A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown St., Sydney.
Subscriptions Apl., 1950 to Jan., 1951, 5/6 (posted).
|Editor||Alex Colley, 55 Kirribilli Ave., Milson's Point|
|Production and Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Production Asst||Bill Gillam|
|Typed by||Shirley King|
|Editorial - Election Threats||1|
|At Our February Meeting||2|
|Social Notes for March||4|
|On Rock & Ice||Ron Knightley||5|
|Reply from H.A. Lindsay||10|
|Federation Notes||Brian Harvey||12|
|Bear Mountain Hikers||Claude Haynes||14|
|Conservation in the U.S.A.||Brian Harvey||16|
On March 10th you will once again be required to elect the Club Officials, including your unworthy Editor. It might therefore be of interest to know what you are in for if we are re-elected.
Three years ago we warned that, should contributions lag, the editorial would grow longer and longer. The effect of this menace was salutary, and it was not until the middle of last year that contributions waned. The editorial was creeping well down the third page before readers realised their danger and copy came in in the desired quantities. Should contributions lag again the editorial will become not only longer, but duller. It will deal almost exclusively with conservation, whether anyone reads it or not.
Many members expect the Editor not only to edit the magazine, but to spend his remaining spare time in writing up news items and articles to fill its pages. Let it be understood that if members cannot be bothered doing this themselves no effort whatever will be made to persuade anyone to write anything. On this our policy is clear - no articles no magazine.
Throughout the year we will continue to criticise: the Bushcraft Association, so long as it remains in the Federation; Mr Lindsay, whenever he identifies the S.B.W. with his doctrines; the National Park Trust, for not conserving the flora and fauna in the Park; and the Federation, everytime it evades action on conservation matters. Others may be added to the list of heretics.
In Club affairs our ideas are firmly embedded in the year 1927 and will never advance. We disapprove of hitchhiking, portable wireless sets, smutty jokes at re-unions, alcohol in the clubroom and any like innovations calculated to add zest to the rustic pleasures of bushwalking.
In previous years we have given a lot of time and trouble to the encouragement of photography, but when we asked photographers, most of whom never do anything for the magazine, to donate half plates there was no response. Many of them spend ten, twenty, or even a hundred times, the cost of a half-plate on a single trip. If they are not prepared to show more interest in the magazine they can go to pot.
If re-elected, we want an assistant who will report club doings, and on occasions bring out the magazine. It is sometime very inconvenient to be tied to a magazine production at the same time every month, come holidays or hard work. Everybody else who does anything for the Club has an assistant and the Editor wants one too.
It is probably superfluous to point out that with advancing years we become increasingly cantankerous. In addition we have gone somewhat stale on the job. It would be much better for the readers if they elected someone young, tolerant and progressive, with a happy disposition, and prepared to work unceasingly for their entertainment. If they do we will be just as pleased as everybody else. This step would not stem the flow of articles on conservation, but you would at least be spared the editorial.
The President was in the chair and over 70 members were present. Three new members were welcomed to the Club: Ron Parkes, Bob Bull and Jim Ferguson. After the quiet meetings towards the end of last year this one must have come as a rude shock to them, but we hope it won't be long before they find their voices, learn the rudiments of “parliamentary procedure” and join in the enlightened discussion.
In the correspondence was a letter from Peter's Ice Cream which brought nostalgic memories of business in 1939. It explained at great length and with apologies in every sentence, just how we had missed out on our ice-cream delivery for the kiddies treat. Unfailing civility and attention is assured for the future.
Next Allen Strom drew attention to a notice in the “Sentinel” newspaper. It announced that on the 10th, 14th, 15th and 16th of February there would be artillery practice at Wattamolla. It was resolved that we should protest to the officer responsible for the notice, as the practice was a violation of the public's right to the use of the park. After the motion had been passed Allan Hardie, who was in good voice, but a little rusty on procedure after his N.Z. trip, rose to speak on the subject. He was to1d it was too late and he must resume his seat.
