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194712

The Sydney Bushwalker.

A monthly Bulletin of The Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown Street, Sydney.


No. 157. December, 1947. Price 6d. Annual subscription Feb. 1948 to Jan. 1949 5/-

EditorAlex Colley, 55 Kirribilli Av., Milsons Point
Assistant EditorDot Butler
Walks ReporterKevin Ardill
IllustrationistDennis Gittoes
Business ManagerMaurie Berry
ProductionBrian Harvey
Production AssistantPeter Price
Sales and Subs.Christa Calnan
Assistant Sales and Subs.Betty Hurley
TypisteJean Harvey

In This Issue:

Page
Editorial - The Narrow Neck Peninsula 1
At Our November Meeting 2
Kiddies' Christmas Treat 3
Social Notes for December - Christmas Party 4
Kosciusko Snow in Colour 5
Report of the Era Sub-committee 5
The Mistletoe Menace (continued)Alan Wyborn 6
Bett's Camp in SeptemberOlive Jurd 8
S.B.W. Ski TourTom Moppett 9
Warrumbungles from GularFrank Leyden12
Australia Day Weekend Walk 1948note from A. Hardie14
We Went to Press in '37Brian Harvey15
Federation NotesBrian Harvey16

Advertisements:

Page
Paddy's Advt.18

Editorial - The Narrow Neck Peninsula.

Before the proposal for the purchase of land on the Narrow Neck comes to rest in the Federation files we should like to express an opinion. Not that we favour purchase, except perhaps as a last resort, but publicity and approach to public bodies with the object of having the area reserved would be well worth while. Such efforts should be directed, not towards the reservation of the Narrow Neck Peninsula alone, but towards the wider project of the Greater Blue Mountains National Park. Nearly ten years ago this was adopted as the “principal conservation project of the Federation.” Little has been heard of it since.

Many club members question the necessity for reserving Narrow Neck. If you believe, as do the Forestry Departments of U.S., U.K., and N.S.W. that wilderness areas are necessary for the recreation of city populations, here are six reasons for reserving Narrow Neck. The reasons apply with slight modification to the whole Blue Mountains Area:

  1. It is a unique natural feature.
  2. It is readily accessible to most of the population of the State.
  3. It has no agricultural pastoral or forest value.
  4. It would be very costly to develop as a residential area. There is already ample land in the near vicinity of mountain towns, without incurring the expense of taking roads, sewerage, telephones etc. out so far.
  5. It can be seen from most of the popular tourist resorts and its beauty would be badly scarred by a road or buildings.
  6. It is part of the Warragamba catchment area.

These are the main reasons why Narrow Neck Peninsula is good for a primitive recreation and catchment area but for nothing else.


At Our November Meeting.

After conveying apologies from the President for his absence, one of the Vice-Presidents, Alex Colley, took the chair. Over 50 members were present.

Four new members were welcomed - Olive Jurd, Audrey Chaplin, Aubrey McDonald and Stan Everard.

The Treasurer's Report, showing an excess of payments over receipts of £22: 9: 2d. evoked cries of “shame” but was received with acclamation.

The report of the Ski-ing Sub-Committee was read and its recommendations adopted. The Sub-Committee recommended that a committee consisting of Tom Moppett (Convenor), Len Scotland, Charles Culberg, Frank Leyden, Dot Butler, Phyllis Ratcliffe, Ted Constable, Gordon Ballard, Russell Wilkins and Bert Whillier be elected to organise Club skiing activities. The committee was approved by the meeting and it was resolved that it be appointed annually in November. The objects of the Skiing Committee were published in our last issue.

The Report of the Era Sub-Committee was read (see below). The Sub-Committee's recommendations re notices, sanitary arrangements, water supply, rubbish, tools and a working bee were adopted. Fifteen of those present were willing to go to the working bee. In accord with the wishes of the subcommittee no decisions were made as to tree planting, but a motion from Mouldy Harrison to the effect that we should ask Alan Rigby to draw up a plan for the block was carried.

A long discussion then took place on another motion by Mouldy - “That the meeting deprecates the use of radios and gramaphones (at Era) and that steps be taken to eliminate them”. The motion was occasioned by a letter from “Tod” Sloane of the Rucksack Club, who had not been able to hear the lyre birds properly because of the playing of a wireless. When he spoke to the owners of the set they had affirmed their right to play it when and where they liked. Ruby Payne-Scott thought that those who didn't like wireless could keep away from it. Eric Rowen had had a long talk to the players of the set, who had resented Mr. Sloane's attitude. Eric had explained the ideals of the S.B.W. in taking over the land and told then they were welcome to camp there. If Mr. Sloane had been less aggressive they would probably have turned the set down. Roy Braithwaite thought that it would be better to encourage newcomers to follow our customs than to impose too many restrictions early. Renee Brown said she had often been annoyed by people making a noise far into the night, but she remembered the day when she liked to do likewise. People who didn't like noise could always carp away, as they did at reunions. Gordon Ballard thought that that was their idea of fun and we should be tolerant. Edna Garrad brought up the point that if there were enough radios all turned down low the cumulative uproar would be considerable. On putting the notion to the vote it was defeated.

