A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown St., Sydney.
|Editor||Jim Brown, 103 Gipps St., Drummoyne|
|Production and Business Manager||Brian Harvey (JW1462)|
|Sales and Sub.||Shirley Evans|
|Typed by||Jean Harvey|
|Editorial - “Matters of Interest”||1|
|At the April General Meeting||2|
|An Ascent of Mt. Blanc - Summer 1951||by Leon Blumer||3|
|Getting To Know the Right People||8|
|Tasmania by Two-Stroke (Part 2)||by Frank Rigby||9|
|The By-Laws and the Adjourned Annual General Meeting||11|
|Geology and Scenery in the Blue Mountains||by H.N.S. Schafer||12|
|B.O. Areas (Continued)||14|
|Federation Notes||by Allen A. Strom||15|
|Calling the Snow-Men (Paddy's. Advertisement)||16|
Over many years the magazine has carried as a sub-title “A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers”. The very first editorial, in 1931, invited members “to consider their various experiences in the light of common interest to fellow members and to hand in clearly written accounts, in serious or humourous vein, together with personal items or jokes concerning members and walking”.
All in all the matters which are of interest to us have not suffered any great change in the intervening years. The functions of the magazine are to provide information, entertainment and education, and if it can do this it is a useful agent in furthering the ideals of the Club.
By publishing data concerning trips, transport, etc., it can both “amalgamate those who esteem walking” and “form an institution of mutual aid in regard to routes”. Articles on conservation, botany and creature life, and geology serve to “establish a definite regard for the welfare and preservation of the wild life and natural beauty of the country”. Gossip items, humourous tales and verse all assist in establishing those good relations which “promote social activities amongst members”.
It is desirable, of course, that there should be balance in the presentation of these three groups of material. Too much conservation would certainly make dull reading for some. A magazine loaded with persiflage and gossip would soon pall, and even information items served up in large doses would fail to register and hold little interest for the non-active walker. A steady income of contributions is the best means of ensuring that the Editor can give a balanced literary diet.
Now, that word “literary” should not be given a highbrow interpretation. This is not a club of journalists or authors (if it were, we should not be Editor) and we shall certainly not notice it if you fail to cross your “ts” and dot your “Is”. You will probably have no difficulty in getting away with a split infinitive. Also, we do not believe in heavy blue-pencilling: an individual's style of writing is something personal to him- or herself, and in a magazine of this kind it should not be necessary to edit an article to the stage where the author's touch is lost, simply for the sake of slightly improved phrasing. In our view it is more important to have news and contributions from many members than a very few well-turned items from the more literary members.
As with the Walks Programme, the magazine is a self-help, self-service organisation. Members gain from it in proportion to what they put into it. You can go write your own ticket. The magazine is in your keeping.
(Incorporating the Extraordinary General Meeting of April 18th.)
We commenced with the Extraordinary Meeting right on the scheduled hour of 7.30, when barely 35 members and visitors were present, but that number increased swiftly during the ensuing ten or fifteen minutes. Malcolm McGregor, occupying the chair for his first General Meeting, briefly stated the business of the Extraordinary Meeting, and the Secretary read the replies to letters sent to the various contributors. The majority of those who had written indicated they were quite happy to let the Club be the arbiter of the destination of the fund, and several suggested a project similar to Era would be a worthy cause.
The history of the fund was outlined briefly, and the President called for discussion. Thereat the Conservation Secretary rose and moved that the fund be retained for a conservational purpose, its employment to be at the direction of a 3/4 majority of members present at an extraordinary meeting of the Club. After several members had delivered themselves of questions or comments regarding the motion, Brian Harvey suggested some provision should be made for non-members to withdraw their donations if they wished.
Paddy Pallin also pointed out that if the motion were carried in its existing form it precluded non-member donors from suggesting how the fund might be used. There may even be some who had suggestions to offer present at the Meeting. Tom Moppett agreed that if there were specific suggestions perhaps they could be brought forward during debate, and if there were sufficient apparent support, his motion could be withdrawn. Allen Strom observed that it was desirable the Club should have power to utilise the funds - if it were necessary to consult outside donors who had contributed only a small part of the total fund, the procedure could be very unwieldy.