The President then drew attention to an advertisement in the newspapers earlier in the week announcing the sale by public auction of Portion 1 (Byrnes' Estate) at Era. Myles Dunphy had been unable to attend the meeting, but wanted it announced that he had written to the Minister for Local Government on behalf of the conservation bodies represented in the July deputation, asking whether the Minister could either prevent the sale, or force the auctioneers to explain that it was an open space under the County Plan and will probably be resumed. Even if the sale was not stopped this action would prevent the price of the land from going far above the Valuer-General's valuation. Allan Hardie then announced that one member present was willing to put up £500 if the Club desired to bid at the auction. The offer was accepted, but it was considered that there was no need for one member to shoulder the whole burden. It was resolved instead to form a syndicate, composed of members and anybody else interested. The syndicate would borrow money, bid for the land, and if successful, hold the land until resumed. In view of the uncertainty of the position re resumption and the shortness of time the organisation of the syndicate was left to one member Alex Colley. Contributors were warned that, should the land be resumed at a price below the price paid at auction, they would not be repaid in full. Attention was drawn by Claude Haynes to an announcement in the “Sun” by the Minister for Lands that he, the Minister, considered the land should be resumed and become part of the National Park. Mouldy Harrison pointed out that the announcement was ambiguous because the Minister had said that “The vote for National Parks Resumptions has been allocated for this year, but the area could be resumed by the Government at any time”. Allan Hardie slipped further backwards when he started to talk about the National Fitness offer to resume. Two old campaigners sprung to their feet on a point of order and Dorman was forced to subside once again. However he was successful in having £50 of Club funds voted for the purchase. On Mould's suggestion the President was chosen to represent Club interests in the syndicate.
Next came the annual debate on where to hold the re-union. Rene Brown spoke for Moorabinda. Bill Gillam, who was to inspect Euroka, said he hadn't been, but it was a very nice place anyway.
Len Scotland described the attractions of Morella Karong and “Stoddy” stated the case for Bare Creek. Jack Wren said that the Heathcote reserve trust didn't like large gatherings of people there. This brought the observation that, considering the S.B.W. had paid £7 a year for many years to lease the area, so as to help along the primitive reserve scheme, it would be pretty tough if they couldn't camp there themselves now. One after another these places were voted for and each time the “noes” had it. Then it was moved that we vote for the places on the preferential system. This led to several other places being included in the list and a further motion that all places which were not supported by 10 first preference votes be eliminated from the ballot. Three places - North Era, Moorabinda, and Morella Karong, obtained the necessary 10 or more votes. Members were than issued with ballot papers and the President explained that the three names should be written on the papers in the above order and figures indicating the order of our preference placed alongside them on the right. Ray Kirkby asked whether we should use Roman or Arabic numerals and was told to use Arabic. Morella Karong was the place chosen when the votes were counted. John Noble then moved that this procedure should be adopted as a standing order for future selection of re-union campsites. Protests that the meeting couldn't bind future meetings were over-ruled by invoking “parliamentary procedure,” and the motion was carried. Henceforth re-union campsites will be chosen by preferential voting for all places nominated which can command ten first preference votes, and Arabic numerals will be used in recording our preferences.
In general business it was decided to write to the National Park Trust, asking whether the new shack erected on the north headland of Marley beach, and the trees cut down around it, were on privately owned land.
At this stage Dorman, whose oratory had misfired on three previous attempts, scored a bulls-eye by asking whether the boy scouts had offered to give us space in their new building, and was there anything concrete in that? This query broke up the meeting which closed at 9.30 p.m.
There is an alteration in the social programme this month. There will be a free night on 17th. This will give you a chance to start preparing for that big Easter trip. On 31st Ira Butler will show us his films and I can recommend a very enjoyable night.
This function will be held on Friday, 24th March, at the North Sydney Council Chambers. Tickets are 4/- and supper will be provided. Tickets can be obtained from the Social Secretary now. So make a party and go along. With our big membership, the Federation is expecting many tickets to be sold.
E. Stretton, Social Secretary.
by Ron Knightley.
3.30 a.m. Curse the alarm. Three sleepers in the ice-cave gave no sign of life. The Leader, however, was vastly different. Rustlings and scrapings announced the preparation of first breakfast (second breakfast would follow, at or after sunrise.)
Hearing the primus spluttering, I cocked a cautious eye at the clock. Another cautious eye winked at me from the adjoining sleeping hag.
“Ahoy! So you are awake!” burst out the leader. “Nip out and rouse the others.”
Slowly, I started to nip. Out from the beg I drew pairs of sox, cap, singlet, sweater, mittens, and shirt; the wet clothes of the day before, taken to bed that the bodily heat might dry them overnight. Next, I began to emerge myself: balaclava, singlet, two shirts, three sweaters, wind jacket, belly-band, shorts, long underpants, trousers and sundry sox, with me inside the lot and still shivering. Ruefully, I glanced at the other flea-bag; the winking eye positively leered in triumph.