Ray Kirkby pointed out the limitations of having only 40 acres. He thought that, for proper development, most of the North Era valley should be acquired if that were possible. This brought on a discussion of nudism. Eric Rowen reported that the nudists were gathering from “near and far” and that we should get the blame. Dorothy Lawry said that she had opposed the buying of Era as she had said we would be “buying trouble”. The Club had always been divided into the walkers and the “Eraites”. Rangers and beach inspectors would be necessary. We must not shirk our responsibilities, but must look after the land.

After this the discussion moved on to Narrow Neck. Allan Hardie moved that the land for sale be purchased and made into a Bushwalkers' Memorial Park. Because of uncertainty as to the exact location of the land and as to the intentions of the Federation the motion was left in abeyance.

The meeting closed at 10.20 p.m.


Kiddies Christmas Treat.

Bring your costumes, plates, cups, etc.

Helpers wanted. Subscriptions wanted.

It is at Fuller's Bridge, Lane Cove River - by bus from Chatswood.

Organiser - Phil Hall


Social Notes For December.

There is only one social event in December but what an event! The Christmas Party, the one night of the year when the S.B.W. really “gets crackin,” will be held on Thursday 16th Dec. at 8p.m. The place is Air Force House, just off Elizabeth St. in Goulburn St. The cost is 6/6 per person. Eric Rowen and Edna Stretton, who will be in the Club on the next two Friday nights, are selling tickets. There will be dancing, competitions, presents for the winners, and a good supper. Subscriptions must be paid before the night - so pay your money in the Club or send it in to the Club's address.


Kosciusko Snow In colour.

Frank Leyden, assisted by Bill Cosgrove, who operated the lantern, gave us a photographic treat with his coloured slides of the western slopes of the Kosciusko Main Range. During their stay at the Chalet Frank and party had just three fine days and they took full advantage of them. These were the first coloured slides we had seen of the western faces of the range - in fact there are probably very few photographs of any sort extant of this region which is inaccessible and usually obscured by mist. The scenes were magnificent and the vivid whites, blues and purples of the Alps showed to perfection. A feature of the evening was Frank's interesting commentary - other photographers might well copy on slide nights.


New Maps: Mr. E. Caines Phillips advises that the following maps have now been completed and are available for perusal by those interested:-

No. 42 Williams River (Bandongrove to Clarencetown)

No. 43 Mangrove Creek (Hawkesbury River) (complete tidal section together with all tidal tributaries), and including an inset illustrating the canoeable (tidal) section of Breakfast Creek at Spencer.


Dawn At Era.

As daylight came a voice sounded near my tent “Ow are yer mate?” Someone else woke with a start. “Strike-no lucky!” he said. There followed a cry of “Cop this!” from up the valley, then shouts of “Order! Order!” from the trees opposite. Shortly after this the strains of “Chattanuga Chu Chu” were wafted into my tent, then the victory theme of the Fifth Symphony. All very puzzling, until a voice announced from the depths of the up-valley scrub “This programme comes to you by courtesy of Liar Birds Unlimited”. Sagacious birds, aren't they? - in fact; almost human.


Report Of The Era Sub-Committee.

The Era Sub-Committee, consisting of Jack Wren (Convenor), Phyllis Ratcliffe, Arthur Gilroy, Ray Kirkby and Edna Garrad, has met twice, once at Era. At the last General meeting its report was presented. The main recommendations were:-

Notices. Suggested wording for a dozen printed calico notices was -

“North Era Walkers Camping Reserve.

  • Hike tents only.
  • Cut no green trees.
  • Use existing fire places.
  • Put out fires with water.
  • Use rubbish pits.
  • Firearms prohibited.

The Trustees.”

Notices would also be required prohibiting camping near, or washing in, the drinking water.

Sanitary arrangements. Suggested frames with sacking walls, pits and etceteras - two in each gully.

Water supply. Wire covering for dam in Northern Gully - experiments re dams further up creek. A well to be considered later. At Stockyard Creek existing pool to be enlarged and fenced to keep out cattle.

Rubbish. A pit for each gully.