This view was supported by Alex Colley, who argued that Era was primarily an S.B.W. project, and the Club should control the funds. At this stage Wal Roots contributed an amended form of the motion, containing a reference to the fund as being compensation for Portion 7, Era, and provision for the Club's Trustees to control the fund pending usage. With agreement of the mover and seconder this became the motion.
Now we heard from Mr. Fred King, one of the non-member donors, who suggested for our consideration St. Helena or Werong. Bill Cosgrove remarked again we were wasting time, and may end up behind bars. We must have written consent from all donors before determining how the Club could employ the fund.
Ron Compagnoni, representing Federation, remarked that the Club had had the courtesy of inviting all donors, and would probably do the same when some suitable project was under review. He was quite prepared to leave it to the discretion of S.B.W. Paddy Pallin wanted to hear opinions on the specific areas suggested - Werong, for instance. He understood Mr. Green, the owner, would have been happy to sell out cheaply a year or so back. John Cotter remarked there were probably 200 acres of the Werong property, and it might be valued as highly as £10 per acre. Alex Colley said he spoke also for Frank Duncan, one of the principal contributors, who thought what we wanted was a pleasant camping place where we could also practice our ideals of conservation. He believed we should find a place which was suitable within a reasonably short time.
Myles Dunphy harked back to an earlier suggestion that something should be done to allow contributors to withdraw if they so wished, and Brian Harvey voiced an amendment, which provided an impromptu subcommittee consisting of Tom Moppett, Wal Roots and Brian, with fleeting counsel from Ron Compagnoni. The outcome was the motion in its final form: That after allowing all contributors an option to withdraw their contributions, the amount received as compensation for the resumption of Portion 7, Era, be reserved for conservational purposes in accordance with a direction contained in any resolution passed by a three-quarters majority of the members of the S.B.W. present at an extraordinary general meeting specifically called for that purpose: pending disbursement, the fund shall be under the control of the Trustees of the S.B.W.“
There was a further motion, that letters be sent to all contributors seeking their consent to this action, and allowing five weeks for reply, which was duly carried, and the Extraordinary Meeting closed at 8.20 p.m.
When we resumed at about 8.30 we had roughly 60 members present, welcomed new member Harold Ross, and after the reading of the minutes, decided that the more salubrious condition of the room meant we needn't acquire the fumigators approved at the February meeting.
Correspondence brought two small matters - Gil Webb's suggestion that the Hon. Solicitor should be appointed as an Honorary Member (referred to Committee) and an enquiry from an ex-Member concerning purchase of a Club badge. Constitutionally we couldn't, so the matter was discreetly shelved.
There were two Federation reports, disclosing amongst other things that Paddy was again official Information Officer for Federation: there was much to-do about the Caltex Oil Refinery and whether it should pollute Kurnell, Kariong Peninsula or some place else: Garawarra Trust had declined permission for a surf club house at Burning Palms: Federation quorum had been reduced to 9 members from 5 Clubs: and a couple of stout young walkers was required by Federation to escort some Forestry officers through the Mark Morton Reserve on the Queen's Birthday week-end.
Answering an enquiry Allen Strom enlarged on the report concerning the Caltex refinery, and Alex Colley moved we write the Parks and Playgrounds Movement suggesting the Hunter River area may be worth considering. Myles Dunphy said, no, not near any big city - too great a risk in wartime - natural target. What about Port Stephens? Gil Webb thought Caltex would take little heed of us anyway, and Alex Colley in reply argued that it was better that an unspoiled place like Port Stephens remain as it was, while a refinery could be placed on reclaimed land well removed from Newcastle City. We agreed to write Parks and Playgrounds about it.
On the subject of the land-holder on Cox's River, who didn't take kindly to walkers and campers, Myles Dunphy was of the opinion that the Lands Department would take a sympathetic view of any case we submitted for a right of way.
Under General Business we immediately decided to have the Club's name restored to the list published by Federation, and then swung into the piece de resistance of the night, when Len Scotland urged upon us the evils of scouting, as at present organised with large axes and tents which required sturdy poles. He had seen a number of tent poles (obviously recently cut) stored in a North Shore creek where they would be washed away, making it necessary for more saplings to be cut down. After some prompting he moved that we write Federation, asking them to take the matter up. The motion almost lapsed, but a belated seconder opened the way for lengthy argument.
