone just come along. Assistance with

transport may be possible.

The Coolana Fund: Donations to the Coolana Fund are very welcome and will be used to provide income to assist with the maintenance of this wonderful property. Many thanks to those who have already donated and to those who have indicated an intention to include the Coolana Fund in their wills. Please send in your donation, addressed to The Coolana Fund The Sydney Bush Walkers Inc PO Box 431 Milsons Point 1565.

The Sydney Bushwalker June 2004

Page 11


Walks Notes 11“ March to2 April John Bradnams walk from the Golden Stairs out to Mount Solitary and back over the weekend of 13, 14 March carried echoes of Ken Smiths walk the weekend before; leeches in abundance. The party of 4 also managed to accomplish a degree of skin shredding when they ran into lawyer vine on the way down from Mount Solitary into Cedar Creek. The scenery didnt count for much either as most of the second days ridge walking was accomplished in low cloud. Its the tough ones you remember best! Johns notes include details for the route and conditions of travel for anyone contemplating a similar walk.

On the Saturday of that weekend Peter Love led a party of 5 on his lilo trip down Du Faurs creek. It was a great trip, and the small, fast moving party emerged with time to spare. Sunday saw Kathy Gero leading a party that started out as 3 and ended the event as 4, having collected a tardy, short cut taking, starter along the way. Conditions were overcast and humid but the party eased the strain with a quick swim in Brooklyn Dam among the water lilies. Craig Austin and the 9 starters on his walk from Mount Wilson to Bell the same day experienced a range of adversity including the temporary misplacement of one of the members and an unplanned route variation. As a result they arrived back at the cars at 1900. Conditions throughout were moist with very thick fog around Bell. Nonetheless all starters are reported to have enjoyed the experience.

No report has been received for Wilfs midweek walk scheduled for Thursday 18 March.

Tony Marshalls walk to Danjera Plateau over the weekend of 20, 21 March attracted 4 starters. There were 4 Saturday walks that weekend, with Patrick James leading a party of 6 on his trip out to Bowen Mountain in blue-sky conditions the whole day, and Richard Darke taking a party of 10 along an attractive piece of the Central Coast in Munmorah S.R.A. Conditions were warm and sunny, so they engaged in swimming along the way and braved the tide to get to Pirates Cave at Fraser Beach. Watch future programs; Richard liked it so much that he is thinking of doing this one each year. Ian Thorpe was also out that day, with a party of 3 out from Carlons Farm to the Cox River and return via Carlons Head. This was the rerun of his walk from the Spring 2003 Programme that had previously been cancelled due to back-burning or some such. The views from the tops were great and the weather was good, albeit a little warm in the afternoon. At first blush the fact that they suffered a repulse at

Barry Wallace

Dunphys Pass seemed a bad thing, but a later experience, where another party took two hours to ascend from Narrowneck fire trail to the top of the pass, changed Ians view somewhat. Mark Patteson led a party of 8 on his Sydney Harbour Foreshores walk from Circular quay to Manly on a perfect day with the usual old views of Sydney Harbour. They coped with the usual hazards of slippery rocks and ice cream stops along the way though not without loss; one of the walkers retired at Mosman Bay with due to a minor foot injury. There was also a Sunday walk that weekend, with Roger Treagus leading 6 on his walk from Avalon shops to Clareville Beach on a grey wintry day. As they lunched near the start of the Angophora Reserve Track they were wamed by a passing local not to enter the area as it was the tick capital of Australia . They ignored this good advice and suffered for it over the following week. The walk ended with a barbecue at Clareville Beach.

No report seems to have been received for Tony Manes qualifying walk to Mount Talaterang in Morton National Park over the weekend of 27, 28 March. Jim Percy led a party of 7 on his walk out from Mount Banks car park on the Saturday. Conditions were fine and cool with magnificent views into the Grose River valley early in the trip. Peter Love led one part of a combined Jamison Valley circuit on the Saturday of that weekend. Again, views featured, but Peter also remarked that the walk is harder than it looks on paper. They encountered a group of 4 North American college students at around 1815 near the foot of the Golden Stairs. They were heading, so they said, to the nearest railway station. Chris Dowling gave them a lift to Katoomba station after walking out to the cars with them. . Peter Love also backed up to lead Stage 2 on Sunday from Kedumba Pass to The Golden Stairs with a party of 6, again in near perfect weather. Sunday also saw Ron Watters with 13 in the party leading his qualifying walk into the upper Wollondilly from Goodmans Ford bridge. Conditions were hot and sunny with great views on the ascent. The walk was truncated slightly in view of the heat to provide more cooling off time at the river. With a start at 0845 and finish at 1645 it was a good solid days walk. Michael Bickley led a party of 5 on his Sunday walk and boating picnic out from Bobbin Head in Kuringai chase. -

