A monthly Bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown St., Sydney.
Annual subscription June 1948 to Jan., 1949 3/4.
|Editor||Alex Colley, 55 Kirribilli Av., Milson's Pt.|
|Production and Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Production Asst||Peter Price|
|Sales and Subs||Betty Hurley|
|Editorial - Overdue||1|
|At Our April Meeting||2|
|Social Notes for May||3|
|Bendethera or Bust||“Skip”||4|
|Tyan Peak and Capertee Valley||M.G.||7|
|The Lake District||letter from Clare Kinsella||11|
|News from Bill Horton||12|
|Sand Ski-ing||Bert Whillier||13|
|Kosciusko Sheep-Shooting||letter from F.M. King||14|
|Dedication of Splendour Rock Memorial||Tom Moppett||15|
No walker could be sure that he might not have made mistakes like those admitted by the leader of the official Easter trip to Bendethera. Any walker who leaves the beaten track has been misplaced at times, and only luck has prevented some quite experienced parties from being a day or two overdue. Furthermore any leader who undertakes the organisation of such a difficult trip, and unselfishly makes it a programme walk, deserves the thanks of members.
Nevertheless several valuable lessons may be learnt; not from what did happen, but from what might have happened had Club organisation been lax. After three days parents were very worried and the news had just reached the press. Another day and parents would have been even more worried. Police, not equipped for camping in the open, would have had to start searching; while local residents would have joined in the search and lost valuable working time. The party of “lost hikers” would have been headline news.
The lessons to be learnt concern, firstly, the individual. He should know his map-reading and bushcraft before he is admitted as a member. When leading a walk through unfamiliar country he should get the best maps and information available. He should make sure that all the party are capable of doing a hard walk. On the trip he should keep his head and keep the party together. In all these respects the leader of the Bendethera trip was beyond criticism. Only in one respect might he perhaps be criticised, and that is in the time allowed - adequate for anybody who had been there before, but allowing little margin for error. This however is a matter of judgment, and many other walkers might have agreed with the leader that three days was enough to do 40 miles in this country.
But it is the Committee who can learn most from the incident. The Committee should carefully test a prospective's knowledge of map-reading, bushcraft and first aid. It should critically examine the walks programme, and, if there be any doubt about the difficulty of the walk or the suitability of the leader, it should make inquiries. After this incident it needs little imagination to realise what might have happened if an incompetent leader went astray on a hard walk.
Walking after all is only a recreation and the Club owes a duty to parents, police, and country people, who are the chief sufferers in a search, to ensure that S B.W. members are competent in the bush.
The President was in the Chair and there were about 55 members present.
After the reading of the Federation Report several motions were passed. It was resolved that the Club was opposed to the proposed amendment to the Federation Constitution permitting Associate Members to vote; and Associate Members and Visitors to speak; to motions at Federation Meetings. The Club favoured the abolition of the Federation Public Relations Committee and instructed the delegates to ask Mr. Ron Compagnoni to withdraw his resignation from the post of Hon. Secretary of the Federation. Kath Hardy was elected delegate to the Federation Party Committee. It was resolved to donate the price of two full-page blocks for the Bushwalker Annual, the blocks to be selected by the curator of the Club Album.
A letter was read from Mr. Stan Livingstone, a past member of the Camp Fire and Rucksack Club, in which he asked why a sick man had been left alone near Bendethera while six young strong men went in search of help. He and a friend had done a walk through the same country during Easter and found nothing particularly difficult. If, he said “certain members of the Sydney Bush Walkers have not enough bushmanship to find their way in a reasonable time, and are unable to care for a man who be sick in the bush, then they should only go on camping expeditions to North Era”. He concluded by expressing the hope that his letter would “bring forth some saner thinking among leaders in the future”. It was resolved to acquaint Mr. Livingstone with the facts.
The meeting closed at 9.30 p.m.
The following officers were appointed by the Committee at its April meeting:
On 21st May there will be a screening of excellent slides showing those parts of Canada of interest to walkers. They are the work of the late Arnold Reay, former member of C.M.W. A good night is assured.
The dance on 16th April was such a great success that we have decided to have another on 28th May. It will be a grand night I - excellent orchestra, fast floor, good prizes. So lads, don your pumps, and gals, your circular skirts, and be at the hop on Friday 28th.
The Social Committee wants your photographs, mounted ready for exhibition, by 7 p.m. on June 25th. The Committee intends to have a competent judge present, and a prize will be awarded for the best print. Remember the date - June 25th.
They ask the question kindly, consolingly, in the tone of voice they'd use to a nine year old child. They shake their heads wisely over the indiscretions of the young. “What happened?” they enquire solicitously. Dammit, it's most annoying. Once and for all here are the facts as they were written in my day-to-day diary. From henceforth I quote me, which reeking as it is with pathos, bathos, and fortitude, will tear at your heartstrings.