Prominent in the turgid comment was Myles Dunphy's claim that the Trustees of the Heathcote Primitive area had so trained local scouting parties that they had “very little scout trouble”: (he didn't define the position concerning Argentine Ants); Jack Gentle, who explained he was Secretary to a number of North Shore scouting troops, and would gladly bring the matter to their notice; Bob Bull, who commented tent poles were used over and over again, and who was going to supply scouts with hike-tents anyway; and Gil Webb, who took the original motion and turned it inside out so that we finally voted on an amendment to accept Jack Gentle's suggestion. The motion in this form was carried, after the original mover had made a valiant solitary stand for a third speech in reply, been beaten by a gag motion, and sat down a disconsolate man.
We wound up the affairs of the evening at 9.45 p.m.
Where? Where? Where?
When? when? When?
(If you were at the April General Meeting you should know the answers. If you were there and still don't' know, then it's your fault, you ought to know, and we aren't going to alter the lay-out of this advertisement just to pander to your curiosity.)
Watch This Space For Future Advertisements.
The Forestry Advisory Council make a practice of collecting seeds of shrubs and trees - both native and imported, for distribution to prospective growers. Owing to bush fires, they have had an unprecedented demand, and have requested that any walkers who notice seeds or gum nuts collect them, plus some leaves for identification purposes. Address of the Council is 17 Castlereagh Street, Sydney.
Paddy Pallin wants it known that he proposes to organise a showing of 35 mm. coloured slides on Thursdays between 5.45 p.m. and 6.15 p.m. Screening to be in his shop at 201 Castlereagh Street. Requests those with suitable slides to contact him, giving details of region concerned, so that he can prepare programmes.
By Leon Blumer.
(Articles on climbing and skiing in the Mt. Blanc region of the Alps have been received from Frank Leyden and Leon Blumer. Leon's account of an ascent of Mt. Blanc is published below, and it is intended to reproduce Frank's story, with map illustrating route, in the June issue.)
The three of us - Brian and Sheilah, my English friends, and myself, gently closed the hut door at 3.15 a.m. and started out into the frozen night. We were pleased it was bitterly cold as this was a sign of fine weather. Mt. Blanc, 15,782 feet, has killed more people by tricky weather than many other mountains of a lower but more difficult nature. As we mounted up over frozen avalanche debris we realised that this was the same avalanche that an English climber had accidentally started and “ridden” for 300 feet a few days earlier, a day after a heavy snowstorm. Quite a curious way of descending mountains, a method we do not feel disposed to adopt as yet.
The route from the hut, at about 10,000 feet, goes up a 2,000 feet slope of loose, crumbly rock lying at about a 50 degree angle and at this time of the morning solidly knit by frozen snow and ice. We were unroped as it was easy climbing and we avoided the steep snow faces and occasional iced-up rock, a slide on which would have meant a fall or roll of a few thousand feet. The only difficult spot was a 15 feet traverse on ice on which some steps had to be cut; otherwise we mounted steadily, probably a bit too rapidly for that time of morning. The twinkling lights of St. Gervais, miles below in the valley, gradually disappeared and the world of rock and icy precipices took on a rosy hue. It was a glorious sunrise and although our cliff face was still in frozen shadow, we had the pleasure of seeing a transparent silver light run slowly along a narrow ice ridge above us. The sun's rays topped some low clouds and mist, but it was still dark down in the valleys. A tinkling of ice particles on rocks to our right told us that the sun was starting its day's work. Life dawned anew with the sunrise and we resumed our ascent with fresh energy.
The Goûter hut, at about 12,600 feet and on the top of the cliff, was comparatively warm so we had our second breakfast and after a short rest, donned crampons and proceeded slowly up the vast gentle ice slope of the Dôme du Goûter. It was good to feel once more the clean bite of the points in the ice. We were rather tired from our exertions of the day before, so straggled quite a distance apart. The only crevasses here were frozen solid and one hardly bothered to take a wider step. I noticed one or two large seracs as big as houses leaning drunkenly down the slope. They seemed to be relics of some bygone age. We reached the top and obtained our first view of the summit ridge of Mt. Blanc. It looked rather steep due to the cold clear air, with a spume of snow drifting off and one or two large cornices over the steep face. We could see other climbers hours ahead of us, very slow moving dots against a world of snow and ice, very blue sky and occasional black rocks. We seemed to be three people set apart. This curious feeling of detachment seemed to possess us for hours.