We appear to have no report for Wilfs midweek walk scheduled for 1 April 04. In fact the supply of walks reports seems to dry up completely about there so we will call it a day here for this month. Barry Wallace [Page 12 T he Sydney Bushwalker June 2004

NZ Walkscrawl - February 2004 -Part1l. lan (Khaos) Wolfe

Participants: Patrick McNaught, Edith Macaulay, Peter Love,lan Wolfe, John Bradnam, Alan Oakey, Fiona Ronche, Margaret Rozea, Jenny Paton, Marianne Smith, Ted Nixon and Steve Dolphin

My participation in the trip started early as I flew over on Friday morning in order to collect the luxury purpose built 12 seater Mercedes Minibus. The purpose built part was quite a curious mural on the side of the bus, which seemed to depict a North American desert scene (there were cacti). The attachment (hereafter known as the Beast) was an enclosed, lockable and (for some unknown reason) carpeted trailer. My next adventure was to learn to drive this combination to the nearest supermarket. Shopping for 11 then entertained me for a few hours as I attempted to decipher the hand written list of the various food groups and make discretionary decision in relation to what items closest resembled what they had asked for. It was here that the buy of the trip occurred with the purchase of 4 packets of Curiously Strong Mints (hereafter known as CSMs). Finding a parking spot and learning to tame the Beast whilst reversing then kept me occupied until the others flew in late that night.


“The Beast”

Coromandel Forest Park - Pinnacles

We then drove straight to Coromandel via the backblocks of Auckland and unending rural roads to arrive at around 3.30AM. That day was clear and after a visit to the National Park Visitors Centre we walked up a lovely valley and then climbed up to Pinnacles Hut. The Hut is quite new and space age in its design with split Jevels and great views of the surrounding peaks. Post lunch we climbed the Pinnacle to enjoy extended views down the escarpment to the plains and sea beyond.

Lunch at the Pinnacles Hut The Pinnacles

Next day it was down into the creek to slip and slither along for a few Kms, which gave those, shod with boots some challenges and discomfort (allayed by eating CSMs). As other creeks joined the valley widened and we came to the remains of Kauri log Dam. These trees were near perfect building timber and were once abundant. However, they were systematically logged in the 30s and thus these very broad and large trees now exist in the form of the wonderful wooden buildings which grace the cities and towns of NZ. The Sydney Bushwalker June 2004 Page 13 |

Kauri Dam Construction The basic plan for logging was to: e build a Dam made of wood in the headwaters, e cut down the trees and slice the trunks into 5m sections, e let the Dam fil! with water, e roll the trunks down the hill to a creek, let the water go in a rush out of the Dam via a trap door to create an artificial flood, e flood waters to then float the logs down the creeks and rivers, e catch the logs via a boom at the river mouths, e chain the logs together and tug them across the sea to a sawmill. e make bags of money for the owners, ignore the considerable level of

industrial accidents and the clear

fell devastation of the hill sides Anyway, these dams are pretty impressive feats of engineering given that they were constructed by axe, saws, picks, chains, pulleys, levers, lots of sweat, a profusion of swear words and apparently by the same team of brothers (who toured around all over the North Island building dams).

Then it was down the creek to Johns statements of this has changed a bit since I brought my scout troop down here 20 years ago and we didnt have to swim last time. But it was spectacular, very pretty, slippery and quite cold in the water. It reminded me of the canyons in the Barrington Tops in terms of its vegetation and mossy feel.

Eventually we emerged and found a swing bridge and commenced to follow a track. The intent being to climb up to the tops again to camp at an old hut site. Patrick decided that he didnt want to do this and articulated this to the group by diving head first down a 2m drop into a creek-line. Fortunately he landed on his head and thus only inflicted spectacular but superficial damage. He tried to cover up his perfidy by saying Im fine, we can go on whilst wiping the blood from his eyes. Mmh, a group hug and some CSMs decided that we did not want to potentially stretcher carry Patrick through rainforest over hill and dale. Thus we elected to walk out.

This meant we cut this trip short by one day and instead learnt all about rural NZ hospitals and their stitching skills. We found a very nice 2 story wooden Backpackers in the coastal town of Thames for the night. Local fish and Kumara Chips washed down with red wine and duty free spirits helped us put Patricks pain out of our minds. Rotorua Next morning we pilled into the Bus and drove south to Rotorua establishing a group ritual en-route of stopping in local towns equidistant from the public toilets and the premier pie shop. Also in Rotorua we perfected the art of one person driving whilst 10 others gave independent directions (the Keystone Cops had nothing on us). We did tour one of the mud pool sites next day, got geysered on, fumigated by sulphur, attended quite a good Maori Welcoming Ceremony at the local Marae (village), bought the tee-shirt and trinkets. :

On the morrow it was back into the bus to head further south through quite nice scenery which included stopping of at a very impressive set of rapids. The plan had been to do some walking around Ngauruhoe which is a large and active volcano with some multi coloured lakes. Trouble was that the wet season unexpectedly decided to materialise that day. Thus, after much group facilitated discussion (thanks Peter) we elected to do more driving in a southern direction! This latter became known as the beginning of the Great Odyssey to find dry walking areas). However, the drive proved fairly entertaining as the 3 ex Kiwis on the trip competed with each other in telling when I was here last stories as we rolled through various destinations.


