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THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER is the monthly bulletin of matters of interest to members of

The Sydney Bush Waikers Inc

PO Box 431 Milsons Point 1565. Editor: Bill Holland 2 Production Manager: Frances Holland Printers: Kenn Clacher, Barrie Murdoch, 3 Tom Wenman Don Brooks Fran Holland 3 Opinions expressed in this magazine are the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily 5 reflect the policies or views of The Sydney Bush 5 Walkers Inc. All material in this magazine is copyright. 4 Requests for reproduction should be directed to The Editor.



4 6,7 Coolana Report Don Finch has a detailed and interesting report about the happenings at Coolana 8 Conservation Notes 9 Why SBW is involved, and should be involved, in Conservation. Also some 10 interesting news items 11

Alpsport Front cover Newnes Hotel Cabins 7 Paddy Pallin Back cover Wilderness Transport 9 Wild Asia 5 Willis's Walkabouts li


Issue No. 849

From the Committee Room Message from President Maurice Treasurers Report

Letters to the Editor

Editors Note

Confederation Report

New Members News

Social Notes and Other Items


Its General Meeting Time Again The six monthly general meeting is on with two special resolutions to be presented for your vote

As It Happened Wilf Hilder reviews Colin Watsons book

Dot and the Stratofortress Another entry jrom our recent competition with Andrew Vilder telling a tale of dazzling shoes

Musings of Memory

Last months story prompts Frank Rigby to recall the time when Colin Putt showed him how to abseil

12,13 Walk Notes

Barry Wallace gives his reports of recent walks

14-16 Ro McDonalds Excellent Adventures

Mike Arnott details the 2004 trip in the rugged Kimberley back country

The Sydney Bushwalker: First Edition July 1931 Official publication of The Sydney Bush Walkers Inc. Page 2

The Sydney Bushwalker

August 2005

About Our Club

The Sydney Bush Walkers was formed in 1927 for the] } a, purpose of bringing bushwalkers together; enabling| (ii

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 Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre, 16, Fitzroy Street, Kirribilli (near Milsons Point Railway Station).

Visitors and prospective members are welcome. General Enquiries: Phone 0500 500 729

Website www. Office Bearers President: Maurice Smith Vice-President: Rosemary MacDougal Treasurer: Tony Marshall Secretary: Leigh McClintock Walks Secretary: Ian Thorpe Conservation Secretary: Bill Holland Social Secretary Kathy Gero Membership Secretary Ron Watters New Members Secretary: Grace Martinez Magazine Editor: Bill Holland Committee Members Caro Ryan Peter Love

Delegate to Confederation:

Jim Callaway | Pam Campbell

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

4784 3203 (h) Members Secretary: Ron Watters 0419617491

New Members Secretary: Grace Martinez 9948 6238

From The Committee Room * A report of proceedings at the Management Committee meeting on 3 August “ There may be some continuity and security issues with our current telephone system and 0500 500 729 contact number. An alternative approach will be investigated = The Committee discussed a letter from a member pointing out possible leadership and_ risk management issues encountered on a recent club walk. A letter will be sent to the leader of this walk advising him of the issues raised and seeking his response. Kaye Taing, Brian Ogilwy and Stanley Wong were accepted as Active Members.. ” Electronic walks reports are coming in from walks leaders. The database for using the walks information is being constructed. The Committee approved the payments of $399 for new mower for Coolana, $125 for spare parts for the other mowers, $50 first aid course subsidy, $437 magazine postage and $104 for social events. The draft Spring Walks Programme was approved and the Spring Social Programme approved. An Electronic Communication Sub-Committee was appointed with the objectives as agreed at the Committees meeting in June. The members of the Sub-Committee are Ron Watters (Chairman), John. Bradnam, Maurice Smith and Rosemary MacDougall. The web-master has still be appointed and the President will seek out interested members. = The Conservation Secretary had written a letter to the NPWS, passing on a members views on the proposed introduction of restrictions on cave camping in the Budawangs. He also foreshadowed the need to lobby strongly on the mechanics of NPWS implementation of permits, in the event that the service decides to go ahead with them. = Two new national parks have been declared, one coastal and one adjoining western side of the Budawangs Members planning to walk in the Kosciuszko high country should be aware that it will probably become necessary to carry out all faecal matter. The Secretary read out a draft reply to the President of Confederation re the possibility of removing the cap on member clubs affiliation fees and the impact on our club.

The Social Night This Month is Wednesday, 21 September This is one week after the General Meeting so mark it on your social calendar! Come and see a presentation on The Kimberley from Club members Wayne Steele and Rosemary McDonald who have walked extensively in the area. The Sydney Bushwalker

August 2005 Page 3

Message from President Maurice:

- Its been a few years since the last baby that I know of was born to parents within the club. Well it has happened a few days ago. We congratulate Helen Bauer and Jouni Leppanen on the birth of their lovely daughter. I expect to see both Helen and Jouni in the not too distant future with their babe in an appropriate baby. backpack on a club walk.

