Editorial Maureen Carter 2
President's Report David Trinder 3
Letter to the Editor David Rostron 3
From the Committee Room 4
Walks Notes Barry Wallace 7
Coolana Report ~ Don Finch 8
Walking the Berowra Valley Bill Holland 9
Victory Track Victory Patrick James 10
Walking Notes on Popran NP Nigel Weaver 11\ Of Ice and Fire ~ Kenn Clacher 12
Mid-Week Walkers Bill Holland 14
A Week at Dunns Swamp Bill Holland 15
Social Notes Kathy Gero 16
Reunion of Great River Walkers 16
Summer Social Program 16
THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER is the monthly bulletin of matters of interest to members of The Sydney Bush Walkers Inc PO Box 431 Milsons Point NSW 1565.
Editor: Maureen Carter, Production Manager: Stephen Brading, Printers: Kenn Clacher, Barrie Murdoch, Alan Sauran, Don Brooks Fran Holland
Opinions expressed in this magazine are the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of The Sydney Bush Walkers Inc. All material in this magazine is copyright. Requests for reproduction should be directed to The Editor firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Our Club
The Sydney Bush Walkers 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 Program (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 The Snowy Mountains, Warrumbungles as well as interstate i.e. Victorian Alps.
Our meetings start at 8pm and are held on Wednesday evenings (see Social Program) at Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre, 16 Fitzroy Street, Kirribilli (near Milsons Point Railway Station).
Visitors and prospective members are welcome www.sbw.org.au
Members are welcome to contact the following officers on club matters:
President:David Trinder 9542 1465 (h) email@example.com
Vice President : Ron Watters firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary: Ruth Richter 0403 941 790 email@example.com
Walks Secretary: Tony Holgate 9943 3388(h) firstname.lastname@example.org
Social Secretary: Kathy Gero 9130 7263 (h) email@example.com
Treasurer: Margaret Carey 9957 2137 (h) firstname.lastname@example.org
Members Secretary: Brian Holden 4294 3074(h) email@example.com
New Members Secretary: Jodie Dixon 9943 3388 (h) firstname.lastname@example.org
Conservation Secretary: Wilf Hilder 9587 8661 email@example.com
Magazine Editor: Maureen Carter 9773 4637 (h) firstname.lastname@example.org
Committee Members: Alan Sauran 9488 8367(h) email@example.com, Bill Hope 9960 1646(h) bill. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Delegates to Confederation: Bill Holland 9484 6636(h), Jim Callaway 9520 7081 (h)
FROM THE EDITOR
You must have heard the saying - its either a feast or famine. Well the drought has broken and members have in fact inundated me with articles for the magazine, rather ironically, just when the magazine is going quarterly. Thank you all sincerely for your contributions.
Please note that the preferred format for submitting articles is Word format with pictures to be included as JPGs. In general articles as PDFs are impossible to edit into the format of the magazine.
This month we begin a long article by Kenn Clacher on a rarely visited walking destination - Kamchatka, a peninsula in far Eastern Russia. This will be continued in the next magazine. Patrick James reports on his legalese language walk in the Blue Mountains; Nigel Weaver gives us some valuable information on walking in Popran NP; and, Bill Holland describes walks in Berowra Valley and Dunns Swamp.
In the next magazine you can read more from Kenn, a piece sent in by Ray Hookway on the pitfalls of drinking too much water (does he really mean water!)and Roger Treagus introduces us to some beautiful Canadian National Parks.
I hope you will also find the regular reports interesting and informative.
I am personally enjoying the thrill of currently researching and conducting a series of walks for the Club which could last a couple of years. I have not enjoyed being editor in the same way and will be happy to hand over the reins in March. However, I do want to thank David for the many hours he has spent on the layout of the magazine, working on photos, and manipulating column spaces, often at very short notice.
Enjoy your summer walking
We are now well into the summer program and there are quite a few walks with swim opportunities, cool mountains trips and one trip to New Zealand. The program has five extended Christmas trips to choose from. Register early so you can be included.
The new summer program has very few Q walks but many of the walks on the program can be upgraded to Q status. Prospective Members should feel free to ask a leader whether a walk they intend to do can be upgraded.
The new web site is now on line thanks to the generous donation by Caro Ryan and the work done by Caro, Ron Watters and Patrick McNaught. The new members Secretary has had 20 enquiries from people who intend to come to the next New Members Introduction Night. Ron is working on getting the Members Only Area going. Everyone with an email address will be given a password so they can gain access to it and that part of the site will be available in the new year.
To reduce the work of the printing and collating teams and costs of the magazine we have asked Members to volunteer to accept the magazine by email. So far 161 members have agreed to take it by email and 90% on Prospective Members who have replied are taking it by email. Everybody should reply to the request for a decision on hard or soft copy. We suspect that some receivers of the magazine don't read it and will never reply. We don't want to send them hard copies and they will eventually be transferred to soft copy. Everybody who wants a hard copy should say so.
There will not be much time now before the next Annual General Meeting and the election of officers. Some of the Committee Members will be standing down and will be looking for replacements. If you have benefited from the Club and would like to contribute or influence a change in direction of the Club please let one of the Committee Members know or organise nomination at the meeting. You can be nominated for a position even if you are not at the meeting and the General Meeting will choose. The Committee is not a closed shop so all members are free to put their hand up for the election in March 09.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Three Peaks trip (October Magazine)
What a great effort by Karl Miller & David Trinder. Congratulations David, I have no doubt you are the oldest to have completed the trip. We can only assume you have the body of a 40 year old.
David's (or Don Matthews) research attributed leadership of the 1967 3 Peaks trip to me. This is not correct. The late 60s & 70s were the heyday for Don Finch & the Whyborns. There were great trips everywhere including many mystery Easter trips by Don & Doone with up to about 40 starters.
The 1967 trip was a joint effort by Don & Doone. Operated on the same basis as Karl's recent trip - all had to be competent navigators to find their own way back if they did not wish to continue. We started with about 12 & 4 of us finished. In those years, and on my 1981 trip it was the practice to walk out along White Dog on Friday night, reaching the Cox at about 12pm -1.0am. We left shortly after first light, going upstream for about 2km & then climbing the Gangerangs to Cloudmaker. It was then the normal route down to Kanangra River at Thunder Bend & up to Paralyser. The ascent of Guoagang was by Naroo Buttress. As we climbed the Buttress (4 left at this stage) it became apparent | was the least fit (my excuse was that they were many years younger). There was much encouragement by the others & we eventually reached the summit. We had some fun navigating down to Konangaroo in fading light but we reached a point about 500 feet above the Kanangra River by the time it was dark. We reached the River about 500m upstream of Konangaroo. It was then an easy walk to the welcoming group at the campsite. We were well cared for - plied with food & alcohol.
It was almost a stroll back to Katoomba on theSunday. Don later calculated we had climbed about 13500 feet and walked about 60 miles.