Eventually we ended up in Wellington. Now, for those who have not been there you would probably be sceptical of the stories of the unending wind. Suffice to say that the stories are blatant understatements. We stayed the night at a very pleasant Caravan Park and inflicted very strange cocktails on each other and made friends with people in leather devoted to worshiping the God of Harley Davidson. It all seemed to have a strange Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy (hereafter the HHGG) like symmetry to it by then.

Dancing Camp Dam

[To be continued - Part 2 next month]

Wanted: Leaders prepared to place easy or easy/medium day walks on our Spring Walks Programme.

| Page 14

T he Sydney Bushwalker

June 2004

Colorado Backcountry 2004 - Part 1.

Getting Ready

There are many groups of backcountry huts in the Rocky Mountains of the USA which are available to backcountry skiers. Colorado in particular has lots of them. Pre-eminent amongst these is the 10th Mountain Division Huts with huts on 15 different locations and several hundred kilometres of trails providing a wide array of skiing, walking and biking experiences.

The majority of the trails linking the huts are classic cross-country tours through evergreen forests varying from light to dense, with some open country and above- treeline skiing The huts are generally located at around 11,000 to 11,600 feet elevation accommodating 16 people in spacious and luxurious circumstances compared to our Snowy Mountains huts

We planned two separate trips, each of six days. Both trips were from Sunday to Friday as the huts were all solidly booked on Friday and Saturday nights.

Because the huts are so comprehensively equipped, we were spared some weight. We did however carry an emergency tent (Megamid, weighing around 1.2 kg), groundsheets and sleeping mats, a stove, fuel and billy for melting snow in case we were unable to reach a hut. We also carried shovels and an avalanche probe, as all backcountry skiers do in Colorado in case of avalanche.

We were lucky with the weather. There were no heavy snowfalls in the two weeks of these trips, unusual for Colorado. Having to wade through 60cm of fresh snow is no fun. Temperatures were also unusually mild for this region in February. Overnight temperatures never seemed to fall below -10C and were generally higher. Daytime temperatures were often above zero, especially when the sun shone. First Trip For our first days skiing we elected to take the direct route from South Camp Hale to Jackal Hut. This was only 4 miles (6% km) and required 2,330 (700m) of climbing and was a typical 10th Mountain Division track in that it wound its way up through spruce and aspen forests and in some places was a bit steepish and narrow. All established backcountry skiing routes in Colorado assumes that skins are used and this was no exception. The track was well used and we had no trouble in following the route. The bad news was that it was so well defined that it was a bit icy in places. Where this coincided with closely spaced trees and steep sections it required some care in climbing.

As we climbed the views opened up of the Holy Cross Wilderness area that we were to visit the following week.

On arriving Jackal hut at we were greeted by Leroy, a solitary skier, lounging on the extensive deck in the afternoon sun. At around 8:30 that night (it got dark at about 6:00) the door burst open and three skiers marched in, only to dump their packs and march out again, saying, We'll be back. About 15 minutes later they were, with lots of food they had deposited near the hut in a food drop a week or so earlier. They were doing something similar to us, a

Kenn Clacher

six-day trip staying at four huts and Jackal was the midpoint of their trip.

We were to learn during our two-week wanderings that skiing from hut to hut was unusual. Typical was simply to ski in from a trailhead, stay a night or two and then ski out to the same trailhead. An essential part of the ritual is the carrying to the huts of vast quantities of food, so that gastronomy in an integral part of the locals hut experience. People generally overestimated what they could eat, so they were keen to give a lot of it away, much to our delight.

Views from Jackal Hut were great, with the 180 views taking in Holy Cross Mountain and the Holy Cross Wildemess, Galena Mountain, Mount Massive, the abandoned Climax Mine and much of the Continental Divide amongst others.

We were considering skiing to Fowler/Hilliard hut by way of the high traverse which follows the Continental Divide for much of the way. This is described as more ski mountaineering than cross- country skiing and a committing, high altitude, hut- to-hut ridge traverse … one of the most scenic tours in Colorado, overlooking deep, forested valleys with unobstructed 360-degree views of Central Colorados mountains. Potential problems were that it traversed some avalanche terrain, and the avalanche danger at the time was considerable to high. Also good clear weather was needed to make it practicable and worthwhile.