Before the beginning there was a little matter of organisation which should have guaranteed the success of the trip. Since last October letters had been going forth and resulting in all kinds of information by way of replies. One of these was a newspaper slipping, vintage 1930, which described the route we should have taken and claimed the Bendethera Cave to be embellished with an elephant, a chandelier and an Ionic and a Doric column. A Mines Department report of 1903 rather tersely mentioned curtains and two immense columns, one of which is known as the Pulpit, and completely ignores the elephant which is presumably a later acquisition. The newspaper article generally agreed with the route propounded by various people I pumped, all of whom were enthusiastic, even if their memories were a bit dim. By courtesy of Victoria Barracks I made quite a creditable looking sketch map of the area from aerial photographs. Here are the plain facts in the original phonetic:
Friday 26/3/48. Arrived Moruya at 0245 hours, caught a taxi, reached the river flats. Walked on to river - good, sweet, swift-flowing water. Found dryish places to sleep and were abed by 0430. Awoke 0730 hours. Away 0925. Beautiful clear sunny day. Flanigan (lives up on hillside between Burra Creek and Dean River) “Bendethera seven hours away”. Lovely! - lost an hour finding out - Burra Creek excellent. Followed it to abandoned orchard. Up the back of this the track starts - goes up, slowly, agonisingly up, for hours and hours quite recognizable but here and there barred by sapling and “suckers growth”. So we staggered up to Coondella in a thunderstorm at 1708 hours, still chanting the slogan “Lunch at Diamond Creek”, and sucking wet off leaves and rocks. Diamond Creek about 1815 hours. Wet, non-flat area. I was wrecked. Gil brought me aspros and lemon drink - could only reward him with four sausages.
Saturday 27/3/48. Gil's birthday. At 0730 we upped. A bit misty here but patches of blue floating in from NE. Away at 0930 hours - followed track for mile or more winding over heads of gullies. Finally lost it on spur 1/2 mile before Coondella Creek (granite). Bashed down spur to stream. Reconnoitred - seemed to be satisfactory creeks downstream. At 1330 hours went back upstream, found two fences and a hut, and a track. Didn't follow it, as compass check on creek quite satisfactory. Passed junction of large creek and then lost all sense of position. Waded two miles (compass check every 15 minutes). Finally decided it about time to climb on to one of the ridges on left hand (climbed and climbed). Recognized Coondella Trig - seemed to line us up on one ridge only, so pushed on until dark. We seemed to be going in the wrong direction (O ye Gods!) Checked by compass - reconnoitred - climbed tree - didn't help much. Now 1800 hours, so selected some nice flat pieces of ground and tented. No water except 1,000' below. Cloudy all day. (One day late at Bendethera so far, estimated distance covered this day 5 miles).
Sunday 28/3/48. Wonderful, clear, NW breeze. Up 0600. Away 0830. Up ridge for 1/2 mile. Bruce and I climbed 30' tree - something big which might be Bendethera Trig loomed ahead and ridge we followed put us on to it. And what a climb! On top we lunched - last Gil's water. Hope we get some tonight. Can see Moruya, Tuross Lakes, Coondella and Wamben and, presumably, Bendethera Trigs. Good leading ridge from here. Here goes. 1400 hours. Tea about 1800, but Lord knows where. Certainly missed out on Bendethera. Took wrong ridge in brush. Down into valley. Followed it for 2 hours approximately SE. Will keep on following till it ends.
Monday 29/3/48. Up 0630, away 0930. No sun in valley yet. Have been wading, skirting and falling into this creek until 1230. Steadily changed direction towards W. Bendethera is again a possibility. Have skirted 2 or 3 waterfalls - taken great delight in treeferns and other vegetation. Now stonkered atop a 25' fall. From now on each rations his own food. Climbed around left hand side of falls and came back via tributary creek. For a mile or so 'twas very rough - bars of slate across it. Rest by large cascade, cigarette, chocolate, Became much easier, and creek started having banks. Saw one ringbarked tree. Stopped 1740 on brackenny flat. Tea: stew of nettles, tomato soup cube, lemon and barley crystals, and milk.
Tuesday 30/3/48. Awoke 0730. Brea1ast weetbix and vitaweet stew (one of each stewed in watery milk) Away 1000. Splashed down river, along slowly improving banks, round many bends, heading generally NW. Lunch on bebbly bend in sun, back against a log, looking at the lizards - on again at 1430 - crossing spurs at big bends. Finally ended on high watercress flat in scrubby timber. Tea: nettle and salami stew with white sauce. Bed 2130.
