A monthly Bulletin of The Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown Street, Sydney.
|Editor||Alex Colley, 55 Kirribilli Av., Milsons Point|
|Assistant Editor||Dot Butler, 5 Greenwood Av., Coogee|
|Walks Reporter||Kevin Ardill, 31 Louisa St., Auburn|
|Business Manager||Maurie Berry|
|Production Assistant||Peter Price|
|Sales and Subs.||Christa Calnan|
|Social Committee Notes||3|
|At Our May Meeting||3|
|Debate||reported by Dot Butler||4|
|The Northern Blue Mountains||Max Gentle||6|
|All about a Walkabout||“Rex”||9|
|The Photographers' Revolt||12|
|“What's Cookin'“||Kevin Ardill||13|
|Easter Tween Clyde and Endrik||Dorothy Hasluck||14|
|Mouldy Mesmerises||reported by Kevin Ardill||16|
In this editorial we present neither threats nor exhortations, merely information.
Readers will see above the addresses of the Editor, Assist. Editor and Walks' Reporter. This is so that you will not bruise yourself falling over the clubroom furniture as you chase us with articles. All you need do is put it in an envelope and post it. If it is information you carry, just tell anyone of the magazine staff and they will pass it on.
The magazine is published on the first Friday of the month. Though we like articles as early as possible, so as to spread the work of typing, we will usually be able to include articles of topical interest if they are received by the second last Friday of the previous month. Short pars may often be included up to the last Friday of the month. But it is also very handy to have articles that do not lose their savour in storage so that they can be included in subsequent issues.
Articles may be of any length up to about 1,500 words. We should like particularly to encourage the writing of short pars or articles of 200-500 words. Those do not take much time, are good reading, and are commended to new contributors. Probably all members can write well enough for the magazine when they have something interesting to describe, though not all could sustain interest in a long article. So if you have any doubts about you literary talent, make your contribution short. Advice will be given free if requested.
We would like to make the magazine as informative as possible. One means of doing this is through advertising. The Business Manager is on the lookout for persons or firms who have something of use to Bushwalkers which they want to sell. It is handy to know, for instance, what Paddy has in stock. Many would be interested to know where they could get ski equipment, or what transport is available in certain districts - who to write to, what is the cost, how many can be taken, etc. Though the main object of encouraging advertisers is to inform members, at the same tine the revenue would enable the production of a better magazine. So if you know anybody with something useful to sell, tell Maurie Berry. Advertising rates are: full page, 12/6; half page, 7/6; per inch, 2/-. If you want to buy or sell gear an inch of advertising is recommended.
Lastly, we are pleased to announce the acquisition of another duplicater at a cost of £35. We expect it to save the production staff a lot of time and trouble and to turn out a better job than the old one.
At the May committee meeting the following were appointed:
Projectionist: Arthur Gilroy
Curator of Club Album: Kevin Bradley
Assistant Librarian: Win Duncombe
Social Committee: Gwen Roots, Arthur Gilroy, Jack Rose, Kevin Ardill, Phil Hall, Alex Colley, Edna Stretton, Jean Harvey, Eric Rowan, Joan Kirkby.
Membership Committee: Edna Garrad, Peggy Bransdon, Colin Lloyd, Gwen Roots, Phil Hall.
Assistant Social Secretary: Edna Stretton
Click! Click! Click!
The big annual photographic exhibition will be held on 20th June in the Club Rooms. This year there will be improved lighting and improved hanging and presentation. Do not worry about the thought that your masterpiece may languish in a black corner - the bright light with which we threaten you should be sufficient warning to you to remove all blemishes. If you have a guilty feeling that you have been “trotting” that particular photo out year after year - forget it! On the contrary the vast majority of club members will not have seen it.
The Social Committee is inviting other Clubs to exhibit and to come along as spectators. That means we must have your best work. Won't you take it off the wall of the Blue Room or the Best Bedroom just for a day?
On June 25th. there will be a Chinese Dinner, genuine, in Campbell Street. The Committee will want to know who is coming a bit in advance. Why? Because it can then order numerous different dishes for a communal feast. The Committee will leave it to you to make arrangements for “after” if you are not nursing a “tummy” home in the tram.
“Glaciers of New Zealand” will be the subject of an epidiascope lecture by Colin Smith on the 27th. Colin Smith is a member of the Rucksack Club and has first hand knowledge of his subject.
The Social Committee is in the process of arranging for you an attractive programme of events needing your co-operation if only to enjoy yourself. What do we ask of you? Only to watch and note what's on the way!
The President was in the Chair and about 50 members were present.
Two new members were welcomed - Eric Rowen and George Blumer.