We rested at this point as Brian was feeling “rather queer” (about 14,300 feet). He and Sheilah both took tablets. I was fit, with only a slight headache. The wind cut like a knife, despite our layers of clothing. We proceeded, dropping a few hundred feet (which we hated) then up again to the Vallot Refuge, a chilly damp place set amongst some rocks. Here Brian apologised and said he could go no further. Sheilah seemed to be in a slightly better shape but also decided against continuing. I thought for a while on the foolishness of solitary climbing, had another good look at the weather (which was absolutely beautiful) then announced my intention of going on alone. I made a pretty little speech - “I feel rather determined about this”, etc., etc., and the others nodded as if in full agreement. A quiet smile from Brian, a warning about the wind on the ridge from Sheilah, and on I went, feeling like a martyr to a lost cause. A few French parties paused on the way down to shout encouragement.
Bone Marché, mais toujours lentement”. I understood my pace was too fast. “Mes amis avaient les têtes mals ” I began and pointed down to the hut, now a speck against the expanse of white. They seemed highly delighted that “un Australien” had come such a distance to climb their mountains.
I plodded wearily onward, being brought to my knees at one stage by a fierce gust of wind. I managed to stuff some bread and cheese past my cracked lips. The slope was fairly gentle, never more than 35 degrees. There were some horrible cornices on the left side overhanging a 3,000 feet sheer wall of ice, while an the right the slope curved gently over into space. Steps had been cut in the ice in one or two places. At these heights top snow seems to be of a dry silky wind-packed variety. With only hundreds of feet to go, my limbs were feeling like lead and the headache worse, but the thing had to be done. Then at last I arrived at the broad snowy plateau of the summit.
An apprehensive glance for signs of bad weather gave place to a half-hour of rest and contentment, taking colour photos and enjoying the vista of distant snowy peaks, remote blue valleys and needle-like aiguilles set amongst jewels of glittering snow and ice. I could see the peaks of the Bernese Oberland and Zermatt and other ranges hard to identify. The view went on for hundreds of miles and was indescribable. What a pity my friends were not there. I felt vaguely disappointed, curbed an inclination to explore further along the ridge, then descended with caution. The 1,500 feet descent took only half an hour and I was back at the Refuge by about 10.30 a.m.
Brian had been lying down on one of the bunks when the French parties had come in. One Frenchman had removed his boots, another gave him some fruit cake and a small drink of cognac and orange, and yet another had fossicked around for dry blankets, some of which were frozen solid. I met this friendship and cheerful and freely proffered assistance everywhere in the Alps and it is indeed a very happy memory. To cap it all, two of the parties had waited until they saw I had descended safely to the Refuge, before proceeding on their way.
We were a tired party as we descended to the Tête Rousso Hut. The snow was getting soft and the crumbly rock slope was very loose. Apart from having to run the gauntlet of falling stones down a snow couloir, everything went smoothly and we reached the hut about 3.15 p.m. An hour's rest, lunch, then off again with exhilarating glissading down slopes of soft snow. Despite our fast descent to tree level, we missed the last téléférique, so had to stumble down another 2,500 feet to Chamonix Cally, reaching it about 9 p.m., a very tired party indeed. We could hardly believe our eyes when we checked on the map. I had ascended approximately 5,400 feet and descended 12,500 feet all in a 21-hour day. We certainly deserved our bottle of wine that night. Mt. Blanc! Nous vous salutons, or something!
Do you know all the “right people”? We mean to say, you wouldn't ask the Membership Secretary to take your subscription, would you? Or the Secretary to enlist a brand new prospective? Or the Walks Secretary to arrange your transfer to the Non-Active List?