Wednesday 31/3/48. Up 0800 hours. Breakfast: 1 granese, cup milo, some of Allen's “pemmican”. Packed and away 1000 hours. Sun and clouds. Mercurochrome for some. Bull ants - Panic! 'Plane - put bracken on fire, but 'plane too fast and low. Further we went, better the banks - man's activity evident. Stopped lunch 1310 hours - Jillaga Creek, we think - ate mouldy bread with jam - off at 1430 hours along number good flats. Two men busy ringbarking yelled at us - Millikin and Rankin. Time 1520 hours - 'plane pilot a personal friend. Dropped not they couldn't find, presumably only to say he wouldn't land. Walked on to homestead - had tea and damper - beautiful.
Thursday 1/4/48. Up at daybreak - bit feverish. Had only hot lemon drink for breakfast, but others on damper and tea again (Rankin gave eight rabbits to the dogs.) Rankin saddled up - we went up Con Creek, past giant poplar; me with groundsheet on trying to sweat it out. A mile before cave couldn't manage pack - Rankin took it. Another climb up NW face of valley through “blue bush” to only wild fig - cave opening. Only went in opening - looked good. Good sun now. Up spur again and left horse. The boys split up my pack as I lay, sweating like mad. Rankin led us to foot of right spur up - lunch at 1200 hours. The others did rather. 1300 pushed off up spur - average slope 40° - two rests - 1,500' took 3/4 hour. At top rather scrubby - NW to a convenient spur to Shoalhaven. Eventually at sunset reached the cleared lands. The others went on ahead (I suggested the idea, Mr. Livingstone). Phil and I followed more slowly. But the darker it got the colder it got and the faster we went. Far away in the dusk a house stood in a clump of trees. We made for it. It got dark. We walked for miles. At last saw a fire which at one time flared brightly. Made for this, but before we reached it came to a deep ditch full of water, as Phil found out. Saw torches flashing, so gave a shout. Answered immediately.
Our stay at Grigg's homesstead, our trip back home via mail car, bus and train, and a “Sun” reporter's car, the aftermath of apologies, leg-pulling and what have you - all these things would take up many more pages than the Editor can spare. Which is very nice for you.
Having thus, I hope, exonerated myself in the eyes of my critics, it now only remains for time to rid people of the parting habit of admonishing us “Now, don't get lost!”
The 21st Birthday Committee has held two meetings and intends to make the following recommendations:
That a party be held at the Dungowan Cafe from 8.30 p.m. to 1 on the night of Friday 15th October (cost 8/6d. per head), followed by a party in the bush at Macquarie Fields.
That the Club subsidise these entertainments to the extent of £60.
That attendance be by invitation only and that 20 guests be invited from other Clubs.
That all visitors from other Clubs be welcomed at the bush party and that they be invited by circular.
That there be a photographic show of old events and associations.
That all known old members be circularised.
The next meeting of the committee will be on May 26th. Arthur Gilroy will be pleased to hear from those who know the whereabouts of old members or have ideas. His 'phone number is M4407, ext. 321.
In 1931, the writer first visited the Capertee Valley, in the company of the late Gordon Smith, and walked for some miles there, amid the rugged grandeur of mighty sandstone walls. Down beyond the present site of Glen Davis Shale Oil Works the valley narrowed in considerably, and presented the appearance of a gigantic canyon.
Since that first trip the footprints of memory have not faded, and during the long period of intervening years the writer has journeyed along some of the ranges in the neighborhood - sometimes alone - and, on each occasion, the delectable valley of his desire smiled siren-like at him. Hundreds of fee above the surrounding sandstone tableland a high dome-like mountain rose in majestic beauty. Geological maps show the mountain as an extinct volcanic crater, and name it Tayar Pic, but it is locally known as Tyan Peak.
In the early days of last century, the Capertee Valley was a favorite aboriginal camping ground, but with the coming of the white man it gradually changed to a grazing area. Then came the cattle duffers, and the stock owners, impatiently riding the ranges in search of their missing cattle, found some of the land good, and settled on it. Now, there is scarcely an acre which is not taken up by some enterprising farmer to run his cattle - often twenty of thirty miles from his home.
Mr. Jonathon McLean, the original grantee of “Warangee” Station, could ride almost to Bathurst through his own property.
It was in this country that a party of 14 S.B.W. members decided to go for their 1948 Easter trip. We left the train at Kandos in the early hours of Good Friday morning and met the lorry driver, who was to transport us down to the Capertee Valley.
First point of interest on the road was the spectacular Mt. Marsden, which is really a spur of the main Dividing Range, ending in an abrupt cliff face. Local legend says it is named after the bushranger Marsden, who jumped over on his horse, escaping from police.