As requested by our April meeting the Federation Secretary had circulated the major air lines asking them to take special care of packs. Favourable replies were received.
A fire left burning by a bushman during the Nattai search was discussed at length. It was decided (again) that fires should be put out.
A discussion of the Club's skiing activities produced many ideas but few facts. Suggestions included the formation of a Federation skiing section, or of an S.B.W. skiing section, the alteration of the constitution to include skiing amongst our objects, and application for membership of the Ski Council. The subject was referred to a sub-committee to be convened by the President.
Inquiries are being made as to the ownership of the permanent tent at Stockyard Creek, which is to be removed, preferably by the owners.
It was decided to offer no prizes at the photographic exhibition. Visitors, it was considered, should be content just to be “hung ”.
It was resolved to ask the Federation what action had been taken about the cutting of timber in National Park, Yeola reservations, and the firearms nuisance, matters which had been raised in Club meetings last year.
A motion requesting the Walks' Secretary to try to include one easy walk each week-end was defeated. In the discussion Allan Hardie deplored the abandonment of the practice of marking walks “X”, “XX”, and “XXX”.
The meeting closed at 9.30 p.m.
By Dot Butler
Everyone who listened to this debate should now at least know his kidneys. To put it vulgarly, the kidneys received a thorough bashing. Do you know what meat does when engulfed by a human? It floods the cistern with uric acid. Try to visualise your kidneys floating in this virulent acid, yelping for help. Again, take your kidney tubules and place them end to end and you will find they stretch from Sydney to Melbourne and back again as far as Bungendore. What a collosal task to flush this pipe system daily, and how disheartening when clogged with the waste products of meat metabolism. But, on the other hand, if the body is deprived of animal protein it has nothing with which to replace its worn tissues and we are confronted by the depressing sight of our kidneys wasting away before our eyes.
Mr. Hallstram for the Government led the field strongly in his denunciation of animal protein. Vegetables and fruit purify the system, whereas meat putrifies the system, and fat-eating is just a waste of time as the body stores it up in unsightly dumps round the ribs, abdomen and basal structure.
Mr Hardy for the Opposition struck a new note in his defence of B.O. This same uric acid, which is anathema to the vego, produces a beneficial B.O. which all savage beasts find so revolting (in others) that they dine for preference on the sweet-breathed grass and fruit eating animals and give the B.O. sodden carnivores a wide berth. (We greatly appreciated Mr. Duncan's timely leap for the window which he fanned open and shut several times to improve the ventilation.) Mr. Hardy would feel perfectly safe taking a walk through the Malayan jungle with leader of the Government, knowing full well that when he came face to face with ferocious tigers they would sheer off holding their noses, and eat Mr. Hallstrom instead.
There was another original thought from Mr. Hardy, to wit, that cheese is common ground as it is a by-product of meat. That takes some swallowing. And his statement that a bull does nothing all day and all night but eat grass was met with sceptical hoots by those better acquainted with the Facts of Life. His speech was described by an opponent as being, in fact, all bull. (Cheers!)
Mr. Kirkby rose to announce that at the close of the debate a subscription would be taken up to send Mr. Hardy to Malaya. As a converted vegetarian Mr. Kirkby brought along exhibit A - a bag of Blank's Meal, invented by Dr. Blank, A.N.A. America, (no connection with the Airways). If you are underweight it builds you up; if you are overweight it tears you down; it contains the whole of the elements except Uranium, and thus renders any other food unnecessary.
“Having been married for one week I am convinced,” said Mr. Kirkby with emphasis, “that uncooked vegetable foods are the best.”
The omniverous Mr. Ardill next rose in defence of meat. Take the victors in the last war - meat eaters all, - the beef-eating British, the turkey-eating Americans, the caviar-consuming Russians. But as for the vanquished, take Italy and what do we think of? Spaghetti! Take Japan and what do we think of? Rice! Take Germany and what do we think of? (“Sausages!” came the enthusiastic interjection, but that was the wrong answer; he should have said “soya beans”.)
Mr. Duncan coloured his criticism of carnivores with quotations from the scriptures. The Children of Israel were showered with manna from on high, not dehydrated mutton! And do we pray for beefsteak? No, we pray for our daily bread.
Mr. Roots, who had the unfair advantage of being married to a dietitian, closed the debate with innumerable quotations from his wife's text books, reading from one authority after another till Mr. Duncan called out derisively “Don't you know anything yourself?” Mr. Roots exploded the myth of Bernard Shaw's vegetarianism. The worthy G.B.S. has had more bottles of Bovril poured down his throat than any living person.