In 1981 we repeated the trip but camped at the base of Naroo Buttress on the Saturday night - climbing Guoagang on the Sunday morning. This trip was at a steadier pace - every one was advised not to exceed about 85% of capacity & we had only 1-2 dropouts. It can be done by any fit bushwalker.
NEWS FOR THE WEBSITE
I am embarrassed to have misprinted Patrick McNaughts email address in the November magazine and apologise to contributors and Patrick for this. Please send all contributions to Patrick at email@example.com
From the Committee Room
A report of proceedings at the Committee Meeting 3 December 2008
Last month we had fifteen Committee members present, this month about half a dozen attended - must be the Christmas spirit taking hold.
Never mind, we had an interesting meeting. Last months minutes were dealt with including a statement from our Archivist that nearly all records had now been given to the Mitchell Library and that the copyright of this historical SBW material had passed to them.
The Treasurers Report is shown below with payments approved to Enviroquest for weed control at Coolana $1,450 (part of the SCA grant expenditure) Magazine Postage $423 Printing Materials $351 and Social expenses $75.
Treasurer Margaret has prepared a budget for next as a guide to recommending next years membership fees. Her recommendation was accepted and you will hear about it at the next AGM.
We then moved on to discussing a motion from Membership Secretary. It seems that our second notice (in last months magazine) requesting members with email addresses to opt in to accepting an electronic version of the magazine had a good response but still less than what we were hoping for. Brian recommended that we treat all those who had not responded as being in favour of the email version and delete them from our hard copy mailing list. The Committee thought this was a bit premature, that we should move more gradually and encourage other members to opt in by promoting the email version more actively.
All this led to an active discussion on how we would approach the mail out of annual reports and membership list early next year. Our constitution requires all members receive notices of annual meetings by post delivered to their mail address. Do not be surprised if a change to the SBW Constitution is proposed for next years AGM!
Now that Alex Colley has moved to a nursing home it had been suggested that SBW make a donation to the Colong Foundation as a mark of appreciation forAlex housing the club printer at his house for so many years. We approved a $200 donation.
Ron Watters, acting as chairman in Davids absence, reported on the new website and the very positive results of going online - take a look at sbw.org.au.
Under the heading of Conservation, we discussed the suggestion to merge the Conservation Fund with the Coolana Fund. Some thought simply passing an amount across to the fund as a donation would be more appropriate and that we should recognise that conservation is a very important part of SBW and a separate fund ensures that money is available for donations.
We then moved through various reports to discuss under the heading of General Business some thoughts of achieving closer cooperation with the Bush Club. This had been suggested by one or two members and passed on to the Committee. There was not much time for discussion as the Chairmans gavel was about to fall to close the meeting at exactly 9 pm and members were edging out of their seats to head for the door.
However, we felt there was already some cooperation by putting on joint walks and were not certain what else could be achieved. An offhand comment about granting the Bush Club access to Coolana was not followed up. Perhaps we will hear more about this later.
And the meeting closed just after 9pm.
Treasurers Report as at November 2008
Current Year to Month Date
Members Subscriptions 488 19,947
Prospective Fees 182 4,404
Investment - Conservation 23 573
Investment - Coolana 55 1,390
Investment - General 25 629
Magazine Advertising 0 1,010
Accrued Advertising 0 370
Donations - Coolana 0 200
Donations - Other 0 201
Total Receipts 772 28,724
Magazine Printing 351 1,715
Magazine Postage 391 4,249
Magazine Equipment 0 0
Coolana Rates 0 1,287
Coolana Maintenance 81 1,021
Rent- Club Rooms 0 4,200
Donations - Conservation 200 400
Insurance - Public Liability 0 2,628
Insurance - Personal Accident 0 3,456
Affiliation - Confederation 0 2,255
Postage. Phone & Internet 0 663
1st Aid Certificate 0 200
Administration 800 1,883
Expenditure on Coolana Grant* 1,450 3,875
Total Payments 3,273 27,831
Cash Surplus /(Deficit) -2,501 893
* Covered by SCA grant received
JUNE 2008 WALKS NOTES
Covering the interval 5 June to 25 June 2008.
Queens Birthday weekend saw a party of 6, guided by David and Maureen Carter leave Newnes on the Saturday morning and head west up Little Capertee Creek. What turned out to be an incorrect forecast of a weekend of rain had winnowed the original party of 10 down to this as the week progressed. After climbing steeply to a high vantage point on top of the escarpment the party partook of morning tea and reflected that it might have been easier to have followed a side creek north at GR 391261 and ascended a well walked ramp. Still, the view was OK! Indeed the views persisted as they hugged the escarpment around to a lunch site overlooking Pantoneys Crown. The whole party searched for The Hilton campsite that David had discovered and logged previously as the first waypoint in his then new GPS receiver. It is unclear whether the perfect cliff-top campsite they subsequently occupied was this site or some other but one way or another it lacked water. A search in Canobola Creek was futile, and they were on the verge of sharing out the water some of them had carried when two of the party hit upon the idea of draining the rock pools overlooking the site, and this expedient provided ample water for the whole party. Dinner was excellent; and the predicted (by one member of the party at least) flare of sunlight off an Iridium low earth orbit telecommunications satellite in the western sky came right on time at 18.21.
Sunday was an easier day as they followed the scrubby steep banks of Canobola Creek and reached the intended campsite near the road by lunchtime. They filled up on water from the permanent supply at Canobola Gap and as mist had descended to enshroud the intended mountaintop objective for the afternoon, they switched to plan B and instead enjoyed a 10km return walk toward Glen Davis. They found no pub and no beer but did enjoy the splendour of the series of red cliffs guarding the valley along the way. Monday was warmer as they retreated south along Canobola Creek to the side creek at GR 404280. This they followed due south to a saddle between the pagodas, from where they followed quite obvious foot pads that provided the easiest route to Little Capertee Creek down the Western side of the side creek. Recent rains had caused ferns large and small to proliferate along all the creeks but alas had not enhanced the water flows in them. The six happy bushwalkers who enjoyed a fine and scratchy weekend and a hearty lunch at Blackheath to round off the experience were in no particular order, Maureen and David Carter, Francis Hartigan, Isabelle Smith, Terry Moss, and Dennis Trembath.
There were 2 day walks on the Monday of the long weekend as well, with lan Rennard improvising in the Blue Mountains and Nigel Weaver, as ever enjoying the views along the escarpment in The Royal. Jan and the party of 8 who turned out for his walk starting out from Mount Hay were thwarted due to a reluctance, nay indeed a refusal by the local taxi service to convey them there due to the condition of the Mount Hay road after a week of high rainfall registrations. The party instead took taxis to Perrys Lookdown and from there rejoined the original route at Blue Gum Forest. These new arrangements worked out well, as the day was one of low overcast and the threat of rain, and the low cloud would have hidden the views from Lockleys Pylon and the nearby ridge tops. In the event it didn't rain all day unless you count a few minutes of drizzle, and the walk proceeded without incident, finishing as darkness fell in the warmth of the hotel opposite Biackheath station.