On our spare day at Jackal hut James and Kenn set out for Elk Mountain, one of the high points of this ridge traverse, to determine whether we would use this route to ski to Fowler/Hilliard hut on the following day. On top the views were sublime, but the wind was a gale and ice blasted their faces, so they beat a retreat to the hut. We decided we would use the low level route the following day as James and Kenn had seen the best of the route and it would be a bit difficult with full packs.

The party that made the food drop enlivened dinner that night. Realising that they had greatly over- catered, they distributed large quantities of food to the huts other residents. Accordingly, to accompany our relatively boring freeze drys we dined on beer, The Sydney Bushwalker June 2004

Page 15 |

wine, enchiladas, bagels and ice cream.

Our trip to Fowler/Hilliard hut the next day by the low route was of 13 km, with 2020 of climbing and 2200 of descent, much of it through trees. The guidebook says, Because this route requires several thousand feet of ascent and descent (in either direction) it is a very challenging tour. So we left at 7:30am expecting a long day. . We were very pleased that the steepest part of the descent, through trees, was negotiated with relative ease.

On reaching the uphill part, we were surprised to find

the road was corduroy groomed. Being on the main route between Vail Pass (on a major interstate highway) and the next valley, and being approved for motorised transport (read snowmobiles and snow cats used for skier transport), it supported lots of traffic and we had to dodge snowmobiles for the next few kilometres. It was only 11:00am when we began the steep part of the ascent, having already skied 8km and having only about 4% km and 2,000 of climbing to go. But this was evidently one of the lesser-used routes, and hadnt been skied for some time. While there were signs of the track, the snow was deep and soft. Skiing on the track one sunk up to ones knees, while if we strayed just a few cm from the track we sank thigh-deep. This was a true initiation, facing the difficulty of making way through unconsolidated powder. It was a little easier for the skiers second and third in line, but not dramatically so, as the snow was of sugar-like consistency and didnt compact very well. Nevertheless we pressed on and slowly but surely gained a saddle at 11,000, where the trail followed a relatively gentle ridge, which promised easier going.

Fowler/Hilliard hut is on top of a ridge, with views to both sides. In particular, there were great views of the Continental Divide and the high level route we had spurned in favour of what we expected to be an easier one. On our free day at Fowler/Hilliard Hut, James and Kenn skied to Ptarmigan Peak, mostly along a road. This area is the center of snowmobile activity in the Rockies. There are snowmobile tracks everywhere and convoys of snowmobiles continually pass as one skies along the roads. They tended to come in convoys and with their headlights shining; you could almost hear Wagner playing in your head, scenes reminiscent of the movie Apocalypse Now.

From Ptarmigan Peak James and Kenn could see along the divide to where they had skied to two days previously, as well as Shrine Mountain and the 10th Mountain Division route to Shrine Mountain Inn, our destination for the following day. Then we skied down to Ptarmigan Pass and thence back to the hut.

Next day we skied to Shrine Mountain Inn. We did not use the 10th Mountain Division trail, as we were desperate to avoid the soft snow and balling up problems of two days previously. Instead we opted for a longer but easier route along the dreaded snowmobilers road to Ptarmigan Pass, then down an icy and very abrasive Wilder Gulch to the Vail Pass trailhead, thanks to the snowmobiles. The weather was deteriorating rapidly as we reached there, so we sheltered in the roadside shelter there, fired up the liquid fuel stove and had hot soup and coffee for lunch.

It is an easy 4%km ski from Vail Pass trailhead to Shrine Mountain Inn, skiing along the valley of West Tenmile Creek and gaining 200m on the way. Although there was a headwind and it snowed fairly enthusiastically most of the way the skiing was quite pleasant and visibility more than adequate. The valley is quite beautiful, being much gentler than anything we had encountered so far on the trip and being reminiscent of the open valleys in the Jagungal and Tantangara regions of the Snowy Mountains.

The next day was the final day of this trip. After much consideration, we planned to ski the Commando Run, so named because it was used by the 10th Mountain Division troops as a training run. According to the guidebook it is one of the most difficult [day] tours in the state.

The first part of the run was a delight. The overnight snow on a firm base made the skiing easy and we enjoyed a long downhill mm along a picturesque valley. Spectacular views of Holy Cross Mountain, reminiscent of Nepal, were a feature of this section. Another notable sight was a car abandoned apparently the previous day along the toad somewhat like finding a car abandoned in the middle of winter in the upper Snowy River valley.

It soon became time to leave the snowmobile road and do the climb of around 1,300. To our relief there were signs of recent passage along the track and the climb was accomplished with relative ease. This brought us to the top of a ridge, which we were to follow for a few kilometres before dropping down to Two Elk Pass. That pass is of significance because from there one is in the Vail resort area and can simply ski down through Outer Mongolia Bowl to a ski lift. The official Commando Run climbs a few hundred feet from Two Elk Pass and then follows a road outside the ski area downhill all the way to Vail village.