A vote was taken by a show of hands on the debating prowess of both sides and the winning team (the Carnivores) was presented with a bag of Blank's Meal.
By Max Gentle
Fifty miles north of Katoomba, lies a remote, unfriendly wilderness, grand and beautiful, accessible on1y on foot or horseback.
Geological maps show the area as partly surveyed, but otherwise of rugged sandstone country, deeply intersected by precipitous ravines.
This area lies along the Dividing Range, high above the Capertee and Hunter Valleys. Here, on outcrops of rich volcanic country, herds of cattle roam the virgin bush, as they have been doing for the last hundred years. Here and there are little tracks that wander into the bush, and stop as though they had lost their way.
The Dividing Range has an exciting history. Its real pioneers were the bushrangers and cattle duffers of last century. Local legend says it is the country of Rolf Bo1drewood's “Robbery Under Arms,” of the bushranger Heffron, and others, who found it easy to 1ift cattle in the Capertee or Bylong Valleys, and drive them up to Nu11o Mountain. From their hideouts there, they were in an ideal position to slip them down to Denman or Singleton, only a day's ride for them, but over a hundred miles round by road. From another spur of the range, they could get just as conveniently into the Hawkesbury Valley.
A few years ago the writer walked over this country from Wallerawang, by crossing the Wolgan and Capertee Valleys, and thence by way of ridges to Rylstone. From Mt. Uraterer, a superb cyclorama is seen. Plainly one sees the hills at West Wallsend. Swinging the sight north, a top is seen at a great distance. To the West, and close at hand across the Capertee Valley, were the monstrous cliffs, round the feet of which wriggles the Mudgee railway. A glimpse of the great hump of the Oberon country was also seen, while south, and much closer was the razorback, along which the trains skim the Blue Mountains. Eastward, all the coastal country of the Hawkesbury and Gosford areas lay before me.
It is, therefore, not surprising that this often mist shrouded, romantic land, was to form the itinerary of an Easter walk, 1947, with 12 S.B.W. members.
Leaving Sydney on Thursday evening, in a crowded train, we passed the night in slumber, waking in the early hours. Shortly afterwards, at Kandos railway station, we met the lorry driver, who was to take us eastward, on the first part of our journey.
Following the Cudgegong River upstream, we passed through Olinda, and then into the forest country, the road climbing through passes between peculiar sandstone boulder formations. On the lorry driver's suggestion, a stop was made for breakfast at Dunn's Mountain swamp, alongside a seemingly permanent spring.
At 10 a.m. on the Friday morning, we parted company with the lorry driver, on the Main Dividing Range, where a cleared grazing property is known as “The Ovens”.
At this point, we commenced walking up a ridge that led to Mt. Boonbourwa, and just beyond that we 1eft the Dividing Range, to travel in a south-easterly direction along a ridge which bears a faint bridle track. Thus, a number of rocky knobs were conveniently sidled, and shortly, the presence of water, after recent rain, suggested a stop for lunch. The ridge continued to take a generally south-easterly course, and provided views of the deep canyons of Running Stream, on the right, and the precipitous Wollemi Creek headwaters to the East. Chief landmark to the West was the conical Mt. Tyan, and to a lesser extent Mts. Coorongooba and Durambang.
Soon after passing over a volcanic deck we retired early by some waterholes, in a green valley known as “Davis Hole”, just off the ridge.
On Saturday, after 15 miles of tramping by compass from Mt. Boonbourwa, we skirted Gosper's Knob, and a mile further on, reached the bald-domed Uraterer at 1 p.m. The volcanic earth supported a rich growth of grasses on the mountain, but the expansive views from the summit were partly obscured by misty rain for the remainder of the day. Nightfall found us with our tents near the old hut and excellent spring, and with the comfort of log fires to compensate for the poor visibility.
Leaving Uraterer at 8.30 a.m. on Sunday, the morning mists were rising as we walked along a plain cattle track for 2 1/2 miles along a ridge southward. Continuing along a ridge through unsurveyed country, a compass bearing later on gave our position as true south from Uraterer.
We reached the edge of the Capertee cliffs in just over 3 hours actual walking time from Uraterer, and the spot was recognised as being at the top of “Grassy Hill”, whose basalt slopes provide the negotiable way down to the river. The cliff tops here provided an ideal midday lunch site, especially as we had carried our water from Uraterer.
Later, while descending the basalt ridge, we passed under the shade of numerous Kurrajong trees. The Capertee valley was seen to fine advantage, and its great sandstone walls, before the afternoon sun, first flushed a golden brown, and then, as the sun set in the West, they greyed and gloomed till darkness.