Planting of trees. The Forestry Department considered that oak, coastal she oak, broad leafed titree, swamp mahogany, pittosporum undulatun and callistemon balignus would be suitable for the area. Best planting time would be April. It was considered desirable that a competent forestry authority be invited to visit Era and advise us.

There was great diversity of opinion between members of the Sub-Committee on the situations where trees should be planted etc. However it was tentatively suggested that trees be planted:

  • At North North Era along the bank between the two levels on which tents are pitched for shade.
  • Across mouth of valley to provide a windbreak.
  • At base of ridge on Stockyard side - for shade.

Arthur Gilroy provided an excellent panorama - photographed specially for the use of the committee - and strongly recommends that Dennis Gittoes or some artistic person be invited to sketch in trees on the photograph before any plan is carried out.

Tree guards. Use to be made of the 27 existing fence posts at Stockyard. Iron stakes could be procured for 2/3d. each and 120 yards of wire costs 3/-. It was estimated that about 2,000 yards of wire and 124 stakes would be needed for plots suggested.

Tools. Purchase of some tools necessary.

Working bee. Suggested on 6th and 7th December.


The Mistletoe Menace (Cont'd.).

By A.L. Wyborn.

Combating the Mistletoe.

To the casual observer the ravages of mistletoe are not at once apparent, but due to the slow insidious working of this parasite, hundreds of thousands of our precious trees are continually suffering a creeping death. Methods of control will became an extreme urgency if mistletoe is allowed to spread much further than it has today.

It is apparent that prevention is better than cure, and now is the time to deal a mortal blow to this pest, before time increases the rate of destruction, and the cost of eradication becomes out of all proportion.

It must be emphasised that no large scale technique of control has been worked out as yet over extensive areas in New South Wales. The destruction of mistletoe calls for concerted and practical action by the Government and other large interested bodies. The Forestry Advisory Council is urging action in this respect, and is undertaking a publicity campaign to make the general public aware of the danger, and thus to demand an effective campaign of control.

Although much manpower and money is required to really stamp out the mistletoe, nevertheless much can be done by the smaller bodies and individuals in local areas, particularly where mistletoe has only a very slight hold. As a preliminary a survey of the incidence of mistletoe could be carried out in any particular district, the clusters of mistletoe being very easily recognised.

Speaking generally, the methods of control could be either the application of chemical sprays; encouraging fungus disease of the mistletoe; or the felling or lopping of infected trees.

Chemical methods are being tried, using mainly some of the newly developed “weed killers”, such as methoxone, but care has to be taken that the chemicals only affect the mistletoe and not the host plant.

A more promising approach might be made by encouraging fungus disease or finding some insect which will attack the growth, but clearly this has to be done with caution or it right prove a two-edged sword. At this stage it is apparent that more detailed work is necessary to find what weaknesses the parasite has so that these can be exploited.

The felling or lopping of infected trees is considered by many to be the only practical method of control, but in a badly infected forest this is laborious and time consuming. The Queensland Main Roads Board have a lopping plant in action, which, having lorries with ladders, is particularly suitable for working on roadsides or up to the edge of a forest. Here mistletoe is particularly prevalent, probably due to the high light requirements of the plant, but may be due to the behaviour of birds which distribute the seeds.

On young shade and ornamental trees, branches should be cut off one or more feet below the point of infection as soon as the mistletoe shoots appear. On trees with infection already heavily established the smaller branches should be cut off and the plants should be removed from the larger stems by cutting out the underlying bark and wood for one or more feet each way from the point of attachment. The cut surface should be treated with a disinfectant, such as creosote. Simply knocking off mistletoe plants merely results in the development of new shoots over a widening area, although if the successive crops of shoots are in turn removed every year or two the injurious effects of the parasite are reduced.

In managed forests infected trees should be removed as early as possible during intermediate cuttings. In untreated stands infected trees should if possible all be removed in the first cutting. Trees with trunk infections are particularly undesirable. After lopping, the mistletoe should be burnt, as it is easily killed by fire.


Bett's Camp In September.

By Olive Jurd.

Had you been in the vicinity of Bett's Carp about the last week in September you surely would have noticed some strange creatures speeding down the mountains - sometimes ploughing beneath the snow, sometimes coming to the surface and racing on in a wavering, reckless kind of way, then, seemingly for no reason at all, disappearing again, with a crash and scurry, leaving a great yawning chasm which was likely to engulf any straying skier who could not depend on his guiding star. Creatures did I say? No, just a few S.B.W's on a mountain covered with snow, trying out their skiing technique.