Well, we have a few more “right people”. Apart from the officers elected at the Annual Meeting, we now have the following stooges:
|Assistant Treasurer||Gil Webb|
|Assistant Walks Secretary||Roy Bruggy|
|Assistant Membership Secretary||Bob Bull|
|Assistant Social Secretary||Edna Stretton|
|Assistant Conservation Secretary||Vera Matasin|
|Librarians||Vera Matasin and Ross Laird|
These worthy officers will give prompt and courteous attention to any enquiries related to their respective departments. No responsibility taken for any matters directed to the wrong officer.
Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! The latest on the Pallin front is that supplies of Japara and Duck, imported from overseas, will be reduced to 20 per cent of previous annual consumption. If you want a new tent, pack, etc. - You have been warned.
The only way to dodge the slug of increasing prices is to be a married member or a non-active member. Which is to say that the non-active subscription is still 5/- per annum, in case you're in doubt what to transmit.
Norma and Eric Rowen on the birth of a daughter (Helen) on March 28th.
Mr. E. Caines Phillips of the Cruising Canoe Club has advised that “the following map has now been completed and is available for perusal to those interested:
Map No.4 Wollondilly River (Goodman's Ford to Cox's River Junction)”.
Those wishing to contact him should 'phone LA2667.
By Frank Rigby.
I had to get somewhere for the New Year celebrations and it looked like being Swansea. After running into the bush to avoid precipitation at a nasty corner and almost plunging to a river bottom off one of those queer little bridges I was about ready for anything, except the engulfing cloud of dust thrown at me by a car which rattled on in front. I vowed they would soon get a taste of their own medicine but on catching up recognised two shipmates, Sydney girls and fellow-travellers. They took pity on my hatless state and consequential weather-beaten appearance, and crowned me with one of those quaint multi-coloured and essentially feminine berets with a long tassel flowing behind for good measure.
I finally became resigned to my fate and was soon out-grinning the wide grins of amusement which greeted me on all sides. I eventually put the thing to rest in Hobart, when I purchased a more becoming headpiece.
Making myself as respectable as conditions would permit a touring motor cyclist, I joined in the festivities at Swansea as befitted the arrival of 1952. Something I can remember about this evening was my bizarre meeting with six Melbourne chaps - hitchhikers, dressed in their Sunday best clothes and carrying suitcases.
Hitchhikers were swarming in this part of Tassy and it was always pleasant to stop and discuss their fortunes (or misfortunes) with them. Without exception, they gave unstinting praise to the local motorists.
Hobart and bitumen roads again were very welcome to a sorely tried body, and that hot shower at the Y.M.C.A. - well, once more I could resemble a human being. Anyway, I spent three days around the capital, where I could cheerfully have spent thirty. You are reminded of the lotus-eaters when you view life in Hobart. The motto seems to be “Never do today what you can put off 'til tomorrow”. It is a charming place nonetheless and the setting I rate about Sydney's - but then, I am not a native Sydney-sider.
Mt. Wellington, looming up in the west, was calling loudly while the weather held, but once again my machine showed its disgust with mountains. Above 3,000 feet it will not play the game fairly and becomes miserable and unco-operative, refusing to exert any reasonable effort. I finished carrying it rather than vice versa, but was rewarded with what must be one of the most glorious panoramas the world over.
I decided the mountains were “out” for a while and so merrily set out for Port Arthur, not reckoning on the sheer brutality of the road where no sane rider would ever venture. I was a ruin amongst ruins when I arrived but the bike still stood resolutely, no doubt quite happy with its sea-level surroundings. Quietly attaching myself to the tail of a Pioneer party, I enjoyed a conducted tour at no extra cost. I thought the convict remains interesting enough but over-rated.
The Tourist Bureau fairly shouted the Huon Valley from every placard and with full justification, too. Apple and berry orchards, glorious mountain and river scenery and sassafras beer of all things made a thrilling day and a half. The weather was totally unpredictable this day, and here was I trying desperately to capture Kodachromes of this lovely country with only the Gods of guess work and blind chance to determine the exposure. My kingdom then for an exposure meter, if only my kingdom had been worth it. My use of the delayed action device brought much laughter from the local small-fry. I would set the camera up, adjust it, and then start running to get into the picture myself. Naturally I always panicked for fear I would not arrive in time, but invariably found myself waiting for what seemed an eternity before the shutter clicked. The kids would then gather around eagerly to examine the “birdie that worked itself”. Goings-on of this kind were almost tragic once on the top of Mt. Amos at Coles Bay. I had pre-selected a rock to run to for one of these pictures, but had forgotten the sheer 300-feet drop on the other side. The resulting close shave I shall leave to your fertile imaginations.