A track had been followed upstream along the Capertee River, which pollution from the shale oil works was very evident. Happily, a side creek provided good water and a level camp site for the night.
Monday morning was spent walking through the smoky atmosphere at Glen Davis, and once past the whirl of machinery there, the mode1 township was entered, and fresh fruit and soft drinks enjoyed at the local store.
The track along the petrol pipe line over the range from Glen Davis to Newnes, on the Wolgan River, was negotiated in less than 5 hours, despite a few rests en route.
Needless to say, we found an ideal lunch site near the good water of the Wolgan, whilst awaiting our car transport to Mt. Victoria.
Having been told all about a trip of easy idling along the Cox, of a base camp and a stroll up Mt. Jenolan, if I wished, I arrived at Central on Friday evening with a copy of Galsworthy, a crossword puzzle and a head full of ideas for a quiet week-end. Here followed a frantic rush around the station in search of Ron Knightly, our Leader, until Peter Price arrived with the news that Ron was at Mittagong doing Search and Rescue work and he was to lead instead.
From the beginning it was evident that the walk would not follow customary lines for soon after arrival at Katoomba we were whisked away in a super touring car after supper of hot dogs and milk shakes. The car dropped us somewhere in Megalong and from Black Jerry's we reached the Cox without mishap. A minor bushfire was burning brightly and from a distance gave the impression that some enthusiastic member had hurried on ahead of us and started a campfire for our benefit! The leader, of course, had to call a halt about 200 yards away and we sat shivering in the dark waiting for the rearguard of the party.
No one in the party of seven owned a watch so time stood still for the following two days. It's really nice being on a trip without the time - no pestering people to awaken one at some unearthly hour for an early start, no hurry in packing, and I doubt if I should have hurried at all only the boys were fast walkers and I had to keep up.
Judging by the moon, sometime about 2 a.m. early morning tea was interrupted by a heavy storm and everyone dived into their tents. I was sharing a one man tent with two others - the tent commenced to leak badly so we passed the rest of the night under our groundsheets.
Leisurely setting off a long time after daybreak we reached Harry's River and before I realized it I was well up Mount Jenolan with pack and all - no mention of any base camp - and I had my copy of Galsworthy to carry all the way. Also the pleasantness of the morning was replaced by cold and very wet rain and except for a few lapses, when the rain eased for us to admire the view, it kept up all day. My lunch was a hurried affair of baked beans and rain water on a spur, which I believed to be the top, but which proved to be only about half way. Here followed another struggle upwards through very rugged country - “Excelsior!” I panted “Excelsior!”
The cairn of stones on the summit holds a small tin containing the names of previous parties (which are few and far between). We noticed one party had been led by Gordon Smith in 1935 and another had arrived at 12.30 p.m. One look at the fast closing day and on we rushed.
Mt. Heartbreaker at evening is breathtaking - the rain had stopped and the view was remote and unreal. It is difficult to fathom the mood, describe the grandeur of the dark frowning ranges and express the solemnity of the earth. The wide expanse of sky was massed with dark grey clouds and threatened another stormy interlude.
Time being short we did not linger - the hurry was, I believe, because the masculine element of the party was hungry; with a rush the boys disappeared into the encroaching night. I followed in what I thought were their footsteps and believed that Pat was trailing me, but both impressions were wrong and I had traversed a considerable distance before I realized my mistake. There being little purpose in retracing my footsteps, I thought I would meet them at the base - forgetting the size of the mountain and the nature of the country. Down, down I went - no flickering of torches in front but just an impenetrable wall of darkness and trees. The whole mountain consists of shale slopes which crumbled under my feet and for eternity I was sliding down a slope which became steeper and steeper, bushes clutched for support snapped until everything seemed to be slipping. At last I reached the bed of a waterfall - my nailed shoes skidded, glided over the top, I caressed some nettles, descended a considerable distance. “This,” I said to myself, “is the end”. Then I rolled on a little more and with only minor injuries was ready for the next skid.
By now I was convinced that I should not see the others until I reached the Cox, and knowing that no sensible person would come the same way, had to skidder on alone. Somehow I found myself at the bottom of a 20 foot drop, minus some more flesh and a few bruises added and trying to discover some way down the next, which was nearly three times as high - and more to follow - when the torch began to flicker ominously and almost gave out. I sat down to ponder on the situation: I couldn't get up and was not going down without a torch and only had the alternative of spending the night there.
It would be impossible to find a more unfavourable camping site - it consisted of rocky edge trimmed with nettles, and there was no water. I had no matches so could not make a fire and if it rained during the night I would be washed away. If Ted and Ken had been stranded with me, being such enthusiastic canoeists, they may have contrived to produce a canoe as a means of a rapid descent - how I missed them then - but what is the use of waterfalls without water?