A few days ago I downloaded to my computer the Google Earth software and Ive been exploring the features of the software. For those readers who havent heard of this free software, Google the dominant intemet search engine, have obtained satellite photos of the entire earth and has made the photos available to anyone who uses their application. If you are interested the internet web address for the software is: http-earth. html. The software allows you to zoom in and out, scroll in any direction, save bookmarks, and so on. Dont think about using this software unless you have a high speed internet connection though! The zooming feature allows you to look at an area from very high levels to quite low levels, for example, below 300 metres. The resolution of the photographs is high for some locations and at other locations much poorer. For example, Im able to identify my home quite clearly from a high resolution photograph while some parts of the city of Sydney have only low resolution photographs available. Ive looked at the application with the view to considering its possible use as an aid in bushwalking. While the application is an excellent bit of software I can see it being useful in planning some bushwalks as it can give you an overview of the area where you are considering walking, however, I reserve judgement about its usefulness otherwise. I have looked at some of my favourite bushwalking areas and readily identified various sites. For me what would be really great would be to overlay on the screen the names of the relevant topographic maps that provide the details of the land that we require for bushwalking. Perhaps that is coming in a future release of the software. So far my summation is that it is a solution looking for a problem, but I will admit that I might change my mind somewhere along the line, especially when further features are made available. Towards the end of July, the clubs Constitution Review Sub-committee met with various committee members to consider their detailed comments on the first draft of the revised constitution. While we didnt have unanimity on all issues after extensive discussion we reached agreement on a substantial number of points. The points of difference are still being considered. At some point in the next few months (or maybe years) the proposed revisions will be more widely disseminated for comment. Let me tell you right now that a lot of the changes are technical to bring the constitution up to date. No changes are proposed to the manner in which Prospective Members may become Active Members. In the near future we will be able to start capturing in a club database the details of which members are undertaking club walks. This initiative was proposed by Grace Martinez as a means of keeping track of which Prospective Members are actually walking. While this was agreed it was decided to capture the information about all members, not just prospective members. It wont be long before we will be able to get some real data about how many members are going on club walks, rather than various comments about how well or poorly we are doing compared to the same period of last year. Maurice Smith Treasurers Report Receipts and Payments to end July 2005 Receipts Members Subscriptions 15,764 Prospective Fees 5,483 Interest Conservation 347 Interest Coolana 1,033 Interest General 588 Magazine Advertising 1,170 Donations Coolana 155 Donations General 5 Other 115 Investment redemption 15,000 Total 39,660 Payments Magazine Production 2,091 Magazine Postage 2,875 Magazine Equipment 566 Coolana Rates & Occupancy 187 Coolana Maintenance 250 Rent Club Rooms 3,092 Insurance Public Liability 3,861 Insurance Personal Accident 2,508 Affiliation Confederation 2,255 Postage, Phone & Internet 1,744 Administration 1,745 Transfer to investments 15,000 Total 36,205 Closing Bank balance 15,059 The Committee is sending reminders to unfinancial members and will be reviewing the membership list at the September meeting. | Tony Marshall Theres an extra Club night in September - Dont forget the second Wednesday, 14“ September 8 pm THE SIX MONTHLY GENERAL MEETING All welcome Page 4 The Sydney Bushwalker August 2005 | \TS GENERAL MEETING TIME AGAmy Six Monthly General Meeting This meeting will be held at the Clubrooms on Wednesday 14” September. It will take mos the form of open discussion between members and the Management Committee. All members and prospectives members are invited to attend. There will be refreshments served before and after the meeting. In addition to voting on the special resolutions, see the next column, - we will be inviting reactions from members on matters discussed by the Committee over the past six months since the AGM in March. These include the following: Changes To The Walks Grading System The Walks Programmes currently show both the Easy/Medium/Hard grading with kilometres as well as the numerical indicators i.e. M223E introduced last year. We seek your reactions to this. Should the numerical system continue? Is this a better system or a distraction? Electronic Communication Developments We will discuss proposed developments in managing our data bases of members details, creating a register of walks and possibly extending the electronic communications to include emailing notices, programmes and magazines and walk reports. Reviewing the Constitution Although still in the planning stage some changes are already under consideration and these will be placed before the meeting to gauge members reactions. The Costs of Insurance and Confederation Affiliation These costs are near $10,000 and may increase by a further $1,300 with changes proposed by the Confederation. Should we continue with personal accident insurance? Skiing and Abseiling Activities These activities are now acceptable to our insurers (with appropriate disclaimers) What are the requirements? Leadership and_Training We have some proposals to increase the opportunities for training and enhance leadership skills Leaders To Have Membership Subscriptions Waived Or Reduced This has been raised as an item for discussion by the Committee Conservation Items of Interest Matters such as proposed restrictions on camping in the Budawangs and toileting in Kosciusko National Parks and new walking opportunities in new national parks And of course there will be reports from your Treasurer on Club finances, Walks Secretary on our walks programmes, Conservation Secretary and Confederation as well as any matter members may care to raise. Notice of Special Resolutions Notice is hereby given that the following Special Resolutions will be placed before the Six Monthly General Meeting to be held at The Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre on Wednesday 14“ September. The effect of these resolutions, if passed, will be to change the Clubs Constitution as indicated. These changes require the resolutions to be passed by a majority comprising not less than three quarters of members present and voting. The resolutions are: To make the Secretary of the Electronic Communications Sub- Committee a Member of the Management Committee. ADD: the words Secretary of the Electronic Communications Sub- Committee to PART 111 Section 22 Para (2) of the Constitution To raise the Clubs Minimum Age to 18 years DELETE: from PART 11 Section 5 Para (a) Sub-Para i the words is sixteen years of age and ADD the words is eighteen years of age News from Confederation: Extracts from the Minutes of the July meeting of the Confederation of Bushwalking Clubs NSW: * One of our big events of the year, the BWRS Navigation Shield, has had to be postponed as the road into Coolah Tops where it was to be held was impassable because of wet weather. We are hoping for a fine period before its re- scheduled date of 14” August. Interim risk management guidelines for abseiling and skiing had been provided to our insurer for reviewing and that they were aware that these interim guidelines would be circulated to all clubs. Sydney Bush Walkers advised that they were opposed to the removal of the maximum affiliation fee cap. = Several conservation items were noted - these are shown on Page 9. “BWRS advised that “Vertical Mobility (VM)” course participants were assessed on 25” June. This particular VM course required our experienced bushwalkers to attend four intensive weekends. VM courses cover the basics of abseiling / ascending skills and equipment for bush search & rescue and are accredited by the NSW State Rescue Board. Another opportunity to become qualified in first aid is scheduled on the last weekend in 29“, 30th October. This St John Ambulance Senior First Aid Certificate course will be offered at a discount rate for members of bushwalking clubs of just $100! Our experienced Instructor will make the course relevant to bushwalking. P ” Grace Martinez (Prospectives). Have You Changed Your Address? If you have changed your address or phone number recently, please advise Ron Watters (Members) or 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. | The Sydney Bushwalker August 2005 Page 5 Letters to the Editor [=] Priceless Training. I want to draw your attention to a recent Wilderness First Aid course that I attended. It was run by the Wilderness Medicine Institute of Australia, NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School, USA) and went for four days and covered a wide variety of first aid scenarios that are particular to us in our outdoors pursuits. Whilst I already have a Senior St Johns course (having done this 4 times over the past years) and am a member of the BWRS (Bushwalkers Wilderness Rescue), I cannot speak highly enough of the professionalism and the level of detail that was provided in the WMI course. Wildemess Medicine is described as being any first aid given in a location that is more than one hour from medical help, which pretty much sums up most of what we do, and in this regard left the St Johns course seriously lacking. They offer courses over 2, 4, 7 or an astounding 10 days and I believe that they are the only accredited provider of this course which forms part of the Cert IV in Outdoor Education qualification. For more information on their courses and what WMI is all about, visit their website at: Although the course was not cheap, in hindsight, I see that the training was certainly priceless and when my certification expires in two years time, I will be going back for the 7 day course. Regards: Caro hope I wont have to use my training Ryan [=| Marie Byles exhibition I am writing to inform The Sydney Bushwalkers of an upcoming exhibition on Marie Byles who wrote the organisations constitution in 1927. The National Trust was bequeathed Marie's home 'Ahimsa' in Cheltenham in 1970 and we have produced a travelling exhibition which celebrates her diverse life. | am wanting some names and addresses of key people from your organisation to invite to the opening on the 6th of September. I am also including a description of the exhibition and public programs in September that your members may like to attend. - See Page 17 I look forward to hearing from you soon Julie Petersen National Trust of Australia (NSW) Ph: 9258 0130 email: jpetersen( [= Maps in the Magazine Though I dont bushwalk these days I like reading about walks in unusual places, such as the Victorian Alps, The Kimberley and south east Queensland. These places are for me new country, which I always sought, but unless the articles are accompanied by a map, I cant really appreciate them. Half a century ago, when I was editor, I used to send sketch maps to Helen Gray, who would draft them properly, and then print then them in the magazine. I dont know whether there are any drafismen or women in the Club now, but if there are, perhaps they could do the maps. Glad to read your conservation notes in the magazine. Alex Colley Editors Note:. 