For nearly a week we plodded up the now covered mountains and bore down again. Everyone was happy, the days were fine and the snow was good. Despite our generous collection of bruises and many groaning muscles we managed to enjoy ourselves. Evening excursions to the Chalet were becoming more and more popular. Some wanted hair cuts, some wanted to dance, but it did not take long to discover that the bar had an attraction too.

One morning the wind and rain greeted us in very boisterous manner. Everyone thought it delightful for the first day - it was a grand opportunity for some extra spine-bashing - this skiing is really hard work, don't ever be led to believe it isn't. Climb a few mountains with six or seven feet of board strapped on each foot, then slide swiftly down crashing here and there of course, while the spectators have a little bet on whether you'll be able to rise again under your own steam. After a few days of all this you too would welcome a day of rest.

But alas, next day it rained just as hard and the wind blew even harder. At breakfast that morning someone had a bright idea that we might pack up and go north, to Yamba, where there is a beautiful surfing beach and warm sunshine (someone worked it all out about the sunshine). Six out of the ten of us decided to leave for this charming spot and so all arrangements were made. The other four were to go on to the Chalet for the week. There was much excitement as belongings were thrown into rucksacks and in an amazingly short time all six were set for the track. Just as the party was about to move off the wind screeched loudly and lashed the rain furiously against the first face that emerged from the door. Like a drowning man grasping at a straw he desperately urged a conference, to make sure this really was a sensible move. A round-the-stove conference was held and excitement dissolved into doubt and indecision. Eventually, the wonderful dream of surf and sunshine was put back into its box and the whole party decided to go to the Chalet. All except one, who very much wanted to make the trip and almost slipped out on to the cold, cruel, windswept snow, where she would soon have disappeared into the rain and fog. But we dragged her back and made her count ten.

We found Chalet life quite different from Bett's Camp but in time adjusted ourselves admirably to the social formalities. Being first into meals of course was an excusable habit, seeing we had the usual Bushwalker appetites.

Usually after the evening real we would cluster around the fire to work out a tour for next day, and retire early hoping for a suitable tomorrow. Some found these trips rather exhausting and preferred to try out turns, stops and crashes down the various slopes of Mt. Stillwell, near the Chalet. The touring party would appear at the top of Charlotte Pass at about dusk, come bumping down over the iced up herringbone tracks and sometimes almost enter the ski room on skis. We would listen in wonder as they told their stories of spectacular views and experiences of the day, and the sad thought of what we had missed caused a tear now and again to splash into our great plate of turkey. We vowed that next time we would find enough energy to go too. We don't know when “next time” will be, but we hope it is next year.


C.M.W. - S.B.W. ski Tour.

By Tom Moppett.

One of the visitors at our last Annual Photographic Exhibition was John Houghton, President of the C.M.W., and while chatting we discovered that we were going to Alpine Hut at the same time - in the middle of August. We thereupon decided on a few days touring, and arranged to take the necessary food and equipment.

During the first week at the Hut snow fell most days, and one day it rained - a most unusual occurrence for that time of the year - definitely not touring weather. But on Friday night the weather conditions and the meteorological report over the radio agreed that Saturday and the following day or two would be good - and they were.

On Saturday morning, saying we would be back for dinner Wednesday evening, John and I set off for Grey Mare Hut via Mawson's, where we lunched. From there we rounded the end of the Kerries and set a westerly course. The day was warm and still, and we passed through several enclosed spots which had been getting the direct rays of the sun, where the air was super heated. We wondered why the snow, and we, didn't melt.

The only real obstacle we encountered was Rocky Plains Creek, at that point in a valley about 400 feet deep. The going was open and on our side the descent was gentle, but the climb cut opposite was quite steep.

From the top, looking S.W. across Straight and Grey Mare Creeks, we could see Grey Mare Hut only about a rile away. But it took some time to reach, as there was a fairly steep drop of about 500 feet into Straight Creek, which John, with a pack weighing about 40 lbs., found rather difficult. From the bottom of the descent to the Hut was easy, as both Straight and Grey Mare Creeks were covered.

The Hut is a couple of hundred yards back from Grey Mare Creek and about 50 feet above it. When approaching from the bed of the creek, it is impossible to see the Hut until right in front of it, as the ends of ridges screen it from up and down stream.

The “Grey Mare Gold Mine”, as it says on the door, was originally twice the size, but half was pulled down a few yeas ago by a horse. The exposed end of the hut has been repaired with old sheets of galvanized iron, and it is now a four-roomed, lined hut, and seems to be fairly sound. The doors have to be lifted when locking or unlocking. Snow still gets above the ceiling and on a hot day drips through - one room was quite damp. There are beds for three, a double spring mattress and a single bags-between-poles, but there are no kapok mattress or blankets. Equipment includes a shovel and a blunt axe with the handle broken off, and various billies and tins. There is a small creek about twenty yards from the door, and there are scattered dead snow gums a hundred yards up behind the hut, but unless these are conserved, it won't be long before wood getting will require a lot of effort.

