A Monthly Bulletin devoted to matters of interest to Sydney Bush Walkers, 5 Hamilton Street, Sydney, N.S.W.
No 37. January, 1938.
|Editor:||Marie B. Byles.|
|Business Manager:||W.J. Mullins.|
|Publication staff :||Misses Clare Kinsella, Dot English, Flo Allsworth,Kath McKay, Messrs John R. Wood, Brian C. Harvey, W.L. (Bill) Piggott|
|82 Miles in Two Days||D.D. Stead.||2 - 7|
|Ring-Barking, Rabbits, and Then Desert.||9|
|Here There and Everywhere||10 - 11|
The monthly edition of “The Sydney Bushwalker” proved so popular that to begin with we were inundated with contributions. These have, however, now been mostly published and we are ready for more.
What did you do over the Christmas Holidays? Don't you want to refute Jack Debert's remarks about Gordon-Smith Walks? What do you think of that new “scenic road” they are to make along the foreshores of Cowan Creek in place of the footpath? Have you had any interesting letters from bushwalkers overseas? Have you come across any amusing bushwalking or hiking jokes? Well, send your answers to the Editor and let the whole Club benefit.
One more thing - have you purchased at least six copies of “The Bushwalker” published in the Federation?
by D.D. Stead.
“Listen Dave, Why not let us walk from Katoomba to Picton in a two day week-end?”
This was Gordon's quiet reply to my suggestion that we should walk from Wentworth Falls down Kedumba to the Cox, and back to Katoomba via the Black Dog track and Clear Hill in one day. As I am unable to get away for many week-end trips and had not been on that portion of the Cox' River from Kanangra Clearing to Kowmung Junction I agreed to give the project my earnest consideration.
After considerable time had been spent in carefully working out a schedule, the plan was shelved until a suitable occasion presented itself.
So it was that when the 5-19 p.m. train left Sydney on Friday 24th September, 1937, it was carrying Gordon Smith, Jack Debert, Alec Colley, Bert Whinier and me. We travelled very light - all wore light rubber shoes or sandshoes - the only equipment being groundsheets and torches, one first-aid kit and last but by no means least, the schedule.
We got away to a bad start at Katoomba due to the train being 35 minutes late. However, setting off for Carlons we left Katoomba to the cry of “Taxi, sir?” Down Nelly's Glen the going was relatively good and the track was drier than I have ever seen it. I managed to get a little way in front on the long descent and all the way down could hear the wallaroos bounding away from the light of our torches.
Soon after passing the old “pub” site Gordon and Bert caught me and we sped merrily on making good time to Kirbys Crossing where we left Megalong Creek and headed up on to Black Jerry's Ridge, breasting the summit at 10-47 p.m. - 2 hrs. 25 minutes after getting out of the train.
Jack and Alec were nowhere in sight, nor could the lights from their torches be seen. They had been chattering like magpies about gold shares and similar dangerous topics when last heard of and had thus dropped behind a little. We did not stop and wait for them as we knew they couldn't get lost between Katoomba and Carlons even at night-time. After quite an enjoyable trip down Green Gully, we three reached Carlons at 11-10 p.m. having taken 2 hrs. 48 mins. from Katoomba station - a good start.
The evening was delightfully cool and fresh without being too cold, but there was no moon.
Carlon's dogs made us welcome and we arrived to find Mrs. Carlon sitting up in the kitchen, waiting for us. She was surprised to see some of us so early. She bustled around and got us some supper which was rapidly consumed. Then we sat round the stove and waited for Jack and Alec. We became a little concerned after some time, but just as we were leaving to go and look for them, in they walked. It appeared that they had been so busy talking that they had drifted away from the track and had lost a lot of time in first of all finding where the track was, and then getting on to it. They devoured their supper to the tune of “I wouldn't have thought it possible” and then we all went to bed at about a quarter past twelve.