Fortune for a moment smiled on me and I noticed in the twentieth survey of my surroundings a narrow cleft between two rocks and overgrown by a tree. Relieved to find it unoccupied by bunyips or other fearsome creatures, I managed to squash in - at least I was more or less sheltered from the weather elements. Dinner was a meagre affair of dried apricots and biscuits and I thought longingly on grilled chops and Ted's custard. Memories came flocking back of past meals in the bush and I would have given anything for Herb's steam pudding then!
Never has any night passed so slowly. The moss on the sides of the rock was damp, a spider web was three inches from my head and the very thought sent me shaking (I loath spiders), the tree roots dangled in my face and it was impossible to be comfortable when sitting on a pointed rock with uncountable edges and angles. It was a mute night and the moonlight came stealing over the mountain leaving pools of gloom where hobgoblins and alarming apparitions could lurk. Cold, cruel night with a myriad of glistening stars faint and remote uncompanionable points of mystery. Night was unending, on, on, on, while my feet grew numb, and I prayed for sleep which would not came.
Morning came suddenly and I packed shivering. One look over the waterfall and I realized only an acrobat would manage to get down, so I crawled around a perilous edge amidst increasing numbers of nettles (probably more noticeable by light of day), and by strenuous struggling found myself at last on a ridge from which I could see the Cox, gentle and serene in the early morning while wisps of mist curled skywards and the world felt good. Hazards of the night were forgotten and not having company to talk to for over 14 hours, I raised my voice and commenced to yell “Pee-tah, Pee-ee-tah.” Effects were miraculous for directly underneath me minute figures appeared from the trees executing some sort of war dance, so I did one too, and went on skiddering down.
Rarely have I been so overjoyed to be with my friends again for I really believe they missed me, as, after accounting for the night's experiences, they showed more anxiety for my water-bucket (which was the only one between us all) than for me.
Sunday was perfect walking weather. The air was full of the scent of honey-laden eucalyptus tree bloom, the Cox reflected the bluest of skies and the greenest of nettles along the track quickened my progress. Regularly we stopped to pose for the two photographers (I have not seen the results as yet so I am still undecided whether to take up modelling or not) and still more regularly we waded across the Cox and Breakfast Creek - no one by now attempted to keep their feet dry - but I may take gum boots next time.
We wondered in to Carlon's for lunch at 3 p.m. (a little late, but Mrs Carlon was expecting us and we did not starve). Ron was awaiting our arrival and thinking we had walked quite far enough rushed on ahead for another car which picked us up in Megalong again (more rescue work). By this time the automatic walking machines didn't mind much whether they walked or rode, but the snooze in the train (using a comfortable bushwalker cushion) was reviving so of course I caught a taxi to take me from the station to my home!
Mr. E. Caines Phillips advises that a nap of the Cotter and Murrurbidgee Rivers between the Cotter Reserve and the Taemas Bridge, Yass, has now been completed. An inset illustrates the Cotter Reserve and its canoeing possibilities.
In the striking tableau above is depicted the historic stand the photographers on Currockbilly Mountain during the official Anzac week-end walk. In this uprising the photographers established once and for all their right to stay up rather than go down. For the benefit of future quiz kids we record the exact height at which the event took place - 3,619 feet above sea level. All details are faithfully recorded. The background, it will be noted, is white and devoid of scenery. Though this is a device frequently used by lazy artists it is, in this case, perfectly correct. The background was white mist and there was no scenery. Occasionally, however, a ray of sunshine penetrated the mist, to be greeted by a round of cheering from the rebels. Beneath the disc of the trig, to the left, is the cheer-leader, while on the right hand side another photographer points to the watery orb. In the background is a phalanx of demonstrating photographers (as much of them as could be seen above the scrub). To the left, followed by his food party, is Hall (William), heading downhill towards trouble, but determined to get somewhere. At the rear of this defecting quartette is Hilma, bound by invisible threads to her food party, but loath to leave her tent and her leader. In the centre of the picture the leader, with arms upraised and head enlightened by the ray of sunshine, endeavours to calm the multitude. Beneath the hem of his leader's groundsheet sits the faithful follower, wagging the finger of prudence at the headstrong Hall. In the foreground, right, the improvident Watson, heedless of the admonishments of Cosgrove, asserts his right, having wasted £2 and two days getting there, to waste film on the trig. The object to the right of the cairn, looking like a smaller trig, is the Hardie pack. Parts of Dorman protrude beyond.
by Kevin Ardill.