The Hut is well known as a freezer at night, and no wonder - it is right in the middle of a great expanse of bare, cold snow, unprotected by trees or hills. Even on our second night there, when we had every possible piece of clothing under us, we were not quite warm.

On Sunday we took our lunch along the Grey Mare Range and ate it on top of Grey Mare. It was a beautiful clear day, without wind, and we just wandered along the Range, stopping frequently to accustom ourselves to the vast panoramas on all sides. It was just such a day as we had wished for. Though it took four hours to reach Grey Mare we kept going on the way back, and did it in one hour.

Monday was our third fine day and we moved to Pretty Plains Hut. Our route was up Grey Mare Creek to its head, round the northern side of Big Bogong, and then a course north of west to the Hut. The “Big Bogong” referred to is near the junction of Grey Mare Range with the Strumbo Range.

On the way we met two wombats, one drinking in the side creek, the other chewing grass beside the main creek.

On Tuesday morning there was some sun, but the weather had changed. We set out with the idea of following down the Tooma to Wheeler's Hut, but had just reached the River when it started to rain. We crossed and took shelter in the small bark and slab hut at the junction of Pugilistic Creek with Tooma River. After waiting some time we decided there was little hope of the weather improving, so had a very early lunch and dashed back to Pretty Plains Hut.

Although I understand there is good skiing on parts of the Dargals Range - The Dargals, Ink Bottle and Toolong - most of the country west of Big Bogong is quite thickly timbered so not really suitable. But in any case it is well worth while to visit Pretty Plain to see that part of the snow country.

Pretty Plains Hut is about 4,400 feet. It is well sheltered and is most attractive, being built of round logs and has a high galvanised iron roof with wide eaves. It has two big rooms, living and bunk, and a small corner room with an outside door only, used for storing feed. There is no ceiling, giving a very roomy effect. The Hut is well equipped and there are a lot of spare bags to help keep the cold out. The bunks, six of them, are of bags slung between poles. It has been kept beautifully clean, as have the two satellite huts up and down stream, and it is a real pleasure to stay there. We spent Tuesday afternoon sitting before the fire in our sleeping bag cushioned chairs, reading. The cook produced a super dinner at his leisure, and then we drowsed in front of the fire until supper. A really enjoyable rest afternoon.

Next day a blizzard was blowing higher up, although it was quiet in the valley. Having cleaned up the hut and made sure the fire was out and some wood left inside, we set off at about 8 a.m. for Alpine Hut, a distance of approximately 13 miles. Unfortunately we made a small hole in the cement hearth splitting wood, but a letter of apology to the owner, plus a small sum to cover the damage brought a very friendly reply.

As far as Big Bogong and the source of Grey Mare Creek we followed our outward route, but going as straight as possible instead of wandering about learning the country. From there we went ENE, and climbed to the top of the Strumbo Range, at a point from which we could look down the valley of the Tooma. So far, although we were in fairly thick fog part of the time, there were times when we could see quite well. Unfortunately there wasn't only fog and, of course, wind, but some rain, and it had to be at lunch time too. We ate our lunch of biscuits, butter, dates, cheese and peanut butter standing under a snowgum, then got going again as quickly as possible before we froze.

From the top of the Strumbo Range we had to go five miles across the open Range, with no protection from the blizzard. Fortunately the wind was behind us, or it would have been much more uncomfortable. We could see only a short distance, and all we could see was snow and fog and rocks and odd patches of snow gums. So we headed eastward for Bull's Peaks by compass, going over or round an endless succession of small hills. We had several showers of rain, which made the snow soggy and the going hard as we got no run at all.

As time went on we became a bit fed up with the succession of rocks and trees which went slowly past, and our comfort wasn't increased by the odd trickles of ice cold water which got past our groundsheets and down our neck. The billy bag I was wearing for a hat wasn't as effective as I could have wished. We were glad to arrive at Bull's Peaks about 4.15 p.m.

Bull's Peaks are right on the edge of the Range, so we went southward along the edge and eventually down through the thick belt of trees to McDonne1lss Diggings, and along to Alpine Hut, where we were greeted with “Here they are”. Peter Price and Frank Ricketts were among the welcomers, but I'm afraid Frank's face was obscured by such a thick black growth that it took about ten minutes to recognise him.


Warrumbungles From Gular.

By Frank Leyden.