I peeled off the sox, one by one, and again donned the wet footgear of the day before. Clammy sox and frozen boots - the joys of mountaineering. As I stumbled into the entrance snow tunnel, snow fell down my neck and water trickled down my face. I hit the open air with a shudder. High on a glacier at 8,000 feet, hours before dawn - how I longed for Blue Gum and a camp fire!
Staggering and stumbling, muttering and mumbling, I toddled off through the snow to No. 2, Troglodite Terrace. On the Benar Glacier N.Z., where firm snow lay at an angle of 30 degrees against the side of Mt. French, three caves had been dug, each about 10' x 10' and 5' high, with their ceilings about 3' below the snow surface.
Marvellous things, ice caves. Their virtues were extolled to me a dozen times on the way up. Blizzards might bring temperatures down to fifty degrees of frost, but in an ice cave it was never colder than 2° of frost. They forgot to warn me that, it was never warmer, either! Winds might cave in a tent, but no wind might cave in a cave. No, nor do breezes clear it of B.O., smoke, primus fumes and cooking smells. Sleeping is a joy in ice caves; you carry air-mattresses, which you blow up and sleep on. Only snag is that they must be blown up four times nightly - which, in this instance, was four times Knightley, as being the Apprentice, the bung-holes were all up my end. As also were ropes, spikes, crampons, packs, ice-axes and water bottles.
Yes, wonderful things, ice caves. As I staggered towards No.2, I gazed up at Mt. French above me, and felt a complete loathing. Twelve months before, we had started out from down near the snowline on the other side, and after five hours of real climbing had returned defeated. Then, I had thought Mt. French to be a mountain.
Last night, from our lofty snow-cave, we had strolled up to the summit to watch the sunset!
And here I was next morn, foaming round the glacier shrouded in mist. Mist - ugh! For three days, we'd seen nothing but mist. We'd come up the mountain carrying packs, ropes, air-mattresses, trenching tools, primuses, fuel, wood, food, ironmongery (pitons, etc.), tarred paper, candles and lanterns; we'd slaved for hours cutting out tons of snow and ice for our homes - all this, with visions of assaulting and being the first to climb (the conquest was a foregone conclusion) the terrific Coxcomb Ridge of Mt. Aspiring.
Yet all we'd seen was mist. Mist and rain and wind. For three days, we'd got up at four, waited until dawn, and then gone back beneath the ice and shivered. Crazy, that's what. Just a crazy flannel-flower loose amongst N.Z.'s crazier mountaineers.
No. 2 was fast asleep. But not too fast asleep to summon up a speedy torrent of language, culminating in, “How's the weather?”
“Mist.” “Any wind?”
“Good, Let's go back to sleep.”
“Good, I'll ditto in No. 1.”
The leader greeted me cheerily with a most inane question: “Ready for breakfast?” I was ready to die.
Breakfast - lovely thought. Four bodies - eight elbows and eight legs - on one sleeping bench. 'Nuff said.
Came 4.30, and suggestions of moving. Out into the chilly mist again, with thoughts of conquering Mt. Avalanche, 8,400 feet high, and some 3 miles away across the trough of the glacier. Standing outside the caves, eight climbers roped up into three parties.
How I hated that rope! It had been the leader's practice every morning to go round lifting the packs, and throw the ropes on the lightest ones. Being a model product of S.B.W. I copped a rope every time. Ten pounds of rope, except when it was wet (which was always), when it weighed twenty. Thank goodness we were using the monstrous thing at last.
I led off across the surface of the glacier. Don't get any illusions about why I was in the lead. Firstly, being the littlest, I was probably the slowest, and noone felt like dragging me along, sled fashion. Secondly, being a mere insignificant Bushwalker, I might best be sacrificed in a crevasse.
The snow was soft and slushy, the mist was all around, and the grey of dawn filtered through. But as limbs warmed up with the movement, spirits started to rise as the feeling grew that at last we were away. Mt. Avalanche - never before traversed. And by our hopes, before that day was past, the feet of men might go right up and over yet another of New Zealand's giants.
The trek was on, and as shivers ceased and even the feet plodding in the snow warmed up, we looked forward to sunrise, the lifting of the mist - and a mountain.