Our lorry driver took us beyond Glen Alice, along the Umbiela Creek road, and thence up a side creek, known as the Nile, to Tom Grimshaw's property, about 29 miles by road from Kandos. We commenced walking from this point, with Tyan Peak our first objective. A base camp was first set up in a neighboring gully, and the water there seemed more or less permanent, as beside the creek there was also a well.
After a mid-day meal we started to climb the ridge to Tyan Peak without packs. At the top of the first steep pinch the conical mountain was full in view, but in the immediate foreground a peculiar landscape was seen, owing to the weathering of the sandstone ridge into boulders of disintegration. Beyond that we climbed a grassy slope, and then a basalt scree slope, which we believe an unusual phenomenon in Australia.
The top of Tyan Peak was reached exactly two hours after leaving our base camp, and the view seemed to be appreciated by everyone. No water was obtainable there, so we consumed our own pineapple and tinned apple juice. By sunset we made the 2,500' descent to our camp site again, and we retired early to our beds of bracken.
Next day, Saturday, was spent walking up Umbiela Creek at a leisurely pace, again without packs, and at one stage, eating figs and grapes in a deserted orchard. In the afternoon we wandered back to camp by way of a sandstone tableland, on the eastern side of Tyan Peak, and apparently the mountain may be climbed on that side too.
Sunday was the only strenuous day of our Easter trip, as we departed from our base camp, and walked with packs along the level bush road to Glen Alice, and thence down the valley beyond Mount Gundangaroo to Glen Davis township. The track along the petrol pipe line was followed up a long gully and over the range to the Wolgan River where, at sunset, a fairly level campsite was found. The party had covered 21 miles for the day, and most still had enough energy to swim in the icy water of the Wolgan.
Monday morning was spent roaming round the old works at Newnes, and after our mid-day lunch our car transport arrived.
On the way in to Mt. Victoria the Wolgan Gap road was conspicuous by its steepness. While the cars cooled off at the top we walked over to the lookout, and gazed across a valley with great broken masses of sandstone. It is indeed the “Land of Who Knows Where”.
There were 32 present at the working bee on April 8-9-10 - mostly workers. Eighty posts eight feet long were cut or split and sunk 2'6“ into the ground to form a big corral about 20 yards wide by 100 yards long, stretching across the valley and about 20 yards up the hill. Trees (possibly eucalypts on the rising ground, and paper barks, oaks or willows on the flat) will be planted to form a windbreak. The committee believe they can obtain the necessary wire to complete the job.
By A.L. Wyborn.
The purpose of this article is not only to give a story of our visit to Mount Lindsay, but to give some details of the route.
We left the train at Dulbolla and met Mr. Lockhart of Rathdowney, who took us by lorry about 12 miles to the Border Gate on the Macpherson Range. From here the view of Lindsay is most intriguing, but is unclimbable from this end.
Following the border fence to the east, on the New South Wales side, we went first through open forest country and then through a patch of jungle and after crossing two small creeklets (probably normally dry) came to a right angle corner in the fence. The distance from the Border Gate to this spot would be approximately 1 1/2 miles and took forty minutes, the track being very muddy.
The fence turns left (north) up an open grassy hill, while a timber track leads straight ahead. This is the bet spot to start the climb, and is a suitable camp spot if the creeklet is flowing.
Climbing through the fence, which incidentally is not the actual border here (it being on the top of Lindsay) we went straight up the steep grassy slope, with grass four feet high. Here a Kaputar slug twined round a piece of stick brought memories of the Nanewars, the vivid red edges and diamond shape on the back being most pronounced. Views were already showing up, notably Glassy Mountain and Edinburgh Castle.
Then we plunged into a fairly thick jungle, still climbing, and reached the foot of the cliffs on the south east corner of the mountain. Time to here from the fence, a little less than one hour.
There is only one way up, but as it looks fairly difficult, I will give three signs:- a trodden down wire netting fence, a tree ten yards further round with large letters carved on it, and a rotten stump of a tree a few yards up, about five feet high and one foot six inches in diameter.
The surface during the climb consists of part rock and part soil, and we wore boots, much to the consternation of a party from Brisbane we met earlier, who were climbing in sandshoes. Looking back I am convinced boots with rubber on the soles would be best, as the heel is able to grip in any loose earth or pine needles, while the sole grips the rocks. The cliff face is close enough to vertical and the climbing consists of short traverses on small ledges, with shrubs and grass to hold on to, followed by vertical ascents over rocks. The route is fairly obvious, and it is worth remembering every grip for coming down.
There are many tricky bits, such as wedging oneself up in a vertical corner of two rocks, with one foot way out on a very flimsy tree; and quite often a finger grip of rock or the root of a piece of grass was the only thing to rely on.