We now cross for the cooking session, Kiddies, so take up your pencil and paper for to-day's recipe. Take one new Walks Reporter, beat till tender, add one President and one official week-end walk. Season with two prospectives and about ten members. Simmer gently for one and a half days and what have you got?. You tell me!
It appeared on the Walks Program in cold and inoffensive print. May 3 and 4, Blackheath, Mt. Hay, Leura - Leader, M. Bransdon, and I would venture to suggest that very few were aware it was a test walk. The general idea was to leave Central at noon, Saturday, but Roley, Jenny and yours truly went up Saturday morning, the reason you will see later. Apart from a minor hold-up at Blackheath where votes were registered, the trio were right in the groove. We shot past Blue Gum with hardly a glance (No soul!) and continued along the Grose for two hours. Those with a mathematical turn of mind will begin to see the light at this stage. About five pip emma, Roley calls a halt and points out the camp spot. If you ignored a ten degree slope, stinging nettles, lawyer vine and rocky terrain, you might consider it wasn't a bad spot. As Roley pointed out, there was water anyway. Very soon the stoo was boiling, the tent was up and tails were down. The words “system” and “organisation” flash through my mind but I don't voice them. Then it got dark. (I'm colour blind and have not a poetic pen, so it just got dark).
After the doings on the fire have been inspected and approved, several shouts are heard and we are six. The stable information is that the main troupe is one mile to the rear. The info. is correct and then we are eleven. Ah! you think and reach for the knife and fork and just then someone tosses a question at Eric Lewis and Eric doesn't answer. Heads are counted and at once it is apparent that the happy group is one short. Sherlock Holmes could not have advanced more theories than the assemblage, but one fact stood out. Peg had done it again. The neatness of the whole business struck one straight away. Someone suggested long practice was the answer but there was more to it than that. Natural ability would be closer to the mark, and possibly the word “genius” slung in here and there would not be out of place. One prospective nudged the other and I heard him mutter, “The Peg Bransdon,” and even in the dark I could see them whiten horribly.
Words cannot express the feelings during the next hour, but I would report that at least one person has enjoyed a meal in happier circs. To cheer the reader, if any, I will not dilly dally further. The prodigal showed up approx. one hour later and explained the disappearing act. It was just a simple clerical error, but the moral is, don't stray too far from the leader. The next thing to set down is that at 5.30 a.m. the first head appeared and by 6 a.m. practically all were on the feet. Our tent came in for the usual barrage of rude remarks re snoring in the dark watches of the night. I must state that I have never heard anyone snore in the tent at any time or place. I would swear to this but the editor is agin it. The starting gun went at seven and we herded away from water and towards Mt. Hay. The worst of the climb was over in an hour and later on we were fortunate to find water in various depressions in the rocks. There is one part of the trip that could be overlooked but under pressure I mention it. There was one loose rock half way up Mt. Hay. One big bloke, never agile at the best of times, plonked his number nine and full weight on this particular rock. The rock went and the surprised customer did a backward one and a half and finished against a tree eight feet below with the rock on top of his legs. The variety of facial expressions would have made Dobell leap for his pencil and sketch book. Peg Bransdon had the final look of beaten resignation, Mary Macdonald thought he was dead, Roley reached for plaster and the remainder tried to remember where they kept their black ties. Lithgow Doug had the decency to remove the rock and the corpse sat up. Excepting a few bruises and the loss of a little bark the victim was as good as new. The explanation of his escape was very simple. Someone remembered that in the Summer months he umpired the girls' basketball matches. I believe same because, as the rock was removed from his legs, I distinctly saw him reach for an imaginary whistle. After a couple of minutes, the party of nerve cases moved on and at noon the nose bags were adjusted near the Pinnacles. One noticeable fact emerged at lunch. The warning issued by Dormie in debate re tigers, bulls, meat eating etc. has not been taken to heart by some members. I mention no names as I wish to continue in reasonably good health.
Peg did the right thing after lunch and put us on a good track and the party intact (surprising, what!) arrived at Leura in time to change and board the four o'clock Hartigan special back to the big smoke.
Risking legal action, I must report that our rock diver got into the bath alright but, when the soaking process was over, found it impossible to climb out again. For all we know he may be there yet.
by Dorothy Hasluck
Our first camp site, on the Thursday night, was on the Cambewarra Road by Bomaderry Creek. It had rained heavily during the afternoon, but our spirits rose as we pitched camp in this delightful spot under the soft light of the Easter moon.