It was about this time that I realised that the cooking gear etc. in the pannier bags was not going to take much more of the treatment the bike had been dishing out. Carrying gear in this manner is vastly different from humping it per rucksack. The endless vibrations from a rigid frame two-stroke on a corrugated road soon mashes everything to a pulp if it is not packed just so-so. Already my frying pan and plate were practically beyond recognition and a packet of dessert powder, ground to a fine dust, was distributed nicely throughout the entire bag. Such are the joys of a bone-shaker safari.
The next stage of the trip was across the centre of the island to the north-west coast by way of the Derwent Valley, Mt. Field National Park, Tarraleah, the Great Lake and Deloraine. Stops were made at the Old Colony Inn at New Norfolk, Cadbury's plant, the Salmon Ponds, Yates' Seed Farms, Russell Falls and Tarraleah hydro-electric station, each one telling its own particular story of this island State.
It has been said that the Derwent Valley is more English than England, and this is not hard to imagine. But the Central Plateau was as devilish as the lowlands were heavenly. Bleak, barren, threatening with rain, and bitterly cold for mid-summer, it conveyed an impression to me that afternoon that it could not improve on this performance at any time. Doubtless I am quite wrong, but the night I spent beside the Great Lake would almost have done justice to the South Pole.
After this shivery episode the north-west coast was like a paradise. This area, to my way of thinking, is the pick of Tasmania. It has got everything. I don't think that anywhere else in Australia could be found the potential concentrated richness they have here: and nothing could be richer than the friendliness of the people. In the little township of Wynyard I was an utter stranger, but almost in the next breath I was whisked away to become the guest for a whole night and day in a private villa bubbling over with friendliness and hospitality. That is not exceptional, but typical. What effect on human conduct do those surroundings have - the rich soil and the beautiful patch-work pattern of the countryside, the amiable climate, the inspiring coast line, the beaches and the mountains in the distance, and the absence of big cities? I like to think this environment has moulded a heart which is considerably softer than one would expect to find.
Tasmania must be a bushwalkers' dream. I expect the Reserve is No.1 choice, but there are at least six other regions where the walker could spend a few weeks and gain much profitable pleasure.
Well, the time had come, as the walrus once said, and this was true enough as I plugged back to Devonport to join the “Taroona”. I stood on the wharf and reflectively watched my partner go aboard - not the clean, polished machine that had been unloaded ten days before, but a grimy, mud-and-oil-encrusted shadow of her former self. Still, she could well be proud of her record - 1,100 miles, some of it torture, and her only wound a broken clutch cable and a dented leg-shield (which, incidentally, saved my leg).
She was a lady of very modest requirements, too, the 1,100 miles costing me a mere £2.lO.0 in petrol and oil! I had seen a large part of what surely must be the gem of the Commonwealth and had brought away many happy memories. More than that, I had added considerable to my knowledge of Australia.
Yes, its definitely worth trying some time, believe me.
Prior to the Half-Yearly General Meeting of September, 1951, the portion of the Constitution relating to By-Laws read:
The Committee shall be empowered, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, to make such by-laws as may be deemed necessary.”
As a result of the Constitutional Amendment carried at that meeting, Section 13 was altered by the addition of the following two sub-sections:
“(b) All by-laws shall be submitted to the following annual or half-yearly general meeting for ratification, and any by-law not ratified by the said general meeting shall not be reintroduced for a period of at least twelve months.
© After ratification at an annual or half-yearly general meeting, by-laws shall not be ended or cancelled, except with the approval of an extraordinary, annual or half-yearly general meeting.”
All those resolutions with a “continuing” or repetitive effect which had been enacted by Committee or General Meetings since the inception of the Club were then extracted from the minute books.
Committee considered these rules, eliminating a number which had become outdated, those deemed redundant, and those regarded as not truly by-laws: Committee did not, however, materially alter any resolution originally carried at a General Meeting.