The climb of about five hundred feet takes an hour, proceeding carefully with a party, and veers only about fifty yards to the east.
We then found ourselves on a narrow jungle covered spur leading north for about two hundred yards, before coming to the final cliff face, which is not climbed. If one goes to the east about a quarter of a mile, a camping cave is reached by means of a grassy ledge.
Our route lay to the west following the cliff face for two hundred yards past dripping water until the face ended. Here we went up about one hundred feet into thick jungle and emerged on the west end of the mountain through small casuarinas on to a rocky point. The view was very good. Close below was the Border Gate, while in a sweep we took in Glassy, Edinburgh Castle, North Obelisk, Bald Rock way over, Clunie, Ernest, Barney and Maroon.
The highest point of Lindsay, 4,050', is still some two hundred feet higher than the casuarina point, and is marked by a tree covered with initials, but from here there is no view as the jungle is so thick, and for different views one has to go to the treacherous edge of the jungle where the vertical cliffs fall like the walls of an impregnable castle.
The way down was by the same route as we came up, but of course much more difficult. There is that delightful sense of uncertainty as one puts a leg over the edge and gropes for a toehold, while the forests below look ever so green and enticing. We had no rope, but if a party was inexperienced, a piece twenty feet long would be a decided help at one point.
In conclusion, there is nothing about climbing Lindsay that should worry anyone with reasonable nerves and good arms and legs.
The 'Working Bee at Bouddi has been changed from 22nd and 3rd May to 29th and 30th May. Ruby Payne-Scott's walk to Splendour Rock on April 28th, 29th and 30th has consequently been cancelled.
The Trustees Of Bluegum Forest want assistance on May 22nd and 23rd when they intend to chop away three trees across the river.
On Friday 16th July and Thursday 22nd July Gordon Ballard will be showing films of the Williams River and of the Goulburn River Valley at Shell House, Margaret Street, at 8 p.m. There will be supper at 9.30 p.m. Tickets from Gordon in the Club room.
Claire Kinsella writes: “Here am I in the centre of the Lake District with Nan and Clare Prowse and a few hundred other walkers and cyclists. I know perfectly well that many S.B.W. would have bounded from Helvellyn to Langdale Pikes to Scanfell and Striding Edge, skipped from Windemere to Coridton to Westwater to Buttermere, taking Derwentwater and Grasmere in their stride. In short played merry hell with lake and hill and bog and beck; started early and returned late - but I, being what I am, have taken the countryside in more leisurely fashion and enjoyed it in my own way. Grasmere is, I think, the loveliest spot, mainly because the homes, whether sna1l cottage or farm or large mansion, all seem to fit so well into the countryside. All buildings are of greystone in which there is a rich, yellow rose shade giving a mellowness and warmth to the stone. Often the mortar is concealed so that the walls seen to be unmortared, and the stones to lie one on the other in haphazard shapes and sizes. At present, because Spring is so early, the trees are all bare except for the larches, which are showing a pale fuzzy green. I've learned to know a good many - the delicate silver trunked birch is loveliest of all, then the great beech with long slender pointed buds, the ash with black buds on grey stems and the great chestnuts with huge fat bursting buds. Daffodils are in bloom everywhere beside the lake, beneath the trees, and the cottage gardens and the wide gardens of the big houses. I know the cottsfoot - like a bright yellow daisy, the field daisy itself - white in the green grass where the lambs are dancing about after their dirty grey mothers, the celendine like a many petalled buttercup, and the wild violet with strangely spotted leaves and a flower like a small mauve orchid. The birds too, are everywhere - the blackbird and the thrush, lots of chaffinches, who are very friendly, and on the grassy tops overlooking Langdale Valley we heard a lark singing.
Walkers here at this time of the year do not carp out and, as there is no such joy as a carp fire, or camp cooking, their packs are like our day packs.
On Good Friday we climbed up by track to Sour Milk Gill until we came to Easdale Tarn, bare and lovely among the bare hills. From here on to the top of Silver How the way was on boggy swampy land and the path hard to find. I hated climbing but the view from the top overlooking the Langdale Valley with Langdale Pikes and Windermere in the distance and Ellterwater (I think that's how they went) was well worth it. We ate our packed lunch of cheese and corned beef sandwiches and nearly died of thirst. We continued on to two more tarns, then found our own way down among the startled sheep to Easdale Valley again, where we each drank five cups of tea in a little old cottage where they gave us huge quantities of food and allowed me to bump my head on the massive oak rafters everytime I moved. Walking here is very different from at home, or rather the country is.”