Now Gordon admits to occasional bouts of insomnia, but Jack doesn't seem to be able to sleep and won't regard it as being insomnia at all; before 5-30 he was awake and talking, By 6 o'clock we were all up and poked around in the dull coldness of the early morn while the Carlons prepared us a most enjoyable breakfast consisting of porridge, steak and eggs, toast and ham and tea.
Thus fortified, we left sharp at 7 o'clock for our long trek.
Over the hill from Carlons and down Carlons Creek we went, cursing quietly from time to time as we brushed the outsize nettles with our bare legs. It was a beautiful morning with promise of being hot later on and we were thoroughly enjoying ourselves. As usual, Breakfast Creek seemed much further than it really is on account of the thirty six crossings of the Creek (or is it only thirty five?). The first sight of the Cox was welcomed by the boys and in a few minutes we had taken our shoes off and crossed. With a view to saving our feet we had previously decided to save wetting our shoes more than necessary, by sticking to one side of the river as much as possible. Once on the eastern bank of the Cox we put our socks and shoes on, had a piece of chocolate and were away for Kanangra Clearing within a few minutes. From Breakfast Creek right down the Cox almost to Kill's cottage we were able to wear the absolute minimum of clothing as we encountered no one in this section of about 23 miles.
Once on the Cox the scent of battle was in the air - the race was on - the “tigers” were out for blood. Gordon and Jack and Bert cleared out and left Alec and me to walk at more leisurely peace. This we did to such purpose that we arrived nearly 15 minutes behind the others. Here we had nearly 20 minutes spell while we ate chocolate, dried fruits etc., before crossing the Kanangra and departing for the Kowmung.
Numerous small groups of ducks were seen on the river while in the semi-tropical forest We heard and sometimes saw Wonga pigeons, Gang Gangs, black cockatoos and numbers of small birds. Where the gorge rose sheer on the opposite side of the river we frequently saw row upon row of Rock lilies in full flower growing in the crevices of the rock walls and on the steep hill sides hundreds of the trees were almost covered with Clematis, Tecoma and other flowering creepers making these slopes even more lovely than usual. It is doubtful whether there is anything more beautiful in all our local bushwalking country than this portion of the Cox where every reach of the river is guarded by a magnificent mountain rising almost straight from the water's edge. Someday, when I become a little more articulate I will endeavour to describe the beauty of the Cox in poetry. But to return to the walk. After about three and a half miles of medium going the rearguard closed up on the speed merchants and found them preparing for a swim and lunch despite the fact that it was only 10 minutes to 12. “What is this, a picnic?” we shouted, as we came closer. The ayes had it, however, and we stopped. After a most enjoyable dip in a deep pool and an impromptu swimming race we had a very simple repast.
At 1 o'clock we left again, Gordon and Bert being the hares. The leaders are always Gordon and somebody.
The day was very warm and there were a great many small lizards about. Once or twice we treed a large Goanna who “blew” at us from the security of some Casuarina. After a few miles I was commenting to Alec and Jack on the tracks of a snake we were following in the soft sandy path when Jack suddenly roared (you knew how he roars) “Look out, Alec! A snake.” And Alec stepped straight back on to a poor black snakes tail. The snake promptly headed for sunnier climes on the other side of the Cox, swimming under water. It was a great sight from the low bank where we stood, to see in the crystal clear water, the dark shiny body of the reptile against the sandy, gravely bottom of the river. It crossed the river, turned and swam straight back to us. It went under a log near the bank, though, and defied our efforts to catch it. As we still had about 52 miles to go, we decided to push on. We pushed on for about 50 yards and discovered what may have been the reason for the snake's anxiety to return to our side of the river another snake. This one was a good deal bigger than the first one, and as it appeared to have urgent business elsewhere and there was no time to look for a suitable stick I grabbed it by the tail with the intention of swinging it onto the ground to stun it slightly so that we could take it back with us. While I was swinging it, however, my feet slipped from under me and I landed on my back while the snake sailed over to near where Alec and Jack were standing. It went from there straight into the river and swam to the other side. It was finally captured there by holding its head down with a stick while it was grabbed just behind the head. Alec looked pained when I filled up his - and our, only billy with black snake.