Next morning dawned clear and bright and we set forth by car at 7 a.m. for Sassafras, a little hamlet of several houses. From here we had a lovely view of Cambewarra and the surrounding country whilst skirting round for the ridge we were to take. To our joy we were informed by one of the inhabitants that there was a track out to the Vines, where we were to camp. On our way we saw an echidna about the size of a football. It hurriedly began to burrow itself in and nothing could dislodge its hold on the earth. The timber getters had a camp at the Vines - very delectable - on the edge of a large area of mud - so we roved farther afield to a very charming spot. From here we climbed to a vantage point looking down into the spectacular gorge of the Clyde, filled with almost impenetrable rain forest; its dress of varied green enhanced with insertions of magnificent tree fern gullies. Reluctantly leaving this beauty, we found an easy route to the Endrick Trig; Pigeon House Mountain with its unmistakable shape looming up in the distance. On the way we came upon a large expanse of rock, covered with numerous stones in various shapes, one being in the form of a perfect Kangaroo. Speculation ran rife as to whether it was made by aboriginal hands or his white brother. The ridge was rent by great gashes, caused probably by some giant cataclysm aeons ago, as Australia is said to be one of the oldest lands in the world. The first rift we managed to negotiate, but the next was rather a gamble, and, not knowing how many more we were likely to encounter, we decided to look for a way off the ridge. We found a cleft, and, after a clamber down some awkward rocks, pushed through somewhat of a tangle to the valley below. Here we found very easy walking and it seemed there were to be none of the difficulties expected, so we decided to drop our packs and walk out to a gap overlooking the deeply cleft gullies. This view was quite expansive. Castle Rock (we think), together with the other headlands, standing out in bold relief. Our next camp was in among trees at the head of a valley surrounded by water - most delightful. Water, by the way, was very plentiful - everywhere there were clear running creeks. Curiously enough whilst waiting on a rise for Alex and Ray to find a camp spot, we were nearly eaten alive with mosquitos and yet at the camp site there were none. Next morning on the way to the Peak, just as Jean and Jess were saying they had never seen a wombat, our eyes lighted on one as large as a small bear, affording us an excuse to stop - not for long though, Ray, our leader, inexorably charging forward to our goal, Wog Wog Creek, which didn't appear on the map at all. Soon, after a little hauling of selves and packs up a wall, we arrived on the ridge leading to the Peak. We soon arrived at Corang Trig (The Peak), from which we had a cycloramic view truly magnificent. Pigeon House, Currockbilly, and the splendid line of the main ridge rose in grandeur before our gaze, irresistably merging ones spirit as part of this grand symphony of nature.
It was hard to tear ourselves away, but the weather was deteriorating, so we had to give attention to lunch; then on to Wog Wog. The rain Gods now descended upon us and in a thick mist we skirted the Peak and crossed a narrow saddle to the ridge above the creek. As the mist lifted for a few minutes we saw the hut which was our objective and started the descent. We reached quite a nice camp site and by that time the rain, fortunately, had ceased. We were surrounded by the Eucalypts broad and narrow from which the extract is obtained. We were told that from that district £1,000 a week was earned from this product, by boiling the leaves and skimming the coil. I must say that my informant smelt rather beery so can't vouch for the truth of this figure. Next morning we met out chariot and once more were whirled back to civilisation.
A recent issue of this most illustrious journal contained the following moving words: “Your Easter walk: other members may want to know about it….” So here goes. Here, full of the savour of the great outdoors is the story of my Easter walk on Barrington Tops.
We pile aboard at Central. We are promptly piled off again. Wrong train. “Yer can't travel on this train with tickets for this side of Kempsey.” Platform conference. Two alternatives: (a) Catch later train, which takes many hours to reach Dungog, or (b) buy tickets to Kempsey and catch this train. Third alternative: don't buy Kempsey tickets and still catch this train. Carried on the voices.
We try another carriage. Doors locked. We tumble through windows. We are immediately detected and turfed out via door, specially unlocked. We converge on third carriage. Obliging passenger indicates empty seats. We pack them. Peremptory voice demands: “Tickets, please!” Meekly, we surrender. Once more upon the platform. Train steams out. Don't worry, my sweet - we are aboard. They got tired of resisting.
Barrington looms in morning mist. Boots slip and slide on slithering slush. Rain and mist the whole day long. Cold and clammy, dripping and drooping, we breast the portals of Crosby's hut. Ah, glorious fireside! lovely lounge!
To those unfortunates who were not present at the clubrooms on a recent Friday night, we extend our sympathy. The clubroom was packed with palm trees, rainbow coloured flowers and shrubs and even a war time cargo ship made an appearance. At the helm of the ship was our old friend Mr. L.G. (Mouldy) Harrison. We were present with Mouldy, in spirit only, I'm afrain, on his recent business (?) trip to Tahiti, America, England and finally his plane trip from England back home.