It's an ill strike that does nobody any good. Owing to the tally clerks' strike in Adelaide Bill had plenty of time to look round Adelaide and contact the Adelaide Bush Walkers with whom he did two weekend trips - one to the Murray and the other to the Onkaparinka. He describes the two very enjoyable weekends, made doubly so by the manner in which he was treated by the A.B.W. Invitations to Club and private walks, as well as the Club Christmas party and private parties were too numerous to mention, and made his short stay in Adelaide a very happy one.
From London Bill writes that in four hours he walked to the Imperial Institute, the Albert Hall, Kensington Gardens, Rotten Row, Hyde Park Corner, Constitution, Buckingham Palace, The Mall, St. James Palace, Wellington Barracks, Park Lane, the Serpentine, Peter Pan, The Round Pond in Kensington Gardens, and finished up in Queen's Square where he started from. A genuine tiger trip and a neat bit of map and compass work.
At Easter Bill went to the Lakes District (Claire Kinsella was there at the same time). He writes: “I set out from Keswick to do a round tour of the district. Three sunny days and one wet day was a record for the Lake District at Easter time, and it enabled me to see most of the sights, at their best, in a very short period. In many ways the grass covered hills reminded me of the Kosciusko district. Walkers and climbers thronged the area in thousands and many like me had no accommodation and spent the night in odd farm houses, barns, etc.; but even empty barns were hard to find and many slept in the open as the weather was quite mild”.
Seen at the Show: A fair (or was it dark?) member of the C.M.W. earnestly inspecting bedroom suites with three stalwart S.B.W's. Also an intrepid Bush Walker hopelessly lost near the cocoa jungle. Last seen carrying out a reccy in the vicinity of two chocolate blondes - S. & R. please note.
Garden Island switch over: A representative of a foreign power reports that Garden Island electrical drawing office is now drafting new look skirts which are designed to slay at a glance.
Bill Horton has done some interesting walks in England. Rumour has it that the best was the one he did round Croydon aerodrome with a blonde. Nice walking, Bill!
The echidna which appeared during the Era Working bee couldn't show the visitors any points.
“Don't disobey me Dorman,” said the leader as he lowered Dorm on a rope head first over Splendour Rack. But Dorm knows better now. On the Point Lookout Trip he proclaimed his independence - spent one night alone, far from the madding crowd.
by Bert Whillier
Having often been asked by various members of the Club for details of sand ski-ing, I have written this article for those interested. Expert skiers find it good conditioning before going to the snow, while beginners learn to handle their skis and learn the principles of turning and uphill climbing, thus saving time when on the snow. It is also quite a pleasant outing.
The Club has been fortunate in having obtained, through Tom Moppett, 60 lbs of ceresene wax, which is the only wax so far found to be of much use on the sand. The wax has been allotted to the following members: Kevin Bradley, Claude Haynes, Frank Leyden, Bill Cosgrove, Len Scotland, Alex Colley, Tom Moppett and myself. Inquiries should be made so as to ensure that wax is available when a visit to the sand is contemplated.
The wax is applied with a hot flat iron, then left in the shade for a few minutes to harden. It is applied much more thickly than when waxing for the snow. An iron is usually available at the sand hill for re-waxing.
The best conditions for sand ski-ing are when the sand is dry and cold on the surface, with an inch or so under the surface wet and packed hard.
The best clothing is shorts or swimming trunks and military boots with grooves cut in the heels. As the boots receive considerable wear on the sand it is not advisable to wear expensive ones. Normal ski-ing clothing is too hot. As for the skis, as long as they are kept well waxed there is no more wear than on the snow, less if anything. Broom sticks with a leather strap either tacked on or threaded through a hole do for sticks.
Almost every Sunday till late July or August there should be a good chance of arranging sand ski-ing for those interested. Cronulla sandhills have been the headquarters for some time, but I am watching developments on a hill at South Coogee where a scoop is working. The Cronulla sandhills are about half an hour's walk from Cronulla railway station.
At present there is no spare gear, so it is necessary for anyone going to have their own ski sticks and boots, and the boots should be fitted to the binding beforehand. It is an advantage to have the ski already waxed. Later it might be possible to get some spare ski for the use of those who do not own them.
Frank Leyden, Bill Cosgrove and Len Scotland expect to go out fairly often, so those interested could contact them to see if anything is on.
Mr. F.M. King, Chairman of the Youth Hostel Association of the National Fitness Council writes:
I wish to to exception to two articles in your last issue. On Page 3 you report that “the National Fitness Council objected”. This is a mistake as the objection came from the Youth Hostels Association. Further, your excuse that you wrote “alleged reason” because someone else said it does not take the responsibility from your magazine for accuracy of reporting and rather points to the fact that you have been indulging in the publication of unfounded gossip when you could quite easily have checked up on it.