For an hour, there was nothing but the crunch, crunch, crunch of feet plodding in the snow. Down across the valley of the glacier we went and upward on the ice that ringed the rocky pyramid of Mt. Avalanche. The all-embracing mist thinned slowly and soon the rising sun shone dimly down through clouds above.
Came the dawn breeze, cold and piercing. Crawling like flies upon the bosom of the snow, we mounted, step by step, towards the rocks. Pausing for a moment where a swirl of crevasses demanded inspection, we had time to watch the sunrise. Cloud shone crimson, rock turned mauve, ice gleamed pink beneath the morning glow. Jagged peak and jumbled glacier swam high above a sea of cloud, range by range on every hand.
Soon after, we came to the rocks themselves: the end of snow for a while. Good clean sunwarmed rock. Did I say sunwarmed? We shall see.
The dawn breeze became a wind, the sunlight gave place to mist again. And yet, we climbed. We edged our way upwards on a ridge like a giant, upturned saw. Sometimes, we wedged feet into vertical cracks and with closed fists jammed in above mounted inch by inch by vertical steps. At other times, we clung to the very lip of the ledge and inched our way across the intervening gaps. Needless to say, I was not in the lead here! I wished myself miles away - even the ice-cave seemed heaven! That cold, damp, smoke-filled hole seemed Paradise by comparison with this wind-swept buttress. Frozen feet, frozen fingers, the parka hood dropping in my eyes as I made a a grab for the lip of the ledge - how I longed for that camp-fire at Blue Gum!
Upward, upward, upward. What about breakfast? Who wanted breakfast in that chilling blast?
The ridge abutted the very face of the mountain, scarce five hundred feet below the summit. Scarce five hundred feet - misprint, should read, “Scared.” Slabs. Smooth, steep slabs like roofing tiles. Loose. Someone forgot to wire them down. First, you jammed yourself into a crevice, belaying the rope around your shoulders as the leader climbed to the full extent of the rope. Rocks that he dislodged whizzed down and struck like cobras. Clouted on the skull, battered about the face and hands, you waited anxiously until you could call, “Only six feet left!”
And then it was your turn. Clawing hands and scraping nails, body pressed flat against a vertical face, or crazily balanced on some teetering ledge; heart in mouth, and knees aquiver, you shivered and shook your way aloft. Mountaineering - grandest of sports! How you envied miners!
“Here's the summit!” called the leader.
“The summit!” echoed back from rope to rope.
We were there at last! Now for breakfast - or is it lunch? Ah, what a meal: there was room on the summit for one; we were eight; I was third. Guess What? You guessed it - half wedged in a crack in the rocks, half buried in snow, and half dead from the mist and wind, I ate my painful meal. oh, for Solitary and a heatwave! Oh, for Govett's Leap and scones and cream! And there was I, half stiff from rigor mortis, lunching on scroggin, cheese and cold water.
Over lunch, The Leader announced The Plan. Five would return the way we'd come and bettle round to the foot of the other ridge, down which three of us should endeavour to climb. If we got into difficulties lower down, the five could yell instructions to us.
“Us.” Note that. I was one of the three mountain-mad individuals who were to attempt the conquest of a ridge which had never before bowed beneath the foot of Man. Had I been treated to a preview of that ridge, I'd have hot-footed it pronto for the Cox. I was soon to have visions of flying there - with an 'arp in me 'and.
From the summit, I led off across a sixty degree wall of snow. No kidding! Stand your setsquare up and note the angle. Put a pin-point at the top, and that's me. Put a mass of upturned pins below, and they are the rocks I could see from the corners of my frightened eyes! Shiver? Not much.
I rammed the haft of the ice-axe deep into the snow at every step, as I moved sideways across that awful wall. Step by step, treading out a path for the others to follow.
On the rocks again, I belayed the rope, and was joined by No 2 and the leader. From here, it was plain sailing - straight down!
Ropelength by ropelength, we scratched and clawed our way around and down the spires and gendarmes that barred our way along that ridge.
Presently I came to a place where the ridge dropped really steeply - we'd only been playing before! On inspection, the leader descried a small ledge some forty feet below, and proposed to lower me foot by foot from a rock above.