These interludes had wasted a good deal of time so we hastened along and in a relatively few minutes were surprised to find ourselves in sight of Mt. Cooke which meant that we were close to the Kowmung. At the Kowmung junction the others were waiting for us so we took off our shoes and socks, crossed immediately and walked barefooted for about a mile till we came to a pool near the foot of the White Dog ridge where we had another swim. Moving on again we continued non-stop to the Black Dog Rock where Gordon provided us with a little amusement by falling in the river.
From here on there are nearly a dozen river crossings in as many miles so we decided that we would have to walk through the river with our shoes on to save time. The day wore on as we walked and when we reached Kill's cottage it was almost 5 o'clock. We did not stop here but carried on a mile and a quarter to Seymour's where no one was home. We sent Bert in to get us a few oranges which we promptly demolished. Then on to Moody's where we transferred the snake to a sack kindly provided by Mr. Moody.
Our schedule told us we were to sleep that Saturday night on the floor of Mostyne Kill's shack six and a half miles further down the Cox. At Moody's there were preparations for a big party at night and we were invited to stay for tea and come to the party afterwards as Mostyne Kill was bringing a lorry load of people up from McMahon's five miles away, and would take us back in the lorry after the party. We were sorely tempted, but duty called sternly and we heard - and obeyed. We arranged to walk down the river as quickly as possible, have tea and come back in the lorry with Mostyne and then - wine, women and song! And so we left Moody's. Gordon set off in full racing style, determined to “knock spots” off the record from Moody's to McMahon's. We followed at our own speeds and Alec, Bert and I were overtaken by darkness with a little over two miles to go. Reaching McMahon's in the dark we did not stop but wading the Cox for the last time on that trip we walked on and reached Mostyne Kill's place on time. Gordon had been in for a long time, of course, having carved out the Moody's - McMahon's portion in 46 minutes - nice work, Gordon!
We five had only just settled down to a tea of baked rabbit and steamed pudding when three apparitions appeared at the door way (there was no door), and asked for some tea. They turned out to be Dot English and Max and Frank Gentle. They had caught the mid-day train to Wentworth Falls and had walked out over the King's tableland to join us. Till then, we had thought we were travelling pretty light but these three only had one military pack between them and there did not appear to be very much in that.
We now decided that we would go back to the party but concentrate on eating and sleeping instead I will pass swiftly over our sleeping arrangements. Mostyne, the owner of this oneroomed shack had retired in our favour and arranged to spend the night at McMahon's. Let it suffice to say that we slept in a row on the floor and had two single bed blankets, one sheet and one tent fly for bed clothes between the eight of us.
We woke early, thanks to Debert and Co., and after a very frugal meal of bread and honey we departed at 7 o'clock. We passed King's boarding house about half an hour later and came into sight of the wonderful mountains which form the head of the Warragamba Gorge. We were able to enjoy this magnificent sight until we reached the the Wollondilly, where we had to say au revoir to the Cox and turn south along the Burragorang Valley. Although still quite early in the morning it was very warm and more like midsummer than early Spring.
So much has been written regarding the beauties of the Burragorang Valley in tourist literature that I do not propose to say much here. It is a very interesting fact, though, that we become so spoiled by all the fine views we see on our various trips that we are very prone to take for granted the wonderful over-changing panoramas which are continuously seen while travelling through the valley.
The Bell-birds were in particularly good voice where the road wound round a dry gully. It was early enough in the morning for us to be able to enjoy walking along the road and until we got to Maxwell's we encountered no traffic. We reached Maxwell's soon after 9 o'clock and stopped to make a few purchases for lunch. Here we parted company with Dot who had merely come down from Wentworth Falls with Max and Frank to spend a few hours in our exalted company. She, lucky girl, then put in the rest of the day swimming in the Wollondilly and lazing on the bank until the Service car left to take her to Camden.