Nigel and his party of 5 left Garrawarra car-park, taking the track that leads down Mid Era ridge. Conditions were cloudy all day with rainthreatening, but holding off until the last hour of the walk. From Mid Era Ridge they headed off to Garie Beach via North Era, the top of Thelma Ridge and Little Garie with great views all the way. Lunch was taken at the top of North Garie Head with spectacular views all the way to Wollongong. With lunch done they went north to Curracarong where they paused to admire the view of the ever imposing Eagle Rock. From there they reached Wattamolla and the end of the trip at around 1600h. Overall it was a great day, full of panoramic views of the coastline.
The first SBW McKeown Valley circuit walk was looking fairly shabby on the wet Wednesday night prior to the walk, and in Stephen Brading's opinion was probably dead, with the weather, price of fuel and the long weekend a couple of days before putting everyone off. What a difference a day made! Thursday was a fine sunny day and on Thursday evening Stephens communications systems approached meltdown. The end result was that on Saturday 14 June a party of 9 walkers met at the six-foot-track crossing on Jenolan road to sortie forth. Sunshine and fresher than average conditions were the order of the day, with ice on the puddles near the cars and a measured air temperature of 4 C at the start of the walk. It was either the fresh conditions or the lure of coffee that resulted in them reaching the Jenolan Caves coffee shop much earlier than anticipated. Once there they purchased coffee and settled down on the veranda in the sunshine for an extended break. A couple of the resident crimson rosellas did cat imitations for the assembled throng by tucking into a saucer of cream. A cave guide, who would rather have joined them in the sunshine than worked as troll for the day, eventually prompted them to get on with it and do the planned walk. They retraced the footsteps of the earliest visitors to the caves through The Grand Arch and The Devils Coach House to a canyon above the underground Jenolan River which forms the start of McKeowns Valley. As they passed along the really good tourist path that provides easy access through the canyon they were aware that, just a short distance away, inside the vertical cliff to their left, were the Imperial and Jubilee caves. The path also passes a captive wallaby breeding enclosure and, where the valley widens, disused playing fields with a cricket pitch where did sport the early visitors. Further along they came to a spot marked as Mammoth Flat where there used to be a spring favoured as a campsite by visiting speleologists up until the 1980s when presumably it dried up. As the valley widened further they began to follow a faint set of 4WD wheel tracks, with stops to look at a circa 1880 ruin and partake of lunch in a sunny spot. After leaving the valley they were led back to the cars by a combination of wheel and foot tracks. At risk of becoming creatures of habit there was even time for a coffee stop at the Wattle Cafe in Blackheath. All in all it was a very pleasant way to spend a sunny Sunday.
The whales were on time, the party of 7 were in place; Bill got lost getting there, so they were all later than intended on his whale watching walk out from Kurnell! It was a midweek walk, Tuesday 17“ June, so that probably counts for something. The day was cool but pleasant and the forecast occasional showers did not eventuate. The whales however did; with tail slapping and a complete out of the water leap that made the day quite memorable.
Saturday 21 June saw Francis Hartigan and a party of 4 enjoying nice weather and the weekly markets in Katoomba at the start of his walk out to Devils Hole via the low road and back via the high road. Francis spends a bit of print musing on whether SBW leaders ought to mark passes and such with track markers like colourful ribbons for the assistance of others. It seems unlikely NPWS would approve of such third party activity in their parks, let alone those club members with strongly held views on the desirability (or otherwise) of any such activities there, or anywhere else off road, If
consideration of web sites and Coolana issues.
Nigel Weaver was out on the tracks again on Wednesday 25 June, with a party of 12 on his non Q walk in Dharug National Park. Having shuffled the cars into position they set out from Mill Creek in fine and cool conditions following the foot tracks to the top of Matthew ridge and a large rock platform with rock carvings of anatomical and other interest. They then headed east to pick up the power line access track which took them south along the ridges all the way to where the trail finishes near the Hawkesbury River at a junction with Wisemans Ferry road. Along the way they had pleasant easterly views from the lunch spot, and at their mid-afternoon rest spot they experienced fabulous cliff-top views of the magnificent Hawkesbury River and the spectacular hills that flank it. All in all a great day for the happy band of walkers who attended.
The Christmas equivalent of early closing applies this month so we will break at that that point for now,
A Walk in the Berowra Valley
by Bill Holland
The Berowra Valley Regional Park stretches in a linear corridor from Pennant Hills to Berowra Waters. The Park is approximately 4,000 hectares one of several regional parks on Sydney's urban fringe which provides a bushland amenity close to the city, passive recreational opportunities for the community, and a protected habitat for native flora and fauna.
My suburb, Westleigh, borders the upper part of this regional park with many walking tracks for the keen bushwalker. Two are very well known; The Great North Walk on the western side of the ridge and The Blue Gum Walk on the eastern side. However, there are other lesser tracks, some have fallen into disuse and others have historical significance although not often walked. My intention was to walk-the lesser-known Callicoma Walk from Pennant Hills to Cherrybrook Lakes and return via part of The Great North Walk to Westleigh.
To assist in my navigation | used the recently published Guide to Berowra Valley Regional Park. Environmentalist John Dengate launched this book, prepared by voluntary authors, illustrators and photographers, in 2004. It provides descriptions on many walking tracks in the valley as well as notes on historical matters, flora, fauna and aboriginal heritage. The descriptions used in this narrative are to some extent borrowed from this very informative and highly recommended book.
Eight of us set out on a mid-week walk on Tuesday 18th November. The participants were; Rick Angel, Margaret Conley, Bill Holland, Helen Lallas, Angelica Langley, Gerry Leitner, John Poleson, and Jan Roberts.We set out from Pennant Hills station at 9-30 am and after exploring the delights of suburban Pennant Hills we entered the valley and almost immediately encountered rainforest conditions. This section of the valley is not often walked and is relatively unspoilt. Most people come on The Great North Walk via Thornleigh and miss the upper reaches of Berowra Creek.
It was at this point that I made the decision that only a leader can make - to change the route!
I could not see the sense in climbing up 100 metres out of the valley to Cherrybrook Lakes and then down again. So we kept to Berowra Creek for a few kilometres, and then went 100 metres up the hill to Refuge Rocks for lunch.
Refuge Rocks is an interesting area!
It is an exposed sandstone outcrop of several hectares largely free of vegetation with sand stone clefts and extensive passage ways. The name of this natural feature reflects its use as a safe haven by firefighters when carrying out controlled burns. However there are numerous markings in the rock surface showing a central pit with teardrop-shaped engravings radiating out from the centre. There are more than 60 of these sets of markings, many now overgrown by moss mats and the mallee eucalypts. If you had the time for close examination you may see fragments of the World War 11 mortar shells that caused them. Australian Army historians confirm that in the desperate years of the early 1940s, Australian militiamen were trained in the area under the command of General Macarthur following his escape from the Philippines. Invasion was a possibility and Australia was not well prepared. Emergency training took place wherever suitable locations could be found. The site now known as Refuge Rock was used as a target area for troops located nearby in what is now Cherrybrook. Heavier field artillery was also fired northwards into the valley from Thornleigh.