I craned my neck over the drop and saw - gulp - nothing! Just space. And mist. The awful crags dropped sheer away, to disappear in fog some hundreds of feet below. What jagged teeth of rock, that yawning crevasses did I imagine beneath the vacant whiteness into which I must now descend, with only a thin strand between me and Eternity!
The leader lowered me, foot by foot. At each jerk of the rope, I yelled blue murder and demanded that the rest of the rope be thrown down, that I night continue the drop, hand over hand. I felt much better then - until I reached ice on the rope, where the hands could get no grip!
Somehow, I reached that ledge, and jammed myself deep into a crack big enough to hold my body. No. 2 followed, a frantic, quivering, sobbing being that scarce had strength to stand upon the ledge.
When the leader came, we were off again - more jagged teeth to climb, but none so fearsome as the last.
How far was it to the glacier? Would another, longer drop send us scurrying back the way we'd come?, Could we reclimb that awful wall? Would we be trapped, unable to go forward or back, to spend the night upon that fearsome ridge? Would the gathering blizzard freeze us to death before the night was through?
As we won our way foot by foot, we scanned every flat place as a possible spot to spend a night.
But was that a cooee? Listen! Faintly above the scream of the wind came cries. Where were they? In the mist. The mist. Oh, for a single peep at the glacier!
Downward still we went, until - ah, there they are. Five shadowy shapes appeared, not two hundred feet below us. We were down! We yelled and shouted and jumped for joy.
We'd soon - gulp! what was this? One single drop, far longer than our rope could span, lay between us and the ice. We had come so far, and still we were not home. With feelings akin to despair, we searched far some way down.
And we did get down - an easy way. Simply a matter of clinging to that wall with tooth and nail down a slender crack that ran for thirty feet to a ledge, and following this ledge across the face to a rib of rock that enabled one, by sitting astride and hanging on with knees, ankles, elbows and hands, to scramble to the ridge below. Dead easy - looking back!
But we were down - really down. Back on the snow. How I loved the snow! Good, clean, white snow, so lovely and soft to fall in.
We were over - conquest was ours! That great rock pyramid was no more amongst the list of New Zealand's “Untraversed”. The horror of the ice caves, the awe of mighty drops - what were these beside the thrill of conquest?
Somehow, the plod, plod, plod across the homeward snows seemed nothing. Albeit the wind was now near blizzard force, external things seemed not to matter. We had come to climb, and climb we had.
Now may we go back to eat: long, cold drinks and satisfying meals. Mt. Avalanche stood supreme no more, and a flannel-flower bloomed amongst the victors!
Have read your comments in “The Sydney Bushwalker” and would like to give my side of the question. In regard to the criticism of my “Bushman's Handbook” in the Journal of the Wild Life Preservation Society, there is this to be said; when they describe my suggestions for snare designs as “Impracticable” they are all at sea. Day after day, while working as an Army instructor, we caught rabbits, hares and — in areas where they were not protected — kangaroos and wallabies with those same “Impracticable Designs”, which have been used by primitive races for countless thousands of years. If the records at HQ in Melbourne could be published they would give proof of numerous cases where this type of training helped to save the lives of many soldiers, seamen and airmen. But let that pass.
With regard to “Living Monuments”, I see with regret — and bewilderment — that you object to the Bushwalking movement being linked with some sound and practical conservation ideas. Well, you are hereby assured that I shall never offend again in that particular way and in future shall mention only my own club in S.A. in matters of this kind.
Once again you air the weird fallacy that by aiding anybody to help wildfowl to breed you are only helping to provide targets for sportsmen. The facts are otherwise and I thought I had made this point clear in my booklet. The same cry was raised in America when “Ducks Unlimited” began their wonderful work; nothing can alter the fact — which American birdlovers now admit — that America now has more wildfowl than at any other time within living memory. In fact — and Crosbie Morrison will back me up in this — the work of Ducks Unlimited was actually too successful! So many ducks were bred that the shooters were unable to keep their numbers within bounds and a halt had to be called on the work because the ducks were becoming too numerous for the available food supply.
With regard to the “Living firebreak” of trees with non-inflamable foliage, planted in strips across the worst fire areas to check running fires and to provide a supply of very useful timbers in years to come; I honestly regarded this as any own original idea, based upon existing examples in Australia, where such trees had actually checked big fires. I now find that the idea has been used for years in America and South Africa, and its success is proved beyond doubt. Where is your argument now?