7 Once more a rather crammed magazine with many if things to interest you including some musings of #<~ memory, a lurid tale of shoes, a long trip report, a short book review and the regular items including the very welcome letters shown in the adjacent column. What is lacking, however, are the short reports of weekend and day walks, other than the notes by Barry Wallace. Barrys notes always make good reading but he must, of necessity, be very brief in order to cover all of the walks in the period under review. Surely, there must be some interesting walks worth reporting in a some detail which would be informative and encourage eur newer members. In this regard, you will see elsewhere in this magazine that the Committee is creating a data base of walks and walk attendances by using electronic means. I fully support this and urge those leaders when reporting to add my name to the email if their walk notes are suitable for the magazine. Leaders should also consider promoting coming walks keeping in mind that many potential participants have no knowledge of the areas in which the walk is planned or the nature of walks led by a particular leader. Finally, please make an effort to attend the six monthly general meeting. It is your opportunity to make your voice heard and keep the committee informed of members wishes. Bill Holland. beyond the Silk Road Wild Asia offer unique and innovative trekking holidays in Central Asia. Trek in the folowing mountain ranges & view peaks from base camps of former Soviet States & China. Experience fammous Samarkand, Osh and Kashgar. e Peak Lenin e Tien Shan Range @ Kongur Peak Khan Tengri Peak Fan Mountains * Pamir Mountains # K2 (Chinese side) # Peak Communism e Kun Lun Range e Muztagh Ata Experience legendary Silk Road Passes such as the Torugart & irkeshtam and the ancient cultures of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan & Wester China. Itineraries allow you to link a number of the treks, to create your own adventure through Central Asia Trips include full trek service, local guides and experienced Western Leaders. For brochures and further information call (03) 9672 5372 (ABN 11.095 066 344 Lic Number 3009) Page 6 The Sydney Bushwalker August 2005 The War on Weeds Gretel, Wilf and Don recently (22/7/05) met with Eric Zarella and Rebecca Cole from the Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority at Coolana. The purpose of the inspection was to assess the Coolana maintenance situation and then suggest a way forward with certain problems as we come into spring. (Eric was previously our Landcare liaison officer from DLWC and is familiar with the property.) The grassed river flat camping area can, and has been mowed regularly and is more or less under control. The removal of mowing hazards and new mowers should see that this can be maintained. What is not under control is the steep slopes of the river and creek banks the steep area west of the tap over to the start of the Rigby bypass track and large areas of the eastern flat particularly near the creek-river junction. The area above the tap is showing increasing weed infestation. Man Power The reason these areas are out of control is quite simply that they get neglected as we do not get enough people attending Coolana maintenance weekends. The few people that usually turn up run through the priority list and just run out of time. The grassed areas, quite rightly, get first attention along with SCA tree maintenance. When Shane Muldoon did the SCA grant acquittal inspection on the 11/3/05 the direness of the weed situation was very apparent with the weed growth at mature plant stage with full seed load and shading out all other growth in some places. This prompted Shane to suggest that we consider using plant specific poison sprays in conjunction with grass seeding. With perhaps a SCA grant to assist? Both of the above are very expensive. Having spent some time investigating the poisons, reading the data sheets and taking advice from several farmers and country folk, I have come to the conclusion Coolana Report Don Finch that we should not attempt to use these poisons as they are all classed as hazardous and require very careful and knowledgeable use. The possibility of using poison spray contractors was considered but ultimately this also has to be rejected on the grounds of cost and supervision difficulties. Roundup or Glyphosate, which we are currently using, is classed as non hazardous, but still requires considerable care. Glyphosate is non specific and we have.on occasions damaged non target species. But give the alternative it is still our best and safest option. So what to do? Mass plantings of shade out plants to inhibit weed growth with limited use of Glyphosate to control the very invasive weeds such as turkey rhubarb. Who is going to grow the tube stock and do this mass plant out? SBW members? Despite two well attended maintenance weekends this year I do not believe we can get the numbers, there were so many other weekends when there were only two or three people. So I have asked Eric to put together a proposal; to cultivate suitable plants into tube stock, our own kangaroo apples fit this profile but other plants can be used. The labour would be a volunteer group operating under Catchment Management Authority direction that is to say non SBW members, strangers but humans. When this proposal comes to hand it will be forwarded to all and a meeting called to consider same. After Eric and Rebecca left we discovered the tea cake with glazed cherries on top they had provided, we had not even boiled the billy! Gretel deferred, but Wilf and I knew an easy pick and did the tea cake justice. Equipment During the afternoon the mowers were looked at and a list of spares assembled. The situation was even worse than Barry had indicated in a recent email. The net result a new mower has been ordered, same as the recent acquisition. Many spare parts have also been ordered. Unfortunately there is not a usable mower at present. A suitable piece of pipe with a 1/2“ square drive fitting has been assembled and a six sided 5/8” AF socket has been purchased, this is to remove the blade retaining bolt which is a standard right hand thread. The old mower has cowling damage and no muffler do not use until both are fixed, for the second time the drills, pop rivet gun, plate and cutters have been take to Coolana to do this job but the priority list would not allow it. The new mower 1 year old has a missing chute and damaged blade and blade mounting boss, catastrophic failure is possible do not use until repaired. The new mower should arrive during August please check sump oil before use as they are shipped DRY however the supplier may fill the sump prior to delivery. The cost of new mower $399 and parts $125 has been approved. L The Sydney Bushwalker August 2005 Page7 | repaired. The new mower should arrive during August please check sump oil before use as they are shipped DRY however the supplier may fill the sump prior to delivery. The cost of new mower $399 and parts $125 has been approved. Early Saturday Spiro, Geert, and Rick arrived, Don went into Bomaderry to pick up Emma and Steve and to order the mower parts. Bill and Sallie closely followed by Tom, Bill and another member brought the numbers up to thirteen. They got started on various jobs and it was amazing what can be done with thirteen people helping. Other News The recent announcement that the Tallowa Dam is to be raised either 5 or 10 metres wil] impact on Coolana. However, there are no meaningful details available as yet. We borrowed a laser level recently and found that if the level was brought up from the present top water level by five metre level it would be just to the top of the steep part of the river bank. So most of the lowest camping flat would be flooded. The eight metre level is marked on the chair stump down from the tap and eight metres would flood all of the camping area. The ten metre level is marked by red tape about 300mm up the star post supporting the tap. Another fifty wooden support posts have been fitted NEWNES Wollemi National Park Visit us at our website at . to star posts using a battery drill and screws some trees were supported with stocking. Guards and posts were removed and stacked behind the shed. A big effort to clear up the mass of fallen wattles behind the tool shed has resulted in several large piles of sticks the area is now accessible. With up to six people working on this an impossible job was made possible. We had a very pleasant camp fire on Saturday night which was enhanced by some wonderful singing. There were many wombats about during the day and early evening although they were not evident in the frosts on both mornings. Wilf continued work on several tracks and a blockage in the pipeline one metre down from the dam took a bit of fixing. With spring on the way Coolana is looking terrific with lots of green grass and a pleasant ambiance. Thanks again to all those who came to the recent