After leaving Maxwell's the next 7 miles to the Nattai was rather monotonous road walking. It was really hot now and all the hard road and track we had come over coupled with the light rubber shoes had given me a blister under one foot which was developing as we covered the miles. No one alas seemed to have any worries; no one complained, at any rate. Jack was on his own dung hill, so to speak, and he went like a race horse on this stretch, putting some of the younger chaps to shame by the energy he showed. We had a swim and lunch as soon as we reached the Nattai and both were very welcome. We had an hour and a quarter here and then moved off up the Nattai to Riley's Crossing to where the road from Picton down the Nattai Pass joins the track from Burragorang. The Nattai, pretty low at this crossing, was not deep enough for swimming but most of the boys had a dip while a couple of us contented ourselves with a wash and a drink. On again, up the Nattai Pass to the waterfall at the top where the billy was boiled and we had a snack. Only ten and a half miles more - bear up, feet!
Alec and I left in advance of the others from this stopping place and we were still in front at the Boys' Home at Mowbray Park. We had a drink of water at the Lodgekeeper's house and left on our last six miles. It was cooler now and the going was fairly good and down hill nearly all the way from here to Picton. As we completed the 80th. mile just outside Picton a couple of us may have been heard to give a weak cheer.
We assembled our party just afterwards and walked in to the “Royal George” at 6-15 p.m., well ahead of schedule. We felt we had deserved the “vase” full of liquid amber we each drank and, in any case, we thoroughly enjoyed it. The lady behind the counter invited us to have tea there at a specially reduced rate and said we could come dressed just as we were, This we did, and later walked the last three quarters of a mile to the Station in nice time to catch the 7-39 train.
We all finished strongly and in fairy good condition. Saturday's long trek down the Cox was, I think, really enjoyed by all five of us. We walked no faster than we would have done had we been only going a fraction of the distance and as regards the scenery and wild life we saw as much as any walking party would see, possibly more than most on account of our all wearing rubber shoes, and thus making less noise than usual.
One of the reasons for the trip was that it would be part of our training for the 24 hour walk which was held a fortnight later and it was really very pleasant to be training and at the same time to be able to enjoy such scenic beauty.
For the benefit of those interested I am appending the log of the trip giving sectional times and mileages. The times given are my times and as, more often than not, I was well in the rear, the leaders times would in many cases be considerably less.
|5. 19 p.m.||0||Train left Sydney.|
|8. 22 p.m.||0||Arrived and left Katoomba. Train 35 minutes late.|
|8. 41 p.m.||1 1/2||Explorer's tree.|
|9. 34 p.m.||4 1/2||Bottom of Holly's Glen. 1st. crossing of Megalong Ck.|
|9. 42 p.m.||5||Old “Pub” site.|
|10.07 p.m.||7||Kirbyl's Crossing. Left Megalong Creek.|
|10.47 p.m.||9 1/2||Duncan's cottage.|
|11.10 p.m.||11||Arrived at Carlons. 2hrs. 48 mins.|
|7.00 a.m.||11||Left Carlons.|
|8.32 a.m.||17||Arrived Breakfast Creek.|
|10.51 a.m.||25||Arrived Kanangra clearing.|
|11.10 a.m.||25||Left Kanangra clearing.|
|1.00 p.m.||28||Left after lunch.|
|2.25 p.m.||33||Kowmung Junction.|
|3.45 p.m.||36||Black Dog Rock.|
|4.57 p.m.||40 1/2||Kill's cottage (at turn off to Kedumba track)|
|5.20 p.m.||41 3/4||Arrived Seymour's.|
|5.35 p.m.||42 1/2||Arrived Moody's.|
|5. 47 p.m.||42 1/2||Left Moody's.|
|7.09 p.m.||47 1/2||Arrived McMahon's.|
|7.31 p.m.||49||Arrived Mostyne Kill's shack.|
|7.00 a.m.||49||Left Mostyne Kill's shack.|
|9.20 a.m.||57 1/2||Arrived Maxwell's (“Bimlow”)|
|9.58 a.m.||57 1/2||Left Maxwell's.|
|11.55 a.m.||64 1/2||Arrived at Nattai just above bridge. (LUNCH).|
|1.12 p.m.||69 1/2||Left after lunch.|
|2.25 p.m.||69 1/2||Arrived Riley's crossing.|
|2.30 p.m.||69 1/2||Left Nattai River.|
|3.17 p.m.||72||Arrived at Waterfall (Top of Nattai Pass).|
|3.40 p.m.||72||Left Waterfall.|
|4.28 p.m.||75||Arrived at Oakdale Road.|
|4.57 p.m.||77||Arrived Mowbray Park.|
|6.15 p.m.||81 3/4||Arrived Picton (“Royal George” Inn)|
|7.39 p.m.||82 1/2||Caught train at Picton station.|
We have pleasure in welcoming the following new members to our ranks: Miss Magdalene Brown, Miss Winifred McKenzie, Mr. Hugh Dickson, Mr. Bill McCourt, Mr. Laurence Garrett.