The re-establishment of the Koala in South Australia is also beyond doubt. Minchin started with five pairs of the animals; there are no wild ones within 300 miles of his breeding establishment. His work has been so successful that he is using the surplus animals to stock a large sanctuary on Kangaroo Island. If his work is not successful, where does he get the young which the mother koalas can be seen carrying, the numerous adults which he sends to Kangaroo Island by plane and which can now be seen scattered through the timber for twelve miles along the banks of the river at Hog Bay?
In conclusion, I would like to offer you some well-meant advice which is, like what I write, based upon facts learned as the result of hard experience. You are ignoring the basic principles of scientific investigation by jumping to conclusions, you put forward theories as facts and you let sentiment over-ride reason. It can lead only to trouble and perhaps to disaster. Take the case of the Bushcraft Association — with which I, personally, am in no way connected. Back numbers of your magazine show a long series of attacks made upon them — all based on hearsay evidence. Finally, you did investigate their activities and the finding was that you “Owed them an apology.” The correct course to pursue, both from considerations of fair play and to save yourselves from the humiliation of finding that you were wrong, is to investigate first and attack — if justified — later.
Another example of this is attacking my idea of aiding sportsmen to help breed plenty of wild ducks. It is obvious by your comments that you have not read the book “The Ducks Came Back”, or the many reports made by the United States Fisheries and Game Bureau. These show that for every additional duck bred to be shot, 100 are bred to die from natural causes. Why not read those official publications instead of making an attack on the idea which you could not back up if it came to a showdown and which can only bring discredit on you if you attempt it?
Try to avoid anything which will brand you as cranks, and at all times shun association with cranks, as these people do nothing but blight the causes they set out to aid. You couldn't get a better example of this than the original attack on my Bushman's Handbook, made by a member of the Forestry Advisory Council of N.S.W. He sought to have it banned; what he did do was to give it what money could not buy — publicity on the front pages of the newspapers of four states. As a result the first edition sold out in record time and the second edition will soon appear. I can only pray that similar people will try to “Harm” my novel in the same way — I can stand quite a lot of that sort of thing. It is the sort of good luck of which every writer dreams.
In fact, as one who earns a living by writing I have to check up on everything which appears in print under my name; one mistake and a writer is forever suspect in the eyes of editors. This being the case, anyone who attacks what I write will find that he cannot back up his statements.
Finally, let me suggest that we try to work in collaboration in future and not to waste time and energy in this internal dissension. The task ahead of us is too big and too important for us to wrangle about it; on my part I can promise you only sound ideas based upon actual working examples. If we build upon that sure foundation we may get somewhere. If we let sentiment over-ride reason and we air theories instead of ascertaining the facts we are trying to build on quicksands. In that way madness lies.
Sorry to hear the snares work.
Never questioned truth of duck story.
Would still like Forestry Dept. opinion on firebreak scheme.
Have no opinions of Mr. Minchin's koalas.
No apology made to Bushcraft Association.
Not interested in sales of “Bushman's Handbook.”
Won't collaborate in building ducks' nests and snares.
Brian G. Harvey.
It was resolved that the Conservation Bureau be authorised to write to the Minister for Lands requesting that all the 300 acres be added to Garawarra park, failing which consideration be given to the removal of the Garawarra Northern boundary to a line running down the centre of Semi-detached Head, thus giving Garawarra the entire length of Burning Palms beach.
Reported that the Federation advocated that the Fauna Protection Panel give consideration to following as Faunal Regional Reserves:-
Will meet at Paddys at 5.30, Tuesday 14th March. More members are required for this important section (See Jim Brown of S.B.W.).
Will be held at North Sydney Council Chambers on Friday 24th March. Tickets 4/-. All North Shore trams except Chatswood and Lane Cove pass door.
Made application for affiliation and will now investigated as per recent amendment to constitution. Will be considered for election at April meeting of Council.
Tendered his resignation to take up new position in Tasmania. The position remains open - any volunteers?
Will be hold at Euroka Clearing on 6/7th May, provided State elections do not coincide. Fu11 moon guaranteed. Canoeists may paddle up from Penrith, and launch service is being investigated for those with young children wishing to attend.
Is to investigate the credentials of applicant clubs is compose of Messrs. Paul Barnes and Bruce McInness of S.B.W. and Mr. Ron Compagnoni of C.M.W.