maintenance weekend and helped. A big team makes such a difference and the results are very encouraging. We hope that it might be even bigger next time! Join us for a Coolana Maintenance Weekend The next maintenance weekend is on 1011 September. You are welcome to join us. No need to book but phone 9484 6636 if you need more details. HOTEL CABINS you to stay in their newly completed cabin which offers spectacular views of Mystery Mountain from the front verandah. This is the ideal base for numerous bushwalks in the area. Our cabin can accommodate up to 6 people and is equipped with a modern kitchen, bathroom, 1 bedroom with a queen sized bed, and four single beds that double as comfortable seats during the day. Built with ecologically sustainable goals in mind, this spacious cabin also suits the requirements of disabled guests. We also offer accommodation in our on-site caravan and campground. or give us aringon Ph.: (02) 63 551 247 Page 8 The Sydney Bushwalker August 2005 Conservation Notes I was surprised last week when two Committee members asked the question why should SBW be involved in conservation matters? or words to that effect. It implied that as a walking club we should concentrate on walking and leave conservation matters to conservation organisations. Extending this thought suggests that the Wilderness Society and National Parks Association (the largest walking group in NSW) should not have a walks programme. But it is a good question and worth asking. It came up as a casual remark during a discussion on revising the constitution and perhaps making the number of office bearers, and the offices held, dependent on the annual general meetings rather than embodied in the constitution. To my mind the question is easily answered and starts with the present constitution. It includes, under the heading of Objects that the association is to establish a definite regard for the welfare and preservation of wild life and the natural beauty of this country and help others appreciate these natural gifts. These two objectives were stated at the Foundation Meeting of SBW 21* October 1927. For many, many years SBW has been well regarded as a conservation body in its own right mainly thanks to the efforts of Alex Colley who held the position of Conservation Secretary over 30 years and for his conservation efforts was presented with the Order of Australia. Our Club was instrumental in setting up the National Parks Association in 1957 with SBW members active on the inaugural Council including Tom Moppett (later to become President). Similarly, we played an active role in the preservation of Blue Gum Forest and in setting up the Colong Foundation. The list goes on. Many of our members today are active in the various conservation organisations And the final part of the answer to the question of why should we be involved in conservation is that everybody should be involved. The more voices the better. These are uncertain days when nothing seems safe. Conservation bodies are having their funding from the Federal Government removed or substantially diminished and who knows what will happen to State Government support after the next election. There are constant threats; threats of development overtaking bushland areas, threats to our way of working and living and more and even more conditions imposed on walking and camping - see news items below. No, [m not worried about my position as Conservation Secretary; I plan for a reasonably short tenure. But I am concerned that SBW one day may be a lesser voice in, or even absent from, the conservation debate. Bill Holland - Conservation Secretary Conservation Items Answering Call Of Nature On A High By James Woodford SMH August 2, 2005 All overnight campers are to be asked to do their business in a bag, and a toilet that will resemble a hobbit hole is to be built into the side of a hill just below the summit of the nation's tallest mountain. According to the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, it will be Australia's highest dunny. The announcements are part of a newly released human waste strategy for Kosciuszko National Park, designed to improve hygiene and the environment across the main range, including the 2228-metre tall Mount Kosciuszko. At present, says the alpine area manager with the NPWS, Andrew Harrigan, overnight campers “do the best they can” when it comes to going to the toilet. Most dig into the snow but no further; so when the spring melt comes, rangers and visitors, as well as mountain streams, receive thousands of unwanted surprises. The new human waste management plan includes a “carry out” policy under which it would be mandated that the 10,000 or so campers who visit the park take biodegradable bags with them on their hikes or cross- country skiing, in which their faeces would be stored. There would be disposal facilities at a number of locations, including Thredbo and Charlotte Pass. The toilet below the summit of Kosciuszko has been on the drawing board for years. The peak can attract as many as 1800 people a day in summer, and it is thought that about 60,000 visitors a year make the journey to the mountain. New National Parks Bimberamala and Meroo Two new parks of interest to walkers have been opened in the Southern Region . They are: Bimberamala adjoining the western boundary of the Budawangs This new reserve contains much of the rugged terrain of the pristine Bimberamala River catchment area. There are limited opportunities for recreation and back pack camping. A spectacular lookout on the eastern side of the reserve provides views as far south as the Budawang Wilderness and Murramarang National Park… and Meroo, where there is a wide variety of forest types, including spotted gum, adjoin the largely natural Tabourie, Burill, Termeil and Meroo coastal lakes (continued next page) The Sydney Bushwalker August 2005 Page 9 | Book Review Wilf Hilder As It Happened A book by Colin Watson This very readable book is Bushwalking National Treasure Colin Watsons autobiography. It is a lavishly illustrated account of his numerous exploratory bushwalking and camping trips around New South Wales particularly our South Coast. It was there that he first realized the importance of preserving our unique bush land with all its scenic splendours for future generations to share for all time. His untiring conservation efforts with the National Parks Association of NSW helped in the creation of the Budawangs and Mimosa Rocks as National Parks to choose but two of his most significant achievements. Colin has written up the background of his conservation work and has now revealed the wheeling and dealing that went on behind the scenes in getting South Coast areas declared as National Park. For his lengthy conservation and bushwalking efforts, Colin has been honoured with numerous awards, notably the Order of Australia Medal in 1989 and Friend of the Century by the National Parks and Wildlife Foundation. As It Happened is beautifully illustrated with black and white and colour photos mostly Colin Watsons and some 20 maps mostly by noted cartographer George Elliott and comprises some 390 pages. It is now available direct from the Budawang Committee at 40 Alexandria Avenue, Eastwood. NSW 2122 for $30-00 (including postage) as a bushwalkers special offer. Phone enquires 9874 2901. Conservation Items (continued) Wandella Protestors Trapped In Forest A peaceful community walk into Wandella State Forest on Saturday tumed for the worst when the group of about 25 was trapped inside the area as two contractors and a State Forestry officer felled two large trees, blocking the exit road of their vehicle. The combination of women, men and children were rendered helpless, cold and hungry in the area of natural old-growth forest, currently being logged by Forests NSW in conjunction with various contractors, for over three hours in the late evening. “A violent confrontation soon erupted as evening fell,” as spokesperson for the community group, Ms Helen Howie, said. “A group of approximately eight men arrived in the restricted area, rammed one vehicle full of people from Nsw WILDERNESS TRANSIT Kanangra Walls Mon & Wed at 11am. Frid at 7am JENOLAN CAVES. KANANGRA WALLS. YERRANDERIE GHost TOWN STARLIGHTS TRACK. BUNGONIA CAVES. Woe Woa. NERRIGA Departs from Sydney's Campbelitown Railway Station Via Penrith, Katoomba & Blackheath for Returns 4pm Mon, Wed, Frid. Via Starlights, Mittagong & Marulan for Wog Wog-Nerriga Tues.& Thurs & Sun at 11am Returns 4 pm Tues, Thurs, Sun. Yerranderie Ghost Town first Saturday in each month, returns Sun at 1 pm (any Friday min 6) Group booking discounts or charter service Tel 0246 832 344 Mob 0428 832 344 behind, intimidating the group and rendering injuries to at least two of the peaceful protesters. The State Forestry Officer was nowhere to be seen and local police did not arrive until later in the evening. Bega News Tuesday, 26 July 2005 Brigalow Belt Success The National Parks journal for August-September features a cover story and articles on the State Governments long awaited decision (passed by NSW Parliament on 23 June) to reserve 350,000 hectares of western woodlands as new conservation areas. Andrew Cox (Executive Officer NPA) in an article states that In the same way that the Wran decision was the turning point that ultimately ended rainforest logging, NPA believes the historic decision represents a turning point in how the Government and the broader community values the ecosystems west of the Great Divide. India Himalaya Trek 4” - 27“ October YES, there are some vacancies for this unique trip. Leader: Sue Fear 15 years experience in leading treks and personal climbs including a successful ascent of Mount Everest. Come join us for a unique trek in the Indian Himalaya and walk in virtually uncorrupted wilderness with rich flora in the lowlands, spectacular alpine regions, and almost no permanent local habitation. So far there are 5 SBW members who have confirmed their booking. For more details please contact: Peter Blackband 9968 2369 or Jan Roberts 9411 5517 or 0404 003 966 ASAP Page 10 The Sydney Bushwalker August 2005 Dot And The Stratofortress You can really meet some nutters in the bush. If you haven't, then you &) are not walking enough! If you have, then you have been touched by greatness… I want to share a true experience which occurred some time ago in the Budawangs. The year was 1987 and I had