The resultant rules were very numerous, and, as it was desired to facilitate dealing at the Annual General Meeting, a motion was carried by the January General Meeting, requiring any member who wished to cancel or amend any by-law to submit his protest in writing to the Secretary prior to the Annual Meeting. A list of the proposed by-laws was posted to each member during February.
At the Annual Meeting, however, the decision of the January Meeting was rescinded, and the unfinished business of ratification of By-Laws was adjourned from that Meeting until May 30th. This date was selected as the first free night on the Clubs calendar, and on that evening the Annual General Meeting will be resumed for the specific business of considering the By-Laws.
By H.N.S. Schafer.
My object, in this article, is to illustrate the way in which geological processes have produced the scenic beauty of the Blue Mountains.
Millions of years ago the area now known as the Blue Mountains presented a very different appearance. Instead of being characterised by rugged sandstone cliffs, deep gorges and swiftly flowing streams, it was a vast plain. This plain, termed a peneplane, was formed as the result of erosion and weathering of the pre-existing land mass. All major features had been eroded away and the land surface levelled down. Across this plain the streams flowed slowly in winding courses.
However, some time during the Mid-Tertiary period (a relatively recent era geologically, but still some millions of years distant) forces within the earth came into play. The stresses and strains developed by these forces caused a fold to form in the earth's crust and part of this peneplane began to rise gradually.
While the land to the east of a line drawn north and south through Glenbrook remained almost unchanged, that to the west was elevated. This fold, known as the Glenbrook Monocline, can be seen on the Great Western Highway between Emu Plains and Glenbrook. Here the road cuts across the face of the monocline, and the rock strata can be seen dipping sharply to the east. The fold may be traced north and south for many miles until it eventually degenerates into faults in the vicinity of Kurrajong in the north and Picton in the south.
During the time of the elevation the streams were able to keep pace with the uplift and cut down their beds. In doing so they cut deep gorges through the Hawkesbury sandstone, but still maintained their previous courses. The Nepean River illustrate this - in the vicinity of Camden it is flowing through comparatively flat land, however, near Mulgoa, it turns into the foot of the Blue Mountains, through the Nepean Gorge and eventually flows out on to the flat land once more near Penrith. In the vicinity of Glenbrook the uplift was only about 600 feet, but further west, near Mount Victoria, it was over 3,000 feet. The elevation itself was spread over millions of years and was in no way a sudden catastrophic upheaval.
In the same way as the Nepean, the Cox, Kowmung, Wollondilly and Grose Rivers continued in their original courses, gradually cutting through the rising rock strata and developing the familiar deep valleys of the Blue Mountains.
In thi3 way the present day topography and scenery were developed. Sheer sandstone cliffs hundreds of feet high bordering the valleys, water leaping into space over these same cliffs, give us such thrilling sights as Govett's Leap Falls. The scenic beauties of this eroded land mass are legion - the tree-lined Wollondilly of Burragorang Valley, the awe-inspiring cliffs of Kanangra Walls, Blue Gum Forest by the impetuous Grose, and many more. The streams speeding on their way through mazes of sandstone boulders, by grassy tank and casuarina grove call forth the thought - “We must camp here”.
And still the processes of erosion and weathering continue year after year. In another few million years - what then?
Paddy Pallin has written the Club, inviting walkers to inspect his workshop-factory building and partake of light refreshments on Friday, May 9th, between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. The factory is in Harris Street, Ultimo, about one block north of the Technical College, and its number 623. Those intending to call are requested to notify Paddy so that catering arrangements can be made.
(Paddy's object is to express his gratitude to the walkers who assisted him in establishing his new workshop after destruction of his old George Street premises by fire an Christmas Day, 1950.)
Committee has been pleased to accept the official day walk of June 1st as a possible test walk. The leader wishes this to be made known - also that the train will be the 8.55 a.m. from Sydney.
Prospective members are reminded that an Instructional Weekend Camp will be held on May 10/11 at Euroka Clearing. The party will catch the 12.27 p.m. western train to Glenbrook on Saturday. Intending participants should inform the leader, Mrs. Kath Brown, beforehand.