“My second objection is to the letter on page 15 printed over the name of Allen D. Strom. This letter is nothing but a scurrilous and unwarranted attack on the Youth Hostels Association and most unworthy of Mr. Strom for whom many of us had a high regard. Furthermore, it is full of inaccuracies and I am surprised again that you should allow it to go to print without checking on the statements it contains or of allowing the Youth Hostels Association an opportunity to comment on it.
“Mr. Strom starts off by referring to an alleged sheep shooting incident and later, I think, deliberately infers that the Y.H.A. is connected with it. If any person can show any proof that members of the Y.H.A. have been guilty of shooting sheep, not their own property, or of damaging other people's property, the Y.H.A. Executive Committee will take strong action against the offenders.
In answer to some of Mr. Strom's mis-statements or inferences, the Y.H.A. is not a bushwalking club and is not affiliated with the Federation of Bush Walking Clubs. The primary object of the Youth Hostels Association is to provide hostels for young people but Clause 2B of our Constitution is:- “To assist young persons to acquire a more intimate knowledge and love of the countryside and to promote activities which will foster friendships and bring about a better understanding among all members. To develop them mentally, physically, and socially and in an environment that is conductive to good citizenship”.
“No bushwalking test is necessary to join Y.H.A. but Mr.Strom's statement that “anybody my enter willy-nilly without trial and precedent” is a deliberate misrepresentation and Mr. Strom knows this quite well as he was connected with the Association for some time. All applicants must apply for membership on a recognised form and agree to abide by the rules set out thereon. Furthermore they must give the names of two sponsors and are not Y.H.A. members until their application has been approved.
“Disciplinary action can be taken at any time against members and in fact has been taken on three or four occasions.”
“The statement that “great numbers of “no hopers” have sought sanctuary.” in Y.H.A. is a direct insult to every Y.H.A. member both past and present and indirectly to practically every bushwalking club in New South Wales. We are proud of the fact that great numbers of our members have graduated through Y.H.A. into almost every bushwalking Club in New South Wales. We feel sure that those who have passed through our regular “leader's training course” will hold their own against most.
“Taking all circumstances into consideration I think that the Y.H.A. can fairly expect an apology from the “Sydney Bushwalker” for having published A.D. Strom's letter and also an apology from Mr. Strom himself.”
By Tom Moppett.
On the Friday night a small party camped in the bush near the beginning of Narrow Neck. Before we went to sleep, every few minutes came the tramp of boots from the road as other parties went by. And when we woke in the morning the tramp of boots started again - or perhaps it had been going on all night.
Saturday was a perfect day - clear, warm in the sun and cool in the shade. Just such a day as we had hoped for. That night we camped on the top of Merri Merrigal. There was a large camp at Mobbs Swamp, and early in the morning, in the half light, we passed three large groups of tents on the top of Dingo.
All the rocks at the end of Dingo around Splendour Rock were thick with bushwalkers, but still more were coming. The ceremony was delayed until sunrise, about 6:25 a.m. to allow everyone to join the group. A list was passed round for signature, and 140 names were counted - a very representative gathering of walkers.
The Service opened with the hymn “O God Our Help In Ages Past” led by members of the Y.H.A. Choir, accompanied on the violin by Roy Gaddlin. The Federation President, Stan Cottier, then briefly explained that we were there to dedicate the Rock as a memorial to bushwalkers who fell in the last War, both members of affiliated Clubs and unattached walkers. He then read the names of those who were known, including Gordon Smith, Gordon Mannell, Norm Sail, Reg Hewitt, who were S.B.W's, and Charlie Roberts, pre-war Federation Secretary.
Paddy Pallin then unveiled and dedicated the Memorial in these words: “On behalf of the Bushwalkers, I do unveil and dedicate this tablet to the greater Glory of God, and in memory of these our brother Bushwalkers who laid down their lives in the service of their Country”.
The dedication was followed by a prayer and then Kipling's Recessional was sung. Laurence Binyon's well-known lines:
“They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them”.
were recited by myself from the Rock. The National Anthem closed the service.
The service lasted only about fifteen minutes, but the impressive silence broken only by the words of the service quietly but clearly spoken and the singing must have gripped the feelings of everyone there. A cold morning had been expected, but the sky was overcast and the outlines of that magnificent panorama of ridges were slightly blurrerd, fitting in well with the atmosphere of the gathering. I noticed more than one shiver slightly as we honoured and mourned our fallen friends. A splash of red on the eastern horizon was the only touch of brilliance, perhaps suggesting that we should remember them with colour, as they had lived.
The plaque was set right out on the edge of the Rock at the feet of anyone standing there looking out to Kanangra, so that he would look down and read before turning away.