After a rather stormy meeting the bushwalking representatives on the Garawarra Trust succeeded in carrying a resolution that no more permissive occupancies should be granted and no transfers of the existing ones allowed. This means that the scandal of privately owned shacks in this Public park will at any rate not increase. We congratulate Messrs., Turner and Atkinson on the firm stand they took in the matter.
The Cronulla launch proprietor informs us that private persons proposed to make such a road. If this is true it would be a breach of a former promise to keep this a roadless area. The Federation has written for an assurance that it is not true.
Mr. Ninian Melville, who was appointed by us to assist the Railway Commissioner in the revision of some maps for hikers, has now been officially so appointed by the Commissioners as well. Our indefatigable friend is going to spend his holidays working on the job, in the Katoomba District, and he has been asked by the Federation to take the opportunity of co-operating with the Katoomba Council in the matter of some other hikers' maps it wishes to issue.
Mr. Roberts is advocating legislation to define meaning of a “primitive area” and to prevent all constructional work on land dedicated as a primitive area. The Crown Lands Acts at present provide that among other purposes, land may be dedicated as a “primitive area”, but there is nothing to show what this is. A subcommittee has been appointed to investigate the matter. Mr. Dunphy expressed disapproval of any legislation to define “primitive area” saying that it was better the term should be elastic.
By CLare Kinsella.
The Half-Way Sun. by T. Inglis Moore has been presented to the Club Library by Dorothy Lawry. It tells the stirring and adventurous life story of Katalong, the hero of a tribe inhabiting the remote interior of one of the Philippine Islands, preserving there an ancient and highly developed culture.
Adventures of Jock Marshall. Club members will be interested to hear of the publication by William Heineman Ltd. of “The Black Musketeers” written by k.J. Marshall more familiar to us as “Jock.”
It is a most interesting book, profusely and well illustrated and giving an account of his work and adventures as a member of the Oxford University's Scientific Expedition to the island of Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides. The price is 11/6.
The most important gossip caught from the zephyrs sifting through the tent-flaps is the news of the new arrivals. The Reillys, Rene and Bill, have received a beautiful Christmas box in the form of a baby girl, while the Duncans of “noot-meat” fame, and of the Pass of not so much fame, a baby boy.
After arrivals come departures. Gordon Mannell has gone to Griffith to keep either the primary industries or himself, alive - we don't know which. Every time you see those great big irrigation-area oranges, think of Gordon right down in the midst of them - and peaches and brown rice, and oh! lots of other things.
And after the departures, come the “next-to-arrives”, but here we must read carefully and with great discretion for there may be many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip. Having so trodden we can safely say that Frances Ramsay and Vera Phillip will arrive from Scotland via Canada this month and that Jock Marshall is on his way home again.
Jock Marshall comes with a grant from the institute for the study of Bird-life and Habits to investigate the private affaire of the Bower Bird's menage. He must be a thorn in the sides of birds, this man, for already since the news of his arrival has been published in our local newspapers great disturbance is noticeable in the feathered world, - they never know who his next victim will be.