Reports have come to hand of several regions Burnt Out (or alternatively Not Burnt Out) during the past summer. Generally speaking, the recent rains have restored the position greatly, washing the carbon deposits from small scrub, and promoting the growth of grasses. It is no longer an ordeal to pass through areas which have been burned and, although it is tragic to see the damage caused, the bush is recovering to the stage where the physical side of walking isn't necessarily attended by discomfort.
Extensive fires in the scrub near Perry's Lookdown, but the valley floor relatively unharmed. Fires have been through the undergrowth adjacent to Blue Gum Forest, but trees generally are only charred, and new grass and bracken have developed. The Lockley's Pylon - Leura ridge is untouched. (Report based on information beginning of April.)
Undergrowth extensively burned out from Wog Wog Mountain all the way down Yadbora Creek (particularly the north bank). Trees very little damaged, though scorched and charred. Good new growth of grass and fern. Clyde/Yadbora Junction is in very good condition, and undamaged. Western slopes of Pigeon House burnt up to level of sandstone ledge (about 1,500 feet) and burnt patches on east of mountain. Whole region recovering rapidly. (Report based on observations Easter.)
Both clearings undamaged, and the tracks from Glenbrook practically unscathed. (Report early April.)
There have been no fires on the way from Katoomba to Splendour Rock and the Cox Valley/Breakfast Creek area has not been harmed. Fires have occurred in the Tin Pot - Black Jerry's Ridge section of Megalong Valley, but new grasses have appeared. O.K. for walking. (Report - Easter.)
The Annual Club Photographic Exhibition is set down for 27th June, and we wish to take this opportunity of reminding intending exhibitors that only eight weeks remain for the production of the masterpieces which we hope to see on that evening. The organisers request that prints be handed in as early as practicable that night so that groups may be arranged to the best advantage. Friends of members and all interested folk will be very welcome.
By Allen A. Strom.
Miss M.B. Byles has written to the Federation asking for some interested walkers to take two young Forestry Officers on a walking tour of the Morton Primitive Area during the Queen's Birthday Weekend. She is anxious to have people who are young and prepared to put the Bushwalkers' angle on keeping the Primitive Area intact. Interested folk should contact Mr. Stan Cattier, 287 Forest Road, Kirrawee, or one of the Club's delegates.
The Secretary of the Garawarra Park Trust stated that the Park Trust will not permit the erection of a Clubhouse at the Palms.
The Tasmanian Walking interests have stated that Mr. Ernie Bond has now left the Vale and that the buildings and property have been taken under a lease by a Committee formed from the members of the Hobart and Launceston Walking Clubs. This committee is preparing a leaflet setting out the history of the Vale and the numerous attractions thereabouts. Permission to use the Huts (and the necessary fee) can be arranged through Miss Rhona Warren, 395 Sandy Bay Road, Hobart. Route to the Vale is through Maydena via the logging road of the Australian Newsprint Mills whose permission must first be obtained.
The Federation is making enquiries through the Lands Department re leases held by Mr. Kirby along the Cox's River.
A letter from the S.B.W. on this matter has been passed over to the Conservation Bureau.
Publicity over the radio for a week or two prior to Easter, sponsored by the Federation, had been very gratifying.
Reported to have been very successful with about 180 bushwalkers present. Gil Webb and Paddy Pallin did an excellent job around the Campfire.
The Sydney University Union Hall has been booked for Friday, September 12th, for the 1952 Ball. Volunteers are being sought for the Ball Committee. See Paul Barnes.
By the time this appears in print Paddy should have opened up his new seasons ski gear. All skiers are welcome to come in and inspect “You'll not be pressed to buy”.
There are also skis, stocks and bindings carried over from last season - at last season's prices. As there have been price rises and a big bump in Sales Tax these prices are considerably below current rates. Those intending to get equipment will be well advised to inspect these goods.
Paddy has a very compact spirit stove which comprises wickless stove and two small saucepans. Just the thing for a hot drink in the snow clad wastes. Price 31/6d.
All Tricouni nails now sold. This was a small trial shipment to test the market. The response was terrific but Canberra intervened and now no further imports will be permitted.
But there's good news underfoot. Clinkers should be here any week now. There are lots of them and let's hope they'll last till Mr. Menzies lifts the barriers a little.
(Lower Ground Floor), 201 Castlereagh Street, Sydney. 'Phone: M2678.