The Swimming Carnival was held on O'Hare's Creek, as decided at the General Meeting, and it proved a very good place for it. The camping was pleasant, the pool deep and about 40 yards across - and best of all, it was free. Heavy rain on the Saturday probably kept away a number of members, but it was fine on the Sunday and there were enough present to have a good carnival with some keenly contested events. The results were as follows:-
Point Score Won by Vera Matasin
Two weddings to report last month. Bob Younger and Christa Calnan were married on February 10th. They arrived back in time to attend Phil Hall and Betty Hurley's wedding reception on February 24th. We wish the four of them all the best. Many of the guests came on to the Club dance after the reception, their eyes sparkling with good health and good spirits.
By Claude Haynes.
Mishaps to hikers as mentioned in S.B.W. January issue prompts one to outline an interesting system which is being carried out at Bear Mountain Park, though it is not suggested as being suitable for our own wide open spaces.
The Park Police register the hikers and keep a check list to make sure that no one gets lost in the 45,000 acre playground, which is only 45 mi1es from New York. The Park contains some very rugged country, including part of the Appalachian Mountains, as well as easy hiking country. All told there are 250 miles of trail and twelve permanent stone shelters. These shelters, no doubt, are for exceptionally rough weather - it is claimed that the winter snows cut only slightly into the number of inveterate walkers who weekend in the Park all the year around.
The police registration system, which is purely voluntary, helps protect the hikers and park police against man hunts through the mountains for hikers who are (1) actually lost or (2) erroneously reported lost or (3) are safely back home. The police pin half of a big baggage tag to the hiker, put the other half in their files. They check campers out as well as in and thus know pretty well how many people are wandering through the woods and are still to be accounted for.
The registration scheme is tied in with a Junior Ranger Plan, which also serves to teach city boys and girls the wonders and uses of nature and to prevent vandalism. The plan was inaugurated in 1947.
The only conditions connected with registration are the hikers duties outlined on the back of the tag: Keep your park clean; protect wild life, prevent forest fires and report all vandalism to the patrol force.
It is claimed that the scheme has resulted in a lessening of damage, fewer hikers lost, and that there have been no forest fires since the plan was put into operation.
By Len. Fall.
Party: Len Fall, Gladys Martin, Kevin Ardill.
We had heard a lot about Frenchman's Cap, so decided to make a trip to it at Christmas, if time permitted after doing the Port Davey trip. Time did permit and we left Hobart on the 9.15 bus on Sunday 1st January.
We had decided to walk as far as the Loden Reserve after having the bus, but fate took a hand and the bus broke down at Ouse, so that we had to wait for another from Hobart. Arriving at the Derwent Bridge at about 4 p.m. we farwelled numerous parties going to the Reserve. At the Jane River track we slept in the cement hut.
An early start was indicated as we intended to make the Lake Tahune in one day. Leaving the hut at 6.15 we arrived at the Cap turnoff at 7.15, and then went down to the Franklin River. This track has been recut recently and leads to a new flying fox across the river in place of the old bridge. The new track rejoins the old track at about 15 minutes walking time from the River and has been well made. A short walk and then one starts to climb through rain forest out on to a saddle which led on down into the Valley of Flowers. A short pause on the saddle to admire the view of Frenchman and surrounding country, then down the valley to the Loden Reserve. Care is needed here as the track is not very clear, although I understand it is to be recut. As the weather was still being unkind we did not pause, but pushed on over a short patch of button grass to more scrub and creeks and then more grass. Did I say grass? Sorry, I meant mud. A sign post here indicates “Frenchman's Cap” and “Philps' Lead”.
About this time someone mentioned dinner, so all three looked for some reasonably dry ground. Shortly afterward we started and ate lunch. Moving on over Philps' Lead, climbing through rain forests again, we met a party coming out. After exchanging comments about the weather we continued our journey on to button grass and then through timber down to Lake Vera, passing another party who were drying out after coming down from Lake Tahune that morning. After going around Lake Vera, we started to climb the Barren Pass. The weather was getting worse and it set us wondering what would greet us at the top. Another halt was called at a rock overhang about 10 minutes below the top of the Pass, it being perfectly dry here. After half and hour's rest and a mug of tea we pushed on and over the Pass as the sun shone for a few minutes, than sidled around the Ridge. We noticed that snow had been falling earlier, and hastened on as we expected more.