Once on the ridgetop however we again encountered the dreaded balling up. This was prompted by a bright sun shining from a brilliantly blue clear sky. It slowed our progress enormously but at least gave us time to enjoy the fabulous 360 views. It did mean though that we would need to take advantage of whatever shortcuts Vail resort might offer. As it tumed out, the existing tracks did not even bother to go to Two Elk Pass, but instead headed off in the direction of the lift tops at the resorts Blue Sky Basin, specifically Petes Express lift. Because of our balling-up problems we were keen to get onto groomed snow as soon as possible so as not to miss the last ski lift, so we followed the herd, or at least their tracks.

On emerging at the top of Petes Express all that remained was to ski the groomed slopes to the Orient Express lift and from the top of that lift choose our runs to the main ski area terminal. From there it is a short walk to the Vail Transportation Terminal for a bus to our hotel in Avon. On the way down the Vail slopes we attracted several inquiries as to whether we had skied the Commando Run and expressions of envy when we confirmed that indeed we had.

[To be continued - Part 2 next month] T he Sydney Bushwalker

June 2004 |

You Don't Need A Rope To Get Down Byles Pass

You don't need a rope to get down Byles Pass, although, there is a tree trunk to get you down at one point.

My previous descent of Byles Pass had required the use of a tape to get down, so I was pleased this time, to get past the critical point without rope. Sure enough there was a spindly tree trunk, which assisted me down the first part, but the rest of this section became a series of steps and we were down.

The earlier sections, Car Park to Mt Hay, Mt Hay to Boorong Crags, Boorong Crags to the Lookout (Andy Macqueen's One of the best lookouts on the Grose River) and the descent to Byles Pass, had gone well, even if I did find a new way down from Mt Hay to the escarpment, so that we arrived at the Grose with time enough to progress for a kilometre or so.

Good campsites are few and far between for this section but we did have plenty of water. You'll need to boil the water of the Grose for at least three minutes, was my advice.

I'll make it five was Gretas comment.

There was plenty of firewood for this chore, much of it fire scarred. After a little clearing of the rough site, each of us managed a reasonable home for the night.

Tents and flys up, billies boiled for the respective required times. My! Look at that bright silver billy, must belong to our prospective, Kellie. There were no more shots at Kellie though, as she produced a punnet of strawberries for happy hour. (made my contribution of olives look meagre)

Rowan reported on progress of supervising his daughters house moving. That is, moving the actual house from across a double block to one block. The things people get up to in their retirement! Carol filled us in with her two, soon to be three grandchildren.

The strange animal like howl from the Grose turned out to be Joe who was attempting to immerse himself in the cold depths, much against Sheilas advice.

We had an enjoyable campfire evening, reminiscing and swapping stories, new and old.

Progress along the Grose next morning was slow although more pairs of eyes to find remains of the Engineers Track meant that progress was faster than my previous trip, when I recall lots of back tracking when a missed track lead had often meant a dead end and a retrace of steps.

The scrub was still blackened and stiffened from the fires of summer 2002 2003 and some of us looked decidedly sooty at the end of the day.

Jim Percy

With sections of the Engineers Track appearing quite regularly, we arrived at the refreshing water of Rocky Points Creek for lunch at what would make a great campsite. Rocky Points Creek was however the only good water encountered on the whole trip.

After lunch we pressed on and arrived at the bottom of the Pinnacles Track by 3.30, which seemed plenty of time to get out in daylight. However the climb with weekend packs took its toll on the elderly and the last of the track by torchlight was slow, and the cars still had to be picked up from Mt Hay car park. The cold wind that had increased as the day lengthened caused those that waited for the arrival of the cars to complain that it seemed to take us for ever to travel just the few kilometres to Mt Hay and back.

But all in all a great weekend walk and Byles Pass was descended without a rope.

Thanks to the party for all the help, it was a real co-operative effort
Trip: Mt Hay to The Pinnacles 15 & 16 May 2004 via Boorong Crags, Shaw Gully, Byles Pass, the Grose River Valley, De Faurs Buttress, De Faurs Head, Pinnacles Track passing Lockleys Pylon, Mt Stead and The Pinnacles. (The Pinnacles are the rocky points of Rocky Points Creek.)

Party of seven: Greta, Carol, Rowan, Sheila, Joe and Kellie. Jim Percy Leader.

Pack n Eat on Wed 21” July At 8pm at the Clubrooms : planned another How to Pack gar {I demonstration (cause we ran out J wells of time in April!) along with a ) | What to eat/How to cook in the bush night. This night is specifically aimed at new members and prospectives, however wed love members to come along too and share any tips, cook up a stonn with us and enjoy some good tucker. Please

contact Caro to volunteer to demo/cook /supply recipes. or 9909 1076.