(This was written in response to a request for an informative article to assist those planning trips in the future. - Ed.)

Gular is on the Coonamble line, and 70 miles north of Dubbo. The Coonamble Mail leaves Central 7.25 p.m. in the evening and arrives Gular 10.39 a.m. next morning. On the return, the train leaves Gular 1.56 p.m. in the afternoon and arrives Sydney 5.5 a.m. next morning.

The township of Gulargambone is about 2 miles east of the station and a bus to the town meets the train. The proprietor, Joe Donnelly, is very versatile on local information.

Our official party, Easter 1947, used truck transport to the 35 miles distant Warrumbungles. The transport was supplied by E.R. Ginty and Company, Garage and Service Station, Gulargambone. Cost for forward and return truck trip was £16. There were 12 in the party, so it worked out at £1: 6: 8d. each. Another firm is Skinner Bros., Motor Garage, Bourbah Street, and there are several local carriers.

There is a good road for about 25 miles out, but it ray not be passable in very wet weather. The last 10 miles or so is through the foothills and up the Wombelong Creek. From the motor point of view the worst parts of the road are the six or so splash crossings of the creek. The steeply eroded banks were the major difficulty. The driver was expert and the truck powerful so we got to the furthest of the road at Pincham's farm.

About 2 riles before coming to Pincham's, the road passes through Blackman's property. As it is necessary to go through both of those properties, it is customary to call in. I wrote to Pincham's some weeks ahead for permission to camp on his property, as this is desirable. I received a very courteous and helpful reply. The address is A.J. Pincham, “Strathmore”, Upper Wombelong Creek, Warru1bungle Mts., Via Gulargambone. Keith Blackman and his wife were also very helpful with local information.

The whole area is normally very dry, but water will generally be found in the following places, provided some rain has fallen in previous months. (Refer to Myles Dunphy's Warrumbungle National Monument Map.)

  • Near the head of the Castlereagh River, just east Mopera Gap.
  • Mopera Gap Creek from Mopera Gap down to Wombelong Creek.
  • Wombelong Creek from Mopera Gap Creek junction downstream for about 5 miles or so. These two latter streams give the biggest flow of water this side of the range.
  • Upper Wombelong Creek is dry except for a small flow at the water tank just below Pincham's (good camp spot).

All other creek beds that we examined were very porous and of the storm water channel type, particularly higher up in the mountains. But springs or soaks exist, often high up, such as the remarkably good supply in the gully just above Hurley's Base Camp. This spot makes a very good basecamp. Small soaks have also been found in the gullies under the Bluff and the Bread Knife, but they would be difficult to find in emergency.

Good trips are as follow:

  • The Bluff via the high tops above the Broad Knife.
  • High Top 3.
  • Rock Mountain.

All the foregoing are readily accessible from Hurley's Base Camp. When climbing up around Belougery Spire it is advisable to keep next to the rocky wall. This area encompasses most of the spectacular rock formations.

From camp at the tank just below Pincham's, the northern side may be explored as follows:

Follow up branch creek on the eastern side just above the tank. A little way upstream (dry creek) , follow track marked with white survey pegs (for a projected road over Mopera Gap).

At the top of the range, Mopera Gap swings around to the right, Woorut is NNE over the Upper Mopera Gap Creek deep valley, and Scabby is the closest high ridge in the NW.

For Scabby, go NNW for 1/2 mile, then climb up on the ridge with the gorge or deep valley on the right. Follow the narrow neck about WSW for another mile to its end, where a very fine view exists. This is not shown on the map, but would be about at the NE point on the compass drawing on the map.

To go to Woorut, drop down into the deep valley of the Upper Mopera Gap Creek, go northward to the west to east ridge and follow up the fence. There is a negotiable route up the rocky cliffs where the fence goes up. Woorut is one of the main focal points of the mountain system and offers an extensive panoramic view.

Our times were as follows:

Truck Gular to Pincham's3 hours

Walking times:

Pincham's up to Hurley's Base Camp with heavy packs2 hours
To come down, with light packs45 min.
Hurley Camp to top Big Bluff2 1/2 hours
To return down1 1/2 hours
Pincham's tank to Mopera Gap1 hour
Gap to end of ScabbyAbout 45 min.
To return to GapAbout 30 min.
Gap down into Upper Mopera Gap Creek20 min.
Creek to top of Woorut1 1/4 hours
Woorut back to Creek45 min.
Creek back to Mopera GapAbout 25 min.
Mopera Gap back to tank at Pincham's45 min.

Australia Day Weekend Walk, 1948.