not yet joined the Sydney Bushies, oddly enough had not even heard of them. Nonetheless, I dabbled in a bit of bushwalking with my mates, and together with one named Phil Windsor, I set out one Saturday from Batemans Bay to climb the Castle as a day trip. To make things more exciting we did not carry a. map nor compass, GPS did not exist, nor mobile phones for the masses (though I think our plumber had one). Seasoned navigators that we were, we spent almost the entire day driving in the car, lost in a maze of fire trails in Yadboro State Forest before returning down, but not out, to Batemans. Thus it wasn't until Sunday morning that we found Clyde River car park and strolled up Kalianna Ridge. Around midday we had reached the base of the uppermost Castle cliff line, and had just paused to enjoy the tranquil grandeur of our surroundings when a bone-shaking roar announced the arrival of a B-52 bomber. Lumbering up the valley from the south-east she came, only several hundred feet above ground, then pulled up sharply with those eight Pratt and Whitneys at full thrust to prevent her embeddin herself in the tail of the Castle. : Loud? It was SOOOOOOOOOOO000000000 OOOOO00O00o00000000000000000000000000 loud, and so intimate that the American pilots cheerfully waved to us from the cockpit. Just barnstorming the kangaroos, buddy…don't mind us. Aware but not alarmed, and temporarily stone deaf, Phil and I proceeded to transit the natural tunnel to the other side of the ridge. It was a sunny April afternoon, yet what we saw next made us wonder whether we had arrived at midnight on Mars. A handsome young man and beautiful young woman were calmly starting lunch for two under a nearby overhang. And how. He was immaculately dressed in a black tuxedo with polished patent leather shoes; she wore a low-cut vermilion sequined cocktail dress and candy-apple red stilettos fully four inches high. ..the gorgeous, smooth- nosed kind which were in vogue then, before the pointy, Wicked Witch of the West look seeped into women's shoes like poison. Her ruby-racy footwear might well have been designed by Enzo Ferrari, and were of course the right shade of Maranello.. Of the - A Lurid Tale Of Shoes Andrew Vilde entire unlikely scene before us, they made the strongest impression on me. The smiling couple were seated at a folding card table, and on aluminium-framed deckchairs, however these were disguised by a crisp white linen tablecloth and the fabric chair covers one sees at weddings. Crystal was by Waterford, silver by Toledo, porcelain by Wedgewood - or at least were very convincing imitations. On the menu appeared to be hot roast duck, with individual fresh side salads and as yet unbroken bagels. This was a class act! Recovering from our deep shock (remember, we had just been B-52-d), Phil and I finally found the decency not to merely stare slack-jawed, and to say “HI”. The couple, in response, were also friendly and introduced themselves as Mark, and -wait for it -Dorothy. Or Dot, for short. Mark arose and pulled us aside for a quick briefing: They were here on holiday from the Mid-West United States. That B-52? His mate was a pilot in the USAF and was visiting Richmond AFB with his oversized toy, so had kindly offered to give Mark and Dot a 12-nuke salute. You see, he was about to propose to her, in an age where marriage was still fashionable and indeed, an acceptable arrangement for people aged 24, as both of these were. He had the big question in his mouth when we unwittingly blundered in. Er, might we possibly be on our way and leave them to it? You have to realise that I was a wild child of the narcisstic, image-driven eighties, and used to wear a silver suit, pink shirt, narrow black leather tie and blue suede Winklepicker boots to nightclubs in the hope of a pick-up. With little sparkly things gelled into in my spiky hair, I had neither taste nor fear. Now this Dorothy was a plum, or should I say a peach? A real honey. Was I about to walk away while she made the biggest mistake of her life (presuming she said 'yes'). After all, there was no ring on her finger yet Git was probably in Mark's pocket). I hesitated, and eyed her dazzling shoes again. Was there a chance here for me? Doubtless reading my thoughts, Phil Windsor grabbed my shirtsleeve and was about to haul me away along the track, when Dorothy jumped up. Moving to the centre of the track, she stood with her legs in an odd knock-kneed position and began rhythmically tapping her shoes together. Watching this strange performance, I was moved to ask her: Um, what are you doing? 'Going home to Kansas', came her deadpan answer. seriously. And we're beating it out of here to Batemans -now!' said Phil. It was too much for us. Minister Goes Bushwalking In response to suggestions he might walk the way of his retiring colleagues, Mr Debus said there was still much more to be done in the Mountains and the State. “While some of my colleagues may have decided it was time to put up their feet for a while, all my weekend bushwalking has kept me fit and energised for the job ahead,” said Mr Debus. Blue Mountains Gazette I of August The Sydney Bushwalker August 2005 Page 11 | MUSINGS OF MEMORY How would you like to try abseiling?” asked the SBW prospective member, a recent import from New Zealand. “What the devil is abseiling?” asked the other SBW prospective member. The first prospective was Colin Putt. The other prospective was me. The time was December, 1950. “Well, it's a way to descend cliff faces”, explained Colin, “using a rope, you know . I didn't know, but it sounded kind of scary -Anyway, Colin offered to show me. “You will have to wear stout long pants and a thick shirt”, he reminded me. I remember that we took a bus to Narrabeen and, after exploring around, found some suitable sandstone cliffs on which to cut my teeth. Colin demonstrated how to double the rope around the base of a firm tree and then wind it around the body in a certain way. The idea was then to slide thro-ugh the doubled rope as one descended the cliff face. This method was known as “body abseiling”, the simplest, crudest and potentially most painful way of abseiling. With all the fancy harnesses and karabiners available today no one in their right mind would attempt it now. I remember that as I faced inwards at the top of Frank Rigby the cliff I was terrified! “Just relax and let the rope slide, said Colin. And so I did and, more or less successfully, completed my first abseil ever . As far as I am aware (and one can always be proved wrong) this was the very first occasion that SBW members, in any form, came to practise the technique of abseiling. Until then it was unknown in our club but came into use in following years with increasing sophistication. Colin Putt and myself, went on to become members in due course. Colin was always an innovator and, over the years, led many walks in new country and worked in so many ways for the SBW. His original, and often unconventional, thinking was like a breath of fresh air. Just before we parted on that day in 1950 Colin told me he was off to New Zealand within a day or two to get married. The lucky girl's name was Jane. It was Jane's article in the July magazine that prompted this piece of mine. To finish with a piece of memorabilia, Colin flew with TEAL (Tasman Empire Airways Ltd.). I remember their advertisements covering the sides of Sydney buses: “To NEW ZEALAND IN SIX HOURS BY TEAL”. I think it takes about two these days! Nowhere is a ..and we've been going there for 15 years. Nowhere is a Place is the title of a book about Patagonia. Williss Walkabouts first Patagonia trip was in 1990. Russell Williss first Patagonia trip was in 1977. There are few other operators who have that kind of experience. No other tour operator offers the kind of Patagonian bushwalking trips that we do. in the words of one of our clients, _ The Patagonian Andes are a wonderland of rugged mountains with granite spires, snow covered mountains, glaciers, beech forests, fields of daisies, waterfalls and more. The opportunity for some terrific trekking shouldn't be missed. The aim for budget travelling with some comfort in mind makes the trip affordable but not too rough.” (Helen O'Callaghan, Hobart) Sat, For full details of our 2005 trip, see our website BY - or ask for the trip notes. a hee ames Williss Walkabouts 12 Carrington St Millner NT 0810 Email: Page 12 The Sydney Bushwalker August 2005 | THE WALKS PAGES News from Your Walks Secretary The draft guidelines for skiling and abseiling activities are now available. Anyone wanting a copy of these draft guidelines could ask me for a copy and I'll email it to them, or snail mail if absolutely necessary. Regards, lan Thorpe Notices: Mt Hay Road - 4WD only We have been advised that Mt Hay Road is currently open to 4WD vehicles only. Work to repair damage to the road is expected to begin in approx. 