One of the narrow outer ridges in the rock contains a natural sandstone arch known locally as London Bridge. We could not get easy access to explore this so we looked down from above. We could also see that the eastern side of the Refuge Rock platforms drops away in a rough 45 slope before meeting the trackless bush.
After lunch it was down 100 metres and back to The Great North Walk to exit the valley at Westleigh. Here, at my house, we had coffee and biscuits on the back deck - a pleasant way to end a mid-week walk.
Victory Track Victory
by Patrick James
On Sunday 23 November 2008, a Legalese Language Walk was held to commemorate the feast-day of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, patron saint of lawyers, barristers and others we wont talk about. Notwithstanding that Saint Catherine has been defrocked (figuratively) of her sainthood, her feast-day is one of the highlights of the legal calendar and it is said that supplications to the said ex-saint (particularly before sentence is passed) often are of great merit. The walk was a simple walk from Faulconbridge to Springwood via a couple of gullies; definitely not a tort.
Following the adage of measure twice and cut once used by carpenters, dressmakers, tailors and circumcisers, I double checked the track work website to make sure the walk would not be affected by planned or unplanned railway activities. Yep, everything was a goer. Bright and early at Central Station; I tried to buy a coffee but I was a bit invisible and could not get served. Not to worry I had brought enough coffee for a cup on the train. The train left exactly on time (as trains should) and we small band of eleven elite, tough, hardened bushwalkers sank back into the embracing upholstery for a therapeutic slow boat to Faulconbridge. At stops along the way we picked up another two gallant bushies. Coffee, biscuits, croissants, conversation and the SMH helped to pass away the time.
At Faulconbridge, Marion emerged from the rear of the train, and so we were fourteen. After a brief wait in the wind near the station and collecting another two of the party we quickly made our way to the grave of Henry Parkes, bone and ivory turner, writer, journalist, politician and statesman (the town of Parkes was named after him). The shelter from the wind plus the presence of Henrys spirit apparently caused the leader to talk too much when we formed our introductory circle.
Off we went to the next stop, the Corridor of Oaks; but not before numbers seventeen and eighteen joined the throng; we were now complete. The Corridor of Oaks is a smallish park with oaks planted to commemorate each of our prime ministers. Some oaks were tall and well developed others small and stunted with no correlation between the apparent date of planting and tree growth. One very recent oak had withered and died; I thought, yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.
From the oaks straight into the bush; tramp, tramp, tramp along the track only to realise oops wrong track. A quick U turn, a new bit of track, the road and we were back to the oaks and then the right track, the Victory Track. The Track is a magic place and for the first couple of hours we walked through misty gullies with tall trees and leaf-filtered light. It was not difficult to imagine elves in hiding just waiting for us to pass.
Morning tea was in a five star overhang fully sheltered from the slight drizzle. The late start because the train got in at 9.44, the oops wrong track and low blood sugar grumbles made for an as soon as possible, two star, lunch spot.
As | told everyone navigation was simple, down one gully and up another one, just like it was on 15 June 1997 when I last did the walk. Mountains, map or me had changed in the last eleven years and a couple of geographical inconsistencies were encountered but were quickly overcome. At Perch Ponds we stopped for photographs crowded around the track sign. After that it was a gently uphill climb along Magdala Creek to the delights of downtown Springwood. Springwood would be terrific if there was a good/nice coffee place open after 4PM on a Sunday.
Strangely we did not talk much Legalese. The three fluent in the tongue were unusually quiet; me justice struck speechless by the quiet majesty of nature. We para-, cis- and trans- legals just chatted on in real speak without a care in the world. Although | forgot to bring my Osborns dictionary | did wear my Osborns t-shirt. We finished with exactly the same eighteen that started; now thats good leadership!
The eighteen walkers were 11 members, 5 prospective members and 2 visitors; our names: Kayte Atherton, Frances Bertrand, Georges Bertrand, Krasa Bozinovska, Richard Brading, Barbara Bruce, Mariana Carrasco, Geoff Colman, Michael Flegg, Paul Irwin, Patrick James, Gerry Leitner, Julian Martin, Myles Ormsby, Marion Plaude, Mark Steward, Margaret Weaver, Nigel Weaver.
by Don Finch 15 & 16 November.
Don Finch, Ros Kerrigan, Conchita Breadner, Helen and George Gray.
The first thing we noticed was the water borne debris. The further we got down the road the worse it got. I estimate about four tonnes of the eleven tonnes placed recently has been washed off down slope, most of it onto the grass. When we got to the tool shed rain gauge all was revealed, 45mm of rain had fallen at Coolana during a thunder storm in the middle of Friday night.
We had come to water the new trees and improve the water supply on the Eastern Flat. This was done by Don using the old half inch black plastic pipe, originally from the camping flat, and a length George had at home. A small battery operated pump donated by Paul is used to start the pipe flowing, after which gravity will do the job just fine.
A lot of the new trees needed replanting for a variety of reasons, and watering was still required despite the 45mm overnight deluge. Helen marked any good small natural trees that she found and various weeds including thistles were dealt with. Helen also used the cartridge gun from the tool shed and the last of a cylinder of silastic from Don to seal the hole in the floor behind the toilet pan. Conchita carried the water around to the trees in the 25 litre drums, what a girl! Three recently fallen dead wattles lie in disarray on the Eastern Flat. They have all done damage to young trees including a 4m fig that was stripped of bark down to the roots.
A very pleasant evening was had by all in the shelter shed. There were many old stories told and some new ones too. The composting toilet was very convenient and appreciated. However there were only two half rolls of paper left in the whole establishment.
On Sunday Ros and Helen started back on unfinished business on the Eastern Flat. George, Conchita and Don mixed concrete and poured footings for the new black plastic tank beside the shelter shed.
We noted that the bags of cement stored in the shelter shed are starting to go off. There are 24 bags of cement left. One bag is needed to finish the tank. Patrick needs 5 bags to finish off the stone work at the toilet which leaves 18 bags unassigned. Suggestions as to what they could be used for are requested! One possibility is stabilise the gravel by mixing 4 gravel to one of cement and spreading it on the road. We all left for home about 4 PM tired but well satisfied with the weekend result.
Saturday 22 November
Ros and I took our friends Ann and John to Coolana for a picnic. it was windy, Ros heard a crack and moved Ann away. A few twigs brushed Ann's jacket, no damage done. The butt end of this branch would have been a different matter. Not big as branches go, but a serious injury could have resulted from a direct hit. When person power, chain saws and time permit a plan will be made to eliminate this hazard from the camping flat. The first time opportunity will be 14to 15 February, the chain saws are organised all we need is the people power.