A Treatment for Ticks ov One of our members advises that A i. Lyclear, a cream to treat scabies, is

useful to kill ticks. Its active ingredient is pyrethrum. Just cover the ticks with the cream without disturbing them and after an hour the ticks die and fall off. If the ticks are large and dont take the hint, apply again.

The Sydney Bushwalker June 2004

Page 17 |

Box Creek Falls - Kanangra Boyd NP

1% 2 May 2004 Leader: Carol Lubbers Participants: 8 members, I prospective

We started off from the Kanangra Road about 9.30 am in very cold, windy conditions which continued unabated all weekend, bringing light showers for a while on Saturday night, driving a few to retire early. (They missed out on the port.) Clouds scudded across the sky on Saturday with Sunday being more sunny, therefore warmer. Arrived at camp at 2.30 pm because it was too cold to sit around our lunch spot, set up camp, had lots of hot drinks and then went exploring Box Creek Falls (which sadly did not have much in the way of falls). A couple of adventurous boys went all the way to the bottom and some great photographs were taken (see the Club website).

Happy hour was over indulged, with most not able to eat much dinner. Mark Dabbs won the award for excellence by providing caramel mud cake, FRESH prawns and Gaytimes! All brought in a polystyrene box surrounded by dry ice. A hard act to follow, folks.

It was 5 degrees C on Sunday morning until the sun hit our sheltered gully campsite. Our hands froze painfully while we collected water at the exposed top section of the falls.

A bit of a fire trail bash, and the usual gymnastics performed to cross the creek through the wiry, unforgiving scrub, brought us back to the cars (one of the “medium” bits of the weekend - I MUST find an easier crossing). We arrived at the Kanangra Road about 1.45 pm. Late lunch was taken at Alfred's Austrian Roadhouse at Hampton. The schnitzels were huge and defeated a couple of us. Some locals there told us of the sleet that had fallen the previous night - no wonder we were cold!

Carol Lubbers

Mountain Lagoon To Colo River Tuesday 18th May Leader: Bill Holland, Participants: 3 members, 1 prospective

It was a late start due to the leaders inability to remember how long it takes to drive from Westleigh to the Mt Lagoon turnoff. But, this was a midweek walk when we relax, enjoy our walking and don't worry too much about the time.

The walk was along the fire trail for 5 km then ridge top walking about 2 km to the lookout at the junction of the Colo River and Tootie Creek lunch and return.

It was a few years since I had last walked this way. I recalled the leaf littered fire trail, the bird calls, great views and ridge top scrambles - the 250 metres descent (ascent when returning) had slipped my mind.

The fire trail was a little wider and the ground a little harder due to fire trucks used to fight last years fires. But the bush was beautiful and the birds remembered how to sing. The views at lunchtime showed the Colo River much diminished from the long dry.

We arrived back at the cars about 3-30 pm in time to enjoy a cup of coffee at Fruit World before the drive home.

Bill Holland

Wanted! Short articles promoting a recent walk ora coming walk in an interesting area.

The Big Dry Continues:

Leaders: You are urged to check on the availability of water as this dry weather extends into Winter.

Members: Please ensure that you carry adequate water and aware of possible water shortages at camping sites.

Mid - Week Walking Group:

Expressions of Interest Required 20“ 28” November Hong Kong - New Territories It would surprise many people to know that Hong Kong is comprised 50% of mountainous national parks, and that there are excellent day walks ranging from 10 to 50 km in glorious scenery. I am looking for expressions of interest in a week of day walking in Hong Kong, where I lived for 12 years, and know intimately. There are many interesting country villages to explore. Interesting culture. The end of most walks would be at a yammy local restaurant. Public transport is cheap and excellent, and November should have the best walking weather of the year. We'd end up with a shopping day in Shenzhen China, an experience in itself with drop-dead prices! Anyone interested, please contact me so we can plan well in advance. Grade: 15-25 km per day, 200-600m . All on track Leader: Richard Darke 9960-6384 or 0402 413 299

There is a group of members with time available to participate in mid-week activities. If you } have time during the week or can take leave from work please join us. Phone Bill Holland 9484 6636 or email

{Page 18

T he Sydney

Bushwalker June 2004


Our New Members Team have had a very busy time introducing interested people to SBW. Please welcome the following who have joined as New Members since April.

David Abdelmassih Susan Elliott-Dark Anne Ivevach Geoff Page Jeffrey Barron Laurie Field Danielle Jordan Bill Pixton Cassandra Beckett Keith Fowler Jacqueline Joseph Ashok Rajan Wakin Bitar Melanie Freer Lindsay Keiley Denise Raper Mike Black Denise Grzelj Jeanne Klovdahl Jenny Redpath Stephen Brophy Salee Hanman Jane Lawson Monica Reed Joanna Bushby Craig | Hanneman Jeffery Lea Danille Richmond Annemore Casey Francis Hartigan Josephine Lead Bob Smee Michael Chapman Paul Hayes Glinda Mayor Amanda Solness Judy Cole Anne Himmelreich Stephen McCafferty Neil Soutar Anne Craig Nadia Hoeing Kim McCutchion Gillian Thomas Glenn Draper Rochelle Howard Ross McKay Heidi Volp Mary-Ann Dunn Danny Howell Chris Morley

Michelle Edwards Danny Huang Kirsten Owen

Congratulations To: Berenice Torstensson and Philip Worledge who have progressed to full membership

Coolana Training Weekend

On a fine weekend (15/16“ May) in glorious surroundings Patrick, Bill and five new members spent many hours on navigation training, first aid/bushcraft instruction and exchanging ideas on bushwalking gear.