3 weeks. For updates and further information, contact the NPWS Blue Mountains Heritage Centre at Blackheath, phone 4787 8877, open 7 days 9.00 am to 4.30 pm. Blue Mountains N.P The NPWS have announced the reopening of Rodriquez Pass (Govetts Leap track) to Junction Rock after last years landslide. This is very good news as there were serious doubts about getting this track safely reopened. Royal National Park Earlier this year the NPWS closed the de facto track around the end of Thelma Ridge due to rock falls and spent $120,000 in building a steep track over the ridge from Little Garie to North Era. The new track has proved unpopular with locals and walkers but the NPWS has to make the area as safe as possible. Sydney Harbour The Sydney Harbour Federation Trust is building a continuous walkway around Woolwich Dock to replace the temporary bridge. The new tracks are expected to be open next month Walks Notes Period 5 May 2005 to 8 June 2005. Don Finchs mapping instructional weekend out from Boyd River Crossing over the weekend of 7, 8 May has been written up quite thoroughly in an earlier edition of the magazine. For the record there were 7 walkers and much of the time conditions were atmospheric, with cloud, fog, and even a spot of rain to hurry the party to bed on Saturday evening. There was a day trip that Sunday as well; with Nigel Weaver leading a party of 11 on his Middle Harbour Bushland trip. Conditions were fine and mild with glorious views along the way and lunch by the water before the steep hill of Castlecrag and the descent to Sailors bay. The party expressed regret that the Chateau Pont du Nord vineyard they passed through on the southern side of Northbridge was not having wine tastings at the time. The Goolara Peak Quart-pot Ridge Cox River overnight qualifying walk for the weekend of 14, 15 May went, led by the team of John Bradnam and Ian Thorpe with a party of 12 plus | in fine and warm conditions. The views from Goolara Peak were great, and members of the party polished their navigational skills on the trek across to Quartpot Ridge and thence the Cox for the evening camp. Sunday was a pleasant walk in good weather to complete the circuit via Breakfast Creek and reach the cars at 1500 hours. Milkshakes at Megalong Tea Rooms and dinner at Lapstone Hotel rounded off the experience for all. Gail Crichton had to put some effort into drafting her day walk party of 12 out of the milling horde of bushwalkers at Carlons on that Saturday morning to get them away on her day trip out to Splendour rock. Even then the socialising was not at an end. Later in the day they came across another group, several of whom had familiar faces and names. What with all that they ended up returning to the Barry Wallace cars a little after sunset. The good news was that the rain held off throughout the day. The other Saturday walk that weekend was also a qualifying Walk, in Watagan State Forest led by Rosemary MacDougal. The party of 10 found conditions quite damp in the rainforest due to recent rain, yes rain says Rosemary. The walk also provided the opportunity to see large eucalypt and fig trees, survivors of logging in the area years ago. Nigel Weaver was out that weekend as well, leading a party of 10 on his Marramarra National Park Sunday walk. Conditions were mild, with patches of cloud and sunny breaks, and the views were great at morning tea on Blake Ridge and again later during the ascent of a long ridge between Big Bay and Marramarra Creek. Even that wasnt the end of it for the weekend; Maurice Smith had a party of 5, described as an excellent group, on his trip out from Red Ledge Pass. They had good walking weather with great views over the Jamison and Megalong Valleys. Navigation instruction was the focus for Tony Manes and Kay Chans two days of walking, out from Blackheath camping ground over the weekend of 21, 22 May. The weather remained fine and crisp for both days. All 10 students had a good time despite some being rather challenged by parts of the off-track going, and learnt something along the way. The opinion seemed to be that the views over Fortress Creek and the Grose River Valley more than made up for the strenuous bits. The 2 wedge-tail eagles that checked the party out on Saturday seem to have concluded they were not game for take-away, and various of the local hotels provided the evening sit-down meals. Errol Sheedy had a party of 5 out in lovely late autumn weather for his Sunday walk from Engadine to Sutherland through The Royal. He The Sydney Bushwalker August 2005 Page 13 even took the time to do some mapping instruction for the prospectives along the way. We know that Mark Pattesons walk down to Accacia Flat on Saturday 28 May went; that there were 8 in the party and that Geoff Coleman lost his hat in the wind at Govetts leap lookout at the start of the walk. Somewhat to everyones surprise he was reunited with it at the bottom of the lookout at the end of the day. Sunday saw Jim Callaway leading some 6 brave souls on his Waterfall to Heathcote via The Royal walk. There was even a bit of history in there with the revelation that the Couranga Brook track was originally known as the Mill track due the Park Trust of the day letting timber getters into the park to generate revenue. The party is said to have enjoyed the variation from scrub to littoral forest along the Hacking River. They also sighted varieties of Green Hood and Pixie Cap orchids along the Tharloo Pool track. Fine weather with very hazy distant views accompanied Ken Smiths Saturday walk from Heathcote to Otford in The Royal on the 4th of June. It is written that the party of 3 managed to do the walk pretty much to schedule. Sunday that weekend we had Ian Thorpe leading a qualifying walk out to the Wollongambe Crater from Bell. There were four in the party and conditions, on the surface at least, were mild with a light breeze and high cloud with sunny breaks. Ian reckons the water in the subterranean creek was colder and deeper than it was worth. He may return in the warmer weather to investigate further. The party lunched at Gooches Crater and checked out the usual features before setting off for home via a circuitous route that avoided a road bash and added to the variety of the walk. The other Ian, Wolfe this time, rates a vote for tail end Charlie of the year as a result of John Pozniaks weekend qualifying walk out to Mount Talaterang over the weekend of 11, 12 June. I can only guess he herded the party of an unknown number through the scrub, and, when it arrived at lunchtime on Saturday, the rain. Everyone seems to have coped fairly well and there is nothing quite like a camping cave when it rains. Sunday was gloriously sunny so they made up for the shortage of photographs on the journey back. Somewhat further north Tony Manes and a party of 12 took advantage of the Queens Birthday holiday to spend three days on the trip out to Compagnoni Pass along the ridges and back via the Kowmung River. Conditions were fine on Sunday with light rain for the other two days. They ended up coming out of the Kowmung via Hughes ridge and finished just on dark in rain and mist. The Saturday of that weekend saw Ken Smith out with a party of 3 on his trip from Brooklyn to Berowra. All in all they visited 5 railway stations but the trains were not home that weekend due to track works. They reached Berowra just after dark. Kathy Gero cancelled her Sunday Homsby to Berowra walk due to last minute cancellations taking the party size below the minimum. Ian Rannards Sunday visit to Ku- Ring-Gai wildflower garden had 15 starters, mild and partly cloudy weather, and also brought the walks reports for this period to a close. Highlights From The September Walks Programme See the Spring Walks Programme for further details of these walks Walk or Ride the Artists Trail Between 1809 and 1938 several of Australia's more famous artists set up their easels on the banks of the Hawkesbury. These master painters were Alfred Clint, Charles Conder, George Evans, Roderick Shaw, Arthur Streeton, Sydney Ure Smith and James Wallis. The Friends Of The Hawkesbury Art Collection have rediscovered the easel sites and published a brochure Hawkesbury Artists Trail, In The Steps of the Masters. The Hawkesbury Artists Trail, devised over a number of years by Hawkesbury artists Brian Jones and Greg Hansell, is along the Hawkesbury River via Richmond, North Richmond, Freemans Reach and Windsor. On Sunday 25” September the SBW will follow The Hawkesbury Artists Trail: In the Steps of the Masters. Depending on response this will be either a walk or a bike ride, or even both. Photo opportunities will abound to capture the scenery that these master painters put on canvas. All on tracks, wonderful artistic scenery. This is an opportunity to reaffirm your culture, become cultured, or simply to have culture thrust upon you. A well known art critic, art historian and painter in his own right will be on the walk/ride to offer incisive insights and interpretations to the artists' work. Bring water for the whole day. Grade: M111 (Medium) Hardly seen Narrabeen On Sunday 4“ September. Walk in the footsteps frequented by early SBW pioneers. Cross the 1922 paths of D. H. Lawrence and his German mistress Frieda. See the monument commemorating the first aeroplane flight in Australia Gourmet Walk - Blue Mountains NP Come and celebrate the start of Spring with the easiest access to the Bushwalkers Mecca - the magnificent Blue Gum Forest and a gourmet lunch . Starting from Pierces Pass on Saturday 10” September. A very scenic approach to the Grose River with spectacular views. Elongated lunch. Yerranderie Car Camping Weekend Come and visit this mining town. 24“, 25” September Opportunities to do walks up Yerranderie Peak or Axehead Mountain, explore the old mine workings, do a guided tour of Yerranderie township or just lounge around. Friday night start. Gear for Sale: I have a Macpac Olympus 2/3 person tent for sale in excellent condition . It has had very little use $300. My number is 0410694875 Brian Olgiwy Page 14 The Sydney Bushwalker August 2005 Ro McDonalds Leader: Ro McDonald Excellent Adventure - Mitchell Plateau June 2004 Mike Arnott Guides: John & Anne Storey Followers: Mike Arnott, Bryn Lynar, Janet Sinclair, Carol Beales, Rosie McDougal, Tony Manes, Kay Chan, Heike Krausse, Doc Rose, Rock Symons We dont see a cloud from Easter to October. This is the snappy mantra you]l hear from Top End locals in Kununurra to describe the essence of what the Dry is all about. Low humidity, crystal clear blue skies and stunning views for months on end… So it was with some, er, bemusement that eleven intrepid SBWers sat around the picnic table at the Croc Backpackers at the very end of May listening to our local guide, John Storey, explain that for the third moming ina row our charter flight to the Mitchell Plateau had been grounded because of, well, rain. Lots of it. And enough low scudding cloud to make landing at an airstrip in the middle of nowhere just a tad dicey. After yesterdays disappointment we had suggested to John that surely he must have some chores that need doing on his mango farm? When he realised we were serious, a meeting was agreed. Six of us piled into proprietor Phils pride and joy: a clapped out twelve seater with the most luridly painted croc youve ever seen adorning the bonnet. Riding chaperone were Phils dogs: Rusty the manic corgi and Turbo the arthritic lab. At Johns, the boys erection team got a very natty shade cloth installed on the carport (the old carport having been flung 50 metres into the orchard by a storm last wet season) while the girls pruned and mulched mango trees. And of course John had to show off his toys a perambulating cherry/mango picker and a thoroughly evil, triple-bladed, self propelled tree pruner straight out of James Bond. So, how to fill in today? In anticipation, John had planned a day walk to one of his favourite places