25 & 26 November
Don arrived to install the tank. The blocks for the black plastic water tank were laid using a bag of mortar mix and cement from the deteriorating bags which had to be screened. The timbers were fitted, pipes arranged and the tank installed. Shed roof water flows into the new tank with overflow into the old steel tank. New mosquito screens were installed in the old tank intake. The new tank has 5 layers of screen in its inlet and a multi turn coil is enclosed in the outlet overflow which issues into the old steel tank. Wrigglers are present in the steel tank, and we presume that eggs laid outside the screen floated in or the screening is inadequate. Plans are afoot for a very fine screen.
The build up of leaves from around the shelter shed were removed using the leaf blower. The damaged quick connect hose fitting at the camping flat tap was replaced. The creek pipe line was cleared in the section between the dam and the filter and it was noted that the air bleed cock at the first bleed point above the hut leaks constantly and needs replacing. If somebody would like to take on the job of replacing the cock please let me know and I will try to make sure that it is not doubled up by somebody else.
A new wire filter screen has been fitted onto the end of the pipe in the dam. It is a slip on fit held down by the existing plastic wire and rocks. The mower with the catcher has been modified the height is now suitable for mowing weeds in grass with out cutting too much grass, this is a fixed height and is not adjustable. The weeds that need mowing mentioned in previous reports may be dock.
Walking Notes on Popran NP (South Section)
by Nigel Weaver
Maps: Gunderman and Cowan
Popran NP is an area right on Sydneys northern doorstep, but it is little known despite the spectacular walks and views that it offers. The south section of Popran NP is located west of the Newcastle expressway between Mooney Mooney and Mt White. Access is from the Pacific Hway 2kms south of Mt White at 318945 (Gunderman map), about 100m north of where the highway passes under the expressway. Go west from the highway on a foot track running alongside a wirefence. After about 25m, turn south, following a faint track which soon swings west again until you come to a power pole. Go north-west from the pole for about 20m until you get onto a firetrail at 317945. You are now in Popran NP!
Walk 1: Follow the fire trail roughly W for 300m to an intersection. Continue W until you reach a wire fence. Keeping outside the fence, follow it W and then N, until you get to the Sydney-Newcastle oil/gas pipeline, which is underground. Then follow the pipeline SW up and down steep hills via a rough foot track thats on top of it. Sometimes you are also on a fire trail. There are good views along the way. At 292939 you get to a short fire trail that is a spur of the main fire trail. Take this spur trail NW to the main fire trail. Then to S for 300m to get great ridgetop views of Hawkesbury River and Marramarra NP opposite. A great lunch spot! For the return trip, follow the outward route, or for an easier walk, follow the winding fire trails back home.
Walk 2: Once in the park, follow the first fire trail W to the first intersection. Go S to 308934, then W to 305934. From here you are off-track. Scramble WSW up to the ridgetop at 303933. Then go S toa great lookout at 302925 for lunch. Then go SE down the ridge through cliff lines into Cascade Gully, crossing it at about 311919. Progress is slow. Find your way SE up to another great lookout atop a major cliff line at 313917 (Cowan map). Continue up to the ridgetop and travel SSE until you get near the expressway. Follow it on the west side until you get to Jolls Bridge. Go under the bridge and down onto the Pacific Highway at 321904.
Walk 3: Start as per walk 2. Once you are on the ridgetop at 303933, go S to 301926. Then zigzag your way on ridges to 296922. Great views! Then go S on this ridge, over hill 296916, and sidle the W side of Berowra Hill. Follow the ridge through rough cliff tines down to Bar Point's public wharf at 296901. Pre-book a water taxi to Brooklyn: Phone 0410-554-777,
LAND OF ICE AND FIRE
by Kenn Clacher
In late 2007 I attended an SBW social night at which Peter Cunningham mentioned that he was looking for participants to accompany him on a trip to Kamchatka in August 2008. An old acquaintance of Peter's, Dave Roots (son of SBW legend Wally Roots), an ex geology professor who later ran scientific tours to volcanic regions, had been to Kamchatka several times and enthused about it. It needed a sizeable party to pay for the expensive helicopter trips so Peter got together a party of eleven, including several Peter had walked with in Tasmania, Kakadu, the Kimberleys, NZ and elsewhere, plus three of the feisty ladies from a Warringah running/walking group Gojog. Kamchatka is a fascinating place - a peninsula of 472,000 square kilometres (thats more than twice the size of Victoria and nearly 60% the size of NSW) in far eastern Russia, off limits to all foreigners and most Russians until 1990, as it was a major Soviet military base. Its attractions are itsisolation and its unspoiled natural features - it's part of the Pacific rim of fire, with 160 volcanoes, 29 active, comprising 10% of the worlds volcanic activity, and with 30% of the worlds salmon in its rivers. Several of the volcanoes are partly covered in glaciers; earning Kamchatka the name Land of Ice and Fire.
When first visited by Russians in the 17 century it was a base for hunters and fur trappers. There were primitive peoples already there- Inuit and others. Vitus Bering the Danish explorer founded a town there in 1741 then went on to claim Alaska for the Czar as well. Bering's ships were named St Peter and St Paul, hence the name Petropavlovsk for the town he founded.
In Russia you must have everything pre-arranged, so we engaged a local Russian tour company Kamchatka Lost World Tours. An itinerary was negotiated that included a nine-day walk, then several one-day walks from a few different base camps. Alt of the walks were in volcanic areas and included visits to the craters of three active volcanoes. Travel to or between camps was by helicopter and six-wheel drive truck. There are very few formed roads in Kamchatka and even fewer walking tracks.
We were supposed to begin our walking the day after arriving in Kamchatka via Seoul and Vladivostok. After some rearrangement of the itinerary because the weather was unsuitable for the helicopter trip to the start of the nine-day walk we boarded a Kamoz 6WD truck, the standardvehicle in Kamchatka - ex army, and they'll go almost anywhere. We drove to the base of the active Avachinskaya (Avachinsky) volcano, driving mainly along a rough dry river bed to a group of three comfortable huts at the base of Avachinsky at an elevation of around 950m and settled into one.
Our Russian host team comprised guide Ruslan (about 42), cook Aisla, 24, interpreter Katya, 19, and two porters, Igor, early twenties and Andrei,late teens. All are locals. Ruslan is a career freelance guide, been doing it for 19 years. Aisla has a degree in Tourism Management from the local university and was filling in as a cook while seeking a managerial job, while Katya is studying World Economics at the local university. Igor is also a student. After settling into the hut we climbed about 300m to the top of a nearby hill, the Camels Hump, as a training walk. Actually it was more a test by Ruslan to check us out - after the trip he admitted he had misgivings about taking a party of average age over 60 on a tough walk in trackless Kamchatka forests!