To complete the cycle of gossip we turn to those who have returned home and first among these is Doreen Harris recently out of hospital. Then there is the party fresh back from Tasmania having thoroughly discredited the S.B.W. by their failure to acquit themselves as sailors. Rene Brown said she felt sick the other night merely standing and looking at the Awatea. However the little Island compensated for the infernal sea-travel and we have six more Abel Tasmans who have rediscovered Tasmania.
Joan Fitzpatrick and her crackers would have gone down in history in any case, but Fitz's Firework Festival in Heathcote Creek will live forever. Everyone was there all the Fitzpatricks and all the Savages, and Ron Moppett made a marvellous firework cake. Then, as the last grand bang died away, Joan Fitzpatrick and Harry Savage dramatically announced their engagement!
And next we turn, as Abel Tasman did 300 years ago (come 5), from Tasmania to New Zealand. The contingent left by the Awatea on the 10th. December and by now they have probably crawled over the Grave-Talbot Pass, worshipped before the grandeur of Milford Sound, scaled virgin peaks and many other things.
Before leaving the comings and goings we glance at those irregulars who blow in now and again (usually to keep good with the treasurer) and who quite undeservedly, like the Prodigal Son, are always warmly welcomed. Don Wallace was a welcome stranger a little while back. You haven't seen him since, have you? Then there was Morris Stephenson back in Sydney for the time being.
And change of place leads us to change of status. Did you know Bill Piggott is now a married man? Congratulations and good wishes to him and Mrs. Piggott.
In a recent supplement of the “Herald” there was an interesting article about the Exhibition of Painting held by Miss Peckett, the sister of Phil Roots, who is making a name for herself at the Art School.
And talking of Art who saw Eve Eason's Pottery display? It was very good stuff. We can rest assured that there will at least be one department of her future home which will be well and beautifully stocked.
Many years ago a landowner on the upper Cox gave a contract for the ringbarking of some thousands of acres on both sides of the River. The axemen were very thorough; not a tree was left, even on the steepest and stoniest hillsides. For a year or so the grass grew thickly and it was kept short and sweet by the sheep. Then came the rabbits, which started feeding on the grass - it was just how they liked it. Dry spells came too, as they do in the course of nature, and in these times the rabbits ate even the roots of the grass. Good seasons came in their turn, but the stock and the rabbits never gave the grass a chance to seed properly, and it could not spread. A good season meant a heavy rainfall, and the water rushing down the steep, unprotected hillsides, over the bare ground, removed the soil, leaving only coarse granite gravel. This has gone on for some years now. The Upper Cox is rapidly becoming, on a small scale, a man-made desert. On the barren slopes huge slabs of rock are exposed, while a few dead trees still stand as a reminder that this was once bush. Already channels 10 or 12 ft. deep are being cut into the hillsides and the river flows over a broad bed of gravel.
Compare this with the Cox between Pulpit Creek and Gibraltar Creek. The same sort of country, but a little steeper and too poor to be worth ringing. Consequently it remains covered with the vegetation natural to the type of country. The rock outcrops here harmonise with the ruggedness of the granite gorge beneath. The steep hillsides are covered with trees, leaves and grass. It is a unique stretch of country, the beauty of which is appreciated by any frequenter of the bushlands.
The Upper Cox would have been the same if 20,000 acres of it had not been denuded for the feeding of 3,000 sheep.
PADDY SEND HIS LOVE AND BLESSING FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON
AND HOPES TO SEE YOU ALL IN THE NEW YEAR.
327 GEORGE STREET;
When mountaineering and climbing first became popular ladies wore crinolines and fainted at mice, and it never entered any one's head that they would ever make mountain climbers or ever want to. So all the mountaineering clubs which came into existence were exclusively for men. When at last a few enthusiastic women started to scale the heights they had to form their own clubs. They still dressed in skirts looking like swaddling clothes, but gradually the skirts dropped off and they became correspondingly more enterprising, so that the Ladies' Alpine Club is now just as difficult to join as the Sydney Bush Walkers!