Packsaddle Creek in the Carr Boyd Ranges only twenty minutes out of town. So we all piled into the Croc Bus to be ferried out to Johns place. In the middle of transferring to other vehicles, Slingair called were on! Get yourselves and your gear to the airport pronto! We scampered for the Croc Bus and urged Phil to really wind her up. On the way back to the swamp, literally opposite the Slingair terminal, another call came in. Sorry! Mitchell Plateau strip just closed again. Lets try again tomorrow. You can imagine that after three days of this, some nerves were just a little on edge. So, back to plan C, or F, or whatever. The start of the day walk was not far from the end of the Kununurra irrigation area. The clear sunny weather was marvellous but only emphasised our frustration -do the Slingair pilots really know what theyre doing?! We followed John and Anne up through scatterd trees and rocky spinifex to the edge of a huge semi-circular amphitheatre. Forty metres below, a sweeping bend of Packsaddle Creek tumbled around the base of the cliffs. Much more water than we were expecting weve all seen rivers smaller than this creek! We spent the day exploring upstream through a succession of cascades and waterfalls tumbling at every turn into yet another long, delightful, pandanus lined swimming hole. Of course they all had to be sampled, just to make sure. This might not be the main menu but all agreed it was a very acceptable entre. Back at Phils place, which almost feels like home now, we celebrated the message from Slingair that were on for tomorrow! We'd been told the weight limit on our plane was 1,200kg. One by one we weighed in on Phils scales as fearless leader Ro kept the tally. Thirteen walkers plus gear and ten days provisions came in at 1,187kg. Phew! At 8:50 the 8:30 Slingair pickup arrived already half full! Croc bus to the rescue. After three days of waiting we were finally airborne. The 1% hour flight WNW out to the Mitchell Plateau airstrip kept just below the 3,000ft cloud base. This gave us a superb view of the vast expanse of Kimberley wilderness we were heading into. The giant mudflats of the Wyndham estuary gave way to gentle uplands of sparsely treed spinifex occasionally bisected by thin ribbons of much brighter green the creeks that would be our life-lines. Not everyone in the group was a natural flyer but thats another story! After a perfect landing on the dirt strip we helped Simon refuel the plane from the dump of drums lining the apron. As he roared away into the distance we began to feel very, very remote. We made camp at the north end of the strip, a km away but close to a swamp with plenty of water. Light drizzle occasionally interrupted the Kimberley cricket softball (the boys won easily) but at least we were here. The Sydney Bushwalker August 2005 Page 15 Those whod planned no more than a mozzie net as accommodation were a bit put out by the 10 minutes serious rain at 2am but spirits were still high the next morning. At 8am on the dot two choppers swept in low over the trees Apocalypse style and settled on the far side of the strip. We strapped in and arced off for a sticky beak at Mitchell Falls, the breathtaking triple cascade that is the iconic feature of the region, before striking out for Donkins Falls, 60km to the SW. This would be the real start of our adventure. If it were accessible, Donkins too would be a major attraction, plunging 80m into a sheer canyon that would not be out of place at Katoomba. Our chopper settled gingerly, maintaining full revs, on a flat-ish rock barely bigger than its undercarriage. We scampered out while those in the earlier party threw themselves on unpacked tents threatening to get airborne in the rotor blast. In a natural amphitheatre next to a large pool just 50m back from the thundering falls, Donkins is a spectacular campsite. A lunch time exploratory up river was interrupted by numerous large swimming holes, and a few natural spas, which all had to tested for temperature and depth. By now the morning cloud had burnt off and the weather was fine and hot. From the top of a local pagoda we had a fine view of Prince Frederick Harbour stretching off into the distance. A full moon rose just on dusk and was so bright that head torches were superfluous. Next morning we shouldered packs and retraced the steps of the previous afternoons exploratory up river. Shortly after our first major encounter with aboriginal rock art we struck left up what was quickly named Green Ant Creek. It was heavy going and the best strategy was to wade up the centre of the creek. By lunch we had pushed through the headwaters in very hot and humid conditions. Crumbs, we hadnt expected dense scrub like this! Soon after lunch, the heavens opened. So much for the Dry Season! We scurried to two small overhangs just big enough to shelter us all. As the rain thundered down we had visions of sleeping in shifts on the meagre flat bits. But Ricks attempts to get a fire going were successful they scared off the rain and we plunged on. On the plateau proper now, the country was flat, open and grassy. But frequently ankle deep in water. At the first major creek junction our sandy camp was passable but a bit of a come down after the magnificent Donkins Falls. The mozzie net brigade insists on using local materials for their frames and Bryns and Janets efforts are structural masterpieces of sticks and string. We shared the creek with a few freshies, whose bright red eyes were easy to pick out with head torches. Mikes first page of jokes appeared but was added to the fire before they were all read (ingrates!). Next moming cleared to scattered cloud and it turned out to be the start of the traditional Dry weather we had expected; fine and hot but low humidity. The modest distances we planned to cover each day gave us plenty of time to relax with swim stops, which were a welcome relief from the heat. There were numerous opportunities for these as the creeks had plenty of water. It doesnt sound very macho but it made for a great holiday! The nights were comfortably warm and your correspondent found a silk liner and thermals without a bag perfectly adequate. Early that afternoon John led us to what was to become a typical Mitchell Plateau camp site rock shelves beside a tumbling creek overlooking a delightful plunge pool. Tough life! Bryn regaled us with impromptu vet jokes before producing a magnificent, multi-hued, triple-wafer custard desert. We experienced two quite different countries as we travelied. Between the creeks the country was generally flattish with scattered trees and tall, dry fookawie grass, occasionally giving way to harsh, rocky sections with lots of spinifex. We saw surprisingly little wildlife. John believes this is at least partly the fault of CALM, the WA Department of Conservation and Land Management. He believes they have an obsession with burning off vast tracts of wilderness so often that the understorey habitat for much of the local fauna just doesnt have time to recover. Within twenty metres of the waters edge is a different country shady and green with lots of bird life. As we wound our way down the creek system, the pools got larger and stands of magnificent paperbarks became much more frequent. After days of big talk, our ace angler, Tony, was eventually able to bag a dinners worth of black bream sooty grunters in one of the bigger pools. However, the real excitement was Doc Marie catching her first ever fish! The fish obviously had local admirers too: plenty of red eyes in our head torches that night. On day eight we met the junction with the Mitchell River. Although we could have crossed the tributary by scrambling through a pandanus grove, John made us practise our pack float technique, because we were going to have to do it for real to cross the Mitchell the next day. After the side creeks, the river was an impressive sight: 20 to 50 metres wide, often flanked by imposing, deep red rock shelves. Although the river had a good strong flow, heaps of drift wood on the shelves 10 and 15 metres above water level made us realise that we were seeing but a mere trickle compared to the Wet. Camp that night was next to a sweeping cascade with plenty of shelf room for tents. We spent a delightful afternoon cavorting in the pools and chutes, which resulted in several bruised bottoms! Our last full day started with a small but crucial navigational choice taking half the party deep into an impenetrable pandanus swamp. Now split from the main group, Mike, Bryn, Ro and Janet decided to pre- empt the pack float. Why just cross the river when you can travel in style down it? We cradled our bulky plastic parcels into the water and set off down stream. Progress was steady with our yellow, orange and black packets floating high while we breast-stroked gently beside, helped by a good current and even a following breeze. We wore shirts against sunburnt shoulders. Page 16 The Sydney Bushwalker August 2005 Half an hour on, just before the next rapids, we found a handy exit point. Mike went to take a photo record of our grand aqua tour, to discover that water had made it through four layers of protection to get to his camera not happy, John! Our final camp was just 800m short of the great Mitchell Falls, on polished rock terraces flanking a deep channel about 50m wide. After pitching tents and nets we walked up to the falls area across a sea of boulders and made our way to a vantage point directly opposite the huge triple cataract. The scale of the falls is breathtaking; the postcards dont do them justice at all. The huge final plunge pool is ringed by towering cliffs that would do Katoomba proud. Back at camp we went through our final dinner ritual and played our last hand of 500. Next morning we had a relaxed pack up and made our way to the rocky island next to the falls, where the chopper would pick us up in threes and fours for the flight back to the airstrip. While waiting our turn, some of us explored Big Mhertens Falls nearby. Though a much smaller flow than the main falls, these make a spectacular long drop into a narrow gorge. The flight back to the airstrip included a magical tour of the Lower Mitchell Falls and spectacular local coastline. At the airstrip our lunch spot from day 1 had been completely burnt out apparently the fire was started by a spark from the slasher they use to mow the runway. After a final lunch at the strip we boarded