After the service everyone took their turn go out on to to the Rock, and then the crowd gradually disappeared - some going down on to the Cox by various routes, while others returned to their camps and breakfasts before wending their way back to civilization.
Frank Leyden, assisted by Bill Cosgrove on the lantern, qualifies for the oscars as a Club lecturer. There were well over a hundred in the Club room on Friday 30th April and the only vacant seats were in the front row. The slides and the commentary were carefully prepared and well co-ordinated, and gave a most realistic impression of the scenic beauty of Tasmania. Frank and party were lucky in picking some of Tasmania's best weather, so fine that by the end of the trip the views were obscured by smoke. It was an excellent preview for anyone thinking of a trip down there.
At the May monthly meeting, Ray Kirkby intends to proposed that the Club form a Photographic Section. The section would handle all Club activities in any way relating to photography. In addition, it would be a means of helping all photographers by means of comparison of work, lectures, etc. He is of the opinion that people would be keen enough to give one night a month to it and knows of a very suitable room available on the fourth Thursday of each month.
Public Relations Committee. This Club gave notice of motion to rescind that motion carried at the March Meeting whereby the Public Relations Committee was established. Following this, and at the suggestion of the C.M.W., we moved that until such time as the rescission motion be dealt with, all correspondence handled by the P.R.C. be first submitted to the Executive before transmission, which motion was adopted. To ensure full functioning of the Federation, a further motion was adopted that the operations of the P.R.C. be suspended until outcome of June meeting, consequent upon which the Hon. Secretary, Mr. R.T. Compagnoni, withdrew his resignation tentatively. It is to be hoped that the chaotic condition into which the Federation was thrown by the establishment of the Public Relations Committee on the impracticable lines as constituted will be a lesson to Clubs to refrain from submitting ill-considered motions.
Conservation Bureau. Had nothing to report since its functions were “of a controversial nature and affecting outside bodies” and required “direct negotiations with outside bodies”, all of which were the responsibility of the P.R.C. to whom all matters had been referred since March meeting. The President, however, wisely ruled that the Conservation Bureau and other Standing Committees function as before.
Cumberland County Council. All walkers are invited to take place in a discussion on the proposed “Green Belt” and tracks therein at C.E.N.E.F. Building, 201 Castlereagh Street, at 8 p.m. on 25th May.
National Trust, and Federation have combined for a film night at the Shell Theatrette, Wynyard Square, at 8 p.m. on Thursday, 17th June, when colour films depicting the works conserved by the Trust in England will be screened. Subscription, including supper, is 3/-. Book early, with Federation Secretary.
Bouddi Natural Park. Working bee and Dedication of Charles D'Arcy Roberts' Memorial Weekend 28/29/30 May. Federation has nominated Harry Whaite of Warrigals in the stead of Oliver Wyndham as Trustee of the Park.
Search & Rescue Practice Weekend. 14/15/16th May. “Searchers” to ring BX3595 between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. on 14th May for instructions.
Katoomba - Oberon Road. We learn of a proposed road via Nellie's Glen, Megalong, Minna Minni Range, Oberon, and on to Cowra. Protest to local authorities being forwarded.
Forest Advisory Council requires a Publicity Officer (so does the Federation).
Kosciusko. Hotel Manager exempts Federation from “sheep shooting incident” and will welcome all walkers.
1948 Annual. Contributions close on 31st May.
Search and Rescue Levy. Clubs are asked to consider a levy of 6d. per head on active membership list to create fund to provide fares for searchers.
Sorry for snipping everything, but space is limited - Ed.
The floral pageant never ceases. Even through the hard months of summer when torrid sun and blasting winds threaten to shrivel up every delicate bloom, the everlasting put on a brave show and that hardy pea bush, the philota, is lighted up with orange yellow flowers. Now that the cool weather is here however there is renewed activity in the bushlands. Those visitors from another State, the Queensland wattles, are already bursting into flower and that hardy but fragrant native, the Woollsia, is covered with sweet smelling flowers. Boronias are in bud and cream five corners (styphelia longifolia) are hanging out their dainty flowers. This winter and spring should be record years for the native flower bearers.
Full range of squat type billies now in stock, 1 1/2, 2 1/2, 3, and 4 pint billies, and 2 and 3 pint upright billies.
Steel Frame Rucksacks.
“Rover Lightweight” rucksack. 3 pocket £2:15: 6d. 4 pocket full size £3: 5: 0d. “Bushwalker” rucksack £3:10: 6d.
New Orders taken 1st June. Regret no mail orders can be accepted. 'Phone orders after 10 a.m.
All varieties, except onions, l/6 d. per lb. Onions 9d. per packet.
Paddy Pallin, Camp Gear For Walkers.
327 George Street, Sydney. 'Phone BX3595.