It was not all hard work. We walked, scrambled up the cliffs and on Saturday socialised around a great campfire diverting from our entertainment only to have a close-up look at a wombat.

Why dont you join us at the next training weekend. It will be on 14/15 August.

Overnight Training/Experience

The weekend 10”,11“ July gives an opportunity to do a selection of day walks from a base camp at Coolana carrying a weekend pack. Test yourself for an easy, medium or hard weekend walk.

Additional Qualifying Walks

The walks on the Winter Programme to be lead by Chris Dowling on the 17 of July (Carlons- Splendour Rock) and on the 28” of August (Govetts-Vic.Falls) will be noted as being

Qualifying walks.

ZB Weekend Walking Gear for Hire

76, The club now has a small pool of

4 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 Tent: $20 Complete kit $50 Equivalent refundable deposit required. Contact: Geoff McIntosh 9419 4619

First Aid Certificates To encourage our members to get their St Johns First Aid Certificate, the Committee has offered to subsidise current Walks Leaders for half the cost of gaining an accredited Senior First Aid Certificate up to $50 and if combined with an accredited Remote Area First Aid, up to $80.


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Have you _ seen _ the Website ?

42 Days in South America Club members are invited to participate in my next journey to South America

End of rainy season, from say middle of April 2005 onwards

Destination: Ecuador, Northern and Central Peru Time: Duration: 42 days (plus)

Preliminary cost estimate

with 5 day cruise in the Galapagos Islands without Galapagos Islands

A$5 800.00 per person A$3800.00 per person

Cost includes food, accommodation, air travel Sydney and other travel expenses.

There will be some national park walks. For more information please phone Gerry Leitner

9608 1169

The Sydney Bushwalker June 2004

Page 19

Odds and Ends

Try Something A Little Different !

Some weekends offer more than a weekend walk - theres perhaps a little sparkle added; something unusual to cater for the seasonal conditions or perhaps the not quite so fit walker.

Here are some walks with a difference scheduled in coming weeks. More details including leaders contact numbers are shown in the Winter Walks Programme:

A walk with a distance for everyone!

Sunday 27“ June: Thornleigh to Berowra Come along and choose how far you wish to walk.. Total distance is a solid day of 30 km but there are opportunities along this walk to exit into the suburbs and catch a bus or call a taxi

How about watching a whale | Sun 27” June: Walking and Whale Watching A coastal walk with spectacular views of rugged coastline. Last year we saw five ~~ _ whales as we rested on the cliffsides

Or just meddling around Sat 17“ July: Medlin Around Medlow Bath

Discover some of the old overgrown and forgotten tracks behind the Hydro Majestic. Medium grade with some escending and ascending.

Sat 17” July: Blue Mountains NP

A celebration of George Caley reaching Mt Banks in 1804. Banks ridge to Explorers Brook with wet feet guaranteed. Parts will be exploratory and hard. A great walk through the Grose Canyon.

Now, if you have a spare weekend heres some exploratory walks into the wilderness!

3 4“ July: Ettrema Wilderness

Starting from Quiera Clearing and finishing at Tullyangela Clearing. Open to walkers with a taste for the unknown. Probably rough but not really known. Should be a lovely weekend

Here's alonger walk from Thursday to Sunday:

8” 10“ July: Wollemi NP

Mt Tootie to Deep Pass via Colo River and Mt Cameron. Graded medium/rough this walk has a car shuffle, some uncertainties and scrub

4. 29% Oct

And some more uncertainty:

24”, 25“ July: Ettrema Wilderness

Also entirely an exploratory walk for those with a taste for the unknown. This time near Black Range Creek and the Endrick River.

Then there are the Mid Week activities for those who have the time and inclination to find the alternative to working. Here are some easy out- of-the usual walks in the few weeks:

Wednesday 30 June: Patonga to Newcastle Stage 1 (reversed)

A scenic 18 km walk around built-up areas from Woy Woy , Pearl Beach and Patonga. How about a bicycle ride !

( Tuesday 6” July: Windsor/Richmond <I. area Midweek bicycle ride, the route and length depending on the weather and the wishes of those participating. Even the location may change. Back to walking:

Thurs 8“ July: Georges River

From Glenfield to Georges River and on to

Ingleburn. A bushy suburban walk. Gaiters and gloves are recommended - Medium Grade 16km.