It would be impossible to portray this interesting lecture in cold print, but outstanding was Mouldy's first hand description of Tahiti. Out narrator was only there a few days, but knowing him as I do I would imagine that not a few of the 4,000 white population were firm friends by the time he left.
Training and planing around America and then to England by the “Aquitania”. England with the heather, celebrations on VE Day and excursions in London after a chance meeting with Tom Moppett, who was also there on business. How Mouldy managed any business at all is beyond me. I can only suggest he went without sleep for the whole of the trip. Anyhow to our mutual regret we stepped on board the plane and after several incidents, if twenty hours at Malta and seven days at Ceylon could be called incidents, arrived back in W. Australia. At the conclusion Ron Knightley thanked Mouldy on our behalf and if anyone had accused me of envy, I could not have uttered a word in honest protest. I take this opportunity (I hope) to proffer my services as batman, companion, or even pack carrier to anyone who intends following in Mouldy's footsteps. Thanks Mouldy for a tip top evening.
Betts Camp: There is a possibility of obtaining bookings for an S.B.W. Party at Bett's Camp for a fortnight in the second half of September. It may be too late to be included in the party by the time this is published, but, if you are interested it would be worth while getting in touch with Tom Moppett, who is trying to arrange the bookings.
Mount Gingera: A trip is proposed to the hut at Mount Gingera on Aug. 1, 2, 3, 4 (Bank Holiday). The plan is to catch the 8.58 p.m. train to Canberra on Aug. 1st. and return in time to catch 8.30 p.m. train back on Monday night.
There are several snags in this trip which starters would be well advised to note. The cost of transport, including sleepers both ways will be £6/2/6. Transport by coach or lorry (depending on snow) has been arranged, but, should there be heavy snow we may not get as far as Mount Franklin. From there it is 7 miles to the hut. It is an easy 7 miles unless there happens to be a blizzard, in which case it would be tough going for part of the way. The hut will accommodate 4 in comfort, 6 with discomfort. Some of us intend to camp out, so the total party will be about 10. There is good walking in the Brindabella Valley nearby, if anyone thinks it worth the trip. The trip will be on if 10 people have paid Alex Colley £2/8/- each for transport by Fri. July 4th.
Supplies of Ski Wax: Bulk supplies of Medium Ski Wax at less than half pre-war prices are available to Club Members. The wax was developed by chemists from overseas formulae, and has been found quite satisfactory at Kosciusko under varying conditions by a number of people. The application is for general purposes, rough dabs for climbing and smoothed out thin for running, and also for sticking on sealskins. F. Leyden, 7 Albert Pde., Ashfield, is getting a quantity and will be able to supply quarter pound slabs for three shillings and sixpence. It will take two or three weeks to deliver and supplies are limited.
Mount Franklin Chalet: The maximum number of bunks available for non-members over a week-end is four. A non-member may have access only as a guest of a member who shall accompany him in person. Accommodation is limited to twelve persons in residence during the week. Up to six bunks may be booked by non-members in advance.
Ski Equipment: The Canberra Alpine Club Bulletin contains the following information: Biddle and Smart, 2 McKinley Avenue, Malvern, Victoria, are offering skies complete with bindings and steel edges at £7/18/6 and military boots converted to Ski Boots for 43/3. Andy Broad, 64 Elizabeth St., Melbourne and S. Summers, 15 Centre Place, Melbourne, are offering all types of clothing waxes and stocks.
To many of us the party at Pakies on May 28th was a joyous return to an old haunt. We were welcomed by the Social Secretary, who held a long scroll of tax coupons from which he tore one for each guest. Within we were pleased to find that the decorations have not changed. The lifelike portraits of the chess champion and of Pakie we greeted as old friends. There too was the impressionist drawing of eyes and shawls and things. A new work portrayed two beetles symmetrically arranged, one above, upright, and the other below, on its back, and on their tails were red, white and blue stripes. There was a good amplifier with a fine selection of first rate dance records, and feet and tongues moved easily till about 11.30 p.m., when the last of us reluctantly made our way home.
So she wistfully, sensitively sniffs the air, and then turns, goes off in slow sad leaps
On the long flat skis of her legs,
Steered and propelled by that steel-strong snake of a tail.
Stops again, half turns, inquisitive to look back.
While something stirs quickly in her belly, and a lean little face comes out, as from a window,
Peaked and a bit dismayed,
Only to disappear again quickly away from the sight of the world, to snuggle down in the warmth,
Leaving the trail of a different paw hanging out.
from “Kangaroo” by D. H. Lawrence.