two Slingair aircraft for the flight back to civilisation. Special thanks to Ro McDonald whose organisation and leadership was a real inspiration, to John and Anne storey for their guidance, hospitality and local insights and to my fellow walkers for making my first trip to the Kimberley such a memorable holiday. The Midweek Walkers The Mid-Week walkers are an informal group in SBW who have time to spare for mid-week activities; most of which are shown in the Walks programmes but some are organised at short notice and advised by a monthly newsletter to those who have expressed interest. If you would like to be included on our mailing list or participate in the activities shown below please phone me on 9484 6636 or send an email to Here is what lies ahead: House stay iu the Glasshouse Mountains (Qid). Monday 26th - Friday 30th September Club members Ian Debert and Joy Hynes have offered the facilities of their house at Morayfield (about % hour north of Brisbane) and handy to the Glasshouse Mountains. They are prepared to lead day walks from their house. There is in-house accommodation but as this may be limited an early booking will get priority. There is, however, ample room for camping. We will have day walks, barbecue and meet old SBW friends living up north. Houseboat on Myall Lakes: This planned activity proved too difficult to organise with a substantial deposit required ahead of obtaining firm commitments from members. So it has been cancelled. Mid-week Day Walks in September (See the Spring Walks programme for full details and ieaders contact Tues 6“ September: Ku Ring Gai National Park Wahroonga Station via Gibberong Waterholes to Bobbin Head to Mt Ku Ring Gai Station (with option to Berowra) A pleasant walk with river scenery and mangroves Tues 13”' September: Gosford Reserve From Gosford Station to Mt Mout via Gosford Trig, Erina lookout and other points. Good views and wildflowers on this hilly walk. Count the Pioneer statues for yourself Tues 27“ September Brisbane Water National Park Wondabyne Station via The Great North Walk to Woy Woy Station. Great views, wildflowers and aboriginal engravings on this hilly track walk. The Sydney Bushwalker August 2005 Page 17 NEW MEMBERS NEWS Welcome to our new Prospective Members this month: Tony Montgomery Alex Robson Cheri Margetts Gemma Moore Barbara Fisher Jillian Snow Nigel Smith Catherine Delaney Thi Vuong Alex Robson Fiona Ward Marylyn Lawrence Maree Hamilton Christina Graf Jinsun Kim Angela Boundy And congratulations to our new Full Members : Kaye Taing, Brian Ogilwy Stanley Wong Weekend Walking Gear for Hire Gear for Sale. The club now has a small pool of weekend walking Macpac Torre Pack - 85 litre - $300 equipment available for hire. The rates for weekly Macpac Microlite Tent - $250 hire are: Serengeti (150z) canvas tent - $350 Weekend pack: $15 Sleeping bag: $15 Personal EPIRB - Pains Wessex Sleeping mat: $5 Ground sheet: $2 (no strobe light) - $200 Tent: $20 Complete kit $50 All gear is less than 12 months old and in (For hygiene reasons you must provide and use excellent condition. If interested in purchasing your own sleeping bag liner) the equipment please call me Roger Gibson Equivalent refundable deposit required. (M) 0438 769 484. Phone: (02) 9290 8164 Contact: Ron Watters 0419 617 491 Email Marie Byles: A Spirited Life Exhibition dates: 5” September 29“ September Annie Wyatt Room National Trust Centre Watson Road, Observatory Hill MonFri 9.00am 5.00pm Free Marie Beuzeville Byles was born in 1900 in Cheshire England and died at her home Ahimsa in Cheltenham Australia in 1979. Throughout her life Marie became known as a committed conservationist, the first practicing female solicitor, mountaineer, explorer and avid bushwalker, feminist, author and an original member of the Buddhist Society in NSW. Her property Ahimsa was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1970. As part of the Trusts 60th Diamond Jubilee celebrations an exhibition and a series of public programs focusing on Maries diverse life will continue throughout September. Public Programs for Exhibition A Woman of Influence: Marie Byles and the legal profession. Tuesday 13” of September 6.00pm (pre talk exhibition viewing ,drinks and nibbles) Talk at 6.30pm Barrister Chris Ronalds AM SC explores Maries influence on careers for women in the legal profession. Chris started her first job in the legal offices of Marie Byles in Eastwood and provides a wonderful insight into the position of women in the law at that time compared to the present day. Cost: $12.00 Bookings: 9258 0123 Screening of A Singular Woman and discussion with the director Gillian Coote Tues 20“ Sept5.30pm (pre screening exhibition viewing, drinks and nibbles) Screening and discussion 6.00pm This 50 minute documentary tells the story of Maries life through recreations of key episodes in her story and includes interviews with her remarkable friends such as Paddy Pallin and Dot Butler s and younger women who were influenced by Marie to break stereotyped roles. Director Gillian Coote will talk about how she developed the film and her research into Maries life. Cost: $12.00 Bookings: 9258 0123 Focus Tour of Ahimsa in Cheltenham, the spiritual home of Marie Byles. Day Road, Cheltenham Saturday 17” September 2.00pm 4.00pm Ahimsa meaning harmlessness was built in 1938 as a simple fibro and sandstone house which sits on a rock ledge overlooking the beautiful surrounding bush land. The Hut of Happy Omens nearby was also designed by Marie in 1947 to accommodate visiting Buddhists, bushwalking groups and social gatherings. The property reflects her self sufficient lifestyle, bush regeneration work and spiritual beliefs. A discussion and tour of the property will be conducted by Buddhist teacher, bush regenerator and film maker Gillian Coote. Cost: $8.00 (includes afternoon tea) Bookings essential: 9258 0123 Page 18 The Sydney Bushwalker August 2005 SOCIAL NOTES Hi Everyone, I hope you are out there enjoying this great weather - it couldnt be better for wherever you choose to go - the Blue Mountains, south or just local. If you did not make it to the mid-winter feast you missed out on a fabulous evening. We had a turnout of over 50 people, great food, exceptional glihwein and a great atmosphere. Had we not had to vacate the premises , people would have stayed till after 11 pm. Fortunately the clubroom renovations had not started so we had plenty of room. The August social evening was a slideshow by Mark Patteson and Richard Darke on their April trip to, Mt Kaputar and the Warrumbungles. The Spring Social Programme for Spring is most inspiring. In September there will be a slideshow on the Kimberley (this time it shall be ON!). In October we travel with Richard Darke to Hong Kong and in November we feature a cooking demonstration by three SBW wilderness chefs to help with your food planning for Xmas trips. Of course there will be food tastings and refreshments supplied by the Club BUT the audience will need to bring along nibbles for sharing during the demo. Happy Walking Kathy Next Months Social Programme ha Sep 7pm Committee Meeting Observers welcome Monthly General Meeting This is a chance for members to hear about the latest developments and discuss Committee proposals. Also two special resolutions have been proposed New Members Night. Introduction to SBW for intending prospective members 14“ Sep 8 pm 14” Sep 8 pm 19“ Sep 7pm New Members Training Night Monday A basic navigation training night for Prospective members will be held in the club rooms. 2 hour training in basic navigation with an optional navigation test for full membership. Booking essential. Ring Grace Martinez on 9948 6238 21 Sep 8pm The Kimberley Club members Wayne Steele and Rosemary McDonald who have walked extensively in the area will give a wonderful insight into this rugged northern wilderness area. Hosted by Maurice Smith From the Singles Scene: e Ral This advertisement appeared in a suburban newspaper in Los Angeles Single Black Female seeks male companionship, ethnicity unimportant. I'm a very good looking girl who LOVES to play. I love long walks in the woods, riding in your pick-up truck, hunting, camping and fishing trips, cozy winter nights lying by the fire. Candlelight dinners will have me eating out of your hand. I'll be at the front door when you get home from work, wearing only what nature gave me. Call (404) 875-6420 and ask for Daisy, I'll be waiting. Over 15, 000 men found themselves talking to the Atlanta Humane Society about an 8-month-old black Labrador Retriever. Contributed by Marion Plaude Second Thoughts A husband and wife were having dinner at a very fine restaurant 5 when this absolutely stunning ~. & @F~ young woman comes over to their table, gives the husband a big open mouthed kiss, then says she'll see him later and walks away. The wife glares at her husband and says, “Who the hell was that?” “Oh,” replies the husband, “She's my mistress.” “Well, that's the last straw,” says the wife. “I've had enough, I want a divorce. “I can understand that,” replies her husband, “but remember, if we get a divorce it will mean no more shopping trips to Paris, no more wintering in Barbados, no more summers in Tuscany, no more Beamer or Lexus in the garage and no more yacht club. But the decision is yours.” Just then, a mutual friend enters the restaurant with a gorgeous babe on his arm. “Who's that woman with Jim?” asks the wife. “That's his mistress,” says her husband. “Ours is prettier,” she replies Dead Reckoning A busload of politicians were driving down a country s road when, all of a sudden, the bus ran off the gomaley toad and crashed into a tree in an old 209, farmer's field. U7 The old farmer, after seeing what happened, went over to investigate. He then proceeded to dig a hole and bury the politicians. A few days later, the local sheriff came out, saw the crashed bus and asked the old farmer where all the politicians had gone. The old farmer said he had buried them. The sheriff asked the old farmer, “Were they ALL dead?” The old farmer replied, “Well, some of them said they weren't, but you know how them politicians lie.” Contributed by George Mawer Ressoudysil DALLIN e TMERE IS NO SUCH THIN. SS BAD WEATHER. SINLY INAPPROPRIATE CLOTHc: discover FOR YOUR NEAREST STORE, CUSTOMER SERVICE AND INFORMATION PHONE 1800 805 398 OR VISIT fezo..

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