Thurs 29” July: Patonga to Newcastle Stage 2

A very scenic but strenuous 19km walk in

Bouddi NP Medium grade. Starting at Woy

Woy with bus to Ettalong then around the cliff

tops and beaches to Copacabana

Looking even further ahead there are two

activities for the mid week enthusiasts

15th- 17“ Sep Bicycle Ride - Robyns Farm

Easy rides in the Bathurst area.

From Wed to Frid with theoption of extending into the weekend)


River Murray Houseboat - Starting from Mildura we will be aboard for four nights. Some walking and socialising

Expressions of Interest:

Are there any walkers out there who would like a mid-week 3 day walk equivalent to a 2 day weekend walk.

This means an easier pace but a little more food

and walking without the weekend crowd or traffic

/ Royal National Park.

Bicycles in Royal National Park: Walkers are urged to report sightings of bicycle riders riding off-track and on walking tracks in the

yf” No action should be taken other than to phone Sue Methan NPWS Audley 9542 0637 Page 20 T he Sydney Bushwalker June 2004 |


Caro is away overseas but, despite the attractions of far away islands in the sun, her mind is still with SBW and the great Social Programme ahead of us.

I know she would like the Editor to tell you about the remainder of June and the very special return of the MID WINTER FEAST on the last


A man walks into a bar, sits down, and orders a drink. The bartender gives him his drink, accompanied by a bowl of


To his surprise, a voice comes from

Wednesday of this month 30“ June. the peanut bowl. “You look great tonight!” it But lets not forget the the treats in store for said. “You really look fantastic… And that the next month - see below aftershave is just wonderful!” The man is obviously a little confused, but tries SOCIAL PROGRAMME; to ignore tt. Still ahead in June Realizing he has no cigarettes, he wanders over

to the cigarette machine. After inserting his

th . . Wed 30” 6.30pm Mid-Winter Feast money, another voice emits from the machine.

Brine stoma your cold winter “You IDIOT… Oh my god you STINK… Do you k photos, slides or a CD of know, you're as UGLY AS SIN.

By now, the man is extremely perplexed. He tums to the bartender for an explanation. “Ah yes si,” the bartender responds, “The

your digital photos or video Come any time from 6-30 pm.

And in July peanuts are complimentary, but the cigarette

Wed 7” 7pm Committee Meeting machine is out of order. Committee members and observers welcome s Fertilizer

Wed7” 8pm Introduction to SBW AS A farmer was driving along the road Who are the Sydney Bush (3 N ) with a load of fertilizer. A little boy, walkers and what do they do playing in front of his house, saw him This is the night for new and called, “What've you got in your truck? members and potential “Fertilizer,” the farmer replied. members to learn about the “What are you going to do with it?” asked the club. little boy.

Wed 14”, 8pm Walks Grading Forum “Put it on strawberries,” answered the farmer. The Committee wants your “You ought to live here,” the little boy advised feedback about the new Walks him. “We put sugar and cream on ours.”

Grading system. Come and tell | fe'ales

us how it can be made better. Av oe

Wed 21“ 8pm Pack n Eat i baby mouse are walking

Due to popular demand we along, when all of a sudden, a cat have planned another How to attacks them.

Pack demonstration (cause The mother mouse goes, “BARK!” and the cat we ran out of time in Apmil!) runs away.

along with a What to eat/How “See?” says the mother mouse to her baby. to cook in the bush night. “Now do you see why it's important to learn a Wed 21* 8pm Introduction to SBW foreign language?”

The Mouse A mother mouse and a

Contributions Welcome: - od Members: contributions t6 this: thagazine are. VET; .weleome. Send im your interesting Stories

Are you on the SBW Email List? Once a month, we send out a friendly email to SBW

Members and Prospectives. .

The email acts as a reminder of the upcoming social oF retent walks, letters, notices, jokesetcby event for the month, along with a short note on naif (preferably typed), :on floppy: disc, by fax OF something of interest to our members. . by. email addressed to The Editar .

If you'd like to be added to the list, simply sendan | | |.t email to: plon@hotkey feta:

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 Mesniight Headterch: Constantly frustrated with replacing your torch battery? Then the Moontight is for you. With 4 ultra bright, energy efficient LED bulbs, it provides 70 hours of constant light. Tt weighs a mere 90g (without batteries) so you'll hardly know you're

carrying it. Ideai for night walking, cooking and reading.

Black Diamond Contour Trekking Pole: Trekking poles dont just

- improve your balance and reduce the strain on your lower limbs; they help re-distribute the toad 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 angle 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 Diamond 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 1kg, 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:

Mail order: 1800 805 398

200406.txt · Last modified: 2023/11/14 08:31 by kennettj

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