We are delighted to receive a copy of the annual journal of this Club, a publication both beautiful to look at and interesting to read, an ideal for “The Bushwalker” to aspire towards. The person responsible for this addition to our exchange list is Miss Dora de Beer, whom our Club had the pleasure of entertaining to tea some time ago. It is contacts like these which are gradually building up an international fraternity of trampers and climbers (Ladies Alpine Club Journal '37.)
The Melbourne Mens' Walking Club, like most societies, contains good and bad among its adherents. Its annual publication has a truly shocking article on tips for motor-camping including the use of suit-cases in preference to rucksacks because they carry the wine-bottle better! The article is perfectly serious, and would make us conclude that the Melbourne Walking Club was reaching senile decay, especially as this is not the only space devoted to matters more suitably recorded in a motoring journal. But no, there is an account of a recent trek from Victoria to Kosciusko via the Pilot, and another on canoeing, and both these indicate that some at any rate of its members are still virile. Further, there is an account of the 1933 efforts to go long distances in short times (the same germ that has smitten our own “Tigers”), and these efforts show the Club was certainly not senile in 1933, though it may have been mad. (Melbourne Talker No. 9).
There is no doubt about the vitality of the Parks and Playgrounds Movement, and their annual report of good work done makes very satisfying reading. In particular it is good to note how much support they give to our own efforts to secure primitive areas and wild bushlands as parks, and that among these reservations of wild areas is 2,000 acres in the Parish of Patonga. An additional area under review extends from Koolewong, Tascott, Point Clare to the road from Penang Mountain to Woy Woy. Similar reservations are hoped for on the North Coast and near Rylstone (Seventh Annual Report and “Viewpoints”).
Suzanne Reichard has told us in her letters about Mr. Ernest Dench who seems to run the bushwalking (hinking) movement in New York, more or less, and leads about every other one of the weekly walks of the Hiking Trips Bureau. Most of these trips start with a specially chartered charabanc, so that the hikers do not have to negotiate about eight miles or so of hard high road. This is what we may have to face in Sydney if we do not jealously watch the footpaths which now commence at the station or boat and which one by one are being turned into “scenic roads”. The chartering of special charabancs means extra expense, large parties to meet that expense, and the request that members should pay a year's sub, to cover the cost of these special cars. (One day Hiking Trips, Oct. 1937 to April 1938.)
“When it is necessary to climb a fence, if possible climb through instead of over, and if climbing over do so one at a time and by a straining post.”
These are only a few of hundreds of wise words in “Safety in the Mountains”, a handbook for trampers and mountaineers issued by the Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand. We should like to quote the lot, but perhaps the N.S.W Federation of Bushwalking Clubs will issue a similar booklet one day. This one contains sections on tramping etiquette (from which the above is quoted) equipment, first aid, search organizations, distress signals, food and many other things.
The ambition of stalwart trampers in Wellington, New Zealand, is to make the first winter crossing of the Tararua Mountains. This distinction having been snapped up, the next is to make the crossing by a new route. Apparently these expeditions are not on skis, for in the one described in one of the latest issues of “The Tararua Tramper” - a “record”, of course - they appear to have been either knee-deep or waist-deep in snow most of the time. However, in another issue they talk about crossing on skis, so evidently it is done all ways. (The Tararua Tramper, Vol.9, Nos. 11 & 12, Vol. 10 No, 1).
What do you think of our new walks secretary? Dave Stead, the man who walks with a schedule in one hand and a watch in the other? There is no doubt he was born for the job. You won be able to put any inaccuracies over him!
Both the Coast and Mountain Walkers and the Trampers Club are out in the cold cold world again. They are meeting until further notice at the Y.M.C.A., but it is time we hurried up with Frank Duncan's Co-Operative Recreational Society and provided club rooms for everyone.
And this is the tit bit - we still maintain - despite reports to the contrary - that Tom Herbert, a man who never wastes his time, goes to the Conservatorium solely to broaden his musical outlook?
A very sad shadow hung over the Christmas festivities, the deaths of two babies, the little sons of Paddy and May Pallin and of Keith and Jean Johnston. We extend our very very deepest sympathy to the parents and only wish that we could say something more to help them in this, the hardest of all losses.