Next day we started our 1800m, 6-hour climb of Avachinsky up slopes of soft volcanic cinder in poor weather with mist swirling around us. A little over half way up at our lunch spot at a very small, and basic vulcanologists hut the cloud suddenly lifted, and there towering another 700m above us was the summit at 2,741m. Wow - Magic happens! Then as we climbed further the clouds lifted for a while and we could see the summit of nearby Koryakskaya (Koryaksky) at 3,456m. Above us were Avachinskys steaming fumaroles and sulfatoras emitting H2S, which as we got closer caught in our throats (and gave Peter an asthma attack).
Koryakskaya from Avachinsky
We made the summit and gazed into the crater - a dramatic sight, full of hardened black lava from the 1991 eruption - an extraordinary jumble of black spiky rock which was reminiscent of the tank traps they put along the Sydney beaches in WW2, except it was much more extensive and very forbidding. Going down was much easier than going up, especially on the stretches where! we broke into a run on the soft yielding ash.
Next day after a late breakfast and much card playing, we drove to the heliport and at around 5:00 p.m. began an exciting 1% hour helicopter flight south where we camped on the coarse sand beach of the lovely Lake Kluchevoye.
On the way we flew (chopped?) over the sea past impressive sea cliffs before heading overland to make two food drops on the way. Lake Kluchevoye is situated in the Ksudach Caldera, which is a volcanic formation with a basal diameter of 35km. The outer slopes rise gently up to a height of 900m and then fall steeply inwards, forming several caldera, inserted one into another. The biggest of these is 9km in diameter. But we didnt get to see much of this because of the low cloud.
The only recorded eruption was in 1907 when an estimated three cubic kilometers of material was ejected. Currently the only signs of activity are the many fumaroles and hot springs on the beach of Lake Kluchevoye. The water at the lakes edge was warm but a few metres out it was icy. Our porters dug a pit on the lakes edge which soon filled up with water, making a terrific hot bath!
Lake Kluchevoye campsite
Our itinerary called for an ascent of Mt Lukina (1,071m) next day, but it was overcast so after a 9 a.m, breakfast and 10 a.m. start we walked out to another crater lake, Lake Shtiubel and, with the help of a rope, an impressive waterfall (Little Victoria Falls, according to Ruslan).
Downstream of the falls the weather appeared clear, in contrast to the clouds that covered us all day. On this excursion we were introduced to stinging plants, which apparently gives anyone brushing them a nasty rash if the brushed area is exposed to sunlight. As it turned out this was not a problem. It rained overnight, which became the norm on our trip as it rained every day, with mostly low cloud and limited visibility.
Little Victoria Falls, Khodutka Hot Springs
Next day after a windy, rainy night we had a 7:30 breakfast, distributed the food for three days of walking to Khodutka Hot Springs and left just after 9 a.m. We left our warm lake behind and headed up the surrounding hills, which in 1907 were covered in lava slag. The woodland was all destroyed and its still a moonscape today. A howling wind and thick mist made it pretty wild; we suspect we were surrounded by great views, but alas could see nothing (shades of S/W Tassie)!
After some navigational problems in the whiteout we dropped down out of the howling gale into a creek bed. In the creek bed we saw heaps of tracks of bears, wolverines and wolves (??), and lots of hares scurrying away. They are apparently the main food sourcefor the carnivores, along with ground squirrels and marmots. Here we discovered that the Kamchatka way of walking involved a long stop for lunch each day on overnight walks. This involved searching for wood, building a fire, Aisla preparing a big soup or stew (with the help of around 10 big tins of various ingredients and a kilo or two of fresh spuds) and getting stuck in to it. This typically took around 2 hours. A vital part of the ritual at lunch and for evening camps was to find forked branches to make uprights to hold a crossarm which in turn held the large oval billies. Ruslan carried a tomahawk to help in this task.
On recommencing walking we eventually came out onto a plain where our hosts soon flung themselves onto the ground and started eating some berries - small blue berries on tow bushes, which were delicious, so sweet and tasty. We took a quick lesson and followed suit. The lesson was necessary as we encountered berries which we were advised are poisonous. Berries formed a welcome part of our diet for the remainder of the trip. They also formed an important part of the bears diet, as evidenced by the appearance of many of the numerous bear scats we saw. Once we were replete we recommenced walking and soon entered an alder/birch forest with an understory of two varieties of large leafy plant, one of which was the stinging variety, generally shoulder high, but often above our heads. After a very long day we finally got to camp at 7:15 p.m. - one of the girls sat down for a minute and promptly fainted! - it was that sort of day. A serving of tea made from a special variety of freshly picked mushrooms helped to revive our spirits.
Next morning we had breakfast at 8:00 and started walking at 9:15. The walking was generally easy, over flat sandy plains a little reminiscent of Kakadu only greener, and silver birch forest. There was little scrub or undergrowth. Lunch was from 1:00 to 3:00 and we arrived at camp at the relatively early hour of 6:45. We had several river crossings up to thigh depth; Ruslan and one of our group won the hearts of the girls by carrying some of them across. Camp was on a delightful big, level flat covered in dry moss. Dinner that night was enhanced by some wild mushrooms that our hosts had gathered that afternoon. It had rained lightly all afternoon.
Next morning the overnight rain had cleared and we were greeted by the impressive sight of Khodutka volcano (2,087m) and Priemysh volcano (1,200m). Both are dormant. After a 7:30 breakfast and 9:00 start we eagerly anticipated an early camp after covering the promised 10km to Khodutka Hot Springs. It might have been 10km as the crow flies, but we werent crows and we didn't fly! Also Ruslans GPS gave him considerable puzzlement and we walked in various S, Z and U shaped patterns. We had a navigation stop from 12:30 p.m. to 1:10 p.m., lunch from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and arrived in camp at 7:10 p.m. At least we could have a long hot soak, with Priemysh volcano towering above our campsite. After a rare sighting of the sun for two hours in the morning, by late morning it was fully overcast again. A feature of the days walking was several encounters with wasps, which have a painful sting which can linger for some days.
At the springs there were a couple of private lodges, a caretakers house and a very upmarket hunting lodge a kilometre or so away. Some of us were entertained by the owner, who runs trips for well-heeled hunters; for only 9000 Euros he will get you a bear to shoot! Stuffed of course, for a unique addition to your dining room. Up until now we'd seen a lot of bear scats and footprints, but no bears. Just before we left Australia there was a news item that two men in Kamchatka had been killed by bears at a mine up in the north, and the rest of the miners were trapped by 30 hungry bears and had sent an SOS for help. Evidently too many salmon were being caught by commercial fishermen so the bears were unusually hungry. Scary!