Just as we reached the exposed Ridge before dropping into Artichoke Valley a blizzard caught us, nearly blowing us off our feet. Taking shelter a few minutes, we had a drop of Kevin's Emergency Ration, then pushed on up past the Twin Peaks around to the hut at Lake Tahune - most welcome of sights after 11 hours walking time.
Two Sydney boys, who had arrived only a few minutes before, were in residence. They had a fire going but informed us that all the wood was wet. Another party had used all the dry and replaced it with wet, so Kevin went out into the snow again, with his axe, to cut the wood.
The weather was most unkind. The next day was spent eating, sleeping and chopping wood. The third day it was still raining, so we decided to pull out, leaving at 8.30. As so often happens, the weather cleared later in the day, but we were on the way home. We reached the cement hut about 6 that nigh, and so ended my first trip to Frenchman's Cap.
Oh well, better luck next time! Perhaps!
by Brian G. Harvey
The American Magazine “Outdoor Life”, in 1946, staged a nationwide competition to interest the citizens in the need for conservation consciousness. This took the form of a competition to select a pledge on conservation ideals, and great interest was shown amongst all outdoor organisations, school-children, and the radio.
The winning entry was:
“I give my pledge as an American Citizen to save and faithfully defend from waste the natural resources of my country, its soil and minerals, its forests, waters and wild life.”
Attractive plaques were made in embossed metal, surmounted by the symbolic eagle, and the profits of the proceeds of those were used in conservation projects.
It is possible that we could interest ourselves in a similar propagation of our ideals, and enlist the Education Department, radio stations and preservationalists (such as the National Trust, W.L.P.S., Youth Hostel Movement and the like.)
It is only by nation wide campaigns such as thin that vie will achieve our desired objects.
Did I hear someone suggest that the proceeds of Lot 7 at Era may be turned to such use?
Congratulations to the Roy Davies (in England) who are the proud parents of a daughter.
Frank Leyden left for London on 6th January on R.M.S. “Stratheden.” He plans to do a lot of mountaineering and may even now be scaling an Alp.
Those who have camped with Roley Cotter will well remember his usual wish after a good evening meal that there should be 7 different kinds of pudding for his delection. Well, on a recent wet week-end at Marley Pool, his wish was granted, Thanks to a bit of good organisation on the part of his usual retinue of members of the fair sex, no less than 10 different kinds of stewed fruits, puddings and confections were served to members of the party - and a few others. You see, there was a bit left over1 Your reporter confesses that, although delicious, the array of good things was a bit of a stain on the stomach. Roley seemed quite happy and must have been contented - there wasn't even a snore during the night!
Wrong again! This story has nothing to do with the Tasmanian axeman. It concerns Claude Haynes and Bert Whillier. Claude was stricken with a nasty pain in the back on the Tuesday before the swimming carnival. But he made a recovery and turned up on the Sunday to help run the carnival. So good was his recovery that he entered in some of the races too, and one of the gleaming highlights of the carnival was the Hayne's head surging to victory in the Mandelburg Cup, past many younger and woolier heads.
At lunch time Dr. Bert Whillier advised him on how to avoid sore backs. It had to do with the opening and closing of the pores. Quite simple - if the pores closed when the skin got cold the chills could not enter and no sore back. Just a mutter of diet - eat the right things and the pores would open and close at the appropriate times.
Next week Claude got a phone call from Evelyn Whillier - could be come up and get a bathing costume that had been left behind at the Carnival? Sorry Bert couldn't take it up because he was in bed - with a chill in the back!
“…until a few years ago the same unbroken solitude has reigned every winter in these vast mountain spaces… But how different today! The whistling of engines pierces the stillness, trains puff breathlessly to and fro, the black coal-smoke drifts upward from the gaping tunnel's mouth into the blue sky above - and so-called civilisation creeps up and up into these highland wastes, with its big hotels and throngs of inevitable tourists.
Of course it is all very “convenient,” very “comfortable.” One can go to bed to-night in Oslo and get up early tomorrow to breakfast at Finse of Hallingskied, and take a Walk on Jokel or the Voss Glacier in the forenoon! All this convenience attracts many people to the mountains who would otherwise never go there. But if it did not bring so much else, of a kind which does not exalt us! All manner of luxury, food and drink and dress, and cards and folly! Nowadays, people come up into the mountains to stay at one of these big hotels, merely in order to kill time; they spend days and weeks in noisy gaiety, and then have to go back to town to rest.”