Mr. A. Hardie wishes those desirous of going on his walk (Wingham - Ellenborough Falls - Bulga Ridge - Comboyne Plateau - Upper Lansdowne) to let him knew before the 31st December, 1947, so that he may make arrangements for the necessary motor transport. He also requests the payment of 25/- per head to cover the latter before the same date.

If he cannot make up a party of five or more persons, he reserves the right to cancel the trip.


On Bob Eastoe's Breakfast Creek trip Ray Kirkby, who was practising cooking and testing his intake in preparation for his Tasmanian trip, delighted the party with his excellent plum pudding. No synthetic product this, but, as he himself put it “made from the raw elements, though,” he added, “I do allow myself the luxury of self-raising flour.”


We Went To Press In '37.

by Brian Harvey

October 1937 saw the last quarterly edition of “A journal devoted to matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers.” This particular issue, No. 35 of its ilk, was one of 20 pages, commercially mimeographed and selling to the news-hungry walkers, who eagerly snapped it up at the exorbitant pre-war price of 1/- a copy - 1/- mark you!! Issues appeared at three or four monthly periods - apparently as sufficient stories of trips came to hand - September 1936 struggled to reach 10 pages!!

Anyway, in historic 1937 it was resolved to purchase a duplicator and produce a monthly magazine by our own fair hands. The illustrious Business Manager, Bill Mu11ins (since the proud father of twins, we might remark) came to light with a second hand “Remington Rapid Rotary” machine, known in well-informed office equipment circles as the “R.R.R.” The manufacturers undoubtedly were humourists, for at no stage of our early production were our efforts “Rapid” and as for “Rotary” - well, we buzzed about in ever increasing circles.

Club artist Alan Rigby produced the bushland scene depicted on the cover within which we still proudly staple our pages today. A decade ago this month, under the baton of the said William Mullins, an imposing array of seven operative “assistants” made the kitchen of our Hamilton Street Clubroom the birthplace of the monthly magazine now presented on the first Friday of each month. Our first 13 pages (as a Christmas treat) was a blotchy, unevenly duplicated affair, costing 3d - some pages as black as the Caves during a power failure,, some faint like a much-worn carbon copy, others a rare combination of both. Not to mention “first-copies” signed with the indelible black finger prints of the unskilled operators. The unsuitable paper had to be laboriously peeled off the rotary drum, laid out and a square of “Sydney Morning Herald” plonked thereon to absorb excess ink. After drying we “de-interleaved” and sorted out magazine and “S.M.H.” - never once making the fatal error of ringing in a page of “Granny” in mistake. Hands and thoughts were equally black. How the Editor, Marie Byles, tolerated it we don't know, but when she passed the blue pencil on to Dorothy Lawry, after six months, a definite upward trend was in evidence. To brighten up the months our covers, in those days of ample supplies, appeared in rotation in blue, yellow, salmon, red and green tones.

Came Hitler and the “R.R.R.” roved about the suburban homes of various operators, finally coming to rest for a long period with Yvonne Rolfe, who nobly performed the task of duplication, at times unaided. It was practically a feminine production by now. Copies were posted to every member of all bushwalking clubs on active service by that fine body, the Bushwalkers Services Committee.

To conserve paper we commenced printing on both sides. Clare Kinsella took over the editorship in June '42, and, owing to rising costs of paper the price rose to 4d. per copy. By midwinter of 1944 the few remaining walkers had to dig deep in pockets and handbags to extract the necessary 6d. wherewith to possess their magazine. Ray Kirkby became editor the next Apri1. This was in the dark days when the Club had no home, and, for a time, he had to produce the whole magazine himself - even to typing the stencils. Ron Knightley, our first post-war editor took over in May 1946 and carried on till March last year, when the present editor took over.

For our present production we have a newly-acquired high-speed duplicater and an efficient co-ordinated staff including Walks Reporter, Illustrationist, Business Manager, Sales Manager and (most important) typistes who cut the stencils. All combine to bring you the latest trips, what the well-dressed walker is wearing, conservation, maps, Federation notes and club gossip. Due to savings effected in stencil cutting, we are able to allow a concession to those who stabilise our sales - viz the annual subscribers - in that the annual subscription, from 1st. Feb. next,is reduced, to 5/- per annum (postage 1/6 extra), a saving to the thrifty of 1/-. Casual cash sales remain at 6d. per copy.

Why not become an Annual Subscriber and make sure of your copy? Fill in the inserted form and hand over to Christa Ca1nan before another day passes!

Present subscribers should note that current sub. expires with receipt of January magazine. Let us know before 31st Jan. whether you are going to renew, please.


Federation Notes.

by Brian Harvey

National Trust: Federation has affiliated. Inaugural Trust meeting well attended and enthusiastic. Hopes raised for our national parks and primitive areas. Oliver Wyndham our delegate.