A food drop awaited us at the hot springs and we had a rest day. On the rest day some of the party climbed Priemysh volcano, about an 800m climb. There was some debate before setting out about whether Igor or Andrei should accompany us. Ruslan was very keen for one of them to go, but they both had badly blistered feet to which two of our party lavished considerable TLC. Their problems seemed to be at least partly associated with their Wellington Boot-type footwear and we were glad we had resisted the pressure from Ruslan to buy and wear this type of boot. We insisted that they be allowed to have a day off to give their feet time to heal. Rustan eventually agreed, with the proviso that we turn back immediately if any trouble was encountered. It wasn't.
The top was visible when they started but by the time they arrived at the top cloud prevented any distant views being gained. Back at camp, there was much coming and going of helicopters. Two were parked next to our camp all night.
We had a two-day walk to our next food drop, generally along the Asacha River. After four days of walking we wondered if we would ever see ANY bears. However next day we saw a bear about 15m away, just grazing. He didn't react to us at all for a while, so we had a good look at him. This turned out to be Bear Day! - we saw 10 in all. In the tundra we saw an adult with a cub which scrambled up a tree. Next, another big guy, he ignored us for a long time and then finally took off in a hurry. Then a large mother bear with four small cubs, scrapping and growling loudly at each other. Great!
The day had started with a 7:30 breakfast and a 9:00 departure after all-night rain. Initially) we had to contend with a multi-stream river crossing and some swampy ground. This gave way to forest, plain and tundra, a wonderful days walking through beautiful and varied terrain, all the while surrounded by spectacular mountains which were almost all of classic volcanic shape. Lunch was taken from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and we made camp at 8:30 p.m. Despite the late hour light was not a problem as the sun set at around 10 o'clock. The day was extended a bit by some navigational episodes and camp was delayed by the mother bear with four cubs occupying a position near our intended river crossing and camp, so we had to find an alternative river crossing and campsite.
A feature of the days walking was the occasional glimpse through the clouds of Khodutka volcano towering above the end of the valley we walked along. It dwarfed Priemysh which we had climbed the previous day on what seemed a pretty big climb at the time.
A fox came into camp that evening quite unconcerned by us. Ruslan put vinegar around the periphery of our camp to deter bears, but one still came in close and he had to set off some of the firecrackers to drive him away. !t rained heavily that night.
We followed the Asacha River next day and saw more bears, and made frequent berry stops. There were many crossings of small side streams which were characterised by the tall leafy vegetation on the banks and in the beds. After arriving at camp at around 3:30 (no two-hour lunch stop) Ruslan and Andrei, accompanied by two of the party, went fishing. They walked a kilometre or so along the next days route to the appointed fishing spot. There they caught about a dozen fish on spinners. We had fish stew for appetisers, fish - fried salmon in breadcrumbs - for dinner and fish for breakfast - excellent eating! This camp sported a ramshackle hut and was the location of the second food drop. It was fortuitous that it was habitable, as Igor or Andrei had inadvertently dropped and lost the poles from Katyas and Aislas tent that day. They occupied the hut for the night.
After another night of constant rain Aisla distributed the food from the food drop for a three-day walk to a base camp site at the base of the active Mutnovsky volcano. The approach walk promised to be not terribly exciting, just a long three-day slog and we ail contemplated with a distinct tack of enthusiasm our 5kg or more of tins, fresh potatoes etc. that comprised our share of the party food. The good news was that we were promised a road for most of the days walk. Even the first couple of hours walking was mainly on track worn by people accessing the hut. After a 9:00 breakfast and a 10:20 departure we arrived at an army establishment at about 1:30, having already had a stop of 20 minutes or so for a quick mini-lunch.
Ruslan (through Katya) had warned us that we would be passing a top secret army establishment that day. The establishment was a compound about 200m square, located in a clearing about 300m square. The compound was surrounded by razor wire and a ditch, all lit by perimeter lighting. Inside the compound were a couple of dozen shipping containers widely
separated in a regular pattern. On the opposite side from our approach there was a guardhouse and a hut housing an electricity generator. On Ruslans instructions we crossed the clearing and approached the guardhouse in single file, about 20m apart so as not to give the impression we were invading the place. Once there we were instructed to remove our packs and not stray from the vicinity of the guardhouse.
The guards brought out a table and chairs, tea, coffee and biscuits and invited us to partake. They were quite affable and Aisla knew one of them from a previous job. They told us that we could not go any further on foot as it was too dangerous, and would have to wait for a bus to take us through to the other side of a prohibited area. The truck eventually arrived at about 3:40 and we were under way at 3:45. We drove through what was not army land but a gold mine under development and at 4:00 arrived at a group of buildings, Here we and our packs were offloaded. From there we chanced on a lift to within about 10km from the Mutnovsky base camp. This avoided two days walking. Ruslan indicated that we would walk down to an old crater to camp for the night, then decided he wanted to get to base camp that night, walking quickly, no time to stop for photographs. This we did, walking over bare volcanic terrain and snowfields, arriving at camp in the gloom (it was heavily overcast) at around 8:45. It had rained all afternoon, though only lightly.
Approaching Mutnovsky base camp
Our base camp under Mutnovsky volcano was at 900m altitude, an exposed site above the tree line, but with the luxury of a mess tent. Next morning was relatively clear so we set out to climb Mutnovsky, walking across steep ice fields and lava slopes, then into a wild canyon with a foaming river crashing down it. We climbed steep slopes of soft volcanic ash, then up to crater No. 1, with a glacier hanging above us at a seemingly impossible angle, vertically along a rock face, right down to where the volcano's heat was melting it. By this time the weather had deteriorated, with low cloud diminishing visibility. [t stayed that way for the rest of the day, with the exception of a few brief periods of improved visibility.
We crossed the crater, weaving our way around boiling pools of mud and water, sulphur-encrusted holes blowing steam and H,S, and geothermal vents. Often we had to wait for fumaroles to blow in the opposite direction so we could pass them before the next blast, then we would take off running, with sulphur fumes catching in our throats. We walked up a steep-sided valley to crater No. 2, which was mostly full of ice, surrounded by beautifully coloured cliffs eroded into strange shapes, with another hanging glacier towering above. We skirted around it and then to the lip of crater N 3.
Inspecting a fumarole
A scramble up aided by a very tattered old fixed rope took us to the knife-edge ridge between craters No. 2 and No. 3. The 3rd crater was a lot deeper and was the most active one, mostly obscured by fumaroles from the numerous hot vents 100m below. An amazing and unique place, truly a place of ice and fire. On the way back down we saw more of the amazing crater walls, with different coloured rock and dirt bands - red, yellow, black, white and purple, in sharply differentiated stripes. Almost as if it they'd been painted!
To be continued in the next magazine (February)
Kenn would like to acknowledge that his article is based on trip accounts by Les Matthews and Peter Cunningham. (Ed.)
The Mid-Week Walkers
Twelve mid-week walkers had a very pleasant stay at Dunns Swamp at the end of last month - see separate report.
Nothing is scheduled for December, other than two mid-week day walks and Coolana over Christmas but we are looking forward to the some interesting events in the coming year.
If you would like to join us or simply just be kept in the loop by receiving our monthly Mid Week Walkers Newsletter please let me know.
Here are the activities already in the planning stage for next year:
Jan/Feb Stay at the Carters cottage at Berrara Beach - offers beach and forest walking, swimming and canoeing.
Mar: Lodge at Jindabyne with late summer walking in alpine areas.
April: Canberra for autumn colours - stay at caravan park and cycle the bicycle pathways, visit galleries etc
May: Don and Liz Wills would like to lead us on a week of walking and cycling from their property in Timor (Upper Hunter Valley).
Jun: Newnes: a stay in the cabins with interesting walks each day
Jul: New England National Park - stay in the Chalet or The Residence at Banksia Point, walk in rainforests and keep warm in front of the fire at night.
Aug: lan Debert and Joy Hynes have offered us accommodation near the Glass House Mountains in Queensland.
Sept: Visit the Grampians and Glenelg River in Victoria.
Oct: Camping at Deep Pass. All facilities in a camping ground reasonably close to cars
Nov: Return to Dunns Swamp already or another week of walking and canoeing.
Then there is the suggestion of a week or so at Lord Howe Island. There is some good and not too expensive accommodation available depending on the time of the year and when bookings are made. Please let me know if you are interested and I will see about a group booking.
Finally, just a sort reminder about mid-week day walks in coming weeks. I know it can be hot during the day but most summer midweek walks are in the evening when the weather is cooler. A glass of wine and dinner in the park makes for an interesting finish to the day.
We invite you to join us on the following walks. Full details are in the Summer Walks Programme.:
Wed 17th Dec Stage 7 - Maureen's Meander to Melbourne Otford - Bulga - Stanwell Park - Coalctiff.
Wed 7th Jan Stage 8 - Maureen's Meander to Melbourne Coalcliff to Bulli and, perhaps, beyond.
Wed 7th Jan (evening walk) Walk (Before Beach Picnic) planned to finish at Balmoral Beach
Thur 8th Jan (evening walk) East Sydney Crime Tour - Part 1
Tues 13th Jan (evening walk) Bondi and Beyond
Wed 14th Jan (evening walk) Rocks - Historic Houses Walk Pub historians very welcome!
Thur 15th Jan (evening walk) East Sydney Crime Tour - Part 2
A Week at Dunns Swamp
by Bill Holland
There must be a better name than Dunns Swamp! After all, the word swamp conjures up a dark, mysterious and somewhat unsavoury place and this certainly not the case with Dunns Swamp. Does not sound great but it is. There is a suggestion of a name change to Wollemi Waterways or something similar.
Dunns Swamp is a spectacular car based camping and picnic area on the banks of the Cudgegong River on the western edge of Wollemi National Park. it is 20 kilometres from Rylstone. The area has excellent bushwalking, swimming and canoeing. The swamp is really a long stretch of beautiful river backed up behind a weir. There are several extensive campsites with good facilities. Next to the campsite are very interesting pagoda rock formations similar to those found in the Gardens of Stone National Park.
It is very popular for its swimming, canoeing and walking opportunities and despite its size it is fully booked out most weekends and holidays. However, midweek was no problem and we had a good week there at the end of
The weather was kind to us despite some gloomy prediction from the weather forecasters. Monday was warm and sunny, Tuesday a little cloudy but warm enough for the water, Wednesday much cooler and cloudy but no rain and Thursday fine and hot. The rain came on Thursday night after we had finished our late night campfire with lightning and rolling thunder overhead as we lay in bed. So Friday proved to be a wet, hurried packing and on our way - but considering the Sydney forecast we were lucky on our side of the mountains.
There were twelve of us: Rick Angel, Barbara and Maurie Bloom, Don and Jenny Cornell, Fran and Bill Holland, Jim Percy and Jo van Sommers, Kate and Barrie Murdoch and new member Sue Pinkerton.
We had ample room at our campsite to spread out our large tents near the canoes on the banks of the water. There were two toilets not too far away and a good supply of wood for a blazing campfire each night.
The week organised itself into walking in the morning and relaxing with canoeing or reading into the late afternoon. Happy hour/s started about 5 pm and we lingered at the campfire until about 10 pm.
The end of 2008 is nigh. I personally am quite happy about that. On many fronts, it seems to have been a very dark and dismal year (which I won't remind/bore you with!)
So in order to get rid of the bad, we of SBW will be celebrating Xmas with our traditional party. Come and enjoy the company of your friends and fellow walkers. Just bring a plate of delicious food to share and the Club will provide everything else. As always, the venue is the KNC - hopefully in the rear courtyard from 6:30pm onwards.
The New Year has some great social events that involve minimal cardio-vascular effort. Indeed, it is mainly the mouth that will be getting a work-out either talking, laughing, eating or drinking. Check the Walks and Social Programs for all details.
Also, there IS a SOCIAL NIGHT on 21st JANUARY. David Trinder will be showing slides etc. on his New Zealand trip.
Keep well and see you at the Xmas Party
REUNION OF GREAT RIVER WALKERS
The Great River Walk was a series of staged walks on the SBW program from the source of the Wollondilly down that river system to the sea at Broken Bay. It was run from 2000 to 2004. Yes, you read right, it took 4 years to complete with over 30 stages if you include the route variations. A great many walkers did at least one of these stages and a few track hardened people did the lot. It has been a while since this was completed and the good news is that some councils are spending money on getting their section of the track established. It seemed a good idea to have a reunion for all those who took part.
This is being organised at Patonga (on the GRW) on 15 March 2009. If you are interested please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 0423-262313 or 8919-0091.
We may even be able to organise a film presentation of the walk perhaps featuring some familiar faces.
SUMMER SOCIAL PROGRAM
All meetings are held at the Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre at 8pm unless otherwise indicated.
SBW Famous Xmas Party.
Celebrate the end of this highly eventful year with your friends. Please bring a plate of delicious food to share. Club provides all beverages and eating utensils. 17 Dec 6:30pm
7 Jan SBW Annual Picnic at Balmoral Beach 4pm/6pm Members, new members and family welcome. Meet at the south end of Balmoral Beach from 6pm (under trees). Bring your own meal or buy fish n chips locally. Walk at 4pm. See walks program or phone Bill Holland 9484 6636.
14 Jan Evening Walking Tour of Historical The Rocks Buildings/Pubs
21 Jan Committee Meeting 7pm Observers welcome, followed at 8pm by a presentation on Abel Tasman NP and Taverse Sabine (NZ) walk by David Trinder
28 Jan No club activities
4 Feb Committee Meeting 7pm Observers welcome.
11 Feb New Members Night 8pm Introduction to SBW for intending Prospective members
18 Feb Eating Super Foods for Endurance 8pm Roger French from the Natural Health Society will give a part Power-Point presentation about healthy eating generally with pointers as to how to adapt guidelines to very lightweight meals.
25 Feb New Members Night
Please contact New Members Secretary for details and time.