Narrow Neck Land: Position to be closely watched but no move yet.

Search and Rescue: Mr. K. Compagnoni appointed Chairman of Section.

National Park fire lookout towers: 15 S.B.W. members have volunteered to act as watchers at week-end during danger period. John Noble S.B.W. convenor.

Blue Gum: Reported Youth Hostellers destroyed two tree ferns. Trustees hot on trail. More news of this later.

Kosciusko: Tom Moppett and Miss Joscelyn Henderson nominated by Federation to fill positions of trustees on proposed enlarged Trust. To represent recreational and grazing interests. Amendment to Act to go before Parliament soon.

Rifles: Co-operation of Police Dept. sought on license of guns and control of shooting in bush. Blitz on Sunday shooting.

Conservation Bureau: Has been re-created and is finding its feet after hibernation during war. Policy to be drawn up.

Bundeena: Proposed new road from top Artillery Hill strongly opposed.

Bushwalkers' War Memorial: Will be bronze tablet at Splendour Rock. Dedication Service next Anzac Day. £9 cost to be defrayed by donation.

Wild flowers: Total prohibition of sale is being sought. Federation now represents 1180 walkers and conservationists.

Cairns on Peaks: Unseemly comment in record books deprecated.

Annual Party: Was a complete social and financial success.


Recent arrivals from Wellington N.Z., are Kath Jamieson of the Tararua Trampers and Ray Lamberton of Paua Club and Canterbury Mountaineering Club. Both have been seen on official walks and we hope to see more of them, their stay in this country is indefinite.


The John Hunters are having a busy time the days extending hospitality to S.B.W.s. Marge and Ruby Clarke, Doug Johnstone and Dave Ingram recently spent a most enjoyable evening with them in their Auckland home, and Kath Hardy and Ron Knightley look like being on the visiting list very soon. It seems that Joan and “Junior” may be in Sydney some time next year.


Biggest sensation in the “Monterey” since David Stead took in a suitcase-full of snakes was the presentation to Bill Horton of a pair of long woollen underpants with lace frills and draw(er) cords round the cuffs. On the legs were embroidered in red wool the names of the lads and lasses who had donated them. In presenting the woollies, Jim Brown expressed the hope that Bill would feel warmly towards his friends while he was away. Bill sailed for England on Dec. 4th., and will be away for six months. He was a vary busy man before he left being Walks Secretary, organiser of the Kiddies' Treat and a very useful worker on the magazine. We hope he has a first rate trip, but it will be a good thing for the Club when he gets back.


Ron Knightley, Kath Hardy and party set off for N.Z. on 3rd Dec. Included in their itinerary is dinner at the Church of Christ, Christchurch. Progress reports of the trip are promised.


Blue Mountains Mystery: What is a seaplane doing in the gully to the south of the water tanks at Katoomba?


How long is a wombat's burrow?

“Burrows explored by “open cut” have measured up to a hundred feet long, in some of them a child might crawl through to the nesting chamber. Unusually extensive burrows may result from long continued use or the joining of an original network…. Burrows in the Monaro district of New South Wales are noted as being very large but only from ten to fifteen feet long and usually with a comfortable nest at the end.”

from “Furred Animals of Australia” by Ellis Troughton.


Backyard Bushwalking.

Yes, all the babies are doing well. Thanks to a few timely showers, all the seedlings are well established and putting on leaf nicely. If they can survive the next six months, they should make a pretty show in the following summer. One often sees warnings that native plants should not be watered. The fact seems to be that if the ground is well drained, they thrive on an extra ration of water during hot weather. I have a little bed of flannel flowers raised from seed. The soil is almost pure black sand which is frequently watered. The flannel flower plants have raced ahead and on one plant I recently counted over eighty flowers - not including buds.


What Has Paddy Got?

New line - Royal Navy disposals.

Brand new tropical blankets. These extra large (7' x 5') blankets only weigh 2 1/2 lbs. They are a pleasant grey-green colour in a good quality soft woven flannel. Could be used as a summer camping blanket or an extra for winter trips. Price 17/6 each.

Rucksacks. With or without frames in stock.

Billies. Upright rolled edge aluminium billies. 2 Pint 5/-. 3 Pint 5/9.

Squat billies 1 1/2 Pint 4/6, 2 1/2 pint 5/6, 3 pint 7/3, 4 pint 8/3.

All good wishes for a happy Christmas.

Paddy Pallin. Camp Gear For Walkers.

Phone B 3101. 327 George St., Sydney.


194712.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/28 02:08 by tyreless